Current News - usually anything up to the past 12 months is below, but if you are looking for a longer read, the archived news dates back to June 2010!!

 

 

 

 

CHALGRAVE NEWS
Have you got a news snippet???
Email me now with the info!!!   steve@chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

 

 

Tuesday 31st October......Well that was brutal...the results of the Halloween Handicap, Trick or Treat Competition are in. For the first time ever, the person with the best stableford score still won the trick or treat version, and in fact had almost the perfect card. The format is that your trick is that the scores on 3 holes are tripled and then become a minus score as well, which seeing as you then don't get the original score for the hole as well, means its a quadruple whammy. You really need to blob these holes!! The treat is more subtle, you just get your score on 4 holes doubled. A random draw for holes affected was done at the Halloween Party on Saturday eve, with the result that Holes 4, 7, 11 and 12 all were doubled and holes 2, 5 and 16 were tripled and deducted.

 

Phil Billington knows immediately that this is not going to end well. That will teach him to get a 3 net 2 and 4 points on the 2nd!! That becomes a -12 and he also loses the 4 points it was worth in the first place!! Nick Hawker had 3 blobs on his card, on 4, 7 and 11, meaning his doubled score for those three holes was still zero!! Keith Esden excelled himself by accumulating -24 plus the 8 points he scored on those holes and blobbing both 11 and 12 to fall from a mid table 27 points to the only minus score at -2!! Jack Beaney will be happier though, after a somewhat disastrous total of 14 playing normally which had him propping up the table, saw him end on 10 points in equal 10th place ahead of his Dad Mark who scored double what he did in normal play!!!

 

Perhaps next year, we will enhance the treats and reduce the tricks and see if someone can get 100 points........    

 

 

 

Thursday 26th October.......news from the mini "awayday" from the guys who marshalled at Luton Hoo for a recent tournament, they all got a freebie round as part of the deal to help marshal the event. Peter Whitton, always a man who keeps the sartorial elegance of the section in the upper echelons, suggested that they all go in their blazers and ties as there was food provided afterwards as well........things didn't really go according to plan though, as after the game, all resplendent in jackets and ties, they were served their meals in the spike bar, surrounded by people in jeans and even one rather solid lady who resembled Bubbles DeVere and dressed like her too.....

 

 

Chris Baker also required medical attention due to suspected heart failure after ordering two pints of lime and soda at the bar and being charged 10......

 

 

 

Monday 9th October...... News from the weekend is that the 148th ace was recorded by Dave Dickson with the Brandy Boys on Friday Afternoon. The 16th, into the wind with a 3 wood, was the cause of much merriment from playing partners Peter Hunt and Gerry Wells who immediately recognised that they were not going to be buying the brandies!! 

 

Friday 6th October....Team Chalgrave comes 4th at the SmartGolfer Network Cup at Hazlemere!!!!! A fabulous day out, 25 each, including 18 holes and a superb meal afterwards, brilliantly hosted by Hazlemere. Stick the date in your diary, as it is 5th October 2018 next year and worth every single penny..... Bizarrely, for such a brilliant deal, they only had 4 teams in attendance, so we actually came last!!!!

 

Tuesday 19th September......An invitation from Hazlemere Golf Club for Club Members to enter a side for the SmartGolfer Network Cup on Friday 6th October!!

 

Teams of 8 players from any section of the club, the format is 18 Hole Stableford with Tee Times from 9.00am, with the best 6 scores from 8 to count. A delicious Two meat two course carvery meal will be served from 1.45pm, with an engraved trophy and other prizes to the top two/three teams. Amazing Value @ 25 per person!!

 

Bourn GC are returning as current champions to defend their trophy, so maybe Chalgrave can take that off them?

 

To enter a team or for further information, call 01494 719306 for Gavin Cousins, Head Professional at Hazlemere GC  

 

 

Tuesday 19th Sept......an ominous start to today for the seniors........I arrive bright and early, take the till drawer through into the kitchen and kick the bucket on the way through..............

 

Friday 15th Sept.......with the news yesterday that unemployment is at a 40 year low, and also that rates of employment are at an all time high, I was quite hopeful that the interview that I had scheduled today for 11.00am for an Apprentice Greenkeeper, would be a positive experience.........well......

 

At 10.50, Rob came in to have a pre interview chat and for us to go through other course related stuff. At 11.15, we reviewed the written CV and confirmed that it did say effective communication and reliable, although to be fair, punctuality wasn't mentioned! At 11.20 I rang the mobile no....."Hello?  Is that Bill (names have been changed etc etc...) " "Who wants to know" is not really the answer I was expecting..... "I'm trying to speak to Bill as he should have been having a job interview with me at 11. Are you Bill?"  There was a satellite delay, whilst this question was considered, and then he said "Is that Tom? (Names not changed, he genuinely asked if I was Tom!). "No I'm Steve, are you Bill?" Another satellite delay before I finally received confirmation that Bill was Bill....... "You are supposed to be with me now being interviewed for a greenkeepers job"  "I went there and Tom didn't know anything about it" he said. "I don't employ anyone called Tom, where did you go? to"  "South Beds Golf Club (who do have a head greenkeeper called Tom!)

