I’m delighted to welcome all members to our newsletter. Many will be surprised to find that it’s a little late, waiting for my contribution!
I have had a great start to my tenure as Captain of our brilliant Golf Club, made special by you the Members and our Super Staff. I cannot thank you enough for your support and encouragement.
One of the best parts of my duties is playing in representative golf competitions with Anthony, >and others including Celine, Brian Drew, Jason Chandler, Chris Tolman and Peter Ward. Our first Pro Am at West Hove was a steady 2nd place, 16 under par was a bit hard to beat!
Joining Sussex Captains is a privilege and more so now that Peter Ward is taking over as Captain next year, unfortunately our first outing at Copthorne was as also rans but a good day and a chance to meet local captains.
I approached the BDGS competitions with a little trepidation and bit of excitement; representing the Club against our closest and dearest rivals. The first, the Senior Cup, was the morning after my son’s mature stag do, so just an early morning run back from Southampton for an 8 am start.
I was very pleased to offer encouragement to our team and commiserations to my opposite numbers as we came out on top! Beating West Hove in the morning and a close match against the Dyke closed out by Alex Rosenfeld and Andy Tolman in the afternoon to take 10 points.
In the Intermediate cup at West Hove we won against The Dyke in the morning but West Hove were too good on their own turf and took the cup. However, we gained 5 points.
My son’s wedding coincided with our hosting of the Junior Cup so my vice captain Mike Bowman stood in and though winning in the morning, East Brighton proved too strong in the afternoon and took the cup, another 5 points for B&H. In terms of points we remain ahead , as no other club has been as consistent, well done to all who took part.
The next big events for me are the Challenge Bowl at The Dyke and of course Captain’s Day on the 8th of July which I hope everyone will support. The club is in rude health with an influx of new members, so welcome to you. I will take this opportunity to give a shout out for our sections and associated societies. The largest single section is the Senior’s, over 55s, with roll-ups on Friday morning’s and competitions through the year. The Hackers and Wackers, which as the name implies, welcomes any level of golfer, have a role up on Tuesday mornings and the occasional away day and BAHGS, Brighton and Hove Golf Society, organised by Mike Davies, which has meetings monthly at B&H and at a variety of select golf courses for £40 including a meal and prizes! Celine, our wonderful Ladies Captain, will keep you informed of the varied activities of our very strong Ladies section. I have really enjoyed playing with these groups and meeting a greater proportion of our members and would encourage you to join in when you have the opportunity.
I would take this opportunity of thanking our hard working staff and voluntary committee. Our super Pro Anthony, gives you the chance to get your game finely honed using his magic box.
Jason and Kevin for keeping our beautiful course in great condition when new regulations have meant major changes in uses of chemicals. Lindsay, our Club Secretary organising us all in the office, Colin Crookes our Chairman keeping a tight rein of the committee, Brian Drew keeping our books balanced along with Peter Harrow our acting treasurer, David Rowland keeping the actual clubhouse structure running like clockwork, Ross Gilbert our chair of Greens and Martin Adley for tending our borders so well.
It is amazing how quickly time has passed, and I am constantly reminded of how lucky we all are to be members of such a great club.
On 19 March, we ran a Get into golf session, which was well attended. This initiative and an efficient advertising campaign on our website and social media have been a great success: we have currently 12 ladies on the Academy pack and 12 on the introductory membership. We really appreciate having them around: the course and the clubhouse are livelier than ever on Wednesdays!
The charity bridge event went very well thanks to the hard work of my fantastic team (THANK YOU Alma, Judy S, Judy M, Diane, Jan, Philippa, Marie-Louise, Kim, Sandi, Delia and Caroll).
They produced an amazing spread for our guests and Judy Snell took charge of the tournament before winning all the prizes. We raised £951 for my charity, which is great.
The past captains’ dinner was also very well attended and it was quite something to have 25 years of our section’s history gathered around one table.
The seniors’ invitation to the ladies was great fun and I had the pleasure of playing a great round with Peter and John and to get to know them better. This is what makes those events so great: you get to meet people you’d never come across otherwise and it makes for a lovely atmosphere at the club.
