Light rain had barely stopped by the time we all arrived at Hever. All a bit grey and damp at the start but we finished in bright sunshine and light cloud.
Lovely clubhouse and a cracking course – which we all enjoyed to various degrees. Traffic delayed most of us so our prep was limited to a handful of balls on their range… on reflection it wouldve been better to spend that on the practice green.
The greens were decent, could probably do with a roll but their speed bamboozled most of us for the first few holes. I went swiftly 3 down after 3 due mostly to being unable to get off the tee properly let alone putting. Steadied the ship more from some loose shots from my opponent but didnt lose a hole from then on but that was more luck than anything as Mike didnt play well either. We each did our best to throw holes away from good positions. One up Surrey National.
Scottie was up next, playing a 7 handicapper. A big unit, this lad was happily knocking rescue woods past Scottie’s drives. After winning the first, it was very hard to get back into it for our Northern petal.
Nick gave a couple shots away to a canny Hever member. Quite short off the tee, his opponent was playing a members game picking his lines into the greens whilst Nick’s longer game meant he was playing into the unknown. Like me, Nick found it hard to get to grips with the greens. We all eventually got used to them but Nick shook hands on the 16th.
Add Paul “Oi’ve burnt me hand” Gilbody into the “what about the greens” club. Paul fought to the end after a frustrating round, together with an injured hand from a home accident during the week. Paul missed out in the end and was faced with member using his home advantage for luck and bounces!
We were all bemoaning our own play, our tee shots and the greens. All except a certain Mr John Vicars who shot a superb five over. He played David, their captain, who was happily claiming John played one over with his good-humoured angst at facing the “VicarsMachine”. Great round John, who enjoyed the last laugh in the clubhouse after.
Course was great and defintely a candidate for an away day. I’d say its quite forgiving off the tee (had to be the way I started), and some decent greens and a good layout means you can see why the members are rightly proud of it. They have their own ‘Amen Corner’ with holes 12/13/14. Nice short dogleg par 4 to a raised green over a stream. Followed by a par3 over water (thin green, bunkers behind), then and a lovely par4 dogleg slightly left, where you go over water twice…a lake, then another deep stream protecting the green.
Great squad performance over the course of the competition. So we lost today and that’s our run in the Mail on Sunday Classic over for another year but we did get to the regional level in round 4 and on another day we couldve done the business here.