We were fortunate in that the 3rd October was the second of two rare fine days between the September rains and the tail end of hurricane Lorenzo. Our venue for the meet was the Hamptworth Golf club, which can be quite a muddy experience – however, not on NTLPA day; the sun shone and the temperature was just right for an enjoyable game. Ten souls gathered in the clubhouse for a bacon bap and coffee before heading for the first tee. The eleventh soul, Martyn Harris, joined us there having not mastered the satnav in his new car and having difficulty finding the club after a lengthy drive from Lulworth Cove in Dorset. Dave Cowans was suffering with a gammy left hand so chose to walk the course, which he did with the four-ball made up of Ron Chamberlain and Mike Reynolds, sharing a buggy, Pete Thompson and Chris Allerton. They followed the three-ball A-team of Steve Johnson, Dave Manuel and Danny Paul. The rear was brought up by the octogenarian three-ball of Martyn Harris, Sam Roberts and his friend, Bryan Gotts. Unfortunately, Martyn found the going too strenuous and fell out after six holes.
Hamptworth is a testing course, each hole presenting a different challenge. In general, the fairways are quite forgiving and the scenery is spectacular. Despite that, a number of balls were lost in the streams crossing some of the fairways. The signature hole is the 16th, which is stated as being the only par 6 hole in England at 666 yards long. It is known as ‘The Beast’, but, in fact, it is not intimidating. Having said all that, the scores were not too brilliant, Steve Johnson winning the Tony Burrows IBAGS (IBA Golf Society) trophy with 31 points. Pete Thompson surprised no one by winning the longest drive prize on the 5th hole, although Dave Manuel was aggrieved that he didn’t win by doing a lengthy drive on the 15th! The nearest the pin prize was won by Danny Paul, who plonked his ball a few feet from the pin on the par 3 10th hole. He then missed the birdie putt!
The awards were presented in the clubhouse before the arrival of a pleasant meal of ham, egg and chips, following some post mortem tales over drinks in the lounge; spoilt only by chilled London Pride being served at the bar; some of us Brits do not enjoy chilled beer! Over lunch, it was agreed that we would visit the High Post course for our NTLPA Spring gathering, which is provisionally planned for Thursday, 2nd April 2020. Those wishing to join in the fun are asked to contact Sam Roberts; firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01264 365662.
The line-up on the first tee. From left; Ron Chamberlain, Steve Johnson, Sam Roberts, Danny Paul, Dave Manuel, Pete Thompson, Chris Allerton and Mike Reynolds. Martyn Harris had yet to appear and Dave Cowans was preparing to walk!