News for 2021

It's great to feel that the world, and particularly the golf courses are opening up again. So a fixture at the Drift was eagerly awaited as was the promised bacon roll before the day started and a 2 course dinner afterwards. Negotiating the club's extensive ground works near the club house was a challenge and anyone with a Garmin was totally confused by the change in hole order.

It was great to see a couple of visitors and Michelle's daughter Jennifer was ably introduced to the society by a very attentive Ray S. Matt T would have qualified as a visitor if a hastily arranged membership fee hadn't been paid. This became significant later as he was the highest scorer (with help from a few trees and a birdie on the 8th from the middle of the 7th fairway, on his home course) and just managed to lift the trophy from the waiting arms of Paul H, who is in excellent form this summer.

One of the great inventions of recent years was introduced by the Captain. The “FINES DOB IN SHEET”. Entirely anonymous for obvious reasons (but we know where you live) it allowed the sneaks and ne'er do wells to show their true colours. Fines flowed freely with Ian D sporting his usual sartorial elegance in black socks and shorts, John T with white socks and sandals after the game and Mark T destroying his shoes in the car park before the game. Which possibly contributed to a social faux pas when he left the lunch table to sit with his Dad (Ahhh). The Captain was honest enough to fine himself at least twice for some very minor infringements.

For those with their ears to the ground, the hot topic this summer has been John F's new super sport GT golf trolley. With instructions in hand, John has been frightening fellow golfers across the South East for the last month. With a GPS system guaranteed to follow the straightest line into the nearest bunker and a remote that has a mind of it’s own, it came as no surprise that Paul H became the latest victim of this hit and run learner driver.

Nej hasn’t featured much recently, as an up market bacon well done customer!, but luminous balls, not telling his playing partners about a concealed ditch and hitting (successfully) a driver off the deck on the 18th got peoples attention and a well earned couple of fines.
Ray S appears again in the fines list with no Bunkers shirt, distance reading on the green and taking the trophy to the worst engravers in the Western Hemisphere.

Matt T receiving the trophy from Captain Shorter, who just happens to be his father-in-law.

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

200 events, 204 different players, 57 courses, 42 different winners, 1 hole in one, 3 rice balls, a lemon posset, and 1 flattened trolley! Just about sums Bunkers Golf Society up! Mind you as the number of creeky bones, new hips and new knees mounts up, maybe we should now be called the Old Crocks Society.

The first society event was on 26th March 2001 at Cranleigh. 11 players, Micky Eagle won, with Keith Tilley (NP) and Ian Turvill (NP2) winning the 2 skill holes. A surfeit of Turvill’s even then: Chris, Colin and Ian.

Despite what many think it has only been wet for just over 25% of the society’s games – 53 of 200. It has snowed 3 times though!

The most singles events won by one person is currently held jointly by Bryan Carter and Chris Turvill at 15 apiece, although Chris is miles ahead of anyone else on the number of skill prizes won with a total of 64 versus the next person on 45.

It took 16 years and 11,753 tee shots before anyone in the society had a hole in one. Ray Steele finally broke the duck on 20th April 2017 at Tylney Park on the 17th hole. Since then, there’s been another 3,236 tee shots and we are still waiting for someone else to join Ray’s one-man band!

Membership has ebbed and flowed but has always hovered around the mid 20’s (not age!), which surely has contributed to the ever-present bon-homie that reverberates in between the dobbing in of people for fine-able happenstances!

The 57 Club’s food and service have predominantly been great, but don’t mention the rice balls at Badgemore or the Pulled Pork Balls at Goring and Streatley – it’s not been all balls, honest! Most of the time it’s Chicken and Crumble – sorry Luke! And for dessert who can forget the Lemon Posset at East Berks, hey Ray?

