I am duty bound to present all competition reports here on WHVGolf.com – I know I can be a little late sometimes, but sometimes the reports are underwhelming, or simply don’t turn up.

We’ve had a different issue with the most recent tournament though – you may recall that Bruce won, and that Bruce was moving house 2 weeks after winning – this left him offline for a few days and so his report came in 4 or 5 days late. Despite living in the age of the internet where I’m sure he spent some time on his phone checking for some form of ailment allied to moving home or lifting or something, Bruce claimed that he’d written the report but it was on his work computer and he couldn’t access it until the time he went back to work after moving. Seemed fair enough – he was putting this case to the President, who was accepting it in good faith.

We duly received the match report on the 5th day after it was due – this should result in the loss of 5RPs per day – and as Bruce only got 16RPs for winning the Gibbon – this was quite a severe punishment.

Then I opened the report to read what Bruce had written, which was a couple of sentences introducing the Captain’s Log post I added on the evening of the Gibbon. And that was it – very little original content – as you will see below.

Now, things get murky – the board have some vested interest in the success of Bruce this year – the President has wagered with the TD that Bruce will win the OoM – so was unsurprisingly relaxed on both charges of lateness and plagiarism. Having made a case for Bruce repeatedly, he recused himself from the discussion. The TD only engaged after the saga had completed. For some reason, it was also perceived that I had a particular interest in seeing Bruce stripped of points – not entirely sure why I would stake any greater interest in this than any of the other event regulars who should be challenging for the OoM – Millers, Nob, Bacon, Pres, TD et al – but as Secretary/Recorder/Captain, I preferred to stand silent myself after raising the issue with the board. (This is particularly galling given the way that Nob and I handed the countback victory to Bruce by being sticklers for the rules of golf at the Gibbon).

The PR intervened, as the only ‘independent’ board member, and proposed to fine Bruce half of his RPs, which he then decided should be all of his RPs for the event, suspended until the 2014 Jug in the case of further malfeasance regarding competition reporting. According to the PR, Bruce did not take even his suspended sentence happily.

I’m sure I am not alone (I know that our erstwhile Captain and Constitutional Advocate is appalled by Bruce’s behaviour, and the lack of board creativity in coming up with a suitable punishment for Bruce’s bald faced lack of compliance, but with the President having a vested interest, to the enormous tune of £20, the subject was always going to stall. Anyone raising the matter with Dougal will simply be faced with his irrelevant argument about Bruce’s handicap being too high *cough 3 time WHV Open winner himself* and that the OoM was a done deal as a result)

So it turned out that the Gibbon was just as eventful off the course as it turned out to be on the course, and I’m sure the wider membership will be very interested in the priorities of some of the board members.

For the sake of posterity, here is the offending match report, as ‘provided’ by the ‘winner’ of the Gibbon – (you will note it failed to meet any of the requirements of a proper Competition Report – who won the Dog or Shark, how much money was awarded, etc. – but we now know the price of principle – 5 bob at 4 to 1, apparently).

The element in italics is ‘borrowed’ from this website (and worth reading again to understand how the ‘win at all costs’ approach is an increasing problem for our society);

2014 Gibbon Invitation Match Report

Venue:                    The Menzies Welcombe Golf Course, Stratford-upon-Avon

Date:                       1st March 2014

Entrees:                 Pres, TD, PR, Captain, Mike, Adam,  Bruce & NOB

For the 3rd year in row we returned to the Menzies for the Gibbon Invitation, sponsored by the reinstated TD, for another well organised event. Bacon rolls, 18 holes of golf and a Ham, Egg and Chips to finish it all off for the standard £40. And more importantly the sun came out!!!

Now, as I’m sure many of our readers know, and in our Captains words, “I am a sportsman and not a writer”, so here are a few bullet points of the days events, courtesy of our Captain :-

