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Norfolk Tour 2013

BUNGS Tour 2013 - Norfolk

7th June to 10th June 2013

The Two teams at Royal Cromer Golf Club
The Two teams at Royal Cromer Golf Club

This year saw 38 players returning to Norfolk exactly 10 years since the last Tour there in 2003 when the Society also played both Royal Cromer and Sheringham. However, 10 years ago the first day’s play was at Royal Norwich, whereas this year we had the prospect of 19 singles matches on the last day of the Tour at Luffenham Heath.

The Captain’s side was led by Ian Talboys, a stalwart of the Society and no doubt keen to make his mark, if only he could keep that infamous temper in check throughout the 3 days. The Challengers were led by Bill Ball whose side, on paper at least, looked to have a slight edge, but with plenty of points to play for over 3 fantastic courses, anything could happen.

The teams lined up as follows:

Captain Ian Talboy's Team Black H'Cap Challenger Bill Ball's Team Blue H'Cap
Ian Talboys 9 Bill Ball 6
Steve Lloyd, Vice Capt. 7 Graham Bilsland, Vice Capt. 2
Steve Barkshire 12 John Evans 19
Martyn Dodwell 6 Mike Fox 18
Gordon Galloway 8 Steve Gross 22
Dave Grubb 22 John Haley 19
Steve Harris 9 Alan Heard 11
Simon Hayward 10 Karl Hughes 9
Bobby Ho 12 Mark Johnson 11
Howard Holliday 5 Phil Latham 17
Brian Keates 23 Adrian Marchant 14
John Mansell 23 Jamie Moore 17
Peter Meaney 13 Shaun Mullaney 5
Pete Rawling (Guest) 17 John Shaw 5
Jeff Thacker 21 James Shipman 9
Tim Thacker 10 Gordon Sullivan 26
Alan Tolley 18 Adam Thompson 5
Gary Tyler 18 Terry Tomkiss 16
Craig Vale 16 Neil White 10


Friday 7th June 2013

37 members of the society and one ‘guest’ made the long journey to Norfolk.  While the rest of the UK was sweltering in the hottest temperatures of the year so far, the only corner of England without any sun, (and consequently covered by cloud), was the area around Cromer and Sheringham, ironically our base for the weekend!

We were booked into the Links Country Park Hotel which had its own 9 hole golf course attached and this proved to be a good test for those who had travelled down early the day before the competition started in earnest. The ‘licensed’ café sports bar alongside the 9th green also proved to be the ideal meeting place for those  who, having finished their round, were desperate for their first taste of alcohol of the weekend. As more and more players finished their rounds, the atmosphere became noisier – especially when Graham Bilsland’s tee shot at the last went too far left and almost decapitated Tim Thacker among the group down by the 9th green. Graham’s ‘provisional’ ball also flew straight left, into the hotel car park, eventually coming to a stop courtesy of Tim’s brand new Mercedes! It might have been a laughing matter initially but a legal discussion soon ensued as to whether GB would be personally liable for the damage to Tim’s car or whether it should  be the hotel as no ‘warning’ signs were observed. The wag who claimed that it was a ‘smashing’ start to the weekend shall remain nameless!

The discussions quickly turned to where to eat on the night with half of those present fancying an Indian and the rest a Chinese. It was agreed to meet up in a Sheringham pub, The Lobster Inn, from where, after a few beers, the parties would go their separate ways, either to the nearby Indian restaurant, or to take part in the local Thai cuisine (there was no Chinese restaurant in Sheringham). There being no night clubs or lap dancing establishments in Cromer or Sheringham, after eating  it was back to the hotel for drinks into the early hours before  battle commenced for real on Saturday morning.

The opening match, Ian Talboys versus mighty Alan Heard
The opening match, Ian Talboys versus mighty Alan Heard

Saturday 8th June 2013 - morning
Royal Cromer Golf Club

1 x singles match and 9 x foursomes matches (over 14 holes)

The weather forecast for the rest of the country was dry warm and sunny. In Norfolk however, it was cool, cloudy and with the prospect of early morning drizzle.

Essentially, it is a cliff top course with good sea views on some holes, but plenty of gorse, grassy valleys sandy hills and even a lighthouse dotted around the course.  The late arrivals might have been hoping for some ‘divine’ inspiration as they found the golf club car park full so had to park in a nearby church car park instead.

The opening foursomes matches began under grey skies with Society Secretary Steve Lloyd boldly wearing a pair of shorts, but hoping he wouldn’t be mistaken for an out of bounds marker. As everyone gathered around the first tee, Brian Keates, who should have had his mind on the forthcoming round, commented that the Challengers looked “very fetching” in their blue shirts and it was Yorkshire’s finest, Alan Heard, who got the opening drive away.

