THE LONGEST DAY CHALLENGE – review by charlie maurice
As many of you will know, on 23 June, Tim “Magic” Davison, Adam Maurice and I attempted (and completed) The Longest Day Challenge in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support and in memory of John Davison, Magic’s dad. Foolishly I volunteered to provide a write-up of the day, so here it is – turns out it is quite difficult to remember what happened on each nine hole loop (there were 8 of them!), so I have done my best (apologies for any rose tinting – writer’s privilege).
It is 3.55a.m. and I am stood on the 10th Yellow Tee waiting for my playing partners, special guest player #1 (Hugh Maurice), and two caddies Samantha Maurice (wife of Adam) and Tom Street (wife of Tim). The scene is set: dawn breaking, creepy clubhouse automatic lighting providing a ghostly atmosphere and the dawn chorus underway. I get brought back to reality as the sprinkler system, giving me the fright of my life, turns on and soaks me, my clubs and my bag of clothes, perfectly timed for my playing partners to arrive and ridicule me. Great start.
Round 1 gets underway immediately. Hugh Maurice strikes the first shot and skies it just over the heather (we all agree this is a big drive for him). The rest of us hit our best shots of the day. All downhill from here! The first 9 passes in a whirl of mist and early morning sunlight, mostly spent trying to keep ahead of the club sprinkler system – it doesn’t all turn on at once. Who knew?! We really get into our stride on the back 9 though and speed up to ensure we can finish round 1 by 7.45 a.m. Which we do, to be greeted by Maurice #5 of the day (Mrs R) on the 18th green, bearing coffee and bacon rolls. Round 1 done.
After a quick pit stop for absolute necessities (a change of clothes and a chat with Nigel Allsop), we are ready to go for Round 2, commencing 8am. We also ditch H Maurice for Round 2 (dispatched back to bed, sick of our banter), although R Maurice continues with us as support and caddy. We are joined several holes later by our first travelling support, the Peters family, which is just in time to witness some stellar bunker play from Adam (has a man ever been in as many bunkers at RHGC in one day?) and R Maurice losing my 5 wood (#thanks). 5 wood duly returned, we pass the turn where we pick up two more Maurices in support (has anyone lost count of family members yet) – the other Mrs S and Ms V. The back 9 goes smoothly and we finish around 11 am. Round 2 done.
A quick stop for Adam to make outfit change number 2 (a man of many pastel shorts), and we embark on Round 3 at approximately 11.15am. Round 3 is to be split either side of lunch, and this is the first time tiredness seems to be showing as the start is, in a word, sluggish. Not so for Magic though, inspired by his last eagle in 2001, he completes the 4th hole in only 3 shots. Absolute delight is tinged with the dawning realisation that we will hear about this for the remainder of the day. I spot a small tear in Tom Street’s eye as he lifts Tim’s bag onto the 5th tee. Lunch cannot come too soon as a result, and we limp into the clubhouse at around 12.40 for some well-earned R&R and to meet up with more travelling supporters.
After a lunch on the terrace, where Adam avails himself of the club Pimms mix (possible recipe: 8 shots of Pimms and a splash of lemonade) and Magic recalls his eagle to some more victims, we embark on the back 9 of Round 3, this time with special guest player #2 Sam Lipscombe (RHGC member 1995-96). Lunch has a revitalising effect and the back 9 of Round 3 goes smoothly, with a surprisingly high standard of golf played. We finish around 4.15, and elect to continue straight on to Round 4, bar a quick pit stop for Adam to change his shorts again and a chat with Barry Davies. Round 3 done.
Round 4 starts, and immediately it begins to seem like a long way to the end, both for players and caddies alike. Just the time for a pick-me-up, and what better than some cheddar (mature) and organic chutney sandwiches I had stashed in my bag at 3.55am – could a combination possibly be more ‘Reigate’? Refreshed by the power of our middle class snack regime we continue, picking up some more travelling support and reaching the 9th at around 6.30. Opting to continue immediately, we walk on into the back 9, where from a personal perspective I begin to find it a bit harder to swing properly. A quick pep talk from R Maurice (it seems a long time ago that she lost my 5 wood, and all is forgiven) and we are back on the bandwagon, to witness a sterling finish from Tim and Adam, meaning that our 72 hole stableford totals are all within a few shots of each other. Unbelievable! We walk down the 72nd hole at 8pm to rapturous applause/slow clap from Alex Davison (Tim’s mum) and H Maurice (popping up again at the end to take the glory), tired but very pleased to complete the challenge. The scores aren’t bad either, with total stableford points: 127 (CM)/ 124 (TD)/ 123 (AM) meaning that we all average over 30 points per round, with Tim’s actual scores all over 30 in each. That is a lot less walking than it might have been!
