Well guys, here you go, not easy to summarise what was a remarkable evening from many accounts. Don and Dave would have been proud of us!!
Several questions lay unanswered as the crowds gathered on the first tee supping gently the grateful beer supplied by our event Sponsor Frank Maitry and MIXvoip,
1)Where did all these folks come from-some 40 frogs itching to show their skills in a tantalising competition format? Who dares suggests the Frogs’ spirit is dying?.
2) Could the Scoring Committee, given the absence of the IT maestro Jess, sadly due to illness, cope with the challenges of the handicapping proposals and competition format?
3)Would the Club’s new bar and catering staff cope with the demands of our vibrant group?
4)Would the Menace be able to retain the trophy with a different partner (Maarten not being available) with the top frog in form, the suave mr King?;
Daggers drawn, saw the groups tee off, not always with the customary etiquette being shown by the amassed crowds; maybe that’s why we saw so many poor opening tee shots; Had there been a novelty prize for most entertainment on the first tee—it surely would have been won by Mr PG, although Johnnie, Bruce and Fred were not far behind.
Each of the novelty prizes had their own little twists and one had to pay attention on the first tee to fully appreciate what they were. Here we go, in order of brilliance;
11th -nearest the pin—Arnaud—to get that close to the pin, which was so far forward must have been a wonderful shot.
1st -longest drive on the fairway- Nathan,
3rd -Nearest the pin in one shot- Big Dave,
With the novelty prizes awarded with little or no fuss, little did we know what was in store for us;
The best score in the club house with four groups to come in was a 3 under gross from Catweazle and Stef and with their handicap adjustment of 2.03, they were sitting pretty at 43.97 net. Just one stroke behind them was Mark and Chris at 1 over gross, 45.0 net – all getting tucked into their grub and red wine and with light failing badly , with it now being 9.45pm,were surely going to be well in the frame.
Still out on the course were the King/Menace and De Vet/Cameron pairings, the latter being the complete outsiders—could either provide a surprise and whip the trophy from under the cheezy grins of the Cat and Stef?
Well, with a tap in birdie at the 9th, followed by a birdie on 10, the Menace and King were making a late charge at 3 under gross. After par on 11, they were standing on 12 wondering where the fairway was, trying to remember what score won last year; we concluded we needed a birdie minimum to finish and lets see!! Menace went first, found the fairway ok but not a massive drive(whats new)- James then hit his usual stonker but awfully close to that bloody tree but somehow it flew through the branches and landed up past the bunker on the right. The Menace then hit a lovely hybrid just short of the green or should I say just short of someone in an orange shirt, leaving the opportunity open to show us why Mr King is Top Frog in the current rankings. With nothing to lose, he hit the most wonderful 5 wood, we thought onto somewhere near the green—little did we know it was to land up 15 feet from the pin. Undaunted by the grimaces coming from the group behind including Bill, Joost and Christian who were desperately waiting to play their shots in the last sparks of daylight, yours truly sank the putt for a memorable eagle- maybe I should putt more often in the dark with my glasses off! That gave us a score of 5 under gross and with a handicap adjustment of 0.93, gave us the leadership position in the clubhouse at 43.07.
Given the noise and banter in the clubhouse when we finally got in, clearly much beer and wine had been drunk and an excellent atmosphere prevailed; despite highly commendable efforts from Colin and Luc literally playing the last two holes in the dark, recording a net score of 45.2, a whisker behind Mark and Chris, they were not to take the glory away from us.
There was one final twist to the tail, when Catweazle and Stef were initially excluded from the prizewinners, I thought because they were both badly in need of haircuts, but upon appeal, their score of 43.97 was duly noted and they were awarded second place—worthy runners up I may add!
As to the initial questions they were duly answered,
1) The frogs spirit is flying high,
2) We cannot do without Jess when it comes to checking score cards,
3) The club’s staff were fantastic, although I understand bar service could have been more efficient early on- james and I left at 12.30am leaving two Aussies, a Frenchman and an Englishman still going strong in the bar—guess who?
4) The Menace was able to retain the trophy with his new partner, James—was there ever any doubt!!
Finally a big than you to Frank and MIXvoip for his superb sponsorship and to Dave and Botty assuming the card checking role which to be fair, notwithstanding the little glitch, was extremely difficult given the competition was over 12 holes with the inherent handicapping challenges which it brought.
Thanks to our playing partners, Martin and Hersh for keeping up the friendly banter throughout.
And finally a big thank you to all of who were able to participate in making this a wonderful event. Maybe one point for improvement for next year, lets start 30 minutes earlier, if we can.