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Put the kettle on and find a comfy seat. I'm about to ramble on!
On Saturday the 7th of September, the Felixstowe Ferry golf club Stenson team travelled to Bury St Edmunds to play against Aldeburgh in the Stenson final. Under no illusions, we knew we would have to play our best golf to compete with a team full of talent and winners. And we pulled it off! A terrific 9-3 victory, to be honest it was never in doubt.
A young, enthusiastic Adam Sheldrake set the tone for the day with a rocket off the first tee, travelling 340 yards. Leaving his partner, Will Pearce a mere 8 iron into the par 5 first green. What followed that was an exhibition of match play golf that players of the highest standards would be proud of.
The first point of the day came from the third group. Myself and Rhodri Harston won our match on the 12th green, a rather convincing 7&6. We got off to a fast start with birdies at the first 3 holes and followed that with a solid run of pars. Then on the 372 yard par 4 11th. Rhodri hit his tee shot on to the green, 15 feet from the flag, which I rolled in for an eagle 2.
At lunch time we held a 3-1 lead. The match was still finely poised.
The beauty of captaining this team is the strength in depth that we have.
Only needing 3.5 points out of the singles, the writing was on the wall early. A convincing 6 points out of 8 was what we got. A magnificent team performance in the biggest game of our year.
If you will indulge me for a minute, I'd like to tell you all about the players.
Adam Sheldrake - A magnificent talent and a work ethic to his game like I have never seen before. Nobody wanted to win the Stenson more than him. Cheers Shelduck!
Will Pearce - Stepped up and played in the match at Diss when we were short of players and has been the first name on the team sheet ever since. No one is more proud of this lad than me. Cheers Pearcey!
Billy Macleod - The Warhorse! Never knows when he's beat. The grittiest competitor I know. Cheers McBleep!
Graham Wardley - The gentle giant. This man puts the team first before anything else. A great player and a great man. Cheers G Ward!
Rhodri Harston - I know how to pick my partners! Being a member of FFGC means more to this man than almost anyone I know. He travelled from his home in London, won both his matches then went home to his beautiful little 6 week old daughter to show her his winners medal. And she couldn't care less! Cheers Rodders!
James Tyler - As soon as I found out that James was joining Felixstowe, I got to work on getting him in the team. He's a terrific golfer and has a heart of gold. Cheers JT!
Greg Hills - One of the nicest lads you'll ever meet. He beat some very good players to get us to the final and I for one am forever grateful. Cheers Hillsy!
Mark Fosker - What a man! This lad encapsulates team spirit. And he certainly knows how to celebrate. Cheers Fosk!
Steve Sayers - Could not make the later rounds but was a hero in the first couple. If you ever want to learn how to chip and putt, watch this man. Cheers Dumbo!
Mel Pipe - My vice captain. My best pal. Offered advice, encouragement and any time I needed a chat, he was there. Nobody was as pleased to see him win his singles match on Saturday than me. Cheers Pipey!
I would like to offer our thanks to our sponsors again. Felixstowe Recruitment, Tom Martin and E B Carpets. We looked bees knees in our team colours this year and put a lot of our opponents to shame. Thanks Guys, We all owe you a pint!
Our Club Captain and his wife - If you ask him, he'll say that he didn't have much of a role in the team. This could not be further from the truth! Thanks Ian and Di. The little things all add up. You've been a brilliant Captain. And congratulations on your 40th wedding anniversary!
Our Vice Captain - Jeff has been brilliant all year. And with his permission, I'd like to do this job again next year. I look forward to working along side you.
Our General Manager, David and his wife Ann - Again, all the little things add up and really do help. You have supported us from the start, as you do with all of the teams. You are doing a fantastic job as General Manager and long may it continue.
Our Chairman, Michael Thomas - He came and joined in the celebrations with us after the win, and made sure everyone had a full glass. This man really does have this club at heart. And I for one really appreciate his efforts.
Lynne and all her staff - Lynne really looks after the members, and the Stenson team is no exception. The bar and catering staff make sure we are all catered for when we play at home and make sure we have everything in place when we are away.
Our head Pro Andrew Robinson and Hannah Rees - As I've mentioned in previous emails, I really have leaned on these two and they've offered great support through the year. Hannah was the first one to give me a hug after the victory was confirmed. And trust me I was a little emotional. I've known Andrew for 25 years and I think we can all agree that these two are a welcome addition to Felixstowe.
My Dad, Mick Price - He won't want me to say too much of the mushy stuff. He's a bit old school. He knows how much of a help he's been and he's the best Father you could have. Love ya Pops!
That just leaves the Barmy Army! The support we received this year was unbelievable to say the least. So many friendly faces at the away games!
When you're a member at the Ferry, you're not just someone who pays subs and plays golf. You're a member of a 1000 strong family. There really is no other Club like it. The support at Aldeburgh and Bury was so big that it was impossible to count. It wasn't just the 8 players that won the Stenson. It was all of us. Every Member of Felixstowe Ferry can say "We won the Stenson"
Many Thanks for a wonderful year,
Jimmy Price, WINNING Team Captain.