Big Ed! (R+W 2017)

18 09 2017

 

Ed 02

Mr. Ed Hayes, ladies and gentlemen. The very worthy winner of R+W 2017

The 17th edition of the prestigious Red, White and Blue tournament took place this past weekend, and with it came a number of firsts: last year play was washed out on the Saturday, so we played 18 holes from the blue tees on Sunday morning and then 18 more from the red tees in the afternoon and thus RWB became R+B 2016. This year the weather was lovely on Saturday but Sunday – as promised – dawned wet and windy. A unanimous pre-round decision was made on the putting green: no 36 holes this year – just a quick 18 from the reds and hope we missed the worst of the weather. So R+W 2017 it was. Perhaps defending champion Joe Dunham summed up the general consensus: “Listen, Brooker – I’m too old for this sh!t.” He’s always had a way with words has Joe…

Three groups of three set off down the first fairway, and the first group (best described as ‘the No Hopers’ after their pitiful efforts on Saturday) were also the first to set a record: the fastest round ever played in the history of the tournament. Just 2 hours and 25 minutes after teeing off (and 2 hours and 23 minutes of pouring rain), Chuck Kennedy, Rod Gray and Rudge Wilson were back in the social centre with a variety of beverages in front of them. Their scores? Irrelevant. Their pace of play? Magnificent.

Group 2 (‘The Stragglers’), consisting of Joe Dunham, Dave Buckley-Jones and Yours Truly, failed to break any records but at least were still on speaking terms as they walked off the 18th green. Yours Truly had put a ball in the pond and racked up a triple bogey, Smokin’ Joe had just had a miraculous chip-in birdie and Mr Buckley-Jones had failed to notice either occurrence. Like the others Dave was very, very wet and just wanted to get inside, where he enjoyed being ‘leader in the clubhouse’ – for about 20 minutes.

The final group, the three players who were in  serious contention after their fine rounds on Saturday, took a bit more time about their golf. They consisted, said one of their number, of ‘two sandbaggers and an idiot’. The players concerned were low handicapper Bill Village and somewhat higher handicappers (and first time RWBers) Phil Ball and Ed Hayes. Obviously it would be unfair to identify the idiot, but let’s just say that it wasn’t Phil or Ed. Of the three, Bill hit lots of fairways and greens, Phil missed nearly all the fairways but hit all the greens (eventually) and Ed? Well, Ed had a splendid round and shot a 95. That’s 95 gross which comes to er, 59 net, which is a record for the RWB, as is his 12 shot winning margin. Blimey!

It was a pleasure to watch everyone at the prize table, as we all picked our well-wrapped prizes – in reverse order of finishing, of course – and laughed gleefully at what we’d chosen. I think Bill Village won the jackpot, though – a sort of troll thingy, designed to hold a bottle of wine to its mouth with a big, hairy claw. Just the sort of thing to grace Bill’s new gaff on Crown Isle. As Bill said afterwards – we can expect to see it again on the prize table next year, really well wrapped.

As for this year’s winner, Ed took the prize giving ceremony with good grace, even when he realised that the $9 prize money would not cover the cost of engraving and that he was honour-bound to keep the Big Club on display at home (for at least a day). After that? Well, past winners tell us that sheds, crawl spaces and garages appear to be the location of choice for the magnificent trophy

Many congrats Big Ed, and thanks to all for taking part. It’ll be a new, no 36 hole, Joe Dunham-inspired format next year. See you all then!

All da best.

Dave B.

 

 

 

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R+B 2016

18 09 2016

Every September for 16 years now the Red, White and Blue tournament (or RWB, as it soon became known) at Glacier Greens has consisted of three rounds of golf played from all three tee boxes over the course of two days. This past weekend the intention was, as usual, to play 18 holes on Saturday and the final 36 holes on Sunday. Saturday morning, however, dawned dark and very, very wet – so wet, in fact, that Len Doyle cancelled the usual Men’s Morning competition. My first thought was that we should press on regardless – after all, we’re proud west coast Canadians and unlikely to dissolve in a spot of rain. I looked at the faces of my fellow competitors for confirmation that we would go ahead as planned, but all I saw was a lot of head shaking. “Not me, buttercup,” as Stan Mills so eloquently put it.

