Preparation key as League 2 promises much

EF_URBAN GOLF_BUNKER_2_0138_jj“The league of the unknown entities” is the working title being given to this as the script-writers propose a Hollywood treatment of League 2. Much mystery surrounds this curious league, and though a few questions were answered, there are a whole host outstanding.

One team that we knew plenty about were Knights In Shining Arnold Palmer who took on newbies The Handichaps. The Knights turned out in a jaunty mood, hopeful of a more successful campaign this time around, but soon had their expressions turned into concentrated frowns as the new upstarts threw some unexpectedly good golf at them. A birdie at the opening hole was followed up by some spectacular putting by The Handichaps captain holing from everywhere. The Knights started to question their luck having seen their opponent’s hole-in-one a couple of weeks back, they witnessed The Handichaps captain pitch in from 60 yards for the most unlikely of halves.

To their credit The Knights manage to retain their composure amid the chaotic celebrations and stuck to their game plan. Birdies on 16 and 17 led them to a tantalising 1 hole lead. It wasn’t really in doubt that the Handichaps wouldn’t try to pull out all the stops to win the final hole, thus they heroically took on the Hollywood shot to their credit. The Knights did get a 2 hole victory down in the book, but this was a contest that was so much more than the score line. The Handichaps have the game to beat anyone and on another night may have come out on the other side of this result.

Making up league 2 were debutants, Level 3Some who took on the wily veterans of Infinity International. In terms of preparation, 3Some brought a level of diligence to the league that has never previously been seen. An afternoon of on-course reconnaissance was followed by a lengthy strategy meeting in their newly constructed briefing centre near the bar. There’s was an approach akin to Dave Brailsford’s “incremental gains”, with no stone being left unturned. Infinity’s approach certainly wasn’t, and it paid off as they raced into a two hole lead after the opening two holes.

The mire became deeper as the lead extended to 3 holes. In an extraordinary bid to gain the advantage over their rivals, 3Some sought to gain small victories in any area they could – the first of which being in lager consumption. As their on-course troubles deepened, so their lager consumption increased and then, as if it were some cunning plan, their golf blossomed. A three hole deficit soon became two, and then one before being entirely eliminated with two holes to play.

A snotgobbler on the 17th green saw 3Some into an unlikely lead, and with their opposition reeling, they also claimed the final hole to record the greatest comeback in Team League history and record a two hole win. This really was a remarkable contest that had everything you’d want in a match: great golf, world-class banter and a good flow of beer. If this is the future of Team League, then the future is bright.

Rounding off an entertaining evening was another debutant in the form of CGMB who took on The course in a bid to get their campaign off to a strong start. The newcomers showed wonderful commitment as their captain flew in from a holiday to ensure he was on hand for the opening fixture. These were another team to show great diligence in their preparations, with hours spent on the short-game area in the hours preceding tee off.

With their touch around the greens being razor-sharp it meant that a series of well guided iron shots were rewarded with the birdies they merited and any slip-ups saved with efficient scrambling. This all resulted in an encouraging two hole win that sets their season in motion. Next week promises a shuffling of their resources as they have committed to a rotation system.

League 2 looks like it could be a classic with intrigue, banter, beer and some fine golf being promised over the next month. This could be a classic.


Competitions: UG Team League, UG Team League Smithfield