Finally, the tour has arrived.
We travelled down from Sussex to the picturesque somerset town of Wells. Home to the legendary baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells, this beautiful little village is overlooked by Wells GC.
Set in gently rolling hills, covered in lush grass and with a village pub offering rooms to weary golfers, we were set to go.
Ian Potter (Captain) and Andy Lamb took on Mike Rossiter (Captain-elect) and Mike McGrath (Club Captain). They were off once Ian had gotten to grips with the opponents' names. Unfortunately, a birdie start was as good as it got. After a couple of halves, we were one down, two down, then three down and so on. The skipper pulled one back, after which it was halves until it was time to shake hands. As the headmaster would say, "could do better". Lost 3&2
Joe Angella and Mickey Grimes faced Roy Parmiter (President) and Geoff Rooke. Four birdies by Joe, all at the right time, kept us in front in a really tight match. Roy and Geoff played in the right spirit. Joe didn't do all the work; Mickey got off to a flying start while Joe waited for the drugs to kick in! Won 2&1.
Nigel Wates and Bryan Fairbrass played John Beer and Phil Baker. Our birdies must have flown away! However, on the second par three, Nigel's partner had a three net two! It was a very good match, in excellent company; sadly, Somerset did us on the last. Lost 1 Down.
Richard Jays and Mitch' DJ' Clark tripped the light fantastic with Steve Butterfield and Rob Hardy. A slow start following a long journey meant Sussex went four down! The lads got it back to one up before losing two of the last three holes. We went down the last. Lost 1 Down.
Andy Plowright and Brian Street (President) were pitted against Matt (Charles Atlas) Baker John (16 shots) Chillington. It was a very scrappy game, going this way and that. Sussex were not keen on the first cut, with the ball sitting right down and hard to find; Sussex eventually won! Won 2 up.
Phil Manser and Richard Bevan played Keri Allchurch and Paul Burns. Great company (There is a ban on using the word great. Ed). It was a very tight game, with only one hole in it. Somerset made a half on the eighteenth to win the match. Lost 1 Down.
Rasoul Shahilow and Brian Hooker played Phil Stone and Gwen Coville. Gwen offered to take Ras around the back of the sixteenth! (Why? Ed) It was a match full of banter and good spirits (Ah, now I understand! Ed). The course, with a number of blind shots, was challenging at times. Our partnership couldn't have asked for more, winning two up. Won 2 Up.
David Balfour and Peter Brookshaw played David Bate and Maddie Casson. Hot, hot, hot, the company was great (Grrr, Ed.) and playing with David again! Maddie and David were excellent company. The game went back and forth, and we ran out winners in the end. Won 2 Up.
What an excellent start to the tour. Brilliant weather, a lush course in a beautiful setting and a well-earned draw made for a fantastic day.
Then, it was back to the country pub to drink some excellent ale and whiskey before recounting tales of the day's adventure. The Butcombe was in top condition and went down a treat.