 

So, we finally established that he needed to come to Chalgrave Golf Club, and he said he could still make it today, at around 1pm! I said "well, where are you now,as you are supposed to be in an interview with me and you were at South Beds at 11 presumably" "I'm in Dunstable" "Ok well it won't take long to get to Toddington from Dunstable so lets say 12 noon" We agree and hang up.

 

10 minutes later, my phone rings......." I can't make 12, it will have to be after 1". I pointed out that if he had made it to the correct address at 11, then it would have been pushing it to arrange to be doing something else at 12, if the interview had been going well...... "well I can't get there in time, I'm in Houghton Regis...."  "Well thats good going" I said! 10 minutes ago, you were in Dunstable and now you are in Houghton Regis, which is only 5 minutes from where you need to be....12 noon won't be an in issue then!

 

Suffice it to say, the call didn't end on a positive note, so if anyone knows of a 16/17 year old who wants a proper apprenticeship job, then I still have a vacancy...... 

 

Tuesday 22nd August.....well its been a while since I added anything to the news pages!!

 

Today though, there is a spectacular opportunity for confusion generated by todays competition. Firstly its a greensome competition. Secondly there is the handicap allowance. Thirdly, its the seniors.......

 

So, as both players tee off and then they play the best ball, no doubt the course will be strewn with golf balls as the pairings forget to pick up the drive they don't play. There is already massive confusion over the need to calculate 0.6 of the lowest handicap and add it to the 0.4 of the highest, then round that up or down to get the team handicap. You really don't want to know about the confusion generated from two players with the same handicap and the argument over who was getting the 0.6 and the 0.4!!

 

Captain Bob came in last week to ask me about the greensomes format, and I did point out that one of the problems with the format was the the number of entrants needed to be divisible by 4 in order for it to work perfectly on a random draw and all teams to have a marker, otherwise someone has to accompany a pairing but can't actually play in the competition  themselves. This morning, Bob is bemoaning the fact they are one player short of having everyone paired up and playing with another pair. Almost exactly one hour after they went out to start, Ben Hope arrives on his own, saying he was intending to play, had got himself ready to go, made himself a cup of tea, sat down for a moment to drink it and fallen asleep!!

 

Chalgrave Seniors Section. A hotbed of comedy.......

 

 

Friday 23rd June......... just catching up with some news.....Tim Bevan gets his first ace here, in the June Medal with a 22 degree hybrid on the 13th....and is also then the first person to gain from our new fully comprehensive insurance against such an event in competition, and will shortly be getting a cheque from the insurance company to cover his 60+ bar bill!! What is also remarkable, is that after an incredible 12 aces by club members in 2016, it has taken until June for the first one of 2017 to pop up and on the longest of the par 3's as well which has only seen 14 aces in 23 years!!!!

 

There was also another hole in one story this week which I would think most of you will have missed......This week, the English Amateur Championship is being played at Sandwich in Kent. After qualifying in  stroke play events, the championship is decided by a knockout matchplay competition over a number of days. On 21st June,  Finland’s Casper Simberg finished his match off in style, hitting his first ever competitive hole-in-one to defeat South Africa’s Kyle McClatchie on the third extra hole. How pissed off do you think Kyle must have been, standing over his tee shot, knowing he needed to hole it for a half!! Now, you would think that he had absolutely no chance whatsoever, but if you ever fancy a drive up to Lincolnshire, go and play The Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa. Probably one of the finest inland courses you will ever play, with some of the deepest bunkers you will ever see. When you reach the 12th hole, read the plaque on the left of the tee. It commemorates the event where one player, in matchplay, aced the hole and his opponent followed him in for the half!!!

 

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf, Great Prices and more aces!!

 

 

Monday 12th June.....Captains Day has been and gone, but it will live long in the memory!! Affectionately known as "Cranes Day" as Husband & Wife, John & Karen launched their Captains Year on a hot and windy day on Saturday 9th. The Captains and their crew arrived at about 6.30am, and Nick Hawker and John Isaac were quickly allocated the task of putting up the new pop up gazebo at the back of the clubhouse to house the ice cream machine. The Clue is in the name. It pops up. No it doesn't!! 25+ minutes elapsed in total!! 15 minutes into the attempt, and with a growing crowd inside the clubhouse offering helpful advice, Nick finally capitulated and read the instructions. A further 10 minutes passed before it could be said that it was completed! To put it into perspective, John Trott managed to get two more gazebos properly erected and secured, plus tables, chairs and food and drink, to the 1st tee and the back of the double green and still get back to add his helpful comments! Within the hour, the Chalgrave Breeze had won the day and only the one in the relative shelter of the 1st tee survived the Chalgrave Experience!

 

Captains Drive In itself was a magnificent affair. Bob Hall, the new Senior Captain, bashed his inaugural drive down the left, finishing in the rough short of the dogleg. Karen stepped up for the Ladies, and with the banter and general cacophony ringing in her ears, from the Mens white tees, battered it straight up the middle into the teeth of the gale!! It could have been tears of mirth, or just eyes watering as you looked into the wind, but we all knew that John was now on a hiding to nothing!! Contact was made and the ball soared skywards, and then sideways as the wind caught it, sending it into the deep stuff between 1 and 3. Karen won that by a mile!!

