Transfer of captaincy roles begins a new year at Greetham Valley
New Year’s Day at Greetham Valley saw the transfer of the captaincy roles from the outgoing to the incoming captains with the traditional drive-in (and drive-out) from the 10th tee.
In front of more than 60 members and families the captains took their drives, more often than not accompanied by many ribald comments from spectators.
Course manager Adi Porter would have been the most satisfied as his green remained unmarked from the tee-shots as some of the participants were clearly still reliving the previous night’s activities.
This year, incoming captains Paul Clegg, Sue Brand (ladies), Joe Sargood (juniors) and Rob Gray (seniors) all fulfilled their duties whereas James Ablett, Annie McCulloch, Harry Sargood and John Morfee played out their final roles following their year in office.
The weather this year relented just in time to allow the course to be clear of snow and ice and, although it was mildly breezy, a highly competitive nine-hole shotgun Stableford competition for members followed, with prizes for those on either the front or the back nine.
On the latter half of the course, Jim Wheeler, with 22 points, made the classic error of scoring his points too early in the round as he was beaten on countback by Bryan Birchall and it was Jim’s failure on the 16th which cost him the top spot.
In the front nine competition, Peter Wood also scored 22, just beating Martin Boughton on countback but there was a popular winner when Hazel Hinch took top spot with a really strong 23 points which included five nett birdies.
After the competition Frank Hinch presented mementoes to Annie McCulloch and James Ablett to thank them for all their hard work in the previous year, after which the incoming captains were presented with their Badges of Office.
Paul Clegg notified members that he and Sue Brand (ladies captain) had selected Alzheimer’s Research UK as their charity for the year.
Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the most common cause, is a disease and not a normal part of ageing and donations are always needed to fund research into ways of defeating dementia.
On Christmas weekend, round four of the Gents Winter Order of Merit was played and the 55 starters who took to the field had an excellent golfing day which was rewarded with excellent scores and the first hole-in-one of the series which went to Chris Howe through his perfect shot on the par three 14th.
There was one outstanding score of 45 points by Dave Copley who, off 10 handicap, navigated the round playing to the equivalent of one over gross.
Steve Anderson came second, also with a good score of four, while Adam Clegg scored 40 points to take third spot. His equivalent level par round was not quite good enough but third place still scores valuable points for the series.
After four rounds, the overall table shows Tom McGrath in top place, after three steady rounds, with 82.5 while Dave Copley is close behind on 80.5.
Russ Holden, last year’s winner, is there again with 75.7 while a clutch of four further players are in the sixties.
Prior to Christmas (just before the snow arrived), the ladies played their traditional Turkey Trot Stableford competition in which more than 40 entrants played for prizes to complement their dinner.
This year the top prize went to Margaret Littlemore (24) who had a terrific round to score 43 points and this was after failing on the fifth.
A particularly strong back nine was instrumental in sealing top place but a birdie on the final hole was a great bonus to take into the holiday.
Second place went to Peggy Smith (34) who ran up 40 points despite of failures on two holes. Peggy was pleased to score well on two of the par threes (with gross pars) as well as finishing strongly over the last five holes.
Coming in third place was Dee Ginnity (11) who totalled 37 points in a steady round which included a birdie on the par three sixth hole.