Captain's Corner

Latest Captain's Corner - 11th August

Life continues to be hectic but very enjoyable. On Tuesday July 25th, Peter Copley and I managed to win a closely fought game in our Vet’s Summer Knockout doubles against Peter Broomhead and Barry Delaney after which the following day I managed to progress in the Singles event overcoming my old friend, Geoff Weir.
Jan and I had lunch on Thursday with Anne Kelly, the widow of my former partner, the late George Kelly, after which Shane and I played a Captain/Pro challenge match against Tom Marvin and Richard Taylor. Richard is a fellow-Evertonian so we had a good chat about all things Toffee! Shane reported on the game (and the hideous shorts competition) in his newsletter but it was a terrific game with every hole won with either a par or birdie and we finished all square with a birdie from Shane on the 18th.
Friday was the Vet’s Cup and what a good day it was for me as I carded a net 68 playing with rare consistency and unusual common sense to win the event! On the Saturday, I had the opportunity to play and catch up with the regular crowd with whom I usually play which was lovely although my golf performance was in stark contrast to the previous day. I put in a creditable performance in the Swanwick Bogey on the Sunday, a lovely social round playing with Mike (Sturgeon) and Martin (Fielder). Martin was really unlucky playing an excellent round carding plus four which would have won the competition in previous years but wasn’t quite good enough on this occasion.
After six consecutive days playing, I spent Monday 31st at the Club on non-playing duty as there was a Senior’s Open event during the day and a Board Meeting in the evening. The Senior’s Open was a very popular event with a full entry of golfers from far and wide coming to play the course. It is an excellent opportunity as Captain to welcome visitors to the club and very rewarding to hear their positive comments about the quality and standard of the course and the catering. Many of the participants hadn’t visited the course since they played last year and there were some really positive comments about the new entrance area and pro shop which seemed to impress everyone. It is interesting to compare the positive comments about our club from the visitors with some of the less positive comments heard from members from time to time and whilst I respect eve-ryone’s opinion and their right to express them and accept that there is always room for improvement, maybe we are not too badly off!
A couple of golf-free days that included a business trip to High Wycombe were followed by another Captain/Pro challenge where Shane and I played Steve Warne and Myles Hancock. As it was Myles’ birthday, Shane and I thought we had better let him win which was achieved in relative comfort! Seriously, they both played very well and thoroughly deserved their victory. Thanks to both Myles/Steve and Tom/Richard for their respective challenges and their generosity in supporting the Captain’s charity.
Another day off on Friday 4th was followed by four more days of golf. The first was the monthly Medal on Saturday 5th and the second was the next round of the Vet’s Singles the following day where Peter Smith played a very steady game and was too good for me, (good luck in the Semi-Final Peter). Monday 7th was the Senior’s Open team Am-Am at Erewash where I had a lovely day out playing with Paul Bywater, Kevin Tuck and Mike Hallas where we managed 41 points. Finally, Shane and I played in a sponsored Captain/Pro event at Enville Golf Club in the West Midlands, a super course with great facilities. We had a lovely day, played with the Captain and Pro from Birchwood Golf Club near Warrington who were great company and we did OK, playing to par and finishing in the middle of the field.
I nearly forgot to mention the Summer Party which took place on Saturday August 5th and which was very well attended with good food and service from Neil and the team, lots of dancing to “Privilege” and a bit of fun with a Charity Auction. Thanks to all who came along to the event. It is nice to be able to run social events and the support of all who attend is appreciated!
As ever, my thanks to all our members for their good wishes and greetings and for making Chesterfield such a good Golf Club to belong to!
Best wishes as ever,
Chris Lightfoot

