With remarkable foresight the Bunkers committee scheduled our longest playing day before the hottest weather of this year arrived. With a good turnout, and a few old friends returning, the day proved a resounding success. Many will have remembered the course and food from previous visits, so a few changes didn’t go unnoticed. Some found the many dog-legs on the back nine somewhat tedious. The extra water on the 18th proving a particular hazard for JohnT.!. The club restaurant did a fine job this time, although a few more chips (Frazer managed to blag extra portions and was duly fined and ColinT had sneaked an extra bacon roll) at lunchtime would have been welcomed, but the evening dinner was second to none.

Old hands will recall the mayhem that usually surrounded AlanB in the distant past. This time was no exception………’s just a short summary: spending more time (always?) than was wise on the wrong fairways, wearing ‘That Shirt’ , forgetting to put his name on the nearest pin, getting NP on the 4th when playing the 3rd and, finally not allowing PaulH to keep him under control. Quite a rap sheet!. Obviously PaulH was too busy to notice trying to win despite a visit to the hedge by the practice green, without his shirt being tucked in and practicing in the bunkers.

Others were obviously affected by the occasion including a hungry IanT who demolished many calories and answered the phone on the 1st. Many members, well two at least, were ready to decapitate SteveW for repeated mention of a Callaway ball, mashing a bunker in anger, and for his inability to accurately measure an NP. PaulS and Phil were fined for being the same distance from the hole.

LukeP was cheeky about everything, particularly Frazer’s pink shirt. By the way, Alan is definitely not Richard. MikeJ and IanD were strangely dressed for the climate. Did this contribute to the 25 shots Mike took to emerge from a bunker. For Mike and DaveF a buggy over a tee was not a good idea. These two also parked the buggy next to a ‘lost’ ball and went off to look for it, but DaveF only had one blob on his card (Hurrahs all round)

MarkT was fined for being a goody goody .

Our skipper Dave had an eventful day. Ran over a golf trolley and played Frazer’s ball.

Noticing a bell or not ringing it was a heavy fine for SteveW’s group but this wasn’t as bad as falling asleep stretched out on the 14th tee. JohnT obviously had lost his voice and failed to shout fore on more than one occasion, but artfully missed Phil in his bright red shirt but not his trolley.

A flurry of confusion during the prize giving underlined the importance of card markers cross checking scores with the player BEFORE handing over to Frazer.

Congratulations to all prize winners from both competitions on the day.

Congratulations to singles winner Paul receiving the trophy from Captain Shorter.

Roving Reporter: John Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

The sun was out, the temperature was high, the ground hard, and the rough, well you'll see and read more about that later! A rather disappointing turn out arrived at Sherfield Oaks for the Summer Shoot-Out - maybe they had remembered the rough from last year!

Steve was his typical early self, but as he was commuting from Wales (after leaving his wife and best friend there on holiday), I guess he can be forgiven for only arriving at 8.45am (just 4 hours early this time!). The early eaters were left feeling a little disappointed by the lack of unhealthy fried offerings and instead had to cope with deli sandwiches from Sherfields new venture.

Having arrived early, Steve disappeared for a few hours, and we all thought he'd fallen asleep in his car. But no, after witnessing various members moaning to the green keepers meeting that morning, he had somehow conned a member into taking him out on the course for a few holes just to "test the length of the rough". As he arrived back in the clubhouse he promptly bought a dozen more balls! He subsequently got fined for practice beforehand and for loosing his balls before he'd even started! As you'll see from the results, the practice didn't help him, especially as he'd gone out on the other course which we weren't playing :-)

Even though we were reduced on numbers the fines were still abundant, with Dave and Tony being fined for not wearing shorts, Dave being too lippy, and for trying to double DOB Ian.

Colin got fined for trying to teach Mark accountancy tips on the back of his DOB card. In turn Mark racked up some noteable fines - Club abuse, saying he had back spin which is why he wasn't nearer the hole, and walking whilst letting Beardy's buggy carry his clubs. I think he must have had it in for Beardy as Mark was heard telling Beardy that the "ditch was about 240 yards away but that won't bother you".

And on the subject of Beardy's buggy; we've already mentioned the rough was a bit too long, well long rough and buggies don't mix well, especially when driven by serial buggy crashers!

Thankfully he came out unharmed except for a couple of bruises, but Tony subsequently got fined for telling Beardy he had a built in air-bag.

The main event ended up being tight for the positions, with the top 3 all on 40 points, and only being sorted out on countback. Congratulations to all who played to or bettered handicap - anything running off the fairway was lost!

Congratulations to winner Frazer, receiving the trophy from Captain Shorter.

Editor: Frazer Webb

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

Being welcomed to Calcot by heavy rain didn’t detract from the expectations of our members for a great day out on an excellent course.

