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North Wales Tour 2012

BUNGS Tour 2012 - North Wales

7th July to 9th July 2012

The Two teams at Pwllheli Golf Club
The Two teams at Pwllheli Golf Club

This year saw a record 40 players from the Society returning for the first time in 10 years to the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales. This time round the annual Ryder Cup style matches were played over 3 excellent courses ; Pwllheli, Nefyn and Royal St David’s.

The Society’s captain this year is Graham Adams who successfully guided his Challengers’ team to victory during last year’s tour to the West Country. This year saw him up against one of the Society’s better players, John Shaw who led the Captain’s side on the 2003 tour to North Norfolk which lost by 1 point to a Challengers’ team led by James Shipman. So, with Graham, one of the fast-improving members of the Society and John, as Challengers’ Captain, desperate to make amends for that 2003 tour defeat  it promised to be an interesting challenge as to who would come out on top at the end of the day.

The teams lined up as follows:

Captain Graham Adams' Team Black H'Cap Challenger John Shaw's Team White H'Cap
Graham Adams 28 John Shaw 4
Ian Talboys, Vice Capt. 9 James Shipman, Vice Capt. 9
Graham Bilsland 2 Howard Holliday 5
Shaun Mullaney 5 Martyn Dodwell 6
Adam Thompson 5 Gordon Galloway 7
Steve Lloyd 7 Bill Ball 8
Steve Harris 8 Lloyd Johnson 8
Simon Hayward 10 Tim Thacker 10
Karl Hughes 11 Bobby Ho 11
Mark Johnson 10 Adrian Marchant 13
Alan Heard 13 John Bayliss 14
Andy Smith 13 Bill Hancock 15
Paul Herrmann 14 Peter Meaney 15
Neil Smith 15 Terry Tomkiss 16
Craig Vale 16 Jamie Moore 17
Alan Tolley 17 Mike Fox 18
Jeff Thacker 18 John Evans 19
Gary Tyler 18 Phil Latham 19
John Haley 19 Steve Gross 21
Dave Grubb 21 Gordon Sullivan 25


Friday 6th July 2012

All but 3 players travelled to North Wales on the Friday – some to get in an early round of golf at either Porthmadog or Aberdovey, the rest to simply get to the hotel a day earlier to relax and chill out prior to the competition starting in earnest the following day. The problem was that Friday saw heavy and persistent rain falling for most of the day across large parts of England and Wales which meant a long, arduous journey for most of the party whilst those who had decided to play golf got (very) wet! Craig Vale had done his bit earlier by advising everyone to be aware that a music festival was taking place in Pwllheli and it might be prudent in the circumstances to start out a bit earlier. Paul Herrmann also got in on the act by suggesting we should consider travelling by train to Pwllheli from Criccieth on Saturday morning as the station is only 3 minutes from the hotel. Apart from the prospect of 40 players loaded up with golf gear trying to get on one of the 2-coach trains which happen to run along the line in question, Paul wisely retracted his suggestion later on the basis that the first train out of Criccieth wouldn’t get in to Pwllheli until 9.12am and the first tee time happened to be 9.15am – at least it was a good suggestion Paul!

With 4 players staying at the nearby Caerwylan Hotel, the majority of the society stayed at the Lion Hotel in Criccieth which proved to be a good hotel, reasonably priced and the staff looked after us really well during our stay. On arrival, a few of the more adventurous members decided to ‘hit the town’ but soon found that, apart from a couple of pubs and an Indian restaurant, there wasn’t a lot else to do in Criccieth on a Friday night during the summer (what it must be like in the winter is anybody’s guess). John Mansell would have been at a complete loss as to how to spend his evenings if he’d made it on tour instead of going on a cruise – mind you, at least we all got a good night’s sleep with none of his snoring to keep us awake!

Anyway, the Indian restaurant won the day with the rest of the party eating in the hotel from the excellent bar menu. There was a potential ‘diplomatic’ incident on the eve of the competition when Alan Tolley, who’d waited patiently for his burger and chips to be served, saw Alan Heard ‘pinch’ them from right under his nose. Now, anyone observing the incident will have been aware that the food definitely belonged to Alan#1 as the burger and chips was clearly accompanied by a number of vegetables – something Alan#2 normally stays well away from. However, peace was soon restored when #1 offered #2 some of his chips to be going on with and a crisis was averted. Mind you, they were both on the same side for goodness sake!

Saturday 7th July 2012 - morning
Pwllheli Golf Club

10 x foursomes matches

After a very welcome buffet-style breakfast at the hotel we made the short  15-minute drive from the hotel to the course, with everyone hoping it would be open for play given that it had been closed the day before due to the rain.

We were told to get there early for the traditional ‘photo shoot’ and arrived in bright sunshine to see standing water on many of the fairways but this was forecast to drain away during the day so the course was well and truly open for play.

Pwllheli is a mixture of parkland and links but, although the weather was glorious for most of the day, it proved to be a stern test for many of those competing

Adam Thompson & Shaun Mullaney beat Howard Holliday & Gordon Galloway 6/4
AT: Me & Shaun took on Howard & Gordon and before the game I wasn’t confident of success.  However, things quickly looked up for us when Gordon shanked one on the 2nd and then Howard followed that up with a top out of the rough.  We built an early lead and it was steady from there on in with our opponents never really on top of their game and we eased to a 6 & 4 victory.
Neil Smith & Craig Vale beat John Shaw & Bill Ball 4/2
JS: Pwithwelli or whatever it is called should really have been closed but they left it open for us to play. I have never played in such wet conditions. We never really got going into the match and were comfortably beaten.

NS: Nothing much to say about this match other than the 2nd hole was halved in 7!
Graham Bilsland & Steve Lloyd beat Bobby Ho & John Bayliss 2/1
JB:  Me and Bobby seemed to be playing quite well but we soon were 4 down due to great playing by them although Steve was a bit wayward at times, Graham seemed to making shots from everywhere and when Steve got in his game they were very good together. We did make a fight back and got back to even but  we were 1 down going to the 16th and after Bobby hitting his worst drive into the trees it was all over.

SL: After the first was halved in five, John/Bobby took the second after Steve topped his tee shot into the undergrowth. Some steady play from Steve and Graham over the next few holes and they took control of the match and were 4up after 10. A fightback ensued however and before Steve/Graham knew what had happened, their lead had evaporated by the time they reached the 16th tee. Unfazed, Steve/Graham recorded two pars which were enough to take 16 and 17 for a 2/1 victory. Steve hoped he would not be subjected to another fightback like that on the trip (he'd only have to wait a few hours.....).
Phil Latham & Gordon Sullivan beat Steve Harris & Ian Talboys 4/2
IT: In the end the steady tee fairway green play of the mature pair overcame the thrash / thrash / lose / hacking of the younger men.
Alan Heard & Andy Smith beat Bill Hancock & Adrian Marchant 3/1
AS: Andy and Alan had introduced themselves to each other in the reception of the Lion Hotel the previous evening, so this was an unknown pairing put together by the Captain.  Adrian and Bill looked to be a very steady partnership with two regular BUNGS members. With Bill and Alan teeing of the odd numbered holes, the opening tee shots of the match didn’t bode too well with Bill pushing his drive towards the trees on the right side of the fairway and Alan just failing to pull off a duck hook!  Andy & Alan went on to win the first with bogey 5. Up steps  Smithy and Marcho onto the 2nd tee, for the tight drive over the hedge and onto the tree lined fairway.  After addressing the ball and about the start his back swing, Marcho stops Smithy in his tracks with the comment “Smithy, there’s some shit on the end of your club”.  After picking his club up and inspecting the club head to find nothing there, Smithy then is told by Marcho, almost doubled up in laughter at this stage, “no, the other end”.  The old ones are the best! Smithy then proceeded to hit a monster drive down the middle of the fairway, before turning to Marcho staying “you f*ckin’ deserved that”.  A great second shot from Alan into the heart of the green, a simple par 4 was enough for the Captains team to go 2 up after 2. The Captains team then went onto win the next 2 holes to be 4up after 4 and looked likely to win the 5th hole until Marcho chipped in from just of the side of the green for a 4 to grab a half and to stop the rot.  This then kick started the Challengers who went onto the win the 6th and 7th holes and get themselves back into the match. After hitting the turn at 2 down, Marcho and Bill managed to get the match back to all square on the 14th and Andy and Alan were starting to get worried.  A poor choice of shot by the Challengers on the 15th, also a shot hole for them, allowed Andy & Alan to again get their noses in front.  A win on the 16th allowed Alan to state, in his wonderful Yorkshire accent, “at least at dormie were guaranteed half a point”, before halving the 17th for victory to the Captains pairing.        .
Mike Fox & Terry Tomkiss beat Mark Johnson & Paul Herrmann 3/2
MF: The challengers were three down coming to the 8th Paul and Terry both put their tee shots way out right so Mark and Foxy teed off with provisional balls! Well we searched but not one ball could we find. Decision time - walked off with a half having lost four balls! Foxy & Terry closed the match on 16.

