All-round success despite feeling under par

By Trevor Bond
Talk about the walking wounded. The first SJA Golf Day of 2008 resembled more a casualty ward than a golf course when 24 players assembled at Surbiton on April 7.

David Emery’s local knowledge – he is a member and has played there many times – was offset by his being forced to play on one good leg. David was due to go into hospital the next day for an operation on his knee.

Meanwhile, snapper Hugh Routledge struggled round on one good hip before also facing an operation later in the week.

Hugh pleaded for a buggy. No such luck. The course, which had been unplayable the day before after the snowy weekend, understandably ruled out buggies and electric trolleys. Hugh and David both survived to post good scores and we wish them well and fighting fit for the Trophy day at Muswell Hill in September.

Add to that, John Samuel’s flight from Spain was delayed three hours on Sunday night and he arrived at Heathrow to discover his golf clubs were still locked up in Madrid. Undeterred, “Sam” played with his wife Mary’s clubs and still performed creditably in a threesome with Tom Clarke and Jeremy Chapman.

A day which had threatened to be a weather disaster transformed itself. The snow those of us travelling from the east battled through had all gone from surburban Surrey and the sun even came out.

As organiser, I was delighted with the turn-out, which included as many guest players as hacks. The three-ball stableford competition was as fiercely fought as ever.

Chester Stern won the SJA winner’s medal with 36 points and Peter Nunn, holder of the guest trophy, won the guest medal with 39 points. Nearest the pin and the longest drive went to two guests, Geoff Nordeman and Nigel Wisbach.

David Richman who left his yellow “snow” balls on his hall table, received a set for forgetfulness and told to keep them permanently in his bag, Emery and Routledge received devices to save them bending down to pick up their balls, and Tom Clarke a marker pen for being the organiser’s official chaffeur and for at last being free to play in a SJA day.

My thanks to Tom and to all who made the brave effort plus appreciation of an excellent day provided by Gill Whitelock and her team at Surbiton GC.

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