Men’s Captain’s Blog September 2018October 1, 2018
September's always a busy month at any golf club, what with all those season-ending events. In the middle of it all, since the last "Captain's Blog" pro Andy and his less able playing partner have somehow combined to win another three "challenges" against the strong opposition of Ian Backhouse/Paul Crawley, Sam Moore/Keith Dobson and Peter Wilson/Harvey Dean. Thanks to all for giving us a real run for your money and some wonderful memories of golf played with a smile on all our faces. Despite having played probably a hundred hours of golf with Andy this summer I still have to pinch myself at his mastery of the golf ball, so it's fantastic that so many challengers have been able to share that privilege. Watching Keith Dobson's jaw drop as Andy drew one (as usual) round the trees on 9 and up to the green, followed by the gasp of "fan-tas-tic" was a definite highlight. Anyway, time's running out for this year, but if you fancy a crack at trying to knock Brad and Teal off their perches as "sole victors" there's just about time.
More prestige for KGC
September 9th saw the Yorkshire Union 6 man team event held at KGC. A triumph for the club this one, as all eight teams of six congratulated us on our amazing golf course. Having played a bit of golf at other clubs in the area this summer, it's fair to say that our course is as good as any and in many ways better than most. The greens have played as true as I've ever known them and the programme of works that started with the "Graden" exercise last week will only mean they'll improve further. Add the development programme, starting with the bunkering, and we're sending out a very strong signal that KGC is looking to the future with ambition and aspiration to deliver the best golfing experience in the area. Hosting prestigious comps including the Yorkshire Under 16 boys, the Harrogate Union division one champs and the aforementioned team champs, clearly indicates that we're not alone in believing the course is worthy of its growing reputation.
So, to mention a few other personal highlights, I'd like to thank George McVey for inviting me to the Rabbits section "Awayday" at Barnard Castle on September 7th. Terrific day out with a great bunch of chaps. And while I've individually won precisely nothing all year, I can at least claim longest drives on this and my own Captain's Awayday. Let's call them consolation prizes.
The pressure was off me from a playing perspective on Finals Day as I had the honour of refereeing Ian Backhouse vs Carl Peirson. These two superb golfers sprinted round (2 x 36 holes at under 3 hours per round), and what a great match it was. Carl took an early lead, only to see it whittled away around the turn on round one as Mr B took four in a row. He got to four up, only to see Carl get one back with a birdie on 18. Obviously keen to address the threat of a momentum shift, Ian took hole one with a birdie on round two. Back to four up. Then followed a slugfest of superb golf, culminating in the last three holes where Carl threw the kitchen sink at it, birdies on 16 and 17 with terrier Ian, not to be shaken off, matching him. It was a last hole thriller, with Ian still one up. The hole was halved in fours, so your Club Champion for 2018 is Ian Backhouse. Well done to both players... great competitors and thoroughly nice guys (no contentious rules decisions to make either... phew!)
Men's Dinner with a difference: Oct 19th
So it's on to dinner season. As a single figure handicapper in the eating stakes I'm going to have to avoid the scales for a few months. It starts this week with two in two nights... Harrogate Union dinner at Pannal on Friday and golf plus dinner at Masham on Saturday! On the subject of our own "Men's Dinner" on October 19th, we're doing it a little differently this year. After all, this will be the second such event of the year and lands in the middle of a social fixture pile-up. I've invited all my contemporaries from the other 11 HDUGC clubs, plus Union dignitaries, to join us for a round of golf on the Friday afternoon and hope to be able to put up a KGC team to play against them. Tees will be between 12.30 and 1.30 and we'd love as many Members as can play to join us. There will be a meal (jacket and tie) at 6.30, which will cost £18. Details on noticeboard.
Before I forget... for those who came to The Rozzers on Saturday night, thanks so much for your support. We made over £150 for Myeloma UK from the raffle on the night, but mainly enjoyed an evening of absolutely brilliant musicianship (and entertaining banter) from Owen and the guys. Events like these don't run themselves, so thanks to everyone involved from beginning to end. Special mentions for Ivor and Linda in the office, but also for bar staff on the night (Ian and Jane), VC Nigel for coming down early to help out and of course Mrs Woods, ably assisted by Mrs Saville on door and raffle ticket duty. Mainly the band though... arriving at 5pm and leaving after midnight, manhandling literally a tonne of gear in, setting up (sixteen miles of cables), playing a great set, then doing the whole thing in reverse. Superb job all round... Our Golf Club really benefits from the income generated at events like this, so once more, thank you for coming. And if you weren't there, you missed a treat!
Still to come
Only a few weeks of official tenure left, AGM looming, and I'm excited at the prospect of another challenge, having once more gone for the Membership Chair. I'm energised about this because we've got a great "product." However, as we all know, golf club membership doesn't sell itself, so we'll be working hard to come up with new initiatives that tick the boxes of existing and potential Members. Your help and support, as ever, will be hugely appreciated.
See you for England vs Scotland... our very own Ryder Cup... sort of. For Jon Rahm, read Steve Bradley. Tommy Fleetwood...Dean? And while I don't think we have a postman, we've got a couple of firemen to my knowledge!