MJ: All four of us lost balls off the 8th tee - in foursomes! So we called it a half and walked off to the 9th.
Dave Grubb & Gary Tyler beat Jamie Moore & Peter Meaney 2/1
No match report received.
Jeff Thacker & John Haley beat James Shipman & Tim Thacker 1up
JH: We were 3up against Tim Thacker and James Shipman, with the 12th to come. Although we had been told the 12th was unplayable as it was completely surrounded by water Tim was determined to play it. Even when we both walked down and saw it was unplayable he was still talking about taking his shoes and socks off, rolling up his trousers and wading through the water to the green! It would not have surprised Jeff and I if Tim had produced a pair of flippers and snorkel from his bag! In the end he very reluctantly agreed it was unplayable.
Simon Hayward & Karl Hughes beat John Evans & Steve Gross 4/2
No match report received.
Alan Tolley & Graham Adams beat Martyn Dodwell & Lloyd Johnson 1up
GA: After distributing drinks and snacks to my team I teed it up in the last group out with Alan Tolley. We had been drawn against Martyn Dodwell and Lloyd Johnson; both single figure handicappers who, even though giving us 16 shots, were going to provide stiff opposition.  With the ground very wet it was something of a lottery whether you had a good lie for your second shot.  So it proved.  A bad lie in the 1st fairway for our opposition led to Alan and I winning the hole with a 5 nett 4. As for the weather it was brilliant! Having prepared for a chilly, perhaps rainy day, we were playing in fabulously warm sunshine. Too warm for Lloyd and myself: after finishing the 3rd we both had to divest (de-vest?) ourselves of our undershirts. (Not a nice sight for Martyn & Alan!) Good, steady golf by Alan and I generally countered the more able, extravagant shots of our opponents, and for most of the match the score wandered between 1up and 1 down. Indeed, it wasn’t until the 16th that there were more than 2 shots in it. The 16th was key, as it was here that Alan and I took that 2 shot lead to go dormie, although we lost the 17th. I managed to put my drive into the trees on the right, and after consideration I suggested that Alan chipped it out onto the 1st fairway. From here I had an easy shot to just short of the green. A chip and 2 putts saw us win the hole and take the match.

AT: As Graham says, this was a close match all the way.  We showed our fighting qualities early on when Graham’s tee shot at the short 3rd disappeared under bushes to the left of the green. I somehow hacked it out into the bunker short of the green ; Graham splashed out to about 30 feet and I promptly holed the putt for an unlikely 4 nett 3. The turning point was the 14th which was played to a temporary green due to the waterlogged fairways. The hole was playing no more than 220 yds – and yet we had a shot over our opponents, which seemed a tad unfair and it was no surprise that we won that hole, halved the 15th, then won the 16th after Graham went for the green from 240 yds (despite me trying to persuade him to lay up and take an easy 5); the ball finished pin high but in the semi rough to the left of the green. I then chipped to within 5 feet and Graham rolled in a tricky downhiller to put us 2 up with 2 to play. They won the 17th but a 5 nett 4 at the last for us was good enough for the points! 

Match Score

Captain's Team - 8 / Challenger's Team - 2

So, the Challengers are humbled in the first session of this year’s tour and find themselves trailing by 6 points going into the afternoon session. With the course beginning to dry out in places, it was all to play for.....

Saturday 7th July 2012 - afternoon
Pwllheli Golf Club

10 x fourball-betterball matches

Adam Thompson & Graham Bilsland beat Gordon Galloway & Bobby Ho 7/6
Playing the 12th barefoot
Playing the 12th barefoot
AT: On paper the pairing of me & Graham in fourballs looked unusual, but we shouldn’t have doubted the skipper!  Against Bobby & Gordon, we won the 1st then Graham made a great birdie at the 2nd and we never looked back.  Through 12 holes our ‘better ball’ was a couple under par.  6up through 11, Bobby in desperation(?) decided that the par 3 12th was now playable.  Shoes and socks came off to get to the green where Bobby 3 putted to lose the hole and the match 7 & 6 but at least his feet were now cool.

GG: Adam played well..... and took his shoes & socks off to be sure of the nearest the pin at the 12th. Bobby’s barefoot 3 putt at the 12th meant that Adam/Graham won the match 7&6 at the hole which nobody else played. See pic of Graham retrieving his wedge (not his ball) from the water.
John Shaw & Phil Latham beat Shaun Mullaney & Steve Harris 3/2
JS: Phil played excellently and were never really in trouble. He had two gross birdies I think on the back nine which really sealed things. Steve Harris really lost it on the back nine.
Ian Talboys & Craig Vale beat Howard Holliday & Gordon Sullivan 4/3
IT:  We were always up in the match, and  the older pair were not assisted by literally flooding the engine of the buggy on the back nine, when Howard attempted to drive through one deep puddle too many! Luckily, Craig proved to be as efficient a mechanic as he was a golfing partner.
Neil Smith & Alan Heard beat Bill Ball & Bill Hancock 3/2
One of the festival goers that caught a few of the lad’s attention
One of the festival goers that caught a few of the lad’s attention
NS: Standing in the fairway waiting to play our 2nd shots into the first, when the green cleared a man appeared in front of the green – we gestured for him to get out of the way but he proceeded to play his shot straight down the 1st fairway (he was playing the 7th) directly at me. I managed to avoid it and it landed just behind me – one of our group shouted at him and we moved down the fairway. As we passed I had a few words with the chap as at this point I was shaking.  He thought it was ok to do this as he had stuck his hand up! A small argument followed then we went our separate ways. This really affected me as I lost 2 balls off the tee on the 2nd and another on the third. By the 7th hole I had calmed down a bit and was managing to help Alan out a little who was doing a great job of carrying me. As we played the 9th I noticed the same chap coming up the 14th fairway. I was standing behind Bill Ball as he played his second into the green – he hit a shank – I saw where the ball was heading and shouted fore! The ball hit the chap who I had had the argument with straight in the Bo*****s! We managed to hold our laughter in until we were out of ear shot. As all the other groups were on the holes bordering the sea, we were subject to abuse and jeering from the Kids going to the festival – which was quite entertaining. We got to the 12th hole and noticed the nearest the pin flag was on so we assumed the floods had subsided enough to allow access to the green – we all played our tee shots but as we got to the green realised there was no access. As only Bill Ball and I had hit the green I suggested a half – Bill taking his shoes and socks off said he was playing it so off came the socks and shoes and we managed a half.
John Bayliss & Mike Fox beat Steve Lloyd & Paul Herrmann 3/2
MF: As per the script we were 4 down after six holes Bayliss pipes up "come on Foxy we've been here before" anyway by the 10th we were all square! We lost 11 halved 12 then a storming 13 to 16 winning 3-2.

