In the Swing golf column: League title races hot up

North Cliff's Fraser Kelley and Dave Ellard
North Cliff's Fraser Kelley and Dave Ellard

There was a dramatic three-way tie in the East Riding Alliance match at Bridlington.

On a bitingly cold day with the ever present threat of snow, the organisers used a two tee start on the first and tenth holes at Bridlington (Belvedere) in an effort to get all 120 golfers around the course before the weather closed in. To their relief the timing proved to be perfect for as the prize presentation got underway in the clubhouse, the snow started to fall outside on the course. With only a quarter of the field managing to equal or better the par of 72, any score in the sixties was a guarantee of prize money and so it proved, with three pairs locked together in the lead on 66.

Scarborough Alliance winners Johnny and Trev Pickard collect their trophies

Scarborough Alliance winners Johnny and Trev Pickard collect their trophies

The best of the six under par scores was posted by Malton & Norton’s Yorkshire regular Chris Halley (+2) and partner Brian Jacques (6) whose back nine of 33 just edged out the Hainsworth Park father and son partnership of assistant pro Matt Daley (Scr) and dad Pat (10) who had a back nine of 34, with Scarborough North Cliff’s professional Fraser Kelley (Scr) and partner David Ellard (9) a shot further back on 35. It was a good day for the Hainsworth Park club as their other counting pair of Mark Bird (4), this year’s men’s captain and playing partner Paul Westoby (12) were the sole occupants of fourth place on 67. Halley and Jacques were the models of consistency with two equal nines of 33 with Jacques being particularly on song with birdie twos on the second and eleventh holes plus a match winning run from the first to the fourth of three under par for the four holes.

The Daleys were left to the rue their final hole the par three ninth. Measuring 220 yards but across the prevailing wind, father Pat hit a glorious driver to within fifteen feet of the pin but could not make his shot allowance count. A two putt nett birdie would have given them a 65 and victory. Unfortunately a three putt saw the winners tankards slip from their grasp. The North Cliff pair came on strong at the end of their round, Dave Ellard had a nett birdie at the 4th and a gross birdie at the 5th. Fraser Kelley then birdied 6, 7 & 8 to get them to 6 under but they had to settle for par on their closing hole the ninth.

In the winter long battle for supremacy in the Hull Daily Mail Championship Bowl there was major change at the top of the leader board. Going into the day Heworth had a seven shot lead over their nearest challengers and holders of the Bowl, North Cliff. What a difference a day makes.

Heworth had a real off day with their two counting pairs posting scores of 77 and 80 to total 157 against North Cliff’s 66 and 72 for 138. A nineteen shot swing that now sees the defending champions with a healthy 12 shot lead (815) over Heworth (827) going into the last two alliances. Other clubs still in the hunt for the Bowl include Hornsea (832) Fulford, Kirkbymoorside & Selby (833) Hainsworth Park (834) Malton & Norton (835) & Hessle, Hull & Driffield (836)

The greensomes winners Marilyn Rennard and Wendy May

The greensomes winners Marilyn Rennard and Wendy May

The next alliance is at Fulford on Wednesday, 27th February with two pairs from three to count for the Championship Bowl followed by the last fixture at Brough on March 13th.

Leading Better Ball Scores:- 66 C.Halley (+2) & B.Jacques (6) Malton & Norton, M.Daley* (Scr) & P.Daley (10) Hainsworth Park, F.J.Kelley* (Scr) & D.Ellard (9) North Cliff; 67 M.Bird (4) & P.Westoby (12) Hainsworth Pk; 68 R.Brown (3) & S.Middleton (5) Hornsea, K.Keenan (6) & N.Cammish (10) Filey; 69 G.Brown* (Scr) & L.Nicholls (1) Ganton, N.Ludwell* (Scr) & G.Greatorex (6) Selby, R.Devine (7) & D.Foreman (12) South Cliff; 71 A.Sanderson* (Scr) & A.Cooke (10) Hull, P.Beadle (8) & W.Park (8) Ganstead Park, S.Smith (Scr) & A.Roberts (6) South Cliff; 72 D.Greenwood (6) & A.Payling (12) Boothferry, S.Pybus (2) & A.Richardson (11) Scarborough North Cliff, P.Robertson (7) & D.Hudson (12) Pike Hills, E.Burdett* (Scr) & D.White (10) Ganton.

