With the advent of a temporary improvement in weather conditions, Greetham Valley held the first qualifying competitions of the year on Saturday on the Lakes course.
Clearly there are a lot of golfers itching to get their game together for the summer as the top 19 players all equalled or bettered the course par score.
Taking top place was Wilby Toothill (16) who had a round to remember as he started off with a birdie on the first hole and, despite making a double bogey on the fifth, reached the turn at only three over gross.
Playing the 10th a little erratically for another double bogey, Wilby carded a further four pars and another birdie (on the 17th) to end up with a nett score of 64.
Wayne Porter (20) came second on countback with nett 65 and his round was particularly notable for an inward half of 39 (three over gross) with six pars on that half.
Third spot went to Jason Lindsay (14) who also scored nett 65 but, unlike Wayne, Jason had his best half on the front nine at two over gross (including two birdies.
Despite a further birdie (on the 15th), Jason finished the last three holes in three over gross and it was these holes that pushed him into third on countback.
The ladies also played their first qualifier of the year and in this competition scoring was not quite so aggressive as in the gents.
Third spot went to Pat Jamieson (14) with nett 77 and Pat will be ruing her luck as she was totally undone by the 16th where multiple disasters struck to move her from first place into third. Notwithstanding that hole she had played steadily to record seven pars in her round.
Taking second place on countback was Heather Morgan (11) with nett 73 in a round of nine pars and generally steady play throughout the round.
Top spot went to Ellie Haughton (3), also with 73, and a very steady round apart from an inexplicable double bogey on the 7th. Ellie recovered her equilibrium with 12 pars and two birdies to take the top spot.
The semi-finals and finals of the Gents Winter League were both played on Sunday (following the postponement of last week’s semi-finals due to snow).
In the first of the semi-finals, Alex Barnett and Ian Cunningham (the eventual winners) had a comfortable 6&4 win over Chris Ellis and Sam McCall.
The other semi was a more closely fought affair before Neil Tee-Boon and Daniel Kettle edged home two up against Bob Aitman and Tim Brown.
The final proved to be very evenly matched in terms of handicap with only two shots being allocated over the 18 holes.
Daniel and Neil started well with a win on the first and this was followed by halves on the next two holes.
Ian levelled the match score when he won the fourth and Alex, with his length off the tee, was able to use his shot advantage on the fifth which he parred in gross to put his team one up.
The match stayed at this score for the remainder of the front nine. Ian parred the 10th to put his team two up but Neil punched back immediately with a par to win the next.
Alex, however, suddenly seemed to switch into overdrive as he won the next four holes by scoring par-birdie-par-birdie to take a match-winning lead of 4&3.
The first captain’s away day was held on Monday at Peterborough Milton and 56 members attended what turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable day both in terms of the golf but, more particularly, in terms of fine spring weather and shirt sleeve conditions.
The course was playing very well with quick greens which caused problems for some players but not the top placements.
John Morfee took fifth place with 37 points which was a slight disappointment to him after an outstanding front nine (21 points). John was just beaten on countback by Mark Mousley (also 37).
The top three positions went to Mark Neave with 38, John Peyser on 39 and a fine first place for Richard Wilson with 41, who also picked up two twos on the par threes.
Nearest the pins went to John Peyser (ninth), Dave Morgan on the 16th while Dean Wilkinson took the longest drive on the 14th.