Some refer to it as the most exciting week of the golfing calendar, and in fairness there were some pretty juiced up patrons on hand to welcome the return of the UG Team League. Plenty of new teams, an array of interesting characters and some short-game pyrotechnics brought in a new campaign that saw some interesting results.
Returning to competitive action having gone through a wholesale rebrand, the Bulbous Melts took on debutants Fairways To Heaven in a mouth-watering clash of styles. With FTH being made up of predominantly left-handers, there was plenty of shuffling around the tee box as players stood on the wrong side followed by profuse apology.
While FTH struggled to get to grips with the intimate surrounds early on, the Melts got off to a flyer guided by their talismanic Jimbodayo (a man with his own theme song to the tune of the Gipsy Kings Bamboleo). By the time FTH had the measure of the greens it was too late as the Melts had taken advantage of Jimbodayo’s peerless tee-to-green game and converted several birdies to secure a 5 hole victory. There’s no doubt that the Bulbous Melts will take some beating this term, and there were also plenty of encouraging signs for FTH as the game went on that they too have some good golf in their locker.
It appears that this is the league of the rebranded teams, having already seen the Bulbous Melts return, the team formerly known as UV Eagles returned as Cover Drive to face the equally rebranded #GCW. Keeping track of these changes may prove to be the biggest challenge that the league administrators have as the leagues expand to new territories.
#GCW had ended the last league with a well-founded optimism that they had found a workable formula for good golf and could once again claim to be one of the forces in the indoor game. Cover Drive put their opposition’s positivity to the test straight from the get-go as they poured in a well-earned birdie on the opening hole to establish an early lead. It was a start that gave them huge confidence with which to reel off a bunch more birdies. To #GCW’s credit they too raised their game and gave an equally impressive display, matching Cover Drive birdie for birdie.
Having been unable to reduce the single hole deficit, #GCW stood on the final tee needing to produce something special to claim a half. Having watched all three o Covers find the middle of the fairway, #GCW all proceeded to dispatch their drives into the same bush to the side of the fairway. This was not an occasion for such consistency and duly sealed a 2 hole defeat that will test their confidence in what promises to be a highly competitive league.
Going into the league Stevie’s Wonders have been much fancied as defending champions. Their opening round fixture against The Course would probably not change that, but it certainly wasn’t plain sailing. The Course showed some real teeth this time around, and it took some incredible short-game prowess to see out the match to its 2up conclusion. Sometimes it’s hard to re-motivate after huge success, and there may have been a few indicators that this will be Stevie’s biggest challenge in this league rather than the opposition.