Scribe's Corner

Whether you know me or not I thought, I would bore you by telling you what’s been happening in sunny Surlingham. 

Nothing.!

 Golf club closed about two weeks ago (I think? Time flies)) however we are all still playing competitions providing we all adhere to the rules relating to distancing and protective clothing.(see attachment) Also change in the car park as the changing rooms are locked.

The social spacing is quite easy as we nearly always play on opposite sides of the fairways.

Our greenkeepers are still working, well four out of nine, mainly to undertake essential work which for those who have played at Barnham Broom includes retrieving balls from the numerous lakes and rivers. So far I believe they have from one lake alone 7432 balls. Apparently they have put those with my identification mark (unlucky three leaf clover) in my locker and the other 32 have gone to the Junior section for practice. 

Like our honourable Captain Mr. Lee, this is my year as Captain of Barnham and when playing at Sheringham the joker of a professional asked if I was enjoying my year so far.

Well I started on November 21st and since then have had the wettest winter for around twenty years forcing me to cancel several competitions. Now we have the virus which looks like it will destroy golf until I estimate beginning of June, although we may get the course open earlier for singles and two ball friendly knocks. To top it all I think that by the time we get back to full social golf my Drive In will be a Drive Out!! 

There is a bright side (I think) in that I have been asked if I want to do another year !!!! 

You never know Chris you might be really unlucky and get asked to continue through next year. What a great honour that would be especially as those who have done the job on more than one occasion normally have to wait at least five years to be asked again. It just shows that if you do a great job you get asked on consecutive years! 

Enough for now. 

Just stay healthy and look forward to all meeting up whenever that may be

David Littlechild (Captain 2004 & 2018)
10 April 2020

As you can tell I have now finished as much gardening and general house repairs as I can possibly endure. I find it surprising that like so many I am exhausting myself trying to catch up on jobs when apart from the relentless barrage of depressing figures, the days are no different to those I have spent in retirement. (except of course the lack of golf) 

So I decided that having spent so long tidying up the garden, I could destroy it by laying out a chipping area. 

Although I moan continually about how little time I spend relaxing in the garden, I do enjoy the fact that it is quite large and includes a natural pond some 180 feet wide. Now this is an obvious natural feature which can be included for the practice of chipping which as many of you will know is a very weak part of my game (along with putting. Oh and driving!) 

Having spent some time cutting a very rough circle to represent the green I marked out my teeing area, pinched the door mat from outside our backdoor and lined up to hit my first of twenty balls. That’s where it all went wrong and the Boss told me to set it up somewhere else. My main problem with my wedges is a tendency to shank the odd one. It was just unfortunate that the first tee shot was a shank which shot off to the right and straight into the sun room window! 

Not wishing to make matters any worse I gave up the idea of chipping and have now decided to maybe find a spot to cut a green of some sort! Or maybe just give up the idea and have a few beers! 

Obviously like many other clubs, May should have seen our membership renewal letters drop through our doors or appear on our e.mails, but for once our  Management have not only suspended any DD payments since February, but have also announced that annual fee’s will be dated from when the club re opens. I don’t know about private members clubs (Barnham is a hotel course) but we think this is extremely generous. Am I wrong?? 

Looking through the list of e.mail addresses held by our esteemed Secretary, it made me very aware that there are many who I have never seen or heard from since I joined the Society some thirty odd years ago (maybe longer?) and it would be fantastic if to celebrate the return of our lovely sport some came to what will be, we hope, the first meeting of the year on 23rd July at West Kent. 

I appreciate we are all getting on a bit, and some have long journey’s to reach some of the chosen courses, but come on lads let’s really make an effort for our Captain. After all he’s not a bad bloke, and he did volunteer to take on the job (he was I think bushwhacked!)  

Finally as I mentioned our Secretary. I was absolutely astounded to learn that last Sunday he celebrated his 80th birthday. Now obviously as we are on lockdown and those who may have been in his house pre lockdown escaped just in time. So the poor bugger was on his own!! 

So Richard, a belated birthday wish from those members who can still remember who you are. 

See you all in July

David Littlcehild (Captain 2004 & 2018)
17 April 2020
Dear Members
Richard Johns (Captain 2000)
18 April 2020

Reflections of the Virus:

1. Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half with a drinking problem.

2. I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune, now I turn it like I am cracking a safe.

3. I need to practise social distancing with the refrigerator.

4. I still haven't decided where to go for Easter - the living room or the bedroom.

5. Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they still fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is weill in the kingdom.

