Cotswold Hills GC is a long, hilly, undulating course. Many of the holes are dog-legs with the fairway camber opposite to the actual turn; e.g. sloping left to right for a left turning dog-leg. Coupled with the difficulty of the course should be the conditions on the day; very strong gusting winds and spells of heavy showers. If one adds triple-cut and ironed greens one can imagine what quality of test the course presented.
The final eight taken to the event comprised Harry Shaw, Robbie Mabb, Harry Mitchell, Sonny Wilkinson, Tom Robson, Billy-Joe Bugden, Harry Mann and Tom Parsons as a late substitute for the injured Jackson Bowes. Most of the boys had enjoyed a practice round on 12 June. A PowerPoint presentation was given on the morning of 14th July followed by a final practice round under Martyn Thompson's tutelage.
Morning round. The worst of the weather was experienced in the morning. Most teams produced high score rounds, including ours, but at the half-way stage Dorset lay third; one stroke behind Devon and six behind the leaders, Gloucestershire. The Weymouth boys did especially well with Robbie scoring the morning's best round of 72 and Tom Robson clocking up a creditable 76. The +4 Chris Lloyd - holder of the lowest youth's handicap in Europe - could only manage a 75. All the scores may be found below.
Afternoon round. Although the rain had abated the wind continued at full strength, gusting and swirling, not unlike the conditions at St Andrews for the Open! Robbie and Tom could not quite emulate their morning achievements but did well coming in with a 78 and 77 respectively. The afternoon belonged to Harry Shaw who shot a 70, equalled by a couple of others in the field but accredited as the top score in the afternoon. Not surprisingly Chris Lloyd improved in the afternoon coming in with a 71 to produce the winning combined score of 146. Sadly, in spite of Harry Sahw's heroics our total for the day placed us in 5th position, eight ahead of Somerset and 22 behind the winners, Gloucestershire. Ah, what might have been!
Had the higher scorers checked in with nothing worse than a 78 - playing to handicap or slightly worse! - we would have been runners-up. The conditions are reflected by the CSS for the two rounds, 75 and 73 respectively. Harry Shaw will go down to scratch, as may Robbie Mabb. Tom Robson should lose a whole shot as may Tom Parsons. The overall result was disappointing but did hold some promise for the future.Congratulations to Robbie Mabb on picking up best am round and Harry Shaw on picking up best pm round. Gloucestershire again one the team and go forward to represent the SW at the EGU finals and I am sure like me you wish them every success. Chris Lloyd retained the Individual trophy.
A word of thanks is due the club for hosting us so well. The catering staff were especially accommodating. Thanks are also due to the parents who came to support the team - Kevin and June Mitchell, Derek and Lorraine Bugden, Graham and Dawn Wilkinson and Ian Mann. Finally a big thank you to Doug Pratt and Ian Clark for their presence on the day and to Martyn for his encouragement, coaching and driving the minibus!