Another year, another July… and it’s round2 of the Swashbucklers Pistol Knights annual-beano-matchplay-Ryder-Cup-thingy down at East Sussex National. Spread over two days with an overnight stay, 12 Swashies went toe-to-toe with 12 Pistols. Taking the win last year, we headed down again this weekend hoping for a repeat result in the face of some determined Pistol faces.
Weather was fantastic this year, very warm, bright sunshine and sapping heat for those heavy hangovers on day2. Possible light rain/thunderstorms didnt turn up on the Monday, so it was two days of sun cream and cold drinks all round. Singles matches were lined up on Sunday morning by team Captains Mick Sweatman and Philip as we headed off the 1st tee on the East course. Some confusion about the scoring being ‘Surrey Hills’ format (it was last year but some of us had forgotten!), playing out every hole for a 1pt win or 1/2pt half. We got there in the end.
Phil vs Rory, Jim vs Crockett saw us off, followed by myself vs Badger, Jaggsy vs Chris. We had two very close games in our 4ball with both going up the 18th. Jaggsy and Chris had a rollercoaster of a match with I think only two holes halved between them. Chris knocking in 20footer uphill on the short 8th, and Jaggsy coming back nearly holing an approach on the par5 14th. really close match and heading up the 18th one down, Chris’ game came to an abrupt end with a proper Hamlet moment in a greenside bunker on the 18th. Smiles and handshakes all round.
Badger and I slugged it out, with the Badge pulling back my early 3 hole lead with some steady play and solid hybrid approaches. Game turned on the 17th where Bagder had a shot but saw his chip go through the green, and I managed an up and down from a penalty drop as a pushed hybrid hit a tree and found the drink. Halving the last, my match ended one up to the Swashies, and Jaggsy and I both nicked two hard fought games. All really enjoyed the match, thanks both.
Matty Strong had a tough day and went down by a few to Bob Betts however the team all rallied and turned in some good scores to finish the day up by 6… 111 to 105 in favour of the Swashies.
Evening somewhat predicably continued from post game drinks into a good evening meal, too many drinks and most of the group being attached to the bar. Usual shenanigans unfolded, needless to say a good evening enjoyed by all.
Sluggish, weary heads showed themselves for breakfast with a few hardy souls heading out to play the 3 hole academy course as a warm up. Some confusion about tee times with our 12pm time being bought forward to 11… all due to some unfortunate management by East Sussex. Really need to up their game down there, number of things we werent too impressed by but it is still a good venue for an away match.
Pairs on day2 and Phil and I played Rory and Dom, starting on the par3 3rd as a result of the earlier tee time confusion. Halving the first, Phil and I dovetailed well, pulling a few holes ahead. Rory and Dom didn’t have their best days, but hammered it out taking a couple of holes on the back nine. And as we wearily headed up our last holes (the 1st and 2nd), I stuck a 3footer in to half with Dom we were shaking hands with the Swashies 4 holes up. Thanks to both of our opponents, a good game in good company, we were all just shattered after a second day out in the sun and of course the night before!
Heading back to the clubhouse, seemed we had a win in all the games with just Sean and Al GolLampost missing out. So we came out on top – a fantastic team result from a solid Swashbuckler team. Big thanks to the Pistols who all made it another top weekend of competitive golf played in great spirits… with a heap of hangovers thrown in too.
Roll on 2018.
As per, big thanks go to Phil for the organising the hotel and golf. Mick captained the Pistols team with usual sterling support from Dom, and of course Matt Strong helping out with the numbers.