Co-organiser, Andy Steddy kindly sums up the days play:
32 highly tuned golfing gods from across all four FFF weekly sessions were invited to participate in this prestigious event. Unfortunately, none of them could make it, so 32 middle-aged hackers, whose golfing experience largely ranged from an occasional game of crazy golf to watching the Masters on Sky Sports, descended to battle it out for the glory of lifting the FFF Ryder Cup 2019.
It was an early start for 9 of the lads, playing the Par 3 for some much-needed practice before the serious business kicked off in the afternoon. Dan Eldret was the man of the moment, finishing with an impressive gross score of 32 to win a nice bottle of reasonably priced wine and raising early suspicions of a dodgy handicap.
The level of professionalism at the FFF Ryder Cup 2019 started off at impressive, Augusta style heights...
Back to the course and with the rest of the players arriving ahead of the first tee off, a nutritious, PGA approved lunch of sandwiches, chips and beer was followed by some last-minute fine tuning on the driving range. Some of the lads battled it out on the pro shop golf simulator in a ‘nearest the yardage’ challenge, with Alex Williamson nailing 135 yards exactly to win.
A quick briefing, collection of goody bags and team photos out on the first tee, and then the action was underway. The competition saw USA battling Europe, 16 Fathers of Football on each side, captained imperiously by James Horobin and Ian Gilbert respectively. The front 9 holes was a team matchplay fourball, with the back 9 matchplay singles with play continuously interrupted by the Captain’s beer and whisky distribution service!
Throw in a 20 minute torrential downpour that saw the unlucky ones hiding under trees and the lucky ones keeping nice and dry in well positioned huts, an impromptu episode of Art Attack in one of the bunkers (see the Photo Gallery below for THAT photo....), recreations of Happy Gilmore and some impressive driving displays (of the buggy, certainly not off the tee!), and eventually the first group staggered in after 5 and a half hours! An hour later, all groups were in and enjoying a well-earned beer as the scores were tallied up.
The quality of golf ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, with an eagle and birdies balanced off with more lost balls than the average FFF Monday night session! Ultimately, despite a strong start from the USA, Europe’s middle order and tail enders came through, dominating the fourballs, to seal a comfortable 15 points to 9 victory, clearly indicating that the USA players were far more honest with their handicaps!
In the individual awards, two players finished with an impressive 37 points, with Marcus Hernon edging Dan ‘el Bandito’ Eldret to take the title of FFF Champion Golfer courtesy of a lower handicap. Having only completed 3 holes on the scorecard, Luke Page took the Wooden Spoon prize, which was quite literally a Wooden Spoon engraved with a helpful motivational message of 'You are shit at golf'....
Special mentions for Jan Roger who not only managed 94 yards in the nearest 135 yards challenge on the golf simulator but who also clinched the ‘Captain’s Shocker’ award for a truly horrendous tee shot on the 5th. I’m told that it didn’t even make it out of the tee box, let alone get near the ladies’ tees!
And finally, another special mention, this time for Chris White, who decided being part of one golf day wasn’t enough and decided to take part in another society’s nearest the pin competition. The poor folks at the Contour Fine Tooling company are still searching for the marker and Trev is absolutely fuming he’s missed out on a prize!
Towards the end of the day Gareth had realised he was better at doing handbrake wheel-spins in the golf kart, than he was at playing golf...
The day was capped off with plenty of beers at The Vic, impromptu games of golf ball keepy uppys and a well-deserved curry at Paprika.
A great day was had by all, and when the charity golf fines were added to the P&L, FFF had raised a fantastic £400 for Feed Up, Warm Up. This was converted into food, drink and toiletries that some of the lads delivered in person on the 25th September, where they also got to meet some of the volunteers and hear about the amazing work they do to support the homeless in and around the Hitchin area.
Thankyou to all the members who took part and contributed to the day, and Chesfield Downs Golf Club for hosting us. Special thanks also to HOLLIS, the leading independent real estate consultants who very kindly sponsored all the team shirts. Thanks Team Hollis!
MASSIVE thanks to Luke Molyneux and Andy Steddy for organising such a great event and we all look forward to battling it out again next year for the FFF Ryder Cup 2020.
Surely this final shot went down as a hole in one...?