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Sunshine and showers in June

The Society enjoyed 5 superb outings around England in June, seeing old friends, making new ones whilst experiencing magnificent golf courses and superb hospitality.

We began with the first of our three matches against women's teams with our annual visit to Royal Ashdown Forest. As always, we were given the warmest of welcomes before we ventured out onto this challenging course for 6 4BBB matches.

As a side, we played well winning overall to square the series at 4 victories apiece. The sun shone (although it was not flaming June), lunch was wonderful and everyone had a fantastic time. The Society's side for the fixture was: Chris Goldie, Guy McDonnell, Nigel Ross, Charlie Rowe, John Simpson, Adam London, Jonny Longley, Tim Smith, Harry Latchman, Jon Hardy, Eric Botha and the evergreen Royal Ashdown Forest President, Ted Rose, who stepped in to replace our poorly Chairman, Tony Pigott.

Later in the month, we travelled up to the glorious North-West to play two of the finest golf courses in the United Kingdom, West Lancashire and Formby. This is always a popular trip and 2024 did not disappoint at all. Our host at West Lancs, Paddy McKeown, had not only arranged for us to enjoy this spectacular links course but also a much-appreciated curry supper which allowed us to enjoy each other's company and that of our hosts. This was not a match in a formal sense as we divided into 5 groups to compete in a Team Stableford competition, with 14 Society members and 5 local players. And what great fun we had. The course, unsurprisingly given it was to host final Open qualifying a week later, was immaculate, the weather was kind and the camaraderie simply wonderful.

The next day we visited Formby for what is a poignant but celebratory match in memory of our dear friend Ian Cockbain Snr. Coey was a much-loved member of both the Society and Formby and our annual visit is a fine tribute to him. This year we are all able to pay our respects to him as we saw his bench at the 10th tee.

The match itself was a resounding win for the home side, played in the very best spirit on a truly wonderful golf course. Afterwards we enjoyed an amazing dinner in the clubhouse, followed by reminiscences, chat and, in one case, heated political debate! All in all, our visit to Liverpool was something to be relished and our thanks go to Kevin Evans for managing both days on our behalf. Over the two days, the following Society members took part: Kevin Evans, Paddy McKeown, Guy McDonnell, Bill Merry, Steve Mee, Roy Dexter, Chris Goldie, Jon Hardy, Adrian Pierson, Jon Varey, Steve Crawley, Steve Rhodes, Peter Martin, Wayne Osman, Richard Sutcliffe, Graham Monkhouse and Ian Cockbain Jnr.

In the last week of the month, Barry Dudleston managed two fixtures at the Leicestershire and Northampton Golf Clubs. Both were as wonderful as they always are. Both courses were superb and the members of both clubs as welcoming and friendly as they always are. Our match against the Leicestershire was lost 4/2 and so our hosts retained the memorable trophy! However at Northampton the result was a draw - 3 points each. But that does not tell the real story. With 3 matches completed and lost, the Society was facing a stern defeat but it really was a tale of two halves as the Society came back to win the last three matches! An undoubted highlight was Stuart Waterton's Hole in One on the 13th.

Our thanks to Barry Dudleston for managing to pull together two teams of 12, despite a number of late drop-outs. The members who took part over the two days were: Barry Dudleston, Guy McDonnell, Jon Hardy, Stuart Waterton, Barrie Leadbeater, Roy Dexter, Harry Latchman, Adrian Pierson, Kevin Evans, Nigel Illingworth, Chris Goldie, Simon Robinson and Trevor Tunnicliffe along with guests, Mark Birkenshaw (son of Jack) and Peter Jenkins.

So, we move from a memorable June to an exciting July.

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