Previous Captain's Corner - 1st August

Hello again,
It has been another busy two weeks since the last epistle which started with a two-day trip to Liverpool, travelling on the Royal Iris, one of the Mersey Ferries from Salford along the Manchester Ship Canal arriving in Liverpool after a six-hour cruise. It was a very interesting and informative trip covering lots of history and the sunny weather and an excellent bowl of scouse for lunch washed down by a couple of glasses enhanced the experience. A great trip that I can thoroughly recommend.
This was followed by nine consecutive days of golf:
Day 1 (Tuesday July 11th) – Captain’s friendly versus the Police which was a win for Chesterfield 3.5 to 2.5 after which the handcuff trophy was presented to me by their Captain. Shane and I won our match 2 & 1 with 6 birdies from Shane being a significant factor!
Day 2 – A lovely Past Captains’ day out at Wortley which is a lovely course (a reminder
to members that we have a reciprocal arrangement with them for members to play the course for £10.00). If you haven’t played it, give it a try and stay for a meal as the catering and service is excellent. I nearly missed the event as much to my embarrassment, I had omitted to put it in my diary! Fortunately, I was in my office at home when I was called to check if I was on my way and a hasty dash up the M1 recovered the situation although I am now referred to as “the late Chris Lightfoot!”
Day 3 – Played for the Vets at home to Abbeydale. Garry Sims and I paired up and managed to win our game but unfortunately the team came second!
Day 4 – Played in Peter Boardman’s team in the annual Ashgate Hospice Golf Day and
we had a lovely day and didn’t disgrace ourselves. I had the pleasure of presenting the trophies to the winning teams in the evening and thanking all the volunteers.
Day 5 – July medal and the less said about the golf the better!
Day 6 – Partnered Ladies Captain Liz Cromwell in a mixed friendly versus Stanton
on the Wolds Golf Club. Liz and I won 4 & 3 and the team won 7-1. A nice event played
in a good spirit.
Day 7 – Participated in the Vets Trophy and played as well as I ever do and was more
consistent than normal recording a net 67. I finished in second place being beaten by
Barry Owen with a net 65.
Day 8 – Played with the Vet’s away at Sitwell Park, partnering Nick Roberts in an
excellent game that we managed to win and help the team to a 5-3 win. Nice course,
great company and an excellent lunch! Back to the Club in the evening to make
presentations to the Cadets. It is really exciting seeing the work being done with these youngsters and the progress being made and the work of John Barker, Mike Barker and Neil Sedgwick who are doing a fantastic job.
Day 9 – Played with Kevin Tuck in the Beeston Fields Seniors’ Open. We had a decent 40 points between us but Bill Sohal and Rob Johnson, with whom we played, did even better!
Off to the Open at Birkdale on Thursday 20th with my Brother-in-Law then back to golf on
the Friday with a 4-2 win over Chatsworth in a Captain’s Friendly where Shane and I won
7 & 6.
A day off on the Saturday followed by playing with Ladies Captain Liz in the Broom Memorial Trophy on the Sunday. The worry in playing Foursomes is letting the other person down if you don’t play well but this wasn’t a problem on the day as both of us were, shall I be kind and say “poor!”
I was working in Sheffield on Monday 24th but managed to nip over to Renishaw in the evening to see our team unfortunately go down to Rotherham 2-1 in a semi -final, reported elsewhere in the newsletter.
So, it has been a really hectic couple of weeks after which I have reflected on how enjoyable it is playing golf with nice people, both partners and opponents. It has also made me appreciate the people who do so much to make playing golf so enjoyable. These include: Neil and his team for the excellent fare and service they provide; my Vice Captain, Martin Bonynge who does so much work including all the arranging for Captain’s Friendlies; all the lads who sign up to play in the Captain’s friendlies and support me and the Club; Ladies Captain Liz Cromwell for all the work she does; Sue Young who sorts out the Mixed Friendlies; Alan Moore sorting the Vet’s teams; Nick Miles and the lads who look after the course; The Board and Committee members; and all the volunteers who give up their time to organise competitions, do starter, desk and card duties.
Thanks to you all. Your efforts are really appreciated.
Of course, my thanks as ever to all our members for their good wishes and greetings and making Chesterfield such a good Golf Club to belong to!
Best wishes as ever,
Chris Lightfoot

