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Northumberland Tour 2016

BUNGS Tour 2016 - Northumberland

11th to 14th June 2016

The Two teams
The Two teams

Sometimes this Tour has gone under the name of “Summer Tour”, this obviously does not relate to this part of the world, either we booked it too early or we had missed the Northumberland summer!

32 members arrived eventually at the Blue Bell Hotel the last participant arriving at 6.30am Sunday morning from Bordeaux, singing all manner of songs to celebrate Wales initial success!  (Yacky Da boyo- I was there Adrian Marchant.)

Half the BUNGS members headed for the local pub, The Salmon, to watch the England match and learn the local dialect particular James Shipman who when asked for “a poond” queried it with the seller of raffle tickets. Many BUNGS members took a backward step at this point and left James to his own devices. Then England scored and all mayhem struck with glasses, bottles smashed and beer and bodies flying in celebration.

The Society Captain Neil White with Vice Captain Kevin Morris had picked a strong line up on paper but the Challengers Captain Peter Meaney and Vice Captain Bobby Ho had their strategy and game plan all sketched out in preparation “to kick some ass!”

There were two new members on their first Tour one selected on each team, John Stamper and Robert Brown welcome to the mad house.

The two teams lined up as follows:

Captain Neil White's Team Black H'Cap Tour Win % Challenger Peter Meaney's Team Blue H'Cap Tour Win %
Neil White 10.4 60.0 Peter Meaney 7.8 35.0
Kevin Morris, Vice Capt. 2.8 45.0 Bobby Ho, Vice Capt. 12.6 44.8
John Shaw 4.3 61.4 Steve Lloyd 4.9 65.0
Howard Holliday 4.7 64.8 Adam Thompson 5.8 62.3
Martyn Dodwell 7.2 64.9 Gordon Galloway 8.0 58.9
Alan Heard 8.5 50.0 Steve Harris 9.4 30.0
Tim Thacker 9.7 56.5 James Shipman 10.0 49.5
Gary Tyler 13.1 75.0 Steve Barkshire 10.0 83.3
Mark Johnson 12.9 36.0 Adrian Marchant 15.0 48.6
Alex Tolley 13.8 75.0 Phil Latham 15.7 61.4
Craig Vale 13.8 62.1 Jamie Moore 14.4 53.8
Steven Raji 18.7 85.0 Alan Tolley 18.3 47.9
Jeff Thacker 21.1 47.5 John Haley 19.3 53.5
John Stamper 22.4   John Evans 21.0 32.0
Dave Grubb 23.2 37.0 Graham Thorpe 21.6 35.0
Gordon Sullivan 26.8 45.0 Robert Brown 23  
AVERAGE 13.34 57.68% AVERAGE 13.68 50.73%


Sunday 12th June 2016 - morning
Goswick Links Golf Club - 9 holes

8 x greensomes matches

Roll up, roll up keep up your cover in Northumberland
Roll up, roll up keep up your cover in Northumberland

Whilst Steve had organised which coloured shirts each team should wear, quite a selection of variable apparel collected in the club house before commencement of the morning round. The weather was grey and dismal with steady rain falling and mist rolling in from the sea, temperature no more than 10C.

Shorts were worn by Steve Lloyd and Jamie Moore (who also had flip flops), Adam Thompson lead the woolly hat brigade, Gordon Galloway needed mittens to keep his hands warm. As people ventured out to get prepared for a wet day a bright fluorescent water proof jacket passed the clubhouse was it the local council putting out cones to guide us round the course?

 Perhaps it was a lollipop man who had lost his STOP/GO sign?  NO it was the RAC man looking for new members perhaps

Yes you got it, it was our society secretary sporting his new jacket attire!

Neil White & Mark Johnson lost to Gordon Galloway & Steve Harris 1up
Kevin Morris & Craig Vale beat Alan Tolley & John Evans 5/3
John Shaw & Gary Tyler lost to Peter Meaney & Steve Barkshire 1up
Howard Holliday & Alex Tolley half Phil Latham & John Haley A/S
Martyn Dodwell & Steven Raji half Steve Lloyd & Adam Thompson A/S
Alan Heard & Tim Thacker lost to Jamie Moore & Graham Thorpe 1up
Jeff Thacker & Dave Grubb beat James Shipman & Bobby Ho 2/1
John Stamper & Gordon Sullivan lost to Adrian Marchant & Brown 3/2

Session Score - Captain's Team - 3 / Challenger's Team - 5

Cumulative Match Score

Captain's Team - 3 / Challenger's Team - 5

The Challengers team finished with a 2 point advantage  after a soggy mornings golf.

