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Golf Society Weekend at Carlyon Bay 20th-22nd April 2018

23 O.C. Golfers from numerous parts of the South of England converged on this idyllic location in Cornwall for a great weekend of golf.

The gang at the OC's Golf Society Weekend at Carlyon Bay 20th-22nd April 2018 The gang at the OC's Golf Society Weekend at Carlyon Bay 20th-22nd April 2018
Old Colstonian Golf Society

Golf Society Weekend at Carlyon Bay 20th-22nd April 2018

The advent of Spring in an even numbered year heralds time for a major event – Carlyon Bay.

23 O.C. Golfers from numerous parts of the South of England converged on this idyllic location in Cornwall. John Perry from Hertfordshire, and Clyde Paris from Winchester scored in the mileage stakes, but pride of place could be claimed by Pat Bowrey, who had raced back from Australia, and literally just stepped off the plane. Pat valiantly battled the effects of “jet-lag”, and played his customary good golf, but sales of gin and tonic were co-incidentally somewhat reduced.

Conversely, Carlyon Bay provided a welcome “home fixture” for Falmouth based Peter Skeels-Piggins, who travels regularly to the Bristol Area for our events.

Much has been written in the past, extolling the excellent course, club, superb hotel and its facilities.  Time, in no way diminishes the attraction, in fact we have become so familiar with these attributes that our visits have now become akin to enjoying a private holiday home.  No less than 11 of this year’s party were on the original visit in 1996, and others have been long term regulars.  We were also particularly pleased to welcome Carlyon newcomers – Headmaster Jeremy McCullough, Clyde Paris, and Richard Hibberd, and hope their experience will be the first of many.  Unfortunately a last minute injury deprived us of the company of another potential debutant, Paul Winterbottom.  In addition, it was a great pleasure to see Tony Clark looking extremely well, playing for Mortlake in Saturday’s house match, and providing buggy based advice and encouragement to his group in Sunday’s contest.

Again the format and schedule have been well proven over many visits.  Meeting and greeting over a coffee/beer and a sandwich, precedes the selection of teams for Friday’s Bowmaker.  Each 3 ball comprises a star golfer, good, and a “fun” player.  The glorious weather for the day was to set the standard for the whole weekend.  The months of cold wet weather, and the “Beast from the East” were long forgotten, and for many it was an overdue treat to play on firm, dry fairways with a good carry.

The first tee with its downhill generous fairway, and magnificent panorama of the sea and distant cliffs is always a welcoming start, but a good drive is highly desirable due to the close scrutiny of the assembled O.C. golfers, plus locals observing the event.  Although we are now familiar with the course and its various challenges, due diligence is still very much required to overcome steep climbs (6th and 12th), the sloped fairways (7th, 9th, & 13th), the proximity of the main railway line (4th & 15th), and the deceptive Par 3’s especially the 18th with its invariably raucous crowd.  Each golfer will doubtless have their own favourites, or nemesis.

An excellent Friday afternoon’s golf culminated in a win for the team of Kev Griffiths, Alan Morley, Ernie Huckle, and Doug Winstone.

A revitalising beer or two, shower, change, and on to the pre-dinner drinks party, held this year in Doug Winstone and Dave Tooze’s sea view room.  Generous donations of beer, wine and spirits plus lemons, lime and sundry nibbles, ensured ample availability, and more than sufficient stocks to cover Saturday evening’s encore.

The top class evening dinner confirmed that the hotel cuisine and service was as excellent as ever.  A choice of very good wine was admirably organised by Ian Gunn, who combined the essential positions of Treasurer/Wine Steward, and managed the kitty in his exemplary manner.  Coffee and drinks were enjoyed in the Green Room Lounge, with banter and a review of the day.  A fairly early tee time, probably meant that the late night snooker tournament of past visits was put on hold, hence most of the O.C.’s retired at a reasonably respectable hour.

A bright sunny morning, the customary Carlyon mega breakfast, and the short stroll to the clubhouse for a 9.40am tee off welcomed the Saturday competition, and Day 1 of the Cornish Championship.  A competitive and most enjoyable round concluded with the man still “on fire” from the previous day, Alan Morley leading the field from Bob Jennings and evergreen Ernie Huckle.

There was sufficient interlude to enjoy a beer and the Golf Club’s delightful sandwiches, before transferring to the Pitch and Put Course in the Hotel Grounds.  Although very short, an array of trees and bushes, long grass, and criss/cross holes provided a test for the House Match in which the team from Aldington just shaded Dolphin 1.

As if further exercise was required, Ian Gunn then organised a fascinating walk to the nearby quintessential Cornish fishing village of Charleston. Passing by a number of up market houses and apartments, the path then skirts the cliff edge before a downhill perambulation to Charleston, and its small harbour in which Sailing Ships (brigs or schooners) were berthed.  Just time for a quick beer in the harbourside inn, and the group were retracing their steps to be back at the Hotel in time for the drinks party.

Another superb dinner and relaxing evening in the Green Room completed the day. Kev Griffiths and Dave Tooze resurrected the snooker tournament with a couple of frames, although the quality would hardly merit an invitation to Sheffield Crucible.

A sunny 10.00am start saw the first group teeing off for the Sunday Event/Spring Shield, and the second round of the Cornish Championship.  Another excellent day saw some new faces on the leader board, with Doug Lodge just heading Keith Watts and Mike Brown.

A late lunch was taken on the club house patio, overlooking the course and the sea.  Bob Jennings, who had worked most commendably throughout the weekend, had quickly analysed the three days results and asked O.C.G.S. Captain, Dave Tooze, to present the prizes which were as follows:-

Friday Bowmaker    1st – Kev Griffiths, Ernie Huckle, Doug Winstone & Alan Morley
    2nd – John Perry, Doug Lodge & Mike Brown

Saturday Competition    1st – Alan Morley    House Match    1st – Aldington
    2nd – Bob Jennings        2nd – Dolphin 1
    3rd – Ernie Huckle

Sunday Competition/    1st – Doug Lodge
Spring Shield    2nd – Keith Watts
    3rd – Mike Brown

Cornish Championship/The Briff Cup
(Sat & Sun Combined)    1st – Clyde Paris
    2nd – Ian Gunn
    3rd – Mike Humphries

Bob announced that this award would be known as the Briff Cup, as a fitting and lasting tribute to the late Dave Briffett, who had initiated Carlyon Bay, and organised our visits for a number of years.

Nearest the Pin

Saturday 14th Hole (in 2)    -    Bob Jennings
    18th Hole    -    Kev Griffiths

Sunday – 14th Hole (in 2)    -    Alan Morley
    18th Hole    -    Mike Humphries

Longest Drive    -    Mike Humphries

Dave thanked everyone, both regulars and newcomers, for participating in the event.  The company of O.C.s allied to a great course, and hotel, guarantee a weekend which would be hard to beat.

Particular thanks are due to Bob Jennings, who legendary organisational skills were working in overdrive, with groupings, score cards, results and prizes, to ensure a most efficient running of the event.  Also Doug Lodge, who managed to combine good golf with the production of a comprehensive photographic record of the weekend.  And not least Steve Tucker, who was unable to join us due to a prior holiday commitment, but who had commendably liaised with the Hotel, and O.C.G.S. members.

We look forward to seeing as many golfers as possible at our next events:

Weston-super-Mare on 8th July 2018
Cumberwell Park on 23rd September 2018.

Dave Tooze
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