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The intruder returns, County report and the Secretary's Trophy

By Tim

On 18th Jul 2017

Before we get into the golf I have to report that our unwelcome visitor was back in the Club again on Sunday evening. He was (if you’ll excuse the pun) flushed out of the men’s toilets and changing room by Mike and Terry Bastow. I’ll refer back to the original email about this. The best code lock in the world will not work if the door it is on is open. Please exercise vigilance, please make sure doors are closed behind you.


Our thanks to everyone who came to the EGM on Friday night. Both resolutions achieved the necessary levels of support to be passed, so the work will soon begin on redrafting the Club’s Rules, the Articles of Association. My thanks go to those who have already made themselves available to be a part of the Committee engaged in this initiative.


Another week in the golfing season has passed, and we come to Open week. Always feels like the mid-season point to me. I know I’ll be looking forward to watching the guys at Royal Birkdale. Fun watching the best in the world play a course you know, and which has pretty severely beaten you up when you’ve played it!


We’ll start the round up with the Ladies as ever. The Still Cup side won their final group match with a resounding home victory on Sunday, defeating Churston 6-1. Whilst their semi-final place was already assured they now know they will be playing Tavistock, at Teign Valley. We will keep you up to date with arrangements for that.


Not only that but the Mixed team recorded a second successive friendly match victory, defeating Dainton here on Sunday.


Keeley Clarke has added to her County Championship by successfully defending the Stella Temple Memorial Trophy for the best Scratch score at the County Silver Meeting, played at Dainton. She is now the holder of another Course Record, shooting a 72 on the day to win the cup and beat the previous record.


Staying with the County theme there was no great success for Torquay at the Senior’s County Championship at Yelverton, Tim Aggett slipping out of contention after a good morning round of 72. However, he has been selected for the 8-man Devon team going to the South West Championships at Orchardleigh at the end of the month.


Craig Passmore is at Burnham for the English Under-16 Stroke Play Championships this week, the McGregor Trophy. We wish him all the best, and you can follow his progress on the England Golf website.


Torquay teams dominated Launceston’s Texas Scramble Open at the weekend. VC Mark Passmore led the winning team, along with Nathan Gilpin, James Thompson and Stover’s Seb Born scoring a gross 57, net 56. In 3rd with gross 60, net 57 were Dave Cadwallader, Keith Thompson, Scott Pym and Richard Overton. Well played all.


To the weekend competition. The Secretary’s Trophy went to Chris Owen (h’cap 18) with a great net score of 63. Chris has been in good form of late, producing a string of solid scores over the last 3 months with only 1 outside buffer so it was no big surprise to see him produce a real low one. Jason Tozer (13) showed a welcome return to form for his net 66 whilst Paul Swift (11) was solid for his net 67. Scratch went to Steve Thorne, who showed the young ones there’s still life in some of us old dogs yet with an excellent gross 70.


The divisional prizes went to a pair of 67s from Paul Keen (8) and Graham Hale (13) in Divisions 1 and 2, and a 66 from Ray Baldwin (25) in Division 3. In Division 1 the other prizes went to Chris Overton (4) and Chris Relph (9), In Division 2 to Dave Smith (13) and Stuart Middleton (14) and in Division 3 to were claimed by Rob Dickinson (21) and Ernie Pryce (21).


Looking ahead we have our Parker quarter-final on Friday evening at 5pm at Exeter when we’ll be playing Saunton. That should be a good game


We’re back to SDL action on Saturday, with Churston the visitors. The team will be announced later today and on the board tomorrow. Sunday is the Club Championship, and we have tee times available between 9.08 and 9.40. We have a 4 hour 40 minutes turnaround between 1st and 2nd round times so we are expecting you to keep moving.


Captain’s Day is the following weekend, and that’s looking very full. Looking forward to seeing what Pete has in store for everyone that day. The week after that is the 3 Man Team Open which is now full through to 3pm, with some times left up to 4pm. The Robinson Cup Mixed is also live on the system for the following day.


The next Men’s Club comp to go live will be the Brockman Cup which takes place on August 19th and will be available to enter from the 5th


For those who haven’t picked it up from website etc, the County Senior Foursomes event scheduled to take place here this coming Wednesday is off. It is now a normal Wednesday

Pro Am, Match and County Round Up

By Tim

On 17th Jul 2017

It’s been a busy couple of weeks both at the Club and on the wider scene for Torquay members.


