You can tell I’ve just discovered my access to the website is back up and running!! I’ll try and update the website more regularly from now on. There is a binder of printed copies. complete with pics, in the ladies locker room. However, in the meantime, here are some reminiscences from our inaugural Ryder Cup style encounter…..
As a change from the usual singles matchplay, Lady Secretary (USA) and I (Europe) decided to have a bash at a Ryder Cup format for this annual season opener. This basically involved a mix of singles, foursomes and fourball better ball matchplay, with players split into handicap groups and drawn so that games were evenly matched.
The FBBB caused a little head scratching on the shot allowances, as we’re simply not used to playing this format. However, thanks in the main to handicap Secretary Barbara Hatton’s excellent instructions, all managed admirably. It certainly felt as though everyone enjoyed the trial format, so hopefully 2018 Lady Captain Linda Bailey and the new 2018 Lady Secretary will continue with the format next year. We’ll have to wait and see.
There were some terrific outfits on show, with Dorothy Merry in her usual starring role (plenty of pun intended!) as she stole the fashion parade in her European special outfit. Sadly buggies weren’t allowed on the course due to overnight precipitation, so Dorothy and Leigh Owen were confined to Trivial Pursuit.
Maureen Ashurst came over to me on the car park to show off her hand-made creation, Maureen having stitched her own ‘Europe’ sweater. You’re all very creative ladies – I’m most envious of your talents!!
The damp weather meant that, despite the course having officially ‘dispensed with play from mats’ from today, the ladies felt it appropriate to continue using their mats to preserve the course. Well done ladies – great to see a pragmatic approach!
All matches were played in great spirit – at least I’m not aware of any bloodshed. Our match of me and Sue Barnsley against Linda Bailey and Karen Eckersley was very close. We played FBBB and halved the first six holes, all with cheery banter. I must admit I congratulated Karen Eckersley on her hole-winning approach to the 7th through gritted teeth, though!
We did digress a little on the 9th tee and contemplated who we would have been had we taken on the persona of pro lady golfers for this match. We came up with: Charley Hull; Annika Sorenstam; Michelle Wie and Christina Kim. I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide who picked whom!!
Back to the action and we regained our equilibrium by halving the next three holes, and stood on the 11th tee one down, somewhat distracted by the paramedic and ambulance we could see by the 11th green. We tried desperately to make out what was happening, but could only play on and hope it none of our ladies were involved.
The distraction worked and Sue Barnsley found a well-earned par, with a glorious, super duper shot to within inches of the pin; her putt reluctantly conceded by our US opponents. Oh dear, that’s the match halved! To be fair though, a half was a fair result on the game we had played. Honours even.
We were desperate to find out about the ambulance, and Karen managed to flag down Trish Finan on her way out of the club. It transpired that Kay Bibby had fallen awkwardly after diving most athletically for a runaway trolley, and injured her knee. For some reason I can’t fathom, Bev Fairhurst decided to video Kay’s journey to the ambulance, complete with copious amounts of gas and air (Kay, that is). Sadly, we now know that Kay will be out of action for at least 6 weeks. Kay, we’ll have to find ways to keep you entertained. Suggestions welcome readers!!
Back into the restaurant, and pics were taken of the respective teams. I must say ladies, you do scrub up well! The overall result will be revealed at the first presentation evening – can’t wait to see who’s won. Do keep your souvenir European / US ball markers for next year – they could be your lucky talisman!