Portland cup at Northenden

With the kids off school the run into Northenden was a breeze. It was going to be another scorching day out with the Portland. There was a buzz in the air. Ernie Rowlands was turning out. He did not disappoint putting on a brilliant Buzz Hawkins tribute act to keep us merrily chortling. Kev Bolton was his warm up act doing his Old Steptoe routine. Hydration was the only problem. The pro shop had run out of water and with no sand in the bunkers setting up a desert still was out of the question. The rest of the course was in fine fettle. This was reflected in some of the scoring which followed.  

Below is a table of how the morning team event panned out.

Mention 27pts

Kev Bolton

 Dave Baynes

Pete Derbyshire

Mention 28pts

Phil Lancaster

 Alan Saville


2nd place 29 pts

Ernie Rowlands

 Bob Chadwick

Bill Harris

Winners 30pts

Ian Ringwood

Joe Boyd

Stephen Payne


The pro’s tip for playing the course was to keep the ball on the fairway. With so much run on the ball only the straightest hitters were going to do this. But it wasn’t the end of the world if you went into the trees. The course was tidy and you only lost a stroke not a ball. Meaning some big scores came in. The average for the day was 27. Two points more than the usual average. Bill Harris coming 4 clear of the field was following the Pro’s tip. He played 75 strokes to complete his round just 3 over par. I cannot remember a Portland round being that low. There were no 2’s morning or afternoon. The 2’s pot will be rolled over for Captains day. Pete has already promised us good weather. The rest of the season is going to interesting. Can anybody catch Bill? A few surprisingly had their handicaps replenished after not performing to their usual standards. Very interesting indeed.   

Nearest the pins

Nearest the Pins
4.Dave McGovern
8. Ian Ringwood 12 Nobody
 15. Phil Lancaster
Longest Drive
Martin Claffy
 No 2's******


Top 6 finishers

  Points Handicap Revised
6. Kev Bolton  33    
5. Phil Lancaster
4. Brian Murray  34  26.4  25.4
3. Kieran Dunn
 36  28  26
2. Dave McGovern
 36 13.9  12.4
1. Bill Harris
 40  8.4  7







Spring Plate. Fairfield Golf and Sailing Club

Reading the full title of the club and seeing the surrounding reservoirs filled my heart with trepidation. I had just spent the previous day drying out all my golf kit. Whilst putting out on the 18th at Pike I saw my trolley sailing across the fairway. My brolly was acting like a spinnaker and there was no catching it. On hitting the water like a lifeboat launch the trolley began to sink but the brolly flip out and sailed to the far side of the pond. A desperate clutch saved the trolley from sinking into a surprisingly deep pond. Fairfield has been completely revamped from what was a compact course into something longer and challenging with a few unique holes.

Results of morning team event

 Mention 25 pts  Ian Hopkins  Howard Dickson  Ian Ringwood
 2nd place 26 pts  Terry Tobin  Chris Murphy  Phil Lancaster
 Winners 26 pts  Geoff Haynes  Brian Murray  Dave Baynes


PM Individual Event

 Nearest the pins  4. Andy Minshull  7. Geoff Haynes  10. John Coburn  12. Phil Lancaster
   16. Bill Harris  "2" Joe Boyd    
Longest Drive  Howard Dickson      

Top 5 Finishers

   Points Handicap  Revised
5. Joe Boyd 20    
4. Terry Tobin 30    
3. Bill Harris 30 8.6  8.4
2. Howard Dickson


12.9  11.9
1. Dave Baynes 34 17.8  16.3


The challenge of the course is reflected in the low winning scores. Dave out in front by three shots of a class chasing field has probably put in his best Portland round so far. Our presentation was delayed by the host club’s own presentation. It did give us an insight into how Stuart Allcock was doing he was mentioned in 2nd place in a pairs competition. In the end we had to hold our presentation in the manner of ‘Dads Army’ with Captain Derbyshire asking us to gather round. Pete pointed out he had a 100% dry weather record. Although he didn’t have the best of rounds he was happy to play on a course frequented by Pep. I spotted Dave McGovern earlier hiding all Kev Bolton’s Man U head covers so as not to offend Pep had he turned up. We all hope Pete maintains his 100% weather record Kev nearly did last year but that was for raining. On a macabre note Bill told me a tale about a pub across from the course. The landlord had murder his wife after 3 o’clock closing and just opened up as usual at the night. I pointed it out to Kev on the way home it was a Boddies house.



The Presidents Cup and AGM at Stockport, March 2018

Once again we were at the home course of our long standing President Bill Macbeth. The weather held off for most of the day and everybody was happy to be out playing golf. The passing of Ian Sandels was marked by a one minute silence before commencing the AGM. Ian was stalwart of the Portland who liked to win a lot. Those lucky enough to have played in his captains day at Hazel Grove will know he was prepared to give a lot. He will be remembered. Moving on to pleasanter moments Mr President stood us all the first round. We are fortunate in having Bill as our President not everybody gets to play at Stockport. Below is how the golf panned out.

Nearest the Pins 5. Wayne Atkinson 11. Dave McGovern 16. John Martin *2's Below
Longest Drive Martin Claffy  Andy Southworth*  Pete Derbyshire*  John Martin*


Top 5 Finishers

   Points Handicap  Revised
5. Phil Lancaster 30 No change  
4. Brian Murray 30 No change  
3. Howard Dixon 31 13  12.5
2. Martin Claffy 31 16.8  15.8
1. Andy Southworth 33 24.4  21.4


Dave Baynes was the bookies favourite having won the event for the last two years but the weight of expectation and a lower handicap kept him out of the winner’s enclosure. Interestingly Howard Dixon the proposer of the reset to your lower handicap rule at the start of the season would have 2 extra shots had it not been proposed and could have won on a card play-off. Martin Claffy also appears to have found his old form and was the first winner of the longest drive with the Bertie Basset marker. I am not sure if Martin even likes liquorice. The winner Andy does come along with lots of other toffees. He had a good day. Won, had a two and nobody else had a bet on him, a nice pick up.   


The current captain Kevin Bolton told us it had been an honour for him to be the captain. He then handed over the captaincy to Pete Derbyshire.

The player of the year award was not a close fought thing. Dave Baynes 13 points ahead of the field.

Problems finding the next vice-captain were resolved when Frances volunteered for the post. How 21st century was that “eat your heart out Muirfield”.

It was decided to play all events as 18 holes only next season.

A prop to restrict new players at the pair’s event to 18 shots was rejected.

The prop to play off 90% handicaps in the pair’s was passed.

The mood at the end of the event was good with everybody pulling in the same direction. Next event at Fairfield.