All hope was on the weather; Wales in August – what! The three round weekender started breezy butdry, and seven of us played the warm-up round on the Roman Road course Friday afternoon. Fantastic ground, particularly if you like rolling hills with an occasional breathless climb or two.
The rest of the field arrived safe and mostly sound after dealing with the very long, but narrow English parking lots known as the M4 and M20. With the weather holding, the Cup event began smartly at 13:00 on Saturday. EJ Herold led us off the tee box. Alas, the rain and wind curse of the President’s Cup fell upon the 13 intrepid duffers.
The lead group finished 15 holes; the last finished 12 holes before the heavens opened with torrential rains, winds and lightning. Golfers scrambled for cover, dodging the two bolts that allegedly struck the 2010 Course club house grounds. Water holes, steel clubs, and umbrellas – oh my! Six of our NGC group and 10 new-found friends cowered in the halfway house while we all watched kit being soaked as umbrellas only did their best imitation of storm jibs carrying trolleys down newly-cut rivers. Others closer to the club house made the mad dash. The Marshall dutifully advised that the course was closed.
So, it was a 12-hole competition that ended with some very nice Stableford scores to that point. At the final tally Neil Tolman won the 2015 President’s Cup with 23 points. James Mackey was runner-up in Category 1 with 17 points. Category 2 was won by Dick Zandee with 17 and Dany De Lange was a very close second with 16 points. Having chosen the nearest-to-the-pin hole early in the match, we did get a few on the green to count. Dick Whittingham was best on the day though his brother, Brian, a guest, did get inside him. Graciously, Dick passed on the Celtic Manor Pitch repair tool prize to Brian. Alas, the men’s and women’s longest drives were not settled as the 18th tee was the venue and it was being ravaged.
Nonetheless, we celebrated the day in style over a grand meal and great fun in the Hedley Suite of the Old Manor House. EJ had set on a spectacular menu and libations. The Manor staff was wonderful to us throughout a full evening of prize-giving, awards and even a pep talk from our President. Go out and bring us golfers!
The rains continued without relief through the night soaking the entire Celtic Manor area so that we could not play the Sunday morning round on the Montgomery Course as planned. The Manor Golf Operations team did give us all a refund for the round (vouchers coming to the golfers concerned soon—good for one year), hoping we’d give it another go on another day. Thanks EJ and Rick for negotiating so well on our behalf! The Executive had fun putting the weekend together; we hope you enjoyed it in spite of the CURSE!
See you at Royal Hainaut on 18 September,