The Hotel Hacienda del Conde lies on the north coast of Tenerife in an idyllic location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with The Teno Mountains as a magnificent backdrop. The Severiano Ballesteros designed Buenavista golf course sits between the hotel and the coastline with several holes running close to the shore.
After the group had met the previous evening, we awoke to a truly stunning morning. Brilliant clear blue skies with not a hint of wind. This was a day to get a good score under your belt as rarely does a day go by in these parts as calm as this. This was also the time to accustom yourself to the intrinsic test of the Buenavista course. Many of the putting surfaces sit above the fairways level and added to this the slope and speed of the greens make scoring demanding. Not a long course it still demands placement off the tee and accuracy from the fairways.
Even though conditions were perfect scoring was difficult and it wasn’t until Chris Ball & Sue Brothers returned that the magic 40pts was finally achieved. Their lead did not last long though, when the very next group consisting of Howard & Hilary Ashton from West Hill in Surrey signed for what turned out to be the best of the day score of 42pts. Their score was remarkable considering they started with a blob but still amounted 23pts for the front nine. They would hold a 2 shot lead heading in to the 2nd round.
The day started like any other as the group all got underway trying to take advantage of the still benign conditions. Our first fourball had reach the par-3 4th hole at Buenavista while still some of the pairings had yet to tee off. This hole has an elevated tee with the green sitting below quite near the first tee. Shouts was then heard and as we looked up to the tee box on the 4th the group was jumping high and we knew something special had happened. Lesley Williams from Letchworth G.C. had made an ace for her first ever “hole in one” 5pts certainly smartens the scorecard up.
Remarkably that is now 3 “holes in one” on Fairways events over the last 2 years. Even more remarkable on two of those occasions Cliff & Monica Jones have been marking the card. They must be a good luck charm!
The wind picked up on the back 9 making the coastal holes difficult as they were playing straight back in to the breeze. Second group in of the day consisting of Roger & Sarah Pimblett set the pace signing for a fantastic 40pts. It wasn’t until late in the day when this score was matched by the Eastham Lodge duo of Peter & Yvette Kirby. Only the overnight leaders were left to come in. Would they still hold the lead? Emphatically was the answer as Howard & Hilary checked their card and posted a “best of the day” score once again. A brilliant 45pts giving them a remarkable 11 shot lead at the halfway stage. Was it all over already? Could they possibly be catched?
Day 3 (Moving Day)
After a rest day to re-charge the batteries, the group returned to the Buenavista course with a strong wind to contend with from the off. This with the combination of the greens getting quicker as the week had worn on was going to prove a tough examination. The now in-form Long Ashton pairing of Roger & Sarah Pimblett were the first group to return to the house, carding a solid 37pts. Their playing partners though were in even better form, repeating their second round score to once again post a fantastic 40pts. This was to prove the top score of the day but a special mention should go to the Bedford & County members, the Hulance’s with Pauline celebrating her birthday and scoring a wonderful 37pts to take second place on the day on countback.
What of our overnight leaders though? Was is going to be a precession to the winning post? It was not to be. Their form had taken a dip and signed off for the day with 32pts. This had tightened the leaderboard considerably with Howard & Hilary now holding only a 3 shot lead heading in to the final round.
Day 4 (Final Round)
The draw on the final day had the leaders and third place couples in the last pairing. Pete & Yvette Kirby lying in second place were in the opening group out. They would be the couple setting the target to beat. Another day with a strong breeze would make climbing the leaderboard a tough challenge.
Continuing their excellent play of the previous two days the Eastham Lodge pair fired their best of the week score of 41pts giving them a total of 157pts for the four rounds and every chance of claiming the title. Celebrating her birthday, Sue Brothers together with partner Chris Ball from Barnham Broom G.C. signed for a very respectable 39pts which no other pairing could match.
It was just left to the final fourball to dictate the outcome of a wonderful weeks golf. Unfortunately Roger & Sarah could not repeat their consistent form of the previous three rounds leaving only our leaders to decide the outcome. They had returned to form after the blip of round 3 and signed off with a wonderful 40pts. Howard & Hilary had gone wire to wire and took the title of Buenavista Mixed Pairs Champions by 2 shots.
In the evening the group enjoyed their final meal together in the hotel’s Al a Carte restaurant “Salazar”. Two more birthdays were celebrated during a wonderful night of fun and laughter and congratulations went to all the winners especially Howard & Hilary.
Special mention to all the staff at both Hotel Hacienda del Conde and Buenavista Golf who took such great care of us during the week, especially Jesus our first tee starter.
The Final Score
Winners: Howard & Hilary Ashton 42+45+32+40 Total 159pts
2nd Place: Pete & Yvette Kirby 36+40+40+41 Total 157pts
3rd Place: Peter & Pauline Hulance 34+39+37+38 Total 148pts
Congratulations to all our Winners!