Last (now Past) Captain's Corner - 18th February
This is it, the last missive from yours truly. When I started my little blog a year ago, I was a bit worried that it might come across as pompous which is not my style. However, several members have been kind enough to say how much they have enjoyed reading it, gaining an insight into how being Captain impacts one’s life so if it has brought a bit of light relief and amusement from time to time, it has all been worthwhile!
My Captain’s year has somewhat fizzled out golf-wise with little opportunity to play any decent golf because of the weather. On the social side, the Vets dinner and the Committee dinners were both enjoyable as was the Captain’s last dance which is reported elsewhere in this newsletter. Other than Board and some Committee meetings, preparing for the AGM and planning the recruitment process and interviews for the Secretary/Manager who will replace Trevor on his retirement, it has been a low-key last few weeks after a very busy year!
So, I now go back to being “Chris” again, having to find a different place to park! On reflection, my year has been a blast, a terrific experience and a great honour. I have enjoyed being your Captain, representing the Club and the members, immensely. My thanks to everyone who has supported me; the Golf Club officers and other employees, the Committee members who give of their time so willingly and most of all to the members who have been so welcoming and supportive throughout my year. It is an experience I will never forget.
A special mention to Ladies Captain Liz Cromwell. I don’t think we have had a cross word throughout the year and getting to know each other has made us firm friends. Thank you Liz! Also, my very best wishes to Martin and Tracey for 2018.
Thanks to you all and my best wishes for an enjoyable and successful 2018!
Captain (soon to be Past Captain) Chris.
Previous Captain's Corner - 26th January
Well not long to go now as Captain as I realise that this will be my penultimate missive! My term in office is nearing its conclusion, I will return to being “persona non-grata” and more importantly, you won’t have to put up with my drivel every newsletter!
Over the Christmas period I visited my daughters and Jan in Surrey and Oxfordshire and came back for the New Year’s Eve do at the Golf Club. This was a lovely evening with a local band who are great characters and as usual, Neil and his team looked after us splendidly.
There was little golf for me over the period because of my being away and the dreadful weather that resulted in much closure of the course. I managed to play for the first time on Friday 12th for what seemed like (and was) weeks, and followed that up by games on the Saturday and Sunday.
I had the pleasure of playing drums with a group of talented and elderly musicians led by our own Alan Rimmington on a well-attended Friday evening at the Club on the 12th that has been reported elsewhere in the bulletin and other than attending 5 committee meetings already in January, things have been pretty quiet!
I attended the funeral of our President, Gerald Turner on Monday January 8th at the Crematorium along with many other officials of the club. There was a fantastic turnout of people who Gerald had touched along the way in his life and some wonderful tributes to him and the part he had played in helping so many young people in the world of golf. The gathering at the Golf Club afterwards was a lovely opportunity to meet friends and relatives and reminisce.
As ever, my thanks to all members for their camaraderie and my best wishes.
Regards as ever,
Previous Captain's Corner - 22nd December
I have been instructed that this edition must be very short so here goes!
Fri night Nov 24th – big man Clayton Pub night – brilliant event with great turnout.
Sat 25th – 4BBB medal with Chris Gartland, Vice-Captain Martin and James.
Sun 26th – presented trophies and award to juniors – great to see how well this is developing and thanks to all concerned for their diligent work.
Sun Dec 3rd – Xmas Greensomes with Chris Gartland, Vice-Captain Martin and James.
Fri Dec 8th – Past Captains dinner, thank you for the invitation Past Captains.
Fri Dec 15th – Carol concert, great evening with full house fully participating.
Sun Dec 17th – Shotgun and presentation of prizes followed by officiating at the kids’ party.
Only other things to report – several committee meets to attend and unfortunately lots of golf missed and competitions cancelled due to the adverse weather!
May I take this opportunity of wising all members a very Happy Christmas and New Year. There are still a few places available for the New Year’s Eve do which should be a blast!
Regards as ever,
Previous Captain's Corner - 24th November
Latest Captain's Corner - 24th November
Now that winter is drawing nearer and all the trappings of Autumn and Winter golf are upon us, having to cope with leaves, mats, winter tees and temporary greens, the sunny days of summer seem a long way off but there is still lots to do and enjoyment to be had from the membership of our Club.
