Heavy rain overnight and during play failed to put a dampener on the start to this year’s season.

With both The Grove and the Inter-Company tournament in Portugal cancelled because of covid-19, one of the Society’s favourite venues at Tandridge in Surrey, stepped in at the last minute to host a late May replacement.

Pent-up frustration of golfers around the country meant there had been a tremendous demand on bookings at golf clubs, but the Society’s long association with Tandridge proved crucial in the booking of 40 players.

The unseasonal May rain nearly wreaked havoc with the day with storm clouds and heavy showers adding to the previous days soaking.

Rain had been so heavy that most of the challenging greens on the picturesque course were water-logged and had to be taken out of play with temporary greens the only option.

The heavy conditions, however, did not prevent good scoring with the “Tandridge Putter” trophy, presented to the Society to mark the Society’s long history of playing at the Club, narrowly being won by Ian McGowan with 39pts, resulting in a 2 shot cut in handicap for his next three games.

There were only a handful of points separating the top ten finishers with three points separating the top five players. Close up in second with 38pts was Joe Marvell from Leicester Finance, who was cut 1 shot. One of several new Society members, Steve Sharp from HQP took third place with 37pts on countback beating Captain Nick Stevens into fourth. In fifth, one point behind with 36pts was Daily Mail photographer David Crump.

Apart from the course with the wonderful scenic holes on the back nine, the “Tandridge carvery lunch” is renown for home made food, including a mouth-watering “Tandridge Pudding” among a wide variety of desserts.

Obviously invigorated by lunch, the afternoon four-ball Texas Scramble resulted in an even closer finish than the morning singles, with the top three teams only being separated on count-back. Clive Heard, Lee Terry, Barry Theobald and John Tucker claimed first place with their team from Captain Nick Stevens, Roland Agambar, Ian McIlgorm and “Birthday Boy” John Morgan. In third were Alan Jackson, John Heywood and guests Lee Dooley and Phil Rock.

Nearest the Pin in the morning on the Par 3 15th hole, winning a bottle of Champagne,  was Paul Scott and it was “Double Bubble”time for him as the only person to pick out morning trophy winner Ian McGowan in the “Back the Winner”competition. With £155 invested, Paul scooped the Jackpot of £100 with £55 going into the funds.

Tandridge prizes will hopefully be presented at Walton Heath if covid-19 restrictions allow.

Garth Burden

**The Society’s next fixture is at Walton Heath, Monday, June 21,   Full details will be listed on the website www.northcliffegolf shortly.

**We return to a second outing at Tandridge on Monday, September 27.