Salamander Golf Society

Channel Cup 2021 Alsace

The dire climatic conditions forecast for our return to Alsace did not materialise - rather obligingly they held off until we were all back safely and snugly in the clubhouse of Soufflenheim after the Sunday morning scrambles.

After a sumptuous dinner organised by Baudouin on Thursday evening at the nearby Auberge Au Pont de l’Ill, the pairs competition swept into action on the stroke of noon on Friday at the formidable Kemperhof, where certain members had laid their heads very comfortably that night. The ration of two Salamander balls handed out on the first tee was insufficient to satisfy the ravenous appetites of the hungry water hazards and surrounding woods, but such materialistic considerations were assuaged treading the luscious carpet of turf in the softening late afternoon light. Harry Rho shepherded his trio, composed of Corine and Sheila, to an unprecedented victory, with Norma & Patrick hot on their heels, and Odile and heroic Gunter, playing with a stitched hand, coming third.

Back in the Moulin in Wantzenau, a double treat awaited participants in addition to the delicious veal dinner. First the wine maker Thierry Forget, who came especially from Champagne, gave a tasting of his inspirational bubblies, one of which had the Chardonnay and the two Pinots in equal balance.

Then came the tombola for the weekend to be spent in one of Pascal Montenay’s (daughter of Françoise and Bernard) super dooper ”Dreamer” camper vans around Chamonix. The lucky couple was Dominique and Jean François Leguay, who had difficulty in deciding whether to continue the weekend in Alsace or rush straight up to the Alps.

Luckily, there was another late start on Saturday at the no less challenging Wantzenau course for the Channel Cup teams competition, and even more luckily clement skies prevailed. All 10 matches were played in a friendly but sharply competitive spirit, most with each hole hotly contested, and the match only decided late into the second nine, and one tied. For a moment, it looked as if the result would be another draw, as it had been in Alsace in 2007, but in the last match Mark McKenzie and felicitous Peter Felix managed to tip the balance in the favour of the islanders. Hervé graciously returned the Cup, which had been constantly polished by Jean-François since it was won by the Continent in Hardelot two years back.

Another challenge was to get all 12 scramble teams onto the right tee at Soufflenheim ( good 30 mins drive away, if one did not get lost) for the 8.45 shotgun start Sunday morning, especially so for the Islanders captain Torquil, exemplary in carrying his clubs, having been allotted the furthest tee from the clubhouse (revenge is sweet). Jean-François’ team, comprising the Chabaneix couple and Patrick Poggia (encore lui) established a new gross record of six under par, while the youth and power of Marc Molitor, destined by his name for golfing prowess, helped the Skelton brothers, ably assisted by treasurer Olivier, edge them for the net prize with a score of seven under.

In addition to thanking Pascale for her welcome tombola innovation, we are grateful to Françoise and Bernard for their Chanel (geddit?) prizes, to Reinhold Geiger for the l’Occitane goodies, to Virginie Nantas, founder of E2R Bags, and to Henry for financing the balls and the crystal ware, his absence probably due to his participation in celebrations of the US Ryder Cup victory across the pond.


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