Captain Meaney sent out Alan Tolley and John Evans first as “sacrificial lambs”, even with a 6 shots over nine holes the Captains team of Morris & Vale won 5 & 3.

Two matches were halved and Adrian (call me boyo!) Marchant still on cloud nine and partner Robert Brown won 3 & 2 against John Stamper and Gordon Sullivan.

Martyn Dodwell and Steve Raji started well for the Captains team, Martyn deliberating over a 30ft putt on the first,  then sank a 35ft putt on the second and his 50ft birdie putt just shaving the hole on the 3rd hole. Challengers Steve Lloyd and Adam Thompson 3 down after 3 holes and only 6  left to play. Stood all square on the 9th tee Steve Raji produced the best tee shot but Adam’s chip to three feet and Steve’s nerve held to sink his putt and halve the match.

Challengers Team Jamie Moore and Graham Thorpe started badly losing the first two holes but what was worse was the rhetoric coming from Heard & Thacker right up to the 6th hole 2up with 3 to play but the Challengers came back and won the last three holes to take the match, helped no doubt by Heard & Thacker putting 2 balls each into the out of bounds on the ninth.

Unknown to many but this was the first steps in Tim Thacker’s psychic about to change!

He could not eat his soup and sandwiches after that morning result.


Sunday 12th June 2016 - afternoon
Goswick Links Golf Club - 18 holes

8 x fourball-betterball matches

As there was no change in the  weather and the rain was still  ppp..ersistent  as both teams commenced their afternoon rounds.  Neil had obviously had words with his team over lunch as they started with more conviction. They recorded 3 wins and 2 halves as did the Challengers team to level at 4 points each from the fourball matches.

The first game was a tight match but the Captain’s team were always in front until Alan’s magic putter came to life on the 6th with Alan rolling in a 20 foot putt for a half. The Challengers made it all square after 17th and both teams settled for a half on the last.

The second game after the  rain stopped around 3pm saw Gordon Galloway display his wardrobe malfunction as Kevin has called it. First he removed his waterproofs, he then stepped up to the tee looking like his trousers had shrunk in the rain accompanied by so very dubious ‘damp’ patches on his chinos! To finally add the ‘coup de gras’ a brown sweater was produced and he was proud to wear it. (see below).

Gordon's trousers have shrunk?

Gordon's trousers have shrunk?

The style just oozes out of him

The style just oozes out of him

In the third game Adam & Graham were comfortable winners after going 4up after 10 holes Martyn & Dave staged a late comeback and reduced the deficit to 1 after 16 holes but Adam sealed the win for the Challengers on the 17th 2 & 1.

Gary Tyler chipped to 12 feet on the 18th and then holed a great putt to win their match against Steve Lloyd (he was shit!) and Jamie Moore (I carried him all the way round!).

Dr Shipman's attempt to silence the group had 
Dr Shipman's attempt to silence the group had consequences

Tim Thacker who came into this Tour with a 56% Tour win  record  had a dismal afternoon after his morning round. Partnering uncle Jeff (quote “we never play well together”) they  lost 3 &1 to James (he was born lucky) Shipman and John Evans.

In the final game Adrian Marchant still fuelled by welsh exuberance along with Bobby Ho defeated John Stamper and Gordon Sullivan 1up.

The evening went well for most of the members despite the Hotel forgetting to set a place for John Evans for dinner, he dined on the Co-op’s finest that evening. James made the hotel pay by smashing one of their wine glasses while attempting to silence the members for Neil’s after dinner summary of the day.

John Shaw & Neil White half Steve Harris & Alan Tolley A/S
Kevin Morris & Alex Tolley beat Gordon Galloway & Steve Barkshire 3/2
Howard Holliday & Mark Johnson half Peter Meaney & John Haley A/S
Gary Tyler & Craig Vale beat Steve Lloyd & Jamie Moore 1up
Martyn Dodwell & Dave Grunn lost to Adam Thompson & Graham Thorpe 2/1
Tim Thacker & Jeff Thacker lost to James Shipman & John Evans 3/1
Alan Heard & Steven Raji beat Robert Brown & Phil Latham 2up
John Stamper & Gordon Sullivan lost to Adrian Marchant & Bobby Ho 1up

Session Score - Captain's Team - 4 / Challenger's Team - 4

Cumulative Match Score

Captain's Team - 7 / Challenger's Team - 9

Leading players after Day 1 from each team

Captain's Team

Craig Vale  - Won 2 out of 2
Kevin Morris - Won 2 out of 2

Challenger's Team

Graham Thorpe  - Won 2 out of 2
Adrian Marchant - Won 2 out of 2

Only 4 players  remain with a 100% record after 2 matches on day 1.


