2011 News

Additional pictures can be seen in our Photo Gallery and detailed match results/reports via our Competitive Play page

4th December – Winter One Ball

7 players made a small competition and a warming lunch was provide by Kate Sander. More people in January please!

16th November – Golf Doubles Final!

On a perfect day for croquet – cold, damp and grey – the long delayed final of the club’s Golf Doubles final took place It pitched John Hobbs and John Moore against Mike Sander and Duncan Cox in what proved to be a very enjoyable match which Duncan and Mike won 7-5, 7-4.

Whilst it is true the winners used their bisques very well it is also true, not least by the number of times the ball lodged in the jaws, that being unable to play jump shots (due to the condition of the lawns) did not help the two Johns. There was a magnificent audience of 1, thank you Mike Greagsby.

All the club competitions are now complete!

29th September – Lawn 1 now closed until Spring 2012

Please read the Notice Board to see which other lawn is to be used first, normally Lawn 3.

26th September – SECF A League v Sussex County – lost 1:6

The tricky lawns (uneven and multi-speed) proved too much for us. Despite having lower handicaps we all played awfully (all names withheld to protect the innocent…which there weren’t any). The only good thing about the day was the lunch…

25th September – FINALS DAY

finals6 finals4


Finals Day – Prize Presentations

A lovely day welcomed all the players in the 6 finals that were completed; even some spectators attended! Please see our Photo Gallery for more pictures.

Thanks to Derek Heath for organising the day, Carolyn Gunstone for the super lunch and Derek Heath/Sandra Greasgsby for the pictures.

19th September – SECF A League v Woking – lost 0:7

Our lowest ranked player had a handicap of 2.5 – their highest ranked player had a handicap of 1. Enough said.

10th/11th September – Honeygrove Cup

The Honeygrove Cup, a B level advanced competition, was contested by 10 players at Tunbridge Wells over the weekend, with a mixture of sun periods, heavy rain and very blustery conditions.

The winner was Sean Sheridan from Shrewsbury, convincingly beating Les Bowker from Cheltenham in the final.

Final results are:

Player Club Wins Games
Sean Sheridan Shrewsbury 5 7
Les Bowker Cheltenham 4 7
Alwen Bowker Cheltenham 4 7
Jon Diamond Tunbridge Wells 3 6
John Hobbs Tunbridge Wells 3 6
Jolyon Creasey Tunbridge Wells 3 7
Philip Mann Medway 3 6
Mark Homan Watford 2 7
Paul Miles Medway 2 5
David Mumford Woking 1 5

6th September – SECF Golf A League v Surbiton – lost 3:4

A miserable wet and windy day it was, although clearing up after lunch to just be cool – typical for this summer!

Luckily they hadn’t put out their No. 1 team (Fulford/Mulliner/Rutger + ANO), so we were in touch all day, losing the morning 2 games to 1 and, unfortunately, we failed to overcome the deficit in the afternoon, so a narrow loss but no disgrace.

5th September – SECF Golf A League v Compton – lost 6:1

25th August – SECF U League v Canterbury – won 5:2

They won the doubles because Jonathan Lamb (0) pegged Jolyon out from 4 back (TPO) and left Richard Mann with an impossible task. But Jolyon beat Jonathan in his singles, so was satisfied. Geoff won one and lost one. Barney won both his games and Richard won his singles.

19th August – SECF A League v Dulwich – lost 3:4

Another nice day, but another loss, although a tight match. We lost both singles in the morning, but were gifted the Doubles, so only down 2:1. A fight back in the afternoon left the result in doubt until the final game. However, Mark was just too good for Jon and had a comprehensive win, albeit on time.

13th/14th August – Pegasus Plate


Pegasus Plate

Our Autumn (now Summer) Handicap tournament attracted six outside players and four from our club. By playing shortened games and each side having bisques everyone played three games each day. The winner was Ann Brookes from Reigate, whose handicap was 16, but one point short of 14. As a result she won five of her six games, but it boosted her confidence and appreciation of the game so much that we forgave her our defeats.

