Golf Society 2017

The Golf Society Visit to Wells Golf Club on April 28th 2017

With the extremes of climate in April, the forecast for the day of our visit was carefully watched throughout the few weeks before the event. Whilst there was a cool breeze on the day, there was no rain and even occasional bouts of sunshine, which greatly pleased the eight members who had turned out for the game.

Following the traditional infusion of coffee and bacon butties, we teed off in two four balls at 11:00 am. The first team off comprised of Nigel Coombs, John Hargraves, Roger Ashton and Bob Taylor, were followed by Anne Taylor, Jerry Croome, Roger Edwards and Barry Coombs.

Wells GC is a beautiful course in a lovely valley, close to the city centre, with views of the Mendips all round. The first tee looks down a narrow fairway with out of bounds on the left and mature trees on the right, so a good drive is essential to score well. The second half of the fairway goes steeply up to a sloping green. All came in with creditable scores on this hole but it was a different story on the second where thick clumps of trees on the left, a sloping fairway on the right with bunkers and a steeply sloping green with the flag at the top, gave us some problems. From the first tee to the 11th the ground slopes away either to the right or the left making accurate shot placing essential. The last six holes at the bottom of the valley are much flatter but defended by both streams and some large bunkers, so it is a great test of golf. The tenth hole is a picture, 166 yards steeply downhill from an elevated tee with a steep bank on the right and an impenetrable wood on the left. You have to hit the green or the near fringe to have any hope of scoring.

We all enjoyed our round and we stayed dry which was a bonus because the forecast did say that we might get rain towards the end. Back in the club, scores were counted and prizes given for the first three places. Roger Edwards came in first with 36 points. Jerry Croome was second with 34 points, Anne Taylor and Roger Ashton were joint third with 32 points each. It was a hugely enjoyable round and all our thanks go to Nigel who set it all up and to the green staff who had kept the course in such good condition throughout the long dry spell this winter.

Barry Coombs

Wednesday 29th March Chipping Sodbury

This could have turned out to be a disaster for several reasons but eventually had a happy ending. Firstly, after a week of glorious sunshine, the weather turned on the eve of the event and there were several hard showers. By next morning, the sky was still heavy and overcast but no showers. Next came the sickness and injury list. Barry had already cried off because of damage to his collar bone after a fall but Jerry Croome also had to drop out because of back trouble. John Lloyd succumbed to a nasty sickness bug as did Anne Taylor which ruled out Bob Taylor as he had to be on hand to take her to the surgery if need be. Mike Cole was contacted and told not to come because of the small numbers.

Nigel Coombs had already left home and could not be contacted because, unbeknown to him, his mobile was out of charge which meant that he would be driving to the course from Wells, an hour and a half’s drive only to find no-one there. Luckily Roger Edwards, in the true spirit of an OE’s Fairy Godmother drove down to Chipping Sodbury so that Nigel would at least have a game after the long drive. The following report is verbatim from Nigel and Roger.

The QEHOBS Golf Season got away to a great start at Chipping Sodbury on Wednesday 29 March. The weather was cloudy and overcast with a short shower towards the end of the round but that did not inhibit those who braved the elements from playing great golf.

The expected turnout on Tuesday was good but due to some unfortunate illnesses the actual turnout was slightly depleted. In fact only Roger Edwards and Nigel Coombs played a closely fought match.

The 172 yard par 3 12th where Roger Edwards achieved the first hole in one ever in an Old Boys’ Golf Society competition.
Both ended with 43 points but Nigel won on back nine countback with 23 points, this despite Roger’s hole in one on the tricky par 3 at the twelth. Roger was delighted there was only one to buy a drink for.

It is possible the destination of the Presidents Putter will be decided at Wells in April if Roger and Nigel consolidate their position with an average performance particularly if yet again nobody else turns up!

Congratulations to Roger Edwards for achieving the first and only Hole in One at an Old Boys Society event. It was a splendid achievement.

Thank you, Roger and Nigel for turning out when all others had fallen by the wayside and for upholding the QEHOBS Golf Society motto – Dum tempus Habemus Operemur XVIII Caula!

Barry Coombs April 1st 2017!!!

Come and join us

Any Old Boy, former Red Maid or Redland High School Old Girl is welcome to join us in 2017 with their partner or a guest.
We try and meet once a month throughout the summer, visiting different courses around the West Country. It is social golf so anyone of any ability is welcome.
Just contact Barry Coombs 01453 822546 or email or check on the website for fixture news.
Barry Coombs

Golf in the Outback

From our own correspondent – Barry Coombs
I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Australia during December and January. What a nice surprise to find that the days were long and sunny after so many drizzly days in the UK. Being a fair weather golfer, it was a wonderful opportunity to get in a few rounds, once I was allowed out, of course. Western Australia is a very special part of the world and is home to some of the most amazing natural features, reefs and marine life. It has many beautiful parkland and coastal golf courses but it also has a kind of golf course that you won’t see in many other parts of the world. These are to be found in the outback or slightly off the beaten track. They are mainly fun courses for the local population and often have no club houses, just a post with an honesty box where for $5 or $10, you can play a round. We did not take our clubs with us on the flight so had to rent them at each location. This is no problem in Australia where you experience great kindness and trust especially in the outback clubs.

Cervantes is a small coastal town some 200 kilometres north of Perth, the nearest town to the Pinnacles. It is known as the crayfish capital of Australia. The fishing boats here come in laden with crayfish and for a splendid meal you can do no better than visit the sports and social club which happened to be directly opposite our hotel. Close by is the lane leading to the golf course. I had arranged to play here via the sports club and was told that they would leave some clubs for me at the first tee. There would be no charge as they belonged to a member who was happy for me to use them. Sure enough they were there and luckily were not left handers. It is hard for an English golfer to imagine a course such as this one, without having some prior experience. The days are extremely hot at the time we travelled, sometimes well over 30C. With very little rainfall in the dry season and no course irrigation system, the grass just dies away and you are left with fairways of sand. It is like playing golf on a beach.

The tees and greens are made firmer by mixing the sand with diesel oil and rolling them until they are solid. It is easy enough teeing off but reading the greens was a nightmare. Playing off soft sand on the fairways is an art which I could not acquire so I played winter rules and teed up every shot.

To add to the wonder of this course, there were kangaroos on every fairway, some waiting and watching from under the trees and some hopping along beside you. I had a strong suspicion that these might be laughing at me. To add to the entertainment we were joined by a couple of emus and flocks of lorikeets, beautiful parrot like birds with glorious technicolour plumage. There was no way that one could play golf seriously and it dawned on me that was why there were no Cervantes residents taking part at this time of year.

So we relaxed and in that way enjoyed a very pleasant walk, or rather trudge, through the sand marvelling in the fact that we had the opportunity to enjoy such delightful surroundings. It was surreal and all that seemed to be missing were Bambi and a swoop of bluebirds. It was the strangest experience that I am ever likely to encounter on the golf course but one that I would not have missed for the world.
Barry Coombs