I think we have to start with the Pro Am on Friday 7th July. The weather was fantastic, the golf course majestic and thanks to the work and efforts of a wonderful group of volunteers operating alongside the staff the day ran like clockwork. We had a couple of European Senior Tour players, players with Main tour experience and a lot of guys who have played at Challenge or EuroPro Tour level. Top scores in the Pro event were 3-under 66s from Paul Hendriksen and Kevin Harper, whilst top team was Britivic, Pete and Ben Raven with Grant Lawrence and pro Giuseppe Licata, who together shot a brilliant -19 to best DGM (Charlotte and Jake Dommett, Fiona Parsons and Pro Matt Curnoe) by 3. The full results for both the Pro and Team events can be found on the PGA South West Region website, which you can access through the PGA site


When it comes to Club matters we’ll start with the Ladies, who have a lot of good things to report. We’ll start with domestic team business, and another dominant display from the Still Cup side to defeat Royal North Devon 7-0 here at Torquay. The Sheelgh Creasy side went to Churston the same day but sadly were on the wrong end of the result.


For the individuals Keeley Clarke was again selected for the Devon side for South West Counties match week at Wrag Barn Golf Club outside Swindon. She was a virtual ever-present in a Devon side that finished tied 3rd over the week. She missed only one series of foursomes the whole week, and won 5 of her 9 games; a fantastic effort at that level.


Vicky Holloway is the new County Ladies’ Senior Champion, winning the inaugural such championship at Churston with an excellent 75 to become our second county champion of the year. She was 4 shots ahead of runner-up Gilly Jarvis of Yelverton


The Men have progressed to the quarter-final stage of the Parker Trophy with a hard fought 2-1 win over the Warren at Teignmouth, Nathan Gilpin and Will Farley taking the crucial match against Jeremy Binch and David Heaton. We next play Saunton at Exeter, date yet to be arranged but looking likely to be sometime in the week commencing 17th July.


Sadly the SDL side couldn’t manage another away win at Stover, losing 5 ½ - 1 ½. Teignmouth’s away win at Dainton has given them a dominant position with a 9-point lead heading into the next round of matches in two weeks. With the Warren also losing away at Churston everyone else is within 2 points of each other.


Craig Passmore has had a hectic but pretty successful week or so. A solid pair of 75s at The Kendleshire gave him a top 20 finish in the English Schools Boy’s Championships. He then went to Came Down GC outside Dorchester representing Devon in the South West Boys Championships. That is both an individual and team event, the team element leading to National County Finals. He had an excellent 1st round level par 70, but couldn’t quite follow it up shooting 78 in the afternoon; still an excellent performance considering he still has another 3 years at this level. He didn’t finish there – 71 at Torquay in the Junior South Devon League and he’s now down to 1.


At the other end of the age range Tim Aggett recorded scores of 77,74 and 76 in some hideous conditions at Maesdu Golf Club outside Llandudno to finish 14th in the Welsh Open Seniors. Then involved in the Senior Channel League game here at Torquay against defending champions Wiltshire, which Devon won 10 ½ - 4 ½, coming from 2-3 down after the morning foursomes. The half was Tim’s and came in the top singles against Welsh international Paul Bloomfield from Kingsdown.


Gilpin and Farley were back together again on Sunday playing in the County Foursomes at Tavistock where they finished a highly creditable 3rd in the scratch part of the event with two scores of 75.


Scoring for the Jubilee Cup was a little odd, as for once the weather was at its worst early. As the day wore on the conditions eased and scoring got better and better, but it was still one of those out in the first couple of hours when things were at their toughest who came in with the best score. Jim Mills won the Trophy with an excellent net 65. Sam Heath had a holable one to tie on the last green, but the ball refused to drop leaving him 2nd with his 66, David Ewings taking third with 67. Robbie Thompson’s 69 was the best Scratch score. Divisional winners were Graham Jones, Tony Herrera and Glenn Harris, all with net 67s.


The Captain’s Away Days at St Mellion and Thurlestone were reported to be a success, despite some iffy weather. The original intention of playing the Kernow at St Mellion was scuppered by the rain as no buggies were allowed on the golf course that day. So the lads had to put up with playing the Nicklaus instead. Shame, eh?


