Captain’s Day, the best and the worst day of the Captain’s year. Concern over the arrangements for the day, weather in particular, and all the details you’ve thought through many times. The best is yet to come, the player’s arrival, the renewal of acquaintance and welcoming new members, sunshine! Arriving shortly after 8.30 am, Lew Easter and I discovered all the team ready to go, we were to run the desk for Roy, Richard Bowden acting as starter, with PA (posh). The catering team, led by Kerry and Wayne already beavering away in the kitchen but still able to provide baps or breakfasts for those early starters requiring nourishment. Front of house team completed by Garfield and Hughbert behind the bar. Andy Blight, club manager helping out wherever necessary a bonus ! Ross Troake the PGA club professional taking care of golfing needs for all the players, an A team for sure.
Along with Richard starting, Colin Macklin a friend of Bob’s and currently Vice Captain was there to record the events with his camera. A disappointing attendance was offset in every way by the enthusiasm and humour of all the players, apparently other events on the same day prevented some Captains playing. The course, quite damp in places, was generally in good condition, the greens of moderate pace because of holding water were consistent. Sidmouth is a challenging course and thereby the reason presumably why so many good players have been produced there. The first requirement is to shape the ball with sloping fairways on many holes. Although the tournament was played from the yellow tees there is little difference on most holes from the whites, this was wholly demonstrated by tournament winner and Sidmouth member Paul Hitchcock scoring 39 points off a 5 handicap, well played.
Conveniently placed to the side of the tenth green, Bob and his wife Jenny were providing a gazebo and victuals aplenty. A variety of drinks to wash down pasties or sausage rolls, cooked earlier that morning by member Neil Faulkner. The gazebo provided much needed shelter to some with some very heavy showers and a lingering extra pasty was enjoyed perhaps. The pace of play, by today’s standard, was not too bad averaging four hours. Lew and I always enjoy the company of Brian (The Lion) Rice but today was really special, a hole in one on the 120 yard fourth, witnessed by Peter Dunstan, David Barker and Tony Rooke standing on the fifth tee, it was their reaction that informed us what had happened, it’s a blind green from the fourth tee! It was a particular pleasure to discover Henry Paget, upon completion, checking cards. Henry has not been at all well very recently but insisted that his wife Jan drive him to Sidmouth to help Roy sort out the results, thanks Henry and get well soon. Please excuse a personal indulgence, I was delighted to win the Secretaries Salver and thank in particular Roy Smith and the late Alf Hunt for their tremendous service to Devon Golf Captains over the most recent years, without these men and their predecessors, all recorded in the handbook, we simply would not function or be able to pass on to our successors this excellent association.
An excellent meal followed presentation with Bob subsequently thanking all concerned, including the Ladies Captain and her lady members acting as ball spotters at crucial points around the course. It was obvious to all Bob had had a splendid day and rightly so, well done now back to business with the Saunton Salver in a couple of weeks. Thank you Bob!