And with all that we get to the 200th event on 29th June 2021 at Cuddington. In a COVID ravaged time we ended up playing The Winter Shield in June! 23 players were due to play, but because of the weird ways we are at the moment, 1 got told to isolate just as he was getting in the car to go to the course, and another unfortunately had to hang around the hospital for longer than expected. James McPhail won the event (more on that bandit in a moment!), with skill prizes shared by Mike James, Frazer Webb, Colin Turvill, & Ian Dowdeswell. Not a lot changes though - still a surfeit of Turvill’s: Chris, Colin, Ian and Mark! As well as Chris, Colin and Ian, Michael Prevost was also playing – all 4 are notable as they all played the 1st event – not surprisingly they are all founder members.

To landmark the occasion of the 200th event, the society had decided to fund the purchase of polo shirts for all members playing the event, so the course was covered in navy shirted Bunker’ers. Photos were planned, but unfortunately we weren't all in the same place at the same time, so you’ll just have to imagine what we all looked like.

Out and about on the course were the usual shenanigans, heightened no doubt by the sense of occasion. In the unfortunate absence of the finemeister it fell to the Captain to fine his flock:
- His first fine was for himself for playing his first ball straight into the bushes on the first. He then proceeded to play a second (loaned to him by Colin Turvill) into the same bush, (another fine).
- Nej was fined for insinuating Mike James who he said was uglier than usual and the Captain was fined again for stating he couldn’t get uglier.
- John Thorp was fined for changing his shirt in the car park and exposing his torso to all and sundry.
- Ian had multiple fines including driving his trolley into Luke and for making a par 4 a nearest the pin hole.
- Other fines included James McPhail for leaving his money in the car – Ray for sitting having a nice pot of tea – Colin for drinking his beer out of what can only be described as a kiddies party glass – some people for the use of bad language, especially Tony who used it in front of a lady.

There were many other minor fines but the Captain (at his age) only has a very short memory and can’t remember them. All that can be said is very few people escaped a fine.

Back in the clubhouse, and not surprisingly the footie was on, which caused some upset for a few of the players who were taping the game and did not want to know the result. So upset was Mike James, that he decided to forego his meal and not come anywhere near the clubhouse in case his enjoyment got spoilt. Just hope he had the car radio off when he went home! Shame really as Cuddington did us proud with great attentive service and a lovely roast chicken and sticky toffee pudding meal.

Awaiting the winners was a special vintage of wine, carefully and personally pressed by Captain Shorter – just hope he washed his socks first! Bottles of vintage “Bunkers 200th Event” wine were dolled out to the various skill prize winners aforementioned, and a special vintage bottle of champoo for the winner, James.

Congratulations to all the winners, but especially to the overall event winner James McPhail, who overhauled everyone with a stupendous 42 points, 5 points clear of second place. The braying crowd called for double winners cut to celebrate the 200th event. Sorry James 😊


And finally.

All this success and jolliness would not have been possible without the forward thinking of our founding members Chris Penfold, Michael Prevost, Chris Turvill, Ian Turvill, Colin Turvill, John Waghorn, Paul Warren and our dearly missed friend Paul ‘Macca’ Donlevy. RIP Macca.

Thank you to all the past committee members, and to those currently “herding the cattle”: Paul Beard, Dave Shorter, John Thorp, Chris Turvill, Ian Turvill and Frazer Webb.

We may not all manage another 200 events, but thank you to all who play with us and keep coming back. You must be stark raving mad!!!

Til next time ……..

Editor: Frazer Webb

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

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

How nice it was to have an almost normal event, where we could gather together, have a chat, a coffee and bacon roll before hand, enjoy some good and bad golf, and then sit down for a lovely 2 course meal. As they say, you only appreciate what you had when you've lost it, and after so long not being able to do this I think everyone is going to enjoy every opportunity.

The golf was, as normal, eventful. A welcome return to near normality prompted a heavy response from the Fines Master, prompted no doubt by Frazer's desire to have as much change as possible so it could be used as a float for his wife's upcoming plant sale. Frazer was promptly fined for his role in the shenanigans!

