April 2022 – Thorney Lakes Golf Club

‘LAKES VENUE (WATER IN PLAY ON EIGHT HOLES) REFLECTED IN LOST BALL COUNT’

And another Follies member has been press ganged into journalism, kindly bear that in mind as you read on. Also be aware that the editorial licence consisted solely of ‘you write it and I’ll print it’

So whilst loosely based on fact, certain liberties may have been taken with the below report and whilst every effort to protect sensitive identities could have been taken, none was.

Well 17 eager golfers arrived at Thorney Lakes for a midday breakfast. Now I know I’m new to retirement but really? Clearly I have to re-set my body clock. Just the 9 hole fry up this year but all good apart from Steve Preston not liking the look of his tomato skin – this may have led to him and John Dexter both claiming the same cup of tea!

It was a welcome return for those unable to play last month and back in charge for the welcome and intros was Les, with news of another liquid prize kindly donated by Martin. Nearest the pin in two on the 16th to signal his imminent 60th birthday – cheers Martin

There was the usual gaggle of putters looking for inspiration prior to setting out to a backdrop of RAF jets and a strengthening breeze.

Some found it more difficult to get out of the car park to the 1st tee than others, let’s just call them the Buggy Boys.

An alleged parking incident, this time involving a trolley was reported from the 13th tee box but the culprit has been let off with a warning.

The round consisted as usual with the sublime more often followed by the ridiculous but a par on a par 5 celebration was heard across the course, let’s just say it was one of those hardy few in shorts. Another par, this time in 4, was I’m told largely due to a hugely favourable ricochet from a tree – perhaps it was a PB?

Which brings me to the Pillbox hole, a Dad’s Army photo

(don’t tell them your name Jim) was I thought the only way this WW11 relic would get a mention but No! Two players managed to hit it, with JK receiving an immovable object ruling from on course referee / caddy Kevin Hingle.

The total lost ball count was 36 – Les may care to bear this in mind when considering booking any 2023 venues that contain the words Lakes and Water. It should be noted that one group’s total of 6 contained 5 from one player, who also seemed to like 7 as a score…………..let’s just call him Top Cat

Most groups however reported a strong ‘found’ ball count to offset and even finish up neutral………..always good words these days.

Geoff’s well deserved birdie celebration on the par 5, 9th

And finally, Brian’s par on the par 3, 11th by sinking a 35 footer is worth a mention.

So there you have it, a thoroughly enjoyable day despite the wind requiring a driver off one par three tee for this player at least – prizes as follows:

Nearest the Pin – John Dexter

Nearest the Pin in two – Jon Kelly

Winner – Martin Zebedee (3 balls)

Second – John Dexter (already had a prize on the day)

Third – Geoff Delany (2 balls)

Fourth – Paul Bellinger (1 ball)

A quick reminder about submitting entries for the Shirtie award, I’m sure Chris is looking forward to judging entries once again from all over the world

Finally I would like to share a purely personal view that it would indeed be poor form if any annual subs were not paid before the third fixture of the season

See you all at Rutland Water!

March 2022 – Spalding Golf Club

A beautiful and cloudless spring afternoon at Spalding Golf Club greeted 16 Follies for the first event of the 2022 season. We welcomed 5 new players – Jim Daley, Philip Parker, Darren Pears, Keith Lambert and Paul Bellinger. Due to Covid we had some notable absentees, and we wish them all a speedy recovery. Geoff Delaney and David West were entrusted with running the day. They promptly promoted themselves from the last group to going out first! Who was it that said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”?

Anyway, on to the golf. David West set the tone with a lovely drive straight down the first. His new driving swing worked well, and during his round he frequently showed his playing partners how to find the middle of the fairway. David scored 34 points which secured him 3rd place. Philip Parker also scored 34 and came 2nd on countback but the winner of the day was Colin Humphries with a magnificent 38 points. Nearest the pin was won by Richard Parker who took home the bottle of gin. Geoff Delaney was actually closer but was unfortunately 2 inches off the green! Richard didn’t show much sympathy pointing out he had hit a sand wedge whereas Geoff had used a 6 iron!

A special 4th place prize was given to Dave Ballard. The prize was the return of one of his head covers which he apparently tried several times to lose during his round. Nobody submitted an early entry to the annual Bunker Flunker competition but with the rest of the season ahead of us there is plenty of time yet.

After the golf we all had a hearty meal. Excellent value at £27 all in. Thanks to the Les for negotiating the deal and laying on the sunshine.

On to Thorney Lakes for the next outing on Thursday 21st April.

