The recent deluge of rain is finally going to put a crimp into the sometimes excessive run we have been getting on fairways and make the greens much more receptive to incoming shots (assuming they are actually airborne!). We are certainly coming into a busy part of the season with the Club Championships not far away. Before I get into a review of the past month's golf, an important reminder and request about the proper etiquette of the booking system.
As everyone knows, we run an efficient system whereby members can book their participation online through Master Scoreboard. However, it has been quite noticeable recently that we are having to conduct excessive juggling of the groupings through late drop outs or people simply failing to show for their allotted tee time. This not only creates a lot of work for our volunteers who put the schedules together but equally can create a poor image to Glendale after we have committed to a number of tee times. We will be issuing a reminder on a Thursday to alert members that they are booked into a slot for the weekend's competition and would ask that members please remove their names from the booking sheet if they know they will not be participating. This will allow the final booking sheet to be published early on a Saturday.
While we accept that illness or an unforeseen event can cause a late withdrawal, there is a responsibility to alert the Club so that we can adjust. Simply not turning up without any message to someone is unacceptable and even if the weather looks like it will be inclement, a last second withdrawal should not be the course of action. I would hope that people will be respectful to their fellow members and make the effort to show up. I will now step down from the pulpit!
These are now well underway but there a few cases of matches still not having been played by the deadlines posted. I am aware of some difficulties in scheduling that I have agreed can be arranged post the deadlines but have heard nothing from others. I will be following up individually with those participants either for an update or to chivvy things along.
The past few weeks saw the ladies more than holding their own in mixed events. Winners were Susan Hempsell in Round 2 of the Founders Cup - Mrs Millidge), Alvaro Garcia Hoz (Round 3 of the Founders Cup - J Hume), Jeremy Thompson (Midweek Sweep), and Cathy Staveley (Midweek June Medal). The leader in the Midweek Founders Cup series is currently Richard Owen but only by 2 points from three other golfers. The leader in the Midweek Grand Medal is Paul Grand with his closest competition thus far coming from Mike Jones.
Sheena Harrington was able to hold on to her first round lead to win the Committee Cup, while the Ladies monthly medals for May and June were won by Val Riziotis and Lia Donath respectively. As the captain of the Club's Hawtree A team, I am feeling very good about the form of our ladies in the team as all three are on that team! The Summer Cup which doubled as a qualifier for the NAPGC was won by Kris Lynch, the May Medal by Luis Jesus Suarez, a Sweep by Kamil Naidoo, the June Medal by Peter Harrington and the Diamond Jubilee by Peter Needham (completing a fine weekend - more below). Mike Shabani leads the Grand Medal standings after 4 rounds with his closest competitor being Kerry Sargeant though there are still four rounds to go.
The Ladies Invite saw 14 pairs competing in an entertaining American Greensomes format and Peter Needham hinted at good form that also translated into a win in the next day's Diamond Jubilee. Along with his partner for the day, Val Riziotis, he scooped up both competitions for the weekend and one hopes that he had the nous to purchase a lottery ticket after a weekend like that! To rub salt into everyone's wounds, he had been overheard earlier in the day bemoaning his inability to make inroads into his handicap. Problem solved! The tried and tested paring of Veronica Mitchell and Jay Barker finished tied on the scoreboard but lost on the countback. A great social occasion which us men will look to replicate when we hold our own Men's Invite a little later this year in July.
The International Challenge trophy, which has been fought for under a number of guises, was resurrected after a long hiatus. The trophy was instituted back in 1989 and only one winner is engraved on it in the guise of an England team captained by an H. Seed. I am delighted to report that a United Kingdom team captained by yours truly defeated an International team captained by our Vice Captain Kim Chaffart. Utilising the same individual matchplay format used in the popular Bontor Trophy matches between the Men and the Ladies, the UK charged out to a comfortable lead and, despite a late rally by the Internationals, in the end it was a resounding victory for the Brits by 10.5 to 7.5. All in all an extremely enjoyable day and sure to now be a regular part of the annual fixture list. Hopefully, the UK team can do a better job of understanding that Royal Blue does not equate to Navy Blue!
On the NAPGC front, our men's Clapham Common team suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Hoebridge by just two points, despite four of the parings outscoring their direct opponents and one other tying their score with their opposition. Once again, the importance of fighting for every point and avoiding blobs by taking a conservative option was reinforced with one poor result skewing the final result dramatically. Your Captain will continue to remind all teams not to get too caught up in how your opposition is doing as point accumulation is the name of the gain with the team's cumulative score determining the final result in most competitions.
In other NAPGC competitions, our team in the 4 Ball Better Ball competition was unable to turn home advantage into success as they were soundly beaten 5-0 by Birchwood Park. In the Toprock midweek event, both of our pairings fell at the second hurdle in comfortable defeats. And in the Bourne-Vanneck qualifier at Bird Hills, which featured easily the largest field at any of the regional qualifying events, our crack team of Pete Harrison, Jay Barker and Chris Lordan narrowly failed to qualify for the National finals falling just two shots shy of the final qualifying spot.
Once again, for the fourth year in a row, it is in the Hawtree mixed competition that the club is achieving its greatest success. Our B team hosted Huntswood's C team in the Midland area's semi-final and reinforced again why every point matters. My understanding is that with only the last pair to come in we were trailing by a couple of points. However, the pairing of the team's captain John Ahad and Fiona Coombe came in with a score three greater than their opponents meaning that RPGC had scraped home by one point! They now await the result of the other semi final between two Birmingham clubs in Rose Hill and Wishaw to learn their opponent in the Final which will be played at a neutral venue for the right to join three other teams in the National Final in Daventry on August 31st. Our A team's South and South Coast area semi final is upcoming against Southsea at home and we will hope that we will get a second team into an Area Final.
UPCOMING CLUB MATCHES AND EVENTS
- NAPGC Senior Men's and Women's Championship at West Middlesex GC Wednesday June 12th
- RPGC Men v Rickmansworth at home on Duke's Saturday June 15th
- Hawtree RPGC A v Southsea at home on Duke's Sunday June 16th
- Shaw Cup on Prince's Sunday 16th June
- Captain's Day on Duke's Sunday June 23rd
- Club Championships Round 1 on Prince's Sunday June 30th
- Club Championships Round 2 on Duke's Sunday July 7th
- Men's Invitational on Duke's Saturday July 13th
- Men's July Medal on Prince's Sunday July 14th
Held on consecutive weekends, the Club Championships consist of 36 holes played on both our courses with straight stroke play and no handicap in the main competition. There is a Senior competition on the Men's side of the Club for handicaps from 1-16 and a Junior competition for those of 17 and up. There is additionally a Handicap trophy open to all contestants in both competitions. You need to register your name on both booking sheets for June 30th and July 7th to be eligible for the whole competition but you can enter each of the days if you can only be there one of the days and take part in the daily sweep but NOT the main competition. In the first round, contestants go out in ascending strict handicap order, while in the second round contestants will go out in ascending order determined by their score in the first round. Players who are only able to play on one of the days will find themselves playing at the back of the field. Let's make sure we have a great turnout for all the competitions.
Again one of the highlights of the annual fixture list and a day members should endeavour not to miss. A range of prizes and surprises will be in store and on offer during the day and the Captains will be there to greet you upon completion with a beverage of your choice.
After the great day put on by the Ladies recently, let's reciprocate. So look out for the booking sheet which should be available in the next few days and start inviting the ladies to be your golf partner for the day.
Hit them straight!
Nigel Gaymond (El Capitan)
13 June 2019