In September 2011 a touring side of young, keen, excited golfers visited the little gem that is Burnham & Berrow GC. We came, we saw, and were conquered, in a heavy loss to the dominant Burnham team of wise old competitors. We won just a meagre few points.
It was though a foully good time shown to us by our hosts; a fantastic group of gents, golfers and drinkers, who seemed to have exactly the same attitude as us to such weekends, only they had some 30 years extra experience of doing them! We were well beaten but a repeat fixture at Royal Cinque Ports was agreed (as all such things should be) over a wine fuelled lunch.
So forward seven months to a surprisingly sunny Saturday morning in Deal. The same two groups, with minor personnel changes, stood upstairs in Cinque Ports clubhouse ready to once again do battle and then drink to whatever the outcome! Now, they say in life and sport that it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up, and the short story to follow is all about the latter.
Mason Junior’s Deal Young Bucks was littered with Wedge experience, though admittedly most were Deal members so this didn’t necessarily mean any real success in this format! Mason Senior had assembled many of those who had help host previous touring sides at Burnham who had rather more positive memories of historic results.
So as is normal practice, match by match, the morning went like this:
Match 1 – Mason of Halford Hewitt foursomes winning form led out with the more successful of the Wedge Captains, Waud. Taking on the banter pairing of David Harries and Stuart “Player” Taylor! Some good golf all round but it ended in DYB drawing first blood.
Match 2 – The weekend’s birthday boy Duncan grabbed a different assistant pro to play with this time, as Andy stepped up! Paired against a strong Burnham combo of their Captain T. Mason and Stuart Cook. Fortunately for DYB, Duncan can also be groomed positively and he and Andy put on a class (performance of the day) show and shook hands before the Chequers!
Match 3 – The recent Brassey finalist Tom “Country Mouse” Biggs partnered the always variable Alex Cork. Trying to play against the distraction of the English cynic and the Irish fog horn (Linscott & McCarthy)! One DYB player retained form and the other found it; 3-0!
Match 4 – Normally home team mentioned first, but… up steps Shagger! Not yet partnered by a not so sweet something he was to later hunt for in Deal, but for now, partnered by Alan “Smiling” Hughes! Taking on Graham Fewster (already 3 bloody Marys down) and Jamie Cook. It went down 18 but in the end Shagger was firing blanks, as Deal edged it.
It was time to sink a few pints in the clubhouse and reflect on what had been an afternoon of redemption for the Deal Young Bucks. After a social loop of foursomes scramble we were at the business end of the day, many joined to help celebrate Duncan getting another year older but no wiser. The evening then set to the classic Deal night out formula: drinks, food, drink, childish but always enjoyable drinking games, kummel, Kings Head… Rivals!
Now I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfilment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out on the golf course and lies exhausted on the floor of Rivals – victorious.
This tried and tested method of preparation was to benefit DYB come an incredibly hungover Sunday morning. Having lost a few very good men from the Saturday we recruited the most glamorous & successful Hedge, and another good Duncs. The outcome was amazingly similar, special mention to a dramatic finish on the 18th from Sue and Waud ensuring the weekend finished with a Royal whitewash of 8 -0!
Thanks to all involved for a quite brilliant weekend.