Natterajacks Round 3 Result and round up.

Chris Davey wins close decision – Pete Warren pushes winner.

1st Chris Davey 23 pts
2nd Peter Warren 23 pts
3rd Dave Warren  21 pts

When Chris Davey’s playing partners finished their rounds on Saturday word soon seeped out that Chris had been on fire again, sparking conversations throughout the rest of the weekend about the advantages of a high handicap. But this is not the first time a relatively new player has put in good performances ahead of their handicap and it won’t be the last. The fact remains that whoever wins has had to have had a very good day on the course by their standards and if that continues their handicap will catch up with them. And Chris did have a very good day. It started in fairly ordinary fashion with five points from the first three holes but eighteen points over the next six including a birdie on the 8th for 5 pts was enough to claim victory.  What’s that you say…’a birdie on the 8th…isn’t that stroke index 1?’ And you’re right, it is the most difficult hole on the course, so, rather than guess what happened I rang him to find out. “My drive left me with 130 yards to go,” Chris told me. “ and I used a pitching wedge next, which left me a yard or two off the green at the front. I chose to putt and luckily for me the putt went in.” Which leaves us with the age old question: if we aim for the hole from any distance and it goes in, is that luck? Or good technique rewarded? On this occasion it was enough to give Chris the win on count-back. There were also two one pointers on his card, on the 2nd and the 5th each of which could have easily been blanks on his card but on both occasions he managed to rescue bad shots with a good short game finish. So sometimes it’s those birdies that win it and sometimes it’s the one point we rescue after a difficult approach but most times it’s both. Chris did both and had a great day as a result.   

So did Peter Warren. He started with just one point on the first but it got better and better from there on. Four points on the fifth came virtue of a birdie and a par on the eighth was good enough for another four. Peter is one of those players who sails along mostly unnoticed but then proves himself more than capable on any given day. Saturday was one of those. Round 3 might have belonged to him but for the rules of count-back and on this occasion Chris’s 5 pointer on the eighth was decisive.

There were in fact lots of very good scores in round 3 and in third place with 21 was Dave Warren. The winner of this year’s knockout was in fine form once again on Sunday, with five pars, including both par 3’s and was Mr Consistent with six 2 pointers and three 3 pointers. A par on 6 was a rarity over both days so well done Dave. Alan Holmes won round 2 and put in another great effort on Saturday, coming home with 20 points. A run of three successive pars on 3,4 & 5 brought nine points and were part of his collection of five three pointers. Another solid round to boost his Order of Merit claims. Also on 20 points was new member Stephen Butterfield. Three great up and downs formed the basis of his round, one of which brought him from the deep rough to the right of the third to eight feet away courtesy of a superb wedge shot. The putt goes in and suddenly a potential disaster turns into three points. We’ll be hearing more of Stephen, who drives a long way to be here, inspired by memories of the course in his earlier years. There were four players with 19 points and beginning with ladies first it was a quite extraordinary day for Diane Clark. Four one pointers makes it sound….well…nothing unusual in that you might say… but how do you get from there to 19 points? And the answer is… by playing the other five holes marvelously well. Scoring four points on the 7th helped. Geoff Freeman’s 19 points also came via the 7th where a birdie earned him four points. George van Boyd matched that with a birdie of his own on the 7th and that helped him to 19. And AJ Holmes managed 19 points while playing off a handicap of just 6. His highlight was a birdie on the third, or as it’s better known… a two, earning him a sleeve of balls in the process. A birdie on 3 followed by 6 consecutive pars tells its own story. Quality stuff! AJ also posted 18 points on Sunday, adding to his Order of Merit claims. There were five more players with 18, including our first visitor to the competition Glenn Clark. A frequent visitor to Silecroft golf course Millomite Glenn is son of Silecroft GC legend Dave [Diddy] Clark and Sunday was a case of Clark Snr v Clark Jnr with Diddy leading all the way up until the last two holes where Glen scored two pars to make it honours even, 18 points each. Neil Robertson [Gunger] started well, including a notable par on the second but blanks on 3 & 4 looked to have scuppered his chances until a birdie on the 5th got him back on track. A consistent run in brought him up to 18 points and if those two blanks hadn’t been what could he have scored? Dave Boyce scored on every hole and was among that elite group with pars on both the par threes in among his 18 points, while John Simpson was another to have scored on all nine for 18. Peter Clark was yet another to score on every hole and had three pars in his 17 points. For Gary Turner it was ‘a game of two halves’ on Saturday with holes 1 through 4 only producing a meager 4 points and then holes 5 through 9 harvesting 12. A birdie on 7 was the highlight. Club Captain Ank Robinson had five pars in his 16 points and Jon Holmes spent his round scrambling to score on every hole, which he did, for his 16. It was good to see Richard [Joey] Roberts back playing again and despite not being absolutely 100% he still managed 15 points. Joe Burch had an extraordinary round on Saturday with three blanks and a birdie on the 7th for 4 points among his 15. One day soon Joe…one day soon. We don’t see enough of John Armstrong these days and he also began slowly but came home strong for 14 points as did Darren Clark, another new member only recently taken to golf. Early signs are good and he returned 14 points too. Helen Holmes had two excellent pars in her 14 points. Mike Jackman started well but things went a bit awry after his par on the third, although he was able to post 13 points thanks to a strong finish on 8 & 9. Vernon Edmondson & Martin George go back a long way and both had been off with serious injuries which kept them away from golf for the summer. It’s good to have them back. It’s fair to say they haven’t got back to their best yet but with their handicaps it’s only a matter of time before they’re back in the prizes and the Natterjack’s may be their next target.

