Match Reports

Icicle Golf Day 2018

Beaconsfield GC was, for the first time, the venue for this years Icicle Invitation Golf Day, where apart from team and individual competitions the Budge Brooks Shield was competed for, for the second time in 2018, reflecting a change that will  allow a greater number of geographically located  Liverymen to compete for it in future.
A feature of this very stylish club is that one can walk straight from the Sear Green railway station platform into the clubhouse car park, and ever one for a challenge Ian Harris, with golf bag, kitbag, and umbrella took to bus, train, tube and train again, to arrive in good time whilst others struggled with the inevitable traffic. How he was received during the rush hour by commuters is not on record!
We welcomed Chris Searle, making a first appearance at the Icicles, and Rupert Bull, returning to our golfing scene after a year of ill health, as well as our five guests who contributed to the splendid ambiance of the day.
A damp, cold, foggy morning gave way to heavy rain as teams approached halfway but in the best tradition of Distillers individual and team spirits were far from deflated.
The following are to be congratulated on their performances
Budge Brooks Shield  
Winner          Mike Walpole (H’cap 20)                         37  points
Runner up    Mike Keiller       (8)                                   32
Third              Ian Harris          (19)                                 31
Guests                           1st                 Alex Merritt                                              36
                                       2nd                Glen Macfarlane                                      29
                                       3rd                Chris Vane                                                 28
Team prizes
1st               M/s Searle, Walpole, Merritt, Gilmer                80
Best two of four
2nd              M/s Campbell, Howell, Macfarlane and Vane    77
No yellow ball!

Mike Walpole expressed thanks to all for participating and thanked Graham for his sterling work in so many directions to ensure the continued growth, success and enjoyment of The Golf Society.
President Keith Garrard presented Benevolent CEO Chris Porter with a cheque for £280 from The Golf Society.
Competing Distillers: M/s Campbel, Howell, Walpole, Searle, Franklin, Keiller, Porter, Harris, Espey, Westray and Bull. Non Player Garrard

Affiliation Trophy 2018
Our fourth annual fixture with 825 NAS took place this year at West Kent Golf Club, and happily we got our hands on the Affiliation Trophy for the first time, but only just.
Preparations had not  gone entirely to plan, with a number of players calling in sick after too vigorous a training programme, which was blamed on the over enthusiastic manager seeking to make his team the fittest in the world. There were also problems with other team members failing to adhere to the agreed team  policies on not drinking alcohol in the days before a match and not observing curfew hours, thus rendering themselves unavailable for selection, whilst others got dates confused.
So it was an untried team that took to the course, with club caps were awarded to our West Kent guests appearing for the first time.
As  before, the match was to be decided  by total better ball  stableford points, and as the scores came in it was clear it would be a close finish. It was only when the Ghosts’ scores (answers on a postcard!) were introduced to those of our two singleton players that we edged ahead to win by 198 points to 194.
Post golf we repaired to the dining room where the manager conducted a four wine tasting tutorial, before all enjoyed a very jolly supper with us hosting the wine.
Next year the fixture will be on Thursday 19th September at Lyme Regis GC, after which we will be entertained overnight in the Wardroom at Yeovilton.
The previous day, Wednesday 18th we will be playing Churston, so a double header awaits for those with sufficient stamina!
Royal Burgess 2018
Following the Scottish Livery Dinner in Edinburgh various members of the golf section, guests and members of our affiliate 603 Squadron gathered at the Royal Burgess Club. The weather was of an Autumnal nature, ie dry, dreich and a little rain….The form was a four ball stableford off full handicap and the winners were;
Graham Findlay (603) 35 points
Fergus Hartley (guest) 33 – after a count back 18 to 16 back nine.
Graham Franklin 33
Kenny MacKay 32
David Moore 30
Andrew Godfrey (guest) 27
Paul Greenwood (603) 27
Jason Robson (603) 26
Michael Urquhart 26.

Thanks to Morrison & MacKay for bottles of Bruadar and Sloe Gin and the Livery for umbrellas and golf balls.

The cards of Messrs Morrison, Douglas Findlay Shirras, Forsyth and Neils Hendriks were sadly lost when the buggy was taken away by the Professional shop….

The result of the match between the Distillers and the 603 Squadron resulted in a victory for the Distillers with 114 points to 93.

Jerry Riley (603) graciously presented the trophy to our Secretary Graham Franklin

Grateful thanks were expressed by Liveryman to the late Don Gregory for his kind contribution to the days golf.

Budge Brooks Shield 2018
Our annual day at West Kent saw golfers again competing for the Budge Brooks Shield, which was first contested in 1981.

Despite injuries and illness reducing the field, competition was healthy, with the first four scores all within a point of each other.

