First match of the 2018 season in the Surrey Hills league and Surrey National’s opening fixture saw us head over to Farleigh today. Overcast and somewhat mild, we escaped the rain but it was breezy and very wet in places underfoot to make things interesting. Course ok, but they have a PGA event later in the year and greens had been heavily ‘tined and sanded, and some parts not draining very well and quite soggy.
Our captain for the 2018 campaign is Mattie Jaggs and 10 of us enjoyed a nice breakfast before the matches headed out against the always competitive Farleigh boys. We’ve never won away at Farleigh – we lost the league there 3-4 years ago by a measly 2pts, and when they only won by 3 the year before last, they had a team huddle to see why they didnt win by more. A tough fixture but we were up for it.
Our low handicap pairing of Beef Austin and Scottie led us out giving a healthy number of shots, but our Northern Petal was on form… 2under back nine I think, supported by the weighty presence of Tom. Despite being 3 or 4 down at one point, they stuck in and pulled things back to half their match 9-9. Fanastic result.
Al Savs and (I think league debutant) Ian Fowler were out next against Farleigh’s Paul and young Harry. Harry played off 6 but shot net 68 on Saturday, clearly in form, and I think Al said he was only a couple over the whole round today if that (40pts he worked out he had). Very tough ask and our boys lost out by 4pts.
Captain Jaggsy and I were due to be next out against League Chairman Des and the always “entertaining” Johnny Harris. Johnny’s mixed grill the night before was not behaving which meant he had a couple of quick dashes to the toilets before we tee’d off so Al Gollop and James Carter stepped in taking on Craig, and their highest handicapper Andy off 20. Another close game and though playing behind them we saw Andy hit a few duffers, these were apparently his only poor shots and their dangerman on 20 helped pip our boys by 2.
Mattie and I had good game against Des and Johnny. Really did come down to our dovetailing and we really didnt give any holes away. I was quite shoddy off the tee on the front9, but fairly solid on the bumpy greens. Jaggsy munching the odd drive and several decent approaches when needed. A few pars here and there, the odd birdie, it wasn’t sparkling golf from either pair but we chipped away and hit the turn 1up. Sneaking an unexpected half on the par5 10th after Des had boomed a massive drive down the hill and Johnny fairly close after 2 shots though with a provisional off the tee, we fended them off winning the 14th and 15th and found ourselves 3up with 3 to play. Surrey Hills isn’t about positioning for a win and seeing the round out, its about overall team points and every hole, whether up or down really can make the difference on the day and across the whole yaer.
We halved the short par4 16th in par, Jaggsy had a shot on the long par3 17th and won with a solid par after a great rescue wood into the wind found the green. Despite Matt hitting a booming drive on the 18th, I managed to sneak a long putt close for gimmie par in on the last to win … before Jaggsy could putt his 5 foot birdie putt. We were very pleased to come in 5up.
So all very close, one behind overall and Winkle and Lee Histed bought things in as the last pairing. Apparently Winkle was getting under their skin with a few “members” bounces, and with a few shots off their lowest handicapper and Captain Lee, our boys dug in and bought in a 2pt win.
Cracking team effort all round and well done for Jaggsy being the first Captain to secure an away win at Farleigh. No doubt not happy at all losing on their own track, there was a good spirit in the clubhouse for drinks, chatting about the matches and various shots made/missed. Thanks to all the Farleigh team.
Bit of a gap before the next match, away at Reigate on June 3rd. A great start to the campaign, but need to keep the pressure up as we saw Woldingham take a very impressive 16pt win against visiting Surrey Downs this weekend.
For more information about the league and the current standings (which includes the Seniors league), please visit SurreyHillsLeague.com.