Our Winter eclectic competition ended with Susannah McClintock taking the prize, closely followed by Milli Fawsett, Charlotte Hinge and Philippa Kinsella. Our Summer eclectic has now started with even more participants now that the weather has improved. Our Division 2 team has had a good start, while our Division 4 team has been struggling in a very difficult group, but giving new players a chance to have a go at competing in match play. This mixed start was mitigated by an easy victory 3-0 over our favourite local rivals, The Dyke, in the Morrice Foursomes on Friday 31st March. Then in the second round, we had another convincing victory, beating Cuckfield at home 3-0. Team Brighton & Hove also distinguished themselves in Surrey, winning the Betchworth Park Silver Open against 31 teams from all over Kent, Surrey and Sussex. First Open, first victory! Hopefully there will be many more – good luck to all our members playing in Opens in the next few months.
Last thing and a heads up: on Friday 30 June, I’ll be having a charity day. It’s not the longest day of the year, but it’s close, and I’ll ask people to join me to play from sunrise (4:51am) to sunset (9:17pm). Alex and I will be playing with 3 people each in a 9 hole competition (best two scores, Stableford). Please sign up on the board in the bar. Prizes for 1st and 2nd places will be a round at the Nevill GC and a round at Seaford GC. I also have a raffle with some great prizes and tickets can be bought in the office. More excitingly (for me anyway), we will be selling cakes all day and Emily will be cooking her famous curry buffet in the evening (£12, from 6:30pm). Everyone is welcome, including non-golfers! I’m hoping the weather will be nice so we can show off our gorgeous clubhouse and patio.
Oh and I was going to forget: my quest to get my handicap down is going well. Thanks to Anthony’s instruction, my swing is working almost consistently, my putting has improved and my short game isn’t the shambles it used to be. I now play off 16 and I hope I’ll be even lower by the time the next newsletter reaches you!
I would like to start by confirming that the proposed move to an 18-hole course will no longer go ahead. The land is no longer available and will remain as farmland for the foreseeable future.
This is good news or bad news depending on your point of you and I would like to thank all those who took part in the debate over this issue.
Whilst this development of our club may well be at an end there are many other areas that can be worked on and we will be focusing our efforts on improvements to our club in the future. The patio and new furniture is of course one of those areas and a special thanks needs to go to John Mitchell who spearheaded the fund raising for the patio. I would also like to thank those sections and individuals who sponsored the furniture and with a club spirit like this we can only ever be successful.
This is our 130th Anniversary year and there will be some special events during August to help us celebrate so keep your eyes on the notice board. We have also ordered some brass buttons for tailcoats and blazers etc. These buttons are the same design as those on the original ‘Red Tailcoats’ as worn by our Captains and have the clubs emblem on them. They will be available for any member to purchase as single items in about 8 weeks time.
The junior section has been a concern for some time and many attempts to recruit new members have fallen on stony ground. However we have not given up and Anthony has a plan … this is always a good sign! We will be working with Brighton Junior Golf to deliver a comprehensive Junior Golfing package. Hopefully this will mean more juniors around the place and using the facilities and I am sure you will treat them with the same respect that we treat all our guests and members.
Finally we have lost one of our staff members, Alex Rosenfeld, although he will remain a member of the Club. This means that we are looking for a replacement. At present our thoughts are on an Assistant PGA Professional but finances will dictate the viability of such a move. Whatever direction we take it means we will have a new member of staff at some point in the coming months.
That’s all from me for now so enjoy your golf and good luck to you all in the competitions you play >in this year.
So a new season is slowly drawing upon us. The evenings are lighter, the days are warmer >(supposedly) and the fair weather golfers start to come out of hibernation.
Over the winter period, I have made big strides in improving the Pro Shop and its stock. Key to this was join Foremost Golf.
Foremost is a buying group consisting of over 1000 professionals across the UK and joining them allows me access all brands available on the market.
If I don’t have it in stock, it can be with you in less than 48 hours ordering through the Foremost Click and Collect service.