Alan Heard beat Ian Talboys 4/2
IT: Both players got the weekend off to a fine start with long, straight, tee shots down the first. However, that would be Ian’s first and last. The next two holes saw 2 holes lost and 3 balls lost, and from that point on Alan remained in control until he completed his victory.
Martyn Dodwell & Gordon Galloway half John Shaw & Karl Hughes A/S
JS: Karl and I started well becoming 2up after four after Gordon and Martyn hit three drives out of bounds and conceded on the fourth. Karl had previously hit an imperious drive down the middle. By the 11th however G+M had got the match to 1up for them after a nice birdie on the 14th. We parred the short 12th up the hill to level the scores. I then sank a 15 footer on 13 for a half in par. We halved the last after Martyn narrowly missed a ten footer for the win
Bill Ball & Shaun Mullaney beat Dave Grubb & Steve Harris 2/1
No match report received.
Craig Vale & Gary Tyler beat Mike Fox & Terry Tomkiss 4/2
No match report received.
Alan Tolley & Brian Keates beat Steve Gross & Adrian Marchant 2/1
AT:  The Captain’s side were off to a terrific start, winning the first 2 holes; I rolled in a 10-footer at the first for a 4 and after I’d split the fairway at the 2nd with my drive, Brian duly put the ball on the green form 150 yards and a 4 was good enough to go 2up. After that the game ebbed and flowed before we managed to go 3up but Steve and Adrian did finally come back at us, reducing the arrears at the long 11th. After I’d got down in 2 from the back of the 12th to keep our lead we then closed out the match on the 13th when I rolled in yet another putt from 7 feet to halve the hole and seal the point for our side.
Adam Thompson & James Shipman beat Jeff Thacker & John Mansell 4/2
AT:  Ugly, scrappy, consistently inconsistent and hilarious are just some of the words that could be used to describe this match. No hole was halved in the entire match with holes regularly being conceded and if not being conceded then a 7 was usually good enough for a win. Despite this, the match was played in a good spirit with plenty of banter most of which revolved around James or ‘Yippy Zippy’ and his unusual putting technique.  On occasions it seemed as if he was stuck in suspended animation, then he would lift the putter up and down, then pause for a while more before finally giving it a go.  That said he did hole a decent 10 footer to put the challengers 1up early doors and we never looked back from then on winning 4 holes on the bounce and ended winning 4 & 2.
Phil Latham & Neil White beat Steve Lloyd & Tim Thacker 4/3
SL: Steve and Tim never really got 'going' in this match and Steve's topped tee shot at the first pretty much summed-up their morning, with silly mistakes and slices of bad luck costing them dearly. After two halves they did managed to go one up at the third but then lost four holes in a row. Lost balls cost them at the 5th and 7th but on the 6th, the God Poseidon somehow stopped Phil's drive disappearing over the cliff edge and into the icy water below. The lie was that good in fact that Neil managed to get a 5 iron to it whilst Tim's drive had found a horrific lie just off the fairway. Phil and Neil used their shot for a nett par and the win. Three down on the 8th tee, Steve and Tim did manage to win the 8th and should have won the 9th but three putted for a half. They were in a good position to win the 10th until Tim's wedge into the green hit a sprinkler head and richocheted into an unplayable lie at the back of the green and the hole was lost. Phil and Neil finally secured a well deserved victory by winning the 11th for a 4/3 win.
Jamie Moore & John Haley half Bobby Ho & Howard Holliday A/S
No match report received.
Graham Bilsland & Mark Johnson beat Peter Meaney & Steve Barkshire 3/1
MJ: GB was delayed to the first tee as he decided he had time for a toilet break leaving the rest of us wondering where he was. In his flustered state, he loses the first ball of the match with his first shot to the first green. 1 down. A Massive drive by GB at th second leaves easy wedge for MCJ to the green - All square.   The third is won in seven after much messing about by both teams.   We get called through on the fourth as the group in front lose balls in the woods to a cross wind . Trying to speed play up means the non drivers have walked down the hole, only to be called back to hit drives.   Fifth is halved in fives.   Sixth is won to go three up after a great drive by GB. Both sides chip poorly.   Seventh and eighth are lost to good putting by PM and SB. One up   Ninth is halved after neither side can hit the green.   Tenth is won with a five after a great drive by GB. Two up   Eleventh is lost to a six with shot after poor third by MCJ. Back to one up.   Twelfth is won after PM struggles with a short putt. Two up   Thirteenth and the match is won with a birdie after a good club selection debate by GB and MCJ - driver.   Overall the match was a mix of very good and very bad shots. There was a lot of poor chipping and poor putting but a couple of driving gems by GB on the second and MCJ on thirteen won the match.
Pete Rawling & Simon Hayward beat John Evans & Gordon Sullivan 6/4
No match report received.

Match Score

Captain's Team - 6 / Challenger's Team - 4


Sunday 9th June 2013 - afternoon
Royal Cromer Golf Club

1 x singles match and 9 x fourball-betterball matches

Gordon Galloway beat Karl Hughes 4/3
No match report received.
Ian Talboys & Gary Tyler beat Alan Heard & Bill Ball 3/1
IT: With Ian’s game heading south, Gary stepped up to the breach at the first with a long, straight tee shot and an excellent second to the green.  The lead was handed back at the next with Alan’s gross birdie. The match continued with no more than a hole in it until the back nine when Ian awoke from his slumber on the short par 4 12th holing from off the green for a par (having been on the green in two!) to take him and Gary 2up. A great up and down by Alan at 13 and a long putt by Bill at 14 wiped out this lead, making the match All Square with 4 to play. However, at the dogleg par 4 15th both Alan and Bill lost tee shots to the right, whilst Ian hit a long tee shot up the middle. Alan then found his tee shot and made a brave bogey, however, Ian followed his tee shot with a 9 iron onto the green and two putts for a winning par 4. A par 4 at the short par 4 16th put Ian and Gary Dormie two up, and Ian then closed out the match with Sand Wedge to a four feet at 17, rolling the birdie putt in to seal the match.
John Shaw & James Shipman beat Craig Vale & Alan Tolley 2up
JS: Excellent match   We halved the first, on the second our opponents were on the green for two with a shot and parred the hole and we both missed birdie putts for the half. On the third Craig got a par after smashing his drive miles right, I three putted to lose the hole. Steady golf by Alan for a 5 nett 4 on the next put you three up by the fourth. Me and James by this stage were throwing our toys out of the pram. We parred 4 out of the next five holes to reduce the deficit to 1 down by the turn. A birdie by me on the long 11th and a par (after an extremely generous concession) on the 12th put us  1 up. Craig and Alan then won the par three and also the lighthouse hole to put them 1 up. I then parred the 15th and Craig halved with a 5 net 4.  I finished with three 3s to win the last three holes for a 2 up score. I was 2 over gross for the round except for a blob on 14.

