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NATO vs SHAPE 7 June & NATO vs IGC 8 June

NGC v. SHAPE 7 June Royal Hainaut Golf Club

The most stunning weather yet this year greeted our intrepid team in their afternoon engagement with the SHAPE Golf Association. The conditions at Royal Hainaut Golf Club were terrific and the two 9-hole courses we played were in excellent shape with immaculate fairways and smooth fast greens. We played the Quesnoy and Bruyeres courses leaving Les Etangs for a future event.

The 14 NGC players made a valiant effort of it but were unfortunately unable to carry the day. Playing a best ball format with 80% of handicap off the low handicap player for a match play competition gave us an opportunity to earn a maximum of 3 points (1 point for a front side win, 1 for the back side and one for the overall). In the end, SHAPE scored 14 ½ to our 6 ½ to take back the trophy from NGC.

A beautiful afternoon of golf was followed by drinks on the terrace and a delicious three-course meal in the clubhouse. Our hosts showed us a wonderful time and lots of good chatter was heard on the course, over beers and at the dinner table. We look forward to an opportunity to take back the cup at our return event in the fall when we will host.

NGC v. IGC 8 June 9, 2013 Golf d’Hulencourt

An early morning start (particularly for those who had played the afternoon before at SHAPE) was greeted by bright sunshine in a cloudless sky at the Golf d’Hulencourt. We were hosted by the International Golf Club in a very professional fashion from team composition to payment of greens fees through prize giving at the end.

The course at Hulencourt looks deceptively open but a new greens keeper has improved the difficulty of this course with the growth of the rough. In fact not only is the rough somewhat of a penalty, but also finding your ball even with a good spot proved very difficult as several of our players learned the hard way. Likewise, the greens were lightning fast and conditioned to make it hard to hold an approach unless you bounced and ran the ball on.

Perhaps due to the early hour, or perhaps faulty communication in a hectic week, we had two ‘no shows’ for our team that put us at a further disadvantage as two members played solo against IGC’s two-man teams. Overall we had 7 teams (several IGC members became NATO players in order to include all who showed). And the result, following the same format we had played the day before, left NGC with 8 points to the IGC 19. A difficult result to swallow that was partially mitigated by the camaraderie and good sportsmanship displayed all around.

IGC presented lots of prizes (bottles of wine) to each winning two-person team with additional prizes presented to those intrepid singles taking on a two-person team in the competition. In the end, all had a great time and agreed that this is a competition to be continued next year.

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