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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.

May 2021 – Sleaford

Well it’s May 2021 and the start of another chapter in the Fritz Follies saga.
After a year to forget we kick our 2021 season off to a cool and damp start at Sleaford.
With 14 intrepid ‘Follies’ well prepared, in full wet weather gear, to take on the course starting with the time honoured offering of a coffee and bacon butty.

Time Please!!
The first group comprised David Oliver (walking) and David Carter and Geoff Delany who shared a buggy and, with these on their way, Colin Keal was champing at the bit to swing into action. Unfortunately his tee off was delayed by the first group’s misdirected tee shots which led to much ball searching, Colin seemed to think that they were taking more than the allowed 3 minutes and maybe it was his concern over this that led him to duff his tee shot into the same area, the clock was ticking…

On the 13th hole with the rain hammering down, Andrew, having left the shelter of his umbrella attached to his trolley,
addressed his ball and BANG! Wondering what had happened his paying partners looked around and saw that Andrew had managed to wipe out the umbrella with his follow through!
Also on the 13th being faced with a 20 yard chip over a deep bunker, Jon Kelly, with course management anyone would be proud of, decided on putting his way around the bunker for a bogey and 3 points. Result but it won’t bring the crowds back.

On the 7th Roy was saved from harm as Gabe’s 2nd shot ricocheted off of the stone bridge and clattered into John Dexter’s bag.
Walking onto the 8th green Brian Bates forgot he had an electric trolley which promptly careered off and ran into the back of John Dexter who managed to save it, and himself, from being bunkered.

David West teed off and sent his ball well down the fairway, a little to the left. Whilst looking he found a ‘srixon’ and turned to Jon Kelly and said “it’s not mine but can you play with a srixon” – Jon said yes and David threw the ball and Jon put it in his bag.
David continued to search and did find his ball. Before he could hit it, a golfer appeared looking for his ball and spoke to David. Next thing we heard was “Jon, have you got that srixon”!

I think Gabe deserves the ‘Bunker Flunker’ award as not only did he have 5 or 6 attempts at excavating his ball from a bunker on the 14th but he thought he’d make doubly sure of the prize by taking 4 or 5 attempts to get his ball out of the bunker in front of the 18th green.

The two David’s unintentionally played with each other’s ball on the 17th, only becoming apparent as they prepared to chip onto the green. It was to their credit that neither blamed the other for the mix up.

Somehow Geoff managed to lose not one but two head covers during the round. David Oliver admitted seeing a black and white frilly woolly thing on the path near the second tee but at the time thought it was a dead stoat, so naturally gave it a wide birth.

Fortunately there was a very happy ending as other Follies golfers recognised the true identity of the lost items and Geoff was reunited with both head covers and with a bonus cover thanks to Roy. It was a very moving sight in the clubhouse to see Geoff reunited with his rather threadbare, but much loved cover.

Geoff thought he’d won nearest the pin but it turned out that Graeme had pipped him to the prize. Then, much to our surprise, Graeme very graciously gave Geoff the bottle of port, what a gesture.
A lovely ending to a good day!.

Standings
1st Graeme Phipps 39pts
2nd Les Wells 36pts
3rd Jon Kelly 32pts

The last word
Les said that he couldn’t apologise for the weather. Instead he said blame it on Brexit, Covid or Prince Harry !!

See you all next month at Elton Furze for the President’s Cup.

Report by JD.