12th August – SECF Golf Handicap League v Canterbury – won 5:4

We had an enjoyable match against Canterbury in the handicap league today. They came to us as Canterbury University have been playing football on their lawns which are now in a sad state.

During the morning session we had two doubles winning both and then 4 singles of which we won three so we already had a winning lead at lunch time.

The afternoon session of 1 doubles and 2 singles was less successful with only John Moore winning so the match ended 6-3. This completes our handicap league matches having won 2 and lost 2.

11th August – SECF U League v Compton – lost 3:4

After a teetering match this ended up with a nail-biting finish, as we watched Barney Lewis go down by -1 on time…

8th August – SECF Golf Handicap League v Reigate Priory B – lost 2:7

The opening doubles were split one game each, but the first round of singles went 4-0 to Reigate despite most of our team having at least one bisque advantage.

After a nice lunch we played a further doubles and two singles of which we managed to win one.

Not one of our finest days but they were a good team and very friendly and a pleasant time was had by all.

7th August – SECF Golf Teams Tournament

Between holidays and family commitments we struggled to raise a team for this event, then illness added to the problem and we are grateful to Jeff Chapman for stepping in at the last moment.

The morning consisted of doubles and Jeff and Derek Crocombe did well to win both their games, whilst Angela Milne and Duncan Cox won one with the result that we finished a very creditable second equal (out of 19 teams).

The afternoon was for singles and it was noticeable, as opposed to other years, that most teams put out high bisquers rather than their low handicap players. Derek continued on from where he left off in the morning and won 2 out of 3 matches. Jeff, in his first ever golf tournament won one, lost one and drew one and then said he would play more golf! Angela lost her first two games, but battled out a draw in her last. Duncan struggled with giving away bisques and lost two games but the third one was interesting.

In this type of competition games are timed and when time is up a hooter goes and you have X number of shots left. When the hooter went Duncan was 5-4 down and his opponent said, one shot per ball left, Duncan said “no 2 shots”, Jeff who was spectating agreed so a compromise was struck. We would play 2 balls each and then, if the result changed ask for an adjudication. In the event Duncan ran a hoop with the last shot of the game so off we went to the referee. He did not know the answer so sent us to the Organiser who also did not know, luckily a lady sitting in the office said she was a qualified referee and ruled in Duncan’s favour.

Thus we ended up with 3 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses: a fair reflection on the days play.

2nd August – SECF Golf B League v Sussex County – lost 3:4

Four intrepid (well, “trepid”) members set out to meet Southwick on 2nd August. The splendid array of 11 lawns, all cut to a finer height than we have seen and faster than we’ve experienced served to impress and add to our trepidation. Daphne Gaitney (2), doyenne of the circuit and legendary coach to our local contenders, met us as home captain, and the welcome coffee quickly raised our spirits. By lunch time, we had reason to feel proud with a 2-1 lead. While Richard Clark (3) and John Moore (4) lost a keenly fought doubles to Daphne and her husband David (4), Michael Gentry (5) reverently despatched Mavis Buist (5) and John Skates (8) in his maiden test saw off Ray Mills (7).

Lunch was up to the best Southwick standards and we went forth into the blazing sun to do battle in the four singles scheduled for the afternoon, insecure in the knowledge that just two wins would give us overall victory. Alas, this was not to be. First back was Michael Gentry a quick winner over Ray Mills, but form departed from Richard C and John M as they went down respectively to Daphne and David Gaitney. All square then and full pressure now was on John Skates battling it out with veteran Mavis (a defector from her old Club, Compton). The rest of us bit our nails, finished our crosswords and just waited …and waited. Sadly to report Mavis prevailed and we ended the day well satisfied by a great tea but disappointed not quite to have made it … this time.

29th July – SECF Golf B League v Sydenham – lost 2:5

On a fine Friday we played Sydenham in a level play match. Sydenham fielded Simon Carter who’s handicap is 0 and who is ranked eighth in the UK and came almost straight from the World Championships.

