The eighth annual Ratcliffe College Golf Society tour returned to the fabulous links courses of North Norfolk, the venue for the 2012 tour. The wonderful old courses at Hunstanton, Royal West Norfolk, Brancaster, Sheringham and Royal Cromer, four golfing gems, provided a wonderful backdrop to what turned out to be one of the closest and most exciting competitions for the Mir Patel Trophy for many a year.
The opening fourball matches at Hunstanton Golf Club saw Europe take a one-point lead, winning two of the three matches. This narrow margin of victory set the tone for the week.
The competition travelled the short distance around the A149 to the Royal West Norfolk Club (RWN) at Brancaster. The teams played some excellent golf with the USA reversing the score from the previous day to leave the match nicely balanced 3 points-all at the half-way stage.
And so onwards to the old cliff top links of Royal Cromer Golf Club. There was a sea breeze of some significance as we tackled Cromer. On some holes with the wind behind, a well-aimed drive, benefitting from the concrete-like fairways, left players with little more than a short iron to the flag. The day’s fourballs finished all-square. It would be all to play for on the final day of singles at Sheringham.
The sun shone brightly as battle raged across the cliff-top course. So many golfers raised their game as the competitive juices flowed. Little did we know that the Headmaster’s match against Rajen would prove to be pivotal in the destination of the trophy. Rajen played the best 9 holes of his career to date and duly won the 17th to draw level. They played the 18th hole in the last group unaware that the result of this hole would decide the overall result – 4 days, 4 courses, 269 holes of golf up to this point across all matches and it would come down to the last hole! As the final putt went down, Rajen and Mr Reddin halved their match which meant that USA had won the competition by a single point and had wrestled the trophy back off the Europeans.
Congratulations to all the golfers and special thanks to Mr Gilchrist for organising the tour despite being unable to take part, as well as to Miss Stafford and Mr Michel. Here’s to next summer’s golf tour, wherever that may take us.