It’s July, it’s East Sussex and its golf… must be the annual Swashbucklers Vs. Pistol Knights weekend beano!
Swashies all up for it this year, ready to take back the title secured by the auld enemy the ‘Pissed-ols’ last year. Over two days at East Sussex National we play “Surrey Hills” format – points matchplay in each game across all 18holes.
Day1, which was again on the East course, was singles matchplay going out in 4balls, and Day2 on the West course (during which various degrees of hangover are also battled with), was paired better ball matches.
Cracking venue East Sussex, two nice large courses, plenty of space away from the thick rough and a nice hotel to enable copious amounts babychams and light ales during the evening. Familiar courses to most, the Swashie had a few debutantes this year. Many slightly bemused (ok, grumbling) by playing off the whites (which were quite forward this year), and then the greens were not great. East course especially not good – very blotchy and not rolling that well. West course greens much better (only the 13th had diseased bits we could see) but again most would’ve preferred to play off the next tees further back.
Day 1 Singles
Swashies at the range, Pistols at the bar… so usual scenes as we gathered on the first day at midday for the singles. Matches were drawn and we had an hour or so of light drizzle to get through before the day got hot and sticky. Captains Phil and Badger headed out in the first match. I was partnered with Simon who was against Steve A and I played against Club Captain Chris ‘Puggy’ Hart.
Soon as Chris avoided the long rough which cost him the first two holes, he played very well birdieing the par3 third and taking the next with a shot. Driveable 5th was a lucky escape for me in the match which saw me get up and down from the greenside bunker and a 3putt cost Chris who had hit a fantastic drive to the front of the green. So steady golf from Chris who, with a few shots, had me fighting to stay in it and we ended up all square on the 18th after a very tight game. Simon and Steve were also close all the way round. Last couple of putts dropping for Pistol’s Steve and he was shaking hands with Simon winning by 2hole.
Some interesting scores to make for lively chat over post-round drinks. Scottie returned an 8hole win over Butchie whilst in the same group Alec turned over our own Mr Winkle by 8. Jay was bemoaning both the shorter tees and his opponent a certain Mr M. Jaggsy who came in with a 4hole win. Playing ahead of both Jay and Danny D, was clear these boys play a different game hitting it so far off the tees… very impressive. Lots of close matches but with Roscoe in the final group coming in winning by 4 we ended the match 21pts up… which was a healthy lead but not unassailable given the Surrey Hills format.
After several beers and some surprise fines for declaring aloud individual scores on matchplay, we had a quick check-in n’ change and we were at the bar for the evening. No surprise but the evening slid into it’s usual form… certainly a longer night for a select few.
Big thanks to East Sussex, especially the relaxed and friendly manager who did a great job of keeping an eye on us and did well to track Chris down for paying extra for his steak. If any of the the bar staff could manage a smile next time then even better!
Day 2 Pairs Matchplay
Few sore heads next day, some more than others… but generally all in half-decent state for the West course and the pairs matches. My favoured course and the greens were in a much better state.
Phil and I were out first against Flanno and the in-form Badger. Cracking game… Badge played an all-round solid game. Downhill approach to the tightest pin position on the short par4 8th to just 4feet summed it up. Despite a run of half decent holes, we still found ourselves 5 down! When our tears dried after finding the halfway hut closed and under redevelopment (no sausage rolls!), we clearly had to dig in and gain some respectability. We both contributed as our opponents caught a couple of wayward drives and we were back to 3, then 2 then 1. I was disappointed to miss a 3foot birdie on the short 16th after Badgers tee shot had already been given for 2, we then halved the next two I believe to lose one-down… which felt like a result after being down by five. Well played Flanno and Badge, great game.
Pistols clearly up for it on Day2 and despite a healthy win from Richie and Jim, we were finding ourselves down in several matches. A very weary Northern Petal came in with Sean several down followed by Tweedy and Backdoor who couldn’t match their opponents golf on the day.
A late rally by Mr G-Love and Roscoe winning by 4 wasn’t enough to overturn the Day2 score so well done the Pistols for winning the Day2 pairs by 2 pts.
Swashies take the 2019 win
So well done the Swashies taking back the title after some solid golf… clearly helped by a cracking day1 result.
Usual big thanks
Another superb golf weekend away. Big thanks yet again to Phil who was once again point man for the Swashies and smoothed everything out for us.
On the Pistols side, Badge was taking care of business again for his lot.
We’re already looking forward to next year, most probably back at East Sussex for another top couple of days of beers, a d8mn good laugh and some top competitive (or ropey… you decide) golf.