Despite winter lingering longer than ever before, the 2018 summer golf season started with a friendly at the exclusive Luton Hoo Golf Club – it soon became evident, like a lot of golf clubs ‘The Hoo’ had suffered in the face of a long, cold and wet winter. Fairways difficult to identify and greens that were very slow and bumpy in places – this is no means a slight at the course’s Head Greenkeeper, just the way it is. Both sets of players would find the conditions very difficult for the duration of the days play.
The normal format was in place with
The matches got underway with Miles Mudge and Michael Farr in match one, the two Wellingborough boys at 2, youngsters McNeela and Darnell third, the Milton pairing second last, with experienced pair of
As expected and from match 1, the greens were indeed going to be a challenge, with a succession of confused faces and missed opportunities and with the weather closing in and rain beginning from around the
Fortunately the Northants team have patience and determination in spades, not to mention quality, and over the next couple of hours each match continued in, or swung into our advantage – when the morning series was over we had recorded 5 winning matches – something I don’t recall happening in the past – a clean sweep in foursomes.
During the relaxed lunch
With plenty of options and talent, Northants captain chose Michael Farr to lead the team out in the singles matches, playing against highly rated Jack Hawksby – this was probably ‘
Mudgie would finish his match prior to Michael with a very solid performance at number 2. Mixing 4 birdies with one bogey, Miles shook hands on the 16th green with a 4&2 win.
Jamie Milligan at number three would be the first not to register a singles point for the day – despite the normal excellent ball striking from Jamie, he was one of a few that seemed to suffer more on the greens surfaces. In the end a disappointing defeat, but by no means a poor return from the professional ranks from the Wellingborough member.
Liam McNeela playing at 4 would end up being ‘out-experienced’ by Bedfordshire Captain, Norman Cilliers. Not
With that the afternoon matches sat at 2-2 – while we probably had enough in the tank to get the overall match across the line, it was important that we continued the domination from the morning through the afternoon to consolidate the end result.
Experience, followed youth, followed experience in the next three matches, with Jon Harris, Jordan Darnell and Mark Phillips filling up the middle order and all three players would end up winning points – with varying levels of success – Jon Harris shaking hands on a huge 7&5 victory, a great return for his days work –
Jordan’s debut would end with a real test of his mental fortitude and golfing ability. Playing against another very experienced campaigner, Jordan was given a real test after going up early. But a combination of excellent driving and sharp short game work led to a 1up victory and 2 points on debut.
Mark Phillips would close his match out on the 16th green in fine style,
The next match to appear was match 9 – Fraser
Then it went quiet….’has everyone finished?’ There was one group missing! Tom Burgh in match 8 had spent the afternoon searching for golf balls – apparently not his own and when they finally came into view, playing the 16th, the opponents would again spend a long period of time looking for a ball – looking for a lot longer
A really excellent team performance from the Northamptonshire team, the winning total would close at 12-3 – the largest difference between our two counties ever, perhaps…as always the day had been a very enjoyable one, with excellent banter and respect between the two sides.
Our next friendly takes place at Wellingborough on the 22nd of April against Warwickshire.