Course Record

64 - John White - 25th August 2007

Head Professional Iain Parker had the chance this week to catch up with our new course record holder John White from Saunton.· John joined Iain for a game at RND and they chatted about his record breaking score and how he felt about his achievement.

John who reduced his handicap on the day to +2 is a regular player for Devon in their Channel League and South West teams. He is now in his final year of University at Plymouth and is doing a Business Management degree. He also helps his father in his business when he is not at University or playing golf, this means he has a very busy life all round, playing county standard golf these days is a big commitment and combining that with studying and working proves that John has more than enough ability to reach the top in the game.John White - new course record - 2007

John’s round started with a birdie on the first but really got going on the fifth hole where he holed a monster from the front of the green to the back left pin position. He said it was one where he would have been happy to take a two putt and move on, he then rolled in a fifteen footer for birdie on six and kept his momentum with a great up and down from the right side of the par three eighth. Playing from the West of England tees and in ideal scoring conditions with almost no wind and the greens running beautifully at about 10 on the stimp metre he knew that a good round was now possible.

He made a further birdie on the par five ninth to be out in four under 32. Playing steadily through the rushes he then made an up and down birdie form the left side of the 13th green. He followed that with a great four iron into the light breeze on 14 which he feels was his best shot of the day, leaving him 10 feet away which he calmly knocked in for 2. He then knew that the record was a possibility and playing with past Kashmir winner and county colleague Damion Gee from Sidmouth who encouraged him all the way round, he pressed for more birdies.

He missed a possible birdie opportunity from 12 feet on 15 but went on to make his third two of the round on 16. He followed this with a great birdie on seventeen after laying up short of the road in two, he wedged to the tight back pin position to ten feet, and calmly rolled in the putt to move to 8 under. He smashed a huge drive down 18 to within 60 yards of the green and wedged to two and half feet. Unbelievably with a 63 in his grasp he hit the short putt a little too firmly and it ran through the break and lipped out. None the less this was fantastic round of golf and stands as a new course record, which has stood since the legendary Dick Champion set a mark of 65 on the 22nd of August 1959. The record had since been equaled on three occasions but given the history of this great club and the number of fantastic golfers who have played here in competition his score is a huge achievement.

John realises the importance of his round, and in fact although a Saunton member really loves playing off the championship tees at RND. He feels really honoured to have the record and told me that it will stand, whatever else he achieves in the game, as one of his greatest moments.· John who is a left hander hits the ball beautifully from tee to green with a lazy rhythm and great balance similar to some of the best Argentinian players. He acquired a new driver with a slightly lower loft in the month before, and felt that this had given him a lower and more penetrating ball flight and increased distance. He allies this with a good touch around the greens, and if he can improve one or two areas of his game, he could go on to become an England Elite player.

There was a real buzz around the club house when he came back in after completing his record round with fellow county players, members and other competitors in the Kashmir competition congratulating· him on his great achievement. John is a really modest guy and was some what embarrassed by all the attention, in fact in Iain’s words he’s “just a typical North Devon lad, no aires and graces”

We wish John all the best for the next few years with his golf and look forward to welcoming him back to the club in the future.

Iain Parker
Head Professional -Royal North Devon