The Scarborough & District Alliance finally got rolling again after three cancelled fixtures.

Filey, after cancelling last Sunday, managed to get play underway this week. The course was a credit both to the club and the sterling efforts of their greens staff, especially as the fixture was in doubt after the snow and heavy rain last Wednesday. It was very much worth the effort as Sunday was blessed with glorious sunshine.

Filey were to benefit from the day, making the most of their home advantage with a remarkable 24 under par team score of 260 – eleven shots better than leaders Kirkbymoorside and six shots better than North Cliff who stage the next fixture this coming Saturday.

With Kirkbymoorside seeing their ten shot lead prior to this event being whittled away, it is now all to play for, as their lead in the Pennant is cut to one shot from Filey with North Cliff closing to 5 shots.

Filey’s Ian Nichol (6) & Mike Pitchforth (14) took an early lead posting a 6 under par 65. This looked for a long time as if it would take the tankards, as other pairs kept coming in close but could not beat their score. They were well supported by their team as two other early Filey pairings produced scores of 66, making an excellent aggregate score for the Club a certainty. Shaun Smith scratch and Paul Dack from South Cliff played alongside the early pace setters and produced a 66 with a back nine of 31.

Later in the day North Cliff duo of Simon Boddy (2) and Derrick Arden (14) produced another 65 taking the lead with an equalling back nine of 31 but a better back six by one shot of 20, the highlight of the round being a magnificent eagle 3 on the par 5 13th hole by Simon. Still more players were coming in with 5 under par scores of 66 but nobody seemed to be able to take away the lead from Boddy and Arden, as North Cliff’s final pairing of Steve Monaghan (2) and Alan Richardson (11) also carded 66 with a back nine of 32 and a back three of 9. By this time all eyes were on the Pennant totals as North Cliff’s team were showing good form as a result of their later pairings. It took until the last teams from Filey and Kirkby finishing to sort the results out; For Kirkby Dave Woodhead (12) and Neil Williamson (6) came in with another 65 but could not beat the two earlier scores as their back nine was 4 under par 32.

It was then that Filey’s trump card came in with father and son duo of Trevor & Johnny Pickard who presented the best score of the day with an excellent 8 under par 63. Johnny playing off 10 was well supported by Trevor (13) and a card showing an even split between the pair over the eighteen holes of play, would see them take the Pennant Tankards.

Filey’s last pairing of Andre Meunier (11) and Matt Jenkinson (13) would complete the voucher awards with another creditable 66 beating Monaghan & Richardson on the back three holes with 8. Picture of winners with Filey Captain attached

North Cliff will now try to follow Fileys example by taking full advantage over their home course, as they host the penultimate round this Saturday (today).

The final Pennant fixture will be held at Bridlington a fortnight later when clubs will enter eight pairs. The best four will count towards the Pennant Trophy and all eight pairs count for the Ben Fell Trophy.

Tankards Results: 1st T & J Pickard Filey 63, 2nd S Boddy & D Arden N/Cliff 65 back 6, 20, 3rd I Nichol & M Pitchforth Filey 65 back 9, 31, 4th D Woodhead & N Williamson 65 back 9 32, 5th P Dack & S Smith S/Cliff 66 back 9, 31, 6th A Meunier & M Jenkinson Filey 66 back 3, 8, 7th S Monaghan & A Richardson 66.

Pennant Standings (Filey fixture scores in brackets): 1st Kirkbymoorside (271) 1586; 2nd Filey (260) 1587; 3rd North Cliff (266) 1591, 4th Malton & Norton (275) 1600; 5th South Cliff (271) 1611; 6th Driffield (272) 1621, 7th Whitby (284) 1631; 8th Bridlington (276) 1648; 9th Flamborough (296) 1722

South Cliff Golf Club held their Daily Mail Foursomes Qualifier on Saturday February 16.

The Greenkeeping staff had worked hard to ensure all greens were open as the course was still recovering from the snow and rain. The Club thanks all of those golfers who carried their bags.

