Captain’s Blog – 24 September

Hello readers

No blog last week as there was a huge amount going on. We had a full committee meeting on Tuesday (back to on-line means due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions), a full course inspection by the Greens Committee on Wednesday and preparations for the Charity Open to attend to. To say I was shattered by Sunday would be an understatement, and probably the reason I only managed 26 points in the Stableford.

It will not have gone without notice that the club continues to go through difficult times, and your committee is working hard to deal with the frequent and varied challenges that it’s facing. The latest restrictions are definitely going to continue to challenge us all if we are to remain in step with UK Government and England Golf guidelines. Your support and understanding are both important and appreciated.

You’ll hopefully have seen the email issued today with regard to the areas of rough on the golf course. The measures being implemented should help to improve conditions somewhat. The greens continue their steady improvement but, as I’ve said before, there are no miracle cures from where we started. Work has commenced on those patches on the greens that have recovered the least and there will be periods where it is necessary to utilise the winter greens, to give the latest treatment the chance to take hold before we start walking on these areas again.

On to last week’s Charity Open. We thought long and hard about whether it would be viable to run this competition, given the restrictions and concerns about the course, and having no clubhouse currently, but I decided that there was a bigger picture. The course would have been used whether the Open was on or not, so why not make the effort to do something really positive that we can look back on and say, “we did something good there”.

With the welcome assistance of Mr John Baker, I was at the course until it turned dark on Friday evening and returned before sunrise on Saturday to apply the finishing touches. The sun came out and blessed us for the day. My family rallied round and ensured that everyone who want to eat had every opportunity to do so. We had some amazing support from members and friends who volunteered to sponsor the individual golf holes and offered some stunning prizes for the winners. The full list of prize winners can be found on the results page of the website.

For my part I stuck my own neck on the line in the Beat the Captain challenge on the 5th hole. After a good start I soon learned how to shank a few tee shots into the tree line on the right before recovering to a steadier set of shots later in the competition, finishing with two of my best shots as the final groups came through. Of around 70 player who took me up on the challenge, only 12 managed to better me on the day. I’m happy with that. But what I’m even happier about is the total funds raised. With a couple of pledges (still to be paid into my Just Giving page) we are set to reach a total of £1515 from the multiple activities conducted under the banner of the Charity Open. Thank you all for your amazing support and willingness to dig deep for the Teenage Cancer Trust. As I type this blog, we are sitting on £4999 (+gift aid) paid into the trust since 1st April 2020. The target for the year was £4000, so I’ll need to rethink that now. When I consider the year that we’ve had and the financial challenges that many will be facing, I am proud of you all.

In terms of fundraising, things will probably get a little quieter for a while, until the 2020 Masters takes place in November. Sadly, I’m not overly optimistic about the prospects of a Christmas party this year, but we’ll have to see how things develop.

Upcoming events:

This Sunday we have the Colin Hancock Trophy 4BBB. Let’s have a good turn-out for our President’s annual competition.

On Sunday 4th October we have our other Open competition, the 4-Man Texas Scramble. Entry fees are again discounted to just £10 per player, in acknowledgement of the absence of a clubhouse and recognising that our greens are not back to their best yet. Please do support this competition and encourage your friend to enter, so long as they understand the challenges that we are dealing with.

I have asked the ladies section if they can assist with running the cabin and halfway house to provide players with the chance to get a cuppa before or during the round. We have very few ladies currently in the team, and for various reasons my family are also unable to attend on 4th, so if anyone else is willing to help serve teas and coffees their help would be most appreciated. If you’ll forgive me, I’ve decided to play in this competition having been too busy to participate in the Captain’s Day and Charity Open.

I’ll close with a couple of golfing quotes, for you to ponder until the next edition:

Golf is a young man’s vice and an old man’s penance. – Irvin S. Cobb

Golf is a dumb game. You’re supposed to play it for fun, but the less times you hit the ball, the more fun you have. – Lou Graham

Happy golfing

Mr Captain