For me, the week of October 23rd started off golf-free although there were still meetings to attend at the Golf Club on Monday. On Tuesday I met a representative from the Ireland Colliery Band who are playing for us at the Carole Concert on Friday December 15th to plan the programme. The band has a very good reputation and I know it will be a lovely evening so make sure to put it in your diary!
I keep in touch with Anne Kelly, the widow of my old golf partner George, who many of you will remember as a valued member at the Golf Club and I took her out for lunch on the Wednesday. On Thursday, I was the guest of a group of members who are known as the COGGS, (Chesterfield Old Gits Golf Society) for a day out at Abbeydale which comprised a bacon bap, round of golf and soup and Sandwiches afterwards. The weather was great and we had a lovely day. My thanks to all the members of the group for their invitation and hospitality.
After a Club Board meeting the follow-ing Monday, I embarked on a three-day trip with a group of twelve of our members to North Shore Golf Club in Skegness.
What an excellent venue it was, course in excellent condition, rooms good, food and service excellent, great value for money and the weather was brilliant too!
Paul Bywater did a great job in organising the competitions, daily for teams of three and an individual competition adding together cumulative scores over the three days. Tim Roberts sorted the collection of prize money and distribution of prizes. The team competition winnings were reasonably well distributed and the individual competition reached a climax on the final day with some very close scores. Shane who had led by three points going into the final day was pipped by one point by yours truly to unwarranted comments about bandits!! One highlight of the trip was a hole in one by Steve Gunn who was congratulated by all party members who also enjoyed the round of drinks he bought in celebration. Well done Steve!
After attending dress down Friday at the Club with the usual fine fare provided by Neil and the team, I had a social round of golf on the Sunday. The following week was golf-free although I was at the club for four of the five days involved in meetings.
Saturday was the first of the Christmas Competitions. My partner, Chris Gartland and I paired up to play with Brent Plowman and Barry Owen in the 4BBB Stableford. We managed to play very well on the day amassing 49 points although on a day of high scoring with a shortened course and the greens in remarkably good condition, it was not enough to secure first prize. Having joined the winter league I took the opportunity to ask Brent to keep a separate card for me to enter and with a score of 43 points was feeling proud of myself until I was informed that the card was invalid as it had to be stamped before the round began. Herr Gruppenfuhrer Bywater decreed that there were no exceptions, even for the Captain so I have made a mental note to read instructions in future!
Saturday evening was the Annual Dinner Dance where over 70 members attended dressed in their finery including evening gowns and Dinner Jackets. They enjoyed an evening of dining followed by dancing to Chequers, an excellent band that played a range of music to suite all tastes and ages. The following morning and despite a fuzzy head from having drunk too much red wine the evening before, Shane and I played the last of out Captain/Pro challenge matches against Tony O’Malley and Campbell Shaw. Once again, we were blessed with great weather and had a lovely game. Tony and Campbell played very well and although never in front, Shane and I managed to hang on to their coat tails all the way round and by winning the 18th halved the match. As ever, my thanks to both challengers for their company and donation to the Captain’s Charity.
The following week, I was busy on Monday and Tuesday with Golf Club business, a House & Social Committee meeting on Monday and a further meeting on Golf Club business on Tuesday morning. I played in the midweek Medal on the Wednesday and the euphoria of 23 points on the front nine was tempered by a miserly 13 points on the back nine, but I know every member will have experienced that sort of turnaround!
On Wednesday, Neil and I attended the funeral of Wes, (one of the youngsters who worked part-time serving at Golf Club events) who had died recently in a motorbike accident. Wes was a good lad who I got to know well when I carried out some training with all the bar and waiting employees early in the year. He was always cheerful and had a great sense of humour and it is such a tragedy for the life of an 18-year-old to be so tragically lost. The service at the crematorium was “standing room only” which speaks volumes for his popularity.
Friday was busy with a round of golf in the Friday fiddle, a committee meeting in the afternoon and back in the evening for the annual presentation of prizes. It is nice to see all the members who have been successful attending, many with partners receiving their trophies. Pictures of the presentations and all the winners are available on the website and my thanks to Nick Roberts for doing this.
