Handicap League Finals Day

2016 Handicap League Finals day

Dawn rose at Weston Park this last Sunday and there watching the sun come up and getting ready for the days battle ahead and totally oblivious of what drama the day would bring were the boys from Barnham.

After a rushed/hectic half an hour sorting the order of play between Heacham Manor, Sprowston Manor and Costessey Park, getting the paperwork and handicaps sorted, the first group were finally ready and eager to tee off just after 7.30am on what was to prove one of the most exciting and emotional days of golf in Team Barnham’s History !!

After a good promising start the team :- Andrew Fish & Jamie Black – Tony Lynne & Harry Bradfield – Harry Severn & James Tinsey – Andy Stebbings & Stuart Black were UP in 3 matches and DOWN in 1 at the halfway stage. By the 15th Team Barnham were UP in 2 DOWN in 2. Word was rushed down to the 16th Tee to tell the boys who were by this time 1 Down that a half would be enough to get BB through to the final !! Black’s tee shot took a wicked deflection off a tree effectively taking him out of contention on the hole but step up Mr Stebbing’s who just lips out for a birdie and a win to go all square !!

Drama on the17th as Costessey had a stroke. Their Captain somehow managed to find the only staked tree on the hole and get relief. He made a complete farce of his interpretation of the rules and was quite rightly corrected and maybe should have had to concede the hole, but never the less Costessey won the hole taking it to a play off !! After a quick think by the skipper and consulting with the team Harry Severn & James Tinsey tee’d it up again on the 1st hole. With James guaranteeing the half Harry had a 4 footer with probably 100 anxious people watching for the win ….  in it went … and to the relief of everyone Team Barnham were in the final, justice was served.

A light lunch for some, whilst the skipper had sort his paperwork out again and had to make a couple of forced changes for the afternoon. Aaron Tillet was drafted in to replace Stebbs due to injury and John Gould for Tony Lynne. It must be stated that these two players could have continued but recognised that the team were likely to be better off with the change. This was a selfless act and proves just how good a team ethic team BB have.

Team BB emerged from lunch break on the back foot as by the 4th hole we were Down in 3 and Up in 1. The 9th saw Harry Bradfield drop a 20 footer in for a birdie which was only good enough for a half !! Sprowston were getting under our skin a little !! By the 13th and into the last 5 hole run in ( The Witching Hour ) Team Barnham were Down in 3 and Up in 1. A fight back was needed and that by god that’s what the skipper got !! James Tinsey lipping out on 13th for a birdie to get back to level their match, Stu and Aaron having a right old ding dong thru 11 – 13 with some of the best putting I have seen this year on very awkward difficult to read greens reminding Sprowston they had their hands full. BB were getting right into their opponents face. It was all happening everywhere, Team Barnham had the bit between their teeth.


On to the 17th, Mr Fish and Jamie Black who were 1 down had Sprowston on the ropes after coming back from 3 down. Jamie smashed his second to 4 or 5 feet but sadly his birdie putt lipped out, unbelievable tension evident in the following gallery. A half was all a very relieved Sprowston needed. It was an epic fight back from our boys, simply stunning !! The skipper needn’t have worried as the following supporters watched John Gould and Harry Bradfield go down 17, the latter hitting to within 3 feet and with John’s shot meant BB romped home winning 2 up. The match now poised at 1- 1.

Harry & James despite some quite brilliant golf at times just fell short after chasing their match from the start, their opponents getting more of their fair share of luck it has to be said along the way. Both players were visibly disappointed until someone reminded them of their heroics in the mornings play off.  Team BB were 2 -1 down !!  Aaron & Stu found themselves 1 up on 17 knowing a win was the only thing that BB craved and this time Mr Black had a shot !! Aaron found himself blocked out after his tee shot, his second shot a 4 Iron draw to within 5 feet under pressure was simply stunning and if that wasn’t enough Stu Black stuck his 2nd inside his partners winning the match 2 up, the skipper nearly reduced to tears of Joy !!

