Tremendous finish to the season

A sunny Autumn weekend at Ashbury Hotel 19th – 21st October 2018

The Golf Society’s last venture of the season was held at the Ashbury Hotel near Okehampton. We had played and stayed here in 2017 at the end of August. Everyone enjoyed it so much that we decided to make a return visit. We booked later this year opting for the weekend of 19th October. What a fortunate choice of dates. The previous weekend had brought very strong buffeting winds and rain from the tail end of the US hurricanes. The following weekend brought rain galore. Our weekend was luckily blessed with bright summer sunshine and shirt sleeve golf.

There were 15 in the party but only twelve golfers which worked out well as we could then play three four balls and make the best use of the buggies which are essential at Ashbury as their courses are very long between green and the next tee.

We had arranged to meet at 11:00 in the bar so that anyone who wanted lunch could do so before the first tee time of 12:32. All went to schedule and we had a most enjoyable round on the Oakwood course which we had not played previously. It was a day of disaster for the men who were comprehensively beaten by the ladies who achieved first, second and third places, all with scores over thirty Stableford points. Many congratulations to Anne Taylor, Jan Lloyd and Hazel Sheppard.

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The course was in beautiful condition and the greens ran very true so we chaps had no excuse. We all assembled in the bar afterwards joining the non playing wives for the prize giving and a post round of drinks. Dinner for our group was at 7:30 and excellent it was too. They operate a self service buffet for all meals with a wide range of choices, all beautifully presented and very well cooked.

Next morning after a very hearty English breakfast, we were on the tee at 10:20 with the four balls changed around to give everyone new partners. The Kigbeare course is a monster. Not only long at 6,152 yards from the yellow tees but long between holes. You would certainly walk over five miles even with a buggy.

It was also very well cared for and seemed to have suffered no damage from the scorching summer temperatures and the autumn rainstorms. Once again, the ladies showed us the way with Jan Lloyd winning, Mike Cole, second and Hazel Sheppard third, which meant that five out of six prizes awarded at the weekend were won by the ladies. Well done them.

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Some great golf was played by all in a friendly competitive spirit. As it was Mike Cole’s birthday he had treated everyone to a flute of bubbly, there were several choruses of “Happy Birthday” sung to him.

On Sunday morning, we decided to play the short par three course, the Willows, as several people wanted to get away early to avoid the end of half term traffic. The men’s blushes were spared as there were no prizes on this day.

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The beauty of Ashbury is that once you have paid for the weekend all the facilities are included. Our £100 per person included the option to play 27 holes of golf a day with a choice of seven course, two nights full board and the opportunity to join in myriad activities which included a swimming pool, two saunas, two spa baths, bowls, ten pin bowling, tennis, badminton, curling, bicycle hire, five a side football and a host of craft activities which meant that wives who did not play golf had plenty to entertain them while we were out on the course. Added to this, the Dartmoor National Park is right outside the complex for those who like walking. A regular bus runs from Ashbury to Okehampton if you prefer shopping!

We had a wonderful weekend in great company and glorious weather. The party consisted of Hartley and Rosemary Heard, Anne and Bob Taylor, Roger and Stephanie Edwards, Mike and Hazel Sheppard, John and Jan Lloyd, Jerry and Lyn Croome, Mike Cole, Philip Cook and Barry Coombs.

We look forward to 2019 to commence our fifteenth year of the Elizabethans’ Golf Society.

Come and join us

Any Old Elizabethan, former Red Maid or Redland High School Old Girl is welcome to join us with their partner or a guest.

We try and meet once a month throughout the summer, visiting different courses around the West Country. It is social golf so anyone of any ability is welcome.
Just contact Barry Coombs 01453 822546 or email barrycoombs@teamfrith.com

Barry Coombs

Swimming pool at Ashbury

Swimming pool at Ashbury

Malcolm Davies