From our Captain
It is hard to believe we are into September already. The year seems to have flown by and my year as Captain in the normal course of events would be fast coming to an end. Luckily or maybe unluckily for some I will be continuing to be your Captain for another year, subject of course to you the members agreeing that at the AGM in November.
Which in itself will be in the circumstances a little different to what we are used to with the present restrictions in place. Gatherings of up to 30 will make it very difficult to run a full open meeting and our pre meeting meal impossible to cater for. It is looking more and more probable that we will have to have our first virtual AGM. That will almost certainly bring us a few logistical challenges.
Moving on swiftly to golf this month where we played our August Monthly Stableford on the Constable Course and my congratulations on winning Division 1 go to David Wilson and in Division 2 to Ian Archer. This was followed by a quite bizarre set of circumstances for our next Stableford competition when the early starters were delayed by fog and culminating in the competition being abandoned because of a thunderstorm. Strange times we live in!
We did manage to complete our first medal of the year though with a fine win for Malcolm Norton in division 1 and Rod Harman in division 2 in very difficult conditions. In the end Congratulations go to Malcolm who won the Medal Cup with the best nett score and to Allen Smith who wins the Medal Bell for the lowest gross score.
The Committee Cup was this year hosted by Abridge Golf & Country Club and had 19 current and former Committee members and our guest Professional Karl Hepple taking part in an individual Stableford and Team event Captain v Vice Captain. Although the weather was blowing a real howling gale some very good scores were achieved. Mike Moore winning the individual event and the Captains Side winners in the Team event.
Next month we will have the usual monthly Stableford and the re-arranged June Stableford which will include the Captain’s Prize.
Finally watch out for news of the new World Handicap System, it will be coming very soon.
In the meantime, enjoy your golf!
This seems to be working well, even better when members remember to book a tee time before adding their details on HDID and manage to book tee times on the right course!!
World Handicap System
Phil has, in the last few days, circulated an excellent paper on the WHS, setting out how this will work and answering any of the questions you may have. Please ensure that you read this and are prepared for the beginning of November. If any member has not received a copy, please contact Phil and he will arrange for one to be sent to you.
With competitions starting to come thick and fast and some ‘catching up’ to be done we had a couple of Stableford comps and the annual Medal Cup & Bell held during August.
In the first of the Stablefords congrats to David Wilson, 40 points in Div 1, and Ian Archer, 41 points in Div 2. Both relatively new members of the section. Unfortunately, the second Stableford had to be abandoned halfway through after members were called off the course because of weather conditions. This comp has now been arranged in September – see diary dates below. In the annual Medal Cup & Bell congratulations to Malcolm Norton (Div 1 with a net 66) and Rod Harman (Div 2 with a net 71) on winning their respective divisions and to Allen Smith (with a gross 76). Malcolm wins the Medal Cup and Allen the Medal Bell.
SbN Seniors Championship
Arrangements have now been finalised for the Championship. Please note that Round 1 will now be played on 30th Sept on Constable and not as originally planned on 2nd October. This change is necessary to enable the two rounds to be played on different courses - Constable was not available on any of the other potential dates. Round 2 will be played by those qualifying from the first round on 7th October on Gainsborough, ahead of the St Andrews Greensomes which is also scheduled for that date. (We are looking at the possibility of rearranging the Greensomes to enable members to play in both but at present finding a free date is proving difficult).
The entry fee for the Championship will be £5 - we will notify members of arrangements for payment nearer the date. It will be medal play from the white tees with the top gross and net scores from round 1 qualifying for round 2. For round 1 it will be necessary to follow the same entry system as now (see above) but we shall have reserved tees for round 2. Players who qualify will be notified of their tee times and will not need to enter themselves for round 2 - play will be in reverse order (gross scores) with the leaders from round 1 going off last. The Champion will be the player with the best aggregate gross score over the two rounds. There will be a separate trophy for the best aggregate net score. Prizes will be awarded to the top four gross and top four net scores, with no-one eligible to win more than one prize.