Nov 2021 – Texas Scramble & Supper

Results:

5th Kelly / Bates / Wells – 70

4th Parker / Delany / Carter – 68.9

3rd Zebedee / Keal / Fletcher / Bramwell – 68.8

2nd Dexter / Tooke / West / Oliver – 66.3

1st Phipps / Ballard / Preston – 65

Special mention to Dave Ballard who having heard he was a potential winner allowed his trolley to head off without him into the ditch:

The Supper was, once again, a very good evening with the following winners:

President’s Cup – Les Wells

Follies Trophy – Graeme Phipps

The Shirtie – David Carter

The evening was rounded off with a very good routine from our very own David Oliver:

A happy new year to everyone and I look forward to seeing you at the first fixture in March.

A GOLFER’S TALE – THE FINAL RECKONING

On a dull and gusty October day

17 golfers went out to play

Full of hopes and dreams of glory

But what would be the final story

~~

Burghley the venue where all would be told

A season’s efforts about to unfold

With everyone quiet and not even a sound

Steve P hit his drives straight out of bounds

A 17 scored on the very first hole

Was certainly not Steve’s original goal

~~

But the weather took hold

And shots went awry

Some out of bounds

And some in the sky

~~

Oh for the days of golfing bliss

When drives were straight and putts not missed

But this was not to be the day

When all would witness perfect play

~~

From tee to green the balls were hit

With some shouts of ‘fore’ and some shouts of ‘s..t’

David O’s trolley was left to roam free

And then found a bunker, Oh deary me!

~~

But one, Richard Cheng, had an excellent game

With 36 pts being scored to his name

And Richard Parker was nearest the pin

And a bottle of plonk was his to win

~~

But others didn’t fare so well

Some even thought their day was hell

But overall the day was fun

And once again, superbly run

~~

So just one thing to now sort out

Was the Follies Trophy still in doubt

Before the start there were possibly six

But who would triumph from this talented mix

Would Les play well and make it two on the trot

Or would someone prevent him from taking the lot

~~

Graeme Phipps seemed in no doubt

With Carter, Chapman, Ballard and Kelly there with a shout

A trophy at stake made the tension high

But one would be happy, five would just sigh

~~

We all had to wait until the dinner

To hear the results and know the winner

Les was the season’s runner-up

But Graeme won the Follies Cup       

~~ 

Our thoughts can now turn to next year’s jollies

But first, Happy Christmas to all you Follies

Next up – a busy Friday 12th November:

Fritz Follies Golf Society Stibbington Diner for Breakfast at 8.30am
Fritz Follies Golf Society Golf Supper Day Scramble at 10am
Fritz Follies Golf Society Annual Supper and Prize Giving 2021 at 6.30pm, sit down at 7:30pm

The Shirtie 2021

Still time for a late entry to challenge the two received so far:

Chris got 2021 going with this from…….Cambridge (you lose a point if you thought Milton Keynes):

David fulfils a lifetime ambition with his shirt on:

September 2021 – Controversy raises its ugly head at the Melton fixture.

“That’s no rabbit hole” was not the topic of discussion on this occasion. A much more serious issue had to be debated in the clubhouse and following lengthy conversation, Dave Carter was indeed found to be correct in his understanding of the situation; the shortbread biscuits on sale in the clubhouse were indeed made including chocolate chips and not sultanas! As it happened all things sweet was very much on the agenda and some even said that the real winner at this course was the Lemon and Raspberry cake! Special thanks go the girls in the clubhouse for making so many people happy with their culinary skills.

Strangely golf conversation did not seem to be the high on the agenda after Trevor trounced the opposition by scoring 40 points. In fact, Trevor won by a very healthy winning margin leading this very disappointed scribe to wonder when someone last won by 7 points? What was even stranger with this win, was that Trevor apparently teed off on the first with his wedge…stuff of legends eh? Well done Trevor and very well deserved and it was impressive that you celebrated in style by buying up all the remaining Lemon and Raspberry cake; I’ve never seen so many tupperware containers piled so high and what a lovely touch to see them topped off with a pack of three. ooh err missus

There were some excited winners of the nearest the pin. Graham Tooke was smiling like a Cheshire Cat when collecting his port (7th hole) and Les was smug that his lucky bunker bouncing shot beat the scribe’s tree hitting ‘bounce back’ on the 14th…humpf indeed, but at least the scribe did not have the shame of coming last at one of his home courses (Note: Thanks Geoff and for clarification this does not settle the outstanding debt of gratitude 😋) There were more disappointed “nearest the pin losers” and special commiserations to John “I am going to quit after 9 holes due to backache” Dexter, who carried on after excitedly getting his marker down on the 7th and Martin who was nearer than Graham Tooke but made the schoolboy error of playing the hole from the 8th tee (How did he still get a 6 I ask myself)

On a wider point Brian apparently has been in discussion with the R & A about speeding up play in Stableford competitions and apparently he was given dispensation at this fixture to try it out on the 2nd green. Kevin will be providing confirmation to the ruling body about the benefits to the game of Brian’s alternative approach of indicating a score that was not a score. For those who are now confused, I think it went something along the lines of “let’s call that an 8 shall we”; personally I still like to use the official marking method of entering a “BLOB”.