Wins for the Still Cup, Sheelagh Creasy and SDL sides

By Tim

On 20th Jun 2017

There was a concentration on matches for the Club over the weekend, with a really big win for the Still Cup team and a hard-fought home victory for the South Devon League side.


The Still Cup squad went across to Churston on Friday and inflicted a white wash on the home side, winning all 7 matches. Coupled with their big home win over Exeter on the Monday the squad have put themselves in prime position to qualify for the latter stages again, with home games against Royal North Devon and Churston to come next month.


The Sheelagh Creasy side were also playing Churston on Friday, here at Torquay. They also secured a win, by 5-2. Mathematically they are still in with a chance of progressing, but will need two wins and then other results to go their way.


The South Devon League side did it the hard way on Saturday, forcing out a 4 ½ - 2 ½ win at home to Stover. The last three games all won up the last, all having been behind until late in their matches to turn what looked likely to be a bad day into a good one. Despite the win Torquay slip to 4th, although only ½ a point adrift of Dainton and Warren who are tied 2nd. Teignmouth now have a 6-point advantage at the top of the table. The next round of games is on 8th July and are the reverse of this weekend’s fixtures. In addition to our trip to Stover, Teignmouth go to Dainton and the Warren to Churston. An away win would be dead handy.


It was a long hard week for Robbie and James Thompson at Weston Super Mare playing for Devon in the SW Counties. Devon had a really tough week, sadly finishing bottom of the match play table recording only one win against Dorset on the last day. However, Robbie did finish a highly creditable 14th in the SW Championships on the Tuesday, shooting a 2-under 36-hole total.


Looking ahead to the coming week we still have a couple of spots for anyone wishing to play in the Devon Seniors OOM event on Wednesday. It is handicap and scratch, with prizes for both. Start sheet is on the County website.


Thursday evening we play the Warren at Teignmouth in the Parker Trophy with a 5pm start. Let’s hope for some success in that. This coming Saturday is the Centenary Cup. It is currently completely full from the 7am kick off until 3.08, but we also know that gaps will appear the closer we get to the weekend.


On the topic of the weekend, for those with an interest the Lions Test will be on the TV early on Saturday.


Looking further ahead the Millennium Cup which we lost on the May Bank Holiday Monday courtesy of the weather will be replayed on Monday August 28th, with a start sheet from 8am to 2pm. It will go live 14 days prior, as usual.


Enjoy the weather whilst you can as I fear it will start to break later in the week.

A Review of the Riviera week events

By Tim

On 20th Jun 2017

Before we get to all the golf played in Riviera week at Torquay, a piece of news to reflect that there was golfing life outside our Club over the week, although it didn’t always feel like it! 


One golfer who has had a fantastic week is Craig Passmore. He started with the South West Schools Championships where he finished 7th with scores of 74 and 75 at Minchinhampton. This will qualify him for the English Championships later this month. Wednesday he was at Yelverton for the Devon Junior Whitsun event, where he won the Under 16s scratch prize with a 74. Not content with that it was off to the South West Under 16s/Under 14s Championships at The Kendleshire in Bristol, where a fantastic gross 70 beat the field comprehensively – South West Under 16 Champ doesn’t sound too bad, does it. Down half a shot in handicap to 1.8 over 4 days too. A brilliant week on which he should be congratulated, as should Gary and Paula on the volume of taxi work!


A full result sheet for every event in Riviera Week is on the website. Go to the Diary entry for the relevant event and you will find a pdf file lsiting the full outcome.


So the Riviera week came to an end with the two knockout finals on Saturday morning. The Ladies have played their event over a number of weeks with just the Final this week, whilst the chaps have played knockout from Sunday morning through the week.


In the Ladies’ match Marilyn Firkin was always in control of the game as Evelyn Grant perhaps didn’t have her best day, Marilyn playing really solid golf throughout and emerging victorious by 3/2. The Men’s Final was a very up and down affair, John Donovan getting out to an at one point 3 hole lead before Glenn Harris pegged him back to all square after 15. After halving the last 3 holes and the 19th, John’s tee shot to the 20th found serious trouble allowing Glenn to win. It was the only time in the match Glenn was ahead.


Riviera started a week earlier with the Stableford Qualifier for the knock out. Top score was the 40-point return from Lou Brook, who beat Tim Quick on the back 9 for the 1st prize voucher. It was disappointing that we had fewer than 32 golfers enter for the knockout stages, especially in view of the demands from certain quarters for its reinstatement.


