South Coast Hickory Championship – 1 May 2015

Despite entrants having to endure trips from Nowra and Sydney with less than pleasant driving conditions, e.g. flood, rain & fog, 7 hardy hickory exponents fronted for the event. The course had received 9mm of rain in the previous 24 hours but was in good shape and played accordingly with greens accepting our approach shots, and requiring many repairs to the putting surfaces. The course lived up to its claim as one of the best wet weather venues on the South Coast.

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Trish Wilson, Stephen Fletcher, Andrew Wilson & Robert Jaeger (click to enlarge).

The first 9 holes, we were interrupted by a short shower but for the last 9 the weather was kinder and no rain was experienced. After 9 holes, the scoring revealed  Andrew (our host) leading with 15 points closely followed by Rob Downie on 14, and Tom Moore on 13. The rest of the field ranged from 11 to 4 with first time hickory player Robert Jaeger leading that group. A drink and nourishment seemed to affect some players dramatically with some falling back, others maintaining their scoring & one individual “firing”.

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Rob Downie, Tom Moore & Ross Howard (click to enlarge).

The second 9 holes and the checking of the cards revealed a close finish with Andrew Wilson and Tom Moore with 26 points, Robert Jaeger with 22, Stephen Fletcher with 19, but the leaders had accumulated 27.

The result at the end of 18 holes was a tie on 27 points between Rob Downie and AGHS captain Ross Howard. Between the 11th & 17th holes, a very creditable 18 points were scored by the eventually winner on countback, Captain Ross. Interesting to note that at the match in Wagga on 19th April for the Al Howard Memorial Trophy, Ross had been seconded to play for Victoria, and was defeated by Rob by 7 holes to 5.

Stephen Fletcher on the first tee (click to enlarge).
Stephen Fletcher on the first tee (click to enlarge).

So at the end of the day, the son gets to have his name engraved on the father’s trophy (Al Howard’s hickory shafted putter) at Kiama, a course Al redesigned and increased to 18 holes many long years ago. If it was Ross’ driving that helped get him over the line, it should be noted that he learnt to drive Dad’s FE Holden on this very course as it was being redesigned.

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Winner Ross Howard driving at Kiama . . . . sans FE Holden (click to enlarge).

Thanks go to Andrew Wilson for organising the event at his home course, and to those who participated. It is pity the numbers were down on previous annual events but the weather no doubt played its part in the attendance. We all look forward to a larger field in 2016.

– Ross Howard

AGHS Captain