Twink Bunce

This information was obtained by Liz Borrow in an interview with Twink Bunce.  Twink is a West Country name for a chaffinch.  Twink was christened Maureen. 

Twink Bunce

I joined the golf club when I was thirty-three years old in 1956.  There were so few lady members then that we had a bother to make up two ladies fours. There was Mollie Lindley, Nora Wilson, Jessie Lutman, Eileen Banting, Nellie Reeves, Elizabeth West and Peggy Turner, Daphne Jacobs, and Alma Newbury occasionally. Babe McNeil and Peggy Linnell didn’t join in with the ladies and played with their husbands. More often than not there were only seven of us on a Sunday to play the medal. Two or three days before Freddy, my husband, died he paid a joint subscription of eleven guineas to the golf club. I never did recover his part of the sub!

The Lindleys, the Bantings and the Clarkes were the leading lights then. There was Horace Clarke and Stan Clarke and Rodney Clarke who was a very good golfer, a County player I think, but he played more at Lee on the Solent. Mr Lewis was the accountant. Every year we gave him a dozen golf balls for his services. I remember John Newbury, Ray Roe, and Mr Hall.

We rarely saw that many members, of course it was only nine holes then. There never used to be a hold up on the course. You would go up, stick your tee in the ground and then go off. We didn’t seem to play much mixed golf. But sometimes in the evenings Fred Banting would suggest ‘mixed gruesomes’ as he called them. The ladies were not a very high standard then. Some of the men would get very impatient.

Nora Wilson used to play a lot with her brother, Mike Lutman. Mike’s wife, Jessie, would trail along with them also. Bill Wilson was dead keen also.

Valentine (Val) was a big character but short in stature and bespectacled. He was eventually made an honorary member, as he was a stalwart of the club. When his wife, Amy, died he became Daphne Jacobs’ lodger. He had spent his working life in India as a Captain in the Army catering corp. They played golf in India. Amy presented the Valentine key to the ladies section. It was made of Indian gold. She also presented the rose bowl. Val was very gruff and we would give him a wide berth. He would call you through and look at your ball and pick it up and say, “rubbish, rubbish, you can’t play with that”, and he would fish in his pocket and give you another one! The ladies would do anything rather than be called through! Yet he had a heart of gold really.

Some of us had trolleys then and some of us carried. We always wore skirts, but Nora Wilson used to play in trousers sometimes.

After Bert Dedman left a chap came who lived in the thatched cottage near the (now) fifth green. He took over doing the fairways, and his wife did a bit of catering. When they left Reggie Reeves took over and Nellie Reeves took over the catering and became a legend for her chocolate cake. For half a crown a head (12½p) she would give such a good tea. In fact one person would pay the half a crown and all four would tuck in! We would have sandwiches, scones and four different lots of cake. She would cook the cakes and make the sandwiches in her house and bring them up to the club. When the matches were on, the ladies would often bring up the tea themselves.

We used to play the wooden spoon against the men. The ladies would be given a two hole start, and the full handicap allowance. The men used to moan and groan, but they used to beat us hollow every time. We would take up food for the tea afterwards and have a lovely spread, and a jolly good time. After it was over, out would come the dominoes and we would play until twelve. Then the police would arrive and turf us out for after hours drinking!

The clubhouse was a broken down old shack overrun with mice. We had Elsans for toilets that sometimes would be left a bit late to empty! Reg Reeves would do the emptying and replacing. We had one changing room for the men and one for the ladies, and one room for the clubhouse. It may have been a cricket pavilion originally. It would be nothing for you all to be sitting down and the ladies legs would suddenly go up in the air and you would see the mouse running around. You couldn’t leave any cake or anything up there even in tins.

The clubhouse was always being broken into. There wasn’t a pro’s shop as such as it too was always being broken into. You couldn’t leave anything up there. It was the same with spirits behind the bar. You always had to take them home. They had a burglar alarm that was fitted under the entrance. The thieves would step over it! Nobody ever used to be caught.

Ron Crockford took over as the pro/greenkeeper. The bungalow was built specifically to encourage a professional to go to Corhampton and for security. Ron Crockford had an Alsatian dog which would not let anyone pass. When the new clubhouse was being built, the bungalow was used as a clubhouse.