  • The reinstated TD was full of vigour, as usual, but I am not looking forward to hearing about the machinations of Heartflood, if the Andover story (and especially the secret Virgin story) are anything to go by. His golf looked as spotty as ever – spectacularly good and spectacularly random
  • The President is too used to me being his chauffeur, as he was able to miss the entrance to the car park and drive up the cart path in front of the club house. Good job he could join the caravan out of the car park in the dark, especially after seeing off the foot and half of Guinness for bringing up the rear in the golf – on his way back to the brink of category Z?
  • Millers was dressed for an ascent of the north face of the Eiger, when in fact we were blessed with sunshine all the way round. He was also close to bipolar on the course, mumbling and grumbling about his inconsistency and stupidity, whilst still dropping 3 birdies into the mix (which seemed to follow directly from discussions he instigated about man on man loving)
  • I didn’t get to play with him, but Gibraltar Mike seemed to be full of joie de vivre following his 42nd birthday, and his brand new Mondeo estate – we heard he was eating up the course, but just kept it steady rather than delivering the goods
  • Adam was a revelation – he strode up the first tee, not with the Slammer or other such hand me down, but a pristine Taylor Made Burner 2.0 in pimped out white – and he proceeded to reveal the benefits of investing in equipment. Apparently his pro looked at his old bats and said that Tiger would struggle to find the sweet spot in them. Ads was in contention through 15 holes, but succumbed to the big finish at the Welcombe (as did I, and Millers), playing good solid golf, hitting good shots, and nearly winning Noz Nob some cash from the Gibbon
  • Bruce, apparently was having a shocker until we crossed the road for the final four holes – likely in last place at that point. Then he birdied three of the last four (and parred the other) to post 35 points to win on countback – which he felt was justified having lost two tournaments on countback in 2013 (to keep his total to just 4!). So a threepeat for Juice, and renewed calls from the President for a cut – despite Bruce shooting 35 off 15.
  • I managed to also post 35, despite putting like an idiot – including missing a 3 footer on the 18th. It was a blob free round – testament to scrambling rather than too much good golf. I’ve just seen Rory tank his tournament, so can’t feel too bad about missing out on a tenner.
  • Highlight of the day was definitely the big reveal of Noz’s Hulk, which Nicola had embroidered that morning, and then texted everyone to look out for her handiwork. I have a picture for the match report, but fair to say she wins, again, for creating a new nickname for her husband, who shall henceforth be known as Nob.
  • The big talking point was about rules and sportsmanship – which gifted the win to Bruce as both Nob and myself showed true stupidity. On the 15th, as I hacked up the hole to score a single point, Noz was looking to maximise, and had a 15 inch put for a par, but he was worried about it, and about standing on Millers’ line. So he marked the ball, which was then on Adam’s line. Asked to move his marker, Nob did and we all warned him not to forget to put it back. Adam and Millers holed out, and as Millers walked to the hole, he told Nob not to forget to move his marker. He promptly rolled in the putt, but from the wrong place. He claimed a 5 for 3 and then we all told him that it would be a 7 for 1, given how he didn’t move his marker. Cue an enormous amount of grumbling and near petulance, particularly as we walked from the 17th to 18th tees – he wanted to know exactly what the scores were – resulting in me Donking on course whilst Millers, who was moody after another blob, and Adam waited.
    • Completely distracted, and aware of the Big Dog being at stake, I teed up and hit a drive. And was then asked where I was teeing off from – as I’d hit from the ladies tee. Apparently this had been noted by my playing companions, but under encouragement from Nob, they decided not to point it out to me. Feeling like a proper idiot, I reloaded from the correct spot, melted a drive and then a five iron to the heart of the green, but took 3 putts from 20 feet to post a 7 for 1. At this point Nob started to challenge whether I should be disqualified from the hole, as taking 5 shots and scoring 7 wasn’t enough of a penalty in his view (take my point away and he’d be leading on countback – he may be many things, but he is not soft), insisting that I show him the rule where stroke and distance is the penalty for my error – threatening to bring Pete into the consultation
    • This is the second tournament in a row where a playing companion of mine has shown worrying ignorance of the rules of the game in a way that could swing something important in their favour on the last hole – without Pete or Ron or Rob there to speak with authority it would seem that we may need some refreshers to the proper R&A rules of golf to stop me having to try and get a signal to underline my own expertise!
    • I don’t have an issue with Nob trying to win at all costs, he has form for this kind of thing, but both Adam and Paul should really take a long look at themselves and how they’re feeling about sportsmanship, looking at their free Captain’s Kitchen Calendar whilst they’re doing it!
    • Should be noted that Dougal apart, we were all within 4 points of each other – a very tight finish that anyone could have won – but Bruce probably deserved it for as blistering a finish as we’ve ever seen
    • We ended with a good attempt at Ham Egg and Chips – the ham wasn’t really the best, but the bread and butter was a stroke of genius, with Milmore attempting to create the biggest little open sandwich seen in recent history.

All in all another great WHV event and hopefully see lots more of you at the PR Skins on the 12th April 2014.

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