Monday 13th June 2016 - morning
Bamburgh Castle Golf Club - 18 holes

1 x singles match & 7 x foursomes matches

A short drive to the coast this morning to our second venue at Bamburgh Castle Golf Club a very picturesque golf course close to the sea except it was in thick ,thick FOG, this morning. Whilst we stood around and persuaded the professional to let us out because we were only playing foursomes, we set off on time into the gloom over the first two par three holes.

The conditions were poor but Captain Meaney sent his Challengers Team out to “kick some ass” and they all certainly did that coming back victorious in all seven foursomes  and only losing one singles match.

Some eventful happenings occurred in the mist!

James Shipman standing in the middle of the fairway doing his ‘bringing in a plane impression’, arms aloft waving them over his head in the direction of the fairway. At first it was going smoothly until Kevin & Adrian started to mimic James and then disaster struck as Tim Thacker misread the signs and boomed a drive over their heads straight towards the OOB and ended up on the road!

Monday morning at Bamburgh Castle

Monday morning at Bamburgh Castle

That will be Tuesday

That will be Tuesday

I see nothing!

I see nothing!

We're Flying Jack!

We're Flying Jack!

Knew i'd seen them somewhere before

Knew i'd seen them somewhere before

Tim continued to struggle with his game and as the mist started to disperse, visibility improved and the castle could be seen by the beach. Tim and partner Kevin had arrived at the blind 16th hole. Adrian teed off for the Challengers and duly hooked his ball nearly off the cliff into a gorse bush 15 foot deep, lost so Tim & Kevin thought. But no along came his partner James (he was born lucky) Shipman and found the ball and then dully f—c---ng  played it onto the green. James smiled, Tim scowled and uttered unprintable dialogue. Kevin having driven straight up the middle left Tim a chip to the green. Tim proceeded to put it into another gorse bush! What followed was ‘a hamlet moment’ and then clumps of earth flying through the air one after another so many that local fracking protesters thought planned work in the local area had started early. The foursome behind just watched with amazement from the tee box not daring to drive anywhere near the reconstruction of the course which  was taking front of them!

The situation got worse on the next hole the 17th for Tim & Kevin one down and their opponents James & Adrian hook the ball behind a wall. Tim’s drive flies 50 yards into the adjacent field necessitating Kevin to walk back to the Tee to play 3 or what??. Before his trek back to the tee Kevin asked his opponent Marcho what he thought – “ I dunno but I’m looking forward to seeing Tim’s face when I tell him I have a left handed 7 iron in my bag” Kevin drives again onto the green for 3, then Marcho plays his left handed club behind the wall onto the edge of the green, 2 putts later the match is over & Marcho & James are the victors.  As for Tim his Tour continues to be one to forget!

First away were Alan Tolley & John Evans who started well in the murky conditions, 3up after 3, 4up after 8, with Gordon not enjoying the experience, Steve his partner conceded the match early to give the wounded Captains team some respite before the afternoon round.

7th Green in the afternoon

7th Green in the afternoon

And the view from the same tee in the morning

And the view from the same tee in the morning

Gordon Sullivan & Steve Raji lost to Alan Tolley & John Evans 4/3
Alan Heard & Craig Vale lost to Bobby Ho & Phil Latham 5/4
Jeff Thacker & Dave Grubb lost to Steve Barkshire & John Haley 5/3
Kevin Morris & Tim Thacker lost to Adrian Marchant & Tim Thacker 2/1
Howard Holliday & Neil White lost to Graham Thorpe & Gordon Galloway 1up
Alex Tolley & John Stamper lost to Peter Meaney & Adam Thompson 5/4
Gary Tyler beat Robert Brown 4/3
John Shaw & Mark Johnson lost to Steve Harris & Jamie Moore 2/1

Session Score - Captain's Team - 1 / Challenger's Team - 7

Cumulative Match Score

Captain's Team - 8 / Challenger's Team - 16


Monday 13th June 2016 - afternoon
Bamburgh Castle Golf Club - 18 holes

8 x fourball-betterball matches

The fog and mist cleared for the afternoon rounds and many of the golfers could experience the surrounding views which had been invisible in the morning rounds. Martyn Dodwell even came out to play in the afternoon.

The Captain’s team came out firing taking three out of the first four matches in the afternoon fourballs, quite comprehensively. Adam Thompson & Graham Thorpe stopped the rot with a half and then the Challengers hit back with two more wins.

