Friday Sweep (10 Holes)
A very cold morning with frozen fairways and greens greeted the smallest Friday field of the year. The ‘solid’ ground provided plenty of bounce and roll – a real change from the recent muddy conditions and it took some getting used to with approaches to the greens. Given the cold weather conditions (there were even flurries of light snow before midday) and the knowledge that there were 5 temporary greens over the final 8 holes of the course, the competition was reduced Holes 1 to 10 only. Some players continued to play the full 18 holes and were treated to some weak winter sun.
High handicapper Richard Norden was the clear winner (23 points) with a very solid display of driving, pitching and putting. By back-analysis, Richard should have been one of the lowest handicappers in the field! In 2nd place Julian James (20 points) played to his handicap; the rest of the field were also-rans.
Sweep payout to Richard N. (£7)
A real drop in temperature overnight and players faced a cloudy morning with a cold, brisk wind from the north west. The sun showed itself briefly around midday and again nearing the end of our rounds but winter has certainly arrived. Five temporary greens in play, as expected (holes 1,2,3,5 & 8), all having been recently mowed to make putting less of a lottery. The greens on the 13 holes in play were in good condition and, with very little rain over the past 2/3 days, the fairways were much firmer and less muddy.
Most of the field scored reasonably close to, or better than, their handicap on what was a ‘shortened course’, due to forward mats on the 2nd, 4th, 13th & yellow teeing area on the 18th, and the 5 temporary greens. The stand-out performer was Bill Norman, our winner on 43 points (19 out, 24 in); Bill had 3 pars on the front 9 and 2 birdies and another 3 pars on the back 9. In 2nd place on 39 points was Charlie Haines with one of his best rounds for a long time, which included 3 birdies (on the 4th, 15th and 18th). In 3rd place, just one point back, was another good, steady round by Pat Dalton.
Charlie’s 3 birdies jumps him up to 4th on the 2023 Friday Birdie Tree, not too far behind Uli and Rannesh in 2nd and 3rd spots respectively, but still some way behind our leader Pralab on 16 birdies.
Sweep payout goes to top 3 (£11, £7, £4).
Light rain showers were evident over the first few holes and the weather forecast promised dry sunny conditions from about 11am, however the clouds kept rolling in and, with the wind becoming more northerly, it was decidedly ‘cold’ by mid afternoon.
It seemed for a long time that early starter Russell Stewart’s 38 points would easily win the day, however in the penultimate game Peter Miller came in with 40 points ( 23 points on the back 9) and Julian James equalled Stewart’s 38 points, but missed out on countback. Russell had birdies on the 11th and 14th, while Peter birdied the 4th and Julian birdied the 17th. Sweep pay-out to these top 3 (£9, £6, £3).
This week it was ‘5 Clubs and a Putter’, which is a good deal ‘easier’ than 3 clubs and a putter and playing off the yellow tees also helped. Due to the heavy rain over the preceding days, there were 3 ‘temporary greens’, although these were simply holes in the fairway with no additional mowing or boundary marking.
The top 3 of Alex Braun (37 points), Andre Pelser (37 points) and Richard Norden (36 points) all put in very solid and consistent rounds, although Alex equalled Pralab with a best back 9 of 23 points and Andre had the best front 9 (20 points). Andre also scored 6 on all of the last 8 holes, which is highly unusual.
Mention must be made of Pralab’s round. Although finishing with a ‘middle-of-the-road’ 32 points, he only had 4 points after 8 holes. He then eagled the 9th, birdied the 10th and then went on to also birdie the 15th and 18th holes. What a change in form!
Events on the SI 1 14th hole in the game involving Tamas and Richard Norden also deserves a mention, as 2 balls were holed with one shot. Richard played his 6th shot to just a few inches from the hole before Tamas played his 3rd (approach) shot onto the green – Tamas’s ball knocked Richard’s ball into the hole, and then followed it in. A great birdie for Tamas, but Richard had to replace his ball and putt for a 7. Sweep payout to top 3 (£9, £5, £3).
The early morning rain showers quickly subsided for the 10am starters and the sun then appeared to make it a pleasant Autumn day, at least for a few hours. At around 2.30 pm however, black shower clouds appeared and Games 3 to 7 had to endure around 15 to 20 mins of heavy rain, which was unfortunate.