AT:  A really good match from start to finish. Unfortunately, I was only given 17 minutes to eat lunch so I wasn’t able to drink much and hardly touched the soup because it was piping hot. However, armed with a bag full of mini eccles cakes I was convinced I’d manage to last the distance and, sure enough, right from the off, Craig and I clicked and with some solid play we found ourselves 2 up after just 3 holes. As the skies became more overcast and drizzly, and with the temperature more like February than June, the Challengers cause wasn’t helped when James admitted  he hadn’t brought any long sleeve gear with him on tour because the forecast had been for hot, sunny days. As John, Craig and myself began to put on our waterproof tops, James cast a lone figure in his short sleeve shirt (Brian would still have thought it ‘fetching’ of course). Not that it would have been the right thing to do in the circumstances, but we were literally too cold to laugh at his misfortune, although, even playing partner John managed to join us in a wry smile when James carved his tee shot at the 6th, into the teeth of the wind and over the cliffs never to be seen again. It was the obligatory, but rather hopeless, cry of ‘fore’ which made us titter – James, clearly unable to fully leave his day job behind, reckoned he was more concerned for the health and wellbeing of anyone who might have been walking along the beach ! John almost drove the green at the 8th to win that hole and our lead was reduced again at the next with James the only one finding the green from the tee.  Indeed, after hitting out tee shots at the 9th we passed Adam Thompson playing in the match behind and he was dressed as if it was the Christmas Cup at Maxstoke Park in December, so goodness knows how James felt in the chilly conditions. We should have halved the 11th but after a great approach shot from me to 4 feet I promptly missed the putt and the match was suddenly back to all square. We lost the 12th to go 1 down but fought back to win both the 13th and 14th to go 1 up again. We were still 1 up playing the 16th and, with only a short shot left to the green I fancied our chances of going 2 up with 2 to play but John had other ideas, putting his approach shot to 8 feet. With Craig’s ball having been lost I then clumsily put my approach to the back of the green, some 30 feet away. The Challengers made us pay – John holing his 8-footer for a birdie 3 and the match all square. At the short 17th, with me out of it, it was all down to the putts from off the green. Craig’s unluckily slipped by on the left and ran on. John safely 2-putted but Craig had a tricky one back which just missed. Challengers 1 up then playing the last. If we thought we had a chance of saving a point, John showed us how it should be done hitting a magnificent drive some 3oo yards straight down the middle, leaving a lob wedge to 10 feet. Neither Craig or myself could match that and with our opponents winning the last 3 holes the match deservedly went the way of the two doctors. Indeed, while James proved, like us, he was a mere mortal, John ended the day 2 over gross for his round– he was that good !
Adam Thompson & Adrian Marchant beat Martyn Dodwell & John Mansell 2/1
AT: This was a tight match throughout.  Adam & Marcho went 2 up at the third, it then went 1 up, 2up back to 1up until then 11th where the captains team got back to level.  It looked as if they would go on to win the match as they went ahead for the first time at the next with the challengers looking a tad ragged.
Jeff Thacker & Brian Keates beat Graham Bilsland & Phil Latham 6/5
No match report received.
Neil White & Shaun Mullaney beat Dave Grubb & Howard Holliday 3/2
No match report received.
Steve Harris & Steve Barkshire beat Steve Gross & Jamie Moore 2/1
No match report received.
Gordon Sullivan & Terry Tomkiss half Steve Lloyd & Peter Meaney A/S
This was predominately the Terry versus Peter 'show' on the front nine with only the odd contribution from their respective partners. The match swayed to and fro during the front nine, never more than one hole in it. Gordon made a 3 nett 2 on the ninth to go one up but Peter's par on the 10th once again squared the match. Gordon's nett par was enough to win the 11th but Steve again squared the game with a par at 12. Old man Sullivan was at it again with a 3 nett  2 on the 13th with an unbelievable chip and putt when he looked 'down and out' and then Terry made another nett birdie at the 14th to go 2up. Peter made a nett birdie on 15 to pull one back and Steve seemed to have squared the match after rolling in a 30 footer for birdie on 16 only to see Gordon come-up with another miraculous up and down for a nett birdie and a half. Steve did managed to finally square the match with a par at 17 and they looked in good position to take a hard fought win on 18 with Peter on the green in regulation. Gordon was out of it and Terry faced a near impossible flop shot over the bunker to a tight pin. However, Terry played the best shot I witnessed all trip and hit a sublime shot to three feet and rolled the putt in to half the match. A very enjoyable and close game with everyone agreeing a half was the fair result.
Simon Hayward & Tim Thacker beat Mike Fox & John Evans 6/5
No match report received.
Bobby Ho & Pete Rawling half Mark Johnson & John Haley A/S
MJ:  1st - Peter hits two shots to be just at the front of the green whilst others take three and are still not there. One down

Three holes are then halved by PR and MCJ with regulation pars.

5th - Having kept the third shot away from the out of bounds, MCJ goes in the left hand bunker only to get up and down for par and the win - All square

6th - is halved in 6  after some average play.

7th - Some poor chipping by JH and MCJ contribute but a superb up and down for 5 from the back of the green by BH wins. One down.

8th - Halved in 4 but MCJ has to hole a good putt to halve following two great shots by BH.

9th - Won by PR in 3 after he is the only one to hit the green with his tee shot. Two down

10th - Halved in par by PR and MCJ after MCJ  gets up and down from the right side hollow.

11th - PR returns the complement to MCJ by getting up and down from 50 yards for par.

12th - MCJ wins in 5 after BH gets an attack of the s-----ks - One down

13th - MCJ wins the hole in 3 after hitting the green having had his club selection questioned by the opposition. All square.

14th - Some good driving here but well played by PR who wins with a 5. One down

15th - PR wins the hole with a 5 nett  4 after a very good long putt to a couple of inches. With Peter on the left edge of the green and MCJ on the right, JH and BH at the back Peters ball moves from the green where it had been stationary for a good couple of minutes, and rolled back towards him. No-one had seen what had happened so he replaced it and we carried on. Two down.

16th - BH and MCJ drive down the left of fairway and PR and JH down the right in rough. MCJ misses the green left but BH hits in two but leaves a long putt from the back to front. MCJ chips very close for four and BH then overhits his putt  to almost go off the front of the green and misses the return. One down

17th - Only MCJ hits the green and wins in 3 - All square.