Plan B was quickly decided upon: 36 holes on Sunday, blue tees in the morning and, as always, the reds in the afternoon. But what should this year’s tournament be called? B+R didn’t quite have the right ring to it; R+B sounded better. But who would have the Rhythm and who would be left singing the Blues?

These guys?

Did these guys have the rhythm? Nope.

These guys?

These guys? Nuh uh.

What about them?

Any of these? (Maybe Joe’s snooty look gives it away.)

It soon became clear that last year’s winner, Chuck Kennedy, was under strict instructions from Mrs K not to return home with the Big Club and he left his best shots until the last nine holes when he was sure he had no chance of retaining the trophy. He finished fourth. Murray Polson (12th) and Bill O’Neill (6th) had apparently got the same memo but Murray managed to really focus his efforts on coming last and therefore got first pick of the prizes – a golfing Toronto Maple Leaf, if you will. Sadly, just like the Leafs, first pick didn’t work out too well.

Newcomers Brian Goodwin (7th) and Robbie Moore (8th) showed promise – and Brian clearly picked up on the varying quality of the wrapped prizes that would be on offer, announcing that he would select his own prize if he got the chance. He never did, but he is to be commended for coming up with such a cunning ruse and at least was able to avoid this year’s Truly Awful Prize, unwittingly selected by Murray, which seemed to involve some kind of penis enhancer. It was donated by someone whose identity I cannot reveal but whose first name is Keith and last name Allan. It’s an unjust world when Mr Allan himself was the recipient of  a very nice bottle of red. Keith, by the way, finished in a tie for 10th place with his cart companion Rod Gray. Two other cart-sharers, Steve Ellis (5th) and Dave Buckley-Jones (9th), moved up a spot or two in the rankings after decent final rounds.

The final group included myself – somewhat surprisingly in the hunt, as I had started the morning round at a stunningly pitiful 10 over par after 5 holes – past winner Stan Mills and perennial runner-up Joe Dunham. Stan showered his opponent with praise and insults in equal measure throughout the round, but Joe withstood it all to deservedly win the trophy by two shots. A bridesmaid no more – at last Joe is the blushing bride!

The

The Rhythm King. Joe gets kissy with the Big Club

At the time of writing, a few hours after the end of the event, I’m feeling a lot of aches and pains as are, no doubt, my fellow competitors. Old age, I’m increasingly discovering, is indeed no place for cissies – but let’s hope we’re all ready to get back at it again a year from now. In the meantime, well done Joe and…

…all da best.

Dave B.





I coulda been a contender – RWB 2015

7 09 2015
Golfing God (and all-round good guy), Mr Chuck Kennedy.

Golfing God (and all-round good guy), Mr Chuck Kennedy

Well, the 16th annual Red, White and Blue tournament is done and dusted and we have a winner who basically lapped the field. Step forward Chuck Kennedy, whose 74 off the blue tees on Saturday (that’s a gross 74, mind you, net 65) gave him an eight shot lead over the rest of the field. By the time he’d shot a net 68 off the whites on Sunday morning his lead was up to 14 and the tournament was, to all intents and purposes, over.

Now Chuck is a quiet and modest man and no amount of cajolery (now there’s a word you don’t see every day) on my part could get him to say anything remotely boastful at the prize giving ceremony, so I will leave you instead with the reasons given by the rest of us as to why things didn’t quite go as planned this year:

“I hurt my back” – Brian Goodwin (withdrew the day before). Plausibility score: 5/10

“I hurt my back too” – Dave Buckley-Jones (withdrew in parking lot Sunday a.m.): 6/10

“I’ve only played twice this year” – Bruce Coulter (12th place): 9/10

“I had enough grief from Moira for winning last year” – Adrian Haut (11th): 8/10

“I only found out I was playing ten minutes before we started” – Elmo Guinan (10th): 6/10

