1st Team 2015

Sun 15 Mar – HLCGA v Meon Men at Meon Valley GC:  Won 4.5-3.5
Only the weather was chilly as we arrived for our much looked forward to first match of the season against the gentlemen of Meon Valley – their welcome and hospitality were as warm as ever.  Banter and negotiations started immediately and over coffee and pastries we agreed the format of the first nine holes on the Valley course would be scratch foursomes matchplay, all square on the first tee.  That session went surprisingly well and we went into lunch with a healthy 3-1 lead.
At lunch an afternoon format of better ball scratch matchplay was agreed – same team pairings playing different opponents from the morning matches – and we also agreed again that all matches would start all square on the first tee.  That pretty soon became clear to have been generous! By the end of the afternoon it had become absolutely nailbiting and it took an excellent half point gained by the last match out to ensure the narrowest of narrow wins.
We had all enjoyed a really fine day which had contained some truly excellent golf and a great deal of fun.  We are most grateful to Phil and his team for what again this year was one of our most enjoyable fixtures.
Click here to view/print a copy of the match sheet.

Sun 29 Mar – HLCGA v Dorset at Ferndown GC:  Won 3-1
On the scale of golfing treats starting the season with our nearest neighbours and good friends D orset on one of their loveliest courses is right up there.  This year they had invited us to join them at Ferndown GC and it certainly doesn’t get much better than that.  We had arranged that this year the match format would be 4BBB matchplay.  In our pre-match discussions good friend and Dorset Captain Sue suggested playing Sunningdale matches.  I was ignorant of this term, but those in the know were aware that it means that when one side in a match reaches 2up it then has to give a shot to the other side on each hole until the score returns to 1up, when scratch matchplay resumes.  We naturally acceded to this request and it certainly made all the matches close, interesting and more difficult to call.  In fact we ended the day 3-1 winners and had to finish very well in a couple of encounters to bring that win in.
Very many thanks to all who played today and it was good to have the opportunity to introduce three new juniors to our representative warm-up squad.  We all enjoyed the day and many thanks to the Dorset girls and Ferndown GC for their generous hospitality.  We look forward to seeing them again next year at Bramshaw GC.
Click here to view/print a copy of the match sheet.

Sat 4 Apr – HLCGA v Hockley Men at Hockley GC:  Match Halved 2-2 (but read on!)|
Those of us lucky enough to be at Hockley had just the most wonderful day.  Of course we always know the welcome we will receive there – generous, warm and full of banter.  The usual “niceties” began by reaching agreement on the format – 4BBB scratch matchplay taking account of par.  That meant that the fourth hole at Hockley took account of the fact that it is a par 5 off the reds and a 4 from the whites.  Generously, the Hampshire team agreed that all four matches were all square on the first tee, even though the Hockley chaps were pretty chipper about the strength of their scratch team.
There was some excellent golf on display.  The cold northerly wind didn’t make the course easy but neither team seemed to notice.  The matches swung this way and that, always closely contested.  We took the first two matches to have a 2-0 lead.  The first match was all square on the 18th tee, and a birdie won the 18th and that match for us.  Our second pair had brought in their good win on the 17th.  The Hockley chaps though were giving as good as they got in the final two games and took them both to tie the match overall.
To tell you the truth Hockley Captain Robin and Mags had not discussed the deciding formula in the event of a halved overall result but it became obvious what it really had to be on the day.  Playing the bye, Hockley having won the third match out on the 17th, the players came down the 18th in superb style.  Both sides played great second shots on to the green, and Robin sank his putt for an eagle.  Two questions came to mind after that hole:  how often do you lose a hole with an eagle, and have you ever seen an albatross? We saw both today on the 18th – Laura had sunk her second shot for an albatross!  It was a hugely exciting end to a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Very many thanks indeed to Robin and his team for a wonderful match.  Everything about this fixture always strikes the right note and is enjoyed by everyone – course in lovely condition, excellent hospitality, and warm golfing friendships.
Click here to view/print a copy of the match sheet.

Sat 23 May – HLCGA v Oxfordshire at Basingstoke GC:  Won 8-1
We always look forward to our last warm-up match prior to heading off to CMW, which is traditionally against our good friends from Oxfordshire.  This year we very much enjoyed our day at Basingstoke which gave us lovely, almost warm, golfing weather as well as Basingstoke’s always beautifully presented course and peerless clubhouse welcome and hospitality.  Both teams brought some very good golf to the day, but this year Hampshire definitely had home advantage and got off to a very good start with three points from the morning foursomes which was always difficult for Oxfordshire to catch up from.  All involved very much enjoyed a great day’s golf.  Many thanks to Basingstoke GC for their hospitality, and we look forward to seeing Oxfordshire again next spring.
Click here to view/print a copy of the match sheet.

Mon 22 – Fri 26 June:  South Region County Match Week at Worthing GC, Sussex

Mon 14 – Fri 18 September:  County Finals at Frilford Heath GC, Oxfordshire