Horsham's golfing seniors must wish it was still summer...

Horsham Golf Club seniors visited Slinfold in the first match of the Winter League, and how their fortunes were reversed.
Pre-lockdown times have been busy at Horsham and Mannings HeathPre-lockdown times have been busy at Horsham and Mannings Heath
Pre-lockdown times have been busy at Horsham and Mannings Heath

After two comfortable wins to end the Summer League they lost all four matches.

Nairon Khan and Tommy Ward lost 7.5-10.5; Mark Smith and Trevor White 6.5-11.5; Steve Lane and Martin Jesty 8-10 and Tad Paluchowski and Shaun Moloney 8.5-9.5.

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Whatever the result it’s always a pleasure to play Slinfold.

It’s good to change things around and the Horsham seniors played a three-ball alliance format over two days with the best two scores from each hole being added together for a final score.

The winners on Tuesday were Ian Davenport, Tony Puttock and Jill Jordan on 79 points, with Keith Martin, John Lines and Colin Goldsmith second on 75.

Wednesday saw Shaun Moloney, Mark Smith and John Homeyard in first place on 78 followed by Dave Vickers, Tommy Ward and Roger Smith second with 77.

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The seniors’ Stableford qualifier for the Winter League and Eclectic suffered the unpredictability of the weather with only one day playable, making the Wednesday competition a washout to be played later.

Tuesday winner was Martin Leake with 37 points, second on countback was Michael Pyle with 36 ahead of Tony Puttock.

The competition included an excellent hole-in-one from the seniors’ captain Nairon Khan, on the sixth hole.

The ladies section’ took up the interesting challenge of playing the 18 holes with only four clubs and a putter, and the commendable scores showed they were definitely on form. Reta Farley won with an excellent 40 points, Maureen Burrage and Sally Wynne followed with 34 each, Maureen taking second on countback.

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The club championships were played with 61 entrants, and proved a most enjoyable and competitive event.

Mark Harrison won the scratch competition with a score of 74 and Trevor Card won the nett contest with 65.

Phil Hedges hit a hole-in-one on the eighth hole. Second in the scratch was Michael Pyle on countback, and third was Rohan Miah. Second in the nett was Jason Barbour on 68 with Marc Oratis third on 72.

Mannings Heath golf

Although flooded greens meant Saturday’s Three Clubs and a Putter event at Mannings Heath had to be abandoned, some competitions had survived earlier in the week – despite the wind and rain.

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Only a few brave ladies ventured out for their first Turkey Trot and Mina Burton’s battling 26 points, with only one blob, was enough to give her the victory, with Lynne Jones second on 24.

Cam Bates, playing off four, continued his rich vein of form with victory in the Junior Half Term Stableford.

Round in one over par gross with five birdies on his card, he netted 39 points to beat Freddie Muggeridge by three.

Phill Davies produced a dash of Welsh wizardry to win the seniors’ Stableford with 41 points. Playing off 13, his card included ten pars and a birdie with points garnered on every hole. John Bailey shaded Steve Parker on a back-nine countback for second place after both signed for 39.

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Mannings Heath members, like golfers throughout the rest of the UK, must now get used to a new system for calculating and adjusting their handicaps following the introduction of the World Handicap System on Monday.

From now on handicaps will be based on the best eight scores of a player’s last 20 rounds and adjusted every time they submit a card, even for social rounds, to produce a ‘handicap index’.

Every course will have a course rating and slope rating for its different tees according to their degree of difficulty and a mathematical formula will then convert each player’s handicap index to a course handicap and a playing handicap.

WHS brings together the six different handicapping systems previously used around the world and means that, from now on, every golfer can have a handicap that is truly portable and reflects their current level of ability.

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They will be able to play with or against golfers from other clubs in the same country – or any country – and be confident that they are doing so on a fair and equal basis.

But in new lockdown measures, how soon golfers will be able to use their new handicaps is uncertain.

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