Newly-crowned county champion Toby Burden has revealed the secret behind his success in beating Hampshire captain Colin Roope 6&5 in the final at Army Golf Club, on Sunday.
His best friend in golf – Elliott Groves, who caddied for him in the 2009 final, gave him a virtual yardage book on how to play the Laffins Road course, writes Andrew Griffin.
Burden said: ‘I called Elliott during the week. He reminded me he had won the Courage Trophy at Aldershot in 2009 – he even sent me the picture of him with the trophy to spur me on.
‘We went through every hole and he said “Just hit it there on that hole and there on that one, and that will leave you the right clubs and yardages” – and yeah he was right.
‘It’s not the sort of course you need to pull the head cover off and hit driver all the time.
‘So I hit a lot of irons and had perfect yardages into the greens.
‘It’s more like Blackmoor – a second-shot course that is really a game of chess. You have to plot your way around.
‘I felt I played better as the weekend wore on and to play as well as that in the final was just awesome.
‘I had to make some adjustments especially with the rain we had on Friday, but on the whole I went with Elliott’s plan.’
Ironically, conditions changed most for Sunday’s semi-final and final as the shone finally shone, and the wind that had gusted around the third oldest golf course in Hampshire for the first two rounds of Saturday’s knockout, abated.
Burden, who would have preferred the wind to carry on blowing with his links pedigree, said: ‘The course changed completely on Sunday.
‘I had to trust my ball-striking completely to hit it closer to the pins. I am used to using the wind to help do that, so I just had to trust my yardages.
‘That was what so pleasing to hit the ball that well in a final and I had good numbers for the shots on nearly every hole which helped massively.’