6. I don't think anyone expected when we changed the clocks, we'd go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone.

7.This morning, I saw my neighbour talking to her cat again. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. When I got back into the house, I told my dog and we both laughed.

8. My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee, it cleans the toilet.

9. I'm so excited it's time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?

10. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to "Puerto Backyarda" cos I'm getting real tired of "Los Livingroom".

11. Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under....!!


Stay Safe everyone!

David Littlechild (Captain 2004 & 2018)
18 April 2020

 

 

Thought you might need a bit of cheer. 

After seeing the quality of the aliens I don’t think I will be available for any future meetings. So goodbye my friends!

David Stride (Captain 1995)
19 April 2020

Hi all you golfers

Went for a walk with Karen around Parkstone Golf Club.

We didn’t have to sneak on. Half the population of Poole were there walking the course with their dogs, kids, push chairs etc.

It didn’t let them put me off though, I strode up to the tees with my virtual golf ball explaining to Karen exactly how the flight of my ball would go from the drive.

I even had a draw on two or three drives where there was a slight left hand dogleg or a tree in the way.

The follow-up fairway woods were superb, enough length to clear the green front bunkers, but enough height not to overrun the back of the green. Incredibly I read the putts superbly and after the 18th I had to do a quick runner as I would certainly have had a massive cut to my virtual handicap.

Do you know I’ve heard that being confined in your home for long periods is giving rise to mental health problems.

Seriously though Parkstone Golf Club is open to the public to walk around and it is a great venue for your government allowed exercise.

I must warn you though if anyone thinks they could match the round I played today the government might be right about these mental health numbers.

Hugh Sear (Captain 2010)
21 April 2020
Golfing Engineers!!!!


Download Youtube video with 
John Hickford
23 April 2020

A few of my golf mates, with whom I would be shortly heading for our annual tour to Vilamoura, have started the "Chip in a Bucket" tournament.

The idea you have to video yourself attempting to chip a ball into a bucket from 10 paces. you are only allowed three practice balls first. We then post our video attempt on our WhatsApp group. The results have been hilarious, and the excuses for poor performance even funnier.

Just a thought?

Eric Smith (Captain 1991 and 2016)
1 May 2020
David Littlechild (Captain 2004 & 2018)
11 May 2020

Message from Norfolk

 

Yesterday I had a call from one of our club’s golf management team who asked me politely what on earth he should do with the family he found sitting on the side of the sixth green, picnic laid out on a tablecloth and children playing in the bunker with, yes you guessed it, buckets and spades.

Now firstly I don’t know why he contacted me, but needless to say being a family man I suggested he get his act together and supplied them with some candyfloss and ice-creams and to then kindly throw them off the course. Apparently, he did neither and to the best of my knowledge they were still there when the sun went down!

I used to quite like Boris and thought he was almost in total control of the situation, but the announcement last night regarding sporting activities left me totally confused and no doubt you all went out seeing if you could find some long lost brother who had even the slightest enthusiasm to play golf.

Unfortunately the only other male companion in my family is JA my long suffering brother in law and as we are miles apart there is little chance of us persuading my club that he is my long lost brother who has just flown in from France (who we can now allow to wander our streets free from self quarantine) and could we please have one green fee and a buggy.

What I cannot for the life of me understand is why we are allowed to meet with family or friends (albeit in limited numbers), wander aimlessly around supermarkets, pop into B & Q or heaven forbid garden centres, when we apparently aren’t considered intelligent enough to keep social distancing on a golf course where apart from meeting on the tee and on a few occasions the green, we seldom come into contact with anybody.

As I understand it the benefit of the partial lifting of restrictions on meeting socially is not only to get as much exercise as we want, but also improve our mental well being having been locked away for what seems an eternity with just family for company. I love my family but there are limits and as it is just me a Sarah the pressure is not as great as those with children and stuck in a flat somewhere. Or my brother in law who currently has my mother and second sister to cope with!! (he loves it really!)

Hopefully we will all meet in July and we can “traverse” through the rules relating to how to play safely, and having taken several years to ensure no gimmies we must now bring them back along with all bunkers deemed ground under repair.

Well I have had my rant and no doubt it will all change again in the next few days, but until then, keep troshin as they say in Norfolk.

Look forward to seeing you all again

David

And below a postscript-

Norwich again

 

Well Boris obviously reads the blogs placed on The London Stationers web site, because before Geoff had time to put my latest rant on the site, he changed his mind and allowed for two’s to play not necessarily from the same household.