I will be emailing you all more information soon about the system and how it works, but in the meantime, if you do require a specific item, please speak to me as I now get the best prices available too.
As well as having the SkyTrak launch monitor, I now have a SkyPro! What’s that? you ask. A SkyPro is a little device that attaches to any club and measures certain aspects of your swing.
While it works great for all shots and swings, the analysis that it can do for your putting is phenomenal.
The SkyPro records your swing using it sensors and show you the swing in real time. I will now be using this for my putting lessons, so book in and have a go….results guaranteed!
Competitions winners for the last few months are as follows –
January Medal Gold – Tim Hoyles – Nett 63
January Medal Silver – Charlie Wheeler – Nett 63
February Medal Gold – Dave Blood – Nett 65
February Medal Silver – Alex Burton Nett 65
February Stableford Gold – Simon Tiplady – 39pts
February Stableford Silver – Andy Gilbert – 41pts
March Medal Gold – Kevin Gledhill – Nett 68
March Medal Silver – David Chapman – Nett 68
March Stableford Gold – John Mercer – 36pts
March Stableford Silver – Nick Hawkins – 36pts
Spring Meeting Challenge Cup – Dave Wilcock –
Spring Meeting Harmsworth Salver – Alex
Rosenfeld – Nett 68
April Medal Gold – Damon Raikes – Nett 65
April Medal Silver – David Pitts – Nett 68
Lombard Qualifier – Peter Gravestock – Nett 67
April Stableford Gold – Phil Bonsall – 37pts
April Stableford Silver – Andy Saunders – 40pts
May Medal Gold – Paul Walker – Nett 68
May Medal Silver – Brian Pitt – Nett 66
May Stableford Gold – Kevin Grant – 37pts
May Stableford Silver – Anthony Power – 38pts
June Medal Gold – Chris Tolman – Nett 64
June MMedal Silver – Dave Wilcock – Nett 63
So far we have had a good run in the BDGS events with a win in the Senior Cup and two 2nd place finishes in the Intermediate and Junior Cups.
Well done to all who competed and a big thank you to Brian Drew who has taken over the role of Secretary and doing a fine job in arranging all the events.
Our Scratch team have had a mixed season in the Olivers Trophy and Plate. A first round win at home to Ham Manor was followed up by a narrow defeat to Seddlescombe away from home putting us into the plate. A great performance followed at Mannings Heath with a 6-6 draw but going through as the away team. We came a cropper at Pyecombe though in the following round with a depleted squad the boys fought till the end, but it wasn’t enough on the day.
As I have previously announced Brighton Junior Golf are up and running with their coaching sessions and the response has been very positive. With two sessions on a Saturday afternoon and every Friday during the holidays they will host a junior camp here too. My daughter recently attended the Friday camp during half term and had a great time. I would quote her but she’ll probably ask for some sort of renumeration for her words……(I’ve taught her well).
As you may well have seen, the greens are on the up and rapidly improving daily. With the onslaught of over three weeks of drought, it has become very challenging, but I think we’re
getting there. As we haven’t had our normal spring growth over the whole course, it is playing very much like summertime and we will be changing a few mowing regimes leaving a longer timespan between mows, which will lead to grass being longer than we are used to on the fairways and semi. This will go back to normal as soon as our “April Showers” come.
I’m very pleased with the chipping area and how it is bedding in. I would ask you to do all your pitching there, rather than around the putting green where chipping from the collar will still be allowed. This is to keep impact damage to a minimum and keep the putting green as good as we can have it.
The new ladies tee on 18 has had a warm welcome and as time goes on, we will improve the walkways to and from it.
You may have noticed three new gorse in the rough between 2 and 4. These will take time to mature, but the idea is to create a line of sight for errant tee shots. These are stacked and relief may be taking under accordance with rule 24-2.
Again, I will bring up the issue of pitchmarks! Please repair yours and one other. Also the next divot box on the 3rd is not being used. Please make sure that if you take a divot on the tee, you fill it. We are looking into getting more, but if they aren’t used, then we will look at spending the money elsewhere.