Men’s Captain’s Blog August 2018

Aaaargh!

The dust has almost settled after the defeat at Thirsk & Northallerton that saw KGC's first team finishing second in the table by the narrowest of margins. It's a few weeks ago now, but I'm sure we're all still haunted by images of the odd missed putt that saw T&N win 9/7. One game going the other way and we had it! Aaaargh! The opposition Captain sinking a 20 footer to beat yours truly and the amazing Mr Turner on the last didn't help! Having said that, it's been a truly fantastic experience to captain this group of lads over 11 hard-fought fixtures and a massive honour that I'll never forget. Thanks to all 25 who played and to those who made themselves available but didn't get the call. I'd have loved to play everyone, but the team was mostly picking itself early on and who am I to mess with a winning formula?

Having been a KGC member for over a decade now I'm embarrassed to say that first team matters didn't really register on my radar until recently. Wonder if I'm alone in that. The experience of this summer has made me think that the progress of the first team should be rather higher profile (and second team for that matter!). After all, this is the flagship championship and a great opportunity to share another great aspect of KGC membership. I think we should raise the team's profile somehow by providing more regular updates... and definitely ask the team to attend and enjoy a bit of attention at the end of year prize giving.

I know golf is fundamentally a selfish game, but when you're representing your club and team mates, there's nothing quite like the buzz of winning (nor indeed the pain of losing!). It's also a great recruiting vehicle to have (and be seen to have) successful teams in all categories... a magnet for people who want to push themselves in a competitive golf setting. Having great teams and celebrating their achievements is what an aspirational golf club should be about.

Men's Captain's Day and Mr Captain's Day for Ladies and my "AWAY DAY"

Two wonderful days, made possible by the great efforts of so many people. On a boiling hot Saturday the "George Foreman" halfway house experience seemed universally popular, with KGC's gents proving to have pretty much universally identical tastes... from ten o'clock onwards, almost everyone had a bacon/sausage buttie and a cold beer. Kept it simple! Fundraising was again successful with the day adding over £500 to the Myeloma UK coffers, so thank you to everyone who contributed! And special thanks to the team, from the amazing halfway house crew to the generous Richard Pickles for contributing that magnum of rather expensive Rose for the raffle. From the office and caterers for sorting out the grill, to the pro's shop for being so incredibly helpful as always, and handicap and comps for running the comp itself... did I miss anyone? Unforgettable!...

...as was Mr Captain's day for Ladies, three days later. Wonderful to spend time with such a lovely group, and they all came back in the evening for prize giving.... Gents, pay heed. That's how to do it!

Friday "in the same week" saw 42 seasoned competitors heading to Selby for my Captain's Away Day, which was, once again, terrific. Huge thanks to Mr Vice Nigel Saville for bringing his own brand of organisational excellence to proceedings, including running the Tote. The icing on the cake, of course (I've got to say it because nobody else will) was longest drive, won by who now?

Yorkshire Under 16 boys

It was great to see the Club showing itself off to the Yorkshire Union so well, and a Clubhouse full of talented young golfers. I was very proud to be representing KGC on the day and to be the recipient of so many favourable comments about the course... so this is my chance to pass them on. The course was in great condition and everything from the paths to the signage shouted "attention to detail."

The greens staff have done a fantastic job again this year, even through the drought weeks. The irrigation system was an absolute godsend for the important bits, which have been superb... as good as any I've played this summer. And it's a relief that a reversion to more "normal" conditions (grey, wet) has seen the fairways recover too. Unbelievable that what were so recently brown doormats have now been returned to lush, well-defined strips of verdant loveliness as befits the "best parkland course in Yorkshire."

End of season golf, and a few "events"

The playing season is reaching its climax, with last Sunday's Scratch Trophy (very well done to Alex McGuinness and runner up Josh Reid) to be followed by Almond and Colman this weekend. Then Annual Medals. Then the Yorkshire 6 man team event. Then Finals Day proper on Sunday September 16. I gather el Capitano has the enviable task of refereeing the 36 hole club championship...! Can't wait for that.

Oh, and while we're still in September, a quick reminder to get your tickets for "The Rozzers" (Saturday, Sept 29th) ASAP, because they're selling fast already (and why not at only £12.50!). These boys are a fantastic tribute to "The Police" with lead singer Owen James sounding more like Sting than Sting does. Ticket-only entry. Get yours at the KGC bar... all profits to Myeloma UK, so let's fill the place (again!).

So the final stretch is approaching... lots of dinners and hopefully enough golf to keep the waistline down. There's still time to get your name down to challenge Capt and Pro, although slots are running out fast.

And lest we forget, looming on the horizon... England vs Scotland. And I'll be playing for England for the first time, so I won't have to wear those tartan troos.

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