JB:  We again found ourselves 4 down due to good play from them but Mike and I started to play better and got back to even again,  Steve was not playing his normal game and once we got ahead it was all over.

SL: Steve and Paul got off to a flying start, dovetailing perfectly and were 4up standing on the seventh tee but a series of pars and nett birdies from Foxy and John took four holes in a row to square the match. Steve stopped the rot with a birdie at the 11th and when Paul hit the green at the 'flooded' 12th, it looked likely they were about to go back 2up. Bayliss had different thoughts however and hit a great shot onto the green. Shoes and socks were removed to complete a half barefoot. Nett pars from Foxy and John took the 13th and 14th to put them up for the first time in the match. Paul then proceeded to play John's ball at the 15th to put the Captain's pair 2 down. There was confusion at the 16th when, unknown to Steve, Foxy's putt for a 5 was conceded by Paul as Steve was removing his shoes and socks once again to retrieve his third shot from deep casual water. Foxy thought he had a shot for a 5 nett 4 but this wasn't a shot hole, so an up and down from Steve could have taken the match to the 17th but this never materialised, so a well deserved 3/2 victory was secured by Mike and John. Steve went away wondering how he could have been 4up in both his matches but only win one of them.
Karl Hughes & Andy Smith beat Terry Tomkiss & Jamie Moore 5/4
AS: A strong Captains paring were too much for the Challengers and after storming to 5up after the first 5 holes, the Challengers were probably happy to keep the deficit to 5 holes at the turn.  Andy and Karl were level par at this point. The match eventually finished on the 14th.
Adrian Marchant & Tim Thacker beat John Haley & Graham Adams 2up
Graham and Marcho go paddling at the 12th
Graham and Marcho go paddling at the 12th
GA: Tim had met me off the 18th green and happily informed me that I had only 15 minutes before I was due out again (which prat scheduled that?). John Haley was to be my partner for the Fourballs in the afternoon, with Tim and Adrian Marchant our opponents. After a (very) rushed lunch of soup, sandwiches and a beer I arrived at the 1st tee to hit a drive straight down the middle – I must be improving! Like the morning match, this was another tight affair, with never more than 1 shot in it until the 9th, where a solid 5 from Tim took our opponents 2up. They won the next 2 holes also, with excellent play from Tim again. The par three 12th was halved in ridiculous fashion: The 12th had been unplayable in the morning due to flooding barring access to the green. Now accessible (just) Tim pulled his tee shot wide left into the river, to be followed by Adrian, and then John. 3 lost balls! I then managed to duff my shot 50 yards forward, but at least down the middle. As John said “A chip onto the green and the hole is ours.” I was always a little deaf..... I managed to play the right shot but the ball flew way over the green and OOB! I dropped another and played 4, and Adrian played 3-off-the-tee, his ball well onto the green and mine to 8 feet. Adrian 3 putted and I holed a nervy putt to halve – mad! John then started playing like a man possessed, winning the 14th, 16th & 17th. After 2 shots to find the middle of the 18th green I arrived there with  2 putts to halve the match. Pity I took..... (Sorry John - must be something to do with my putting on 18th greens!) Tim calmly rolled in his putt to seal a 2up victory. .
James Shipman & Peter Meaney beat Jeff Thacker & Dave Grubb 4/3
No match report received.
John Evans & Lloyd Johnson beat Alan Tolley & Gary Tyler 4/3
AT: Our opponents proved to be good for us – Lloyd in particular was 2 over gross at the turn and as  Gary and I were both out of sorts we were always behind. Lloyd had been unstoppable for 13 holes, rolling in putts from all over the place. Even when I put my tee shot at the difficult short 10th on the front edge of the green Lloyd followed that with a tee shot of his own to 6 feet ! His partner John then came into his own on the 14th and 15th to close the match out and a deserved victory for the challengers.
Martyn Dodwell & Steve Gross beat Mark Johnson & Simon Hayward 5/4
No match report received.

Match Score

Captain's Team - 12 / Challenger's Team - 8


Graham Adams was delighted with his side’s play on the first day of competition but it was a good comeback by John Shaw’s team after a disappointing result in the morning’s foursomes matches. Tim Thacker had commented after the morning foursomes that there were some pairings on the Captain’s side he wouldn’t have considered but that it had worked – a compliment indeed! The Challengers did come back strongly in the afternoon however to claw back the deficit and another 20 points up for grabs the following day at Nefyn.

A quick mention must be given to James Shipman who thought he'd found the ideal way to cross the 'river' of water in front of the 12th green. Given a good run-up, James thought he could ride his Powacaddy 'chariot style' through the water to the safety of dry land. He gave his trolley a couple of yards to get up to speed before jumping aboard only to be disappointed when the trolley's wheels sank into the soft ground under the weight of his 6 foot 2 inch frame. Nice to know that out NHS Doctors are gifted with such intelligence!

Sunday 8th July 2012 - morning
Nefyn & District Golf Club

10 x foursomes matches

We awoke to find that the weather had changed during the night and it was a much cooler and cloudier day – with rain in the air – which greeted us.  For many this was, in theory at least, the highlight of this years’ tour with Nefyn and District Golf club perched on top of the cliffs overlooking the sea. The back 9 is played over holes which sit right on top of a peninsula and, when the weather is fine there is no greater place to play golf. However, we got to play it on a rather cool and drizzly day with a stiff wind developing throughout the day which made for some fairly testing conditions.

Graham Adams & Dave Grubb beat Peter Meaney & Adrian Marchant 3/2
Marcho putts at the 11th
Marcho putts at the 11th
GA: Not so bright – or warm – as the previous day. Grey skies and low cloud were in evidence. I had selected to partner Dave Grubb, and we were paired against Adrian Marchant and Peter Meaney, receiving 11 shots. As with the previous morning, we raced into a lead – 3 up after 3, and although Adrian and Peter fought valiantly, we were never behind in the whole match. The front holes were good: seemingly wide-open, yet with drop-offs on the cliff edge or other hazards that were always in your mind. The Peninsula holes were, however, another matter! I cannot imagine a more spectacular setting in which to play golf. Standing on the 11th tee it took us a while to spot the green, flag fluttering away on the skyline atop a hill at the end of the fairway. (Thankfully, Grubby had that shot!).We ended up halving that hole with 4’s. Wandering along the path we came to a Tee-box – but where was the fairway? After finding it, Grubby teed off and found short grass. I then duffed my next and we then chopped about in the long-stuff (much to the amusement of an attractive female dog-walker Marcho was chatting to who called my final effort “Dog-Poo”!) until we conceded. Truthfully, it has to be said, the 12th is a bit of a joke-hole, and dangerous too, with a road cutting through the hole between the landing area and the green. Despite the seemingly huge carry required, we negotiated, and won, the 13th (Lands End: Never was a hole more appropriately named.) Marcho then parred the 14th before we shared the 15th. A 4 nett 3 was good enough to seal a 4&3 victory on the 16th. During our round we had followed a couple playing the course. When held up by the slow play of the Club Championship players we had exchanged pleasantries (as you do). Adrian chatted further as we walked up the 18th, and I encountered them in the clubhouse bar at lunch. Turns out that they were on a golfing holiday from Australia, having stayed overlooking, and played, Turnberry, now on the Welsh links of Nefyn, Aberdovey and Royal St. Davids, before heading to Bath, London and back up to Kendall to play Kendall, Prestwick and Silloth. Great work if you can get it!
Jeff Thacker & Alan Tolley beat James Shipman & John Shaw 2/1
View from the 14th tee
View from the 14th tee
AT: Jeff and I looked at each other on the 1st tee and it was hard not to be thinking, “is there a doctor in the house?” After I’d put Jeff in big trouble with my 2nd shot he pulled off the shot of the day ‘stiffing’ it to 4 feet out of the heavy rough – unbelievable! Hole conceded, and we were 1up. Even though we had 11 shots it was a fairly close match until the 15th when James and I went ahead to spot the tee shots. Jeff half duffed his a mere 150 yards into the hill. John Shaw absolutely ‘nailed’ one – and it was long too. However, after I’d played my second to just short of the green it transpired that James had somehow failed to follow the flight of his partner’s tee shot and even though there was no rough to speak of, we failed to find it after the obligatory 5 minute search, the hole was conceded and we went 1up. John was not a happy camper at this point and I didn’t help to change the mood when, at the difficult short 16th I found the green with my tee shot, and Jeff rolled the putt to the hole for another concession and we were suddenly 2up with 2 to play. The par five 17th would be crucial in the outcome of the match – Jeff pulled his tee shot way left onto the 12th. The Challengers were straight down the middle. I managed to get the ball back in play and left Jeff with 160-yards to the front edge. I jokingly said, before he played his shot, "anywhere on the green will do” and Jeff duly obliged, hitting a great iron shot 25 feet past the pin. I then rolled the putt to within 3 feet but, with James and John failing to get to grips with the pace of the green and eventually 4-putting, we were home and dry for a famous victory.
Gary Tyler & Neil Smith beat John Bayliss & Lloyd Johnson 3/1
The second hole at Nefyn
The second hole at Nefyn
JB:  Sunday Morning at my favourite course Nefyn. Did not start well as previously I was out early Saturday and I was expecting to be out late today, but as no one had left the Team Sheet the previous night I could not remember my tee time, so I am on the way to the course and as I got there at 9.15am I was told I am out next so I started rushing about to change my shoes. Luckily James put my trolley together so off I rushed down the first fairway  playing with Lloyd - my first shot was a 7 iron out of the rough onto the fairway after Lloyd hit the opening drive. With a bit of luck we managed to halve the hole. My first drive off the 2nd tee went into the cliff on the right so we were 1 down.  They played well off their handicaps and we were soundly beaten.