More consulting re the next play off ensued whilst ferrying players and supporters from the 17th back to the first tee. Time and light were running out as the County Officials pushed everyone along. Stu Black and Aaron Tillet bravely stepped up for Team Barnham. In the end Costessey were worthy winners on the 1st playoff hole with both BB boys under pressure after their second shots landed just short of the green and in the greenside bunker. Costessey had a shot and in the end had two putts for the win. The day was emotional for everyone playing and non playing and will go down as one of those lifetime moments for me, I cannot have ever imagined after agreeing to another year how much I would have enjoyed being with these guys. Yes you lost and yes my eyes were watery driving home but it was through pride not disappointment. The medal you now own I hope will be reminder of what you all achieved for each other and club.

Thanks to all 22 players who took part this season I salute you all and to Roger Human for giving me this opportunity. One last mention has to go to the following supporters who for me helped make it such a special day and year – Mel Black, Rachel & Mark Bradfield, Roger Garwood & Gary Lutkin who despite being ill stayed all day at the finals to support the team.


Until next year …………………




Men – September Stableford

The penultimate monthly stableford of this year’s RTB Order of Merit saw 85 competitors do battle over the Hill Course to cement or boost their current positions. Whilst, a $10M bonus is not on offer (as in the FedEx) there are some significant prizes to be won.

In Division 1 the top three spots were taken by players with fine scores of 38 points apiece. Consequently, count back was again brought in to determine the final placings:

3rd place – Jack Davies

2nd place – David Field

1st place – Keith Parker – well done Keith!

Over in Division 2, 38 points was again a popular score for the runner-up and third positions with Duncan MacIver edging it on count back from Rob Young. Out in front though with an excellent score of 41 points was Lloyd Douglas who wins the Division and the overall Stableford. Congratulations Lloyd!

Next up is the October Stableford this Sunday.

REMINDER re Winter Pairs and Singles – closing date for entries and entrance monies is 18.00 on the 30/9/2016. If entrance monies have not ben paid by this date entries will not go forward to the draw(s).

Stan Dixon Memorial Plate

This annual pairs competition  for the Stan Dixon Memorial Plate was played on Wednesday 14th September 2016 on the Hill Course involving the Senior Section. A total of 32 players took part in blisteringly hot sunshine and the good conditions reflected some really high scores. The winners were John Farrow and Chris Bullimore  with 49 Stableford points and were presented with the trophy afterwards by Roger Human.stan-dixon-plate

September Medal

With the Road to Barnham Order of Merit coming to a conclusion in October there were plenty of points on offer to move up the leaderboard or consolidate that position in this month’s medal.

In Division 1, net 71 was a popular score for third place with Des Adams and Geoff Hardy being the unlucky competitors pushed out on count back. Adrian Stimpson (78-7-71), who had the joint lowest gross score on the day,  took third place with Ollie Underhill-Smith with another 71 (81-10) securing the runner up spot. Out in front with a fine net 70 (83-13) was that seasoned campaigner Dennis Walsh – congratulations !

In Division 2 it was a different story with the top 3 putting some distance between themselves and the rest of the field. In third spot was Lee Devlin (86-15-71) with Chris Thorman bagging another podium finish with a net 70 (90-20). Winning the Division and the Overall Medal with an excellent net 69 (84-15) was David Wilson.

Well played David.

Next on the calendar is the Texas Scramble on the 17th so if you fancy some fun in a 4 man team event pop your names down on the start sheet  – there are still a few places left.




WH Brown Club Championship

The Club Championship came to a dramatic conclusion yesterday over the Valley Course in some very testing wet conditions.

The journey to the final started in the July Medal when the lowest 8 gross scores went through to the knockout stages which were played off scratch. These were played over the 2 months and resulted in Mark Leeds (5) taking on Adam Sims (1) in the final.

Adam recently won the 36 Hole Championship and was looking to do the ‘double’ with the Club Championship.

After 9 holes Mark led by 1 hole which was doubled on the 11th but Adam fought back with wins on the 13th and 16 holes to bring the match to all square. This was followed by another win on the 17th to go 1 up with 1 hole to play. A par on 18 by Mark was enough to take the match into overtime after Adam had gone through the back of the green after his second shot.

The sudden death play-off lasted one hole with Mark holing a 4 feet putt to secure victory and retain the trophy.

A great match in terms of closeness and the spirit in which it was played – congratulations to both players on reaching the final.