Autumn Meeting 2018 in South Wales

This year’s Autumn Meeting was held in South Wales in the Swansea area. Eight of the party decided to start a day early and four were lucky enough to play the very challenging Royal Porthcawl, whilst the other four played the nearby Pyle & Kenfig. Common consent was that both courses were very difficult and we were obliged to leave several balls behind for the locals to find!

We then moved on to the palatial Gower Golf Club in Gowerton a few miles east of Swansea. Unfortunately there were one or two issues with the Gower and an emergency committee meeting was held over Friday’s breakfast. We decided to change the format for Saturday’s play. More about that later.

We all met up at Ashburnham at Burry Port, a traditional club with plenty of history attached to it. We played in fourballs. The first eight holes were played into a very stiff wind and certainly tested the field’s concentration. Fortunately we had the wind at our backs for most of the way home. Interestingly all the par 3s were played into the wind. Nick Budge managed to use his vast Hewitt experience and scored a very good 39 points to win the Etheldreda Cup. He pipped Alex Fleet by a solitary point.

We returned to the Gower for dinner, preceded by round 1 of the traditional wine tasting. This wasn’t greatly appreciated by the owner. A good selection were consumed. Having discussed the menu with the chef, a Mr John Blackadder, we enjoyed dinner.

Saturday’s change of plan meant an early start to play foursomes at the Gower Club. The condition of the course left a lot to be desired. Sadly the greens were not good. However, that didn’t stop the Captain and John Fraser scoring 32 points winning the Pigott Boxes. A very commendable effort. Robert Scull & Graham Negus were runners up.

Instead of more golf at the Gower, we had arranged to go to Langland Bay GC on the Mumbles to play our afternoon round. This proved to be an inspired decision. A pleasant lunch was had in the sunshine on the terrace overlooking the bay. Langland Bay is quite an undulating course with some spectacular holes running along the coastline. The 16th named “Death or Glory” is a short par 3 where going left is not an option. Mountaineers would struggle to get back up to the green! I am pleased to report that your Secretary discovered that completing shots makes a difference and finished with 38 points to win the Lowe Cup. Nick Budge was second and Jeremy Rawlins third. A delightful club with very friendly staff and members.

Returning to the Gower for Round 2 of wine tasting. Waudo managed to placate the owner (I think) and a pleasant dinner was had by all.

Unfortunately our plans for Sunday were scuppered by the weather. We were due to play at Pennard GC which is reputedly is as scenic as Langland Bay but the wind and rain put paid to that.

A big vote of thanks to our Captain, Christian Wimshurst, for organising the event. Despite the various issues at our base (mainly the owner), good fun was had by all. A return visit to the area with a different base would be welcomed.

Attendees Christian Wimshurst, Robert Scull, Alex Fleet, John Fraser, Rick Holgate, Dudley Stratford, Nick Budge, Jeremy Rawlins, Jeremy Waud, Jeremy Williamson, Robert Barnard-Smith (G), Graham Negus. Keith Jenkin was due to play at Pennard.