The Glamorganshire Golf Club’s Winter Competition, “Snakes & Ladders” teed off on Sunday on the same day as the Cardiff Half-Marathon. Both Ladies’ and Men’s Captains, Justine Blunsden and Leon Reece were running for their joint charity, Cystic Fibrosis, and completed the course in creditable times. Leon even made it back in time for the speeches, but was reticent as to which Captain ran the faster time! A persistent drizzle looked as if it would make for a challenging morning, but, thankfully it cleared by 8:30 and the golf was played in excellent conditions.
My partner and I have a colossal combined handicap, which means that we get a shot for half of the handicap difference. This should mean that, theoretically, with judicious shot management, that we should prevail for most of our matches, particularly as my partner, Lennie is proud to point out that he is a former winner of the competition. Unfortunately, his boundless optimism did not take into account that I too have figured in despatches at the Snakes Supper, but, as a “Wooden Spoonist”. We approached Sunday with a degree of optimism, which was to be cruelly shattered after the first six holes!
Our opponents were Greg and Nick, who both hit the ball miles, but not necessarily in the right direction, and had to give us 12 shots! It all started so well! I drove off the 17th after Nick’s monster drive, but mine found the fairway, and Greg feeling his way into the match after a heavy night on Saturday duffed his shot from the semi-rough. We won that hole with a 5 and took the 18th with a 4 to go two up. That was as good as it got! Our opponents won the next two holes for all-square and we halved the 3rd. The 524 yard 4th proved to be a perfect example of the shot management and outrageously bad golf for which the Snakes is renowned.
The actual sequence of shots is not really important. Suffice to say that after both pairings approached the green via trees, rough, bushes, bunkers and better-looking fairways, that our 11 net 10 trumped their eleven!! Realising that they were in danger of being embarrassed, Greg and Nick began to hit the ball even further and, Nick, in particular, started putting to his handicap of 14. I had left the white towel required for such occasions in the car, and we were put out of our misery on the 13th losing 5 and 3.
Dave Hancock, our newly-installed Chief Snake gave an accomplished and animated inaugural address, using news from the course, visual aids, comedy, musical instruments and audience participation to engage his audience. It was good, it was funny and it was long, so, unfortunately, many had to leave before “Downton Abbey” was aired! Next week, Lenny and I are playing John and Wayne, and, again, we receive 12 shots. Lenny has decided to play bowls on Wednesday, instead of our usual round, reasoning that we were over-prepared last week, and that we should play our natural games. It does not bode well!