The pre-Christmas rituals continued with the men playing Pandora’s Box the format for which was, as usual, a cross country course for teams of four playing a Texas Scramble over 14 holes. The course was set, by tradition, by a Member with a warped mind with some seemingly impossible holes topped off with the worst possible pin positions to make putting almost impossible. The weather was quite awful with constant rain which made getting to the greens much harder but on the other hand with the wet surfaces the ball tended to stop by the hole rather than return to the players feet.
Some new holes featured this year like the 18th Blue tee to the 7th green some 200 yards and the 5th Blue tee to the 15th green at 150 yards. Two climbs up from the 10th fairway in 3 holes (beginning of the fairway to the 13th green and from in front of the 10th green to the 14th green nearly finished several players.
Vice-Captain Tony Mindel in Christmas garb - looks as if he borrowed it from Max Miller
As usual there were incidents which resulted in fines like a fly away umbrella finishing in the reservoir (no name there to save your blushes Matt) and the team that managed to play the holes in the wrong order (how did they manage that with a Welsh team Captain who had (allegedly) been a school teacher) and anyway they came last with the worst score. A hot shower and into dry clothes followed by a hot pasty soon revived the players. Those in the money are listed below, the decimal places on the scores resulted from 10% of the combined handicaps being allowed:-
1st Andy Bunt, David Elliott, Peter Bendall, Neil Jolley 45.3
Joint 2nd Richard Orton, David Pooley, John Westlake, Will Rich 45.4
Julian Darnell, Nigel Buse, Andy Carthew, Matt Robins 45.4