To enliven the occasion last Sunday, a match was arranged between Simon and club member Tina Jeary – but with a difference. Simon would play from the ladies’ tees and Tina, the 2007 Hertfordshire lady county champion and finalist again this year, would play from the men’s tees but get a shot a hole.

Taking full advantage of these unusual circumstances Sheppard rose to the occasion magnificently. He stormed round the course in a spectacular nine under par gross 62 beating the current ladies course record by eleven strokes. His round included three birdies, at the 6th 11th and 12th holes, two eagles, at the 3rd and 14th holes, and a hole in one at the 4th.

It was all to no avail. Jeary also played like a county champion. Despite playing off the men’s tee she had a splendid round of a two over par gross 73 and with the generous shot allowance finished a comfortable 4/3 winner.

There was much discussion as to whether Simon’s exploit was a genuine hole in one or not; but no matter, he bought the Pimms.