NS:  Johnny Bayliss late onto the first tee, we had to let one group go ahead of us, with Johnny getting ready Lloyd took the tee shot – luckily Johnny was ready and down the fairway in time to play the second but we were too good for them on the day.
Martyn Dodwell & Gordon Galloway beat Craig Vale & Andy Smith 2/1
AS:  What a prospect of a match!  The obvious steady controlled play by Martyn and Gordon against the wild and unexpected play of Andy and Craig.  Generally off the tee, the Challengers were always numerous yards behind the drives of Andy and Craig, and having the opportunity to put their ball on the green first always kept the pressure on the Captains pairing. The match reached the turn all square, with both sides having been 1up at some point on the front nine.  The back nine continued in the same manner until eventually the continual pressure that the steady play by Martyn and Gordon told, and they won the match on the 17th.

GG:  Close match with only one in it till the 17th. Giving 8 shots in foursomes is never easy, and with Andy & Craig easily reaching the par 5 fourth hole in two, we had to battle to stay in the match. With Craig trying to decapitate Jeff Thacker on the ‘lighthouse’ par three 14th hole we went one ahead. Andy hit another monster drive at the par five 17th, but it just leaked right over the cliff edge, giving us a close  2/1 win.
John Haley & Mark Johnson beat Jamie Moore & Mike Fox 5/3
MF: Nefyn! Wow what a course lol Mark Johnson was looking for revenge! All started well at the second – Jamie’s tee shot was spot on, Foxy proceeds to put his five wood into deep rough and Jamie put the fourth shot 25 feet at the low side of the green uphill to the flag, John Haley puts his third above the pin just off the green 10 feet down hill. Foxy then chips in for the five! Then Mark goes and does the same to win the hole with a four! Anyway Mark got his revenge.

JH: On the 2nd hole at Nefyn Foxy hit his second and lost his ball. Jamie dropped another ball and put it up to the edge of the green (their 4th). Mark and I were through the green for 3. Foxy then holed his chip and there was a lot of "whooping " and high fives! Mark calmly waited and then proceeded to hole his chip for us to win the hole with a 4 to a 5!
Tim Thacker & Bobby Ho beat Steve Lloyd & Ian Talboys 2/1
Nefyn, a spectacular golf course location
Nefyn, a spectacular golf course location
IT: Close match through to the 12th, when the ludicrous nature of the Old Course at Nefyn  intervened. My tee shot  was observed landing by both Steve and Tim only for it still to disappear. Consequently Thacker and Ho managed to win the hole by virtue of finding their ball! After going 2 down courtesy of Thacker and Ho also finding their tee shot on 13,  we did manage to battle back courtesy of my  putt on 16 to reduce the margin. But a well played hole by Thacker and Ho on 17 closed out the match.

SL: The first four holes were 'traded' with Bob's 25 footer for par at the 3rd being a blow to Steve and Ian. Not as much of a blow as holes 5, 6 & 7 which were all lost to par / par / nett birdie. Steve hoped the 8th would be a turning point. Tim couldn't play his second shot to the green as John Haley (in the match ahead) had left his bag at the front of the green and wandered off to the next tee. Steve 'raced' down the hill to move John's bag out of the way and then saw Tim top his second shot into the bunker. The hole was won and much 'chuntering' from Thacker ensued - would Tim's head 'go' after that incident? Holes 9 and 10 were halved in bogey and another hole was then clawed back with a win at the 11th.

Ian and Bobby on the 13th tee
Ian and Bobby on the 13th tee
The 'comical' 12th was a golfing disaster for Steve and Ian and nearly a financial one for Ian. Steve and Tim walked ahead to ball spot and see when it would be safe for Bobby/Ian to drive. A gap in the walkers was spotted and Ian given the signal to drive. Just as he was about to hit his shot, a BMW X5 sped down the road at the side of the fairway. Steve joked to Tim "knowing Ian's luck, he will hit that car". Ian hit the ball and like a heat seeking missile, it headed straight for the BMW. "He's going to hit it....he's going to hit it...Oooohhhhhh!" as the ball missed the car by a matter of feet. Steve and Tim saw exactly where the ball landed, plugging in the short grass just off the fairway. Despite a five minute search in the exact spot, the ball was never found and the hole, and momentum, was lost. At the 13th, Tim found the fairway but Steve's ball only went 140 yards - 40 yards forward and 100 yards down the cliff meaning Bobby and Tim were 3up again. Pars at 15 and 16 reduced the deficit to one but after Ian's second shot found the deep rough at 17, the match was 'done and dusted' with a 2/1 victory for the Challenger's pair.
Gordon Sullivan & John Evans beat Simon Hayward & Steve Harris 1up
No match report received.
Phil Latham & Steve Gross beat Graham Bilsland & Shaun Mullaney 2/1
SG:  My best memory of the tour was sharing big Phil Latham’s buggy on Sunday morning, my first round of golf using a buggy! And we beat the awesome pair of Shaun Mullaney and Graham 'the biz' Bilsand. Fantastic!
Adam Thompson & Karl Hughes beat Bill Hancock & Terry Tomkiss 4/2
AT: The two Everton fans combined to take on Bill & Terry.  Bill was on a long losing streak and early doors looked determined to stop the rot holing a couple of long putts and then chipping in from off the green.  However, as the front 9 went on we got ourselves back in the match and edged ahead at the turn.  Boredom and stiffness looked like setting in after a 45 minute wait on the 12th and then our drive on 13 found the sea to give our opponents hope.  However, they returned the favour at 14 by airmailing the green and we went on to win 4 & 2.
Howard Holliday & Bill Ball beat Paul Herrmann & Alan Heard 2up
No match report received.

Match Score

Captain's Team - 17 / Challenger's Team - 13


The morning foursomes were halved in, dare I say, ‘challenging’ conditions, on a very tough course. With the tour well into its second day the Challengers trail by just 5 points and- it’s still very much game on!

