The first post season event for ‘Friends of Askeans’ took place on Friday 20th May at Pedham Place Golf Centre.
As the more astute amongst you (obviously this does not apply if you’re an Askean) will have realised, this was a golf day.
It was brilliantly organised by Ian Johns who has to commended for his sterling efforts (in every sense) to support the charity and enabling over £300 to be raised. I use the term brilliant rather loosely of course – I’m no Bill Gates but even I have an app that lets me know what the weather is like! It was piss….istently raining from the moment I left my gaff to head off to the golf club some 20 minutes away (according to my Google maps app anyway – maybe Bill Gates is indeed amazed at my technical ability).
Unfortunately the M25 was blocked following a bit of contretemps between a couple of cars and a 16 wheeler (the 16 wheeler won btw - quite easily by the look of it)
Ironically this did not turn out to be my worst drive of the day – that was actually off the third tee. I might well have been advised to turn round if it hadn’t been for the 5 miles of traffic rammed up behind me.
As you may have noticed if you’re still reading, I am reporting the event first hand rather than as an independent observer (or TMO) – this is because it is the only way I’m likely to get a mention in view of the way I played!
Courtesy of the muppets who decided to joust with the lorry, I arrived too late for the bacon sandwiches that Ian had kindly organised and after donning my scuba gear I headed out to the first tee with the unfortunates who had been paired with me for the round.
I apologised in advance to Scrapper and Neil about my ability with a 9 iron (and, to be honest, any of the other clubs in my bag) – and whilst this proved to be good foresight, even they must have wondered if I’d ever actually seen the (inappropriately named) rescue wood, much less tried to hit a ball with it!
We were the second to last group to tee off and those behind us were treated to the spectacle of me taking several shots to catch up with Neil and Scrappers’ drives. I can only hope that the multiple guffaws that followed were the result of a rather hilarious knee slapper from Johnsy and not my impersonation of Tiger (sorry – Tigger)
We didn’t have a buggy but walked the course, each pushing a trolley – to be honest an Ark would have been a lot more practical. However, as we started on the back 9, the weather changed and the sun suddenly broke through the clouds – a bit like the Monty Python Holy Grail poster with God smiling down surrounded by sunshine (although it may have been a halo – told you it was biblical didn’t I)
It looked to be more fun for the last 9 holes, although I was a trifle miffed when Scrapper asked if I had a calculator for him to add up my score.
Back in the clubhouse and now only slightly damp, we had drinks before the dinner and prizegiving – although I wasn’t holding my breath.
The meal – again thanks to Ian - was excellent.
The menu consisted of Meat pie, apple crumble, custard and coffee (served separately obviously)
Ian tinkled his glass (not a euphemism) to get attention and thanked everyone for coming and promised another golf day – probably in September.
He then gave a perfect hospital pass to Paul Walsh, Chairman of Trustees for the charity, who he asked to say a few words about ‘Friends of Askeans’.
Paul, who probably wasn’t expecting this, confidently explained the background to the charity and the other plans for events at the Rectory Field for the close season – including a curry night, pub quiz and another former players’ lunch.
Paul handed back to Ian who proceeded to give out the prizes for both the golf and the raffle. The full list of everyone who played follows this intrepid report together with the photos of the winners of the various competitions – as a spoiler my name isn’t included.
I have to admit to being slightly disappointed that there were no prizes for ‘farthest from the pin’, ‘most bunkers visited’, (my total was 6), ‘shortest drive’ or ‘highest number of strokes (including air shots)’. At the very least I expected an honourable mention for my attempted birdie putt on the par 3 – unfortunately I managed to take 4 putts for a perfectly respectable (by my standards) 6.
Just as the formal proceedings concluded Mark Morahan arrived – I’m not sure if he was late or simply very early for the next Golf Day on Friday 19th August. I certainly plan to be there, although Ian thought I was probably off my trolley (get it?)
It was a brilliant day – despite the weather and a first great event with friends and for ‘Friends’. Full marks to Ian and everyone involved – don’t miss the next one – if only in the hope of pairing with me in pursuit of a good laugh!
Dave Shute (Shutey)
Dave Shute, Mick Harris, Ciaran O’Flynn, James Coffey, Nick Patten
Andy Jeffrey, Chris Jeffrey, John McCarthy, Jono Smith, Sam Little, Ziggy Beesley,
Jack Taylor, Ian Johns, Jeremy Smith, Hugh Regan, Bob Gamble, Neil Sharp,
Steve Homewood, Mark Morahan, Paul Walsh
Put these dates in riday 17th June -Askeans Pub Crawl
Friday 24th June -Askeans Curry Night
Further information to follow