Bandits Tour Report 10th to 17th November 2019
This year saw The Bandits venue move our Spanish base for several years to Vilamoura in Portugal. We were a select band of only 10 golfers this year due to unavoidable last minute drop outs by Steve Drewitt & Malcomb Bailey. The Tivoli Marina hotel replaced the Marbella H10 and seemed to be liked by all. Much wine flowed and we were expertly guided around the best local restaurants by Vip Khana and Peter Featherstone.
Day 1 took us to the Quinta South. Frank Wiffen played phenomenally to win with 37 points - the top Stapleford score of the week (largely due to the absence of Steve Drewitt, it was decided) . He was suitably rewarded with a 1 point handicap cut which did nothing to supress his joy at winning the buggy bet and daily top prize. Well played Frank.
Day 2 saw us visit the lovely San Lorenzo. Roger Prowting, our 2017 Champion, came in with a very credible 32 points. Having to play the rest of the week with the resulting 2 point handicap cut unfortunately cost Roger a top 3 overall finish. Great consistent golf.
Day 3 was held at Laranjal. After a slow start Peter Featherstone came in with a stunning back nine to win the day with 33 points. A real shame that the Golfing Gods were not on his side later in the week as Peter has always been one to watch on tour with the Bandits.
Day 4 was the first of two trips to Val de Lobo to play the Royal course. Paul Healy was the only player to beat 30 points to come in as daily winner. Not a complete surprise having played the course five times the previous week. Not so advantageous was the resulting two shot cut!
Day 5 was a bit of a voyage to Portugal’s number one golf course, Monte Rei. 18 signature holes carved into a thousand acres of Algarve mountain wilderness – what a magnificent course. Despite swirling winds, not the warmest of days and a late tee time (meaning the last couple of holes were played in diminishing light) it was definitely my favourite course of the tournament. Even playing well my winning score was only 27 points. All credit to Paul Newman and John Wake for coming in with 26 and 25 points respectively.
Day 6 was the final round at Vale de Lobo Ocean course and, as history dictates, it was a medal round. Whilst anything is possible in a Medal round, the final 4 ball of myself, Paul Newman, Vip Khana and Roger Prowting were lucky enough to have established a good points lead in the run up to the final day. It was a closely fought match which brought in the lowest net scores of the day and was a pleasure to take part in. Even more of a pleasure was to be awarded the Bandits Trophy and prize money by last year’s champion Ray.
I also have to give a massive thank you to Paul Healy for his impeccable administration in updating the scores and league table daily and the promptness in which this was done. I have had this honour in 2017 and it’s a thankless task that really does require thanks. I’m sure his services will be required for some years to come.
It was a pleasure to play golf with, and enjoy the company of, the gentlemen of the 2019 Bandits. Thank you all. Over to Ray for next year’s tour where the Bandits will hopefully re-unite in Turkey.
Look forward to seeing you all at the Christmas Lunch at the RAC