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