Clandon Regis away today in the 3rd round of the county ‘Plate’ Scratch Knockout. Weather was fantastic as I’m sure you all noticed, and we met up at their golf club just after midday for a 1.30pm start.
Clandon Regis Golf Club has a very nice clubhouse and course with all the trimmings. A nice quiet part of the world not too far from Guildford. Not a long course, quite flat, but very well laid out and the greens were superb. They had a county Mens Open competition yesterday (won by their first player, Ed), and next week is their club champs so the course in good nick.
The greens were fast and true… and always seemed to roll out an extra 3feet… something we all had to deal with. Seeing our oppenents barely ‘kiss’ the ball across the greens for gimmie’s was a bit alien to be honest (especially after putting Seaford Head yesterday… two big extremes!)
Format is five singles matchplay games, all playing to a final result (no halves). We were up against a solid team (they even had ‘Scratch Team’ on their t-shirts!), I think we worked out they had a guy off scratch, two 1 handicappers and two 4 handicappers.
Heading out in handicap order, Sam led the way, followed by Scottie, myself, Luke and Tony.
Very close match played by Sam against Ed, their long hitting lowest player. The Clandon guy wasn’t very tall, but built and hit the ball a country mile. Close all the way but Sam missing out by two. Well played, not easy leading us out on a course none of us had played.
Scottie needs a cuddle… someone… anyone
Our Northern Petal didn’t have the best of days. He was only able to confirm he could play yesterday, Scottie was up against it from the start. Keeping a smile on his face, he made the turn 4 down (but was stopped from throwing himself in the lake by the 10th tee), and though seemed to enjoy the day, unfortunately went down 8&7. Not easy when you’re not on your game and you’re opponent is marking eagles and birdies.
I played their team Captain Alex, all 6 foot 4 of him. Managed to nick the first after my decent 3wood off the tee ended up being under a bush. Wasn’t much in it on the front nine, I kept it in play and was steady. From a lost ball off his drive on the 9th, I managed to hit the turn one up.
By this point the first matches joined as a fourball given we had caught up the mixed comp, and we did the same with Luke and Richard joining us. I nabbed a birdie on the 10th to take me to two-up and following a couple of indifferent shots from Alex saw me take the next 3 to go dormie5. First wayward drive of the day meant I had to play sideways on the next par4 over water for only a bogey and I lost the 14th to a par. Dormie4 and the long par5 next.
With the honour, Alex hit an absolute monster down the middle, 330+ yards into wind easily. His best of the day. After a ropey drive on the previous hole, I decided to make sure he had to beat me rather than give a hole away to even a par, so I stuck a solid 3wood down the middle, laid up with a 5iron and put a sand iron just on the fringe at the back. Alex put his iron short but hit a very good chip to 3feet, where I managed to sink the putt for the birdie and win 4&3.
Luke and Richard carried onto the final 3 holes as we walked in, only for Luke to find the bunkers on the 16th and have a lip out to lose 2&1.
Tony had a match on his hands. The guys we played with used Whatsapp to keep a tally of the scores and news filtered through that Tony was 8 down after 8. Ruh oh. Hoping to see Tony reappear on the back nine, Tony managed to nick the next 3 in a row *cue Great Escape theme*. It wasn’t to be however, and a subsequent half and they were shaking hands 5&4. Special thanks to Tony who stepped in last week after we had a switch around due to availability.
All good guys at Clandon, and as usual each game played in a good spirit as we shared chips and sandwiches and wished them well in the next round. Tough call for us today against a very skilled team – very well played everyone…