In total we raised approximately £2,500 (the total is still to be finalised) for MacMillan and had a great day in the process. Special thanks go to Sam and Tom for caddying all day, Ros Maurice for caddying for most of the day and providing support for the rest of it, Tony Whitty for caddying for me for Round 2, our two special guest players, all our travelling supporters (including multitude of Maurices), the Peters family for providing the baked goods in the clubhouse and, above all, all of you who sponsored us along the way – it is great to raise so much for such a great cause. I must also take the time to congratulate Tim above all: a really fantastic way to mark the 20th anniversary of your dad’s passing, and we know he would be very proud of you. It was a pleasure for me and Adam to spend the day with you.
Are you interested in playing Bridge here at the Club?
For many years now the club has run a duplicate bridge evening once a month during the winter months.
Starting in October and running through April a very sociable evening of bridge is provided for all playing and recreational members who would like to participate. If you have not played duplicate before but are a regular rubber bridge player, why not bring your partner along and try it out.
If you would like to learn more about the evenings why not ask one of the regular players. Douglas Frost, Mike & Jill Stammers, Gail Sperrin, Geoff Wright, Jean Mair, Pat Reed, and Rob Whitfield are just some of the regulars you may know.
Either talk to one of these or email Geoff Wright at geoff.wright70 @ gmail .com
Savill ties up Taylor at Reigate Heath
One-under-par takes top prize in popular nine hole Pro-Am
Epsom’s Adam Taylor and Tandridge’s Louis Savill shot rounds of one-under-par 33* to share victory in the Reigate Heath 9 Hole Pro-Am.
Splitting top prize to take home cheques for just under £500 each and defying the rainy weather enjoyed by the groups playing in the morning, the pair edged out the level par cards of Left Handed Golf at Silvermere’s James Ford, Tilgate Forest’s Lea Cooper and Bearwood Lakes Martin Woodbridge.
Playing around the course the Voice of Golf Peter Alliss called ‘A little gem!’ when he was filming the first of the Round With Alliss series, both PGA Professionals agreed that a nine hole Pro-Am made a refreshing change.
They were full of praise for the course and especially the greens, with Savill remarking: “These were up with the best we’ve played on this year.” Those playing Reigate Heath for the first time claimed the experience had completely changed their perceptions of nine hole golf.
Taylor explained: “Nine holes is a great way to play golf, have fun, and change people’s ideas about the time it takes to play.” Underlining Reigate Heath’s challenge, his card for nine holes included pars on the fifth and ninth, bogeys on the first, third and sixth, and birdies at the second, fourth, seventh and eighth.
It was PGA Assistant Savill’s second win of the season, as he commented: “With heather and tree lined fairways, course management was my best club in the bag today. Playing patiently yielded three birdies at the second, fourth and seventh, but two three putts and bogeys at the third and fifth underlined the speed of the challenging greens. But overall, my results are trending in the right direction.”
In the team event, again it was one of the groups of early starters that set the pace. Based on the three best scores, Ford and members Mike Jones, Phil McKinley and Bill Seldon posted a score of 97 that remained unbeaten despite improved conditions in the afternoon.
The Morrison Solicitors sponsored event also saw lunchtime entertainment enjoyed by all in the form of both a novel Nearest the Pin competition and a barbecue. With crowd pleasing commentary from West Hill’s David Osborn, the PGA Professionals each had three shots from the first tee in front of the clubhouse downhill to the second green some 200 yards away, and it was Cherry Lodge’s Craig Sutherland who claimed the £100 prize.
Reigate Heath Golf Club in Surrey hosts its third Southern School Invitation.
On October 4, 22 teams of girls and boys from state and private schools will compete in the second Southern Schools Invitational around the nine-hole course.
Club member and treasurer John Warbey said: “For over 100 years Reigate Heath GC has always been a big supporter of junior golf and especially ladies’ golf. Nowadays with so many of us leading time pressured lifestyles with little time to spare for 18 holes of golf, we’re finding that more and more people are coming to play nine holes, so it’s a way of playing golf that is increasingly popular.
“We wanted a way of celebrating junior golf, ladies golf and nine holes, and so the Southern Schools Invitational was born during 2016 and we are delighted to be hosting the third Invitation this year. The huge interest shown by the schools, our council and our members has been very encouraging, and we’re working hard to make sure it’s going to be a memorable event.