Back for more
This weekend saw the Pistol and Swashies square up once again for competitive golf, drinks and yep, more drinks… as we returned to the always nop notch East Sussex National. I believe it is hosting a big event in a month or so, it was in good nick even with all the hot weather recently.
Two top courses, of which you’d barely hear a grumble about any of the 36 holes… though my scorecard on the two shortest par3s on each of the courses would certainly start me off. More to do with my scores than the holes mind. I think the only collective chuntering would have been about the barely chilled lager in the spike bar after Day1 which from what I saw didn’t really touch the sides anyway. So two great courses, a nice big hotel and two big Surrey National Swindle teams both up for seeing who comes out on top this year.
Following the inaugural one-day competition at Hever Castle a couple of years ago (won by those pesky Pistols), the Swashies won last year at East Sussex so we entered the day on Sunday with honours even and all to play for. Badger captained the Pistols and Phil led the Swashies out.
Day 1 – Sunday, East Course
Weather was fantastic, too hot really as there was barely a breath of wind on Sunday but at least some cloud cover on Monday cooled things down a smidge. Format was singles on Day1, pairs betterball on Day2… all in the “Surrey Hills” format, which is basically matchplay but scoring a point or half on EVERY hole. Great format for team events… means every hole counts, even if you’re on the receiving end of a hammering.
With a pretty even spread of handicaps, nothing really in the first matches (See below for results across both days). It seemed quite common within each group for a matchplay result to go towards each Swindle. However as the groups came in, the Pistols started to poke ahead and when Steve Atkinson – playing both of our guys separately – came in at the back with the scalps of TullyMonster and Mr Mason, we found ourselves 10down on the day.
I had another good match against Kieran, who I happened to play last year in the singles as well. He pipped me then and losing holes on Sunday to an early eagle and watching him flag approach after approach on the front nine, it looked kind of ominious. Steadied things on the back nine and after nicking a few back we ended up all square at the end. I was actually domie2 up, but he decided to drive the water hazard on the 17th 290 in the air (!!), and I gift wrapped the final hole for him as my approach chip found the big drop off at the back of the green. So finished all square… next year Mr PGA Pro, next year.
All got stuck into the beers after the matches came in and results were added up. Quick change and shower and it was back into the bar for the evening meal and more drinks until the early hours.
Day 2 – Monday, West course
Another very warm day to go with collective heavy heads. I suspect Tully’s three (3) helpings at the cooked breakfast buffet sorted him out. Better ball pairs today on the West course. Not much between the two courses, but I think most of us just preferred the West.
With a heap of side bets going on, both Swindles were definitely up for it. Swashies needed some solid wins to cut the Pistols’ impressive lead.
First two matches went to each Swindle and The Feez and Lampost then returned a win against Kev and big Al in the match behind. Jaggsy and I managed to finish up against a very determined, and playing-us-both Steve Atkinson, however the next 3 matches were then won by the Pistols and the fat lady had already started singing. Biggest cheer I think was from Will who, despite the Pistols losing the final match by 1, had a sizable sidebet on Dom beating Winkle on the day.
In the end, Pistols won by 7. Congratulations to them.
Two great days. Perhaps the course and customer service could certainly step up in a few places. Some courtesy over the buggie hires would not have gone amiss, food was ok and perhaps not the biggest issue but the hardly-chilled lager after 18holes in 30+ heat needed sorting out.
All that aside, it is a cracking venue for an away trip and everyone is looking forward to next year already.
I’m sure everyone there would extend thanks to Phil in taking the lead in once again organising the trip with Your Golf Travel.
Congratulations of course to Captain Badger who captained his team to another win. Well done the Pistols.