Last week Tenby Golf Club team travelled to Pau, in the South of France for the 32nd Hamilton Cup, a competition for some of the oldest golf clubs in Europe. The event was started by Steve Evans, Emmanuel Daum of Pau GC and Nuno Carneiro of Oporto GC in 1990 and has been played every year since, apart from a break due to COVID. This year 5 teams, Pau and Biarritz from France, Kennemer from Holland, Kirby Muxloe from England and Tenby took part.

The weather was kind as we dodged the thunderstorms that rolled in over the Pyrenees which frames this beautiful city. A practice round was essential as the course was soft and the ball didn’t have that helpful Tenby roll. All our players found clubbing (not the dancing variety!) difficult but some did learn the lesson, as their match scores testify.

Each team consists of at least 8 players and Tenby, due to the competition clashing with Tenby GC knockout finals day, and the difficulty of getting to Pau, could only manage 6. Luckily Pau lent us 2 players, a decision that came back to haunt them. As for getting there, the Tenby team, as the old Billy J Kramer song goes, travelled by ‘Trains and Boats and Planes’!

The first day was a Betterball Stableford of 4 pairs with the best 3 scores to count. All 4 pairs from Tenby came in with good scores. The stars being Hamilton Cup debutantes, Rhian Walters/Rob Morgan 42 points, closely followed by Dinah/Richard Reed 40, Alain Dufau/Jean Carriay 40 and Linda Tordoff Evans/Brian Jones 37. Although this last score was discarded they beat the Pau GC Captain and partner so they did keep some bragging rights!

Tenby took a 4-point lead into Day 2 which saw all 8 players compete in a singles Stableford, best 6 scores in each team to count. No amount of Thursday evening wine could stop nerves jangling on Friday morning, as 4 points is a very narrow lead.  But as expected the team, well most of them, were up for the fight!  Rob came in with a magnificent 41 points, Rhian 37, Alain 36, Linda 34, Richard 32, Jean 28, Dinah and Brian also played! This meant Tenby kept their advantage over hosts Pau (they shouldn’t have lent us good players!) to win by 4 points and retain the cup, which they won at Tenby last year.

The event always concludes with a Friday evening dinner and prize giving. This event clashed with a particularly violent Pau thunderstorm, stranding 4 of the Tenby team in the city centre trying, in vain, to get a taxi.  One of the 4 even resorted to accosting any parked motorist in an attempt to bribe them to take us to the golf club. After 90 minutes the ever resourceful Linda organised a taxi from Pau GC, and the 4 drowned rats eventually made it.

Linda was presented the Hamilton Cup by a very gracious Pau captain, Herve Petit-Brisson. This year, for the first time, a gold medal, donated by Linda and Steve, was presented for the best individual Stableford score and it was won by Tenby’s Rob Morgan. Well done, Rob.

Thanks to Pau GC for being wonderful hosts on their magnificent course, and to Linda who organised the event for the Tenby team.

Report written by Linda Evans