Six Old Pocklingtonians began their early morning pilgrimage to North Norfolk on the 4th October. For five of the team it was an uneventful journey on a beautiful autumn morning. For one OP Golf Society new recruit, it was the adventure of a lifetime!
Donald Moody arrived at Brancaster at high tide and found the road to the golf course partially flooded. Having benefitted from a solid schooling, this minor detail did not deter Donald, and along with his all terrain Ford Mondeo he decided to try and drive through the tidal waters. Im not sure if Donald is a religious man, but it was clear there was no Biblical parting of the waves for him and, unfortunately, the Ford Mondeo took a large gulp of seawater up its air intake and decided to stall. Having fondly recalled the training he received at Pocklington REME during Combined Cadet Force, Donald exited the car, popped the hood and set about resolving the engine problems. The only thing he hadn’t accounted for was the hidden draining ditch that was submerged by the tidal water and lurking approximately two foot away from his front left wheel. With a misplaced step, said drainage ditch gobbled Donald up and soaked him with cold sea water up to his chest. Donald’s fellow OPs were most impressed with his adventure and had great sympathy for him when he informed us the next day that his car had been written off by the Insurers. Anyway, well done Donald for having such a good sense of humour about your misfortunes, you will be remembered in OP Grafton Morrish folklore!
On to the event, and this years final was won by Uppingham, who defeated the defending champions, Birkenhead. Regrettably, the OPs were knocked out in the first round at Hunstanton (2 games to 1) by a very strong Merchant Taylors team, who were last years beaten finalists. On the Saturday morning we dropped down into the plate competition for the Solihull Salver and I am delighted to report we came very close to winning this with a very respectable 87 points, finishing in joint second place, behind Charterhouse on 89 points.
A big thank you to all who were involved in both the qualifying event at Fixby and the finals at Hunstanton and RWNGC: Richard Brown (1982-1987), Richard Clough (1984-1991), Denton Guest (1969-1974), Tim Russell (1968-1978), Donald Moody (1960-1965), Mike Strong (1966-1976), Adam Verney (1985-1992), John Rosendale (1970-1978), David Morgan (1968-1975).
On to next years event and the dates are as follows. The qualifier at Fixby Golf Club, Huddersfield is on Sunday 12 May 2013 and the finals are between 26 and 29 September 2013. Subject to qualification at Fixby, the plan for 2013 is to take as many OPs as we can to the finals in Brancaster. Although the Grafton Morrish event proper is only a 6 man team, it is clear that there is plenty of golfing opportunities for everyone if we took greater numbers. There is a practice round on the Thursday with tee times available at both Hunstanton and Royal West Norfolk, so six men could play at each course. We could only put 6 players into the event proper on the Friday morning, but that would not stop the remaining OP’s having 18 holes on Royal West Norfolk once the final matches had gone out.
It is clear that some people struggle to stay for the entire 4 days of competition, so squad rotation would work well for us in the competitions on Saturday and Sunday. Anybody attending would be guaranteed at least 54 holes of golf over the four day event (on world class links courses) in a stunning part of England, plus the fun and games on the evenings in the local hostelries which all serve great food and beer! If you would like to be involved or to find out more please contact me, Alex Lewis.
Report submitted by Alex Lewis (1985-1994) OP Golf Society Co-ordinator