Our winner, Peppe (40 points), was in Game 1 so missed the late downpour and, apart from the 4th hole, put in a very solid round (18 points out and 22 points in). Second place goes to Poria Alinia (39 points) who had an average front 9 (17 points) but a back 9 (22 points) super-charged by consecutive birdies on the 14th and 15th holes. Rannesh takes 3rd place with 37 points, thanks to some excellent 4 iron tee shots (no driver or 3 wood in his bag !), surprisingly good approach shots and a steady putting display. Gary Simpson and Colin Price both scored 36 points for 4th and 5th places. Best front 9 was Tom Simpkins (21 points) and best back 9 was Andre Pelser (23 points). Sweep payout to top 3 (£14, £9, £5).
Surrey Fives – Final
On Sunday 15th October the Richmond Park B team made the journey to Clandon Regis to play West Surrey in order to determine the overall Surrey 5’s matchplay champions for 2023. The result was a convincing win for Richmond Park; a full report from captain Brendan Sullivan and photo of the team with the trophy is found below.
The day was bright and sunny but accompanied with a bitterly cold wind which made staying in the sun a priority. Clandon Regis had the course in excellent condition with beautiful fairways and fast undulating greens. Surrey County Golf provided a referee who with the use of a buggy moved between all five matches to answer any rules queries that may arise and also kept the teams well informed of how all the matches were progressing.
West Surrey had the honour and each match was announced on the tee by the Surrey County starter. George Taylor (Rookie) was out first for Richmond Park. This was George’s first appearance in the Surrey 5’s but his recent good competition form at Richmond Park justified his selection. George’s first tee nerves where his opening tee shot resulted in a lost ball was not a sign of things to come. With some outstanding play and excellent putting from both players it was clearly evident that this was going to be a close match but nobody was prepared for the drama that unfolded. The match was all square after 17 holes. Two good fairway drives followed by approach shots which found the 18th green (albeit with West Surrey 2ft from the pin and Richmond Park 20ft+ away) made it look as though West Surrey with draw first blood in the match. But in a true matchplay scenario George somehow sank his 20ft+ which had about 2ft of break to put the pressure back on West Surrey to hole his 2ft foot which seemed a formality. Somehow West Surrey missed and Richmond Park won the match to establish a 1-0 lead.
Out second was Pete Malla and again this proved to be yet another close encounter. In a match that was always either 1 up or level throughout also came down to the 18th with West Surrey edging a close 1 up victory to make the overall score 1 – 1.
Match 3 had the ever reliable John Perkins and again this proved to be very close with the score either 1 up or level throughout. John has been extremely consistent for the team all summer and today was no exception. John established a 1 up advantage after 17 holes and with a comfortable par on 18th gave Richmond Park a 2 – 1 lead in the match. Cometh the hour cometh the man.
Brendan Sullivan (Team captain) was out 4th and having lost the first hole to a birdie 3 soon established a stronghold on the match and ran out a 7 & 6 winner to give Richmond Park a 3 – 1 lead and overall victory.
In the anchor match we had Bernie McDermott who to-date had a 100% victory record in the Surrey 5’s for Richmond Park. Bernie some weeks ago was tidying his garage and came across a Ping G2 driver (not a misprint, it really is a G2) and decided to replace his trusty 25 year old Ben Hogan driver with this modern up to date newer model. The result was never in doubt and Bernie as always throughout this years campaign didn’t let the team down. With his straight driving, approach play and steady putting Bernie gradually wore the opposition down and shook hands with his opponent on the 16th green for a 3 & 2 victory to make the overall result 4 – 1 in favour of Richmond Park.
This year’s Surrey 5’s competition started at home on the 18th March against Kingswood and continued with the following:
29th April against Woodcote Park @ home
24th June against Wimbledon Common @ home
16th July against Reigate Hill @ home
26th August against Epsom ‘A’ @ Epsom
16th September against Epsom ‘B’ @ Hindhead
As team captain I would like to thank the following for representing Richmond Park at short notice when asked throughout this year’s competition:
I would also like to thank Peter Harrington, Richard Owen and Roger Rojas for suggesting and recommending various members for selection and supplying contact details for those members.
Lastly I would like to thank George Taylor, Pete Malla, John Perkins and Bernie Mcdermott for turning up to play a practice round at Clandon Regis. As team captain of this Surrey 5’s team their dedication and support to both myself and the team has been really appreciated. Their play in the final was exceptional and what they have achieved has put Richmond Park GC in the limelight and hopefully will inspire the club and it’s members to repeat what they have done in the coming years.
