It was evident from the preparations made by a number of Society stalwarts that they were all up for the WHV Open Weekend. Of the ten entrants for the Amy Austin, only the Web Donkey and Bacon didn’t travel down the night before. Some players went for the faimily option of staying at Ad’s mums place, even if this meant that Noz and Aust got to cuddle each other all night. Others went straight to the resort – the Pres and Pete arriving at 9pm to join the impromptu session started at 5pm by “Upgrade my room NOW!” Brown and Cooper – a session that ran well into the small hours.

The Venue

Truly a magnificent resort, almost perfect for the WHV season closer. Everyone commended the President for his choice of St Mellion. Only a few niggles were raised – that the final round of the WHV open would be played on some temporary greens, that the tee boxes were generally rubbish and that there was nowhere at all within walking distance where you could buy a box of fags.

The Nicklaus track couldn’t be faulted, everyone admitted that some of the tee shots were simply stunning, and that they’d give their right arms to own one of the cornish stone houses overlooking the course. Many thought it to be the best course they’d played, even if it was “b@stard hard”.

The Golf

Amy Austin 09 Runners and Riders

The challenge of the course was going to favour discipline, straight hitting, conservative shot selection and steady putting. Or at least someone who could deliver at least one of those for at least 8 or 9 holes. Discussions turned to the fact that a big championship resort course might favour someone like the Web Donkey, who plays a lot of ‘Business Development’ golf round the Arden course at the Forest of Arden, and so would be acclimatised to a tough track.

News reached the leading group on the back nine that the Captain was playing a blinder and thought he was in with a sniff of winning the event. This was intriguing to hear, as the Web Donkey had just had a run of 7 or 8 consecutive holes with birdie putts – playing par golf on a championship course, and was a good 10 points ahead of the Captain – a bluff was attempted to see if we could attempt to convince the Prof that he was on for his first victory since the tour went professional. I don’t think it held, and in any case, he was far more focused on a spread bet against Ron, as usual.

Meanwhile, Noz was regretting his decision to carry, and walk the course – at one point he was begging Ads to carry his bag for him and even went so far as to start putting his clubs in other people’s bags.Noz on the 14th Tee

Noz had also noticed that the run of pars was putting the Web Donkey, his chief challenger for the Order of Merit, in serious danger of facing a points cut alongside the victory cut. Hence, from around the 14th hole, everything that was less than perfect was treated with a volley of abuse of cheating, even a lipped out birdie putt on stroke index one, from off the green no less. Similarly, the decision to drill a 2 iron down the middle of the following par 5 was seen as protecting his handicap, even though it resulted in another 3 point par, was viewed by the Players Rep as tantamount to stealing the Order of Merit.

Compounding the crime, when the wheels came off on 17 and 18 and the winner blobbed both holes by playing some adventurous golf to shut Noz up – keeping his score at a safe 35 points saw Noz off and running to all and sundry about how I’d been cheating. We now know that he’d been told not to bother coming home if he didn’t end up winning the tour title by Mrs Noz, so maybe it would be viewed as acceptable to single out and abuse his No. 1 challenger. However, the blob blob finish by a winner facing a handicap cut would not be the last of the weekend…it will be interesting to see how Noz reports his own miraculous failure to card a point once he thought his title was safe.

We have found how to neuter the perennial challenge of Coops – never out of the top 2 since his return to the tour in 08 – let him drink the night before a round. Even when powered by a full pack of tabs and a large Cuban, it takes him at least 12 holes to sober up enough to direct that driver. This was evidenced by him collecting the longest drive prize on the 18th by launching a howitzer past the collected Big Dog’s of the GS, it also served notice to Ron that his beloved Hulk might be in jeopardy.

Oh, and WD won by an 8 shot margin even with a blob blob finish, Ron was 2nd on Countback and Bruce won the nearest the pin. I’m obliged by the constitution to provide money details: WD £15, Ron £10, Coops & Bonus £5 each. The sponsor has also provided a magnificent trophy, and will gladly tell all and sundry about the miracle of engraving machines.

Accepting the Magnificent Trophy

Accepting the Magnificent Trophy

The Job

As required by local byelaws, as the winner of the Spittle Shield, Mr Hopkin was required to consume all alcoholic beverages out of the 1968 Munich Beer Stein.Spittle Shield Duties

Then Bacon managed to dump a whole pint of Guinness down Aust’s only pair of jeans, and as his only other option were some Hugo Boss drawstring lounge pyjamas, he was not best pleased.

Bacon Guinness Failure

There was much debate over chicken supreme and cornish cheese as to what the society should do with its’ evening in Cornwall. A number of members were fighting hard for a night out in the ‘Mouth – wanting to get on a proper job that concluded with Donnas and Doners, others were displaying tactical foresight and recommending an evening in the hotel to get properly prepared for the Jug (Aust being the cheerleader for this option, important to note). Eventually, after haranguing an adolescent waiter, we determined that Saltash was an acceptable compromise – out of the hotel, likely to serve cider, not going to be full of sailors looking to fight a bunch of accountants and analysts down from Solihull. All agreed that if Saltash was a little too provincial, it was going to be OK to push on into Plymouth.

Our plan was made after we’d booked the cabs, and the fat lad tag team taxis from Moustache Cabs weren’t happy in the change in plans, but this was quickly resolved by a recommendation to “hide” the cabs from the one man who’d not made it upstairs without hearing the call of his favourite place. “Where’s Noz?” was the call. “Having A Sh!t, of course”. The thought of a poor man being abandoned by his boys because he had to lay cable appealed mightily to our cabbie and we set off for Saltash in good spirits, after we waited for Noz to pinch off a quick one.

Society protocol dictates that the evening’s events will forever stay on tour (not that there was anything salacious to report), but here are some phrases to stimulate the memories of those who where there:

  • “This place is rubbish, lets to to Plymouth” – repeat ad nauseum from Coops
  • “They serve RATTTLER!” and then, several times “Ten Pints of Rattler Please” – the President enjoying himself
  • “The game is 5 card no peek…..” – ruined in about 5 minutes by a fevered discussion between Noz and Ron about the legalities of a £1 raise on a 20p call
  • “Come on mate, let us in, we’ve got money and will spend loads” – Ron to the Doorman/Proprieter of the WarmIce, late licensed bar in Saltash
  • “This place is rubbish” – everyone after getting into said late bar
  • “What do you mean you’re going to bed. Are you gay?!” – a resurgent and rampant Aust, who’d almost fallen asleep during the card game, upon returning to the hotel and proceeding to challenge for Last Man Standing rights
  • “Why is it dark in here and why are my trousers round my ankles?” the Prof, upon waking up in a random cubicle in one of the many Gents bathrooms in the hotel (this might have been following the DPS, but still worthy of inclusion!)

There’s quite a bit of footage of the closing hole, so expect another post covering that shortly.

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