Sunday 8th July 2012 - afternoon
Nefyn & District Golf Club

10 x fourball-betterball matches

Gordon Galloway & Peter Meaney beat Graham Adams & Neil Smith 4/3
Searching for balls?????
Searching for balls?????
GA:  The afternoon saw me paired with Neil Smith, against Gordon Galloway and Peter Meaney. Once again I was slow getting going after lunch and we went 1 down straight away. However, once again, consistent and steady play saw Neil and I go 1up with a 5 nett 4 on the 7th. All the while Gordon was saying “Wait till we get to the Peninsula!” This duly arrived and Gordon played magnificently, winning every hole that mattered until we shook hands on the 15th green, 4&3 losers. As we played back in, time was taken (on the 17th) to tee a ball up and fire it at the Cormorants on the rocks in the sea. They were never in any danger! Oh, and I managed to birdie the 18th.

GG:  A close match with Graham & Neil having plenty of shots to play with and they were in the driving seat until the peninsula holes. Losing holes 11, 12, 13 & 14 Graham and Neil were well & truly ‘peninsula’d’, losing 3/2.

NS:  I’d rather not say too much about this match ! On the 12th hole Graham hit his shot into the green only to land on the road – he was heard saying “that’s heading for the Renault Espace” we never found the ball I was in my car ready to leave the car park and Grubby and Jeff Thacker came over for a chat – as we were talking we heard a large bang – Dave looked up only to find Peter Meaney had driven into one of the rocks that separate the car park.
Gary Tyler & Craig Vale beat Lloyd Johnson & John Bayliss 3/2
JB: Playing with Lloyd again this match didn’t start well - hit a great drive on the 2nd :  had 120 yds to the green which I thought we were playing on the right. I know I have poor eyesight but I didn’t see the massive 1st Hole Sign on the left so hit a great shot but to the wrong green. I ended up 6 feet from the flag - but the wrong one! It didn’t matter as Lloyd managed to halve the hole anyway. Again we were playing quite well but our opponents had too many shots and despite Lloyd and I playing well we again were beaten.
Adrian Marchant & James Shipman beat Jeff Thacker & Dave Grubb 7/6
No match report received.
Simon Hayward & Steve Lloyd half Martyn Dodwell & Jamie Moore A/S
Can't quite get you in the shot, a few steps backwards please!
Can't quite get you in the shot, a few steps backwards please!
SL: After Martyn won the second to go 1up, Jamie commented that it was the first time he'd been up in a match all trip. Halves in par at 3 and 4 were followed by Steve sticking his tee shot to 4 feet at the par 3 5th to almost certainly square the match. Jamie had other ideas however as he rolled in a 30 footer for a 2, Steve subsequently missed and he and Simon were 2 down. The next four holes were traded, with Martyn having particular fun at the 8th. He topped his second shot into the greenside bunker and then screamed "Oh F*ck off Martyn" and launched his wedge 80 yards down the slope (nearly hitting Jamie's ball on the fairway). After the 10th was halved in par, still 2 down at this point, Steve and Simon used their shots well to win the next 3 and go ahead in the match for the first time (Steve did mange to repeat his morning feat at the 13th of hitting his tee shot 40 yards forward and 100 yards down the cliff - good job Simon played the hole well).
The daunting tee shot over the cliffs at the 13th (too daunting for Steve)
The daunting tee shot over the cliffs at the 13th (too daunting for Steve)

Martyn made a great sand save at the 14th for a half to remain 1 down and the next 3 holes were also halved so Steve and Simon headed to the last 1up. After all players hit good drives at the 18th, things were crucial on the green. Steve made a par after his birdie putt finished inches short, leaving Simon a 20 footer for a birdie and the match with Martyn 8 feet away in 2. Steve went over to Simon and said "Martyn will hole that, I've seen him do it so many times before". Simon left his birdie putt short and as Steve predicted, Martyn rolled in his birdie putt to square the match - a fair result in the end.
John Shaw & Tim Thacker beat Mark Johnson & Ian Talboys 3/2
View from the 11th tee down the fairway
View from the 11th tee down the fairway
JS:  We were comfortably two up after ten when I put my second on the green about ten foot away. Ian had duffed his short but then chipped in for a birdie - the ball would have gone through the green but for hitting the flag. The next hole the infamous twelfth (did anyone like it?) I put my drive on the fairway with a six iron to go. Mark hit first and the ball was fading over the road into the rubbish on the right when a van came round the corner. The ball ricocheted off the van windscreen into the middle of the fairway. After a heated argument with the van driver he calmly walked to his ball and stiffed it next to the pin for a four nett three. Tim was not happy! The next three holes we won comfortably and I got down in two for a par on 16 for a half for a 3/2 victory.

IT:  Courtesy of short missed birdie putts on the front nine, Thacker and Shaw held a 2up lead at the turn. Again by the ‘whacky’ 12th this lead had been reduced, courtesy of an outrageous chip in by me on 11. The 12th again reared its ridiculous head, when Mark's second hit a van that appeared from nowhere, whose smashed windscreen diverted it back onto the fairway. At which point a great up and down won the hole. However, the magnitude of what could have happened on the previous hole impacted more on us and by 16 we were 3 down. At which point the crazy nature of the Old Course reared its ugly head again, with John Shaw receiving a free drop from an unplayable lie, getting up and down for a 3 to halve the hole.

MJ:  One event from Nefyn - I encountered a very worried Nefyn member in the changing room. He could hear some weird animal noises coming from the toilet area. I told him not to worry as it was Mike Fox who is a crazy but not dangerous. Oh, I heard that something happened with a white van and a ball but I don't know the details .........
John Haley & Andy Smith beat John Evans & Mike Fox 1up
MF:  This was a cracker - Captains team go three up challengers team bring it back to all square! Then the challengers go three up, then back to all square coming down the last - everything pointing to a half but a fantastic birdie by Andy gave them victory 1up.

JH:  Foxy was driving his Buggy up behind, I think, the 13th and decided to take a short cut across a ditch but ended up leaving it suspended across the ditch with his rear wheels up in the air It took all four of us to lift the back up and get it back on firm ground!  Andy Smith and I were 3 down with four to play and thanks mainly to Andy's superb play we won the next four holes to win 1up!

AS:  A close match on the front 9 with the Captains pairing only ever getting to be 1 hole ahead before being pegged back to level again. On the back nine though, Andy and John went missing for a few holes and allowed the Challengers to get themselves 3 up after 14.  A pretty strong position with only 4 holes remaining! However, a bogey 5 on the 15th for Andy & John was good enough to reduce the deficit to 2, before Smithy knocked it stiff on the par 3 16th to bring the score back to 1 down with 2 to play. Smithy then managed a steady 5 on the par five 17th, after sensibly taking an iron off the tee to ensure he kept his ball in play and on the peninsula.  All square with the 18th left to play – game on then! Despite the best efforts of the Challengers, a birdie 3 for Andy was good enough to win the match for the Captains pairing and seal a memorable come back from the edge of defeat.
Alan Heard & Graham Bilsland beat Bill Hancock & Gordon Sullivan 3/2
No match report received.
Terry Tomkiss & Phil Latham beat Paul Herrmann & Alan Tolley 5/3
AT: After halving the first hole we were always up against it against a Challengers pairing who really combined together well.  There was a hairy moment as we waited to play our second shots from the middle of the 7th fairway as we were literally ‘peppered’ by the tee shots from the group behind (Thommo excepted) who had clearly failed to ensure that the fairway was clear in front. They approached the green as we were waiting to tee off on the 8th – my only comment being a rather uncharitable, “I hope you guys all have golf insurance !” We didn’t help our cause when Paul and I both lost a ball on the 10th and after negotiating the ‘ridiculous’ 12th and hanging on until the 15th, Phil’s excellent par 4 gave them a deserved victory.
Steve Gross & Bill Ball beat Steve Harris & Adam Thompson 1up
AT: Steve Harris, another man on a long losing streak but this time he was on my side, as one of our opponents was practically on one leg surely it was time for that run to end.  How wrong we were, Bill battled on bravely and held some crucial putts for halves, while Steve Gross was inspired making gross pars with a shot to take his team 3up through 10.  It looked like being 4, but Steve made a great halve from the cabbage on 11.  This time round we flew down 12 in under 30 minutes to win that hole and then 13 to get back to 1 down.  A chip in for 2 on 16 made it all square, I then needed to hole a 30 footer for birdie and a half at 17.  So all square on 18,  and Steve Gross clears the green with his second and looks like he has no shot, Bill has played 3 and all is looking good for the Black team.  Steve though has other ideas and plays the shot of the weekend from a downhill lie, to a downhill green to chip in and win the match.  He could have stayed there all day and not done that again.  Well played Steve!
Howard Holliday & Bobby Ho beat Karl Hughes & Shaun Mullaney 1up
SM: The best safety shot I have ever seen! Bobby Ho from the tee on the 12th at Nefyn in the afternoon. Deciding not to use the drive after using his range finder Bobby opted to a rescue club and aimed left towards the 16th green. As like most of Bobby's tee shots that afternoon he found the middle of the club and the ball soared off the tee. In mid air Howard could be heard 'get down!', one bounce and the ball disappeared off the cliff edge to the amusement of Bobby's opponents.                                                                            