So, my brother in law doesn’t have to become my brother (for which I have little doubt he is grateful for!!) and we may even get to play our first meeting in July. Although to be realistic this will at best be an outside chance.

Although we are all concerned about getting on the course again let’s spare a thought for our Captain who currently is looking to undergo surgery at Brighton Hospital.

Good luck Chris.

 

Richard Johns (Captain 2000)
19 May 2020

The Nun's Story

A nun walks into Mother Superior's office and plunks down into a chair. She lets out a sigh heavy with frustration.

"What troubles you, Sister?" asked the Mother Superior. "I thought this was the day you spent with your family."

"It was," sighed the Sister. "I went to play golf with my brother. We try to play golf as often as we can. You know I was quite a talented golfer before I devoted my life to Christ."

"I seem to recall that," the Mother Superior agreed. "So I take it your day of recreation was not relaxing?"

"Far from it," snorted the Sister. "In fact, I even took the Lord's name in vain today!"

"Goodness, Sister!" gasped the Mother Superior, astonished. : "You must tell me all about it!"

"Well, we were on the fifth tee... and this hole is a monster, 540 yard Par 5, with a nasty dogleg right and a hidden green... and I hit the drive of my life. I creamed it. The sweetest swing I ever made. And it's flying straight and true, right along the line I wanted... and it hits a bird in mid-flight!"

"Oh my!" commiserated the Mother. "How unfortunate! But surely that didn't make you blaspheme, Sister!"

"No, that wasn't it," admitted Sister. "While I was still trying to fathom what had happened, this squirrel runs out of the woods, grabs my ball and runs off down the fairway!"

"Oh, that would have made me blaspheme!" sympathized the Mother.

"But I didn't, Mother!" sobbed the Sister. "And I was so proud of myself! And while I was pondering whether this was a sign from God, this hawk swoops out of the sky and grabs the squirrel and flies off, with my ball still clutched in his paws!"

"So that's when you cursed," said the Mother with a knowing smile.

"Nope, that wasn't it either," cried the Sister, anguished, "because as the hawk started to fly out of sight, the squirrel started struggling, and the hawk dropped him right there on the green, and the ball popped out of his paws and rolled to about 18 inches from the cup!"

Mother Superior sat back in her chair, folded her arms across her chest, fixed the Sister with a baleful stare and said...

"You missed the putt, didn't you?"

Eric Smith (Captain 1991 and 2016)
29 May 2020

New golfing term:


'A Dominic Cummings' - A long drive that goes out of bounds without penalty

Richard Johns (Captain 2000)
30 May 2020
  1. If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.
  2. If your opponent hasn't played the course before, don't be a spoilsport and ruin all the surprises.
  3. The score (or handicap) a player reports should always be regarded as his opening offer.
  4. The game of golf is 90% mental and 10% mental.
  5. Error must go somewhere. If your driver is hot, your putter is ice cold; if you can hit your irons, you will top your woods; if you are keeping your right elbow tucked in, your head will come up.
  6. The secret of golf is, use your real swing to take the big divot, use your practice swing to make the shot, and always hit the do-over first.
  7. Progress in golf consists of two steps forward and 26.6 miles backward.
  8. One good shank deserves another.
  9. Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three.
  10. When you look up and cause an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.
  11. You can hear thunder a hundred miles away when you're three holes down with three to play.
  12. Any change  works for a maximum of three holes and a minimum of not at all.
  13. Whatever you think you're doing wrong is the one thing you're doing right.
  14. No matter how badly you are playing, it is always possible to play worse.
  15. Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing.
  16. When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls.
  17. If you're afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have two options: you can immediately shank a lay-up, or you can wait until the green is clear and top a ball halfway there.
  18. The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.
  19. The less intelligent the player, the more certain he is to offer insights into the mental side of the game.
  20. It if ain't broke, try changing your grip.
  21. The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all your errors.
  22. Golfers who claim they never cheat also lie.
  23. Everyone replaces his divot after a perfect approach shot.
  24. A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck.
  25. It's surprisingly easy to hole a 50-foot putt when you lie 10.
  26. Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut.
  27. Never leave your opponent with the sole responsibility for thinking of all the things that might go wrong with his shot.
  28. Taking more than two putts to get down on a lightning-fast, steeply sloped green is no embarrassment unless you had to hit a wedge between the putts.
  29. Never subtract so many strokes on any one hole that you wind up with the honour on the next hole.
  30. The statute of limitations on forgotten strokes is two holes.
  31. Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.
  32. It's not a gimme if you're still away.
  33. A tap-in is the larval stage of a hop-out.
  34. Always limp with the same leg for the whole round.
  35. Nothing straightens out a nasty slice quicker than a sharp dogleg to the right.
  36. The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the centre of a very large tree.
  37. It's often necessary to hit a second drive to really appreciate the first one.
  38. There are two kinds of bounces: unfair bounces, and bounces just the way you meant to play it.
  39. You can hit a two-acre fairway 10% of the time, and a two-inch branch 90% of the time.
  40. A stroke does not occur unless it is observed by more than one golfer.
  41. 99.99% of all matter is empty space, but that last .01% will stop a golf ball dead.
  42. If your ball disappears in the fairway of a blind hole, it's probably because it rolled into an anti-divot and vaporized.
  43. Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.
  44. It's always winter somewhere.
  45. If you want to hit a 7-iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to lay up just short of a water hazard.
  46. To calculate the speed of a player's downswing, multiply the speed of his backswing by his handicap. Example: backswing 20 mph, handicap 15, downswing 600 mph.
  47. Knowing the swing weight of your club is as indispensable to playing good golf as knowing the temperature of the grass in the fairway.
  48. There are two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove.
  49. A two-foot putt counts the same as a two-foot drive.
  50. It's a simple matter to keep your ball in the fairway if you're not too choosy about which fairway.
  51. Hazards attract; fairways repel.
  52. For most golfers, the only difference between a one-dollar ball and a three-dollar ball is two dollars.
  53. You can put "draw" on the ball, you can put "fade" on the ball, but no golfer can put "straight" on the ball.
  54. The frequency with which balls are lost increases as the available supply decreases.
  55. No putt ever got longer as the result of a ball being marked.
  56. An extra ball in the pocket is worth two strokes in the bush.
  57. A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.
  58. If there is a ball in the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker.
  59. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint.
  60. Don't buy a putter until you've had a chance to throw it.
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David Littlechild (Captain 2004 & 2018)
6 June 2020

