Good Evans! Matt wins opening medal of 2018 at East Devon

PUBLISHED: 12:39 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:39 11 January 2018

Golf club and ball

Golf club and ball

Archant

The first medal of 2018 was played at East Devon on Saturday, writes Paul Willoughby.

You remember this format, where every shot counts - bunkers, bushes and snowdrifts notwithstanding.

Golf is played by all sorts of people and in all sorts of conditions and at East Devon we either have a thoroughly brave and hardy crowd or a bunch of loonies – after all, who would volunteer to play in windy, cold conditions when they could be at home doing the washing up or taking your wife to Exeter to change the articles she bought the day before because they don’t fit? I know what I’d rather be doing!

However, not all people who play winter golf are loonies; that very brave man, Capt Robert Scott RN, he of Antarctic fame, took golf clubs with him to the South Pole only to lose all his balls on the first day – something to do with the similarity in colour between his ball and the surroundings!

But winter golf is more of a challenge than an enjoyment; you are bundled up in warm clothing that restricts your swing, your ball doesn’t travel half the distance it would in summer conditions, your handkerchief is in an inside pocket and your nose is running after that Christmas cold.

Come on; where’s the enjoyment in that? Well, the enjoyment is getting out of going to Exeter and the washing up and the feeling of euphoria (nah! That’s a bit strong – perhaps a sense of achievement might be better) when you complete the 18th and can go into the clubhouse for a pint and some warmth.

Well, where did Christmas go? One minute it was a dark cloud on the horizon (sounds like a ‘Bah Humbug’ comment to me – thank you, Scrooge!) but now the days are getting longer and we can think of golf in short trousers and white socks and driving the ball prodigious distances. Those were clearly the thoughts of the leaders in the divisions.

Remember the yardstick; par for the course is 70, so anyone who plays to a figure less than that is doing well.

Anyone who doesn’t knows he can come back next week and have another go!

Division 1: 1, Matt Evans, net 67 from a handicap of 6 now 5. Well done, Matt; really good play; 2, Russ Corney, 68 (6 now 5); 3, Mark Dunsford, 69 (9); 4, Will Hendry, 70 (9 now 8).

Division 2: 1, Kevin Jennings, net 65 (10 now 9); 2, Geoff Millardship, 72 (12); 3, David Standley, 73 (12); 4, Mark Anderson, 74 (12).

Division 3: Martyn Hailstone, 71 (14 now 13); 2, Thomas Peters, 74 (19); 3, Julian Reynolds, 74 (15); 4, Kelly Hughes, 77 (19).

From the eighty-nine players, there were eleven twos, sharing a pot of £174. Kevin Jennings had two of them on the fourth and the 13th – very well done, handicap reduction well deserved.

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