The worthy winner, after a count back, with 33 points was Bob Howell, with last year’s champion Mike Walpole in second place and Nick Strachen, third, a point behind.
Bob is to be doubly congratulated, as this was his fourth victory in the competition going back to 2004, now more than anybody else, with Graham Franklin and Clive Parry in his wake with three each.
The abandonment of the yellow ball gained much favour, and the forgiving team format with two scores counting was much enjoyed.
A toast to the memory of Don Gregory was drunk on the sun drenched terrace, where he enjoyed many happy hours, and where he was determined Distillers’ golfers would continue to enjoy themselves through the generosity of his legacy.
There are rarely complaints at Distillers Golf days, but the Presidential ball spotter was severely criticised for failing to live up to the highest of standards set by PM Raines in recent years, who regularly emerged from his various sorties into the bushes and undergrowth with pockets full of balls.
Discussion over lunch showed unanimous agreement for continuing the competition at West Kent in future and next year’s date was fixed for Friday 21st June.
A good day was had by all.

WCoD v Churston Golf Club  Lost 2-4

This year “Devon, glorious Devon” more than surpassed expectations, and, for many, shorts and sun drenched knees were the order of the day.

Our sartorial elegance goes from strength to strength and yet again we were the better turned out team and the envy of our opponents

In best Ryder cup tradition the  two managers had given great thought to their pairings, and some very good golf resulted in the matches being finely contested and littered with birdies. We went down 2-4, reflecting well on the competitive recovery skills of our hosts, but as we were “up” in all the matches early on it was suggested that it might be better in future if we play nine hole matches!

The tested format of the evening saw us again enjoying a four course meal, drinking classified growths in magnums, and being tutored by Mike Keiller as we tasted  Monkeys Shoulder Blended Malt and  and Highland Park 12 yo, and such was the interest that Mike declared it  the longest and most informed Q & A session he had ever experienced outside of trade events

John Smith proposed the health of the Distillers, several times. Charles Minoprio responded with reference to Pliny the Elder, ( AD 23-79) and the merriment of the evening was further enhanced by sundry party piece recitals.

As ever a good time was had by all and we are indebted to John Smith and his fellow members for making us so very welcome.

Guest Golf Day at Honiton

Mike Walpole again lead home the small yet distinguished field with a splendid 38 points off his 21 handicap leaving the runners up, Bob Howell and Allan Westray well in his wake. Revision can’t be far away!

Our Lady guests devised their own playing  system, for the sake of enjoyment agreeing to see how many stableford points they could accumulate with the best two scores to count and with 68 points they declared themselves the winners

Next Year – 2019

In 2019 we will return to play Churston on Wednesday 18 September, dovetailing with our match against NAS 825 at Yeovilton the following day Thursday 19.

WCoD v Vintners Company Annual Golf Match – New Zealand Golf Club

Considering the appalling weather all golfers had to endure in the weeks prior to our annual match with the Vintners we were very lucky to have been able to play 18 holes without rain although the amount of water lying on the course it would have been closed by most clubs.

However after coffee and bacon rolls 10 good men and true of each Livery Company gathered on the tee at 9.00am to do battle.

The first match Michael Campbell and James Espey v. Robert Howell (yes OUR Past Master) and his partner David Mabey went to the 17th where they went down 2 & 1

Thankfully our 2nd pair of Mike Keiller and John Smith triumphed but that after what can only be described as a comedy of errors. 4 down after 4 they pulled it back to all square after 8 with 4 of those holes having been won by default for having played the wrong ball! Poor Robert Rolls, the Vintners Captain, Immediate Past Master and member of NZGC must have been totally baffled when he and his partner Tim Begg found themselves on the end of a 4&2 hiding!

The other 3 games were much tighter with the ever reliable duo of Chris Porter and Michael Walpole beating the mighty James Simpson and the doughty Sam Dow and Nick Strachan and Bruce Hyde – who I am told played superbly – managed to overcome the very good pairing of Simon Leschallas (another PM Distiller) and Michael Hasslacher.

Finally Captain Terry Barr and new and most welcome recruit, Tommy Haughton enjoyed a real ding dong battle against Michael Turner and Ed Lines, losing to the last putt on the 18th green.

All in all a very satisfactory day on the ‘links’, a 3-2 victory over the Auld Enemy followed by a most excellent lunch to accompany some superb wines and great company. Who could ask for more and who could possibly call golf boring?

The day was also memorable as it saw the unveiling of our new flag that had been purchased with money from the legacy of Don Gregory, whose generosity will be appreciated by all golfers this year as their food and drink at matches and golf days will be subsidised, Don having specifically stated in his will that he wanted golfers to enjoy themselves. We will certainly do our best!

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