“I had to play 36 holes with Bud on Sunday” – Dave Brooker (9th): (2/10)

“I had to play 36 holes with Bud AND Dave on Sunday” – Keith Allan (8th): (10/10)

“I had to watch Dave’s swing and it totally put me off my game” – Stan Mills (7th): (7/10)

“I’ve never played in the RWB before and nobody explained the rules” – Murray Polson (6th): (3/10)

“I went to the party of the century on Saturday night and got REALLY wasted” – Steve Ellis (5th): (7/10)

“I had to play with Dave. And I’m too old for this sh!t anyway” – Bud Bryan (4th): (5/10)

“I was in charge of the weather AND taking photos, so I couldn’t concentrate properly” – Dan Fitzgerald (3rd): (6/10)

“No excuses. The best man clearly won” – Bill O’Neill (2nd): (0/10)

Bill O'Neill raises a metaphorical glass to this year's winner. Either that or he's having a rest - 36 holes makes for a l-o-n-g day.

Bill O’Neill raises a metaphorical glass to this year’s winner. Either that or he’s having a rest – 36 holes makes for a l-o-n-g day.

And, finally, from the man himself:

“If I’d have known I had to take the Big Club home AND pay half the engraving costs I’d have thrown away 10 shots in the last round” – ‘Champion Chuck’ Kennedy

Er, you’d STILL have won, Chuck…

Thanks to all for taking part. Wonderful prizes, as per usual. Personally, I can’t wait to try out my plastic back yard driving range golf game (for ages 3 and up).

We’ll try it all again next Labour Day weekend.

Dave B.





Hail to the Chief! RWB 2014

1 09 2014

Adrian (aka ‘Chief’) has been a stalwart of the annual Red, White and Blue tournament for eight years now. He’s come close to winning a couple of times, but his aggressive play off the tee, while exciting to watch, has always meant that eventually the big numbers have come and the Big Club has eluded his grasp once again. Recently, however, the Chief has taken to hitting irons off the tee (further than some of us hit driver, I might add) and the results have been impressive. Could 2014 prove to be the year that the Chief finally achieves his dream and takes the Big Club home to impress Mrs Chief?

The field was a little smaller than usual this year, but here are the men that stood in his way – and how they fared:

Bruce's first tee antics were well up to scratch. His golf? Not so much

Bruce’s first tee antics were well up to scratch. His golf? Not so much.

Mike's confidence on the first tee proved to be sadly misplaced.

Mike’s confidence on the first tee was, once again, sadly misplaced.

The two shot per round penalty for winning last year proved too much for Sir Stanley to overcome.

The two shot per round penalty incurred for winning last year proved too much for Sir Stanley to overcome.

Billy V's verdict on his first foray into the RWB? : "Disappointing. Very disappointing."

Billy V’s verdict on his second foray into the RWB? : “Still disappointing. Very disappointing.”

Tied 3rd place for Dave. Just like the man himself: very respectable.

A 3 round net score of 206 and tied 3rd place for Dave. Just like the man himself: very respectable.

Al seemed to have a good time, although with his accent it's always hard to be sure.

Al tied for 3rd place and seemed to have a good time, although with his accent it’s never easy to be sure.

Sitting on the bench on the 10th tee, Bud knows that he holds a narrow lead. he's not to know that it will all fall apart on the very last hole of the tournament - a dreaded double on #18.

Sitting on the bench on the 10th tee, Bud holds a narrow lead. He’s not to know that it will all go pear shaped on the very last hole of the tournament – a dreaded double on #18.

Bud's misfortune on #18 means that Adrian sneaks through for a total of 204 and victory by a single shot. Hail to the Chief!

Bud’s misfortune on #18 means that Adrian sneaks through for a total of 204 and victory by a single shot.  There’s a rumour going round that Mrs Chief is going to post this picture on Facebook.

Many thanks to all who took part in the RWB this year and congratulations on the stunning array of gift wrapped prizes. As Stan Mills said: ” I don’t really want to win the tournament – I just want to see who gets what in the prizes!” No Indonesian sex gods this year (Mike Worley was away) but I got a flagon of beer, a bottle of wine and about 200 ‘experienced’ golf balls. It took away a lot of the pain brought on by three rounds of decidedly average golf. Thanks, mystery donor!

