Men’s Captain’s Blog, July 2018

The idea was to do this monthly... So much for great intentions! Anyway, here we go with a quick tour through recent events and a preview of events still to come.

First Team

I have to start here... just have to... because eight matches of the eleven have been played and we, alongside Thirsk and Northallerton, are at the sharp end of the table. Our fantastic scratch team is a point clear, making a first scratch win of the modern era a real possibility. The overall team (each match comprises four singles and four pairs) is level on points with Thirsk but with 84 game points in the bag compared with their 85... and we still have to play them in what could conceivably be a last day of the season decider (at Thirsk). So we have Ilkley away, Masham at home and Thirsk Away. Thirsk have Romanby Away, Harrogate at home and KGC at home.  I'll shut up right now, because I don't want to tempt fate. Suffice it to say it's been a great season already and I've enjoyed every second of playing alongside the incredible Mr Turner who's carried me around without so much as a hint of "why did you do that you idiot?" in his demeanour. No tutting, no eyebrows raised, just enduring positivity... a lesson for all.

Yorkshire Union Third Division Championships

You may (or may not) know that Knaresborough was, until a few years ago, residing in the sixth division of the Yorkshire Union category 1 league. Recent years saw the team climb the ranks by repeatedly coming in the top 6 (of 18) in the championships. Staying in division 3 was to be a major challenge this year, one that was looking even tougher with just over a day to go, injured Steve Bradley having to reluctantly withdraw from the 36 hole event at Garforth on June 28th. Up stepped Matt Fowler, himself still under the physio, who managed to get time off work at short notice and thus avoid a KGC withdrawal. So the team of Matt, Ian Backhouse and Carl Peirson stepped up to the plate and did a magnificent job of keeping us in the division... at one point it even looked as though we were going to gain promotion!

Harrogate Union First Division Championships

July 1st saw KGC hosting this team event. All 12 of the clubs within the union were eligible to field two teams of four, split up into two and three balls with players from other clubs and all delivering gross scores. It's fair to say it was a tough day, with some surprisingly high numbers. In the end it was Rudding Park who took the spoils, with a fantastic performance from Knaresborough's "B" team of Matt Fowler, Alex McGuinness, Tom Birtwhistle and Steve Whitwham coming in second, just three shots behind. Knaresborough's "A" team of Ian Backhouse, Dean Sleight, Steve Bradley and Mike Pennington perhaps faced the day's toughest conditions with strong winds adding to the dry and hard ground, ultimately coming in sixth. Speaking of the course, all agreed it was in superb condition on the day, a tribute to KGC greens staff who worked hard in the dry, hot days preceding the event.


Incredible, simply incredible what people have put into raising money for Myeloma UK. I'm still not checking to see exactly how much we've raised so far, but I can't express strongly enough how grateful I am to everyone who's already put their shoulders to the wheel for this great cause. Most recently, I'm happy to report that Mark Whitaker completed his Yorkshire 3 peaks, and looks like having raised over £1000 for his blisters. Mark was invited to join us for a swift half after his adventure, it also being the Captains' Summer Party night at KGC. In he walked, a bit sweaty and not quite dressed to impress, after almost ten hours gruelling trudge up and down Pen-Y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Hope those blisters have healed Mark. Thanks again, you are a true legend.

With several fundraising opportunities still to come, I reckon we won't be a million miles away from my unspoken mental target by year end, so once again would be extremely grateful for every penny you can chip in. Most notably we'll be holding a raffle at this weekend's Men's Captain's Day, the prize being a £50 magnum of something very welcome in this heat.

While on the subject, we'll also be providing tea/coffee/juice/beer and bacon or sausage butty at halfway house.  I'm sure my glamorous assistants will be delighted if you could drop a monetary gesture in the bucket.

On the day you'll be met with a Penalty Shootout opportunity by the practice green... a bit of fun and rather topical... even though it's not "coming home".

Social events

Thanks on behalf of myself and Lady Captain Clare Hollis for the tremendous effort that went into our joint Captains' summer party. A great fun evening started with the rousing sound of Harrogate Spa Ukulele, an ensemble of a dozen or so players, delivering some well known classics from Status Quo to Jungle Book. Special thanks to Sue Ibbotson for organising her fellow ukelelists. A super summer spread of seasonal, local produce followed, for which huge thanks go to Emily and her team at Loudmouth Catering. Great food that hit the spot perfectly. The evening was made complete by the brilliant musicianship of Gypsy Bill 'n' 'Dell, a deep south blues duo who delivered a repertoire that sounded a lot more "deep south" than "up north" and perfectly reflected a warm summer evening at KGC.

Thanks to all who made it to the night. Almost 8o attendees for a summer event that has struggled in recent years, proving the power of a motivated and professional Ents committee and a good "do".

Still to come:

Theakston's Trophy Day (and Night): Enjoy a 4 ball better ball comp during the day, then enjoy forgetting about it at one of the Club's feature events, kindly supported by everybody's favourite brewer. Tickets available at the bar now for just £15 to include barbecue, disco and beer at £1.50 a pint while stocks last.

The Rozzers (Police Tribute band), September 29th: I'm told we can squeeze 110 in... let's make it happen for another fantastic night at our favourite golf club.

Me? Well, this week I'll mostly be... playing golf (or at least watching other people play it). I have a Pro/Captain's Challenge on Thursday (at Wetherby vs Mr Steve Watson and Mr David Lund), followed by the aforementioned Men's Captain's Day on Saturday, a vital first team away fixture at Ilkley on Monday, Men's Captain's Day for Ladies on Tuesday, KGC Captains Society vs Scarborough at KGC on Thursday, my away day at Selby on Friday, a mixed knockout round on Saturday, then first team at home vs Masham on Monday.... phew.

Fantastic though... loving every minute.


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