In second place, was David Oliver with 33 points on countback from Jon Kelly in third.

For the first time in a long while we had everyone in Fritz Follies shirts, all 14 of us.

How exciting that so many are in the running for the trophy this year and Burghley (another of Graeme’s home courses) provides the showdown event. Will Les be prevented from keeping the trophy permanently if he achieves a three on the spin victory?

August 2021 – Thorney Lakes

Finding the course proved a little difficult for the Roving Reporter who relied on the Sat Nav in his car which is nearly as old as the last time our Society played at Thorney Lakes in October 2001.

13 of us assembled at noon to consume an excellent fry up comprising two fried eggs, several rashers of bacon, two sausages, grilled tomato, mushrooms, two hash browns, baked beans, two slices of fried bread, plus two pieces of toast. The total cost of the day was only £23.50 which prompted some speculation as to whether this might be due to the questionable quality of the golf course. In the event, the general view was that the course proved to be enjoyable and Les had again used his negotiating skills to great effect in securing such an excellent “deal”.

The first group of Les, Dave Ballard, Gabe Stokes and John Dexter did not get off to a good start. Both Les and John hit their opening tee shots into trees but were fortunate in that their respective balls rebounded back into play. Perhaps this was a sign of local knowledge on the part of John as he is a member of Thorney Lakes. Dave Ballard not so fortunate as his opening tee shot went into the Lake just to the left of the tee box and then he proceeded to repeat the shot with his second ball.

Gabe and John both excelled in ball hunting. John could not cram any more balls into his trolley holder and his shorts were at risk of falling down due to the additional weight of the balls placed in his pockets.

The following two groups also got off to a bad start. Group 2 of Brian Bates, Steve Preston and David “Biggles” Carter and Group 3 involving David Oliver, Trevor Chapman and the Roving Reporter all managed to put their tee shots on the short Par 3 2nd hole into the small pond fronting the green. Trevor had also mishit his opening tee shot on the 1st just missing a group of players stood nearby close to the 18th green.

Surely the problems encountered by the first 3 groups at the start of their respective rounds can be explained by the time it takes to digest such a hearty meal whereas the final Group of David West, Roy Fletcher and Colin Savage fared better it seems, no doubt because the side effects of the fry up had begun to pass.

Nobody managed to hit the green on the 7th so the nearest the pin prize is carried over to our next outing.

David “Biggles“ Carter (still with the adrenalin flowing through his veins having recently flown in a Spitfire) achieved the best score with 38 points. This has moved David into serious contention for the Trophy by raising his total 3 best scores to 104.

In second place, was John Dexter with 35 points (plus lots of found golf balls).

In third place was Les with 33 points.

Les remains top of the Leaderboard with 107 points followed by Graeme Phipps with 106 points, so there will be an exciting end to our season.

Next outing 24 September at Melton Mowbray.

Don’t get left behind with the Shirtie 2021

As you’ll see under The Shirtie / The Shirtie 2021 tab, entries are coming in – please let me have yours in due course

July 2021 – Woolfox Golf & Country Club

Welcome to Woolfox Golf and Country Club on FREEDOM DAY.

We can now legally shake hands, are you sure you want to, all those sweaty palms ugh! I still draw the line at hugs and kisses.

Well Les has triumphed again – what a beautiful day. Quite warm but not TOFT warm.

The course was unusual. The rough was not vertical it was horizontal but we still lost balls in the hay. We were not disturbed by green keepers but by a haymaking tractor.

There were 16 starters to brave the heat but surprisingly only two buggies out.

It was lovely to see Richard Parker back again. His last Follies outing was on 27th September 2013, almost 8 years ago, at Rutland County when he won with 39 points.

There were some snippets about what went on from whistleblowers but, at the presentation, one whistleblower, who was about to come clean, was shushed – I wonder what the secret was?

Here are some of the snippets.

Two of the Davids in the final group managed to tee off on the first with identical balls. Very careful scrutiny of the balls followed, both being keen not to repeat their mishap at Sleaford .