Previous Captain's Corner - 19th July

Hello again,
The week leading up to Captain’s day was pretty quiet golf-wise. Ladies Captain Liz and I played Martin and Marie Bonynge on Monday 26th in a charity challenge which was very enjoyable and swelled the Ashgate funds a little more thanks to Martin and Marie’s generosity followed by the Board meeting that evening. After spending the next day working, Shane and I were due to play Steve Gunn and partner in a Captain Pro challenge on the Wednesday but torrential rain put a stop to that and made me cast an eye towards the weather forecast for the weekend and Captain’s Day. I needn’t have worried because the weather improved dramatically and Captain’s Day was all I had hoped it would be, great
weather, a nice atmosphere amongst all participants, an excellent competition and a good evening meal and prize giving. The winner of the Captain’s Prize was Tom Gill who returned a score of 78 - 13, net 65. The Scratch Prize was won by James Hewitt with a score of 75 A full list of results from the day is displayed on the Club noticeboard, so I will concentrate on the overall event in these notes. I was especially pleased that everyone entered into the spirit of the “wear blue for the day” theme, especially Glyn Wright who donated £20 on the basis that he could have his photo taken with me on the first tee wearing a Liverpool shirt! Thanks Glyn.

The Extra Day on the Monday was a lovely affair too and as it was a bit more low key, I
managed to play and had a lovely round playing with Geoff Weir (the winner with a score of 39 points) who I have known for many years since our “coaching soccer in the USA” days and Neil Sedgwick who does so much good work with the juniors. Thanks again to everyone for their help in making the day such a pleasant affair.

I must say a special thanks as I did in my speech to all those people who did such a great job making the day a success: Nick and the team who prepared the course so well, Neil and his team who serve us so well and performed miracles given the numbers involved, Tim and Paul who organised all the cards and sorted the results so quickly, Ladies Captain Liz for all her support, all the volunteers who gave up their time to act as starters, man the desk and the halfway house and of course, all those members who participated.

After a day helping and supporting Liz on Ladies Captain’s Day on the Tuesday followed by a day in Solihull working on the Wednesday, the President’s Cup was fought for on the Thursday. This event was introduced by Alan Goodall last year when he was President and is open to all male and female members to sign up to play after which mixed teams are selected to play for either the Captain or the President’s team. In its inaugural year, the President’s team won but as Captain this year, revenge was gained with an excellent win for my Captain’s team so the series is now 1-1!

The week’s golf ended when I paired up with Marie Watson on Saturday in the Victory Cup, a mixed Greensomes competition. It is the first time I have played golf with Marie and I was very impressed with her consistency. Playing Greensomes with me was a new experience
for her though, learning to play from parts of the course she infrequently visits! We had a lovely game and did not disgrace ourselves.
Thanks as ever to all members for their good wishes and greetings.
Best wishes as ever,
Chris Lightfoot

Captain's Corner - 1st July

The week of June 12th was a busy one for me golf-wise. I played Sickleholme on two consecutive days, once in their Senior’s Open with a buddy of mine who is a member at Pannal and the following day with our Vets in an inter-club match. It is such a lovely course with wonderful views and always a privilege to play. This was followed by a three-day trip to
Hawkstone Park in Shropshire with a group of 16 players from the golf club. Three and a half rounds in three days with too much alcohol in the evenings was a test to the constitution but I survived. The venue was really good, nice hotel and two courses. Paul Bywater did an excellent job with all the arranging and his legendary spreadsheet efficiency ensured the results were able to be posted within minutes of the final group coming in. Rob Johnston was the overall winner with Pete Howitt in second place. The Trophy is 10 years old now and as the original tour was to Mid-Wales, it is fittingly a sheep on a plinth. We  ere
unable to present it on the day unfortunately because the previous winner left it in his car! Names will not be mentioned but if he had “Tucked” it into his bag, we would have been able to present it! I was on duty at the Golf Club on Saturday 17th for the Open, welcoming the many visitors to the club who came from far and wide to play the course. I was up again early on Sunday morning for a two-day trip to Cave Castle in East Yorkshire, a trip organised for the Vets by Paul Broadhead. The weather was fantastic but incredibly hot, more suited to relaxing on a beach than playing golf. It was great fun though and a really  well organised trip with the prizes being spread around the group pretty well and plenty of red wine sunk over the two days!
I headed back to Chesterfield from Cave Castle and after a quick shower, headed down to the Proact for the EGM. The outcome has been reported elsewhere but it was a well-run event with the information presented professionally and succinctly by Terry Woodhouse, Trevor, John Begley and Peter McGowan. Lots of insightful questions were asked by members and following the vote, the club now has the opportunity to try to realise a significant asset although it will be a long process.
After a couple of golf free days taken up by work commitments, Thursday was taken up
with meetings and preparations for Captain’s Day which is drawing ever closer followed by a friendly with the Captain and Professional and members from Hillsborough Golf Club. It was a lovely evening, the game being played in a great spirit and as usual Neil and his team served up a good meal afterwards. The Hillsborough Captain and golfers were very
complimentary about all aspects of our Club and we even had to increase the numbers in
our team because so many people at Hillsborough wanted to play having participated in the Open at the Club the previous Saturday. The game ended all square and as ever, my thanks to Shane and the thirteen players who supported me especially James Bailey who stepped in at the last minute to avoid us being one short.