18th - BH is left of the green in two and s---ks another over the green. MCJ is in the front right bunker for two but gets on the green with an uphill putt  but can only two putt for 5. PR is left with a very difficult downhill left to right 15 foot  putt for the half and gets it.   A great match that finishes a great day. Very enjoyable.

Match Score

Captain's Team - 10 / Challenger's Team - 10


In the evening, back at the hotel, we had the unusual sight of a Scotsman (Gordon Galloway) actually purchasing a bottle of wine for his table – no, this is not a rumour as I actually saw him with my own eyes !

Sunday 10th June 2013 - morning
Sheringham Golf Club

1 x singles match and 9 x foursomes matches

Sheringham is a beautiful place to play golf, with the spectacular Norfolk coastline running down one side of the course, and a steam railway line dividing the other side of the course from  open countryside. The golf club itself has a distinguished history, having hosted a number of top amateur events over the years. The skies were still overcast at the start of play but with the promise of sunshine to come later on. The overall match score was evenly poised as the 2nd day’s foursomes began in earnest.

Tim Thacker & Gary Tyler beat John Shaw & Shaun Mullaney 5/4
JS: Tim and Gary (also known as the Bungs Banditos) were obvious favourites with their 9 shots. Shaun and I managed to stay level with them up to the turn and were talking amongst ourselves even of victory. But Tim ("I always expect to play under my handicap") Thacker and Gary were quietly confident that their 5 shots on the back nine would prove decisive. Shaun missed a tricky down hiller on 10 for a sand save for a half and then John made a poor decision to putt from off the green on 11 leaving Shaun with a tricky downhiller which he missed that started the inevitable victory charge for Tim and Gary as they won 5 holes in a row to win 5 and 4. Shaun and myself then spent the long dinner time eating sausage rolls and chips and going through the handicaps of the BUNGs members suggesting which should be reviewed and suggesting various relevant changes up and down. Tim Thacker (the BUNGS handicap secretary) said he would consider all reasonable suggestions of amendments and felt his handicap was much too low and was thinking of revising it upwards anyway at the end of the year.

GT: Shaun hit a good drive down the fairway of the 5th hole. A dog then ran on to the fairway grabbed the ball and ran off. The owner was yelling at the dog to come back and eventually prized the ball from its mouth and threw it back on the fairway 20 yards closer to the green!
Steve Harris & Pete Rawling half Neil White & Terry Tomkiss A/S
No match report received.
Simon Hayward & Bobby Ho beat Alan Heard & Phil Latham 3/2
No match report received.
Craig Vale & Steve Barkshire beat Graham Bilsland & Mark Johnson 5/3
MJ: 1st  - Great drives by GB and SB leave a short irons in which MCJ and CV both hit to the back of the green. Good putts leave MCJ a short one for the half but he misses. One down.

2nd  - CV hits a superb drive down the centre but MCJ drives down the right into the light rough. GB hits a great second but it finishes on the top of a fluffy mound , leaving an awkward stance. Not able to reach the green in 3 means two down.

3rd  - Great drive by GB leaves an easy 5 iron to the green for a steady 4. CV hits a second shot to the behind the back left of the green leaving SB to chip and two putts later a 5/4 and a half.

4th  - A great second shot by GB to the green means a regulation par. Unable to get up and down means a 5 for CV/SB - One down.

5th  - Both teams play the hole well for 5 but the shot means a win for CV/SB. CV hitting a superb second shot from the left hand rough. It was above his feet and approx 230yards out and hit to the back of the green - Two down.

6th  - CV hits his worst shot of the day. His tee shot is blocked well right - over the heads of the coastal path walkers. A very loud shout of FORE !! from all of us should have been heard but not one person seemed to hear. The ball finished on the beach. MCJ hits a safe shot left of the green and GB hits the second stone dead. One down.

7th  - A good drive by GB finishes in a very difficult position over a rough mound means a hack out. A good steady par by SB/CV means two down again.

8th  - Both teams miss the green on the par 3 but SB chips well to leave an easy putt for the win. Three down

9th  - Another regulation par after a great drive by GB leaves CV and SB needing to hole a putt for a 5 with a shot to halve.

10th  - CV hits another great drive but MCJ hits a poor one leaving GB in the rough and a terrible lie. Four down.

11th - GB hits the green after much debate about the wind whilst SB hits the bunker short right. MCJs putt finishes close for a much needed win. Three down.

12th - A drive in the fairway by MCJ produces a 5 but rough left for CV means a 6. Two down

13th - Two good drives leave  irons to the green but both end with fives and with a shot for CV and SB . Three down.

14th - CV blocks his shot right again to what looks a terrible place so SB will hit a provisional. MCJ hits a good drive. CVs ball is easily found and a good shot gets to the green. Unfortunately, GB has problems with his arm and hits the second into the left rough resulting in a 5. Dormie four down.