I played golf with my regular guys on Saturday morning then attended a charity event at the Proact Stadium in the evening as guest of Chris Gartland. Bleary-eyed having drunk far too much red wine the previous evening, I had a lovely early-morning round of golf on the Sunday morning making up a four with Robbie James, John Begley and Dave Bowler and then, having heard that Mos (Keith Mosley) had improved somewhat and could have visitors, headed over to the Northern General in Sheffield to spend some time with him. His major concerns were that he had a ride in a helicopter and missed it because he was unconscious and that John Guard, whose swift actions may well have saved his life, might have raided his bag of all the golf balls!!
So, it’s now Monday morning, November 20th. One committee meeting this afternoon then off to Chester for 2 days of relaxation and sight-seeing. Finally, my thanks to the Course manager Nick and the ground staff, Neil and his team, Shane and Ethan and Trevor and the office ladies for all the hard work they do to provide us with a Golf Club of which we can be proud. As ever, thanks to all members for your friendship and support and making the Club what it is!
Regards as ever,
Previous Captain’s Corner - 26th October
After a relaxing week in Turkey reading and getting some sunshine, I had a couple of golf-free days before returning to action on the course on Thursday 12th with a Captain/Pro challenge from Steve Gunn and Ian Goodwin. Shane gave a detailed account of the game in his newsletter and it was a super game. Steve and Ian were tough opponents and were frequently in front but Shane and I managed to hang on to their coat tails. One down on the 17th we managed to win the hole with an uncharacteristically excellent shot from me and a great birdie from Shane on the 18th won the game, the first time we were in front! Thanks to Steve and Ian for their donation to the Captains’ Charity.
After a game of golf on Saturday morning with my regular fiddle, the Charity Dance in the evening was a fabulous event. Tim Roberts had arranged for a band of doctors called “Therapy” to play free of charge and their mix of old favourites got the full house of over 100 people up and dancing until the end. A great evening that raised over £1,000 for charity.
After attending a committee meeting on Monday 16th I had four consecutive games of golf starting with a roll-up with the Vets, playing with a friend of mine from Sheffield on the Tuesday before travelling to Forest Pines near Brigg on Thursday with Ladies Captain, Liz Cromwell, her husband Dave and Marie Watson. The round was courtesy of Chris Gartland who having won it in a competition, gifted it to me and Liz (thanks Chris). We had a lovely day, played men versus women and Dave and I got battered (although when your opponent’s score 46 points it is tough to win)!
I participated in the Vets Silver Anniversary team competition the following day but unfortunately the heavens opened, the course became waterlogged and we were called off on the 14th. The course recovered well which enabled us to run the Committee Cup competition the following day. This was followed with a Social evening for members and partners who had participated in the Committee Cup plus all other Committee members including the Ladies and Vets Committees. Additionally, I invited members (and partners) who have supported me by playing in Captain’s Friendlies, members who have challenged Shane and me for charity plus a few of my golfing mates. It was a terrific evening with a buffet put on by Myles and the team followed by the presentation of the Committee Cup to the winner Paul Bywater seen below receiving the cup from the Competition Organiser, Di Gillatt.
We were then entertained by our own Mark who does such a great job behind the bar and is also a professional entertainer. Despite having bronchitis which really made life difficult for him, he did really well, entertaining us with some great songs and he received a well-deserved ovation at the end from an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.
As ever, thanks to all members for your friendship and support.
Previous Captain’s Corner - 6th October
I thought things were beginning to slow down a bit but there is still lots to do on the golf, social and committee front. The Vets Silver Jubilee trophy was rained off on Monday September 11th due to really heavy overnight rain but the ground had recovered sufficiently to be able to play with the Vets in their away match at Hallowes the following day. Ladies Captain Liz and I played in a charity challenge the day after, having been challenged by Paul and Joan Bywater. We chose the American Foursomes format for the game and Liz and I managed to keep in touch with them for the first half of the round but sadly were soundly beaten in the end, the compensation being our opponents kind donation to the charity.
Three days of continuous golf then followed on Thursday (14th) when I played in the Men’s Invitation to Ladies competition partnering Joan Bywater who had accepted my invitation. This is a new competition where men invite a lady who they don’t partner on a regular basis to join them. We played American Foursomes and whilst Joan and I didn’t feature in the prizes, all those who signed up to play appeared to have a good time and there was enough interest to try it again next year when hopefully more people will participate.
