Cole Wins Epic “Battle of Sherwood Forest”
On Saturday 9th September, our Founder Robbie was taking on one of our original ambassadors, Elite Am, Cole Betteridge. This match was a interclub matchplay final at their home club, Sherwood Forest Golf Club.
Due to this being a handicap inter club competition Cole (+4) had to give Robbie (2), 12 shots over the 36 holes. Which does seem a lot but given Cole’s ability to make a tonne of birdies it was always going to be a close match.
It did not disappoint, going all 36 holes this battle had all the twists, turns and huge momentum shifts that we all love in match play.
It was a classy affair with the standard of golf being very high! The greens were immaculate & the course generally, in good condition given the dry summer we’ve had.
Onto the match. Cole set the early pace, taking the short 1st hole with a Birdie. Robbie then missed a couple of opportunities to draw level on the 2nd & 3rd making two Bogeys. As expected, Cole made him pay on the picturesque 4th hole, where he extended his lead to 2up after a solid par on the tough par 3.
Halving the 5th with Birdies and then the 6th with Robbie having a shot they moved to the 7th. The signature hole on the Top 100 Course is a 130 yard, down hill, par 3. The narrow, 3 tiered green is surrounded by bunkers. Both players hit solid shots but Robbie’s 20 foot downhill putt took the hole and brought the match back to 1up in Cole’s favour.
It didn’t take the long hitting right-hander too much to get back though, as he made a two putt Birdie on the par-5 8th to get it back 2up. A half down the tricky 9th hole left the duo at the turn with Cole leading 2up.
Both players made Bogey on the 10th moving onto the 11th Cole makes a Par to take his lead to 3 up, cruising.
The 12th felt like a big moment, with Robbie having a shot, you felt he needed to win the hole to get a hold back in the match. Both players hit good drives but Rob hits a 5i from 187 to 4 feet whilst Cole’s approach just missed the right edge of the green. Rob walked in his Birdie putt to get the game back to 2up in Cole’s favour. A half down 13 brought them to the 14th, where again Robbie has a shot.
He hit his drive which looked to be just short of a gorse bush. Cole hits a bomb just in the right semi but great access to the pin. As the they got down there Rob’s ball was tangled in some of some newly sprouted, short gorse branches. It seemed playable but this is snagged his club causing him to meet bogey. Cole makes a great Birdie holing a 12 footer, dead centre, to take the hole & back to 3 up.
15th, Rob hits his tee shot to 10 feet and walked in another Birdie putt to take the difference back to 2. 16th was halved in pars. Moving to 17, the last of Robs shot holes in the first 18. He hit a great approach shot close whilst Cole was in some trouble, he conceded Rob’s Birdie Putt, brought it back to 1up to Cole. Onto the 18th, where Cole had a short Birdie putt which he left in the jaws, leaving the score 1up through 18 holes.
Over some lunch both players would’ve been happy but Rob felt like he had the momentum after being three down so late on in the round.
As the players started at the second round, the heavens opened and it began to rain, adding some more atmosphere and drama to the match. Rob started as he’s finished the previous 18 holes, making birdies on two of the first six and winning four of those holes, taking the match in his favour at 3 up.
This takes them back to the a short 7th, Robbie hits a poor wedge gifting Cole the hole & letting him back in the match. It was the Eighth and Ninth which was a real turning point in the whole match. Cole hit two really poor drives on both holes but miraculously made birdies on the both the eighth and the ninth including a chip in from the rough, this got the game back to just 1up in Robs favour starting the final nine holes.
Par’s on the 10th and the win for Cole on the 11th took the match back to level. Rob made par on 12 with a shot which took the win. 13th hole, Rob hits a poor drive in the trees where he does have a shot but he ends up 30 yards short of the green. It doesn’t get this up and down Cole makes a stress-free par. Back to All Square.
Another huge moment on the 14th as this is stroke index 1, therefore Robbie gets another shot. This time he makes no mistake, hits the fairway & Cole is another 20 yards further forward. Both hit good shots into the green. Robbie leaves his 25 foot birdie putt in the jaws but Cole makes no mistake knocking in his eight footer for birdie for a massive half. Huge moment. And up and down out of the 15th trap for Cole was one of his many of the day halving the whole keeping his score at level.
Down the 16th, Cole makes no mistake this time, hitting the fairway leaving himself a mid-iron into the green. Rob his the fairway & gets his 3 wood to the front edge of the green. Cole leaves his approach to the right & in the bunker leaving self a little bit short-sighted. He made no mistake, playing his bunker shot with the ball out to roughly 8 feet, where he’s been comfortable all day. Robbie had a 60 foot eagle putt which unfortunately left 10 feet short, which he missed for birdie. Therefore coke took the hole and the match to 1up, 2 to play, Robbie has a shot on 17.
With both players hitting the fairway it was down to the approaches, Cole up first, hit the fringe of the green just on the left-hand side with around to 25 feet for birdie. Robby had 144 yards to pin but blocks is approaching the left trap. He played a good bunker shot to 6 feet. Cole made a simple par which meant if Robbie holes the games is all square. Unfortunately Robbie missed the 6 footer to the left and it was down the last with Robbie needing to win the hole take it to sudden death.
Cole takes his trusty 3 wood down the centre whilst Rob hits a big block long way left. Finding his ball in the Heather Rob had 172 yards of the flag, hits his 7i to the left edge of the green. Cole hits his wedge on the green around 30 feet, up hill to the pin. Robbie makes a good effort on his 50 foot birdie attempt, rolled it up to approximately 6 inches. This meant a 2 putt par gave Cole a 1up win.
A huge congratulations to Cole on his outstanding performance, he was a deserving winner on the day when both players played good golf relative to their handicaps. His bunker play a short game really got him out of trouble when he needed it the most and his putting was outstanding all day.
We have put together a short video reel of some shots from the day but unfortunately due to the close nature of the match we couldn’t get too much on course, thanks to Mark Porter for walking a few holes with us and getting some of the snaps. Check out the reel here.