Somerset Golf Captains end on a high note against the County Golf Union

The 4th October 2023, a pleasant autumn day with sunny intervals and a light breeze greeted Captain David Bate and his SGC team when they arrived at Wells Golf Club for the annual match against Somerset Golf Union.  It was a fitting way to end the season in the company of old friends and some SGC stalwarts in a match that was played in the usual good spirit and camaraderie these fixtures enjoy.

Despite having three past Captains in their ranks, the SGU team were predominantly low handicappers who had to give the canny Captains quite a few shots in some of the matches.  This eventually proved too much to handle, and the result was never really in doubt as, for a change, the SGC team cashed in regularly on their stroke holes.

In Match One, SGC Captain David Bate and President Roy Parmiter teamed up against the SGU President and Captain, namely Will Poole and Andy Carter.  David and Roy were out of the blocks quickly, building a four-hole lead by the eighth.  Despite some good golf at times, the SGU pair never recovered, so the teams shook hands on the 14th green with Somerset Captains winning by 5&4.

Match Two saw Wells Captain Mike McGrath, and SGC website guru Ian Gover, take on John Parker and Paul Mitchell from SGU.  This proved to be a match to watch with both teams playing solid golf and Mike and Ian relying on a shedload of shots!  One hole separated the teams right the way until the 17th and despite Paul’s accuracy meaning that he saw much less of the course than the others, it wasn’t enough to stop Mike and Ian securing a creditable 2&1 win.

In Match Three, Phil Barrett and Keri Allchurch teamed up to play County Captain Mark Wait off 5 and professional Will Poole off +2!  The elite golfers put on quite a show with a better ball score of 11 under through 14 holes, never being in danger of being challenged despite the quality of this strong SGC pair.  Perhaps the SGC combined age of approaching 150 was a factor?  The final blow was landed on the 14th where the SGU pair triumphed by 5&4.

SGC Captain Elect Mike Rossiter teamed up with Marcus Woodward in Match Four against Graham Yates and SGC legend Steve Butterfield.  The old friendships made for a most enjoyable round, but the SGC pair were always in control due mainly to “Buttercup having a bad day” according to Mike.  Marcus also played well below his handicap and the match ended on the 16th with SGC closing out a 3&2 win.

In Match Five, the experience of four “veterans” was evident in Glyn Sewell and Keith Norcutt for SGC and Jim Skinner and Richard Dix for SGU.  The match was tight and all four won their share of the holes, but the SGU pair edged their opponents out on the final hole, winning by 1.  The expertise of Jim on the Rules of Golf was an added bonus!

The final match, Match Six, Richard Dore and Richard Bartin took on Chris Roach and Dave Josham.  This game proved to be great fun and full of joviality, but the result was never really in doubt with the SGC pair winning by the biggest margin of the day – 6&5 – to complete a great result for the team.

The teams enjoyed the usual Wells hospitality at the post-match gathering where tales of matches past and various golf memories were traded.  Our thanks to the Club and to SGU for supporting SGC on the day and throughout the season.

So well done, Somerset Golf Captains, a big 5-1 win to close out a long and sometimes frustrating season where every close match seemed to go against us.  We look forward to doing it all again next year.

In the meantime, a provisional fixture list for 2024 can be found on the SGC website and instructions on advising us on your availability will be issued early in 2024.

Ian Gover

Minehead 2021