Salamander Golf Society

Channel Cup 2018 Norfolk

This Norfolk edition of the Channel Cup was exceptional in many ways.  First, its situation, on the most easterly tip of England, well north of the crowded and better known south. If the Continent of Europe  was not visible across the water, as the French coast had been two years ago in Deal, the flatness of the land recalled the Low Countries, lurking below the horizon. Even if the temperature remained relatively clement, global warming oblige, the weather did its best to demonstrate its extremes – a hurricane greeted the pairs on Friday, and a cloudburst rinsed the Sunday scrambles, reminiscent of the Island in Ireland, much to the joy of the ducks waddling behind us.  In between, the heavens nevertheless spared us for a delightful Saturday day spent on the high cliffs, where the Royal Cromer course meanders between farm cottages and afternoon strollers (aka Etretat).

“Lark song and sea sounds in the air            And splendour, splendour everywhere”.   Betjeman

The previous remark on flatness however does not apply to the courses – Cromer is undulating, with a sheer drop to the beach below of seemingly 100 yards on the signature lighthouse hole. At Barnham Broom, with its aptly named Hill and Valley courses, could easily be mistaken for Seefeld. With its numerous water hazards, it provides occasions for bird watching, with pheasants  observing in amusement at the travails of the golfers.

The golf too had its extraordinary aspects. Our visit to East Anglia was proposed, planned, and to a large extent executed, by Jeremy Davidson,  who also distinguished himself by scoring a hole in one (pictured). Our records show that this feat was only the third in the history of the Salamander, following Bob Harris in Rarey, and Dominique de La Pena in Royale Oostende, neither alas still among us And for the first time, inclusion in the Continental and Island teams was determined not by nationality but by residence – anticipating a no-deal Brexit and enabling the long tenure of the Cup by the Islanders to come to an end.

Despite the intense rivalry on the course, the ambient geniality was enjoyed by all, enhanced by the presence of the contin gent from 2012, ensuring the presence of classes spanning five decades. The non-golfing spouses contributed too, arranging visits to the regional capital of Norwich, and further afield to the Queen’s country residence at Sandringham.

Jeremy’s remarkable achievement was of course duly celebrated, but with Continental bubbles as the hotel failed to have sufficient of the English variety in stock. This served to soften the acerbity of Torquil’s, the Islands’ captain, remarks, miffed at being deprived of some of his players, leaving Hervé to deny any affiliation with Michel Barnier. In fact, the result was very close, with the Islanders only being overhauled in the final matches, many undecided until the final hole

The Continent victorious 

Results are summarised below, but it is worth highlighting the performance of two ‘Petersome’ pairs on the Friday, Elizabeth Noble with Jacques Demol, & Diego Massida with Harry Walker, both of which amassed 45 stableford points, despite the wind. Also that on Sunday, only two teams completed 18 holes - Tim Armstrong’s with Colette Aubin & Patrick Poggia, and Harry Rho with Simon Piggott & Norma Demol, Jean-Yves Laubie and Didier Groz having left, not because of the rain, but to catch their plane!


With thanks to our camarades Olivier de la Giraudière (Lanson), Henry Engelhardt (Admiral), & Reinhold Geiger (L’Occitane) for their generous prizes.  Also to James Andrews for mustering his 2012 camarades, Jeremy for the bubbles, and our resident photographer Baudouin.    



Nearest to the Pin Friday : Harry Walker & Jeremy Davidson, Saturday : Caroline Edwards & Harry Rho          

Longest Drives : Norma Demol & Rich Robinson


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