Sunday saw the first round of the knockout at the start of the day, to produce the 16 who would carry on from Tuesday evening forwards. After that came the Mixed Savage Salver competition. This had a bigger field in 2017 than the previous year, good to see after changing the format from Medal to Stableford. Tim Aggett and Sarah Hoff from Stover produced the top total of 42 points with their 2 shots, ahead of Mark Thompson and Keeley Clarke and Roger Johns and Linda Charters from Isle of Purbeck and Wareham on 41


Monday brought us to the Four Ball, and a good field of around 150 golfers played through some at times not too fantastic conditions. We came very close to a fog postponement as visibility up on the top of Petitor dropped in the sea fret, and our thanks go to the golfers who very sensibly waited that brief period out. It was a very humid day, which took something of a toll on some of the participants. Didn’t seem to worry Jason Brooks and Graham King, who from handicaps of 4 and 13 produced a brilliant score of 48 points, beating Nathan Gilpin (0) and Keith Thompson (5) into second on 45. Stuart Loader (12) of Beau Desert and Jenny Rhodes (3) from South Staffs were the best of the visitors, 3rd on 44.


Tuesday was a day off from the Riviera golf for the usual weekly Ladies’ competition, but we were all back again on Wednesday morning for the Greensomes. This was a disappointing turnout, as we only just got past the 100 men playing. At the end of the day an excellent 44 points from Tom Blumire (11) and Andy Bradbury (16) in the penultimate pairing took the day, ahead of Greg Duke (15) and Mat Harkin (5) on 43 who had led from early as the second group on the course.


Thursday things really got into gear, with 180 contestants for the Team Event, 1 score to count from 3. There was a tie on 47, John Ireland (10), Jake Dommett (7) and Tom Keniston (5) losing out on the back 9 to the “team that never was”. At 1.55 Colin Rowland (7) and Jeff Hewett (13) arrived at the Club and found there was a gap in the start sheet at 2.36 - could they play? One short but of course; we’ll find someone they said, and at 2.20 Danny Relph (6) arrived. 4 hours after that Colin holed a 25-footer across the 18th green to achieve 47 points, and a back nine of 24, 1 point more coming home than John, Jake and Tom.    


Which brought us to the last stroke play event of the week, the Florida Scramble. 200 people played in this, which also partially contributed to some slow play. Scramble golf is always slow, we know that, but regrettably there were also a couple of groups in the last quarter of the field who lost ground. The top three scores were all in the 50s gross, 57 being the mark set by Own Williams, Danny Relph, Richard Crook and Mike Crutchley who with 2.1 shots set the leading mark at 54.9. Terry and Mark Giffard with Gary Dubben and Terry Lee (Churston) had a gross 59 for a net 55.8, whilst Nathan Gilpin, Robbie Thompson, Will Farley and Colin Rowland equalled the gross 57 but with only 0.8 deduction came third on 56.2.


Best of the visitors were Howard Smith, Tom Haley, Nigel Connolly, Kevin Smale from Bowood on 57.5 whilst the best alternative (i.e. any combination of genders that isn’t two men and two ladies) was Ben and Pete Ravenwith Kenny MacKenzie of Tavistock and Sue Raven from Bridport. Val Atkinson, Karen Hough, Claire Carey, Rosemary Bailey

Took the Ladies prize on 59.6, whilst Malcolm and Di swift, Mike and Helen Jones won the Mixed prize.


There were some really good things about the week, and some bits that didn’t work very well. We’ll be fully reviewing everything, from entry procedures, the sheer volume of changes to times and personnel during the week (which was, frankly, insane) to the formats and amount of competition being played.


Yet there are other things to report; the Ladies have had another excellent Still Cup win, defeating Saunton 6 ½ matches to a ½ here at Torquay. On the downside the South Devon league side ran into a little local difficulty. With a few of this year’s regulars missing the side was on the wrong end of a whitewash at Churston. We still stand 3rd, Teignmouth having duffed up the Warren 6-1, but with Dainton winning at home to Stover 4-3 we are now 5 ½ points adrift.


Neil Wreford and Graham Hale have come to the end of their wonderful run in the Daily Mail Foursomes losing away at Teignmouth to a very strong pairing of Nick James and Ali Smith. It has been a great effort, with victories against Fingle Glen and Thurlestone as well as away at Dartmouth, not to mention qualifying to represent the Club by winning the Atlantics in the first place.