I joined Ladies Captain Liz Cromwell on Saturday to play in the mixed foursomes, the result of which is posted elsewhere in the bulletin and on the Sunday Liz and I partnered up in a mixed fun competition. Mixed fun competitions were one of the things requested in the survey and this was the second event we have run. Eight pairs took part in a Canadian Foursomes competition over 9 holes, followed by a couple of bevvies and some nibbles provided by Neil. Liz and I managed to pip Barbara/Gary Simms and Paul/Joan Bywater with a birdie on the 9th. Any couples interested in this type of informal event, please keep your eye on the notice board and come and join in. I believe the next one is planned for Sunday August 6th.
As ever, my thanks to all the members who regularly say hello and ask how my year is going. As you can see, it is pretty hectic, often daunting but very enjoyable and it is a pleasure to represent the club and all the members.
Best wishes as ever,
Chris Lightfoot

Previous - 16th June

Hello again,
I took part in a very enjoyable mixed friendly against Abbeydale on Sunday May 28th. I  have not played a great deal of mixed golf in the past and am finding it really enjoyable. The following day I headed down to Surrey with Vice-Captain Martin Bonynge to play in a
charity event at New Zealand Golf Club which is one of the prettiest courses in the country. It is a course you can only play with members other than in charity events and having lived close by for over 20 years and having never played it, it was an ambition achieved. We played as a team of 4 with a couple of mates from the South and managed to finish 3rd. On the way down, Martin and I played at Rothley Park in Leicestershire and dinner with my elder daughter, Dominique in Woking on the evening made it a very enjoyable trip. The rest of the week was incredibly busy golf-wise with a good win in the Captain’s friendly away at Tapton on Wednesday, playing in the ladies’ invitation to men on Thursday, the Captain’s Exchange to Willesley Park on Friday and the June Medal on Saturday.
The game at Tapton was great fun and Shane and I managed to defeat their Captain and Pro 3 and 1 on the 17th with a birdie from Shane. Shane as usual played well, I managed to come in on a few holes with a bit of good fortune and some missed putts from the Tapton Pro made the difference.
The captain’s exchange to Willesley was great, a really nice course and a great meal afterwards. There were teams of three with two to score on each hole and my team playing with Alan Ridley and Martin Page managed to come in in first place, much to the derision of the rest of the players! The monthly medal on the Saturday looked promising until the 9th but a disastrous back nine saw me slip way down the field.
The social on Saturday 10th was a terrific affair with over a hundred enjoying a nice meal provided by Neil and the team and a full dance floor dancing to Johnny and the Moondogs, a Beatles tribute band. We booked them because, having engaged them in the past, they are really good and they even let me join in and play drums with them on “Ticket to Ride” which was great fun.
My thanks to Peter Copley who makes all the arrangements with the various agencies for booking the bands.
After such a busy week of golf, the next week was very quiet golf wise with a few work assignments and only one game, the Captain’s Friendly versus Matlock. Another keenly fought affair that ended in a 3.5 to 2.5 win after which, as ever, the meal served up by Neil was excellent. My thanks to all the players who supported me by playing in both Captain’s Friendlies and, as I have said in the past, participation in these games is open to all members.
The only real disappointment was having to abandon the Am-Am on Saturday 10th due to the downpour overnight and on the morning which rendered the greens unplayable. This will be rearranged when it can be fitted into the busy schedule.
Lastly, I had lunch at the Golf Club on Sunday 11th with George and Val Masson and a few of their friends. They are leaving to live in Sussex closer to their children. They have both been great servants at the club in many ways, serving on committees and being part of the club infrastructure and will be sorely missed. My thanks to them, both personally and on behalf of the club, for everything they have contributed over the years and my/our best wishes for the future.
Best wishes as ever,
Chris Lightfoot