Fines started rolling in even before the Fines Master had even arrived, with both Frazer & Luke being fined for ordering a lunch before the supplied bacon rolls came out. Frazer tried to justify the over eating due to memory loss, Luke as he was building his strength up for the ordeal ahead!

The course today was full of Calamity Jane's:
- Ian D leading his group to 12th tee box instead of the 4th.
- Paul H trying to put his many tee shots into bunkers but none of them stayed in.
- Paul H, again, after an epic hunt for his ball it was found for him and he placed his glove next to it and then went to get his club, then the hunt for where he placed his glove ensued as he couldn’t find it.
- Paul H, again!, believed that he was a film star as he only took his sun glasses of on the 16th and it started raining on the 9th.
- Ian T & Frazer both had matching bright yellow tops on, they totally confused the local bee population.
- Ian T & Frazer both found the wrong fairway nearly taking out the Captains group (and Ian's nephew!).
- Ian T. On the Nearest the Pin in 2 (12th) drove through the green, then putted back past the flag and off the front of the green.
- Ray S for boring play as he only hit it down the middle of the fairways.
- Luke P on hole 3, stroke index 1, birdieing it for 5 points. Yes FIVE POINTS!
- Chris T found a ball better than his so used that one, no points.
- Mark T after hitting wayward shots he substituted the conventional FORE for F@$k it.
- Mark T on the Nearest the Pin in 3 drove the green in 2 whilst the group in front were still on the green and then 3 putted.
- Luke P & Chris T who were playing in the same group, but both had their names on the NP sheet but for the same hole.

Congratulations to those who made it through the rain, and especial congrats to the winners of the various prizes.

Before the presentations for today, we had to revisit last event and present the absent trophy to the winner, Rick Britton. Well played last time out Rick.

And then quickly on to this events overall winner, Paul Healy, second win this season - his loft is getting rather full of trophies now!

Next up is Cuddington, where due to these Covid-funny times, we will be playing the postponed Winter Shield - in June!!! But it will be a momentous one as it'll be the societies 200th Event. See you there!

Stand-in rovers: Paul Beard & Frazer Webb

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

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

The last time that we tried to play Test Valley there were road and course closures due to National Grid and the rain.

Luck was on our side this year, despite the intense rain the night before, and only two downpours hit the players during the afternoon. The going however would be described, in horse racing terms, as “squidgy”. Some greens were a bit uneven but overall the course was in good condition.

Another 1st, for this year so far, was a meal after the game (very welcome). Out on the course the Captain came a cropper when trying to take a short cut off a tee. Covered in mud, he then spread the result on the bench seat in the buggy. Mike, his passenger was not pleased!.

Fines this time were delivered A Capella and without notes, but seemed to catch the spirit of dangerous shots, people aimed at but missed and weak excuses for poor play.

Just like Big Brother, players as usual, ratted on fellow competitors.

Despite all of the above, the bonhomie at the heart of Bunkers Golf Society shone through, as some measure of normality returned. Long may it last.

Congratulations to the winners of all of the prizes including in particular, the wooden spoon, which was hotly contested.
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 Covid social distancing rules are playing havoc with the content of the write ups for the Bunkers events, but at least we are able to play and have a coffee and bacon rolls! The first 9 holes on the course at Weybrook appear to be maturing nicely and on the day we played the weather, particularly with the lack of wind, was benign and forgiving.
With a highest score from James, resulting from a solid round and completed with pars on the last 3 holes, the day was very enjoyable and competitive.

James receiving a socially distanced, and sanitized, trophy from Captain.
Roving reporter: John Thorp

Editor: I couldn't overlook an extra bit of news from the course which did not make it's way to the reporter. On the 14th tee, Nej managed the longest drive of the day with a distance of -5 yards. Some trees were reputedly not harmed in the making of that record!

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

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here