John Gilman shines in the sun at The Grove

John Gilman shines in the sun at The Grove

Friday, 03 August 2012

The Seniors on the balcony.


Last Friday, Tenby Seniors went off on their second away day of the summer; the venue this time, as it has been for the past two years, was for The Grove GC, Porthcawl, and the Grove’s Seniors Open Day.
At long last, summer had lasted more than four days and as it was for the Tenby’s Open Day earlier in the week, the sun shone brightly but just a gentle breeze to stop it getting oppressively hot as it had been the previous day at Ashburnham; on sour note many of the seniors who had played there were still licking their wounds after a 7-0 whitewash in their match against Ash.
As usual, the Grove Seniors made the Tenby party of 25 seniors very welcome and they soon tucked into their bacon butties and coffee shortly after their arrival by coach from Kilgetty. It did not take too long before the first group were off on the long first hole.
Many of the Tenby boys were very familiar with the course from their previous visits, but John Gilman, making his Seniors Debut, had a sparkling introduction playing at The Grove. Playing in his first Seniors away day venture, he was accompanied by the very experienced Dudley Williams who guided him around the course, John found the course to his liking returning an excellent 39 points, which was four points clear of second placed Robin Hagley.
Apart from winning the Tenby Seniors own internal competition on the day, it was also the best score in category A in the visitors section of the Grove Open. John was absolutely delighted and revelled in the warmth of the Seniors welcome. The only downside for John was it did not result in a handicap cut; this was because The Grove had cut the length of the course by more than 100 yards and was non-qualifier! I daresay John that MH will certainly take your return into consideration when we do the annual review.
After each match had finished and the players had showered and changed, they all sat on the balcony overlooking the par 3 18th green drinking cool drinks, as they watched the later groups try and get nearest the pin. With the pond waiting behind the green and being downwind, many were cautious in the club selection, but Ray Ford was excessively bold and finished in the bulrushes but found his ball and to great roars of approval from the assembled gallery hacked it out on to the green.
Everyone was impressed as it was announced that Robin Hagley had got to five-and-a-half inches of the line on the 15th fairway. It later turned out that no one else managed to get any nearer so he won the prize. Both his and John’s Grove prizes have been arranged to be collected and by the time this report comes out they should have received them.
At the end of a lovely afternoon, the Seniors assembled in a private room with a balcony overlooking the course for their meal, this being provided by the generous Grove hosts.
After finishing their meal, captain Jim Martin stood up to give the results of the day; however, he first congratulated all the winners of the Tenby Open Day.
Then the prizes were presented to the leading five players of the day: 1. John Gilman 39 points; 2. Robin Hagley 35; 3. John Hayhoe 32; 4. Jeff Banfield 32; 5. Allen Watts 32, third to fifth places were on countback and Bob Howse was the unlucky one finishing sixth on 32, but prizeless!
Shortly after finishing their coffee and a last drink on the balcony, a very happy band of Seniors made their way back to the coach provided by Jones, Login, for a very comfortable journey home. Everyone agreed it had been a marvellous day and really enjoyable.

J.D.M.


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