Brothers realise anniversary has potential

2012-03-16 00:00

A PHONE conversation between two golfing brothers early last year revealed that the golf clubs to which they both belong were celebrating their 125th anniversaries in 2011.

The Cumming brothers, Russell (living in Pietermaritzburg) and Lister, (living in Ashbourne, England) realised that this was a coincidence with potential.

The golf clubs are Maritzburg Golf Club and Ashbourne Golf Club. MGC is the oldest playing golf club in South Africa and Ashbourne is the oldest golf club in Derbyshire.

It was Lister’s idea, that since the two clubs have a lot in common, perhaps they should get together to form a twinning arrangement.

This was put to the respective committees and the reply from both clubs was positive. So after much correspondence between Ken Bainbridge, the Ashbourne captain, and Charles Severn of MGC, the idea of a visit to Maritzburg by Ashbourne golfers materialised.

Six golfing couples arrived in PMB last weekend and they are being hosted at the homes of willing MGC members. The group will play golf on different courses in KZN and three times at MGC with the final game an official challenge match with a trophy up for grabs. The intention is to annually play for this trophy on a home-and- away basis.

The group will also golf in the Drakensberg and the south coast with overnight stays. Finally there is an arranged visit to the St Lucia wetlands and Umfolozi Game Reserve. This is the first visit to South Africa for most of the visitors.

Ashbourne is located in the west of Derbyshire and is known as the “friendliest golf club in Derbyshire” which makes it a good fit with MGC.

The course is a challenging par 71 with spectacular countryside views towards Dovedale. The course has hosted County PGA events and in 2010 was runner-up as United Kingdom golf club of the year.

The greens are unique to the English Midlands in that they are constructed to U.S.GA specifications and are seeded with Fescue-Bent grasses.

This enables the course to be playable for 12 months of the year even with severe cold and frost.

The all important “match” takes place tomorrow.From the 19th hole:

A 75-year-old senior golfer hooked his drive into a stream and as he was recovering the ball he heard a small voice say: “Pick me up.” He looked around and saw a frog nearby. He couldn’t believe it when it again said: “Pick me up.”

The golfer said: “Are you talking to me?”

The frog replied: “Yes, I’m talking to you. Pick me up then kiss me and I’ll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. Your friends will be so envious and jealous.”

The man picked up the frog carefully and placed it in his pocket.

The frog shouted: Hey, I said kiss me.”

He took the frog out of his pocket, looked at the frog and said: “Nah, at my age I’d rather have a talking frog.”

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