Hope to see you all next Labour Day weekend for the 15th annual running of the Red, White and Blue.

All da best and hail to the Chief!

Dave B.





Who wants it? RWB 2013

3 09 2013
Who wouldn't want this splendid trophy on their mantle for a year?

Who wouldn’t want this splendid trophy on their mantle for a year?

The Red, White and Blue tournament was first played in 2001 and has been chugging along nicely ever since. It has slipped into a regular slot on the world golfing calendar – the Labour Day weekend – and each year a dozen or so very enthusiastic but largely untalented golfers from Glacier Greens have vied for the right to take home the Big Club, as the trophy is called.

OK. The first paragraph is mostly accurate, except for the ‘vying for the right to take the trophy home’ bit. Somehow in recent years it has become fashionable to claim not to want to win the Big Club. Last year’s winner, for example, the Great Robinski, ensured there would be no repeat this year by contriving to shoot 88 in Saturday’s round. That’s a net 88, not gross, although clearly Robin’s play was. No sense of shame, some people. Bud Bryan was keen to play, but made it clear that under no circumstances was he allowed to win – his better half Alice had threatened to kill him if he showed up at home with the Big Club. As it turned out, he didn’t need to worry. Actually, the Chief is the only one person I can think of as having said he’d quite like to win the trophy, but with his dry sense of humour it’s hard to know if he really meant it. Anyway, given the way he’s been hitting the ball of late, it was never likely to happen.

Some players, like Mike Worleybird (who finished 3rd), Billy V (4th) and Roderick (5th) played well enough to maintain a certain level of self esteem while never actually contending for the title. Others, like Bruce (6th) and the aforementioned Bud and Adrian (7th and 8th), preferred to spend the weekend hurling insults at those around them, which in fact made it a pretty normal weekend for the rest of us. Smokin’ Joe kept under the radar in 9th place and Elmo, deciding he’d had enough of the abuse he got last year for coming last, improved in each round to finish in the top ten, just ahead of Dave Buckley-Jones, who was shockingly well behaved this year. Perhaps he had a headache. To save our blushes, I won’t give the exact placings of the last four. As already mentioned, Robin had his reasons for keeping his head under the parapet. I was just flippin’ inept from start to finish. And let’s be kind to newcomers Michelle M and Mike P and trot out the old clichés: the occasion got to them, they played well but the putts didn’t drop etc etc. Nah! Let’s face it – they were as bad as Robin and me.

So who did want it? For the first two rounds, the answer was clearly Stan Mills, who amassed a six shot lead with a couple of sub par rounds. Over lunch on Sunday, however, I suspect Stan had an epiphany. The man who spent the the first eight months of 2011 looking at the trophy he’d won in 2010 must have decided that he didn’t want the Big Club cluttering up the living room for another whole year. Tee shots started to go awry in the final round, putts started to come up a tad short. News from the course was that someone was coming up on the rails. Who else, but Li’l Stevie Ellis, who barnstormed his way to an amazing net 61. At the last, almost despite himself, Stan the Man made a couple of birdies to force a tie. What now? A tension filled sudden death playoff? Stan bought me a coffee and a muffin – an unsubtle attempt at bribery – and whispered ” I think the trophy should go to the high handicapper, Dave. I’ve already won it once. Let Stevie have his moment of glory.” Nice try, Stanley, but there’s a precedent. In 2006, el Bandito Juan tied with Lou ‘Picasso’ Smith. There was no playoff – everyone liked the idea of both guys having to put the trophy  on display for six months each.

And so that’s how it is this year: your Red, White and Blue joint winners for 2013 – Stan Mills and Steve Ellis. Many congratulations, guys!

All da best.

Dave B.

Yeah, I know, Beauty and the beasts. Michelle wonders what she's let herself in for as Mike W admires Bruce's ball juggling skills...

