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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!
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.
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
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.
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.
A belated start to the Follies season saw a very respectable turnout of 17 for a return to a venue we had not visited in a long time. This was my first visit but always understood that it was a hilly course with some blind holes. Like all Follies, I was up for a challenge – it was also the hottest day so far of 2020… Throw in the sight of Follies in face masks as they emerged from the Pro Shop and it was not the usual Fritz Follies Monthly Meet.
Toft has had many problems this year. The Club was in administration and taken back to their original ownership but not before they had been stripped of all assets, equipment and cash. So, it is remarkable that Toft has been able to get the course into such good conditions with the pandemic to deal with as well. Mark Jackson, the Professional, has been excellent all the way through with our booking.
Les, Colin S. and Geoff were grouped together as the first group out. By the time they had reached the summit of hole 1, Colin was already showing signs that he would not be able to endure the conditions for very long. Plan B was put into action as Colin joined Geoff in the buggy halfway down hole 2. The joy ride was short lived as on hole 4 the buggy also decided the heat was too much and decided to stop working. We then proceeded over the next couple of holes in a stop/start fashion. On hole 6 Colin changed over to David Oliver’s buggy who then went down to the Pro Shop where Colin collected another buggy. During this time with Les pushing Geoff in the buggy and some perseverance from Geoff the faulty buggy started to which Geoff then drove back to the clubhouse leaving Colin’s bag outside the shop. Les was sitting on the 7th tee when Colin returned with his own buggy, it was like a farce but Geoff then returned to continue the round. By the time we reached the 9th Colin had to give in to the extreme conditions of the day.
Everyone was struggling not least Gabe who deposited his breakfast and lunch on the 9th tee. We had several retirements at the 9th. It is amusing, in hindsight, that our small Society ended up being spread around the course not in the order we started and for some in the wrong place! The first group was joined by David Carter on the 18th tee but he was expecting to play the 16th!
Arriving back at the Clubhouse was akin to returning to the safety of the rear line in a war zone watching the occasional casualty limping back having lost his comrades in the conflict.
Amongst the carnage some results emerged:
Nearest the Pin – Trevor Chapman. It was so good I took a photo:
3rd – Graeme Phipps on 29
2nd – Andrew Bramwell on 30
1st – Colin Humphries on 30 on countback
There was no presentation ceremony and may not be for some time but, I’m sure, Les will find a way for the prizes to find their way to their respective homes.
Next outing is Lakeside Lodge on Wednesday 26th August and Les has confirmed it will not be hilly or have temperatures of 37 degrees.
Texas Scramble and 2019 Winner of the Follies Trophy!
Texas Scramble results:
5th Team 79.91 Delany/Preston/Wakefield
4th Team 75.48 Wells/Kelly/Bates
Bronze 71.25 Carter/Ballard/Liscoe
Silver 71.62 Tooke/Humphries/Zebedee
Gold 68.14 West/Savage/Fletcher
Nearest the Pin winners – Les Wells, David West and Martin Zebedee with one green untouched!
** 2019 Winner of the Follies Trophy is Andrew Bramwell (113 points)
All Follies give thanks to Graeme Phipps who realised that we were lacking a Masters’ style Green Jacket to pass from last year’s Champion to the new Champion and so produced the Fritz Follies Pants!
** 2019 President’s Cup winner is Dave Ballard (net 66.8 on the day)
** 2019 Rookie of the Year Dave Ballard
** 2019 Shirtie winner is Les Wells for spreading the Follies gospel up the Nile.
The disappearance of one of the pyramids in the second photo did lead Chris Munro to enquire about pyramid selling…
A good evening was had by all, I think and we now retire to hone our skills over the winter and to be ready for it starting all over again in March 2020.
See you all then……Happy New Year.
Nearest the Pin – Richard Cheng
14 members scored 30 or more points but the cream was:
3rd – Colin H 37 points
2nd – Andrew 41 points
1st – Colin Keal 42 points
No less than 19 Follies assembled at Rutland County to do battle in the final round of the 2019 Championship. No less than 22 players have played 3 or more rounds this year giving us our most competitive league for many years. No less than 10 players harboured hopes of that “one round where everything goes right” to secure the Champion Golfer 2019. How did we all fare?
Answers at the Fritz Follies Golf Society Annual Supper and Prize Giving 2019 on Friday November 1st at The Cuckoo, Alwalton!
And firstly a picture of the last group on the 18th green:
followed by the group hanging on Les’ every word
See you Friday week 😉
The penultimate round of this season’s Follies Championship saw 11 hopefuls appear in deepest, darkest Cambridgeshire on another lovely warm summer afternoon that Les is so skilled at choosing. Sadly, Les was unable to play today having injured his arm/elbow carrying the luggage on his recent trip abroad (presumably his usual man-servant didn’t turn up).
Roy nearly missed his bacon bap as he arrived very late having covered most of Cambridgeshire and was finally put on track by a farmer and his wife who advised he had about 10 miles to go – he’d already done about 30 by this stage!
With half the field still in contention for the Championship, a hushed, expectant silence descended over the group as the first 3-ball teed off. On a tight course with plenty of water, scores were very respectable though no-one managed to stay on the 5th green to capture the Nearest the Pin prize. Several were heard to lament about being six inches off the green – but the bottle goes back to the Follies Wine Cave.
Trevor lost 2 balls on the first hole, I think both from the tee, but things did improve.
In Les’ absence, Geoff D kindly stepped in as master of ceremonies and announced:
3rd – Graeme Phipps (35 points) losing on countback to
2nd – Steve Preston (35 points). He was second last month so some consistency creeping in there.
1st – Jon Kelly (38 points).
Report not by Richard Cheng – ask him!
Latest entry is a 3-in-one from DC – the full set of Follies shirts!
plus a hitherto unpublished photo of the 2018 President’s Cup presentation to the winner David Oliver