Adverse Weather conditions
Our last Stableford comp had to be abandoned because of an electrical storm. Despite the storm raging overhead, however, several groups were reluctant to leave the course at first because they had not heard the klaxon. When there is thunder or lightning overhead - or in other circumstances giving rise to a serious health risk - players should leave the course immediately and not wait until they hear a klaxon. There are many reasons why a klaxon may not be heard, and players are required to take responsibility for their own safety in all such circumstances.
We are now back up to 8 full time greenkeepers (including Steve Young) In addition we have 2 temps working mainly on getting the bunkers back into shape. We will stay at 8 full time for the foreseeable future but there may be more temps to meet seasonal workload..
It’s good to see that Barry Hitchcock and Norman Davidson are both recovered from their injuries sustained in their accident. We await the outcome of a report that has been sent to the HSE. Volunteering is suspended for time being.
The 3rd Constable pond is currently being emptied and depending on the weather should be completed in1 – 2 weeks.
It has been agreed that the trees to right of 11th Gainsborough are to be trimmed back now that the white tees are back in use.
A new piece of equipment that will cut the rough and collect the cuttings as well as collecting autumn leaf fall has been ordered. Over time this will allow the rough to become less thick, making ball retrieval easier.
When play recommenced after the lockdown, calling groups through was not allowed. Some of our members either are under the impression that this is still the case or, in the interim, have forgotten the rules of etiquette. We have received a number of complaints about members of the section behaving in ways which are simply unacceptable, in particular repeatedly taking much longer than the three minutes allowed to search for balls while groups behind are having to stand and watch, with completely clear holes ahead of the group at fault. Such behaviour is not only impolite but a breach of the rules of etiquette and the Club's Code of Conduct. Members who continue to disregard players behind them whom they are holding up make themselves liable to disciplinary action. The fact that there are no marshals operating at present does not excuse such behaviour.
If you are playing in a group which is slower than the group behind you and as a result they are being held up, you must let that group through, whatever the reason for your slowness, whoever may be in the following group and whatever the position on the course ahead of you. Even if you are playing at what you consider to be a reasonable pace and in accordance with the clocks spaced around the courses, you are still not excused holding up faster groups, who, given the opportunity, will probably disappear ahead of you in no time at all.
The complaints received often refer to the same players time and again. Should this continue, we shall have no option but to consider what action may be appropriate in relation to "repeat offenders".
Whilst members seem to be very aware of the issues involved and the club working extremely hard to ensure that any effects are minimised there have been instances when visiting societies seem to be totally unaware of the continuing risks. Many thanks to those who are using club facilities sensibly.
Wednesday 2nd September Wednesday Swindle – contact Malcolm Norton
Monday 7th September Wednesday Swindle on a Monday – contact Malcolm Norton
Wednesday 9th September June Stableford – Gainsborough
Monday 14th September September Stableford & Senior Veterans Cup – Constable
Wednesday 16th September Wednesday Swindle – contact Malcolm Norton
Wednesday 23rd September Wednesday Swindle – contact Malcolm Norton
Monday 28th September Monthly Stableford (rearranged from August) - Constable
Tuesday 29th September Senior Past Captains Meeting – Haverhill GC
Wednesday 30th September Wednesday Swindle – contact Malcolm Norton
Wednesday 30th September SbN Seniors Championship – Round 1 – Medal - Constable course
Wednesday 7th October SbN Seniors Championship – Round 2 – Medal - Gainsborough course
Wednesday 7th October St Andrew’s Greensomes – details to follow
Wednesday 14th October Wednesday Swindle – contact Malcolm Norton
Wednesday 21st October Wednesday Swindle – contact Malcolm Norton
Monday 26th October Wednesday Swindle on a Monday – contact Malcolm Norton
Wednesday 28th October 4 Ball Better Ball – details to follow