Nice Work Mike, it must be boring writing these so often!! So now we get a Radio 4 Parlour Trick?

WHV’ers Left Screaming For Vengeance

Saturday the 6th August started early for me as I had to pick up the TD from Knowle Costa Coffee at 0745.  It was so early that it felt like it was before the dawn.  However, after the TD had got over his embarrassment at having to order a tea for me, we were on our merry way to Astbury Hall in Shropshire, the ancestral home of the one and only KK Downing, guitarist of Judas Priest and massive golf fan.  Even with that early start, it was obvious to us both that we were ready for some hot rockin’ golf action.

During the journey, as I’m sure you can imagine, many exciting conversations took place.  For example, as we were heading out to the highway the TD quickly noticed that I had canvas-based covering on my car seats and he spent quite a while explaining that from an early stage of choosing his last car, he had been hell bent on leather car seats.  Well who was I to argue with him.  We also discussed the fact that his favourite new concept car was the new Toyota green manalishi with the two-pronged crown spoiler he had seen the week before on Top Gear and that his favourite sweet was a jawbreaker.  Again, I wasn’t about to argue with a man with such impeccable taste and knowledge.   However, the final straw did come when the TD started going in to great depth as to how he had been delivering the goods the previous night and what a turbo lover he was.  It was at this stage that I had to tell him you’ve got another thing comin’ if you think I’m going to continue talking to you about that.  The journey continued in relative silence until it was obvious that we were getting ourselves lost somewhere in Shropshire.  Therefore before we got left out in the cold, we called Coops and luckily for us he had his electric eye fully working and was able to talk us in.  Massive thanks go to Coops.

Astbury Hall was a magnificent sight as we drove up the drive and almost forced an immaculate looking classic Rolls Royce off the drive.  I may have been being a bit of a sinner and freewheel burning a little too much and not taking as much of notice of the road as I should have.  We obviously thought it was KK himself in the Roller and waved at him like 2 teenage metal lads but unfortunately we were reliably informed in the pro shop that it wasn’t and was more likely to be one of his roadies.  Roadying for Judas Priest obviously pays well.  The building itself is a beautiful Georgian mansion in 350 acres of parkland and the grounds looked immaculate.  But more importantly, the bacon sarnies from the shop had a very high bacon to bread ratio.  A few members were however asked to ram it down, as we needed to be at the first tee.  A big shout must go to Mrs TD who supplied me and the TD with 2 lovely bacon cobs.

The groups were picked in the normal way and I was picked in the last group with Noz, Donk and the TD.  Once again there was the now ubiquitous discussion around my handicap and BetRon also opened for business.  The biggest bet being laid by our very own Nostradamus, Pedro, who claimed he had visions of him winning the previous night when he had been living after midnight and therefore whacked a load on himself to win.  So much in fact that Ron suddenly started to look a little worried that he was about to become a victim of a betting revolution.  Those feelings didn’t diminish as Pedro started like a steam train.

My group was initially more interested in Noz’s increasingly erratic behaviour.  When he wasn’t throwing his clubs around, which by the way started after his first shot, he was swatting flies and wasps to beyond the realms of death.  To be fair there were a lot of flies, wasps and night crawlers around the course and it did at times feel like we were in the middle of a hell patrol.  As the Donk and I were wearing bright orange and bright yellow shirts respectively, we especially seemed to be getting a lot of attention from them.

The TD also became increasingly concerned about a number of other issues as we wandered around the course.  Firstly there was his perceived lack of yardage marker stakes on the course. The fact that there were 50/100/150 & 200 markers (discs) in the middle of every fairway seemed to pass him by.  The fringes of the greens were also apparently adversely affecting him, as were the lack of bins and ball cleaners.  There was however one touch of evil that did affect us all in the group.  On the 10th, 11th and 12th greens the sprinklers started having minds of their own and started coming on wherever we seemed to put our balls.  It got so bad at one point that we finally relented and decided to allow a twosome through and let them get wet.

That said, as far as we were all concerned the course was beautiful and in really excellent condition.  It certainly seemed to suit my game as I started to play pretty well, my clubs or, metal gods as I like to call them, were working well and I started racking up the points.  It was not until we finished that we realised that all of us had been playing and scoring very well.  An average of 35 points across us all must mean we have an excellent handicap system in place.  So well had we all been scoring, that arriving on the 18th tee with 39 points would not be good enough to win.  Luckily, my tee shot landed on the green and I was able to pick up 2 stapleforth points and win with a total of 41.

We then reconvened on the veranda for a lovely lunch, more discussion around my handicap and the prize giving and as we all headed off towards the blood red skies overBirmingham we were unanimous in our admiration for KK and what he has produced at Astbury Hall.

The official payouts of the event were as follows:

1st with 41 Points and winning £20 and a signed “Essential Judas Priest” CD was Bacon, 2nd with 39 Points and winning £10 and a signed Judas Priest DVD was Professor Pedro Ash.  The Big Dog and £5 went to Ron and the Shark and £5 went to Ron.  Finally, there were so many spot prizes due to the extremely generous nature of the event sponsor, our esteemed Captain, that almost everyone who played won a prize.

Congratulations to all the winners and see you all on Saturday 17 September for the PEDRO Masters.


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