The early starters in the draw had a wet experience for the first 10 or 11 holes, but then the sun came out and all was forgiven. The greens, always a challenge even when dry, proved more difficult in the damp. The halfway hut was a welcome sight.

It was a very busy day for the fines master, with players doing odd things left, right and centre.

Steve was particularly keen to repeat his successful results last time out…a 7.44am arrival at the course ensured that he wouldn’t be late and eating Jaffa cakes kept up the calories (as did extra helpings sausages at breakfast and of pudding later in the day). It obviously worked, as two skill prizes and the sweep for the 2nd time in a row duly followed. He still managed to slow everybody down by taking four out of a bunker and insisting on putting.

Unusually balls seemed to be a strong topic of conversation (as we shall see later) during the day with two players having a Callaway 1, with 3 purple spots and 3 lines. What are the odds!?.

JohnF was either causing havoc, a shot from the 4th tee landed next to the 3rd tee, playing off the whites, or was invisible as James had difficulty seeing him in the group ahead. A discussion in the showers about back ache re-cemented the bond.

JohnT (who did serious damage to a tee box and failed to use the driver sold to him years ago by the fines master) and Rick had fun bouncing out of bunkers, chipping into and out of them and putting into them. Unfortunately Martin had four blobs on the back 9. On the 15th, JohnT was just off the green in two, putted into a bunker and never came out. A pathetic blob. PaulS and Michelle were discovered playing with each other’s balls. Wow, gender fluidity on the golf course!. Michelle on the par 3 4th played her 2nd and 4th shot from the same place.

Steve was fined for not working out the stableford scores on his card and Tony for not having one and finding every bunker on the course. Nick meanwhile had no excuses for anything. Frazer had a great day: putted off the green on the 1st and then broke a rake. Had his name on the nearest pin 17th and then four putted.

DaveF scored on the first three holes…a feat never achieved before by him!. DaveS had a buggy, but parked it miles from the tee or the ball and ColinT used his mobile on the 1st. IanT was, believe it or not, fined for acting above his station!

Congratulations to all winners after a great days golf.

Congratulations to winner Ian, receiving the trophy from Captain Shorter.

Roving Reported: John Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

Driving in to the course, it was good to see that a gratifying number of people on the pavements in Ascot town had taken the effort to wear waistcoats and top hats as a welcoming gesture to the Society. What was slightly confusing was that during the afternoon they cheered even when we made bad shots.

A great turnout for the day with a number of new, and very keen, members.

Some hardy souls chose to test the weather forecast by wearing shorts. What’s the old phrase, “cast ne’re a clout ‘til May be out” (this phrase, which appeared in the Yorkshire vernacular around 1754 was brought back to England, at great personal sacrifice, by Capt. Cook following his visit to Tahiti in 1749 to observe the transit of Venus. Quite why the natives of those tropical islands would have a need for such an admonition has been lost to science but it is thought that, due to bad translation, a clout could refer to either a coconut or a pineapple, rather than clothes that golfers would wear). JohnT had a major wardrobe malfunction and became increasingly cold as the round wore on. This lead to a somewhat uncharacteristic explosion of expletives that led to a hefty fine.

On the subject of fines, those who received one know who they are, but this write up has been put together without the DOB cards being available. It’s guaranteed that won’t happen again. (Hopefully)

The frostbite must have reached JohnF’s swing as playing the 3rd, but ending on the 18th green, was not how the course designers had intended their creation.

JamesM was roundly excoriated for not polishing the returning trophy, but he had had it engraved for free!.

Paul, the ‘only’ guest was successful in not only finding most areas of rough on the corse, but also winning the leading guest prize. What an accomplished performance.

An interesting culinary production for the meal afterwards. It’s definitely the first time that this writer has experienced bangers & mash with mushy peas. Not disastrous, but somewhat odd. Having said that, the breakfast bacon sandwich was easily the best in Ascot!.

Congratulations to all prize winners, especially to Steve who did a fine job of mopping up most of them.

Congratulations to winner Rick, receiving the trophy from Captain Shorter.

Roving Reported: John 'Iceman' Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

Unfortunately our Roving Reporter was not able to attend today as he was testing positive for you know what! Although a bit drained I can say that John is on the way to being his normal self! See you soon John!

In his absence it falls to me to precis the cock-ups, moans, shouts of joy (not many of those), and the swearing (lots of that)!

Since they removed a lot of trees and took the course back closer to the original design Cuddington seems to have got easier, with the winning score usually well under handicap, and this year was no exception. Despite them remodelling the 8th, and therefore having to split the 17th into 2 holes to give us a full 18, it was still a challenge to some. It also made for some rather intricate and interesting card filling in as hole 17B had to be scored in the 8th hole position! Confused! Yep, so were many, but I'm happy to say that only one person cocked the score card up didn't they Steve!