Bit of a Mardle from Norfolk

Now in case you don’t know what a Mardle is then let me enlighten you.

It is one of those local rustic Norfolk expressions for a bit of a chin wag over the garden fence or at your local over a pint. Now as I only have the one neighbour who by chance decided just prior to lockdown to go to his seaside cottage, and like all other pubs, our local has temporarily shut up shop. I plan to bore you with a report of the goings on from the wilds of Norwich.

Golf wise Barnham Broom is up and running and incorporating all the rules regarding spacing, not lifting flags out, raking bunkers with your feet and heaven forbid playing ‘gimmies’!!

I don’t know how your clubs are coping with the sudden influx of players, particularly as many are still on furlough and using the time away from work for more sensible activities other than gardening and decorating. We are particularly lucky in that we have two glorious courses and both in pristine condition so the rush for tee times has not caused too much of a problem and until such time as the majority of my fellow seniors return, greens fairly clear of the dreaded pitch marks.

Obviously many who have been in lockdown with wives and other loved ones are just beginning to maybe feel that the vows taken many years ago did not include any mention of having to give up golf for more than eight weeks, questioning whether the clause ‘love and cherish’ should be declared null and void.

One of our LSGS guests, one Peter Scott, informs me that in order to keep out of the way of his lovely wife and therefore avoid further conflict, decided to paint his garden fence. Now this may appear very commendable. However, this fence apparently is just over one hundred feet long and he managed to make the job last just over a week, but then if as he tells me he used a two-inch brush I’m surprised it only took that long.

A fellow member of our Barnham seniors who has been married for forty-two years and by all accounts never had a cross word during all that time (questionable I’d say!) suddenly appeared on the course having previously declared that until the virus was under control, he would not risk a visit.

It would appear that his wife decided that she couldn’t face watching him cut the grass for the third time in a week and told him to f**** off and go to golf. He decided that despite his previous concerns, playing golf was safer than remaining at home.

So, to our Captain (bless him), who despite living a life of debauchery, has survived yet another visit to hospital. And let’s face it he has almost singlehandedly over the years managed to almost double the National Health Service budget.

It appears to me that his choice of hospital this time is highly questionable.

Even I know that surgery for an ingrowing toenail doesn’t require entering the body from whichever existing hole they decided to use or one they created specifically for the job, and chip away at his long-suffering kidney.

It seems to me our Captain had a very lucky escape and one which only achieved a reduction in the circumference of the waist. This as we all know can be done by simply giving up chocolate.

That’s it for now.

Best wishes and speedy recovery to our Captain.

See you all in July (we hope)

 

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