Only one pairing managed to break par – Nigel Middleton and Jim Barr came in with a 85 gross less 14 (being half of their combined handicaps, with a maximum of 18) net 71. They had 5 pars and 1 birdie and from their card have just played steady golf. In second place were Ron Keld and Dennis Machon who had a gross 90 net 73. There were three pairs on net 73 but Ron and Dennis won it on the back 9 with a net 33.5 – of the other two pairs on net 73, The Captain and Dave Hall will rue the double bogey 6 at the 10th and Messrs Browne and Darling will rue the 8 they had at the 18th. There were only two 2’s – both at the 17th from Keith Warren and Duncan Woodward-Hay and also from Matt Shippey and Drew McCoubrey. Each group gets £15 in the pro shop to share between them.

The next day South Cliff held the February Medal. After a frosty start to the day, the sun came out and 43 members enjoyed 18 holes on the proper greens. With the course still playing very long even off the yellow tees, there were some good scores made – especially in Division 2.

The Division 1 winner on the back nine was Keith Warren whose gross 79 off 9 for a net 70 beat Pat Reading who had a gross 82 off 12. Keith was out in 39 strokes helped by birdies at the 4th and 9th and was back in 40 strokes helped by a further birdie at the 16th a very good finish to his card. Pat has been seen practicing his chipping of late and was out in 40 after a double bogey at 7 and a birdie at 9, “A good bounce back” as they say on TV. He started the back 9 with a nice birdie at the 10th and finished it with a birdie at the last. Alas the 5 shots he dropped at 15, 16 and 17 had left too much to do and Keith took the spoils. Best gross on the day was by Keith Warren and Steve Deighton with 79’s.

In Division 2 there were no fewer than 10 players who beat net par. Top of the tree was Joe Drury who had a fantastic 87 gross less his 24 handicap resulting in a net 63. Joe had 5 pars and the only eagle of the day – a three at the 8th hole. He beat Danny Price (not many people could say that) by three shots. Danny started the round with a birdie at the first hole but followed that up with an 8 at the second. Don’t know what they would say on TV about that! Maybe a reverse bounce back. Danny did get another birdie at the 16th and must be pleased with his gross 89 nett 66.

Other players who broke par were Malcolm MacGregor 66, James Coyle 67, James Gomersall 67, Sean Mitchell 67, Andy Newsome 69 (who had the lowest gross on Division 2 with an 84) John Coles 69, Gary Ashmore and Keith Darling both on 70.

The re-arranged Scarborough Alliance match at Filey, required the cancellation of a proposed shotgun competition at North Cliff, to facilitate members from Filey, who, unable to play their own course, might wish to take advantage of the reciprocal arrangements which allows members of the host club to play at the home course of the participating teams.

This strangely named competition requires a three man team, one of whom must play with a yellow ball. Two of the three scores on each hole are counted, however, one of the two scores to count must be the person playing the yellow ball. The player with the yellow ball then rotates at each hole. I hope you’ve all understood that, it certainly confused me.

Thankfully the excellent scoring suggests those who played had no problems on what turned out to be a lovely Spring day. Sadly the early frost meant playing on 18 temporary greens.

The winning team of Shaun Richardson, Paul Marsh and Paul Craven amassed a startling 102 points including two net Eagles on the par 4 13th hole. In second place with 98 points were Ken Eddon, Derek Weller and Steve Rowntree who also managed two nett Eagles this time on the par 5 8th hole. In third place with 97 points were John Mancrief, Roger Skelton and Michael Mennell. All in all a good day and hopefully a hint of some good weather in times ahead.

In a North Cliff ladies competition, teams of three played a 1-2-3 Waltz stableford competition, this requires one player from the three to score on the first hole, two to score on the second and all three to score on the third and then continue that three hole playing format for the rest of the round.

Winners were Pat Palmer, Marion Davison and June Stockwell with 53 points, runners up were Mgt. Germaine, Agnes Mumford and Lorraine Hague with 48 points.

On Tuesday the ladies played a greensome over 16 holes off half combined handicap.

The course, although gradually drying out, was playing long without any run on the ball.

The winners were Marilyn Rennard and Wendy May with an excellent score of nett 52 that left the rest of the field some way behind. Runners-up Julia Read and Wendy Thompson had a creditable total of 58.2 by virtue of some steady play and they just edged June Stockwell and Judy Kirk into third spot by having a better back 7.

There is a new captain at Filey, Trevor Lunn who is 63 years old and hails originally from Barnsley. Trevor has lived in Filey for eight years and has been a committee member of the club for five years.

A former rabbits captain he is committed to bringing younger members into golf, a sport he feels will help to breed confidence and self discipline.