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2002 C&O Autumnal Golf Match

Saturday, 9th November 2002

The day dawned fine and clear, with a gentle breeze, for the dozen participants at the C&O Society's 3rd and final golf outing this year. The venue this time was Kyo Country Club, close to Narita Airport; indeed at times it appeared so close to Narita Airport – being directly beneath the flight path in fact – that a well-flighted approach shot could have caused a major disaster, and several participants decided to avoid this possibility by keeping their shots close to (or even along) the ground. Passengers looking out of the windows could be seen applauding these efforts.

Upon our arrival at the course, a notice warned us that our scores would probably be around 5/10 strokes more than we would normally record, and this turned out, in many cases, to be an optimistic estimate; indeed, Tim Minton, on his golfing debut, could have been forgiven for thinking that this referred to 5/10 shots per hole.

It may have been due to the enormous size and undulating contours of the greens (one of your correspondent's playing partners who shall remain nameless – it wasn't Tim – had a 3-foot putt for a par 4 on one hole and was still putting when we agreed to put him out his misery and record an 8); it may have been because of the large amount of water (no less than 11 holes had water hazards); or it may have been because of the wind which rose to near gale force by the end of play. In any event, all were agreed that it was a very tough course.

We played the 'in' course first, and were perhaps lulled into a false sense of security. Scores on the 'out' half were almost without exception higher, and it is a measure of the improvement in Tim's play that he was one of only 2 players to score better in the afternoon. Play was unfortunately rather slow – not due to any of our groups, it should be said – and we finally finished in quite chilly conditions at around 3.30 p.m., making it quite a lengthy day considering the 9.15 a.m. tee-off; thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

After enjoying the Clubhouse's excellent bathing facilities, we retired to our private room for the post-game party and prize-giving (or, more accurately, prize-taking). According to initial calculations, Sir Stephen was judged the winner but showed why he has reached his current lofty position by diplomatically pointing out that his handicap was incorrectly given, and thus moved down into 3rd place.

This resulted in your correspondent, who had been bemoaning his appalling putting before realising that everyone else had been in the same boat, being somehow declared the winner, with a gross 88 net 76. In addition to the fine trophy awarded by Dr. Ohtawa, he initially chose as his prize a rather fetching Regency cabinet and collection of late twentieth century Staffordshire porcelain, only to be advised that this was in fact part of the furnishings and not one of the prizes on offer. A bottle of champagne was an excellent substitute. Yasuzo Takeno came a very close 2nd, with an identical net score, only losing by virtue of some abstruse ruling to which your correspondent was not privy.

In a desperately close contest, Oxford was declared the winner of the team event, and has now moved into a narrow 11-10 lead overall, which will be eliminated at the next contest.

On behalf of all the participants, I would like to give special thanks to Terry Nakamura for his usual excellent organisation and to the Ambassador for broking an excellent 'all-in' package at the Club. The date for the next tournament has been tentatively set for Saturday 15th March 2003, at a venue to be decided.

List of players (in tee-off order):
Toshi Ohzawa, James Lawdon, Terry Nakamura, Sir Stephen Gomersall, Tony Fordyce, Tomo Imai, Yoshi Shimizu, Tim Minton, Stephen Thomas, Simon Dunn, Miko Fordyce (guest), Yasuzo Takeno.

Tony Fordyce

Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Fri, 2002-11-08 15:00.
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