Palairet golf was back on the agenda as the side played Woodbury Park at Staddon Heights on Sunday. Sadly the result was not what we needed, as the side went down by 4 matches to 1. Both the top two pairs, Robbie Thompson and Nathan Gilpin and Steve and Harry Thorne lost at the last. Tim Aggett and Scott Pym provided some relief with a win at the 17th, but Craig Passmore and Lee Baker lost at the same hole, Will Farley and Andy Eyre one earlier. It would be easy to talk about the shots conceded, and there were lot, but I think we have to be honest and say we didn’t perform well enough on the day.


Keeley Clarke is the new County Champion, plus a memorable SDL win for the guys

By Tim

On 8th May 2017

It has been a great weekend for Torquay golfers and Torquay teams, and it very much starts with the Ladies.

Keeley Clarke is the new Devon County Ladies’ Champion. Having completed the 36-hole qualifying rounds at Tavistock in 4th place with a 5-over par total, in the semi-finals Keeley played +2 handicapper Chloe Howard from Boringdon, who had set a new course record of 68 in the qualifier. Keeley won that game 3/2, pushing her into the Final to face Abi Turner from Okehampton. Keeley played solid, controlled golf and wore Abi down to emerge victorious again at the 16th.

Torquay came close to a double; Vicky Holloway finished 8th in the qualifier and thus into the Lloyd Williams Salver semis. In the semi-final she defeated the home club’s Kayleigh Cann, who had lowered the Tavvy course record to 71 on May Day before Chloe’s round on the Saturday. Vicky won 2/1 to face East Devon’s Emily Morey in the Final. The youngster’s power told in the end though, Vicky losing out at the 17th.

With Fiona Parsons, the Torquay girls also won the team nett prize in the qualifier.

On the Thursday the Still Cup side went to Saunton and recorded a 4-3 away win, a great boost to this year’s campaign in defence of the trophy. On Friday Vicky had been lying second the County Ladies’ Senior Championships on the Friday, before it was called off due to the 40mph winds hammering the Tavistock course and rendering it unplayable.

Sticking with the individual Craig Passmore finished a highly creditable 8th on Saturday in the Director’s Cup at Exeter, a Devon County Men’s Order of Merit event with scores of 71 and 74, missing out on 4th place on countback – there were a lot on 145! Will Farley was 14th on 148. The event was won by the home club’s Jack Pope, with rounds of 70 and 66 for a 2-under total and a 5-shot winning margin.

Meanwhile the Club’s South Devon League side produced the surprise of the second round of matches, as the first team to win a League game at Dainton Park for over 5 years. With Neil Wreford and Andy Eyre winning the top match and 3 ½ points coming out of the last four games from wins for Rob Davey and Oz Williams, Jason Brooks and Keith Thompson, Nathan Gilpin and Robbie Thompson, plus a half for Tim Aggett and Chris Overton, Torquay recorded a memorable 4 ½ to 2 ½ win.

This coming Saturday the side play table topping Teignmouth here at Torquay -  Teignmouth have 12 ½ points from a possible 14 following their first two matches whilst we lie 4th with 8. Should be an interesting game.

What was terrific at Dainton on Saturday was the amount of support for the team. There were more Torquay members than from the home club out watching the games on Saturday. That kind of thing is absolutely priceless, and everyone in the side is immensely grateful to everyone who came along to support.

Moving swiftly back to last weekend and the Gray Cup, many of you will remember we had one excellent score from Ollie Saxton-Jambor who appeared to have a non-competitive handicap. Investigation has made it clear that the information we received from the Central Database of Handicaps about Ollie’s handicap was in fact wrong; he had played sufficient qualifiers in 2016.

As the result of the event has been announced, and so done in good faith based upon the information to hand, it stands as announced at 8pm last Saturday. However, Ollie’s excellent round needs to be acknowledged and recompensed, which we will do. What our local issue appears to have done, moreover, is to reveal a possible problem with the CDH itself on handicaps being transferred between clubs. That matter has been taken through England Golf to CONGU to resolve. We need confidence that the data we receive from the central source is accurate; Ollie’s situation was absolutely not of his own making but we hope some good will come of it with a better system for everyone.

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