The weather was kind and you responded by taking the opportunity to make it a really good contest. Thanks to everyone. The Order of Merit is now well under way and standings are posted in the signing in room. As soon as we have a qualifier with six scores then I’ll be posting the standings on here too. Chris Davey has made a strong start but can he find consistency? Alan Holmes already has a 19 & 20, a great start too and brings a lot of experience and a viable handicap to the course. All those with 19+ points are up and running and this season we will once again be giving out prizes down to 5th. It looked like 23 points was exceptional and some thought unbeatable but then Peter Warren showed that it wasn’t and several others went close but for the odd slip up. We have new members competing and our first visitor was a familiar face who might well return.

Round 4 will take place on the 26th & 27th November and will be on the back 9.

Natterjacks Round 2 result and roundup.

It’s Holmes from Holmes from Holmes.

1st Alan Holmes 19 points

2nd Helen Holmes 17 points

3rd  Jon Holmes  17 points.

On another weekend when you had to brave the weather, it looked like the players on the Sunday had got the best of it until in the afternoon the clouds finally broke and the last on the course got soaked. More of them later! On each of the first two rounds of this season’s Natterjacks it’s been fingers crossed as to whether we got a viable comp but on both occasions you’ve turned out in sufficient numbers and this season is very definitely underway. Getting wet early Saturday was not enough to put Alan and Anthony Holmes off and back they came on Sunday with Darren Clark in tow and whether it was hoping to impress Darren or ‘just one of those things’ it certainly was Alan’s day.  Opening with three net pars on the trot doesn’t sound especially difficult until we remember the conditions and how tough the 12th plays on days like that. With little run on the fairways and greens that are undergoing a growth spurt nothing was easy so ‘steady away’ and ‘push the ball through’ was the call of the day and Alan responded to it. A hiccup of a one pointer on the 13th proved to be just that as a final five holes of 5,4,5,4,5 brought another 12 points giving him a winning total of 19. But it wasn’t all steady away, as a par 4 on the 17th proved, some of it was excellent. In those conditions? Come on! Yes.He’s still got it. 

It was a close call for second with three players carding 17 points. Helen Holmes had a great start to her Sunday round with a 3 on the 12th helping her to seven points after three holes, only to see it begin to drift away when holes 4,5 & 6 only netted a total of three.  But then a 4 on 16 for 3 brought it back around and net pars on 17 & 18 gave her the decisive edge for second place on count back. Husband Jon had already posted 17 points whilst playing with Diane & Pete Clark on the Saturday and he too managed to par the tough 12th and then added another on the 17th giving him the edge on count back for third. Jon also managed to score on every hole over two rounds, an outstanding achievement. Unlucky fourth was Diane Clark who had one of those up and down rounds we’ve all known. Di was another to card a par on the 12th bringing her 3 points. Three more 3 pointers added to her tally but blanks on 13 and 18 caused her to miss out on the prizes this time. Left out in the downpour on Sunday were The Four Wetmen, otherwise known as Ank, Boycee, Gunga & Flump. “What made you stay out there?” I asked, when they finally arrived back at the clubhouse, soaked to the skin. “Boycee was having a good round!” Gunga explained. Nuff said. Glancing at Boycee’s card a 6,5,4 start didn’t look that brilliant, so I said so. “You’re right..” says Gunga,” but then when we were ready to come back in he went and birdied the thirteenth for four points! So we kept going.” And strange to tell, back at base, they didn’t even moan about it. If they were a pop group it would be Madness and if they were a regiment it would be SAS. Boycee’s round after that doesn’t look spectacular and his total of 16 doesn’t shout out but in those conditions it speaks volumes.

It was quite a day for pars on the 12th. Do we all stand on that tee and tremble? Is it any easier for the ladies? Yes they go from their front tee but there’s a bunker straight in front of them on their line in and the green still has to be reached and stayed on, even from their tee. And then there’s the wind. Never an easy par then, but all three ladies managed it and several of the men. Joanie Myers has the lowest handicap of all the ladies but helped herself to 3 of her 16 points on it and but for a slow start might have also been in the prizes. Good to see Doug back around the place again, albeit walking the course at present. Fingers crossed he’s back sooner than later. Peter Clark’s 16 points came courtesy of scoring on every hole, off his lowest ever handicap! Dave Warren posted 15 points and finished par, par, par, leaving him wondering what might have been. Pete Warren was among those who grabbed three points via a par on 12. Ank Robinson was also in the ‘par on 12’ group and managed a par on 14 and so did Neil Robertson as they squelched  about until the welcome end. Anthony (AJ)Holmes is another with a low handicap where no mistakes are forgiven so his four pars on Sunday were all the more creditable. John (Simmy) Simpson carded 14 points with two blanks and David (Diddy) Clark was also in the ‘par on 12’ club before going on to post 26 points in the 9 Hole Eccle Riggs comp on Sunday. And all while ‘not feeling too good.’ Darren Clark shared a round with AJ & Alan and accumulated 13 points whilst getting a de facto free lesson from the father and son combo.

On a weekend when the weather dominated there were, amazingly, no bad scores. And the weather also meant that at the end of each day everyone was glad to get back to their holmes! Ouch! The computer is still having problems adjusting, especially to the ladies scores but we will always honour what’s on the card as our default. This competition has several unique elements, double entries, 100% of handicap, making Andrew’s job difficult, so thank you for your patience and especially for coming out on days like those.

Round 3 is November 12th & 13th Front 9