October 2020 Woolfox Golf and Country Club

Despite the damp, cold and breezy conditions, exactly one month on from our visit to Stoke Rochford 16 of us again travelled the A1 to play Woolfox, formally Rutland County Golf Club. Unfortunately the Clubhouse was closed for renovations, but a catering van was on site to provide tea, coffee, bacon baps and other much needed sustenance before the start of play.
Despite the substantial amount of rain earlier in the week the course was in reasonable condition with the greens playing slow and the grass on the fairways a little on the long side. Winter rules were in play which helped in this regard.
This is a very open and forgiving course which usually results in high scoring rounds and despite the poor weather conditions, this time was no exception. The final standings as follows:
1st Dave Ballard – 40 points. 2nd Graeme Phipps – 39 points (countback on last 9 holes, 23 points). 3rd Kevin Hingle – 39 points (countback on last 9 holes, 18 points).
Some highlights from the day:
In the 1st group out, Geoff Delaney had the pleasure of witnessing the big hitting pair of Colin Keal and Les Wells tackling the course in Bryson Dechambeau style. Unfortunately, they often took more in the number of putts than it took them in shots to reach the green which was frustrating for them. Clearly the slow pace of the greens had a part to play in this and lost them the chance of winning on the day.
Kevin Hingle was amazed by Steve Preston’s monster putt! In all the years playing golf he has never seen a putt rattle the pin, go round the hole, pop out and then spin back into the hole! Amazing putt Steve, the kind that could have won you $1,000,000 in Vegas, but unfortunately only one stableford point on the day!
Martin Zebedee tends to fade the ball from left to right and sets up accordingly. Unfortunately the fade didn’t happen off the 13th tee and the ball was heading straight out of bounds. Lucky for him the ball smashed into a tree and bounced back into play. Thanks for this amusing moment Martin.

Concentration on the 1st tee, some great set up positions!

Kevin Hingle starting his impressive round of 39 points earning 3rd place (after countback) on the day.


With the setting sun in his eyes, Graeme Phipps stepped up and hit what was thought to be a great shot off the par 5 16th tee, but despite an extensive search, the ball couldn’t be found resulting in penalty shots. Despite this Graeme managed to get down in 7 to keep his points total moving forward. He had a great inward 9 holes highlighted by a chip on the 17th finishing just one roll away from dropping in for a birdie. With a total of 39 points a fantastic 2nd place finish (on countback), but what could have been!
Dave Ballard produced one of his best rounds in a long time scoring on every hole with 19 points through the outward 9 and 21 points through the inward 9, a total of 40 points to win the day and the much sought-after 3 pack Fritz Follies golf balls.
Congratulations go to Colin Keal for winning the nearest the pin competition off the 17th tee. A nicely flighted 7 iron shot that just about managed to make it by about a foot. This is the second occasion Colin has taken the minimalist route to winning a bottle prize, the other being Lakeside Lodge.
These results have produced an intriguing league table for the Fritz Follies Trophy, Les Wells leading with Steve Preston, Dave Ballard and Kevin Hingle within 2 points coming to the final round at Elton Furze on the 6th November. Equally at the other end of the table the race for the “wooden spoon” looks competitive as well. The final round will also include the competition for the President’s Cup, so let’s see a fantastic turn out for what will be a exciting and enjoyable finale to what has been a curtailed season due to the dreaded Covid19.

Report by Dave Ballard.

In case you’d forgotten The Shirtie is still open…

Despite what’s happening around us, The Shirtie 2020 is open for business. This was taken some while ago but without a head, it was deemed ineligible 😦

Send your photos in, with heads, and your committee will sit in judgement shortly.

There’s also a few new photos under the Photos tab

September 2020 Stoke Rochford

Well, despite the latest restrictions, we had a good turnout of 14 of the 16 original members. Unfortunately, one decided he had a better offer and was playing elsewhere, whilst the other (allegedly) succumbed to pressure from the wife.

Unfortunately, I think someone has broken the good weather wand that Les uses. We have gone from stunningly hot, to temperate to very wet. Please Les can you get it fixed before the next round. I know there were a few minutes of sunshine, but I am getting old and prefer to play when it’s not raining hard.

Anyway, the course was in very good condition with some stunning views – when it wasn’t raining hard. The rough was very rough in quite a few places, but did not appear to disturb most players. Although special mention must go to Andrew Bramwell who had 5 provisional balls, only to have Trevor Chapman find all the original drives. Shame he lost two of the provisional balls! On hole 12 Roy went for the green only to find he had aimed at a marker post for a different hole. He then went on to bounce one on the bridge on the 14th.

