By Dave Bruce
AT Axe Cliff Golf Club we are suffering from NGB ( No Golf Blues) as many thousands are all over our beautiful country and no vaccine as yet. We are all hoping and praying that good sense will prevail at end of this latest Lockdown. Certainly our captain Rob Grove does as he has already sent us a revised fixture list for December including matches against the ladies.
We are, however, very fortunate to have our very own RPIC which everyone knows is a “Remote Pilot in Command” in charge of keeping a bird’s eye view of our fantastic course. He is, of course, Ron Bragg, with his very own drone lovingly nicknamed “TOPFLITE”. He has only had “TF” for about a year and is self taught
but is naturally registered with the Civil Aviation Authority and had some tough questions to pass but he did with flying colours. This wonderful machine is a Mavic Pro Platinum which he bought specifically as it is the quietest one out there and also folds neatly allowing it to be carried easily. As you can see from the two pictures published here, he has a Masters Degree in droning but he would say he’s still learning.
Ron is one of the lovely characters that we are blessed with at Axe Cliff, but I didn’t realise that he has been a member for so long, having joined us in 1988 and now a senior fast approaching his 73rd birthday. Apparently, he did have a couple of gaps in his membership when he briefly emigrated to Cornwall to try and let his knee recover before having a new one. He was also club captain back in 1990-91 when I gave up smoking in that palindromic year.
He took these pictures at just under 400 feet to keep within the legal limit to avoid low flying aircraft, etc. In his first picture it shows the beautiful view we have in the South West corner of the Axe River Estuary, the harbour, the beach and esplanade up to Seaton Hole and, of course, scenic Seaton Town. You never tire of these views when you are playing even if you are not having a good game.
The amazing second picture (above) shows nearly all the course adjoining the cultivated farmland. Certainly you have all the back nine as far as I can tell along the Jurassic Coast. In the bottom of the picture (left-to-right) you have the greens of 11th Par 3; 10th Par 5 and 8th Par 4. In the middle you can see our workshop and machinery building.
I’ve always thought that would make a wonderful new clubhouse with its stunning views if the course was ever re-designed. In the top right quarter you can just see the small 18th green surrounded by bushes. This, in my view, is one of the finest finishing holes in the South West and is a Par 3 which you drive from an elevated position to try and avoid the bushes to reach the small green. Most of the Seniors thank God if they achieve that!
The course is so green after the recent rain and our staff are looking after it so well it will be a joy when we return. Thanks Ron for giving us a bird’s eye view.