Once again, and for the 32nd time, it is my pleasure to review the previous year’s meetings and events. We kicked off with the Spring Meeting, held for the first time at the Effingham Golf Club on 28th April when the weather was dry but windy. A few members expressed the opinion that the course was aptly named – an opinion not shared by your correspondent who romped home to win the Jack Ryman Cup  with 42 points. The attendance was 26.

There followed a return to the lovely Burnham Beeches club on the 10th June. It was a good 20 years since we last played there and the course was in absolutely perfect condition which much suited Norman Emery  who won the John Bond Cup with 37 points.  33 attended and the weather was generally dry but with a few showers (and some sunshine) in the afternoon.

On the 21st July we returned to an old favourite, Camberley Heath, for the President’s Trophy meeting. This was a memorable day and not always for the right reasons. The course, as ever, was excellent but the organisation by the host club, normally impeccable, was a disaster. Several factors caused this and when added together amounted to virtually a fiasco.  Another society (a Singles Club) played ahead of us in mixed four balls and from the back tees with the result that by the second hole our first three ball had caught up causing an ever lengthening back log behind so that in the afternoon it was taking well over 5 hours for the majority to complete their round. Things were not improved for the dinner as we were placed in a small room which made the prize presentation difficult as it was almost impossible for the winners to make their way to the prize table due to the cramped conditions. Supported by the Club Professional we made a strong representation to the club about what happened. Happily, the management accepted our complaints, promised any future appearance would be back to their usual high standard and offered us a return meeting free of charge for the golf element of the fee. This we accepted. Despite all that Nigel Tollit, favoured by an early start, won the trophy with 38 points.   The weather was rather humid and 35 attended.

And  so to the Captain’s Outing  in  France.  Geoffrey Betts chose Reims as our base where we stayed in a traditional hotel with very little parking space so a lot of cars had to be moved to allow entrance and exit. We were blessed with fine autumn weather. The main dinner was held within the local Champagne house after a tour of the vaults with plenty of tastings thrown in.  The three courses we played were, in their different ways, excellent. On day one a ‘team alliance four ball’ was played at Reims-Champagne.  On the  second day, Val du Secret was beautiful and Alan Wood  pipped  David Morgan for the Captain’s Salver on count-back, both with 35 points. On the final day we journeyed north to the scenic and very hilly St Omer course.  Our captain devised two cunning (some said fiendish) concurrent competitions for teams of four.  Lack of space precludes even a brief explanation here of the complex rules but suffice to say it provided plenty of interest and fun - but  it took a very long time to complete the round. The presentation was  made on the veranda in the evening sun before most of us made a hasty dash to catch our Eurotunnel trains. See our website for a list of the various winners. The overall attendance, including some non-players, was 40 and I think we can safely say it was a happy and memorable trip.

There is now an established ‘fifth meeting’ played in November as an Invitation better-ball Stableford and this year it was held at The Buckinghamshire,  near Denham. The weather was mild and dry and 37 attended. Our vice captain Gordon Christiansen and his guest Chris Bluck with 46 points took the Peter Tilley Trophy,  hotly pursued by four other pairs with 45 or 44 points. A highly satisfactory conclusion to the year.

As usual, I  offer my grateful thanks to those who supported the society and assisted me personally. Special mention, as always, to our Treasurer David Morgan for his unswerving efforts and support. He was  away on holiday  for one meeting and so it would not surprise you to learn that this was the Camberley one. Proving that without him this Society could easily go to pot!  Also, my appreciation once more to Geoff Fowler who so expertly keeps our website running and updated.  Thanks also to Keith Weddle for supplying a new and lighter weight scoreboard and to Peter Jones for a magnificent new Minutes Book. Finally, and not least, many thanks indeed to our retiring Captain, ably assisted by Carolyn, for a great year. He showed much enthusiasm and innovation and also worked tirelessly to introduce new members. If his successor can match this quality we shall be fortunate indeed and I have a feeling he well might.  So, thank  you Geoffrey and welcome to Gordon for what we hope will be another successful year – our 79th by my calculations.

Richard Johns
Hon. Secretary
10th March, 2012.





Secretary's Report 2011




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