SDAC golfers chip in with a thriller

SDAC golfers chip in with a thriller

There can be few better places in the world for hitting a little ball with a big stick. The Masters tournament at Augusta in Georgia has its beautiful greens surrounded by great blazes of azaleas.

St Andrews in Scotland has the ancient bridge over the Swilken Burn on which champions stand as they head up the final hole to the tumult of the public galleries.

But the pitch and putt at Broadsands has That View, and you can’t buy that. Play a round of golf there on a spring evening and you can pause on the sixth tee and look out across miles and miles of glassy-smooth water towards Torquay, with its big wheel finally ready to turn again.

You can play your tee shot into the low glare as the sun sets over the trees, over the distant steam railway viaduct and over the depot where people in high-vis jackets are loading bottled water into the cars of anxious locals.

And you can thrash about in the dense undergrowth looking for your little ball, and swear you can hear in the distance the Mutley snigger of the very nice man in the pay hut who spends his days watching herberts like you slice and hook their shots into his long grass.

The Broadsands pitch and putt is open again for the summer season, and it is a complete and utter joy.

For a paltry six English pounds you can borrow a wedge and a putter, a couple of golf balls, a scorecard and pencil, and set off up the beautifully-mown fairways which are framed by knee-high areas of rough.

It was here that members of South Devon Athletic Club played their own annual Masters tournament on Friday night.

Chairman Colin had gone the whole hog and was dressed in plus-fours and fluorescent yellow socks, with a pair of actual golf shoes on his feet. Serious Steve had played a bit of golf in his time, and turned up with a single glove to save the palm of his left hand from blisters.

The rest of us weighed in with a variety of shots off the first tee,. Up the hill towards the fluttering yellow flag, some managed half-decent efforts which actually left the ground and went in the right direction. Others scuffed their shots along the floor in the general direction of the flag. Others pinged their balls into the long grass and spent the next few minutes thrashing around, swearing and trying to find them.

This was repeated over the entire nine holes – chip, scuff, ping, thrash, swear, repeat – until gradually the leaderboard took shape. My only highlight was dropping my ball nearest the pin on the third with a flukey tee shot that landed a foot from the hole. I am still waiting for the keys to the sports car I was promised for doing it.

Mr Mutley in the pay hut took in our scorecards at the end and totted everything up. We held our breath. There was a tie, between Chairman Colin and Serious Steve, and the only way we could think of splitting them was to make them play the last hole again, winner takes all.

We sledged them, we barracked them, we mocked their efforts in hushed tones like the commentator Peter Alliss. Chairman Colin landed a fine shot on the green – “Oh, he’ll be pleased with that one”. Serious Steve actually hit the flag-stick with his chip – “Well, would you believe it?”

But they tied again and agreed to share the spoils – a blue charity shop jacket with a badge made specially for the occasion.

Hands were shaken, prizes given and pints quaffed. Atlanta may have the glamour but Broadsands gets our vote – every time.

Chairman Colin and Serious Steve share the spoils


South Devon Athletic Club


South Devon Athletic Club

South Devon Athletic Club

We are a friendly running club based in Paignton and cater for runners of all abilities and ages. Whether you want to run for fun, fitness or competition we have qualified coaches who can help you achieve your goals.

General Club Information

We meet a Clennon Valley Leisure Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the following times:


  • Tuesdays at 6.25pm to start at 6.30pm
Speed and endurance training
  • Thursdays at 6.35pm to start at 6.45pm
- Run 6-8 miles in groups (medium, fast)
  • Run / walk group 4-5 miles – ideal for beginners or for those returning from injury
  • Juniors (meet on Mondays between 6-8pm at Churston Ferrers Grammar School.


New members are always welcome... come along for a few free trial sessions!