Posted by Hew with Surrey Hills Captain Steve Woods
Opening game of the Surrey Hills this year and due to club fixtures we played last year’s runners up Surrey Downs away much earlier than previous years. Usually we play mid June-ish with their course setup closer to their club champs. Their greens were certainly quicker and course generally drier than Surrey National, but a good day to play and the weather behaved with barely a spot of rain…. but the wind reminded us it was mid-March….. a strong gusting 20 mph wind which picked up significantly toward the end.
Steve had the teams sorted with their captain Jack, and we certainly enjoyed the fantastic buffet breakfast they have at Surrey Downs. Ritchie and Wayne were subs on the day and Jack had arranged an extra tee time for us. They headed out first as a two ball as unfortunately they were unable to field a pairing for a friendly match. And yes, Ritchie scored 40pts on a new course taking a tenner off Wayne (always worth a mention).
We played off the ‘plates’ – they had put the whites forward in their winter positions but the club had ok’d that we’d play off the back of each tee by the full white markers.
Steve and I headed out first against their team captain Jack (off 1), and canny stalwart Trevor (10). Neither Steve or I played that well on Saturday so we both wanted to put a decent round together. We dovetailed well but were always up against some solid play – Jack especially hits a fantastic ball and was driving par4 and par5’s into various winds for fun. Trevor put an easy slide-cut into his drives and was picking out some good spots off the tee. We hung in there, getting the odd birdie or par and only went up by a hole towards the end. Jack was dropping 10-15footers for fun keeping them either in holes or taking them for birdies. We finished all square and probably a fair result. Felt like a win for us to be honest – played in great spirits and we each enjoyed the match.
Young Luke and James Carter followed us, Luke hitting some great balls… some a bit too close behind us. Couple up towards the end, wee slip on the 17th however they came in winners taking the match by 1hole. Great play, first time both had played in the Surrey Hills.
Lee hits his first ever hole in one!
Lee and Winkle came in next winning by two. Great result. Both played well but the big news on the day was Lee’s hole in one on the 16th. His first ever.
We heard the yell as we were on the 18th tee, and as we saw their group approach the green and assumed that Winkle had holed his chip.
Those who have played Surrey Downs know the 16th – a long par3 – measuring 231 from the back tees and is usually, as it was today, playing directly into the strong wind. Easily into a solid 30mph wind, gusting more, I’d nutted a decent driver to the front of the green and was chuffed to just eek a par.
Mr Feez stepped up and pured a driver directly at the hole, confirming that it had dropped as they approached the green. A fantastic shot for his first and very memorable ace. Measured 231 but probably playing 250plus!
I was speaking to the opposition and various members in the clubhouse and all were in amazed first of the hole in one, and obviously that one had been made in such windy conditions. Well done Mr Feez.
Last pairings come in
Tom and Al were next in. Al came in in some style. His approach to the 18th green from the light rough over the lake, watched by most of the team, sailed over the green, landing a few feet from Luke and I much to the bemusement of Al himself. Wasn’t good news, hitting the turn one up, their opponents returned 4 good holes and with some great up and downs our boys came in 5down.
Some time later…
Scottie and Paul G came in as the last group and the body language wasn’t great I’m afraid. Despite battling hard, the Surrey Downs boys put in a solid performance and reduced our boys to again 5down.
Loss by 7
All in all, not bad result. Last year’s league came down to the last game, with Surrey Downs running us close. Very tough conditions against a gritty team playing at home, well done all.