Previous - 6th June

Hello again,
As Shane has reported in his newsletter, the undefeated run in the Captain Pro Challenge is over with us having suffered two defeats. The first was by Paul Bywater and Bill Sohal in a game where the weather deteriorated as the game progressed and Shane and I both
found it difficult playing with wet hair! Our second defeat was a very close affair, defeated by Pete Howitt and Bill Preston who both played really good golf and gelled well. My thanks to all four for the challenge and their donations to the charity and as ever to Shane for partnering me.
I participated in the “not so early” risers arriving in really good time for a 7am start looking forward to greeting all the participating members. Unfortunately, my planning had seriously let me down as it is a 6am start so I had the embarrassment of having to join Shane on the 3rd hole. I’m not sure he appreciated me asking “how are we doing?” and he admonished me very nicely in his newsletter and was probably kinder than I deserved. 

The club match at home to Abbeydale was really pleasant played in superb weather. We managed a 6-0 win and Neil and the team served us a lovely meal afterwards. My thanks to all those members who participated and my message to all members is that if the idea interests you, please come and join in, get to know more members and have some fun!
I played in the Invitation Day on the 27th with a friend from North Yorkshire who is a member at Pannal and although the weather was forecast to be wet, we were really lucky with only one shower.
My thanks to the Competitions team for all their hard work for Invitation Day and to those people who regularly volunteer to help as starters, man the desk or spend hours at home preparing scorecards for competitions. Over the years having entered many competitions, I kind of took it for granted that the preparation and organisation just “happened”. It was
not until last year when I joined the Competitions Committee and was responsible for running a couple of competitions myself that I realised how much is involved. These members who volunteer to give up their time to help run the competitions on our behalf are real unsung heroes. I am not going to mention names in case I miss someone out but members who participate in competitions know who they are. I want them to know that I really appreciate all their efforts and would encourage all members to say thanks to them for their work on behalf of the Club next time you enter a comp!
Best wishes as ever,
Chris Lightfoot

Previous Captain's Corner - 20th May

Hello again, I have managed to play plenty of golf since the last bulletin including a game with the Vets at Hallamshire, the May Medal and three Seniors Opens at Wortley, Coxmoor and Burton.
We enjoyed the next in our programme of Captain’s friendlies away at Sickleholme on 4th May. Sickleholme is such a lovely course with great views, the weather was terrific and the score was an honourable 3-3 draw. The Sickleholme catering team fed us royally and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening for all the team members.
A reminder that all Chesterfield Golf Club members are welcome to join in the friendlies and the programme of matches and the sign-up sheets are located on the notice board on the left just inside the male changing room.
Shane and I remain undefeated in the Captain and Pro challenge matches with a win over John Outram and Dave Cromwell. Thanks to them both for the challenge, their company and sportsmanship and their contribution to the Captain/Ladies Captain Charity.
Four of the Board members (me, Martin Bonynge, Paul Bywater and Tim Roberts) played in the Drabble Cup on Sunday 14th at Mickleover but I think the best that can be said is that we didn’t sparkle and weren’t in the prizes!
The first Captain’s exchange is coming up on Friday, 2nd May at Willesley Park Golf Club. It is open to all members, is a nice day away and an opportunity to enjoy playing on another course. We travel by coach from the Golf Club, have a bacon bap for breakfast, a meal and prize giving after the golf before returning by coach. The sign-up sheet is in the foyer and there is a limit to the number of places so if you are interested, get your name down.
The next social is on Saturday, 3rd June with a band which we have enjoyed on several occasions called Johnny and the Moondogs. Members will be able to sign up for tables on the Socials notice board from this week. Please do not forget that you can bring family and friends to all the socials, they do not have to be members. It is a good way of introducing potential new members.
As ever, my thanks to all the members who take time to say hello. It means a lot!
Best wishes,
Chris Lightfoot