After a slightly chilly start it turned out to be another sunny, warm autumn day, Still plenty of bounce and run on the fairways but the grass on the greens was in need of a cut.
An outstanding round of golf by Richard Norden (46 points) makes him the clear winner and earns him a 2 strokes cut in his handicap index (including an ESR of 1.0) – he’s now back down to 22.4, where he was 2 years ago. Richard started with a blob (tree trouble) but then didn’t look back with a consistency and driving, approach shots and putting display of a low teens handicapper. Perhaps the most surprising thing about his round (and score) were that there were no birdies.
Early starter Ed Robinson bags 2nd place with a fine 43 points, achieved over 16 holes, as he blobbed the 5th and 16th holes. In 3rd place, with a similarly steady round (just 1 blob) was Richard Hodgkinson (40 points).
Special mentions also go to Poria Alinia (35 points) who had 3 birdies on the front 9, including consecutively on the 7th and 8th holes, but then rather fell apart on the back 9 with 3 blobs, and to Graham Cull (39 points) who had an outstanding front 9 (24 points) – even beating Richard Nordon’s front 9.
To win the sweep money on a Friday it helps to have a high handicap (!!!); the monies go to the top 3 (£12, £8 & £5). However, there were also some good gross scores by the lower handicappers: Richard O. 80, Pralab 82 and Brian 84.
It was a relatively warm and sunny autumn day and the course was in good condition, although the greens needed cutting (very slow).
Regular Bill Jennings recorded his first ‘win’ with the club, 38 points and the strongest back 9 of anyone in the field (23 points). Well Done Bill !!
In 2nd place, just one point behind was Adrian Norris; a remarkable result with 4 blobs on his card. 3rd and 4th places, both on 35 points were Adrian Wells and Ed Robinson, respectively. Most players found the back 9 easier than the front 9; best front 9 was by Seymour (20 points). Rannesh birdied 2 of the par 3s. The surprise pairing of Gerald and Seymour easily saw off Uli and Richard Owen in their pairs matchplay side competition, 3&2.
Sweep payout to the top 4 (£10, £7, £3 & £2)
A thankfully dry day following the heavy rain earlier in the week.
Late entrant Jose Manuel Gomez had a another good round and was the clear winner with 43 points, three clear of George Taylor in 2nd place (40 points) and with Gerard Ouattara 3rd (39 points). George had the best front 9 (22 points) and Jose & Gerard the best back 9 (23 points). Jose’s handicap was trimmed by just over a shot to a new Low Index of 22.1.
Uli Katte and James Deissler (recently returned, like Gerard, from warm weather golfing in Spain) were 3 shots back on 36 points. Only 3 birdies were scored, by Brian, George and Mitch.
Sweep payout to top 3 (£14, £9, £5)
Surrey Fives, East Final
The Richmond Park team, captained by Brendan O’Sullivan, beat Epsom 4 – 1 in the 2023 Surrey 5’s East Section knockout final. More details below.
Having defeated one Epsom team in the semi finals, the Richmond Park ‘B’ team faced another Epsom team in the East section final. The match was played at Hindhead golf course, which had beautiful fairways and perfectly manicured greens that were exceptionally fast with lots of slopes and subtle breaks.
Our team was led off by Naveed Manazir (a last minute sub. for Pete Malla) who ran into a 12 handicapper who shot -2 gross for 12 holes to give Epsom the first point with a 7 & 6 victory.
Brendan Sullivan restored the deficit winning 8 & 7 to square the match at 1 – 1
The ever-reliable John Perkins was never behind and ran out an easy 6 & 5 winner to put Richmond Park 2 – 1 up in the match.
Russell Stewart was selected for the final following some impressive play over the past few weeks and justified his selection with a 4 & 3 victory to put Richmond Park 3 – 1 up in the match.
Bernie McDermott was never behind in the last match and also saw off his opponent with a 4 & 3 victory to record an overall result of 4 – 1 to Richmond Park and the Surrey 5’s East section title.
Richmond Park now await the winners of West Surrey v Hindhead to determine the overall Surrey 5’s champions for 2023. This match is scheduled to take at Clandon Regis on Sunday 15th October.