Three 3-balls were playing the isolated Riverside course at Canford Magna Golf Club to compete for the Friday 9-hole competition. This traditional warm-up for the following day's prestigious Suckling Pig Trophy is not held in high esteem by most members these days, but is still seen as an ideal way of loosening the joints of those members who only manage to play when the CGS arranges a tournament, whether due to pressures of work or indeed pressure from spouses. The competition does seem to be suffering from a general malaise, so much so, that only one member seemed to be trying. The slide in popularity of the competition can be gauged by the fact that the previous winner couldn't even be bothered to bring the winners memento with him to this year's competition. Having said all that, it would be unfair to belittle the competition too much due to the sterling efforts displayed by
the eventual winner. He started off disastrously, taking a 12 at the first. As he was in the first group off, this caused a certain amount of merriment amongst the groups following. The other members of his group sympathised with his plight and did their best to jolly him along. He must be eternally grateful to those two stand-up guys, as after that he didn't put a foot wrong, winning the competition by 2 points from Angus Gibbins. Oh yes, forgot to mention it, DLT won it. In many ways he was very lucky to win. The Committee treated him with unexpected leniency when it was revealed he had picked up one of his partner's balls during the round. "Two stroke penalty" cried a stranger waiting to play his shot from Dave's fairway "for interfering with an opponents ball". Not the first time he's been accused of that. As we hadn't got the trophy with us, Dave is pictured above holding a Brown Trout he caught in the river running alongside the course, using a 9-iron and 6lb breaking strain line.
It is understood that the Committee are considering ways to enliven this competition in the future, without any fish being involved. Watch out for announcements
Although there was no official Longest Drive hole in this competition, special mention should be made of two intrepid explorers, the current-day equivalent of Captain James Tiberius Kirk and Jen-Luc Picard, going boldly where no man has gone before.
In an effort to get some practice in before teeing off, it was Dick and Kev Havlin's intention to arrive at the course early and make use of the Driving Range for half an hour before teeing off. They had heard Bomber and Lofty say that the course was sign-posted as they had spotted it on their drive into Poole that morning. Easy!
Things started going wrong almost immediately. On leaving the hotel car park, they drove straight into the service area of the local mega-shopping centre. Anyway, back on the main road to Bournemouth (which was not unfortunately the way that Bomber and Lofty had arrived!). One mile out of Bournemouth, there's the sign we're almost looking for - Canford Cliffs, 1.5 miles. Canford Magna must be the next turn. There is no next turn. On arrival at the Bournemouth Gyratory, another Canford Cliffs sign is spotted. Follow that! We can't go wrong! By the time we hit the beach at Canford Cliffs, we realised we needed to ask for directions to the course. Kev went to the Beach Shop, Dick asked the local parking Gestapo. Long story short, two sets of directions. One "just up the road and the course is on your left", two "head for Ringwood, turn left at the Holly Bush Island, you can't miss it". Being stupid, option 1 was selected, whereupon after 2 miles of fruitless searching, we ended up on the main Poole - Bournemouth Road again. Asked at a Car Dealership. Head for Ringwood, Holly Bush Island etc. Off we go. There is NO Holly Bush Island. Phone Lofty. "Head for Wimborne, you can't miss it (oh Yeah?). Eventually find Wimborne. Ask at Police Station. "you're the second one to ask that today, so I know the answer" said the charming blonde receptionist, who also said she wasn't local. F**k. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we found the place with 20 minutes to spare. Estimated 30 mile drive for a 6 mile trip. Who said life in the CGS was boring?
Full story coming soon in hardback, published by Hodder & Stoughton, followed by 2-part mini-series on Living TV, starring Mel Gibson & Richard O'Brien