Match Score

Captain's Team - 20.5 / Challenger's Team - 19.5


A terrific comeback by John Shaw’s team who, after being trounced in the opening morning’s foursomes matches, found themselves trailing by 6 points but, going into the final day’s singles tomorrow there is now just one point between the 2 teams  and the destiny of the trophy is anybody’s guess.

There was much excitement at dinner when it was made generally known that the overall scores stood at 20 ½ -19 ½ in the Captains favour. Excitement mounted as the next day’s pairings were read out. Again, in a twist from previous tours, the Captains had agreed to merge pre-prepared lists, and it became obvious that both had adopted similar strategies for the final day’s Singles matches at Royal St. Davids. As the pairings were studied later in the evening both Captains foresaw quite a few halved matches.

The other talk at the dinner table in the evening however was around the 12th hole at Nefyn and whether it was indeed the worst hole in golf. The general consensus was that it certainly spoilt an otherwise fantastic course at Nefyn, but when you hit a perfectly straight drive and then end up losing your ball that isn’t what the game of golf is meant to be – although I’m sure the members at Nefyn may well have a differing view! Maybe we’ll have to settle for it being a bit of a ‘ladyboy’ hole (in other words, it looks easy but all is not what it seems !)

Monday 9th July 2012
Royal St. David's Golf Club

20 x singles matches

So, the final day dawns and after an excellent fightback by the Challengers yesterday afternoon there was everything to play for as 20 singles matches were contested over this famous old links. Indeed, when the Society last visited, in 2002, the matches were literally ‘washed out’ as heavy rain brought play to a close for the day and everyone headed back early to the hotel – only one player, Alan Tolley, on his first-ever tour, decided to play on and complete all 18 holes. This meant that the vast majority of the field had not played the course before and we arrived to find that, due to the club having just hosted a top amateur tournament, the greens were slick and the rough, not ‘knee’ high but ‘thigh high ! It was certainly going to provide a stiff test for all those involved and would anyone be able to go round without losing a ball ?

Only one point in it remember and the Challengers could do with getting some points on the board early on to put the pressure on their opponents .....

Graham Adams beat John Shaw 1up
The two team captains ready for their singles clash
The two team captains ready for their singles clash
GA: Another glorious day! Someone up there must’ve realised good weather was required! Ever since it had been announced that my opposing Captain was to be John Shaw, I had been looking forward to this day, as I felt that the progress I had lately been making in my game gave me a chance in the match, and I had a quiet confidence that I could “carry it off!” Even though I was to receive 24 shots, much advice had been enthusiastically given to me about how I could beat the Challengers Team Captain. Principally it centred on keeping my Driver in my bag! (Even at my level your reputation goes before you!) There were a few raised eyebrows therefore when I hit my first shot of the match with – my Driver! Looks of “What are you doing?”, etc, came my way as I returned my club to my bag, to which I rejoined “I’m just giving John a false sense of security!” Game-plan in place I pulled my trusty 7-Wood for my 2nd shot and proceeded to win the hole with a 6 nett 4. Continuing in the same vein I was 4-up after 4, with my opponent becoming visibly more frustrated: unbelievably it was working!

Graham got off to a cracking start, 4up after 4
Graham got off to a cracking start, 4up after 4
At the par three  5th I under-clubbed and caught the ball off the toe: lost ball, hole to John. Thus it continued until John hit a purple patch around the turn, getting a 2 on the 9th, and another on the 11th. Here I had considered what I was facing (124yds into the wind) and pulled a 9-iron, which I hit with a ¾ swing. A spectator was behind the green and John, thinking perhaps that I had over-hit it, screamed “FORE!” however, the spectator was never in any danger as, although slightly left, I had judged correctly and was hole high, just on the path beside the green. Captain Shaw’s approach went slightly right, just off the green and with a difficult lie. All he could do was stab it out, which is what he did: the ball was travelling at about 150 miles an hour as it hit the pin squarely and dropped for his 2! Gales of laughter followed before we could continue, and when we could I could not match the score, even with a shot. Rattled, and entering the most difficult section of the course, I struggled for the next 5 holes, John winning them all. I had gone from 4 up on the 11th tee to 1 down after 15! Better fortune returned on the 16th when my opponent and I both lost our first ball and played provisionals. After finding the fairway, a good 2nd, followed by a chip and conceded 2nd putt gave me the hole. Back to level. My 2nd shot on 17 was perhaps my best of the day: another solid 7-wood from a lie with the ball slightly below my feet to just short of the green. A chip and 2 putts gave me the hole 5 nett 4. With the 18th halved I had managed to hold on – JUST! Nobody could have been more thrilled – nobody! I take my cap (sorry, visor) off to John for the way he played, hitting some brilliant shots of a quality I can only dream of and only just coming up short of nullifying the handicap I enjoyed. Big respect to him.

JS:  Graham won the first four holes to go four up he won his first two 2 shot holes with 5 net birdie 3s. I then won the next two and then he won the next two so we were back at four up to Graham. I had a two and nearest pin on 9, he won 10 with a 5 net birdie 3 again. I then fortunately chipped in at 11 from a tricky lie - it would have gone through the green -  and promptly won the next four holes to go one up. Hole 16 was the turning point. We both lost our drives and played three off the tee. My second ball was on the green in two about ten foot away. Graham was in the bunker front right. He chipped out but was left 25 foot away and putted ten foot past. I raced my putt for the win but put it six foot past. He slotted his putt in and I missed mine so he won - back to all square. 17 I would rather forget - we halved our only hole the 18th - I needed to sink a 15foot birdie putt to halve the match but left it short. He had one shot too many!   The first match out had built up quite a lead over the second match of perhaps 45 minutes, which gave the Captains time to freshen-up, grab a beer and meet the players off the 18th as they finished. As each group finished we could hardly believe the scores we were given. Instead of the halves we were expecting, again and again the matches had fallen to the Captain’s team.

