Late April, the mist was clearing and into the arena came the 29 gladiators to test their skills against one of the highest courses in England, Church Stretton Golf Club, formed in 1898.
Sitting on top of the Shropshire Hills, it’s not the longest of courses but that didn’t mean it was easy. Major champions such as Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam and Henry Cotton have graced the fairways, and legends, Harry Vardon and James Braid helped design some of its most outstanding holes.
So now it was time to see what the Mals can do.
Fortified by bacon baps and coffee/alcohol the President, Keith (Edwards) Williams led the troops out. Golf Organizator, Simmo was accompanying to make sure the President didn’t win a prize and sadly, he wasn’t needed!
The most courageous warrior was Wilf Feely, our past President, recovering from a stroke, it was wonderful to see him and he competed well, being driven around the course (and the bend) by Mal’s stalwart Roy Bound.
The weather was good, a slight wind was blowing and the views from the course were outstanding.
All gladiators enjoyed the challenge, some more than others and some weary golfers started to return to the clubhouse for sustenance.
Finding it all bit too much of a challenge was new boy Lee Cope who won the ‘I tried (but made an arse of it) award’.
Showing his power, the longest drive was won by Ollie Gray definitely must have been taught by Jimmy.
The more accurate players were awarded the nearest the pin prize of a bottle of plonk supplied by the President and they were Shaun Galloway on the 5th (yes I did say Shaun Galloway), Steve Dann on the 12th and Simmo on the 18th. Simon Hewer won nearest the pin in 2 on the 10th hole.
Best new boy was Simon Hewer winning the ‘New Boy Trophy’ and in fourth place was the Lincolnshire pilot Dave Epton with 37 points. In 3rd place was Golf Organizator Simmo also with 37 points but winning on the back 9.
Nearly, but not quite, was Dave Dallaway, coming in with 39 points. That’s leaves us with our winning gladiator, President-Elect and perpetual bandito Alastair Hick taking the Robinson Receptacle with an excellent 41 points.
Good food and copious amounts of alcohol ensued marking the end of another great Mals day.
Mals will be pleased to know that our President-Elect will now play off a handicap of 18 and other bandito Dave Epton will be off 20.
Overall Winner : Alastair Hick
Runner-up : Dave Dallaway
Longest Drive 9th : Ollie Gray
Nearest the pin 5th : Shaun Galloway
Nearest the pin 10th : Simon Hewer
Nearest the pin 12th : Steve Dann
Nearest the pin 18th : Paul Simmonds