This was an interesting, enjoyable and, ultimately, traumatic 83rd year of the society. In a further effort to broaden the appeal of our meetings we continued with offering the choice of a full 27 hole day or just the main 18 holes at a reduced cost. This was appreciated by some but did not materially improve turn-outs.

We commenced on 12 May at Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands with a disappointing turn out of just 14, our lowest since I’ve been Secretary. David Littlechild took the Jack Ryman Cup on a count back with 36 points. Next up was a return to Burnham Beeches on 16 June, the attendance of 18 was better but the day was marred by the unusually poor state of the greens. This did not bother Peter Jones who won the John Bond Cup, again on a 3-way count back, with 30 pts.  21 July saw us at the hilly Tyrrell’s Wood club where John Sear romped away with the President’s Trophy with a commendable 38 points. Despite an unpromising weather forecast we gathered for the first day of the Captain’s Outing at the spectacular Morfa Nefyn course in North Wales on 14 September. In truth the weather was not as bad as expected but cameras were out to record some amazing rainbows at Nefyn which are reproduced on our website. We then removed to Beaumaris as our base for the next two nights and drove up the following day to Bull Bay on the eastern side of Anglesey for the Captain’s Salver. A closely contested match saw Gordon Lamb  victorious with 30 points. On the final day many decided to explore the sights of this lovely island and so only 9 of us partook of the delights of Henllys Hall in a team stableford. A total of 24 supported Martin Bender’s well organised excursion. Our final meeting at Tandridge also attracted 24 players and the Peter Tilley Trophy was won with 43 points by David and Ollie James.

We congratulate our 2017 aggregate trophy winners: David Littlechild (Liberty Trophy), John Sear (Spicer and Conlon Trophies), Brian Woolford (Guildford Trophy) and Martin Bender (Watkins and Tolley Trophies). These will be presented at our Spring Meeting in May.

As is customary I gratefully acknowledge the help and assistance of our retiring Treasurer, David Morgan, who since 1982 has taken charge of the annoying chore of collecting fees and subscriptions from those who don’t pay online or subscribe to a Standing Order (!) and arranges the trophy mementos, balls for the sweep (which is a major source of income for us) and many other contributions to ease my way.  David has been wanting to ‘hand in his portfolio’ for several years now but was ‘persuaded’ to continue until a replacement could be found. It had not looked likely we would but, praise be, David Stride offered his services. I am sure you will join me in offering our collective appreciation for David Morgan’s outstanding service to the cause. A big thank you also to David Stride for volunteering for a job that may prove to be a little more demanding than he expects! I and the Society are also greatly indebted for the sterling work done by Geoff Fowler on our website. He has not been in the best of health during the past year but hopefully seems to have overcome some traumatic treatments and is on his way to recovery. I do ask that more members take a look at his efforts on where he has revamped and improved the layout tremendously. The whole is much more colourful and he has not finished yet!

In other news, our President Peter Mines has decided to retire from the post citing a long term shoulder injury meaning he is still unable to attend any meetings and has doubts that his golf after such a long layoff may be to his satisfaction.

Finally, and this is the traumatic bit, due to a policy of heavily subsidising meeting costs, less income from subscriptions and a dramatic fall in income from ball sweep proceeds (due to lower attendances) we found we had accumulated a deficit of over £800 and had no funds to pay deposits on next year’s meetings. Very fortunately, two of our long serving members (and past captains) each made a substantial donation to funds which means we can pay off temporary loans by our vice-captain and Treasurer. This is a true ‘life saver’. We still need to improve our income and the committee will be proposing an increase in subscriptions from the existing £15 to £25 at the AGM. Another effective way to help is to sponsor one of the meetings to pay for the prizes. We can then charge the true meeting cost and not ‘load’ it to cover prizes. A sum of around £150 is all that is needed. I am delighted to say that both Warren Evans and Gordon Lamb have agreed to sponsor two of the meetings so that leaves two others where I am hoping sponsors will step forward. Our obvious need is for more members and to invite more guests.  If you have the future of our society at heart please ensure this by attending more regularly and bringing a friend!

Richard Johns 
24 January 2018





Secretary's Report 2017
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