15th - GB has further arm problems and the tee shot goes well left into the gorse which means a loss of 5 and 3   Enjoyable company but we did not compete well enough. A deserved win by CV and SB.
Martyn Dodwell & Steve Lloyd beat Jamie Moore & Adrian Marchant 2/1
SL: Steve and Martyn have always been a formidable foursomes pairing dating back to many many successful years in the foursomes knockout at Aberdovey. Jamie and Marcho were going to have their work cut out and this proved the case as Lloyd/Dodwell went up early but the Reading pair kept the match tight and it was only a complete mess-up from both of them on the 17th that stopped the match going down the last, when anything could have happened.
Ian Talboys & Dave Grubb beat Bill Ball & James Shipman 5/4
IT: It was the Grubby show that carried the Captain’s Team to victory in this game, with his partner coming in where necessary to assist in a comprehensive win.  However, one hole that was not won by either side was par 5, 7th which was halved in “Wrong Ball”. As both teams managed to both play the wrong ball out of the fairway bunker.
Jeff Thacker & Alan Tolley beat John Evans & John Haley 3/1
AT:  Ideal conditions for golf as we began our match with a steam train from the local preserved railway pulling out of Sheringham station and puffing alongside the 18th fairway. As we’ve done on a number of previous occasions, Jeff and I dovetailed perfectly in the foursomes format as our steady play overall was too good for our opponents and we didn’t really give them a look in. We walked off the 13th green 5up and dormie so, with a nice long, leisurely lunch in prospect we strode onto the 14th tee full of confidence as the 2 x Johns couldn’t win all 5 remaining holes, surely ? Well, when they won 14 and 15 we still thought we’d be alright as we were walking back to the clubhouse that way anyway, but then they won 16 as well and the slightest of doubts began to creep into our minds. Fortunately, after Jeff had just managed to keep his tee shot in bounds down the right of the 17th, I played one of my best shots of the weekend, hitting a 3 wood to 20 feet and when Jeff rolled the putt to the edge of the hole to guarantee a par 4, the match was (finally) over!
Adam Thompson & Karl Hughes beat Peter Meaney & John Mansell 3/2
AT: Adam and John were drawn against each other for the third match running and with John pointless at this stage was keen to get something on the board. John and Peter started well and played some good golf to 2up through 8.  It was at this point that the challengers got a stroke of good fortune as Peter’s ball went awol done 9.  Three pars on the next 3 holes and the challengers had gone 2up.  They had a little wobble with victory in sight but wins at the 15th and 16th saw them home by 3 & 2.
Mike Fox & Gordon Sullivan beat Gordon Galloway & Howard Holliday 4/2
No match report received.
Steve Gross beat Brian Keates 3/2
No match report received.

Match Score

Captain's Team - 16.5 / Challenger's Team - 13.5


Sunday 10th June 2013 - afternoon
Sheringham Golf Club

9 x fourball-betterball matches

John Shaw & Neil White beat Steve Harris & Bobby Ho 3/2
JS: After pars on the first, Bobby parred the second for BH and SH to go one up. JS parred the long third but Steve Harris hit a poor 20 foot putt on the same green exclaiming "Goodness Me!" as he thought he had left it miles short only to see it going straight in the middle of the hole to win much to the rejoicing of myself and Neil. Two down then. Neil and Bobby had 4 net 3s on the 5th before Steve ("I need to chip this in") Harris chipped in from off the green for a par three on the 6th for a half. That was that for the Ho and Harris team as their luck ran out as Neil and myself halved four and won five of the next holes to win 3 and 2. Neil and I would have had 42 points between us for fourball/betterball  stableford.
Gary Tyler & Steve Barkshire beat Terry Tomkiss & Shaun Mullaney 1up
No match report received.
Martyn Dodwell & Craig Vale beat Adrian Marchant & Phil Latham 2up
No match report received.
Ian Talboys & Steve Lloyd half Alan Heard & James Shipman A/S
IT: A tight match throughout came alive in back nine. After both missing holeable birdie putts at the 12th, the Captain’s Team finally got back to All Square with Ian holing a curling birdie putt on 13. Pars by Ian on the next 3 kept the match at All Square going into the last two holes, and a further par on 17 following a great up and down from 30 yards, put the Captain’s Team 1up. However, on 18 a stunning par 4 from James, left Steve and Ian with a putt and chip respectively for the half.  Both narrowly missed, and the game finished All Square.
Bill Ball & Mark Johnson beat Tim Thacker & Jeff Thacker 4/2
MJ: 1st - A superb start from the team captain. TT pars after two great shots but not as great as BB who birdies from inches.

2nd - The birdies continue, but for TT as he hits a great third to six feet and holes. Back to all square.

3rd - BB and TT battle again but the shot TT has, wins the hole in fives.

4th - BB and TT hit good tee shots and JT and MCJ poor ones. MCJs looks to be going all the way down the hill to the first but it stops in the light rough luckily. GPS comes in here and he hits the green in two only to three putt. Everyone else is as bad and the hole is halved in 5.

5th - TT hits his drive left of the fairway and has an awkward lie for his second. He goes for the green and his shot goes right towards a walker on the cliff. A loud 'FORE' later and the ball drops close to him. He puts his hand up in acknowledgment and walks off. We then struggle to find it. Even though we saw where it landed. TT feels that the walker could have stayed to show us where it was. A regulation par by BB wins the hole. All square.

6th - The green was a ball free area after our tee shots but BB again hits a superb second to a foot and we are one up.

7th. - So far it has been the Bill and Tim show, but now the bit part players turn up. MCJ gets up and down from 60 yards for a par and the hole is halved by JT with his 6 nett 5 after some excellent shot.

8th - BB hits a superb tee shot to the left edge whilst TT finds a bad spot wide right. JT can't chip close enough and three wins the hole for BB. two up.

9th - JT wins the hole with a 5 nett 4 after some very steady play and an extremely good long first putt. one up at the turn.

10th - MCJ takes himself out of the hole by playing JTs ball to pitch to the green.(Over a bunker,one I find difficult and played it quite well)  No-one really plays it well except for the putts by TT for a half.

11th - Remarkably , all four hit the green. No-one is close enough to hole a putt and the undulating green wins. Halved in 3.

12th. - JT does not need his shot to win the hole after BB and MCJ play it poorly. TTs driving goes off when he finds an awkward lie in the left hand bunker but he gets out well from an awkward lie. Back to all square.

13th - TT pulls another drive leaving JT, BB and MCJ  in the fairway. JT pulls his second left into the light rough then hits over the green but the hole is won by MCJ with a 80 yard pitch to a couple of feet. One up

14th - Four reasonable tee shots suggest this might be another halved hole but TT and JT then visit the rough making it difficult. BB hits a great second for line, but long. He then chips and putts for his par. Two up.

