On the 27th of June, Sussex Golf Captains headed off to Haywards Heath Golf Club to take on their most dangerous foe, The Sussex Ladies Golf Captains.
We’ve played this fixture for many years, and over that time, we’ve become very friendly with the lady captains. Indeed, many of the Sussex Lady Captains play in our mixed events. This makes the Haywards Heath game a hotly-contested affair.
As with many of the Ladies v Gents events, skulduggery, bargaining, and pleading are the order of the day. This year was no exception. The ladies were using their wiles to gain ‘courtesy shots’. After protracted negotiation, we agreed on two extra shots for the ladies.
I mentioned skulduggery, and with good reason. The lady captains had pulled a particularly underhand trick by including the Captain’s wife, Caroline Angella, in their team. Naughty, very naughty.
Match preparations were thrown into disarray when several participants went down with Covid on the previous day. A frantic series of phone calls and the gracious standing down of Peter Snook meant that this would be a nine-aside match.
It is not for me to comment, but one of the absentees was our IPC, Keith Talbot. One team member did suggest that this positive test was tactical as he did not want to lose to Lesley (his wife) again. I couldn’t possibly comment on that.
The HH Club Captain, Martin Jones, welcomed us warmly to the club. As many of you know, this is their centenary year. He welcomed us to the club and generously presented us with commemorative bag tags and pitch mark repairers. We would like to take this opportunity to wish the club well in this milestone year.
Without further preamble, let’s reveal what happened next.
Joe Angella and Martin Jones took on Brenda Gilbey and Jane White. Brenda and Jane were great company, and we had a lovely game. Although the ladies played well and used their 11 shots well, they came up against two Sussex Captains in great form. We were playing par golf. Ultimately, this was too much for the ladies, and SGC won 6&5.
Ian Potter and Alan Butcher played with Linda Brand and Maureen Briggs. This was a good match played, mainly (I feel there is a story here! Ed) in good spirits. Ian tried his hardest to upset the ladies but was otherwise great. The gentlemen (sic) won 5&4.
Andy Plowright (past HHCC) and Nigel Wates (aka Mr Dependable) entertained Carol Hall and Ian Potter’s dance partner, Nannette Meeten. This was a tight match, with Andy and Ian two down after ten, but they played the back nine in -2 to sneak home. It took proper golf to beat two tough ladies. The rain helped on the back nine (?)
Kevin Heanen and Peter Rodger walked out with Rosemary Barford and Jenny Fahy. Another very enjoyable game played with two lovely ladies and great joy. Kevin is getting his game back. The gentlemen won 5&4.
Peter Billcliff (Captain's Day winner and whiskey drinker) and Ken ‘one more club’ Penfold took on Liz Street and Caroline Angella (The Captain’s Better Half). As always, this was great fun; the banter was very good. Peter’s Captain’s Day form had waned, and ‘One Club More’ had to play out of his boots to keep the game alive. The ladies took full advantage, and we went down the last all-square. Fortunately, the ladies fell foul of the greenside bunker on 18, and we won 1 Up.
Phil Williamson (Returning Hero) and Norman Milburn (Supersub) faced up to Joanna Greenstreet and Lesley Talbot (Keith’s Better Half), receiving three shots. This was a very enjoyable game. Annoyingly for the ladies, Phil chipped in on the 12th with a brilliant shot. There was good, friendly banter all around. Thankfully Norman is back in the room (?). Phil and Norm won 2 Up.
Colin Prior and Ron Adams were giving 1 shot to Janie Hartle and Margaret Curwood. After realising that it was greensomes, rather than four-ball better ball (heaven help us. Ed), we had an enjoyable game. The ladies were great company, but we won 4&3.
Mitch Clark and Alan Coole gave 11 shots to Sylvia Haggair and Wendy Shergold. They all had a lovely time. Unlike me (Mitch), the game was swinging both ways (Me thinks the lady doth protest too much. Ed). Plans A, B and C failed against the 11 shots. They were lovely ladies with great flirtation! (and with you newly married! Ed) Perhaps, if you had kept your mind on the job, you wouldn’t have lost 1 Down (Ed).
Brian Street and Peter Barford against Jo Fyfe and Lilian Cummins. This was another great game, up then down. Holes won were with pars or birdies, and the match was a pleasure. (Although this was a win for the men, the result is missing. It sounds as though it was a close one. Ed)
This was a must-win match. Losing to the ladies was unthinkable. Defeat to the ladies would have left me with a long drive home. Fortunately, despite their shenanigans, w e ran out 8-1 winners.
As usual, the ladies were great company, although we learned a few new words… Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and it’s easy to see why this is an oversubscribed event.
Haywards Heath, and Martin, were great hosts. The course was in lovely condition, the food was delicious, and even the weather did its bit. We look forward to next year.
One point to note, we remain undefeated. Nice.