It was a long weekend for Ritchie Bristol golf-stag-do… longer for some than others. With Mattie Strong on best man duties, Bristol was lined up for the weekend event. Golf at Bowood House on Friday then the Bristol Golf Club Saturday, with the obvious refreshments to enjoy in the increasingly blurry bright lights of Bristol city centre.
About 45mins before Bristol, Bowood Golf and Spa was a good test on Friday. A good parkland layout, it was a healthy contrast to Surrey National where drivers off the tee is the usual standard. Long, twisting par5s, dogleg par4s and some lengthy par3s. Seem to remember only one ‘straight hole’ on Bowood (the 10th), so you always had to pick a line off the tee and could often take longer irons or fairways off the tee. Their greens were not great, rolled ok but looked a bit patchy and, being picky, perhaps not mature enough. Course wasn’t short either and the scores were consquently ‘average’ with Simon bailey taking the day 3 clear I think with 36points. Well done Sid.
Bristol Golf Club
Friday night took is toll on most of us and it was a very bleary-eyed group that stumbled their way over to Bristol Golf Club for Saturday’s late morning round. With a few more joining us for the day and evening, Bristol GC was a bit of a surprise. I’d expected a stroll around a friendly 18holes; noone realised the holes were played over and around a valley with some impressive hills to work our way down and around. The hike up the hill from the 17th green to the 18th was immense – thought we might have to get a helicopter left up for Brian C at one point.
Some nice views of the Bristol bridges from the clubhouse and putting green. An especially tight white tee position saw us off on the par5 first hole – or rather it saw a lot of balls hoicked right into the trees, or pulled left onto the practice green and OB. A good course most would like to play again not least because we’d cope better with the several dogleg holes and lay-up positions to plan. 16th hole was special… 191yards from an elevated tee to a raised green protected by a large pond.
Two good rounds of golf – the common opinion was to have Bowood’s layout with Bristol golf clubs’ green. Noone should be surprised that Ritchie stormed his way around, helped with 20pts on the back to scoop the day, and overall two-day tour win. Myself and Simon Bailey coming in 2nd.
A quick turnaround in the evening and more refreshments. Most trundled off home on Sunday morning, though a few faces were staying an extra night for some final drinks and to watch the final Premiership games play out.
Top job Mr Strong
Big thanks to best man Mattie who managed all the accomodation and golf across the two days.
Everyone had a great time – and no surprise that Ritchie ended up the winner.
All the best for the big day next month Ritchie.
The Players Club, Bristol
Dan Mason, JC, Sean and myself split the journey home on Sunday at The Players Club about 25mins from Bristol. Strange club, some nice holes but then some forgettable ones. They’re rebuilding parts of the clubhouse, but did feel like a work in progress. Signage missing, course planner feeling a bit out, a flooded fairway (!) and they seemed to have evolved two courses by adding new ones and chopping into the other course.
Despite the course feeling slightly a bit disjointed overall, the weather was fantastic and we had a nice relaxing round to end our own weekend in warm sunshine. JC had a solid day to win the day, pairs match halved on the last putt.
Final group left Bristol this morning, but not before they enjoyed a round at the very nice North Hants golf course on the way home. A top track, and we heard that Mr Jaggs ripped it up with a gross 77, missing out on a 75 with a cheeky double on the last.