Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea, 6 May, 2006

System: adventure golf


Exall wins all-clever Trevor Masters Sarfend

 Last Saturday Hastings held the Jack in the Green festival.  In which a man dressed as a bush is led by Morris dancers through the streets of Hastings to the castle, where all his leaves are ripped off.  This ritual slaughter symbolises the end of bleak barren winter and the beginning of fertile febrile summer.  One week later a similar scene was re-enacted at Southend minigolf course - where the old gods of British minigolf; Tim Davies, Ted McIver and Robert Vallory were cruelly butchered by the next generation of British minigolfers.
A capacity field lined up to tackle the Inca Course, many would prove inca-pable.
Local journalist Charlotte Potter was welcomed to the course and the organiser explained to her what a fun, friendly, funky sport minigolf is, not the popular image of sad old men shuffling around the course in fleeces and sandals. This was rather undone by Charlotte playing in Tim and Bill's group.  In the past years Tim's excuses for poor performances have included; stones in the hole, sand on the course, a bad back (three prolapsed discs no less), not being able to practice properly, room mates running the shower at 2.30 am to test if there really was a water shortage, snuffling hedgehogs and having to be friends with Ted McIver  because nobody else would be.  After a poor 42 Tim now added a chatty photographer to the list of things that have ruined his chances.  Bill, although in the same group hit an unruffled 38 to keep himself in contention, that may have been because he was the one initiating the chats.  "Thats a nice camera" etc etc.
In the absence of blue skies and sunshine, there was no more welcome sight than Mr Michael Webb, on his long anticipated return to top flight minigolf, hitting a steady 42.  Newcastle's international Rubiks cube player John Moore swapped a square for a round, getting 39, alongside British Doubles Championship winner Jon Angel and London Open winner Steve Vallory, 3 shots behind the reigning British Masters champion Big Top Ted McIver, and Kent's Trevor and Andy Exall.  The Exall brothers seem to have been part of some Cold War genetic experiment to increase and enlarge the crazy golf chromosomes contained within the human body, being crazy golf this would be not x or y but tee chromosomes.  Since their impressive performance at the World Crazy Golf Championships these boys have got better and better.  Thankfully their wives have kept them from practicing too much.

In the second round Paul Hayes found a remarkable reversal of fortune, a first round of 49 was followed by a second round of 43, going the opposite direction though was Steve Vallory's disappointing 45, whiskery Jon Angel with a 42 and Bearded Bill Bullin 42, their tournament left as ruined as Southend pier.
Remarkably Sally Weddell, playing her first competition for nearly a year shot the best score of 39 - outstanding on such a difficult course, where aces are as hard to come by as a Labour party local election victory. She actually equalled the course record held by Aceman Davies.

The shot of the day also took place at the Aztec - where Chris Harding bellowed in pleasure and surprise as his tee shot on the near impossible third actually went straight in the hole, "its an easy shot really" Chris said later.
Southend may be known for beers, piers and leers at some rears, but for the Exalls the only slap and tickle was reserved for their balls, as unerringly as Watford's strikers Trevor Exall slapped and tickled the same minigolf ball - a pirate - into the 18 holes of Southends Aztec Adventure.  For Big Top Ted, surely the favourite to capitalise on his first round - the Aztec proved a night-maya, a az been on az tec. 

Carlos Martinez comfortably strolled off with the novice prize after two steady rounds and took the scalps of many a tour veteran in the process.

At Peter Pan's playground it turned from never-neverland to trevor-trevorland as a mistake free round of 41 secured Trevor his first major title, a cheque for 150, a trophy and a truly terrifying tweed jacket of reds, yellows and mauves. Remarkably it fits very well, though a little short in the arms.  For Ted the bitterness of defeat was sweetened by finally ridding himself of the jacket.  Both Andy Exall and Ted were tied in second place joined by John Moore, who having played a round of 40 deservedly joined them in a sudden death play off (sorry lets not mention play offs).
The rewards for second place were 75, the spoils for third place 50 and for fourth,  just sad regret.
Both Andy and John played solid tee shots on the first and second, in contrast to McIver who's wildly erratic first shots resulted in long tricky putts that just drooped and dropped into the hole.
On the third Andy managed the equivalent of an eagle (sorry lets not mention eagles), by sinking a long putt for a two and really stir the hornets nest (sorry let's not mention hornets).  After John Moore took a three, Ted after another poor first shot, was left a monstrously long putt for a two - it looked like Andy would be Prince of the palace (sorry lets not mention palace), but greed and avarice kicked in and Ted holed the putt.  On the following hole it was Andy's turn to hit a misdirected tee shot - a missed second putt gave Ted a chance he gratefully took to rapturous silence from the watching crowd.  Amazingly McIver has taken part in 5 play offs and won them all.
The day though belonged to the Exalls - rather like the fifth Beatle, Phil Exall, who finished 14th, seemed to fade into the background - Trevor though has promised to give him some tips and advice to help him improve his game.
Congratulations to all who took part, following the news that Noddy Holder plays Sandbanks golf course can he not be commissioned to rework the song MAMA WE'RE ALL CRAZYGOLF NOW !!!

Whilst some consider the 6th May as the anniversary of  Epping Forest being opened by  Queen Victoria, others will remember it as the day Trevor Exall became a Crazy golf legend.  Apt another Renaissance should start on the anniversary of the end of the slightly more well known one.

And please remember next season Southend play host to Coventry City - does life ever get any sweeter?

Thanks to Mark Cohen, Tony and the rest of the staff at Peter Pans Adventure Island.

Words: Big Top


Pos Name Round 1 Round 2 TOTAL Average Ranking points
1 Exall, Trevor 36 41 77 38.50 615
2 McIver, Ted * 36 43 79 39.50 515
3 Exall, Andy * 36 43 79 39.50 515
4 Moore, John 39 40 79 39.50 515
5 Bullin, Bill 38 42 80 40.00 465
6 Angel, Jon 39 42 81 40.50 415
7 Harding, Chris 41 40 81 40.50 415
8 Kellard, Keith 42 40 82 41.00 365
9 Davies, Tim 42 40 82 41.00 365
10 Shepherd, Brad 41 41 82 41.00 365
11 Weddell, Sally 44 39 83 41.50 315
12 Martinez, Carlos 42 41 83 41.50 315
13 Vallory, Steve 39 45 84 42.00 265
14 Exall, Phil 41 43 84 42.00 265
15 Gow, Steve 42 42 84 42.00 265
16 Webb Mr. Michael 43 42 85 42.50 215
17 Homer, Sean 42 44 86 43.00 165
18 Whitehouse, Paul 40 47 87 43.50 115
19 Moseley, Kevin 41 46 87 43.50 115
20 Trubridge, James 42 46 88 44.00 65
21 Vallory, Mitchell 45 43 88 44.00 65
22 Parsons, Neil 42 47 89 44.50 15
23 Hayes, Paul 49 43 92 46.00 1
24 Bullin, Rocky 43 49 92 46.00 1
25 Bullin, Ruth 45 48 93 46.50 1
26 Vallory, Robert 45 52 97 48.50 1
27 Homer, Marion 50 48 98 49.00 1
28 Potter, Charlotte 64 59 123 61.50  

*Second/Third/Fourth place decided after play-off. Won at 4th extra hole


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