Yeah, I know, Beauty and the Beasts. Michelle wonders what she’s let herself in for as Mike W admires Bruce’s ball juggling skills. Many thanks to Bruce, by the way, for the prizes he presented to each competitor on the first tee. Thanks to Lordco, too.

Bud chortles at the very idea of Stan winning the trophy for a second time. "Like that's gonna happen!"

Bud chortles at the very idea of Stan winning the trophy for a second time. “Like that’s gonna happen!”

"You shot HOW many yesterday?" Dave BJ asks Robin if it's contagious.

“You shot HOW many yesterday?” Dave BJ asks Robin. ” Is it contagious?”

Bagger D and Mike P enjoy a moment before the final round. There was little to enjoy for the next four hours...

Bagger D and Mike P enjoy a moment before the second round. Sadly, the last 36 holes brought precious few other moments to enjoy.

A respectable first showing for RWB rookie Billy V. Yet more disappointment for the Chief. The coffee was good though...

A respectable first showing for RWB rookie Billy V. Another disappointment for the Chief. The coffee was good though.

Elmo moved all the way up from dead last in 2012 to a top ten finish this year. Rod moved from 5th to er, 5th

Elmo moved all the way up from dead last in 2012 to a top ten finish this year. Rod moved from 5th to er, 5th

Stan Mills and Steve Ellis, the 2013 RWB champions. The vertically challenged dynamic duo pose proudly behind the Big Club.

Stan Mills and Steve Ellis, the 2013 RWB champions. The vertically challenged dynamic duo pose proudly behind the Big Club.

Editor’s note: sadly, no picture was available of Smokin’ Joe Dunham, who was practising on the driving range at the time the pictures were taken.

Why, Joseph, why?





Fizzum and the Great Robinski* – RWB 2012

3 09 2012

Robin poses with the Big Club while in the background Adrian delves into his gift wrapped $15 prize. What horror has Vic Crisp come up with this year? Surely not the infamous gold lamé underpants again? Only Moira will know for sure…

The 12th annual Red, White and Blue tournament is in the books and we have another first time winner. Step forward Mr Robin Houlgrave, aka the Great Robinski, who destroyed the field on Saturday with a ridiculously low net 62 in the first round to lead by seven shots and then clung on during a sphincter-tightening stretch over the last few holes in round 3. “And how did Robin fare in round 2?”, I hear you ask. Well, thereby hangs a tale: the asterisk after Robin’s name in the title – check now, if you weren’t paying attention earlier – is to signify the fact that the RWB has, for the first time, a winner who only played two of the three designated rounds. “But how could this be allowed to happen?”, I hear you ask again. All but one of the 16 competitors were gathered around the first tee on Sunday morning, psyching themselves up to do battle with the daunting Blue/White tee combo at Glacier Greens, when the news came in from the pro shop that Robin would not be playing Round 2 due to “a family problem”, but he’d try to make it for round 3. Obviously everybody was sympathetic, until someone pointed out that if he was going to be there in the afternoon it couldn’t exactly be an emergency. At this point there was a bit of muttering concerning Robin’s motives: could it be that he was deliberately trying to throw the tournament and thus avoid having the Big Club on display in the family room for the next 12 months? Some were shocked at the very idea, a couple of past winners wished they’d thought of the same strategy but absolutely no-one thought that such a scheme was that far fetched. Bruce felt Robin should be named the winner there and then, no questions asked, but an unusual spirit of generosity prevailed and it was decided that Robin should be given the average score of the rest of the field for round 2. A net 75 was the result – thus retaining the overall lead – and the rest, despite a pretty blatant attempt by Robinski to get himself DQ’d in round 3 by playing the wrong ball on the 13th fairway, is history.

On the right – Adrian (2nd place in the tournament and big winner in the skins game); on the left – Bud (Not even close. In either).

Bagger Dave (who placed 3rd) and Li’l Stevie Ellis (also 3rd. Unfortunately, 3rd from last).