As scores went both Trevor and Roy Fletcher got the same number of points on each nine holes, albeit that as a result of having nine 7s on his card Trevor just edged Roy on total points. Trevor got nearest the pin on the 12th being only 4-5 foot away, although he missed the putt for a birdie. Andrew however, putted in from 20 foot plus for a birdie. Talking of great shots, Geoff Delaney chipped in from 50/60 yards on the 7th for a birdie – he did not see it go in – although it was not sufficient for him to find a place on the winner’s podium.

Dave scampers across a green as Geoff’s facemask seems to have slipped down.

David Carter also deserves a special mention for parring the last 3 holes – well done David (who shouted Cut?). Colin Humphries at one stage played Kevin Hingle’s ball. The funny thing being that Kev had not lost a ball all round and Colin whacked his ball into the deep rough and lost forever. Colin then proceeded to play his ball, in fairness he did penalise himself 2 strokes. Colin was also noted for his driving off the tee straight down the middle of most holes, even though he then proceeded to drive down the course in his buggy whilst Martin Zebedee was taking his shot.

As far as I can tell the final group of Colin Savage, John Dexter, David West and Brian Bates had a quiet round by comparison.

Dave says ‘pick a window’ and I’ll hit it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think it fair to say we all enjoyed the course and despite it being slightly more expensive would like to play it more regularly, preferably when the sun is shining.

Results – these differ from those announced at the time as retrospective checking added/removed a point here and there 🙂

3rd – Andrew Bramwell 33 on countback

2nd –  David West 34

1st – Les 34 on countback

Next outing is at Rutland County on Friday 23rd October – whether Geoff reverts to his Jag or sticks with his latest vehicle will be revealed.

Our thanks to Trevor for the report and to our resident snapper, Steve.

August 2020 Lakeside Lodge

Another good turnout with 16 Follies treking southeast to Lakeside Lodge for a very pleasant day’s golf. It was particularly pleasing to see Kevin Hingle back for the first time in a long time. We were fortunate we were not playing 24 hours earlier in 50 mph winds. Geoff remarked that it’s the type of course that suits our society and I agree. Jackie, the Secretary at Lakeside Lodge, was very helpful with the arrangements for the day and the course was in good condition and the Clubhouse felt very safe under the current guidelines.

Fortified with coffee and bacon sandwiches, the action got underway bang on 1pm.

David West had a moment of indecision on the 1st tee. With some banter he changed from an Iron to a driver then proceeded to launch it towards Huntingdon. However, a friendly tree must have helped redirect the ball back into play and he continued to get a hard earned point from the hole. Steve Preston with the round of the day, a net 65, also had his problems on the 1st carding an 8 but from that point on had a super day with 23 points out, returning with 20 points for the highest score this year of 43 points. Escaping on another hole courtesy of the underside of Colin Humphries’ buggy, when it’s your day that is what happens. Les Wells had a steady uneventful round by comparison to Steve with 38 points (Ed’s note – oh for an uneventful 38 points).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was in the first group out so finished first and had the opportunity to watch all the following groups play the 18th green. Since the pandemic, my wife and I have taken to criticising people we see not observing all the new norms (social distancing, masks, “one household, really”, etc). Of course, we do this quietly to each other! My wife couldn’t be with us at Lakeside so one of my playing partners stood in and we crititised each group as they approached – “too short”, “too far left”, “way past the flag”.

During the wait between groups, Colin H gave me a guided tour of his buggy. A ball washer! A club cleaner! And, would you believe it, a sat nav of the golf course showing each hole and the distances. Combine all these incremental gains with my lack of talent and I feel a little disadvantaged.

 

Interestingly Colin H appears to have lost his shorts in this photo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearest the Pin – Colin Keal. This was a close call – after much deliberation the ball was declared on the green despite part of it overhanging the fringe.

3rd – Dave Ballard on 30

2nd – Les Wells on 38

1st – Steve Preston on 43

Next outing is Stoke Rochford on Wednesday 23rd September.

My thanks to Geoff, Steve, Les and Gabe for their help in compiling this report.