15th - JT and BB hit great tee shots but BB just runs through to the back. TT blocks one right but chips on to have a putt for 3. MCJ is short and two chips later putts out for 4. JT then three putts and TT misses leaving BB a six footer for par and the win. Dormie 3.

16th - JT and MCJ hit into the dip on the right. TT hits into rough left. BB hits a great shot up onto the hill. MCJ is lucky to be a yard short of the ditch with a good lie but JT is in it and has to take a penalty drop out. MCJ hits to the front of the green and BB to the back. TT loses his ball left. JT hits a good shot , pin high right  but has trouble chipping so another hole won  means a win . 4 and 2      Another great match in great company on a superb course.
Pete Rawling & Alan Tolley beat Graham Bilsland & Mike Fox 4/2
AT: A terrific lunch of soup and sandwiches (and sausage rolls if you were lucky) before starting the afternoon session in bright sunshine for the first time. I was partnering society ‘guest’ Pete Rawling, a colleague of Bobby Ho, and having found ourselves 2 down after 2 holes, Pete’s solid play kept us in it over the front 9, although he did give me a rather questioning look on the 3rd as I took a rescue club out to ‘punch’ my approach shot from 100 yards out (he clearly hadn’t heard how bad I am with irons from the fairway!). If he thought he’d have to do it all on his own, I reassured him by telling him not to worry as I would come good on the back 9. Sure enough, with Foxy feeling the cold and Graham suffering from an arm injury he picked up the day before, my game suddenly re-appeared from nowhere as I made a 4 at the difficult 9th, and followed that with another 4 at the short 11th where Graham was in all sorts of trouble short and left of the green. I drove home our advantage by finding the green with my second shot at the long 12th and then, at the 14th, with Graham clearly suffering from injury, I had a 5 footer to put us 4 up with 4 to play – which I duly holed. The match was all over at the next when Pete made certain of a 4 with the Challengers unable to better that score. Graham, Pete and myself elected to play the last 3 holes anyway but Foxy, who by this time had more layers on than an arctic explorer, chose to call it a day and head in to the clubhouse in his buggy, leaving playing partner Graham, with an injured arm, to carry his bag for the last few holes.
Simon Hayward & Howard Holliday beat Karl Hughes & Gordon Sullivan 5/4
No match report received.
John Evans & Jamie Moore beat Dave Grubb & John Mansell 2/1
No match report received.
Adam Thompson & John Haley beat Gordon Galloway & Peter Meaney 1up
AT: This was very much a match of two nines.  Peter & Gordon played well early on with Gordon in particularly good form making two early birdies and they looked to have the match in total control. John had spent much of the front nine minding his own business enjoying the walk and fresh air!!  On the 9th tee he had stated that he was feeling tired, that may have explained the poor front nine, but after that he was a changed man.  His ‘illegal’ putter suddenly came alive and he was sinking putts from all over the place.  3 down at the turn the match was level at the 16th.  Another good putt at 17 from John and the challengers went ahead.  Gordon made a valiant attempt at 18 as his birdie putt slid by, a par was not enough though and the challengers won 1up.

Match Score

Captain's Team - 21 / Challenger's Team - 18


The talk over dinner was surprisingly not so much about the closeness of the match and which team might triumph tomorrow, but was more about how many people returned to the hotel yesterday and found there was no hot water to have a shower or a bath. We certainly didn’t want the reputation of being the ‘smelliest’ society, so we all had to be pretty inventive in our methods of washing for dinner, but it did at least give new meaning to the phrase, ‘spit and polish’ ! There was a strong hint that Gordon Galloway may well have been one of those who had to go without water as I was right behind him, checking out in the morning and when the receptionist asked him if he’d enjoyed his stay, the question was met with deafening silence from our resident Scotsman.

Monday 11th June 2013
Luffenham Heath Golf Club

19 x singles matches

Instead of having a 4 hour journey home at the end of the day, the 19 singles matches were played over the fantastic Luffenham Heath course near Stamford in Lincolnshire. This promised to be the toughest test of the weekend, with the course populated by gorse, hawthorn bushes, pine trees, undulating greens, knee high rough (thigh high in some places) and tight fairways. With just 3 points in it, the course would prove to be a tough test for both sides but who would come out on top ?

Ian Talboys beat Bill Ball 4/3
IT: Neither played their best golf in this battle of the captains. Ian played the par 3s well but gifted holes to Bill, particularly the 7th and 8th with tee shots into the challenging rough. Wins at 9 and 10 pulled Ian back to All Square. Following good use of his shot on 11 and another par 3 at 12, Ian went into a 2 up lead. For once Ian could not complain of bad luck following his tee shot on 13 disappearing into the trees and then reappearing shortly after in the middle of the fairway. Ian managed to just about win the hole, and another win on the 15th sealed his victory.
James Shipman beat Brian Keates 3/2
No match report received.
Steve Barkshire beat Phil Latham 3/2
No match report received.
Tim Thacker beat Karl Hughes 4/3
Tim was bang on form, Karl not quite at his best, with the result that Tim was soon 7 up and Karl must have been thinking to himself that the match would soon be over, but after a brief fightback when Karl threatened to take the match down the closing holes, Tim suddenly stepped up a gear and won quite comfortably in the end.  
Alan Tolley beat Adam Thompson 1up
Adam T:  It was another enjoyable tour and I did manage to play some decent golf on the first two days but felt my game ‘disappearing’ on the back nine on the Sunday. Shame really as would like to have played well round Luffenham as it is such a nice course.  Obviously beating Alan would have been a bonus !!!