4th place finisher Wayne Mabee alongside Al Pasanen. Wayne shot a net 60 off the red tees. Sandbagging? It’s what the RWB is all about. Al shot over 100 (gross) in each of the first two rounds. That’s also what the RWB is all about.

Rod Cobham, who finished 5th, deep in conversation with Mike Worley. Or should that be ‘shallow in conversation’? Mike finished outside the top ten yet again. Smart man, that Mike. Never any chance of the Big Club ending up on HIS mantel.

On the right, 2010 winner Sir Stanley Mills. On the left, many time loser Dave Buckley-Jones. (Ouch). Also featured, in an unsuccessful attempt to at least win the hide and go seek competition, Bruce Coulter.

Bill O’Neill and Vic Crisp. Neither were really in the running for the trophy (which was exactly as they planned it), but they did win dinner off Bud and Bruce in a 3rd round side bet.

Liz Stirrett and Dave Wacowich, who played all three rounds together and were STILL on speaking terms at the end of the weekend. Probably a tournament record.

It is fitting that the final word should go to Liz. After all, some misgivings were expressed about having a woman play in the Red, White and Blue (yes, Bud – don’t even attempt to deny it), but in the year that women were finally accepted as members of Augusta National it seemed only right and proper for the RWB to do the same. Liz may not be a multi millionairess like the two ladies down in Georgia, but she certainly enriched the competition. She declared Bill O’Neill ‘a perfect gentleman’ (Billy’s still blushing) and also enriched my vocabulary: in round 2, her hubby Dave, Rod and myself were all lying two on the 7th green, with shortish putts for par, when Liz blasted her first putt some way past the hole. She muttered something I didn’t quite catch, but which sounded like ‘fizzum’. After she’d putted out, I asked her what she’d said, thinking it was some Canadianism that I hadn’t learnt yet. ‘Oh. Don’t you know that one, Dave? It’s actually FISM – and it stands for “Fuck. It’s Still Me”.

Welcome to the Red, White and Blue, Liz, and thanks for the language lesson!

All da best.

Dave B.





The fifth Major? RWB 2010

29 08 2010

For years there has been heated debate about whether a fifth tournament should be added to the current list of majors. The Masters, the U.S. Open, the U.S. PGA and the granddaddy of them all, the Open itself, are the tournaments that every golfer dreams of winning. Now, I believe, is the time to add another tournament to the list. The Players and the World Matchplay have been promoted as possibilities, but I have another suggestion. Like the Masters, it is played annually on the same course. Like the U.S. Open, it is played on a course with fearsome – some would say tricked up – greens. Like the Open, it has a proud British background. And like the PGA, many of the competitors are household names only in their own houses. Step forward, if you please, the Glacier Greens Labour Day Weekend Red, White and Blue!

Steeped in history, the Red, White and Blue is about to celebrate its tenth anniversary, during which time it has had no fewer than eight different winners – many of them contentious and some whose names on the Big Club trophy should really be asterisked. If you would like to know more about the tournament’s storied past then you should scroll down to my third ever blog, published in February this year, imaginatively entitled ‘The Red, White and Blue – a short history”.

As for 2010, the competition is as fierce as ever and the competitors the usual disparate – and desperate – bunch of hackers. With the scandalous exception of el Bandito Juan, who was declared co-winner of the event in 2006 – this loophole has since, of course, been closed – one thing that all past winners have in common is that they are not actually very good at golf. How could it be otherwise, when the tournament results are calculated purely on net scores and Berger Doubles are an integral part of the scoring system? To my mind, this is what makes the R, W and B worthy of the title of ‘Fifth Major’ – it stands out so clearly from all those other same old, same old tournaments around the globe.

At the time of writing there are a dozen or so entrants for the 2010 tournament. There could have been more, but entry criteria are stringent and some have failed to meet them. Peter Dobbs, for example, has taken umbrage at my refusal to give him a more generous handicap on the grounds that he’s recently had a couple of open heart surgeries or some such thing. No medical exemptions on this tour, Dobbsy! Glen Parsons, knowing that his high handicap might lead to success but fearing what wife Maureen would say if he showed up at home with the Big Club, has withdrawn in the interests of domestic harmony and John Ringstead’s letter of withdrawal states that he has decided to ‘concentrate on painting his railings’. Nice one, Picasso! Dave Laird has been honest enough to go on record as saying that he would rather not spend the entire Labour Day weekend in the undergrowth of Glacier Greens, while for others (and yes, some of them are teachers) the $15 prize / entry fee would appear to have been an insurmountable obstacle.

