Report on Distillers vs Brewers Golf on Tuesday 25th June 2019 at West Hill Golf Club.
The annual match resulted in a handsome win for the Brewers, who retained the trophy for another year. The course was in superb condition with the greens very fast but true and the heather growing strongly. Whether either of these played a part in the result is not certain, but without doubt the Brewers proved too strong in all six games. They are a younger team than we are, and all their pairs combined well to record pars or better at nearly every hole. Formidable play indeed.
Two pairs Graham Franklin & Clive Bairsto who in his new role as our Development Director was making his debut and set the highest standard with his early putting, and Nathan Last & Phil Cavill, managed to take their matches to the last hole, but sadly neither could win the hole to snatch the half. .The other matches were not so close but the Brewers were gracious in their victory.
Both both sides thoroughly enjoyed the day and lunch was a very convivial occasion with everyone looking forward to the next year’s match which will probably take place at West Hill on Tuesday 30th June 2020.
On the positive side the Brewers were turned out in new embroidered polo shirts for which they gave us credit having admired our sartorial elegance on the course for the past few years
Distillers v Vintners 2019
9th April 2019 at the New Zealand Golf Club Woking
Very much like last year, this annual fixture did not enjoy the best of weather with almost constant drizzle throughout the morning.
However, slightly reduced teams of 9 a side did not let the conditions dampen their enthusiasm and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves as much as usual.
The first match out was a single between two of the best golfers in the field and Mike Keiller got an excellent half despite having to give 3 shots to the big hitting Tony Russell. Possibly because of the quality of golf or maybe the inclement weather the 18 holes were completed in under 3 hours.
Terry Barr & Ian Harris then produced some excellent golf to defeat David Robson & Robert Rolls for the Distillers to take a narrow lead.
However that is where the story ended as far as the Distillers were concerned with Tommy Haughton & Keith Garrard narrowly losing to James Davy and Michael Turner. Distillers Past Master Bob Howell, having now deserted to the Vintners, partnered Ralph Manners-Wood to victory over our top pairing of Graham Franklin and Michael Walpole and finally Jon Smith & Bruce Hyde were humbled by the dynamic duo of Sam Dow & James Handford. An excellent lunch accompanied by some excellent wines from the Vintners cellar – what a great way to spend the day.
Distillers v Churston GC 18th September 2019
With the date moved back from its traditional June, to accommodate the Court trip to Armagnac, the carefully chosen magnums of Chateaux Grand Puy Ducasse 2011, and Fombrauge 2015 were able to benefit from a few extra months in bottle. They both drank splendidly at the dinner, as did the locally grown Sharpham white Dart Valley Reserve 2018.
All had not gone to plan in the days ahead of the match with the Weary Ploughman, the local hostellerie of choice for many, closing down whilst new owners took over. Those who had been affected responded brilliantly and all were able to relocate.
Now in its eighth year the morning gathering saw the renewal of many old friendships, and it was much appreciated that 12 Distillers and 4 wives made the long trip to the south west to be greeted by John and Jenny Smith and their colleagues again intent on making us welcome
It was a truly magnificent sunny day.
The Ladies enjoyed a trip on a paddle steamer on the river Dart, with an amusing commentary from the captain, whilst the seven a side match got under way. With the Solheim Cup victory still very much in mind the manager gave great thought to his pairings, and as the first two Distillers’ drives found the heart of the first green had no reason to suppose that all would not be well.
Victory however again proved beyond us with only Mike Campbell and Adam Wallis securing a victory with Allan Westray and guest Fishmonger Mike Brown gaining a half.. We lost 5 1/2 to 1 1/2, and were bettered by the ruthless efficiency of the talented home team to whom hearty congratulations are due.
We again hosted the pre meal drinks reception, before moving to the dining table for a splendid four course meal, imbibing the aforementioned wines, and enjoying a whisky tasting and Q & A tutored by Mike and Kenny.
As ever John Smith is to be thanked for all his efforts to ensure the day was another great success.
Next year the match will be played on Monday 1st June
Distillers v NAS 825 at Long Sutton GC 19th September 2019
It was “the morning after” as we drove back up the A303 for the second of our double header to renew our contest for The Affiliation Trophy with NAS 825 those magnificent men…………….!
The new venue was Long Sutton GC and the format, as previously, was that of aggregating the better ball stableford scores to decide the winning team. Worryingly this, for some, took some time to clarify.
We were the holders of the trophy, having won at West Kent last year by 4 points, courtesy of a “ghost” , and as the scores came in it was apparent the result would be close.
Our leading pair of Geoffrey Bush and Mike Campbell with 45 points were playing against and equalled the leading 825 pairing, and undoubtedly the hole of the day belonged to 825’s Ross Gallagher who got an albatross 3 for 5 points on a 505 yard par 5. They all hit the ball vast distances!
The result: NAS 825 230 points Distillers 229 points
Oh! for all those missed putts!
Post golf we booked into the Wardroom, and enjoyed chips and dips before Kenny conducted a highly informed and amusing three whisky tasting, after which we were hosted to an informal supper and repaired to the bar, but not for long, as the pace began to tell and bed beckoned.
A thoroughly well organised day thanks to the help of Distillers Liaison officer, Ewan Lacey, was enjoyed by all
Next year the match will be played at Beaconsfield GC on Wednesday 23rd September
The following participated in the two days:- M/s Bush, Campbell, Franklin, Garrard, Howell, Hyde, Keiller, MacKay, Nadin, Rishworth, Smith, Strachan, Wallis, Walpole, Westray. Lacey.