Steve Lloyd beat Howard Holliday 1up
Harlech castle
Harlech Castle
Having been beaten in the singles twice in the past three years by Howard, Steve was a little apprehensive when being drawn against Howard again, especially on a course as brutal as Royal St. David's. Steve took an early 2up lead however but Howard's superb chipping and putting squared the match after 5. The next two were halved before Steve birdied the 8th and parred the difficult 9th to go back 2up. Howard pulled one back on 11 but Steve restored the advantage on 13. It looked all over for Howard on the 15th as he'd played 3 and was still 200 yards from the green. However, he hit a superb shot to the green and sank the putt for a 5. Steve failed to get up and down from off the green so Howard remained 2 down with 3 to play. The 16th was halved in SEVEN after both players lost their tee shots with Steve lucky to find his 'three off the tee' down a rabbit hole and managed to scrape a half. Howard's par at the 17th was enough to take the match to the 18th. Steve saved his best shot of the entire tour for the last hole, sticking a 5 iron to 15 feet to secure the match 1up

Mark Johnson beat Bill Ball 1up
No match report received.
Karl Hughes half Lloyd Johnson A/S
No match report received.
Simon Hayward half James Shipman A/S
No match report received.
Alan Heard beat Gordon Sullivan 3/2
No match report received.
Tim Thacker beat Steve Harris 5/3
No match report received.
Dave Grubb beat Steve Gross 1up
No match report received.
John Haley beat John Evans 2up
No match report received.
Craig Vale beat Phil Latham 7/6
No match report received.
Shaun Mullaney beat Mike Fox 6/5
SM: Unfortunately for Foxy, I used only one ball at Royal St David’s on the way to shooting a gross 73!

MF: I can honestly say Royal St David’s was the hardest set up course i have ever played I felt totally inadequate. The only compensation was watching my singles partner Shaun Mullaney - it was a dream to watc! He shot a 73 gross  winning 6/5 = no way could I compete.
Gary Tyler beat Peter Meaney 3/2
No match report received.
Jeff Thacker beat Jamie Moore 1up
No match report received.
Bill Hancock beat Paul Herrmann 4/2
No match report received.
Alan Tolley beat Terry Tomkiss 3/1
The rough at Harlech was long and punishing
The rough at Harlech was long and punishing
AT: St David’s had hosted a top amateur tournament the day before we played which meant that the course was in fantastic condition, but the rough was the toughest I’ve played – even worse than Ganton in 2008 ! I lost a ball on the very 1st hole and found myself 1 down immediately. All square by the 3rd then the match swung either way - Terry losing 2 balls on the 8th but then getting his nose in front again by winning the next and then, at the 10th (my only hole with a shot) I lost my ball off the tee, he found his and I was 1 down again. I then proceeded to win the 11th, 13th and 14th to go 2 up before losing my 4th ball of the afternoon off the tee at the tricky 15th. Terry also had to play a ‘Gerry Adams’ off the tee but having found his original ball couldn’t then find the provisional ! So, only one ahead with 3 to play but when Terry put his tee shot at 16 into the cabbage I somehow managed my best drive of the day straight down the middle and followed that with a rescue club to 25 feet and I was 2 up again with just 2 to play. The match had been played in a tremendous spirit and was close for most of the way so I wouldn’t have been that upset if Terry had won the last 2 holes to halve the match. As it was, I made a bit of a hash of the 17th being well short and about 35 feet to the right having played 4 – Terry was sitting pretty, on the green about 20 feet away in 3. As I stood over the ball I said to myself, “this has got to go in” and sure enough it snaked its way across the green and into the hole for an audacious 5. Terry, who must have been thinking of taking match down the 18th, was stunned and promptly missed his putt for a 4 and the match was over.                                                                  
Adam Thompson beat John Bayliss 5/3
AT: To conclude the weekend a match against ‘big hands’ Bayliss.  John and his putter were not the best of friends early doors and had falling out to let me go a couple up.  They did make friends around the turn to bring him back in the game, but then he got upset with his driver.  I was steady throughout and did enough to win 5 & 3.

JB: Although John Evans had taken me every day this morning he couldn't fit me in the car, and as Graham and Bill had left their hotel I was stuck at mine, thanks to Steve Lloyd who gave me Martyn Dodwell’s Mobile I asked him to pick me up as everyone else had left, so many thanks Martyn for taking me and when I got there I had a bit of time before I teed off against Adam. Although he was giving me 9 shots he played superb. I knew it was going to be tough but after hitting driver and 4 wood 30 feet short of the 1st green I managed to chip and 3 putt for a six - Adam scored 5 so already 1 down. Played alright until the 4th - hit a 7 wood in the deep rough over the left close to the walkers. Adam was parring most of the holes but I was still 3 down by 8 although I managed to make a 6ft putt downhill for a par - the rest were too tough for me and by the 14th I could hardly walk due to blisters on my heels and under the toes, it was over by the 15th and that is why the last 4 holes I was carrying my shoes on the trolley and walking in my socks. By the time I got back off the course my feet were bleeding. Just a couple of comments ; the handicap system must be updated -  I was playing 17 and 18 handicappers who were hitting it straighter and longer than a 7 handicapper and both played at least 4 better than their handicap both days so this needs to be sorted.
Graham Bilsland beat Bobby Ho 4/3
No match report received.
Neil Smith half Martyn Dodwell A/S
All friends on the first tee
All friends on the first tee
NS:  A great game, on a great course with great company. The first 4 holes I really struggled off the tee spending a lot of time searching for balls in the rough. I managed to play quite well after that and the match never got more than 2up either way. We were all looking to find one of Grahams drives in the rough, Graham found it and asked Bobby to keep an eye on it – Where is it Bobby asked – Graham pointed at it only to find Bobby was stood on it I was one down on the 17th (my last shot hole) and thought I had to win that to stand any chance of halving the match as Martyn’s iron play had been fantastic and I didn’t fancy my chances on the 18th par 3. I only managed a half on the 17th so was one down on the 18th. Martyn pulled his tee shot into one of the green side bunkers (lakes) I hit my tee shot and thought I’d hit a good shot, Martyn and Graham were saying that’s got nearest the pin. When I got to the green it was about 12 inches away – Martyn dropped out of the bunker and made a par. I was now faced with a 12 inch putt to win the hole and half the match. Martyn was winding me up as I approached the putt – I’ve never felt as nervous over a putt – I was just about to take my shot when Martyn gave me the putt – what a gent.
Andy Smith beat Adrian Marchant 6/4
Some Chinooks were summoned to help find some of Marcho's drives
Some Chinooks were summoned to help find some of Marcho's drives
AS: Wow, what a stunning golf course to finish the 2012 BUNGS tour on.  Probably one of the best, if not the best, links course that has had the pleasure of a visit by BUNGS and certainly the toughest course setup we have encountered. When this pairing was drawn out after dinner the previous evening, the general consensus was a good tight match was potentially in store, with no shots given or received. Marcho easily won the first two holes and this gave absolutely no indication of what was to come for the rest of the round. Smithy suddenly decided that course management was the order of the day (I’ve written this and still can’t believe I did the sensible / right thing).

The image of Harlech castle inspired Andy to another English triumph over the Welsh
The image of Harlech castle inspired Andy to another English triumph over the Welsh
Generally hitting a 4 iron off the tee to ensure the ball was on the fairway, Marcho failed to control his driver and the rough captured more than a fair share of his little white balls. After losing the first two holes, Smithy went on to win the next seven holes to hit the turn at 5 up and only 4 over par (and these shots were lost on the first two holes), including a birdie 4 on the 7th, again after hitting 4 iron of the tee. A brief respite for Adrian on the 10th as Smithy hit a 3 wood off the tee for the first time since the 1st hole, and just missed the fairway to the right, a bogey 5 was good enough for Adrian to bring the score back to 4 down. This respite though, was short lived and Andy won the next two holes to be dormie 6 up after 12 holes played,  and with Adrian spiralling into a sea of depression at the state of his game, the club house was almost at the closest point it had been since the first hole. Like a cat playing with a dying mouse, Smithy again missed the fairway of the tee and allowed Adrian to win the hole and be dormie 5.  As the course started to again move away from the clubhouse, Marcho conceded the match to lose 6&4 – or should I state be crushed 6&4.
Gordon Galloway beat Ian Talboys 2up
The impressive Harlech Castle always keeps an imposing eye on visiting reprobates
The impressive Harlech Castle always keeps an imposing eye on visiting reprobates
IT: Talboys also up through this match until the 12th. Having just birdied the 11th and seen his opponent's tee shot lost, another hole win seemed likely. However, a combination of not taking a drop when relief couldn't be taken in a bunker and an up and down from around 200 yards won the hole for Galloway. He then followed this by rolling in a 25 footer on 13 to halve the match. This was outdone by holing a putt from the back right corner of the 15th green (at least 60 feet) to go 1 up. He then won 16 following a duffed second by Talboys, the latter having been over 100 yards further down the hole after the tee shots. Talboys reduced the margin on 17 to 1 down, however, Talboys then outhacked Galloway on the last, to give victory to Galloway, 2 up. Although it should be noted that although Talboys lost, he did manage to go round with the same ball!