“But what of this year’s actual entrants?”, I hear you ask. Well, in alphabetical order, with handicap and other pertinent info attached, here they are:

Dave Brooker (9 hcp, including penalty strokes): If the three stroke penalty for being last year’s winner wasn’t enough, my putting is so bad that I drove over my putter in the Eurovan yesterday in an attempt to ‘give it a damn good lesson’. Still, I suppose that shows that my driving is pretty accurate.

Bud Bryan (13 hcp): Born in Portsmouth at the dawn of the 20th century, the amiable Mr. B has a few kind words for his fellow competitors. “They’re all assholes”. I don’t think he meant it – he was probably just referring to Adrian and Bruce.

Dave Buckley – Jones (21 hcp): Often found in cahoots with Mr Mills and Mr Fitzgerald, the man with the poshest name in the tournament field loves the cut and thrust of competitive golf, especially when it involves slagging off teachers.

Bruce Coulter (6 hcp): Bruce Almighty made no attempt recently to hide his glee at learning that his handicap had just gone up from 5 to 6. He failed, however, to realise that he still has the lowest ‘cap in the field and therefore no chance of winning.

Vic Crisp (19 hcp): Winner of the 2007 edition of the R, W and B, thus making Victor a particularly appropriate first name, Mr Crisp is always a tough man to beat on net scores. Has never really stuck to his vow of silence on the golf course.

Martin Davies (17 hcp): Another past winner, way back in 2002, Martin has shown little form in the tournament of late. On the other hand, the Welsh Wizard is always a pleasure to play with.

Joe Dunham (16 hcp): Smokin’ Joe, so called because of his truly prodigious length off the tee, has one real aim in the tournament – to finish higher in the standings than Adrian Haut. Surely a very attainable goal…

Dan Fitzgerald (11 hcp): Dan has found some novel ways to avoid the tournament in the past – ‘going to Afghanistan’ was particularly impressive – but this year he failed to find an out. Somewhat like his situation whenever he finds himself in a bunker.

Elmo Guinan (15 hcp): Mr 59 himself. Owner of the second most impressive flop shot in world golf, unfortunately the rest of Elmo’s game more closely resembles what might be played by his big  red namesake from Sesame Street.

Adrian Haut (12 hcp): I have in front of me an email from Mr Haut accepting his invitation to play in this year’s R, W and B and describing himself as the pre tournament favourite. You need to understand that Adrian lives in a parallel universe in which he has some kind of decent short game…

Robin Houlgrave (14 hcp): Winner of this year’s Celtic Challenge and before that the Vegas Invitational, Robin has never fared well in the Red, White and Blue. He’s fine off the white tees, OK off the blues, but the reds? Hasn’t got a clue.

Jack Jackson (13 hcp): First time entrant in the tournament, JJ has fine golf skills and – fortunately – a good sense of humour, but does he really know what he’s let himself in for next weekend? I think not.

Stan Mills (10 hcp): There are those who think that Stan is indeed the man and that he will walk away with the Big Club this year. I happen to agree with them, which almost certainly spells disappointment for the wee mon.

Mike Worley (8 hcp): Some say his golf swing is reminiscent of a fly fisherman in hip waders, but Mike is another man with genuine title aspirations. However, when the decks are cleared for action, will he be able to hook the big one?

So there you have it – as fine a group of golfers as you could wish to see (unless you prefer watching golfers who are any good). Who will add their name to the proud list of winners on the Big Club and then have to persuade their wife that the magnificent trophy should be accorded a place of honour and not, as has allegedly happened in previous years, dumped in the crawl space? All will be revealed next week in the tournament summary…

All da best.

Dave B.