I played in the 2nd Gents Open on Saturday 16th with Tim Roberts and two of his friends who are members at Shirland. We had a very enjoyable round and both guests were extremely complimentary about all aspects of the course which was nice to hear and reassuring. A golf-free day on Sunday was followed by playing in the Vets exchange day at Wortley on Monday 18th. The course was in fine condition and the food and hospitality there excellent. A reminder to Chesterfield members that we have a reciprocal arrangement with Wortley to play the course for a £10 green fee. You need to contact them ahead of time to let them know you want to play and I am sure that members who haven’t played there will have a very enjoyable time.
I spent the following morning at the Golf Club doing committee work with the Chairman, Terry Woodhouse, then participated in a rollup in the afternoon. Off to London for two days business work on Wednesday and Thursday then back to the Club on Friday evening for Dress Down where Neil and his team put on a terrific spread with a “fish” theme. There seemed to be fewer members than normal so make sure you check the dates for the next one next time you are in the club and come along to experience a really good evening that is great value for money.
No golf over the weekend as I travelled to Surrey to spend time with Jan and my two daughters, partners and grandkids as it was Jan’s 70th Birthday. The trip included a really
nice day on the Sunday in Saville Gardens in Windsor Great Park. I drove back on the Monday in time to attend the Board Meeting at the Club then played with the Vets at Lees Hall the following day. Wednesday was taken up with meetings with Neil and Peter on catering planning and later with my Vice Captain and the Chairman on Club matters. After a flu jab at the doctors on Thursday morning, I joined in a Past Captains’ competition in the afternoon followed by a meal in the evening which had been expertly arranged by Tony O’Malley. Aided by the guile and experience of John Thomas and Arnold Fear, our team managed to win and a great time was had by all!
On Friday I went to Morley Hayes to support our Ladies Bronze Team in the County Inter-Club Foursomes Final. Having done brilliantly to get to the final, they were beaten by one hole in a tense finish on the day. Congratulations to the team.
There were three more days of golf for me over the weekend with the Centenary Trophy (in which I played dreadfully) then off to Breadsall Priory on Sunday for a mixed friendly. Ladies Vice Captain and I had a great game against the Breadsall Captain and Ladies Captain, (Steve and Sue) losing to a monster putt on the 18th from Steve and a shorter one missed by yours truly. It was a lovely game played in a great spirit with the result being a Chesterfield loss by 3.5 to 6.5! Monday was the second Captain’s Exchange to Sitwell Park and 36 members made their way by bus for a lovely day out. The weather was lovely although there was a strong wind which played havoc with some shots, the course was in good nick for the time of year and the food and hospitality at the club was first class. My thanks to my playing partners, Mike McLean, Peter Copley and Les Spencer for their company, for all the other members who participated, Trevor for his help in the planning, Paul Bywater for arranging the draw and the competition and Tim Roberts for being my taxi to the club and back and for checking everyone onto the bus!
Finally, I am off to Turkey for 7 days in the hope of some relaxation and sunshine, back in town on Tuesday 10th. It nearly didn’t happen having woken up to the news on Monday that my flight from Manchester with Monarch wouldn’t be happening as they had gone bust but I managed to book an alternative one with Thomas Cook from Birmingham so it’s back on again!
Best wishes to all as ever,
Previous Captain's Corner - 16th September
Greetings to all members and I hope you are enjoying your golf as much as I am. I had the pleasure of playing at Sickleholme Golf Club on Monday August 21st in a Seniors’ Open with Paul Bywater, Bill Sohal and Mike Hallas and at Matlock later that week in a Captain’s friendly. It was a lovely sunny summer evening at Matlock and Shane and I had a great game against their Captain and professional that we managed to win although the team lost 4-2.
The following day I played in Paul Bywater’s team in the Rotary Golf Day where we managed to come in in 5th place. Then next day in another Captain’s friendly versus Worksop. Shane reported in his newsletter that neither he nor I sparkled on the day and we were in danger of losing our unbeaten (in Captain’s friendlies) record being 2 down with 3 to play. We rallied however to half the match with a Shane birdie on the 18th although the overall match score was a 3-2 loss. As ever, Neil provided an excellent meal after the game that was enjoyed by players from both sides.