A very low handicapper who had blasted his ball through a par 3 green was heard to remark “I didn’t realise the green was so big” not big enough eh Richard (Ooops that was a secret).

Next a quote “I have to wear a non Follies shirt to stand out – every other person seems to be called David.”

Another quite low handicapper (in a group with three David’s) got to the tee looking perplexed, something was missing, ah ah he said I need a ball (it’s an easy game without one).

Lastly, Jon Kelly was so pleased to see rakes back in the bunkers he decided to socialise with them several times. Bunker Flunker nominee?

In the last group we had some tense moments.

The first was nearest the pin. David Carter was on the green (wonderful shot) but there was already a marker there, at roughly the same distance. David Ballard carefully measured each one. The tension whilst he was measuring was difficult to bear; it took him so long to be certain. Finally the result David Carter was nearer by 1 foot. Not an imperial foot a “David Ballard” foot.

Bad luck Roy.

On the 16th green all four of us were on the green (or near enough), all with really difficult putts. What happened, in putting order:

Graeme T holed out (one putt)

David C holed out (one putt)

David O holed out (one putt)

The pressure on David B was now so intense it resulted in him missing an awkward putt. Bad luck David.

But wait, who was it on the 18th green in 2 and putting for a birdie yes it was that man again David Ballard. His second shot was wonder to behold. Unfortunately he didn’t make the birdie.

So to the prizes for the day:

Nearest the pin on Hole 4: David Carter – well done David, nearest the pin and 37 points (only one prize allowed).

Nearest the pin on Hole 17: Gabe Stokes – well done Gabe, nearest the pin and 37 points ,debutant bottle prize winner (only one prize allowed).

First place: David Ballard with 40 points.

Second place: Graeme Phipps with 39 points.

Third place: Jon Kelly with 37 points.

Congratulations to all the prize winners hopefully see all of you in August.

So ended another Follies outing as enjoyable as ever.

Next Meeting Friday 27th August at Thorney Lakes.

It’s a hard life
What’s the collective noun for more than one David?

June 2021 – Elton Furze

12 members of the Fritz Follies Golf Society met up at Elton Furze on 25th June, 2021 to play for the President’s Cup, which was based on Stroke play, and the next round of the Fritz Follies Annual Championship determined by Stableford.

The weather was not very appealing initially and most players were ready for another wet game with the memory of Sleaford still lingering.
We were, however, fortunate and the rain held off. It was generally a low scoring day with an average of only 28 points, possibly due to the early rain and slower greens.

David Ballard was scoring really well and was looking a good bet to retain the President’s Cup which he won last year but he had a disastrous 12 on the 17th followed by a 10 on the 18th, which virtually ruled him out of the running. He still finished in 6th position for President’s Cup and achieved 29 points so had a good game overall. If only………but that is golf.

Meanwhile Trevor Chapman had an equally exciting time, he managed to achieve 31 points on 13 holes – He shot a 9, 8 and 3 sevens. His 9 on the 7th was quite remarkable, he hit a tree and finished in the bunker, not the one on the 7th but on the 8th. With his 6th shot he hit the pin at 100 mph before chipping back to leave a simple putt. On the 14th he hit his own bag which he had placed next to him with a shank – surely a contender for Wally of the Year nomination!

On the 2nd hole David Carter shot his drive into the bunker he then chipped into the hole for what would have been an excellent Birdie but the ball decided to pop out. Tough luck. David Oliver putted out on the same hole for a par but Kev Hingle, not to be outdone, had a birdie, super drive to the green and a good putt.
Kev Hingle and John Dexter decided to have an additional competition to see who could get into most bunkers. Kev took an early lead and by the 11th he was well in front having been in 5 different bunkers but was able to exit each in one shot, John decided to catch up at the 11th and he took 5 attempts to get out.
He enjoyed the experience so much he then visited the bunker on the 12th but he came out with a great shot and finished with a good 5.
David Oliver was given a Garmin golf watch for Father’s Day and he decided to use it on the 5th following a poor drive and found himself 55 yards from the pin and then chipped in with a 7 iron for a birdie.

Les had a very good round and won the President’s Cup, 3 pars on the front nine and 8 net pars on the back nine to score a net 70. He also won the Stableford with 36 points, but was denied the prize due to the ‘only one prize’ rule. An excellent result – well done Les and thanks for organising the event.

Trevor Chapman won the Stableford with 31 points on count back from David Oliver who also had 31 points with David Carter being 3rd with 29 points.

Trevor Chapman was also runner up for the President’s Cup with a net 77 and David Oliver was 3rd with a net 75.

A most enjoyable day and rounded off nicely with a drink on the patio – things are getting back to normal.

Regards,

David Oliver.