2016 Spring tour to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

 

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The most successful ever MGS Spring Tours was organised by Mr Tim Gorringe – well done Tim and thank you.

On the 17th April 2016 a sixteen strong posse of men departed from the South Coast to the tropical and sun drenched shores of Northern France – some in cars, one on a tandem and another via a piggy back from a Frenchman. We departed at 8:20 with a tee off time of 12.50pm at Belle Dunne GC awaiting us:-

Day 1

Belle Dune GC is situated inside the biggest bird sanctuary in France, Belle Dune has an exceptional layout amongst the longest stretches of sand dunes in Europe. It is a quiet course where you should keep the ball on the fairway if you don’t want to be punished. Golf de Belle Dune was ranked amongst the 10 finest French courses by “Golf Magazine” in 2003. It is an absolute gem of a golf course and a real test for golfers of all standards. The day was sunny and bright but with a moderate breeze rolling in off the sea. A great day was had by all 16 players.

Barry Browning had an excellent round of golf and led the individual competition after the first round. The first days results were as follows:-

Individual Winner

1st Barry Browning 34
2nd Andy Tippett 33
3rd Micky Mann 33

 

Team Winners

Tim Gorringe Dave Stocker Brian Cheesmur Micky Mann 102 points

Nearest the Pin: Kelvin Patterson

Longest Drive: James Gallifant

In the evening we dined at Le Taverne Royale where the food was excellent with the exception of the whitebait!! The evening was also remembered as the evening Brian took a tumble but thankfully no harm was done to either Brian or the chaussee! In addition it was memorial as the evening that Tipster discussed the Brexit debate in fluent French with the locals – “mange toute, pot pouri and fromage frais mon ami summaries the conclusion of that discussion!

 

Day 2

After hearing that some temporary greens were in play at Le Touquet La Mer GC, Tim expertly negotiated a switch to the La Forêt Course which was in full working order and is set in the heart of the superb pine forest of Le Touquet. Tranquil and peaceful, sheltered from the winds it offers players of all standards moments of pleasure, relaxation, stress, frustration and often despair!

Again, the weather was fantastic with blue skies above and a challenging cool breeze that helped on some holes but made others difficult to get to within regulation.

Dave Stocker brought his putting boots to the course and was sinking putts from almost anywhere on the green finishing the day with a very creditable 36 points. The second days results were as follows:-

Individual Winner

1st David Stocker 36
2nd James Gallifant 34
3rd Clive Butler 33

 

Team Winners

James Gallifant Dave Stocker Brian Cheesmur Jerry Watkiss 119 points

 

Nearest the Pin: Micky Mann

Longest Drive: Clive Butler

In the evening we dined at Le Paris Plage where the food was excellent and for a few members it also brought the delight of watching Tottenham beat Stoke 4-0 on the big screen. The evening was remembered for Kevin Weaver having one last drink which was ordered by Tips and ending up being a litre of Guinness presented in a large vase! In addition a few die hard members stayed up until 1.30am preparing mentally for the final days golf exchanging banter and email details with the locals.

 

Day 3

Hardelot Les Pines was the setting for the final days golf and is ranked as one of the top 100 golf courses in Europe, this popular 18 hole golf course was built in 1934 by the famous British architect, Tom Simpson. The fairways are lined with magnificent trees that were once part of the ancient forest in which France and England signed the famous peace treaty 450 years ago. Over the years, Les Pins has been the host to numerous championship events. The golf course consists of strategically placed bunkers and well guarded greens which definitely require accurate stroke play. The unique par 72 – championship golf course includes five short holes and five long holes with the 6th considered to be one of the hardest par 5’s in Europe – only David Howroyd our Hon Sec made par on that particular hole!

Tradition is that the groupings go out in reverse leaderboard order on the final day – with those in real contention going out last. The final group was as follows:-

Player Score in the bank
Barry Browning 65
David Stocker 63
Jerry Watkiss 60
Clive Butler 58

 

Completing the three days of excellent, could not have been better, weather it was dry and bright with another challenging and cool breeze.

Kevin Weaver after two difficult days found his form and his swing achieving the highest individual score across the three days of 43. The third days results were as follows:-

Individual Winner

1st Kevin Weaver 43
2nd Jerry Watkiss 36
3rd Peter Cudmore 32

 

Team Winners

Peter Cudmore Ray Hamilton Kelvin Patterson Kevin Weaver 112 points

 

Nearest the Pin: Clive Butler

Longest Drive: Kevin Weaver

Overall SPRING TOUR results

The overall champion was Jerry Watkiss who not only made up the 5 shots he was behind the overnight leader but cantered passed to win by an impressive 10 shots (average 32 points per round). But he did go to bed early both nights following a lemonade shandy at the bar!!!

The overall Spring Tour results were as follows:

Place Name Belle Dune La Foret Les Pines Total
1st Jerry Watkiss 29 31 36 96
=2nd Brian Cheesmur 27 29 30 86
=2nd Micky Mann 33 24 29 86
=4th Barry Browning 34 31 20 85
=4th Chris Buck 27 31 27 85
=4th David Howroyd 23 31 31 85
=7th Fred Ablitt 23 29 30 82
=7th James Gallifant 19 34 29 82
=9th Tim Gorringe 30 24 27 81
=9th Kevin Weaver 21 17 43 81
11th Dave Stocker 27 36 17 80
12th Clive Butler 27 33 19 79
=13th Andy Tippett 33 22 23 78
=13th Peter Cudmore 18 28 32 78
15th Ray Hamilton 24 24 28 76
16th Kelvin Patterson 17 27 21 65
Average 25.75 28.19 27.63 81.56

 

Congratulations go to Jerry Watkiss for improving his score each day despite the handicap secretary cutting his handicap each day – the consistent scoring of both Jerry and Brian who came from the second group to claim second place made all the difference across the three days.

Once again a big thanks Tim for organising the tour, Tipster for organising the meals, the drivers and generally everyone for the good spirit and enjoyment of the tour – a fantastic event.

Bring on the Autumn Tour………………………

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