Navy Rugby Golfers Enjoy Good Weather but Nicklaus Course Retains its Challenge

‘Ginge’ Gough recorded both the “longest drive” and also was “nearest the pin” as he blazed a trail in the leading group
A tricky lie after a wayward tee shot. Fortunately the Texas Scramble format mitigates the potential for penalty
The winning team from the 2016 RNRU Golf Day
Paul Barrington shows the form that won him the record for most golf balls hit in 30 seconds
A year of training paid off for former Chairman Chris Alcock as he meets the “high tee” challenge
The Navy Rugby team put great store in “trusting your systems”. Paul Barrington tests the theory with a potentially eye watering trick shot with the assistance of Steve Rogers
Mark Sheehan from the tee as he leads his team to victory

The perfect conditions for the annual Royal Navy Rugby Union golf day ensured that the Jack Nicklaus designed course, at the St Mellion International Resort, looked resplendent, with lush fairways and vibrant greens.  However, the tricky course, sculptured in to the rolling Cornish hillside, still proved to be a challenge to all the day’s participants.  For those who did stray from the chosen line, the day’s golfing format of Texas Scramble lived up to its name.

The format ensures that each team of four stay together as they complete their round, with all four players playing from the best lie.  This ensured there was plenty of time to reminisce over a season that saw Inter Service wins for both the U23 XV and Senior XVs.  However, some found that despite the vivid memories of the Navy’s comeback from 26-7 down at Twickenham there was to be no dramatic recovery from their self-inflicted lie.

Before the nine teams set out to tackle the course the day was teed up by Paul Barrington’s ever impressive display of golfing wizardry.  An hour of trick shots, repartee and contributions from willing (and not so willing volunteers) proved that it is the player and not the equipment that makes the shot.  However, those with a keen eye for technique left positive in the view that former Chairman, Capt Chris Alcock, had spent the last year training for the high tee challenge!

At the end of eighteen testing holes the final results were close but in the end it was the MBDA team, led Mark Sheehan with support from Lt Cdr Nick Bance (RNAS Yeovilton), Cdr Andy Coles (RNRU) and Paul Barrington, who prevailed.  The word from the course was that the team had to overcome some interesting approach shots from Andy Coles that were not aligned to MBDA’s reputation for precision and accuracy although his short game did make amends for his wayward approach shots.

The five hours of golf, in the Cornish heat, was enough to work up a good thirst and appetite for the end of day nineteenth hole, dinner and prize giving.  It was another successful Golf Day which was made possible through the sponsorship of Peter Cooper Group and QinetiQ.  It certainly brought the curtain down on a successful season and whetted the appetite for next year which will culminate in the 100th Army Navy match.

Images by Alligin Photography / © Geraint Ashton Jones