Probably the most exciting game was the last one with Alan Tolley & partner Jamie Moore dovetailing so well together they were 5 up after 9 holes, but the Captain’s team of John Stamper & Mark Johnson were not finished and by the 15th were 1 up. The 16th was halved with the game all square after 17 holes.

Cometh the hour cometh the man!

With two stone dead chips by both sides Alan Tolley lined up his putt from 25 feet with a bit of break either way. Cool as a cucumber Alan rolled it into the hole to win the match for the Challengers with Captain Meaney looking on in anticipation at the side of the green. What followed was an extravagent celebration in front of his opponents!

Gaz’s A Team blocks a view of Bamburgh Castle

Gaz’s A Team blocks a view of Bamburgh Castle

Jeff Thacker aims for Bamburgh Castle, on the 16th fairway

Jeff Thacker aims for Bamburgh Castle, on the 16th fairway

Steve Barkshire has an impossible lie

Steve Barkshire has an impossible lie

Steve Barkshire moment of impact?

Steve Barkshire moment of impact?

Martyn Dodwell & Tim Thacker beat Bobby Ho & John Evans 6/5
Gordon Sullivan & Jeff Thacker lost to Adrian Marchant & Steve Barkshire 5/4
Alan Heard & Steven Raji beat Steve Lloyd & John Haley 6/5
Kevin Morris & Gary Tyler beat Peter Meaney & James Shipman 3/1
Craig Vale & Howard Holliday half Graham Thorpe & Adam Thompson A/S
John Shaw & Alex Tolley beat Robert Brown & Gordon Galloway 1up
Neil White & Dave Grubb lost to Steve Harris & Phil Latham 2/1
Mark Johnson & John Stamper lost to Alan Tolley & Jamie Moore 1up

Session Score - Captain's Team - 4.5 / Challenger's Team - 3.5

Cumulative Match Score

Captain's Team - 12.5 / Challenger's Team - 19.5

Leading players after Day 2 from each team

Captain's Team

Kevin Morris  - Won 3 out of 4
Gary Tyler - Won 3 out of 4

Challenger's Team

Adrian Marchant  - Won 4 out of 4
Graham Thorpe - Won 3.5 out of 4
Steve Harris - Won 3.5 out of 4

Only the mad ,exuberant ,welsh boyo Adrian Marchant finished day 2 with a 100% record.

Usually on tour we do not have any cabaret, especially after thirty six holes, but unbeknown to most members the Captains & Vice Captains of both teams decided after the meal we should be entertained!   A comedy skit titled “Clueless Blokes do Golf Draw” then commenced with members of both teams being drawn to play each other via numbers while Kevin seemed to have letters. It must have taken some rehearsing boys?


Tuesday 14th June 2016
Seaton Carew Golf Club - 18 holes

16 x singles matches

An early breakfast saw us all head South to Teeside via the Tyne tunnel to arrive at Seaton Carew in glorious warm sunny conditions which the welcoming professional had ordered specially for us. A group photograph was taken before play commenced in front of the old clubhouse although some members failed to turn up for their photo shoot.

Eventually the pairings from the previous evening were sorted and the first groups were off on time.

The two Captains and vice captains led the way down the fairway to the to the industrialised views on the horizon and the smell of sewage down the 1st and 18th was not to be sniffed at!

The opening games were tight with Bobby Ho putting up a sterling performance against Kevin Morris losing by 1 hole, but Captain Meaney maintained the status quo for the Challengers team winning 4 & 3.

Honours were even again in the next pairings with Graham Thorpe beating Dave Grubb 3 & 1 for the Challengers, but Martyn Dodwell beat John Haley for the Captain’s team 4 & 3.

The stamina finally told on Adrian Marchant as the welsh boyo finally succumbed to his body losing his 100% record to Alex Tolley 4 & 3, or was it the pints of Wainwright’s drunk from the previous night?

The two new members were drawn together with Rob Brown triumphant for the Challengers 5 & 4 over John Stamper Captain’s Team.

Alan Tolley started well against Gordon Sullivan and was 4 up after 4 holes and cruising! Gordon wasn’t finished you don’t go on all these tours and give up that easily. Gordon turned the match round and after the 15th , he was 2 up on Alan with 3 holes to play. Then Alan’s putter started to perform although helped by Gordon’s wayward drives. Gordon conceded to Alan on the last for Mr Tolley to take the match for the challengers.

Yet again Tim Thacker was involved in controversy in his match with Gordon Galloway. In a close match which was eventually halved Tim found his ball in an animal scraping which was disputed by Tim. Later photographic evidence appeared on my laptop!

