On 16th July the Society held its first golf meeting since the Autumn Meeting at Goring and Streatley in September 2019. The only other ‘events’ that have taken place have been our AGM at Sonning in March 2020, followed by our ZOOM AGM in March this year and no Society golf competitions had taken place at all in over 21 months.

Therefore, it was with a great deal of pleasure that we finally managed to do SOMETHING on that front – albeit, because of the lingering Covid restrictions at our venue, it had to be a somewhat pared down Summer Meeting.  This was held at The Springs Wallingford on an absolutely beautiful sunny day with 36 participants from 16 different clubs.

We decided to repeat the 2019 format which had gone down very well before and while  our members were frantically honing their handicaps and playing in all their own club comps, this was  to be a non-qualifying  fun day out,  played in pairs as 6 holes Better Ball, 6 holes Foursomes and 6 holes Greensomes . Our organisers for the day were Mary Harwood and Terri Wright… and my goodness, as you might imagine, they had to work hard on playing handicaps both before and on the day as each player required 3 different ones and a good number of them changed between entering and playing!

The course was like many at present, with long grass just waiting to capture and hide balls, and with water and other random features, such as unmown hillocks placed just where you might want to put your shot on the way to the green!  Luckily, it is also VERY pretty and although, as I was ‘officiating’and wasn’t able to play myself,  I took a stroll out to do the starting and then later towards the end, greeted some of the players as they came back to the 18th.  I was very taken with the views around the course and beyond into the countryside and I hope any ladies who were finding the golf itself somewhat trying, were able to take some joy in the gorgeous scenery!

Mary and Terri had secured a ‘buffet’ for the meal and the food was really excellent – the only problem being that the Springs for some reason, instead of serving it to the ladies at a buffet station in their large unused function room, decided to bring plates of buffet food onto each table of players, who had to be scattered round two separate sections of the bar. None of this had been explained in advance, but we have not all been Lady Captains for nothing, and so the team swiftly adapted to the circumstances and commandeered the outside patio area for our prizegiving by reserving all the seats with files and bags and looking fierce if any other golfer came by, acting as if they might have fancied a beer there!

The event was a great success, in part because the weather was very kind but mainly because the organisers did a really tremendous job and because everyone just wanted to have a lovely day out…so they did!

RESULTS: ALL with 42 OCB Overall 1st Rita Ellis & Di Raeside  (Sandmartins),  2nd Mary Lush & Pauline Sleet (Sandmartins),  3rd Irene Manson  (Mapledurham) & Sara Steward (Bearwood Lakes)

(Section winners, not in main prizes)

Best 4BBB: Fay Unsworth & Kim Richardson (Donnington Grove), Best Foursomes:  Cilla Osgood & Louise Willson (Newbury & Crookham Best Greensomes: Sue Hussey (Henley) & Linda Harris (Reading)

It seemed rather nice that our Treasurer, Vice Captain and Secretary were all in the first 3 – a serendipitous but deserved little reward for all the hard work they’ve been putting in since March 2020!

Babs Shanks