Despite this Mike Gentry (5) and Duncan Cox (5) took Simon and his partner Jeanette (4) all the way in the doubles losing 6-7, 7-6, 6-7. Meanwhile in the first two singles Derek Heath and Derek Crocombe both lost though Derek Crocombe’s game went on for 3 hours before he lost the third game at the Golden Hoop.

After a very pleasant lunch – Simon said they would come again! – there were four further singles matches. Mike pushed Simon all the way in their first game only losing 7-6, but Simon won the second 7-3. Duncan then defeated Jeanette and Derek Crocombe (8) beat his opponent who was a 4, but after a long battle with Rob Laver (both 8s) Derek Heath lost 6-7, 7-5, 6-7.

So we lost 5-2, but it was a most enjoyable day, finished off by Simon giving some coaching to our team; but also to some young!!! men who turned up to join our club. They could hardly have asked for a better introduction to golf croquet.

25th July – SECF Golf A League v Ryde (Isle of Wight) – lost 2:4

A lateish start, courtesy of the transport arrangements: our first overseas opponents left before 7am to catch an early ferry! Nevertheless we had a hard fought match against a slightly stronger opposition and lost by a little. Richard’s morning game hadn’t finished by the time the other ones had, so we decided to have a quick lunch and finish it later if the match result depended on it. Luckily, for our opponents, this wasn’t necessary, otherwise they might have missed their ferry back. As it was they didn’t get home till about 9pm – quite a long day. A good time was had by all, and our hospitality was complimented.

17th July – Kent Cup (Golf) results

Graham Wallin, of Ramsgate, won the Kent Cup there with 5/6 wins. Two of our players took part, which is probably a record: Mike Gentry did well winning 4 of his games (coming 7/16) and Derek Heath won two, but (as he says) would have done a lot better had he run the hoops instead of constantly sticking in the jaws. Derek also says that “there were a few showers but no heavy rain. The wind was absolutely awful”.

15th July – SECF Golf A League v Ramsgate – lost 1:6

A somewhat late start this time as everybody searched for a car park, as the centre of TW was stationary due to a bus running into a shop at the Crescent Road roundabout.

When we did start we were outclassed again! Much as expected we struggled against a better Ramsgate team. James Goodbun is playing in the World Championship next week and David Dray would have been, but he can’t get the time off work…

This pretty well guaranteed a loss in the Doubles and the top two singles, although both Jon Diamond and Mick Greagsby did take a game off their opponents. John Hobbs managed to get the sole win and Richard Clark suffered, physically as well as in the croquet, against both his opponents.

The lawns, weather, food and drink were however some compensation for the trouncing we had.

13th July – American Dream team win inaugural Golf Team League

The inaugural season finished a little early, as the final date was too difficult for both teams. So the American Dream team (Mick Greagsby, Derek Crocombe, Richard Mann and Angela Milne) ran out winners without losing a game. Congratulations!

12th July – SECF Advanced League v Surbiton – lost 1:6

As an outclassed team (their worst player has a handicap better than our best) we performed much to expectations, losing handily. Notable was Mick Belcham’s win over George Noble though.

Although, perhaps we should blame the Surbiton lawns as they are probably amongst the fastest in the UK, having been cut daily during the British Open held there last week, and also in preparation for the World Golf Croquet championship next week.

4th July – SECF Golf Level Play B League v Littlehampton – won 4:3

On a really beautiful summers day we played Littlehampton in B league match. Frank and John Moore lost the doubles but Mike Gentry won his first singles to square the match. Duncan Cox and Janet Hopcroft played a titanic 3 hour match which Janet won 7-6 in the third game. This delayed lunch which our visitors declared to be excellent – thank you Carolyn.

So we started the afternoon 2-1 down and when Frank lost 7-6 in the third game of his singles we were 3-1 down but both John Moore and Duncan won; leaving everything depending on Mike, we should have known God was on HIS side, and we won the match 4-3.