I had the pleasure of playing with Rob Johnson, Kevin Tuck and Declan Roberts in the Sunday Am-Am followed by the McMillan Charity Day on the Monday which rounded off 5 consecutive days of golf. The McMillan was a Texas Scramble format and an excellent day that raised lots of money for charity because of an enormous amount of work done by John Lowe and his wife. I was invited to play with John, Shane (Naisbett) and Dave Streets. Shane gave a full account of the round in his newsletter but it was terrific playing with players who hit the ball so far and so straight! We all had to get 4 drives in and I got mine off early which reduced the pressure. The team score was outstanding capped off with an eagle on the 18th with all three shots being played by Shane, (it almost matched the birdie on the first with all 3 shots being hit by yours truly - chuckle!)
Later that week I was guest of the Sheffield Captains’ Society in their match versus the York Captains’ Society at our course. I played with Tony Price, Captain of Wath on Dearne GC, winning our match handsomely 6 and 4 with the Sheffield team winning 10.5 to 1.5. Neill provided a lovely meal afterwards and the Captains of both socie-ties were hugely complimentary about the presentation of the course, the standard of the greens, the quality of the catering and the welcome they received. As a thank you, they made a £200.00 donation to the Club.
On Friday evening, I joined in on the last of this year’s Friday fun sessions (thanks to Barbara and Gary Simms for all their hard work during the year) and followed this up by playing as the guest of the Captain of Hillsborough at their invitation day the following morning. Captain Dave and I played well scoring 42 points and rued a few missed puts that would have put us in the prizes! Next day, I played for our Vets away at Abbeydale. We got our ritual thrashing although we managed one win and two halves. I played with Nick Roberts, we complemented each other, had a lovely game of very high quality with holes being won by birdies or pars and achieved the one and only win!
We were due to play Stanedge away on Weds 6th in the last of the Captain’s friendlies but they cancelled the game resulting in 4 golf-free days in my diary. Looking back on the programme of friendlies throughout the summer, we have had some lovely games, made friends with players from different clubs and Shane and I have managed to remain undefeated all season. As ever, my thanks to him for his support and friendship and to all members who have joined in to support me and the Club throughout the programme.
I took the opportunity of the free diary (first week in September) to play in both the Wednesday and Friday morning fiddles which was great fun and something in which I have been unable to participate much during my Captain’s year due to other commitments. For any members not familiar with how fiddles work, golfers join in to play together at set times during the week, put a pound in the pot and at the end of the round, meet in the club house to hear the result with all funds being distributed to the winners and fiddle handicaps adjusted accordingly. All members are welcome to join in and it is a great opportunity to meet and play with other members and make friends. The fiddles run at different times
and on different days throughout the week so if any member is interested in joining in,
see Shane in the pro-shop who will be able to tell you all about them.
The indomitable Alan Rimmington oversees the Wednesday and Friday fiddles and my
thanks to him for his efforts and all the lads for their camaraderie!
I had more social golf on Saturday morning playing with my regular group, something that has not happened too often this year then off to Abbeydale on Sunday to play with Ladies’ Captain Liz in the mixed friendly. We had a super game with Larry and Angie in a game which ebbed and flowed, both pairs sharing the lead on occasions finishing up standing on the par 3 18th tee all -square. Unfortunately, due to a masterly shot from Abbeydale Captain Larry and poor efforts from both Liz and me, we lost by one which contributed to a 5-3 defeat which didn’t spoil a lovely afternoon.
On the business and Social side of my role, I attended the House & Social committee
meeting on the Thursday evening and on Saturday night attended the “Last Night of the Proms” Social at the club. It was Ladies’ Captain Liz’s idea to run the event and it was a great success with nearly 100 people attending, all dressed in a variety of outfits, waving Union Jacks and joining in to a variety of songs including Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem, etc. It was a lovely evening and my thanks to Nick Roberts for sorting the big screen and the sound system and to Neil and Myles and the team for providing us with a very British menu and for serving us so well.
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,
Previous Captain's Corner - 25th August
Another episode of the ramblings of your Captain about his role as Club Captain. Previ-ous Captains have told me that the year slows down after Captain’s Day and I am sure it will but I have seen little evidence of it yet although I suspect much of that is down to me.
