East Devon Seniors’ success for Malcolm Priestner

East Devon golf club. Ref exsp 25 17TI 5397. Picture: Terry Ife

East Devon golf club. Ref exsp 25 17TI 5397. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The Seniors played their February Stableford qualifier at East Devon on the first Monday of February, writes Paul Willoughby.

You all know the format by now; this is the competition where you pit your golfing expertise against not only your fellow players, but against the course in the hope you can play to your handicap, or better.

Golf is a strange game; we look forward to the challenge, put on our golf shoes in the car park and we’re full of hope that today, some of that magic (for the most part hidden!) will appear and allow us to drive straight, hit our second shots onto the green and take only two putts. Oh joy!

For some the magic appeared, but others discovered they should have left their clubs in the car. However, notwithstanding the gloom felt by those who didn’t make the grade, they/you/we will be back for another challenge knowing that there lies, deep within us, an Arnold Palmer or Justin Rose. The only trouble we have is remembering the magic words to bring our golfing brilliance to the fore – ‘Abracadabra’ doesn’t cut it any longer! No matter how you played, it’s lovely to be out there and the views are still stunning even if you drive your ball into the bushes.

For those of you who haven’t ventured onto the course this year, you will find quite a surprise when you do.

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A lot of work has been undertaken in the last few weeks to clear scrub and gorse, revealing views some of us had never seen before. The clearance work also revealed hundreds of balls in what was the rough, many of them dirty having been abandoned for years but a lot still of usable quality.

Do any of us want to admit that some of them might be ours after a hoiked or sliced drive?

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The work has left a lot of the course stony and bare but, come the spring, some replanting of heather and re-seeding of grass and the course will look (even more) spectacular.

There were 63 players and the leading lights were as follows: 1, Malcolm Priestner, 38 points from a handicap of 10; 2, Malcolm Pressey, also 38 (11); 3, Howard Clark, another 38 points (15 now 14); 4, Ray Ambrose, 37 points, (21 now 20); 5, Brian Welch, also 37 (18); 6, David Harrison, 36 (11)

There were six twos, sharing a pot of £74; not an earth-shattering sum, but enough for a few new balls if you’d rather not play with the balls unearthed by the digger!

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