2021 Match Reports

The Affiliation Trophy 2021

Kenny McKay putting out watched by Bob Howell. Opposed by John and Buzz of 825

The annual fixture was played for the first time at Beaconsfield GC, and with 259 points to the 239 of 825 Squadron the trophy was presented by IPM Kenny to acting captain Mike Campbell.

The day began with both teams assembling in the club house for the traditional bacon rolls, with pairings having to be revisited due to overnight drop outs in the 825 squad which resulted in their best player playing a singleton against Tommy Haughton and our guest Chris Vane.

Their match was first out, and the golf was of the highest standard. The format was better ball stableford, with aggregate team points going to decide the winner, and Tommy and Chris dovetailed perfectly to post 46 points against their singleton 5 handicapper’s 37, which was adjusted upwards to 43 to recognise his disadvantage of playing alone.

The standard had been set and with everybody pulling their weight and responding to a course in immaculate conditions on a brilliant autumn day, the following impressive scores were recorded:

Haughton and Vane (guest)48 points
Campbell and Burrough46 points
Hyde and Westray41 points
Harris and Macfarlane (guest)39 points
Franklin and Wallis41 points
Howell and Mackay44 points

Well done to all as we have never before posted such scores.

825 Squadron were a much younger team who hit the ball forever, though it was suggested that hopefully their navigation was more accurate in their helicopters than when trying to locate fairways and greens! They were the most personable of opposition, with one of their young braves, Buzz Burrows, scoring a 5 pointer on the 460 yard tenth hole, but Bob and Kenny persevered and won their match by a single point.

Post golf a jolly couple of hours were spent in the comfortable Beaconsfield dining room, where 825 were our guests, and where Kenny proposed an amusing toast to the Squadron.

We look forward to defending then Trophy at Yeovilton next year.

Keith Garrard

Kenny McKay and Michael Campbell with the trophy

Distillers v Coopers – 25th August 2021

The Distillers’ Team

We were greeted by a warm sunny day at Hever GC, and in spite of the road closures in the country lanes leading through Kent, the team of 7 Distillers arrived in plenty of time for the customary bacon roll and coffee before preparing to do battle with the Coopers.

The 2020 match had been one of the only Distillers’ matches to be played during the pandemic, and we were determined to hang onto the trophy which we had only lost once before, in 2017 – the last two matches having been halved.

Geoffrey Bush volunteered (no pressure from Captain Ian Harris) to be our singleton in a 2-ball, and he led us off at 11am (photo attached, and apologies for those who didn’t get into the photo), playing against a member of the Coopers who we know from experience is a very competitive opponent. In spite of his best efforts, Geoffrey never managed to close the two hole gap which opened up early on, and lost 3&2.

Our first four-ball, Harris and Espey, were beaten into submission by the Cooper’s captain Adrian and his partner Richard, who ‘dove-tailed’ perfectly, only dropping 2 shots to gross par in the first 9 holes, and in spite of notching up three good pars in the middle of the their round, the former Seagram combo waved the white flag as yet another of the Coopers’ long putts dropped on the 14th – a 5&4 loss.

Next up were Paul Varney and Graham Franklin, the Hon Sec making a welcome return to competitive golf after being ‘off-games’ for several weeks. Good to see you back Graham (particularly as you brought the bank debit card with you), but unfortunately he and Paul were unable to make headway, losing 4&3 against determined opposition.

As we came into the clubhouse for a very late lunch, having negotiated a 6,500 yard course (which included a 620 yard par five 17th and five par 4s in excess of 400 yards) it was clear that the Trophy was slipping out of our hands, but thankfully our final pair of Brian Burrough and Chris Porter avoided a white-wash, notching up an impressive victory by 6&5.

Travelling reserve and cheer-leader – our President Keith Garrard – did a fine job spotting any wayward drives, and it was appropriate that the Hon Sec took the opportunity to present Keith with the trophy for being runner-up in the 2019 knock-out (yes, this was the first opportunity in nearly two years!)

So after a delicious lunch, all that was left was for Ian to graciously hand over the Cask Challenge trophy and to thank his oppo Adrian for making all the arrangements for what had been a most enjoyable day.

The Cask Challenge Trophy presentation
The belated presentation of the 2019 Knock Out Runner Up prize

Distillers v Brewers at West Hill – 22nd June 2021

18th Hole, West Hill Golf Club
18th Hole, West Hill Golf Club ©Kevin Murray/West Hill GC

The course was in superb condition having been prepared for a major club championship which was cancelled due to the weather on the preceding Friday. Similarly the expected Freedom Day on the Monday had also been postponed which meant many of the rules were still in place. However this didn’t spoil the day or do much to change our normal behaviour.

The matches, as always, were played in excellent spirits with several close matches.

The Distillers’ first pair of Tommy Haughton and Phil Cavill played magnificently to record a good win. Led by 8 handicapper, Tommy, who reached the Par 5s in two strokes, putting for an eagle on each and achieving birdies on both, they were in front from the first and held on to win well.

The second pair of Chris Porter and Barry Campbell narrowly lost after levelling the match at the 17th but losing the final hole.

Michael Campbell & Ronnie Cox were outplayed by opposing captain Nic Armitage & partner Nick Miller who played very well to win convincingly.

Sadly the fourth and five pairs of John Smith & Nick Strachan and Ian Harris & James Espey both narrowly lost with John & Nick losing on the 18th green as the Brewers team upped their game over the final few holes.

The final pair of Mike Keiller and Neil Stevenson won on the final hole where Neil holed a difficult 8 foot putt for a half to win 1up.

So a final result of 4-2 for The Brewers but a close and hard fought victory to retain the trophy. As always a thoroughly enjoyable match, followed by an excellent lunch, albeit at tables of four for we all hope the last time before we can get back to normal life.

The Distillers’ GC Team