Captain’s Report: July 2015

The period since my last article has been quiet on the GCMA front, apart from attending a GCMA Board meeting and the National Golf Day.

The CEO will be reporting on the Board meeting in another part of the magazine and as he has his ‘finger on the pulse’ I do not propose to comment, other than to say it was a very interesting meeting. Members should be assured that the Board is working hard to ensure the GCMA continues to thrive and strives to serve its members in the best possible way.

On Monday, June 22, 45 serving and retired members turned up play in the National Golf Day for the Founders Cup (Net) and Greenshield Memorial Trophy (Gross) at Beau Desert GC.The course is situated on the edge of Cannock Chase and has the most wonderful land on which to play golf. I have played this delightful, yet ver y challenging, course many times, but for this year’s event it was in superb condition, arguably as good as I have seen it. Our thanks go to the Beau Desert GC Committee, General Manager Steve Mainwaring and their excellent staff for a most enjoyable day. It was also a pleasure to be able to entertain their Captain (Colin Cumberlidge) to the dinner, following the event, and to be able to thank him personally for the facilities offered by his club.

My thanks go to those who participated, Niki Hunter for her excellent organisation and acting as MC at the prize giving, the On Course Foundation for their attendance and Club Systems for the scoring. My congratulations to the prize winners, but it would have been nice to have had many more playing, a point made by the winner (of both competitions), Immediate Past Captain John Smith, in his speech. As a point of interest, the last time ‘the double’ was done was in 2000, when John Cox (Midlands and London & Home Counties regions) was victorious and he finished runner-up, in both competitions, this year – close to a ‘double double’. If you haven’t played in this event before, make a date for next year –Monday, June 20, 2016 at Alwoodley GC.

On another topic, the worldwide drive (no pun intended) in golf is to have a greater number playing and belonging to golf clubs. Indeed, England Golf is promoting this strongly to ensure the game thrives and that its sponsorship from Sport England is upheld/increased. In that case, was the state of the US Open course at Chambers Bay conducive to encouraging participation among amateurs?This isn’t my point – it is the view of no other than Gary Player, who is eminently qualified to make such remark I would suggest. But I do agree with him.

Whilst we are on the matter of the course at Chambers Bay, a thought crossed my mind as to how many Course Managers/Head Greenkeepers would still be in a job had they produced such poor greens for their members? In addition, I suggest the Manager/Secretary might also have been in some bother at many clubs.

Having got that off my chest, I would also like to thank both Secretaries/Managers at Sunningdale GC and St George’s Hill GC, where I and some friends played recently. As you would expect both courses were simply superb. My thanks also go to Royal Porthcawl GC, where, on the invitation of a former Captain of Wales Region, I took a very dear friend of mine and fellow member of Copt Heath GC who had waited many years to play the course and, on a surprisingly benign day, was not disappointed.

I am now looking forward to July, when my travels begin again and I shall report on those in the next issue.

Happy golfing, now that summer seems to have at long-last begun to make a showing.

Clive Hadley
National Captain


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