With one exception every match went to 3 games and several were only decided on the “golden hoop” so a really excellent day was had by all.

Their captain said afterwards: “It was also a pleasure to play on your lawns which, in my opinion, are the best I have played on, even better than Southwick’s, where the grass has less resistance. Our renewed thanks also to Carolyn for the excellent buffet which was just right for the lovely weather that blessed us.”

2nd July – Jonathan Lamb wins our Open Golf Open Tournament

Our Open Golf tournament this year was run as a level play singles, with 10 players from TW and other local clubs, but including for the first time Jonathan Lamb, normally resident in Uruguay but spending 6 months in the UK playing croquet (well it sounded like that). He had the audacity to play good croquet too; winning the final, which was a 19-point game, 10-6 against our own John Hobbs to whom he’d lost earlier in the 5-round Swiss.

Earlier in the day he’d seen that we don’t have a cup to present to the winner and promised that, if he won, he’d donate one – we’ll be holding him to his promise and hopes he returns next year, even if it is a long way!

The lawns were in excellent condition, probably as fast and true as we’ve ever had them, and the weather was fine too, so everybody enjoyed themselves (except the manager of course).

Final results are:

Player Club Wins
Jonathan Lamb Uruguay 4
John Hobbs Royal Tunbridge Wells 4
Jon Diamond Royal Tunbridge Wells 4
Maggie Webb Sussex County 4
Duncan Cox Royal Tunbridge Wells 3
Keith Webb Sussex County 3
Derek Heath Royal Tunbridge Wells 2
Carol Bradley Medway 2
Gerald White Royal Tunbridge Wells 2
Roz Cheesman Medway 1

2nd July – Congratulations

to Richard Smith and Jo Wadman on their marriage today!

30th June – New flag and banner


Flying our new flag

Our new flag is now flying for the first time: we’re planning to leave it up for the season.



Our new banner had its first outing at Hever, but we’ll generally put it out most club days. It’s so nice we’re going to order some more, so that we can properly advertise ourselves at both ends of the lawns. We think Miriam would be pleased by what we’ve done with her legacy…

25th/26th June – Hever display

Our first (paid) outing to Hever as part of one of their events proved to be highly successful. The weather was great although the grass could have been better prepared, i.e. it was far too long. It was also our first outing with the new display flag – we’ll have this out on event days at TW for you all to see.

We had at least three sets of people from the Tunbridge Wells area who expressed an interest in coming to the club to whom we gave leaflets and invitations to the open days in July and August. So hopefully the hard work by John Moore, Frank and Carolyn Gunstone, Mike Gentry, Derek Heath, Richard Mann and Kate Sander might produce some new members!

Finally, we hope to repeat the experience next year, with shorter grass, and perhaps on their new croquet lawn! We might even teach their staff how to play…

21st June – John Hobbs wins Over 75 Class at the National Veterans’ Championship


Pidcock (small) mallet – Veteran\’s Over 75 trophy

The Over 75 Class consisted of a single American block of six players. John Hobbs won all his games, and is the new holder of the Pidcock Mallet trophy. What could be more appropriate?

18th June – Barney wins Lewis Shield again

Barney Lewis has done it again! He’s won the competition for the All England Handicap Championship club heat for the nth time. After he won it the first three times he donated the trophy, hence the title for this event – the Lewis Shield.

This year, like last, it was held as a single day 22-point handicap tournament, with 6 players competing. 4 players tied with 2 wins (Geoff Croxford, Chris Barham and Mick Greagsby in addition to Barney), with the tie-break favouring Barney on net points.

6th June – SECF Golf Handicap League – beat Compton 5:4

After all the beautiful weather, for the two most important days of the year it rained!! On 5th June on Kent v Hampshire at cricket and on 6th June for our home Golf Handicap League match versus Compton.

Golf Handicap League v Compton

Golf team v Compton

Despite the inclement weather we played two doubles; with the score even at one all, the second round was four singles, which after initially looking good ended two all. So we went into an excellent lunch prepared by Pam Clark 3 games all.