Alan T:  A somewhat scrappy start to the match with the first hole being halved in 6 and, later on, I even managed to win one hole with a 7 ! I drove the ball beautifully throughout but couldn’t really get the rest of my game going. Consequently, Thommo was soon 2 up and I began to anticipate a heavy beating but, somehow, I got it back to all square before Thommo restored his 2 hole lead. That was when it all started to fall apart as he lost 2 balls off the tee and I won 2 holes in quick succession to square the match again. I then went 1 up at the 15th after Thommo carved his second shot way to the right of the green, the ball never to be seen again. At the 16th Thommo drove into a fairway bunker and I put my approach a couple of yards short of the putting surface. Thommo had found a greenside bunker with his second so a 5 nett 4 was good enough to put me 2 up with 2 to play. I really fancied my chances of closing the match out at the 17th, a short hole where I had a shot. Thommo found the green from the tee, whereas I pushed mine to the right. With Thommo making a 3 all I had to do was chip on, take 2 putts and it would have been all over, but I’d stymied myself and my first chip caught the large bank to the side of the green and came up short. A chip from there left me a 5 footer downhill and across the slope for a 4 nett 3 and the win but the ball drifted past on the left so it was down the 18th to decide the match. Once again, I split the fairway with my drive, with Adam long and left from the tee. Thommo got his ball back into play but I didn’t hit a great second, leaving 150 yards still to go. With the result in the balance Tim, playing in the match alongside against Karl, gave me a talking to, telling me that I still had a shot in hand, that Thommo would get a 5 at best, so a 6 from me would be enough to win. Thommo put his 3rd in the left hand bunker, while I played up just short of the green with my 3rd shot. With Thommo getting up and down for a 5 all I had to do was get down in 3 from the front edge but, nerves got the better of me and I left the first one way too short which meant I had 2 putts from 15 feet down hill and across a side slope for the win. In truth, it had been a scrappy match, with neither of us at our best, and neither of us deserving to win outright but with my mentor Tim still urging me on, I managed to coax the ball down to tap in range and the win was finally in the bag !
Gordon Galloway beat Alan Heard 4/2
No match report received.
Peter Meaney beat Mike Fox 4/2
No match report received.
Steve Lloyd beat John Shaw 2/1
JS: This epic match of golf was won by Steve 2 and 1 as he played slightly less worse golf than I played. John had arrived early to go on the practice round and found he was hitting his driver excellently but with a slight fade. He has an adjustable driver and so decided to set it up for a high draw. On the practice ground he started hitting exquisite high draws. The match started poorly with Steve scuffing his recovery club off the tee. He did this many times but I wasn't able to capitalise. Many of the holes were won without reaching the green. I three putted about five holes and despite getting nearest the pin on 12 which was five foot away I still didn't sink the putt. I even tried another two times but didn't even hit the hole. Amazingly we were level by 12. I conceded 13 and 14 after slicing drives into the trees. After going dormie on 16 John and Steve had a wait on the 17th so John told Steve he wouldn't use his driver again and would reset it back to the neutral position. Only then did he realise that he had been reading the instructions for the left handed driver and had actually set his club up for a low cut shot! A par by Steve on 17 was enough for the match.

SL: No idea what John was on when he wrote the above report but my golf was absolutely sublime on the day and it was only huge strokes of luck from John that stopped me beating him 10/8. :-)
John Evans beat Bobby Ho 4/3
No match report received.
Jeff Thacker beat Steve Gross 5/4
No match report received.
Mark Johnson half Howard Holliday A/S
MJ: 1st. - A good start as both hit the fairway but HHs is 270 yards. Halved.

2nd - HH has his first taste of the rough as a long drive catches the right hand side. With a shot, MCJ can lay up and putt out. One up

3rd - MCJs turn to hit a poor drive when in some doubt of the better club. All square.

4th - Two good drives leave shots down the hill to the green. MCJ hits a shot to drop short and run on. Unfortunately, it runs through the green. HH does the same but finishes short. Two fives result

5th - Both tee shots finish left of the green. HH on grass and MCJ in sand. Both get up and down for another half.

6th - Both hit good drives and poor seconds mean both are on in four and halve in six.

7th - HH hits a great drive. MCJ hits the fairway but too far away to hit the elevated green. HH hits a superb second that goes past the flag. MCJ hits the green in three leaving a long putt on HHs line which ends close for 5 nett 4. HH hardly hits his first putt leaving a difficult second which misses. One up.

8th - MCJ s tee shot is down the left which is blocked out from the green. HH hits a superb tee shot and second to set up a steady par four. MCJ gets up and down from the back of the green but only for five. All square.

9th - HH hits the green. MCJ doesn't. One down.

10th - HH finds the trees left and can only advance the ball a few yards. His third gets well out of the rough and hits the green, only to run through to be very close to a large tree at the back on the green. MCJ is pin high , left of the green in two but can only chip and two putt for five. HH gets up and down brilliantly to halve.

11th - MCJ hits a poor drive into deep rough under trees after another long superb drive by HH. MCJ gets out to the fairway but cannot prevent a par by HH to win. Two down.   12th - Both hit the green - HH in centre but MCJ front left. MCJ hits a good putt that goes close but much too long. He holes the one back. HH halves easily.

13th - Both hit good drives and HH is just short in two and MCJ short in three. MCJ pitches to eight feet and gets five nett four but HH misses his par putt. Back to one down.

14th - Both hit the green in two and MCJ has a long putt up the hill that is hit too hard to drop in but jumps up and drops a couple of inches away. HH halves easily.

15th - Both hit drives left into the rough. MCJ has the better lie and plays out to the fairway. HH has a tough shot but gets out to the light rough and plays to the green and lands in the left hand bunker. MCJ hit the green. HH gets out and two putts leaving three putts with a shot to win. All square.

16th. - HH is on in two, MCJ short right in two. MCJ chips to five feet. HH misses his putt and it rolls  four feet past. MCJ holes to which HH comments ' You really are a B*****D' ' --  I thought that a little unkind.

17th - MCJ hits green but HH goes in the front right bunker. HH plays out leaving a devilish left to right downhill putt that he then holes leaving MCJ an easy three footer up the hill for half.

