League Match One – 26th April 2024

The Footgolf Devon league was finally kicking off again for the 2024 season after a long delay due to unrelenting weather conditions. As the rain drizzled down on the lush green course, 26 eager footgolfers from around the county gathered on a cold Friday evening, ready to take on the challenge.

The Footgolf Devon team had introduced a new stableford scoring system for the season, adding an extra layer of excitement and competition to the already thrilling sport. Each player would earn points based on their score on each hole, with the highest total points at the end of the game determining the winner. The stakes were high, and the players were determined to show off their skills and claim victory.

Players old and new turned up after months of absence and as the first player teed off, the tension in the air was palpable. The course was challenging and tricky in places which  tested every player’s skills and precision. But despite the difficult conditions, the footgolfers showed no signs of backing down. They navigated through the course with ease, their kicks precise and powerful, as they aimed for the elusive holes scattered across the green landscape.

Group One saw a diverse mix of players taking part in a competitive and enjoyable game. Chris Hopton, a seasoned player, showcased his skills by scoring a total of 8 points within the new Stableford format. His consistent performance and strategic gameplay earned him a respectable position in the match. Joining Chris was newcomer Mitch Pemberton, eager to test his abilities against more experienced players. Despite facing tough competition, Mitch showed glimpses of potential and determination, gaining valuable experience from his time on the course. Seasoned veterans Rob Mucklow and Justin Yeates provided stiff competition for the rest of the group. With their years of experience and knowledge of the game, they continually pushed each other to perform at their best, setting a high standard for the match.

Group two saw players Andy Isaac, Justin Hunt, newcomer Nelly Wilkinson, and Alex Hill take to the course for a challenging yet exciting competition. Of particular note was Alex Hill, who had recently come out of retirement to rejoin the Footgolf scene. Despite his time away from the game, Alex showed that he still has what it takes by scoring an impressive 10 points, indicating that he hasn’t lost his touch. Andy Isaac, a consistent player, shot 7 points, showcasing his skill and dedication to the sport. Newcomer Nelly Wilkinson made a strong entrance into the Footgolf world with a score of -1, highlighting his potential and talent for the game. Additionally, seasoned professional Justin Hunt displayed his expertise and shot a respectable score of -7 as the players adapt to the new scoring system.

The third group match was between Steve Parry, Dan James, and the reigning Footgolf Devon champion, Luke Phillips. This group turned out to be a surprising turn of events. With Sam Evans and Ronnie Street dropping out last minute, so it was down to Larry and Deej to take on the challenge of facing reigning champion Luke Phillips
However, Luke struggled to find his form from last season and was unable to keep up with the performance of Larry and Dan. The new stableford scoring system posed a challenge for Luke, as he ended the day with a score of -2. In contrast, Steve Parry put on a stellar performance, notching up an impressive 7 points and showing his skill and precision on the footgolf course. Dan James, the guest player, was grateful for the opportunity to play and gave a shout out to his partner Lisa for dropping off his Astros for the night, allowing him to join in on the league.

Group four had a unique dynamic as father and sons faced off against each other. Steve Williams and his son George found themselves leading the pack with impressive scores of 8 and 2 respectively. On the other side, Andrew Hiller and his son Elijah both shot a commendable score of 0, showcasing their shared talent and determination. The match between these two families added an element of friendly competition and camaraderie to the event. The fathers, no doubt, took pride in performing well and setting an example for their sons. Meanwhile, the younger players showed great skill and potential, keeping up with their fathers’ impressive performances.

Group five ended with Bobby Hopkinson emerging as the clear winner, scoring an impressive 17 points with some incredible shots. His accuracy and skill were on full display throughout the 18 holes, securing him the top spot for the night. Trailing behind Bobby was Talan Annear, who managed to clinch second place with a respectable 10 points. Stepping up to the men’s category, Callum Yeates put on a solid performance, despite facing new challenges in his new category. He finished with a score of -10, showcasing his determination and adaptability on the course. Newcomer Ryan Downing also made a promising start, scoring 8 points and showing potential for future matches. It was Bobby Hopkinson who stole the show with his outstanding performance. His precision and talent set him apart from the rest of the competitors, solidifying his position as the leader after gameweek one.

Group six was another Footgolf group match featuring the father and son duos of Bret & Freddie Ansley and Will & Marcus Lugg was a highly anticipated event. Will Lugg, who had shown remarkable form in the previous season, continued his impressive performance by scoring 5 points to top this group. His skills and precision on the course were commendable, setting him apart from the rest of the competitors. However, the wet conditions proved to be a challenge for Marcus, Freddie, and Bret, who struggled to maintain their footing and accuracy on the course. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to match Will’s impressive score. The group match served as a valuable learning experience for them, as they now have a clear understanding of the areas they need to work on to improve their game within the new stableford scoring system.

Finally the group seven match between Matt and Zoe Capel, along with seasoned pro Tony Follett and Tomas Brown, was a thrilling event to watch. Matt, the magic man of the group, adapted to the game effortlessly, finishing with an impressive score of 8. Tony showed his experience on the course by shooting a solid 5, closely following Matt’s score. Tomas Brown also put in a commendable performance, finishing with a score of -3. However, Zoe, the daughter of Matt, struggled a bit in her first match, ending with a score of -38.
Despite Zoe’s initial struggles, there is no doubt that she will improve as the season progresses and gain valuable experience from playing alongside such talented players. As for Matt, his exceptional performance in the match showcased his skill and adaptability on the course. Tony’s consistent play and Tomas’ respectable score added to the excitement of the match.

With each hole, the competition grew fiercer. The players cheered each other on, offering words of encouragement and camaraderie as they pushed themselves to do better with each kick. The rain was relentless, soaking them to the bone, but they remained undeterred, their focus unwavering as they began the 2024 Footgolf season

The Footgolf Devon league had returned with a bang, and the players were already looking forward to the next game. The new scoring system had added a fresh twist to the competition, making it even more exciting and unpredictable. With the season now in full swing, the footgolfers were ready to continue their journey towards greatness, one kick at a time.

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