Aside from this little issue, all was going well until one of the staff came up to us at 12:30 asking when we were going out to start playing. It transpired after a few short minutes that what he was trying to tell us was that they had our tee-times booked for 12:30 where as we were all getting geared up to start out at 1pm. Thankfully most of the players had already turned up so after a quick dash to the cars for the bats, we were able to get out not long after 12:30. This rush did see the Captain leave his groups cards behind in the clubhouse, so those on the 1st tee had to dodge his buggy as he swiftly came back from the 1st green to get the cards he'd left behind. A big thank you to all the players for getting there at the meet time, and for coping with the rush as best as could be.

Aside from the Captain, all seemed to fair ok with the rush and the 1st tee saw some stonking shots, with no warmup and no practice. It is Bunkers after all, who needs practice! Well for one, me, as I hooked my first tee-shot, lost it, dropped (as per Bunkers rules), shanked it, lost, it, gave up and walked to the 2nd tee!

I'm pleased to say that I wasn't the only one making a fool of themselves on the course as we found out later with the Fines Master doling out a large number of awards - edited highlights being:
- Luke for his repeated sarcastic comments that Captain was playing like a prat
- Dave Flynn for having his trousers tucked into his socks
- Phil 3 holes in a row, shanking fairway irons, and still paring the holes!
- John F for wearing a bobble hat with his shorts
- Steve for trying to bribe the fines master by offering him his posh pencil
- And on the subject of pencils, Darren for having no lead in his
- Luke, again, for using the hairdryer
- Luke for reminding Colin to miss the bunkers
- Tony P for hitting his approach shot on 17B to 8ft from the 10th pin!
- Tony, again, for his phone going off whilst on the 17B tee (maybe that's why he went for the wrong green!)

Many others got stuffed up, but couldn't read the writing on the dobs cards, so the rest will have to stay unknown for now!

Congratulations to all the winners and despite the rushed start, the weather held off and all had a great day. As per normal at Cuddington, the food after was very good.

Congratulaions to first time winner Luke, receiving the trophy from Captain Shorter.

Editor: Frazer Webb

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

For many years there have been occasional reports in the Golf Press (the better titles of course) that golfers didn’t go to Test Valley primarily for the golf. This writer for one put these rumours down to the mere tittle tattle of grumpy overweight old men. However, the Bunkers visit last week confirmed the truth!. The meals produced by the club house kitchen were a gastronomic triumph!, easily winning over the jaded palates of our members. Even Ray S, our resident gastronomic vacuum cleaner, happily polished off Tony P's unwanted sausage at breakfast.

The golf that accompanied these delights was also very enjoyable, given that previous visits to the course had been stymied or brought close to disaster by wet weather.

With this being the first event of 2022, members seemed to have gained a mean streak over the winter. The DOB-SHEETs were heavy with minor ,and major, infringements. One of the funniest of course would be Dave F. Gladly offering John F a comb when asked 👀. Dave F made up for it by playing some of his best golf this year, even if it was off a handicap of 36.

Conversations after the game were enlightened by John F telling and re-telling Ad nauseam the tale of how he was persuaded to marked a 3, not a 2 on the closest pin 16th and 4 putted the 8th. (Memory like a goldfish maybe). John T got a fine for the subterfuge and for littering the course with an unused Puttenham score card.

Luke was like a man possessed in his quest to be fined. First he lost his DOB sheet, then got lost on the way to the driving range and then took a swing at a late arriving Michelle with his bag!. Michelle, inevitably, was also fined for being late and a victim.

The golfing gods were looking after some, but not all, players. John T hit at least 2 drives straight in to fairway bunkers, but they squirted out of the other side on each occasion. Ian T, not to be outdone, played crazy golf on the 6th. (Sadly, no further description available). Chris T managed to chip in for a birdie after thinning a drive and managed to prove that trees are at least 10% timber. Mark T hit a 320 yd drive, didn’t wait for the bell, and took another four shots to get down. Tony hit a second provisional into the pond on the 15th.

Martin C was one of those playing Army golf and on the 4th hit three to back of the green, fourth into a bunker and fifth through the back. What joy!. Paul B was fined for being a nice bloke and swearing all the time. Somebody had to remind the Captain that he’d left his top in the bar (what had happened to the other part of his bikini is still a mystery).

Lastly, and how could we forget, John F won three nearest pin prizes while generally playing some of the worst golf of his golfing year. What was that about Gods?.

Congratulations to all deserving winners and a great day was had by all.

Congratulaions to first time winner Mike P, receiving the trophy from Captain Shorter.

Roving reporter: John Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here