The later matches were closer still with two further halves and the Challengers winning 2 out of 3  in the later stages.

The Challengers Team had maintained their strong position of the previous days and won the singles 9.5 to 6.5 on the day. The final score was a resounding victory for Challengers Captain Meaney of 29 to 19.

His careful planning and strategies had triumphed and I am sure he will reiterate his success if you dare ask him about it!

The views at Seaton Carew weren't so picturesque

The views at Seaton Carew weren't so picturesque

Tim, Tim, is this yours?

Tim, Tim, is this yours?

Neil White lost to Peter Meaney 4/3
Kevin Morris beat Bobby Ho 1up
Dave Grubb lost to Graham Thorpe 3/1
Martyn Dodwell beat John Haley 4/3
Alex Tolley beat Adrian Marchant 4/3
John Stamper lost to Robert Brown 5/4
Gordon Sullivan lost to Alan Tolley 1up
Mark Johnson beat Steve Harris 1up
Jeff Thacker lost to Steve Barkshire 8/7
Gary Tyler lost to Steve Lloyd 1up
Tim Thacker half Gordon Galloway A/S
Alan Heard beat James Shipman 3/1
Craig Vale lost to John Evans 2/1
Howard Holliday half Jamie Moore A/S
Steven Raji half Phil Latham A/S
John Shaw lost to Adam Thompson 5/4

Session Score - Captain's Team - 6.5 / Challenger's Team - 9.5

Final Match Score

Captain's Team - 19 / Challenger's Team - 29

Final leading players performance after Day 3 from each team

Neil White congratulates Peter Meaney
Neil White congratulates Peter Meaney

Captain's Team

Kevin Morris  - Won 4 out of 5
Alex Tolley - Won 3.5 out of 5

Challenger's Team

Graham Thorpe - Won 4.5 out of 5
Adam Thompson - Won 4 out of 5
Adrian Marchant - Won 4 out of 5
Steve Barkshire - Won 4 out of 5

Well done to the author who remained unbeaten on the Tour.  (It’s down to my partners who inspire me )

Despite the weather a very enjoyable Tour was had by all.

A big thank you to everyone who sent contributions for this write-up and to Graham Thorpe for compiling everything together.

Current BUNGS tour win percentages

(After the 2016 Northumberland Tour)


Member Tour Win Percentage No of Tours Attended
Hornby, Brian 100.0% 1
Barkshire, Steve 82.5% 4
Rawling, Pete 80.0% 1
Raji, Steven 76.7% 3
Tolley, Alex 73.3% 3
Tyler, Gary 72.0% 5
Fairweather, Stewart 70.0% 2
Dodwell, Martyn 64.8% 18
Thompson, Adam 63.8% 12
Lloyd, Steve 63.5% 18
Holliday, Howard 63.2% 15
Latham, Phil 61.3% 8
Vale, Craig 60.6% 8
Hughes, Karl 60.4% 17
Shaw, John 59.6% 17
Weston, Paul 58.9% 9
Smith, Neil 58.6% 7
Hayward, Simon 58.3% 6
Galloway, Gordon 58.0% 10
Morris, Kevin 56.7% 3
Talboys, Ian 56.1% 16
Moore, Jamie 55.2% 11
Thacker, Tim 54.8% 16
Thorpe, Graham 53.3% 3
Smith, Andy 52.1% 12
Heard, Alan 52.0% 5
Haley, John 51.3% 6
Marchant, Adrian 51.3% 12
Poultney, Les 50.0% 2
Tolley, Alan 49.3% 15
Shipman, James 49.0% 17
Ho, Bobby 44.5% 16
Thacker, Jeff 44.4% 9
Gross, Steve 43.8% 4
White, Neil 43.3% 3
Hancock, Bill 42.8% 8
Sullivan, Gordon 42.4% 17
Meaney, Peter 42.0% 5
Mansell, John 40.2% 11
Fox, Mike 40.2% 15
Craddy, Chris 40.0% 3
Brown, Robert 40.0% 1
Keates, Brian 40.0% 11
Mullaney, Shaun 38.8% 8
Evans, John 36.7% 6
Harris, Steve 35.7% 7
Grubb, Dave 35.5% 11
Johnson, Mark 35.0% 6
Tomkiss, Terry 35.0% 4
Herrmann, Paul 33.0% 11
Jackson, Anthony 30.0% 4
Johnson, Lloyd 30.0% 1
Adams, Graham 21.7% 6
Minor, Darren 10.0% 1
Stamper, John 0.0% 1
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