We had a very good relationship with Waterlooville Golf Club. The men used to come over and play a match, and in the evening their wives would come across and we would all go up and have a lively evening playing dominoes or whatever. Around midnight we would all ‘down tools’ and anyone that was left would go to the first tee. Those with a car would line it up with the headlights switched on. We would all hit down the first, ladies as well as men. The balls would fly all over the place. Then they would pick up the wheelbarrow and trundle it down to the green, and if you could see your ball and hole it, you got a push back down to the first tee in the wheelbarrow. We thought it was hilarious.

The rough was horrendous in Corhampton in those days – it was over knee high. There were no different cuts of rough then and you went straight from fairway to this long rough. On the old third hole through the trees the first person would drive, and then she would dash forward through the cut to be the spotter for the other players. I remember doing an eleven on this hole once as I got caught up in the rough. As I went round the second nine holes I said that I could improve on this, and I did, I took two more to make it thirteen!

The membership increased in dribs and dabs. I can remember at an AGM when Peter Reeves stood up and asked if we could have an eighteen hole course. In the middle of the course there was agricultural land that was always ploughed. It was suggested that if we bought this land we would have room for eighteen holes. So the eighteen holes were built and it was a bit tight and you used to have duck on several holes with “fore” being shouted. I was lady captain when the course was opened and I had to drive in. John Harris was the pro. I prayed for a straight drive down the middle.

I was captain more than once because the ladies were so short on the ground we had to take our turn. As captain we arranged the many matches against clubs such as Alresford, Waterlooville, and Lee on the Solent. Eventually I became Handicap Secretary, Secretary and Treasurer all at the same time.

I was also Captain again when the new clubhouse opened. They had a committee for it and the ladies were supposed to sit on it, but their opinions were more or less ignored. It was opened officially by Bernard Hunt. We had a competition and a marquee was put up and Nora Wilson’s daughter did the catering as she was experienced at it. We had a dance and wore long dresses.

Corhampton had a very bad name for handicaps. We would often go to open meetings and Corhampton would sweep the board. It was because of the high rough. The handicapping system of the men was different then. They did not have to put in cards and were handicapped on general play. We had a ladies open meeting and I remember about forty four played.

We always had a new year’s eve dance. I remember the dances taking place at Titchfield Village Hall, and all the surrounding golf dub members would come as guests as well. We would also go to their dinner dances. It was a very nice social scene.

One year we reached the semi-finals of the Stoneham Cup. I was on 36 handicap then and I hadn’t played in it before and was brought in on the recommendation of Peggy Turner. Eileen Banting was Captain. We played Queens Park in the semi-final at Hockley, and I was told to watch my language. I drove into some buttercups on the first hole and shouted out bu…ttercups, which she asked me to repeat again not understanding what I had said! I saw her off by seven and six. We played Stoneham in the final and did not have caddies as we only had enough players to make up the team. Stoneham had their caddies and supporters and I played Peggy Payne who was County Secretary. Half way round the course I got told off by one of the onlookers. She told me that I hit the ball as far as Peggy but that Peggy had a very good swing and mine was not! I was accused of having eight bogeys (called pars now). Well I told her I went in for all the medals at Corhampton but as soon as I got a card in my hand I was hopeless. I won by two and one, but we lost the match. I used to enter the Daily Mail Foursomes with Peggy Turner. We played a couple in Oxford and were going down the seventh hole six down. Peggy turned to me and said she did not mind losing but how awful it would look in the Daily Mail. So we pulled ourselves together and won on the last green. When Corhampton became eighteen holes and the course had proper greens, fairways and rough our handicaps started to come down.

The only controversy I can recall was when it was decided to charge every existing member an entry fee of fifty pounds. We had the AGM in Swanmore School. It was to raise money.

I was 59 when I gave up the club in 1982. I had to pay for my hip operations and the subscription was too much for me.

I presented the Bunce Trophy after Freddy died. They already had something for the foursomes so I gave it for a medal. The men told me that there should not be any large handicaps such as the 36 handicap ladies, and said it must be restricted to a maximum of eighteen shots a hole. I can hear them saying it now. It wasn’t my idea to restrict it.

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