We had a fantastic Spring day for our away match in the first round of the Surrey Golf Scratch Knockout. We had a great draw, away at the extremely nice West Hill Golf Club near Woking. A course with a fantastic reputation, a real members club regularly hosting amateur and regional pro events. Greens were immaculate, deemed a touch slow by the members but they were impressive – true, consistent and markedly quicker than what we are used to at this time of year.
The Mass, the Northern Petal, myself, The Feez and Le Beef Austin arrived in good time to hit a few balls, squeeze in a bacon roll and have a putt. The West Hill guys had confirmed with the pro that we’d play off the “tips”… these are the plates, or very back markers, of each tee to make the course as long as possible. This was to ensure we’d play the course at its best – and we certainly had the conditions and weather to go with it.
Singles matchplay in 5 pairings, Stu was out first with both him and his opponent pureing it down the middle with rescue woods to avoid the ditch at the run out. We all said we didn’t want to draw their fella with the muscles, a former professional rubgy player, but our Northern Petal who was out second took him on. Stu’s match was always close but he went down by a couple of holes. Match2 was again a tough match, good play by both I was hearing but the home player (helped by his frame), came in with the points after very solid and steady play.
Had a good game third out with West Hill’s James. Few pushes off the tee caused him a few problems early on and after I managed 5 steady pars I was 3-up after 5. Apart a couple of ropey holes at the turn, I managed to keep in front with my short game and putting helping me out as I was determinedly sticking ugly high right cuts off the tee. Ground it out over the round, and after a solid par on the long 220yard par3 15th… it saw us shaking hands with a 4&3 win for the away team.
Tom was playing well and I saw some great approaches and long drives from both of them in the match playing behind us. On that same long par3, Beef stuck it to 6feet of the tee, only for his opponent to drop one inside it! Wasn’t to be Tom’s Day I’m afraid. His opponent birdied 2 of the par3’s despite Tom hitting great shots in and only having 15footers himself.
Lee then came in against Rowan, their team captain, in the last pairing and despite also thoroughly enjoying the round and company, was edged out 4&3 I think
Good lads at West Hill. We each had enjoyable single matches, on a good day… on a fantastic golf course. Can’t be too bad.
Yes we lost 4-1 but well played and good effort all round from Surrey National. Certainly wasn’t for lack of effort and decent play, they were just too steady and solid for us. Aside from them obviously winning the match, I certainly picked up over drinks and sandwiches at the end that they all seemed to have a great day as well.
Good luck to West Hill in the next round and thanks to all the Surrey National team.