18 - All square going down the last. MCJ hits a poor drive high and right it will be in the edge of the gorse. HH hits another superb drive. MCJ hits his third after a penalty drop to just past the centre mounds in the fairway but does not have a good stance so  he then hits a fourth to leave 60 yards. HH hits an easy second then drops his third short and chips on but runs past the flag. MCJ hits the green further away on a similar line to HH. MCJ holes the slight downhill left to right putt for six leaving HH a putt to win the hole. Unfortunately, he misses and a halved hole and match results.   It was a wonderful match to play in but really I was lucky. Howard hit some brilliant shots and deserved the win. Luffenham Heath was a great course to play so long as you kept out of the rough. A course well worth the trip.
John Mansell beat Adrian Marchant 1up
No match report received.
Jamie Moore beat Steve Harris 6/5
No match report received.
Gary Tyler beat John Haley 5/4
GT: On the 9th at Luffenham Heath I managed to hit the ball through the door into the refreshment hut next to the green. I still managed to keep up my 100% winning record though!
Dave Grubb beat Neil White 2up
No match report received.
Martyn Dodwell beat Graham Bilsland
(conceded the match on 11th hole)
Apparently, Graham retired ‘hurt’ – but we don’t know whether it was his arm or his pride which took the fall! 
Pete Rawling beat Shaun Mullaney 1up
No match report received.
Simon Hayward beat Gordon Sullivan 5/4
No match report received.
Craig Vale beat Terry Tomkiss 2/1
No match report received.

Final Match Score

Captain's Team - 36.5 / Challenger's Team - 11.5


Just as last year, a terrific last day’s play from the Captain’s side made the final scoreline more emphatic than most had anticipated at the start of play.

A great result for Society captain Ian Talboys at his first attempt, although there was a light hearted moment during the dinner on the last day when Ian, a financial planner by trade, appeared to be having some difficulty counting out the money for the various prizes and making it all add up. Adrian Marchant earned himself  the quote of the day when he asked Ian, “What profession did you say you were again?”

Special mention must go to Gary Tyler and Simon Hayward, both members of the winning side and both of whom managed a 100% record over the weekend (Simon even had to battle against last day sickness to overcome Gordon Sullivan in the singles) so well done chaps !


Quote from the Winning Captain

Yet another superbly organised tour, which somehow managed to avoid the high temperatures experienced by the rest of the country over the weekend.  Although the teams appeared evenly matched on paper, some great performances from a number of players (particularly Gary Tyler, Steve Barkshire and Craig Vale) over the first couple of days brought my team a valuable lead going into the singles. It is still a mystery how so many close looking games ended up going my team’s way on the last day, but it demonstrated the strength in depth of my team.

I would like to thank Bill for being such a worthy opponent, who set a great example for future tour captains, bringing the perfect balance between wanting to win and playing the game in the right spirit.

I would also like to thank my vice-captain Steve, for his input and support over the weekend. Particularly during our fourball match at Sheringham, when the toys were starting to exit the pram!

Ian Talboys, Winning Team Captain


And Finally

Another successful  tour, brilliantly organised yet again so a huge thank you to Steve Lloyd for putting the whole thing together.  There was some terrific play from both sides, although a few lost balls on the way in the gorse at Cromer or the knee high rough at Luffenham Heath,  but it takes a lot of effort to organise an event like this for it to run smoothly so, despite the water (or lack of) ‘incident’ at the hotel we should be proud to record our appreciation of all that Steve does and for  his continued efforts on behalf of the society.

 Thanks also to the two Captains, Ian Talboys and Bill Ball – and to the vice captains, Steve Lloyd and Graham Bilsland  - for the tremendous spirit  the matches were played in. 

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

This report was put together by Alan Tolley, ably assisted by Steve Lloyd and with the help of further contributions  from John Shaw, Adam Thompson, Mark Johnson, Gary Tyler and John Evans.

Current BUNGS tour win percentages

(After the 2013 Norfolk Tour)

Member Tour Win Percentage No of Tours Attended
Hornby, Brian 100.0% 1
Tyler, Gary 90.0% 2
Barkshire, Steve 80.0% 1
Rawling, Pete 80.0% 1
Fairweather, Stewart 70.0% 2
White, Neil 70.0% 1
Vale, Craig 67.0% 5
Lloyd, Steve 66.3% 15
Dodwell, Martyn 66.2% 15
Latham, Phil 65.0% 5
Holliday, Howard 64.8% 12
Hayward, Simon 62.0% 5
Galloway, Gordon 61.4% 7
Hughes, Karl 61.2% 15
Thompson, Adam 60.6% 9
Shaw, John 59.5% 14
Smith, Neil 58.6% 7
Weston, Paul 57.5% 8
Thacker, Tim 56.0% 13
Heard, Alan 55.0% 2
Talboys, Ian 54.5% 15
Smith, Andy 52.1% 12
Marchant, Adrian 50.6% 9
Johnson, Mark 50.0% 3
Poultney, Les 50.0% 2
Shipman, James 48.8% 14
Thacker, Jeff 48.6% 7
Bayliss, John 48.3% 9
Tolley, Alan 48.3% 12
Moore, Jamie 47.2% 8
Sullivan, Gordon 47.1% 14
Haley, John 46.9% 4
Bilsland, Graham 46.7% 12
Heathcote, Ivan 46.3% 8
Mansell, John 44.3% 10
Gross, Steve 42.5% 2
Hancock, Bill 41.8% 7
Ho, Bobby 41.7% 13
Fox, Mike 40.9% 14
Ball, Bill 40.0% 3
Craddy, Chris 40.0% 3
Keates, Brian 40.0% 11
Evans, John 36.7% 3
Mullaney, Shaun 36.7% 6
Herrmann, Paul 36.3% 10
Jones, David 35.0% 2
Meaney, Peter 35.0% 2
Whitmore, Barry 34.5% 11
Tomkiss, Terry 33.3% 3
Harris, Steve 32.5% 4
Grubb, Dave 31.3% 8
Jackson, Anthony 30.0% 4
Johnson, Lloyd 30.0% 1
Adams, Graham 22.0% 5
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