Club Captain :
Lady Captain :
I hope that everyone has wintered well although with the current covering of snow with more predicted over the next couple of days as the Beast of the East collides with Storm Emma there seems to be a little way to go before we reach Spring and the start of the main golf playing season.
Recent Competitions - On the golf course, since the beginning of the year a number of competitions have been played including the 4 rounds of the Men's Crole Rees (Pairs Better Ball - best 3 rounds to count) which was closely contested resulting in Lee Bird & Colin Davies being crowned the overall winners with an aggregate of 122 stableford points ahead of Graham Leverett & Dennis Manley (120 points) in second place. Rounds 1 - 4 were won by Anthony Duffield & Richard Rowlands; Paul Bodle & Peter Broome; Lee Bird & Colin Davies and Graham Leverett & Dennis Manley respectively. Congratulations to all the winners and to all who participated in the competition.
Two Midweek Stableford and 5 Rounds of the Race to Easter competitions (open to both Ladies and Men) have also been played while the Ladies have competed in Individual and Greensomes Stableford competitions - again, congratulations to all the winners and competitors. Full results of all competitions continue to be published on our website (Competitions - All).
Last Saturday, a team competition open to all members who have joined the Club since last April was held with over 20 new members playing in groups "captained" by a longer serving Club member which was won by David Parkinson's team of Alister Brymer, Jeff Hills and Danny Orford. My thanks to everyone who took part and to Judy Davis for organising the event which included presentations to help our new members get the most out of their membership and see what's on offer at the Club.
Upcoming Competitions - Saturday sees the start (subject to weather and course conditions) of our Mixed Team of 4 Competitions with the St David's Day competition for which 104 members have currently signed up followed by, on 17th March, our St Patrick's Day competition (99 signed up to date) which will then be followed by the Masters Competition on 8th April. Full Rules of these competitions and of all our competitions can be found on the website (Competitions). Don't forget, also, that if you want to play in a Team competition but don't have a team please contact our General Manager, Paul Bodle, who will be pleased to find you a team or put you in touch with others in a similar position.
Another upcoming Mixed Team Competition is the International Challenge on 13th April for which you will need to sign up for the team you wish to represent on the Entry sheet which will soon to put up on the Noticeboard in the corridor behind the bar - I will be leading the team from England and my thanks to my fellow team Captains (Joseph Fallon - Ireland; John Barr - Scotland; Steve Tellyn - Wales) for their help in organising their teams. This competition is followed by a 1 course lunch the cost of which for the winning team is free (paid for by the other 3 teams - no pressure!) Again, see the website for the Rules.
Continuing the Saints Day theme, the St George's Day competition on 22nd April is a Pairs competition (any combination) rather than a Team event.
Aside from the Team competitions, the 2018 Diary is full of competitions for all members to enjoy while I would also like to draw your attention to the Mixed Breakfast Cup (new competition) on 12th May which is currently being advertised around the Clubhouse and the Mens Alternative Dinner Cup (25th May - Dinner; 26th May - Competition) which will be advertised soon. I hope that both these events will be well supported.
Full details and applications for two of our prestigious events - the AM AM on 16th June and PRO AM on 26th September - will be available in due course but, in the meantime, start thinking about your teams.
Don't forget also that with the exception of the Club Championships and one or two other Medal competitions, subject to any particular rule of each competition you are able to play at a time outside the allocated Tee Reservation list. For example, if the last tee time on the Reservation list is 11.30am, you and your playing partner(s) can still enter the competition at, say, 2.00pm by registering your entry and paying the appropriate fee in the Pro Shop before you start your round.
Matchplay Knockout Competitions - Entry forms for the various competitions have been available (on the left of the PSI machine) for a few weeks and if you have yet to enter please complete the relevant application(s) and place them in the Entries Box together with the relevant fee before the 10th March cut-off following which the draws will be made and posted on the relevant Noticeboards. Matchplay Finals Day is Saturday, 22nd September.
Team Captains - this year's captains / organisers for our various teams for Club Matches are as follows and should you wish to be considered for a team or require more information please ask the relevant person:
Scratch Team - Kevin Siveter
Ladies Section - Jill Howell
Mixed Team - Judy Davis
Seniors - Wayne Donaldson
Cyril Blake - Gordon Smith
SLOGGS - Steven Mountain
Birchwood Trophy - Steven Mountain
Evening League - Nick Roberts
Rabbits - Mick Edgell
Juniors - Ellen Nicholas
On behalf of our members, my thanks to you all for your help in organising your teams and I wish you all and your players every success during 2018.
Social Events - Judy Davis and her Social Committee have again put together an extensive diary of events which are currently and will be fully advertised in the Clubhouse (also, of course, in the Club Diary and on the website) during the year and I hope that you will support these events when you can.
Tickets for our upcoming and popular Race Night on 20th April are now on sale while the horses will be available to purchase very soon - the evening is in support of our chosen Charity, St Barnabas House "Hospice At Home". There are, of course, many other events to look forward to including the monthly Quizzes while the Picnic Prom featuring a Take That tribute act is not too far away on 9th June.
Two events recently held in the Clubhouse organised by the Ladies Section namely the Bring and Buy morning and the Bridge Drive raised about £530 and £750 respectively for our Charity which was a fantastic achievement and my thanks to all the organisers, contributors and members and guests who supported these events both in person and through their generous donations.
The Gratwicke - over the past 9 months or so you will have noticed some refurbishment and redecoration of The Gratwicke which has been mainly funded through the Ladies Section and by private donations - thank you all for your generous support and also thank you to the members who have given their time for this project. One of the final stages to complete the refurbishment is to reupholster/renew the seat cushions which is likely to cost in the region of £250 - £300 and I hope that we can raise this sum wholly through voluntary donations. In this regard and when we are able to resume play on the golf course there will be a suitable "bucket" on the counter in The Gratwicke for your contributions so if, once you have bought your coffee and sausage roll, you have any loose change which you can put towards the cost it would be much appreciated, many thanks. As I said, this is totally voluntary.
Congratulations - to Harry Worner. You may have seen on the "News" section on the website that Harry recently attained 3rd place and was best assistant in the PGA Winter Series at The Berkshire. Harry has also gained a playing contract from Titleist for 2018. Well done Harry.
In signing off, I wish everyone an enjoyable and successful golfing year at Ham Manor in 2018 and please remember to repair your pitch marks, replace divots and rake the bunkers which will enhance the enjoyment for us all.