The afternoon doubles went our way, but then we lost a singles and it was all down to our captain Richard Clark to save the day despite having to give away 4 bisques. I am pleased to say he won 7-5 to give us the match 5:4.

Having moaned about bisques in the past I must say we overcame giving them away in all 9 matches. Some of their players, like some of our members, need some coaching on how to use them to the best advantage.

4th/5th June – Philip Mann wins Kent Cup

For the 11th year in a row a Medway player won the Kent Cup! [The Kent Cup is an Association tournament for members of Kent Clubs – now just TW, Medway, Ramsgate and Canterbury.] Alex Jardine has transferred his allegiance there so, having local knowledge, ended up equal with Philip on 4 wins after the 5 game Swiss was over. However, he lost the final narrowly, having beaten Philip earlier.

Our players (Mick Belcham having his first outing for a year due to injury, Jolyon Creasey, Jon Diamond and Mick Greagsby) all won 2 or 3 games out of 5, but John Hobbs didn’t do so well losing all his games… We must all try harder next year!

The lawns were in superb condition: fast and true, so need the watering that started half-way through the Sunday.

31st May – Kent at the Inter Counties

This year Jon Diamond was our only player at the Inter Counties, representing Kent (naturally), winning 2 of the 5 games he played in. Kent did slightly worse than last year; winning 5 out of 10 games in Division 2, but some of the teams were really strong, e.g. the Channel Isles and Essex. All the matches that were lost were 2:1, so there were clearly chances to improve the number of wins made and gain promotion, perhaps next year?

Jon was partnering David Parkins in the game against Essex when they came up against the weakest player in the whole event – Susan Fulford with a handicap of 22! Her partner Robert F, on the other hand, seemed to know a bit more about the game, but he did allow her to run just two of the 12 hoops. He peeled her through all the others (Advanced doesn’t have the restriction of 4 peels that Handicap has), ending up with a straight quintuple, i.e. he started at 1-back with her ball for 2-back and peeled her through all the remaining hoops whilst running them himself. The rover peel was special – a 90 degree split from 12 yards almost to the boundary. But he did prove human after all and missed the cut rush from there.

Sadly, both David and Jon had opportunities to score breaks, but failed to take sufficient of them… Just goes to show what a bit of practise (a couple of hours a day at peak periods) does…

27th May – Coaching


Daphne Gaitley (left) coaching Jeff Chapman plus assorted Ivychurch ladies

Our two coaching days from Daphney Gaitley (the SECF Coaching Supremo) and Don Beck, one each for Association Beginners and Golf Improvers, were very successful with 8 players on each of the two days and good reports from the participants. We hope that we’ll see the results in the reduction in handicaps for all of the players!

23rd May – SECF Golf Handicap League – lost to Ivychurch 3:6

On a very blustery Monday we played our first match in the Handicap Golf league versus our old friends from Ivychurch. It proved a very enjoyable match with some very close games but Ivychurch used their bisques very well (which proved just how important this is) and eventually won the match 6-3.

The morning session ended all square at 3 games each, but in the afternoon Ivychurch won both the singles games and also the doubles. However, no fewer than 4 of the games were lost on the “golden Hoop” and as in all those games we were giving away at least one bisque you could argue that the handicap system works, on this occasion to our disadvantage!

6th March – Winter Wombles

A nice and dry, if slightly cold day, so a second time we’ve met this Winter and more players this time – 8 people managed to play at least one game (Ray managed 5) and everyone won at least one of them, even the novices to the game!

Lawns pretty good, having been cut, but obviously need some scarification. Excellent soup, salad and cake provided by Kate!

17th February – Pub lunch

17 members attended our second lunch of the winter and enjoyed some excellent food at the George & Dragon!

6th February – Winter Wombles

Only 5 people made the first One Ball Womble of the winter on a dampish day, but at least that’s more than last year’s washouts.

1st January – Winter Womble

Due to the bad weather, the first one of the New Year is postponed until 9th January.