The 2018 Tour - Isle of Man
After meeting up for a celebration Guinness in Heysham, the boys boarded the ferry to Douglas, IOM, for the 2018 tour. Word had spread round the ship that the Wild Drivers were on board, and autograph hunters and well wishers had to be held back as they clamoured to reach the golfers, - well, these days health and safety issues have to be observed. It didn't stop the boys having a bit of craic as the ship tossed and turned over the swelling irish sea. On arrival in Douglas, the Wild Drivers checked in to the Empress Hotel on the promendade, which it has to be said was very comfortable with excellent service. John Flanagan got so comfortable one night, that he slept in an armchair in the lounge. Well - yer'll see his photograph a bit further down, shortly!
The weather was stunning all week with the exception of one day, when the boys got drenched to the skin as they persevered on the back 9 at Peel golf course. Golfers do that sort of thing, you know. Castletown Links was an outstanding course, and if any golfers read this, put it on your 'bucket' list. Jack Yardley, Andi, Philip Vermeulen, Will and others went out of their way to make our visit so enjoyable, and the Wild Drivers were able to play a Stableford round against club members playing a Medal. Needless to say, a 2nd visit followed later in the week. Thank you gentlemen!
The Green Hat, acquired in 2001, having been round the world, had reached its sell by date, and with the consensus of the boys was laid to rest in a black litter bin outside the Empress Hotel. Some may say a fitting place for this artefact which had survived for nearly 18 years! What a great place - the IOM. The Wild Drivers indulged in great food, fine Guinness, they played golf, they played darts, and took in the sights on the Island - Calf of Man, Port Erin, the steam train, the great TT circuit and a visit to 'Waking Ned's' house. Yes - do you remember that great film? All done here. Arthur, God bless him, knew the WDs were coming, and his Guinness was exceptional wherever we went. 1241 pints of the black stuff were consumed, as were 72 tots of single malt, 3 gin & tonics and 2 bottles of still water. We had some weekend visitors arriving by plane - Paul Dennis, Greg Flanagan, Patrick O'Sullivan & Mick Lane, the latter two both fine Cork men.
And finally - we all met up for a meal and chinwag with some of the Wild Drivers' old youth club mates from the 60s who happened to be on the IOM at the same time. What a good evening that was! Biggles Ellery walked off with the Green Jacket. John Flanagan took the Silver Salver. Greg took the Sir A Roger trophy, in mint condition, the most sought after trophy in world sport today, Jim settled for the Waiscoat of many names, and Godfrey holds the Lazarus statue. A truly great week!
Castletown Links (twice)