GG:  Ian was ahead by one or two holes until the 12th where Gordon, having carved his tee shot in the gruesome St David’s rough,  rather uncharitably asked Ian to play from a slightly moist fairway bunker. Gordon made a 5 with his provisional ball with a 200yd shot to 10 feet, and Ian having failed to get out of the bunker cleanly missed his putt for a five. At the next hole Gordon left his par putt poised on the edge of the hole and just as Ian’s “you can have that” were out of his mouth Gordon’s ball toppled into the hole Tiger Wood’s style, leaving the match all square. At the 15th Gordon holed an 80 foot put to go one ahead, and then scrambled a win  at the 18th.

Final Match Score

Captain's Team - 36 / Challenger's Team - 24


John presents the trophy to Graham and congratulates him on a resounding victory
John presents the trophy to Graham and congratulates him on a resounding victory

After trailing by 6 points at the end of the first morning’s foursomes matches the Challengers had played some terrific golf to get themselves into a position where they went into the final day’s singles with the deficit only one point but, oh dear.....

If that first morning’s foursomes  was a ‘thumping’ victory for the Captain’s side the singles matches played at Royal St David’s will go down in BUNGS folklore as a ‘crushing’ defeat for the Challengers. With 20 points still at stake before the final day’s play began, John Shaw’s team picked up just 4 ½   while the Captain’s side, brilliantly led from the front by the ever-improving Graham Adams, collected no less than 15 ½  to seal an emphatic victory in fine style.

NB Postscript to Royal St David’s – when someone asked later whether anyone had managed to go round without losing a ball Neil Smith owned up to the fact that he hadn’t lost one but that he did have a few close calls. Marcho responded by saying that “no one likes a gloater Neil – no one!” Andy Smith joined the debate by challenging Marcho to say, publicly, just how many balls he had lost, but Captain Graham Adams had the last word on the subject, admitting that he had lost 5 balls – but on another day, with less penal rough, he reckoned he’d have found at least 3 of them!


Quote from the winning Captain

The run-up to this year’s Tour had seen the wettest June on record, and the rain had showed no sign of letting up. The day before we were due to start we learned from Steve that Aberdovey was closed (the course not the village…!), also Pwllheli, Nefyn, Porthmadog. Was any golf going to be possible? As it turned out we had wonderful weather for the first and last days (sunburn and suntan given as evidence), interspersed with the sort of grey day for which Wales is renowned.

As for the courses, they contrasted also: Pwllheli was a real hybrid of Parkland, Links…and something else in-between. Nefyn provided what must be one of the most spectacular locations for golf there is (together with one of the naffest holes), whereas Royal St. David’s was just a pure quality Links, with some brutish holes to negotiate on the back 9.

The Captains? Well, one had the ability to play golf of a consistently high quality whereas the other toiled to attain mediocrity.

The biggest thing of the weekend was the ebb and flow of fortunes for the two teams: Saturday morning Foursomes saw the Captains side leap into an 8-2 lead, only for the Challengers team to claw it back by winning the afternoon Fourballs 6-4, giving the Captain a 12-8 overnight advantage. Sunday Foursomes were shared 5-5 and, once again, the Challengers won the Fourballs, this time 6 ½ - 3 ½. With the lead down to just a single point (20 ½ - 19 ½) it was all to play for on Monday in the Singles. Who could have predicted the scores as they came in off the 18th green? Certainly not the Captains! 15 ½ - 4 ½ must be one of, if not the most convincing (in percentage terms) of any Tour to date (opportunity here for you stats guys…)

From where I stood, all these elements came together to provide a fascinating, thrilling and hugely enjoyable time on the Lleyn Peninsula, with memories I shall remember (and treasure) for many years.. Congratulations to all who travelled to Wales. If Norfolk 2013 is half as good, it will be”. 

Graham Adams, Winning Team Captain


And Finally

As we come to the end of another hugely successful tour (the best yet some have said) we must say a big thank you to Steve Lloyd for putting the whole package together. A record 40 members of the society enjoyed 3 days of competitive golf on 3 top quality courses, each providing its own individual challenge but none of it would have happened without Steve’s dedication and commitment so I am happy to record that we are all extremely grateful for  his continued efforts on behalf of the society.

Thanks also to the 2 Captains, Graham Adams  and John Shaw – and to the vice captains, Ian Talboys and James Shipman for the tremendous spirit that the matches were played in.

Here’s to yet another successful tour next year in Norfolk!

NB This report was put together by Alan Tolley, ably assisted by Steve Lloyd and with the help of further  contributions from Graham Adams, John Shaw, Ian Talboys, Shaun Mullaney, Mike Fox, John Haley, Adam Thompson, Andy Smith, Gordon Galloway, John Bayliss, Steve Gross, Mark Johnson, Adrian Marchant and Neil Smith.

Current BUNGS tour win percentages

(After the 2012 North Wales Tour)

Member Tour Win Percentage No of Tours Attended
Hornby, Brian 100.0% 1
Heard, Alan 80.0% 1
Tyler, Gary 80.0% 1
Latham, Phil 76.3% 4
Fairweather, Stewart 70.0% 2
Holliday, Howard 67.0% 11
Lloyd, Steve 66.8% 14
Booth, Steve 66.3% 4
Dodwell, Martyn 66.0% 14
Vale, Craig 63.8% 4
Hughes, Karl 63.4% 14
Galloway, Gordon 63.3% 6
Newton, John 63.2% 7
Shaw, John 60.2% 13
Gross, Steve 60.0% 1
Harris, Nick 60.0% 1
Smith, Neil 58.6% 7
Thompson, Adam 58.1% 8
Weston, Paul 57.5% 8
Thacker, Tim 55.6% 12
Marchant, Adrian 54.4% 8
Talboys, Ian 53.4% 14
Haley, John 52.5% 3
Hayward, Simon 52.5% 4
Smith, Andy 52.1% 12
Poultney, Les 50.0% 2
Bilsland, Graham 49.1% 11
Sullivan, Gordon 48.5% 13
Bayliss, John 48.3% 9
Weston, Darren 47.9% 7
Shipman, James 47.1% 13
Mansell, John 46.9% 9
Moore, Jamie 46.8% 7
Thacker, Jeff 46.7% 6
Harris, Tom 46.7% 3
Heathcote, Ivan 46.3% 8
Tolley, Alan 45.5% 11
Johnson, Mark 45.0% 2
Black, Graeme 44.3% 7
Fox, Mike 42.5% 13
Ho, Bobby 41.9% 12
Hancock, Bill 41.8% 7
Craddy, Chris 40.0% 3
Ball, Bill 40.0% 2
Meaney, Peter 40.0% 1
Tomkiss, Terry 40.0% 2
Keates, Brian 39.0% 10
Stevens, Richard 36.8% 6
Herrmann, Paul 36.3% 10
Mullaney, Shaun 36.0% 5
Evans, John 35.0% 2
Jones, David 35.0% 2
Thacker, Mike 34.7% 5
Whitmore, Barry 34.5% 11
Harris, Steve 33.3% 3
Grubb, Dave 30.0% 7
Johnson, Lloyd 30.0% 1
Jackson, Anthony 30.0% 4
Adams, Graham 22.0% 5
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