Natterjack 9’s Round 9 Report –  February 11th & 12th Front 9 + Order of Merit Standings

Freeman Unchained in Golfing Feast

1st Geoff Freeman 24 pts

2nd Martin George 23 pts

3rd Vernon Edmonson 22pts

By day he’s director of labour on a nearby building site. In 2023 he becomes Club Captain. 24/7 365 he’s a mad hatter for Luton Town. And he’s as frequent a player and ardent supporter of our beloved golf course as anyone you can name, which occasionally pays off with a round like the one he played Saturday, when many of Geoff Freeman’s golf dreams came true over the nine hole challenge that was Round 9 of the Natterjacks. There were pars on the 3rd, the 4th the 7th & the 8th , the latter producing 4 points. For a player off 20 to have no more than a 5 on his card speaks of consistency – the real holy grail of golf – and on this occasion he achieved that too. On Sunday his round included 5 three pointers but could ONLY muster 21 points. Both scores put him hot on the trail of Chris Davey for the Order of Merit [OOM]but he’s not the only one and more of that later. It was also an outstanding weekend for Martin George and Vernon Edmonson. On Saturday Martin came home with 23 points and only pipped playing partner Vernon by 1 point. Playing off a high handicap has certain advantages but you still have to play well and in Martin’s case that came in the form of three four pointers, on 2, 4 & 6. Vernon rattled home with 8 points on the last three but a blank on the 6th had put him behind and in the end he was destined to come up one point short. Coincidentally Martin too had a blank, his coming on the 8th so the potential was there to go beyond 25 points, a target no one has reached so far in the history of the Natterjacks. And their weekend success did not finish there. Back on Sunday to try again Martin repeated the feat and once again posted 23 points and yet again with a blank! Vernon scored on every hole this time and was able to score 20 points to add to his OOM score. Great golf guys! Chris Davey played only his second round of 2023 and managed 21 points after blanking the first whilst playing partner and mum Lesley posted the same but included no less than five three pointers. Dave Clark had 21 points too, nine of which came over the last three holes! Joel Barker continued his good form on Saturday with 21 points [adjusted +1] and then spent Sunday playing the Winter Alliance at Carlisle with playing partner John French, the pair coming home victorious with an amazing 47 points. Silecroft superbly represented yet again. Quite a few players scored 20. Ken Noakes played on Sunday and scored consistently for his 20. Joe Shaw’s 20 points were courtesy of four pars and he got the better of playing partner Ian ‘Swozzy’ Swarbrick who could only muster 16 this time but remains a star of the future. Davey Boyce played both days adding 20 points to his Saturday tally of 18. Boycee’s coming back into form and might be a dark horse for next time. The winner of Round 8 Richard Joey Roberts also played both days and followed up Saturday’s 18 points with 20 on Sunday. Joey came late to the Order of Merit comp last year and almost caught the field; these two scores did him no harm in this year’s challenge. Peter Fry was the third member in the ‘18 + 20 over the weekend club’ but did so by means of a 2 on the 6th on Sunday. I’d been wondering and asking around about birdies on the 6th having not been able to remember any for years and then Pete drives the green and sinks the putt. When was the last one in a comp and who was it? Answers on a postcard please! Anthony AJ Holmes also scored 20 points and also had a two, his coming on the 3rd  on Saturday. He and dad Alan have become staunch supporters of the Natterjacks, playing as often as they can and we are grateful to them and all our regular players for making it into the comp it’s become. Dave Warren had a flourish in the middle of his Saturday round with a par on the 6th followed by a birdie on the 7th to help him towards 20 points. Peter Warren [no relation] was consistent with 19 points on both days. A 5 on the 3rd on Saturday proved difficult but that was soon learned from and turned into a par on the Sunday. Our friend from Aus Mike Jackman went one under on Sunday for 19 points and if all the hard practice pays off we’ve not seen the best of him yet. Come summer watch out for him. Stephen Butterfield is another recent member who’s making friends rapidly and been scoring well in the Natterjacks. He was back in on Sunday with 19 points giving him a challenging position on the OOM. Gunger doesn’t take the comp that seriously we know but showed marked improvement from Saturday to Sunday where he carded 19 points too. Jon Holmes was seen out with two women on Saturday and tied first place in ‘Mr Consistent of the Weekend’ playing 8 holes of net par golf within his 19 points. Jon was tied for the prize with George van Boyd who did the exact same thing, also on Saturday, 8 net pars within 19 points. Well played guys.  Sue Driver was able to post 17 points including pars on 3 & 6. Alan Holmes played twice and managed 17 points on Saturday. His playing partner on Sunday Darren Clark put Alan and AJ to the sword by claiming victory on the day over both of them with 16 points. It’s been a struggle of late for Ank Robinson I think it’s fair to say so a par on the last must have felt good. Helen Holmes had the consolation of a par on the third in her 14 points. John Simpson is another who’s finding life on the golf course tough but continues to play the game he loves. Thanks for turning out John. Last year’s winner of the OOM Tony Waugh has been unable to defend his title this time and even more unfortunately has been sadly missed by regular playing partners Brad Steel and Joan Myers. It’s good to see the other member of their four-ball Dougie Myers out walking the course again. In the meantime Brad and Joan both had reason to celebrate with matching pars on the 7th on Sunday. Hopefully they’ll all be back together on the course during the summer.

Order of Merit 2023

Just a quick reminder of the way this works. The winner is the person with the highest total from their best six scores throughout the competition. There are still three rounds to go so technically it’s possible for someone who has only played three rounds to still win. Unlikely – but possible! Therefore I’ve included all players with three scores or more. The number of rounds played, appear in brackets after the points total so far. To assess the true state of play it’s important to remember that some players will have a low number included in their total and this can be replaced by a significantly higher number when they have a better round.