I managed to have 3 golf free days during the course work week, the first of which was good as it persisted down all day. Jan and I had a day out in Derby on the Thursday, a City I Know a bit having done some contract work for the City Council but have never really spent time walking round. We had a lovely day starting with a 4 mile walk from the City Centre through Darley Park to Darley Abbey and Mills and back on the East bank of the river Derwent which is well worth doing and I can thoroughly recommend. Amazingly, as we were walking through the park, a voice said, “good morning Captain” and there was one of our members, Jonathan Taaffe who is a High Court Judge, currently sitting at the court in Derby having a jog in his lunch break! We finished up with a couple of cocktails and some goat curry in Turtle Bay, a Caribbean restaurant.
On the Saturday, Peter Copley and I played our Vets Doubles quarter final which we lost to Bob Wilde and Graham Barnes who played very well. Later Jan and I spent a very pleasant evening with Mike and Enid McLean and guests at a barbecue at their home. I overcame the red wine hangover the following morning to play with the Ladies Captain, Liz Cromwell in a mixed friendly versus Chevin. We had a very good game with their Captain/Ladies Captain which was nip and tuck all the way round with lots of good play. Unfortunately, we lost on the 18th but our team won 5 & 3 and as ever, Neil provided us with an excellent meal afterwards.
The following week I played with Ray Chadwick for the Vets in their fixture at home to Hallowes. We managed to win our game and the team won with a whitewash! Wednesday was full of golf-related activities meeting Ladies Captain Liz at the party shop in Chesterfield to buy bunting for the forthcoming “Last Night of the Proms” social followed by a mixed challenge to us both from Steve Gunn and Hilary Neil. We played Canadian Greensomes and it was a high-quality game where Liz and I hung on for a long time but eventually they were just too good for us. We had the usual drink after the game and our thanks to Steve and Hilary for the challenge and for their generous contribution to the Ashgate Hospice Charity. We then met the band who are playing in the Charity Dance on October 14th to sort out arrangements. The band is made up of doctors and the theme we chose is classic 60’s music so those of you who like to dance, put October 14th in your diary and sign up when it is posted on the social notice board.
Thursday 17th I played in Tankersley Senior’s Open with Paul Bywater, Bill Sohal and Rob Johnson, an event that I have won in the past but not this time despite a team score of 79 points. Saturday was a very busy golf day starting at South Chesterfield at 7.45 for breakfast with Chris Gartland, Paul Bywater and Steve Gunn playing in an Open Invitation
Am-Am. I took Mike Hallas’ place as he was unable to make it and as that team won it the
previous year, the fact that we didn’t this year was all my fault of course. Seriously, we did OK but not good enough, Chris was the perfect host and the highlight for me was a birdie on the 10th! Time for a quick drink then back to CGC for a Captain-Pro challenge in the
afternoon where Tim and Declan Roberts played superbly well and despite all my and
Shane’s efforts they were handsome winners in the end. Thanks to both for the challenge and their generous donation. After the exertions of 36 holes on the Saturday I spent the day watching the Intermediate Inter-Club Foursomes Final at Matlock where Chesterfield Golf Club represented by Mike Barker/Jason Waller and Steve Gunn/Ian Goodwin had fought their way through to the final against a team of four from Horsley Lodge. It is a 36-hole competition and at lunch, CGC were 7-up cumulatively. Our team of athletes sat down to a light lunch with soft drinks and looked on with amazement as their opponents each quaffed a couple of pints of lager after which they came out, played like demons and managed to overturn the deficit to win by one hole! A good advert for the brewing industry! Seriously, our guys did tremendously well to reach the final, gave of their all on the day and we can feel very proud of their efforts.
Finally, a reminder that there is a Men’s Invitation to Ladies competition on Thursday,
Sept 14th. Details are on the notice boards and we are encouraging men to invite ladies who are not regular partners to join them on the day. The next social is the “Last Night of the Proms” on Saturday September 9th. Table are filling up fast so make sure you don’t miss out. 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,
Previous 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,
Previous Captain's Corner - 1st August
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,
Previous Captain's Corner - 19th July
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,
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,
Previous - 16th June
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,
Previous - 6th June
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,
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!