A fairly early start found 37 members and 1 guest taking part in a stableford competition at a course members tend to either struggle at or dominate, with little in between.

But today nobody dominated, with the exception of the lone visitor Gary Garbett, who returned a superb 39 points. Members cards were led by Chris Hamblett and Norman Padmore who both returned 35’s, but nobody else really came near to matching their handicap.

Interestingly, the last time we were at Vistabella, back in April this year, those filling 2nd to 5th in Bronze were the exact same players who filled those positions this time round, although in a different order. Compared to that visit, Bronze and Silver categories scored similarly, but Gold was well down this time around, 41 points being needed to win back in April, 33 today.

Probably most influential in bringing that about was the very difficult pin positions, being either on the edge of greens or at the bottom of an undulation, meaning any ball left above the pin was likely to need 3 putts to hole. The strengthening and cooling of the wind as the round progressed was another factor, and a reason why all made there way to the internally situated restaurant area for the prize giving.

The day’s stableford competition results, by category and in reverse order, were the following:

Bronze Category: 5th Phil Birtwistle (28 on CB), 4th Norman McBride (29 on CB), 3rd Keith Stevenson (29 on CB), 2nd Norman Padmore, joint best scorer of the day with 35 points, but beaten on count back by the other joint best scorer, Chris Hamblett.

Silver Category: 5th Tony Sims (28), 4th Ken Flaherty (29 on CB), 3rd Steve Davis (29 on CB), 2nd Steve Belshaw (29 on CB) and 1st Nick Spicer with 31 points.

Gold Category: 5th Darren Hancock (29 on CB), 4th Paul Kelsall (31 on CB), 3rd Ivor Turkington (31 on CB), 2nd John Aitchison (32) and 1st, usually in Silver but today finding himself in Gold, John’s best golfing buddy Alan McDonald with 33 points.

The Abacus was won by Mike Inns.

Nearest the pins on the par 3’s (open to all), of which there are only three on this course, went to Norman Cahill (4), Nick Spicer (8), and Darren Hancock (15).

Nearest the pins in 3 went to Barry Roehrig (Gold), Ken Flaherty (Silver) and Keith Wraithmell (Bronze)

The best (and only) guest prize was won by Gary Garbett who scored an excellent 39. He would most likely have won with such a good return even if there had been other visitors playing, so he fully deserved his sleeve of balls.

Our thanks go to the staff at Vistabella golf course for their contribution to the day.

Keep up to date with all SMGS matters by logging on to our website www.smgs.org or simply give Captain Theo Boelhouwer a call on 694494824 to find out more about the society and its weekly golf get-togethers. Next Wednesday, December 7th, we will be at Villamartin.