Example: Peter Clark:  111 [6] = 111 total from best six rounds but included in those 6 is a 13. If Pete were to score 22 next time he plays then he drops the 13 and adds the 22, increasing his total to 120. All the scores are available on the notice board in the signing in room.

It also looks likely that we will be offering prizes down to fifth for the men this season. Participation among the ladies is considerably down on last season as many have been away a lot more than last year so we’ll only be offering a prize to the winner.

Current standings: * denotes less than 6 games played.

Geoff Freeman            122 [6]

Stephen Butterfield  115  [6]

Dave Warren               114 [6]

Dave Boyce                 113 [6]

Pete Clark                     113 [6]

Chris Davey                  111 [5]*

Richard Roberts           111 [6]

Peter Warren               110 [6]

AJ Holmes                     110 [6]

Diane Clark                   109 [6]

Dave Clark                     104 [6]

Neil Robertson             102 [6]

Jon Holmes                   102 [6]

Alan Holmes                 100 [6]

Martin George              98  [5]*

John Simpson                92  [6]

Ank Robinson                91  [6]

George van Boyd          84  [5]*

Vernon Edmonson        82 [5]*

Joan Myers                     74 [5]*

Helen Holmes                68  [5]*

Mike jackman                 67 [4]*

Peter Fry                          54 [3]*

Darren Clark              43 [3]*

Brad Steel                   41 [3]*                   

Next Natterjacks 25th & 26th February Back 9

Natterjack 9’s Round 8 Results and Round up.

28th & 29th January 2023 Back 9

Our ‘Joey’ Jumps for Joy.

1st Richard ‘Joey’ Roberts 24 points

2nd Dave Warren 23 points

3rd Joel Barker 22 points [on count-back]

We all know that it can get pretty cold at Silecroft and Tuesday was a typical example of a harsh biting wind; so while Craig the brickie did what he does best, constructing the new building, a few of our volunteers were stood around in the bitter howling gale ‘helping’ and having the craic. When I arrived to give our winner the good tidings he was among those ‘assisting’ but upon hearing the news of his victory our Joey gave a little jump for joy and then played it cool, despite having had the kind of 9 holes we all dream about on Saturday. His hybrid shot off the 12th for example, hit the flag, dropped to a few feet away and the putt went in. You could hit a thousand balls off the 12th and never hit the flag so that was a rare event; the 4 points and 3 balls for a 2 was well deserved. There were pars on 14 & 15 and then a birdie on 16 brought about by a fine drive, a wedge in and a 10 foot putt. Home in 37 shots! Off 17! 24 points! Great stuff!

Dave Warren experienced both extremes of golf in one weekend and having had a disaster on Saturday, manned up and came back on Sunday to give it another go. Talk about courage rewarded. Five three pointers off the bounce helped give him a blistering start and he was another to birdie the 16th  for another.  Playing off 14, he was home in 36 for an exceptional round of 23points.

Joel Barker and Connor Smith had a really close contest, playing together on Saturday both off 10. It started in ordinary fashion, Joel bogeying the 10th, Connor taking an early lead by parring it. 11, 12 & 13 were well matched and then Joel gave up another point with a bogey on 14 to Connor’s par. But then it was Connor’s turn to give a point with a bogey on the 15th an so it stayed, Connor 1 point in front until the last.  Joel’s excellent par on 18 brought him back level on points and Connor’s bogey was more costly than normal as it meant Joel had sneaked it at the last by virtue of count-back. Good pals, good golf, 22points apiece.

There were two players on 21 points, Davey Boyce and Stephen Butterfield.  Boycee played twice and had his better round on Saturday, starting well and finishing strongly,4,4,4 while Stephen played with Ken Noakes on Sunday where Ken recorded 17 points. Stephen’s 21 points came despite a slip on 11 and by virtue of very consistent iron play after that, especially into the last. He’s currently playing off 17.7 but will be soon be cutting shots come summer if he keeps this up. It’s good to have Vernon and Martin back on the course after injuries. Martin had 19 points on Saturday, while Vernon had an outstanding par on 15 on the same day and then on Sunday they were fortunate to be joined by Gunger who was heard to say. ‘Roll on Carlisle next Sunday’. His 17 points on Saturday came despite a blank on 11. Alan Holmes and son AJ played both days, Alan’s highlight coming with a 3 pointer on the 10th on Sunday while AJ showed great consistency to post 19 points on the Saturday and 18 on the Sunday when he birdied the 14th. As the weather has foreshortened the Natterjack season so scores like AJ’s gain greater significance in the Order of Merit. Talking of which, leader Chris Davey turned out Sunday and added a 19 pointer to his Order of Merit credentials. Peter warren and Simmy played both days too. Peter’s Saturday round of 19 topped their charts and another 18 points on Sunday has given him some hope for the Order of Merit prizes too. Simmy’s best effort came on Sunday when he carded 16 points with two blanks. Joe Shaw and Ryan Carter played together on Saturday and had contrasting fortunes. Both started slowly, Ryan improved in the middle three holes and Joe finished the stronger. Pete Fry had pars on each of the par 3’s in his 16 points and Ank Robinson, who has yet to find his best form, watched on as Dave Warren burned the course up. Ank’s time will come. Good to also have Brad back and he and regular partner Joan had the worst of that Saturday drizzle. All went well until slips at 12 cost them dear but each managed to pick their game up and come home stronger.    

Next Natterjacks February 11th & 12th Front 9