League 4 has been a real eye-opener this season as a combination of established sides have clashed with unheralded but extremely talented newcomers. Despite the dominant form of Drawshank Redemption, the biggest surprise has come in the form of Shepherd Neame who have found a way to win while maintaining their impressive capacity for beer.
Arnie’s Army had started the campaign as favourites, but an early slip-up against Wilkins Kennedy has left them chasing their tails in a bid to catch up. This week they sought to gain revenge over Sally Gunnell’s Soldiers who took the points last term. This was not a glamourous affair, as both sides hit some heinous shots – it was attritional fare.
Penalty shots were being dished out like confetti and par was often good enough to win a hole. Fortunately for Sally, her short-game was like Mr Majeika and helped her to avoid cricket scores on several holes. The highlight/lowlight of the match came when Sally, via out-of-bounds, carded a German Knockback (9) on the 13th to narrowly lose the hole. From there on in Arnie took control and hacked his way to a victory that was not afforded a celebration and will be best dealt with by being swept under the carpet.
Drawshank Redemption have been incredibly impressive so far this league, no doubt due to their squad boasting several Major champions and the world’s leading amateur. Balls of Fire were not filled with confidence as their talented opposition arrived with a full team of mind coaches, physios, agents and nutritionists who formed an intimidating entourage.
Balls of Fire actually thrived on the occasion and arguably produced their best golf yet. Sadly birdies, intermingled with solid pars were never going to cut it against Drawshank, who look irresistible. For all their fine play, doubts have arisen as to the mental fortitude of Drawshank, with members of opposing sides questioning their ability against left-handers and their dislike for the Kiawah Island course that they play next week.
These doubts are for another time, but for now they ran out winners against a resilient Balls of Fire team. It will take more than birdies to stop Drawshank, and only time will tell if they are the real deal – some analysts compare them favourably against the 1981 US Ryder Cup Team.