That “The Spirit of Churston” has survived the problems of past years was readily apparent from the frisson of anticipation, mid morning on Monday 24th May, when golfers from both teams met up again in the Churston clubhouse for coffee and bacon rolls. It certainly did not seem that it was eighteen months since our last match, such was the spontaneous pleasure of renewed encounters emanating from all sides.
Despite the possibilities of ever changing national guidelines interfering with plans, it had been decided to go ahead with the fixture and it was so very pleasing that the enthusiasm of our Distillers’ golfers enabled us to raise a full team despite untimely medical matters ruling out stalwarts Graham Franklin and Bruce Hyde, who happily have both vowed they will be back on board next year. Their absence enabled us to welcome three new comers in Bryan Burrough, Ronnie Cox, and James Espey, who were all to contribute substantially to the character and success of the day…
It was James in fact who made an impression with his diligence in researching his correct handicap, to his teams advantage, on a strange course, first from off the yellow tees, and further when he learnt we were off the whites, which it turned out were in front of the yellows!
Bryan, whose enthusiasm for golf is only matched by his increasing competence, had taken himself for a round with his son at St Andrews in preparation for our match, whilst Ronnie had been forced to forego his international travelling but had enjoyed seeing flowers in his garden he had not witnessed for over thirty years.
Our leading pairs of Mike Campbell and James Espey, won 3 & 2, and Bob Howell and Bryan Burrough, won 4 & 2, got us off to the very best of starts, and the manager was congratulating himself on his pairings, but as ever Churston were not to be outdone.
Ronnie Cox and Charles Minoprio did well to take their three handicap opponent to the 17th, whilst the ever combative Mike Walpole with Bob Rishworth shook hands on the 16th. Adam Wallis with our annual guest Mike Brown also reached the 17th green whilst Keith Garrard and Allan Westray were thwarted by their waltzing opponents’ three ball winning their game with a par on the final hole.
So good matches all as we lost 2 – 4
After an enjoyable all seated drinks reception the traditional “boxing ring” dinner table was replaced by tables of six, and nothing was lost as a result, the splendid meal being complimented by magnums of St Emilion and Cotes du Rhone.
Ronnie Cox provided the highlight of the evening with an amusing whisky tasting tutorial, in which he shared with us a lifetime of experience of the Distilleries of Scotland and markets of the world.
Toasts were drunk all round. John Smith was thanked for all his efforts to ensure the success of the day, and Monday 23rd May was confirmed as next years date.
Ladies have fun
Whilst their menfolk were involved in the above their Ladies were entertained by Jenny Smith and Jane Baldock at Cockington Court followed by cream teas and a fish supper at a Brixham restaurant
A very good time was had by all!
Keith Garrard June 2021