 

The rest of the day proceeded as normal, the usual mix of golf, banter, food and drink flowed as the 94 golfers on a shotgun start meandered around the  course in tough, windy conditions. The strong wind and hot sunshine were a brutal combination, but Ray Bowles was well prepared as he proceeded to keep his head and face liberally covered with suncream throughout the day. Unfortunately, his team mates were miles ahead of him having emptied the suncream out and replaced it with lager!! It accurately reflects Ray's day that he didn't notice the pervading smell of fosters was following him around the course, even in that wind!!

 

Finally, it came to the presentations. Prizes were handed out and Banita and Hannah  from Keech were our invited guests to take possession of the cheque from Immediate Past Captain, Simon Ward, who handed over the magnificent sum of 8,647.07, raised in his year of Captaincy.

 

 

 

 

 

You would think that that was enough. Nothing could possibly top the gazebos and the lager based suncream.......... you would of course, be wrong. This is, after all, Chalgrave, where reality is stranger and funnier than you can possibly imagine........

 

Mick Bewley tops the charts. As always. Mick and Ronnie participated fully in Captains Day, and were in their usual fine form as the evening function got underway. Everything was reasonably normal as the meal started, but Mick had a bit of a wobble on the main course, and so removed the very expensive, titanium false teeth and placed them safely in his pocket ready for his dessert. He forgot to replace them and today arrived at the clubhouse with a lower jaw gap, as they have gone missing!!!!!! So, I'm looking for someone who had one more drink than they paid for as someone has aperitif they shouldn't have!!!!

 

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf and Great Prices so you can afford the dental repair bills..........

 

Monday 22nd May.....News from the weekend.......clearly the ladies section are getting too many members playing regularly now, as they had a complete disaster over the weekend. I'm working on the principle that the more members there are in a section, the greater the likelihood of two of them arriving wearing the same outfit, which in turn will simply activate the Chalgrave banter bus.......

 

So you can imagine the mirth when not two, but three arrived sporting the same jumper!! Cally, Anne and Chris all discarded the jumper on returning home so that it can't happen again. and no doubt went out and bought a new replacement......hopefully they will be identical as well......

 

  

 

Monday 22nd May......An update from the Captain, Simon, regarding the inaugural Captains Tavistock Competition played on Sun 14th. Simon has donated a trophy to be played for annually, with this being the only team matchplay event (Ryder Cup style) that we have running. 27  players particpated, 9 from the Men/Ladies/Seniors and the first winners were the Seniors. They accumulated 21 points to the Ladies 18.5 points and the rest of the club had their *rses kicked at 14 points!! Hopefully, we can expand the team numbers a little bit for next year as well.

 

  Friday 12th May....... Every now and then, one of those moments that you couldn't make up occurs. Even more rarely, it happens in front of a CCTV camera. Today was one of those days!! John Steele and Pete Warren had been out in a buggy, and they returned to the carpark where Pete proceeded to unload his gear and John started to do the same with his. It wasn't the fastest unloading I've ever seen, and so it seemed odd that John  managed to miss the fact that whilst he had undone the strap which had held the clubs onto the buggy safely up hill and down dale over 18 holes and several hours on the course, he hadn't actually removed the clubs from the buggy and put them in his car.......

 

So, he jumped behind the wheel and drove off, intending to return the buggy back to its normal parking spot. There is a reason why the strap is around the clubs normally. From my schooldays, it is the law of inertia, I believe. The clubs, standing unstrapped on the back, do not accelerate forwards at the same rate as the buggy, they just fall straight off the back, right next to the back of John's car, so he can put them in the boot......

 

Except when he picks them up, unless he actually does have a driver with a hosepipe for a shaft, there is clearly some damage to his driver.......

 

   https://youtu.be/GGxJ-XTaFjs

 

 https://youtu.be/GGxJ-XTaFjs

 

Enjoy!!

 

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf, Great Prices and a place in Chalgrave Legends for John Steele

 

Friday 12th May......A great new competition for members and non members!!

    Win one of FOUR free fourballs here at Chalgrave!! Open to members and non members, with one entry per valid email address!!

So SHARE this post with all of your friends and get them to enter as well!!

   

Entry is open until 31st May 2017 and the winners draw will take place on 5th June 2017. Winners will be notified by email.

Click on the link below and enter your email address on the form!

 

http://www.chalgravegolfclub.co.uk/…/enjoy-a-free-fourball

 

Thursday 11th May.........Our new 162.1million access road is now open. Built specifically to make access to Chalgrave Manor easier from both the A5 and M1, you can now leave the M1 at the new 11a Junction and be enjoying a bacon butty in minutes, instead of queuing behind buses, lorries and the school run in Toddington. After endless years of design and planning, someone finally grabbed a ruler and drew a straight line from the M1 and A5 and whacked a big roundabout at the bottom of Lords Hill ...for access to the golf club.

 

For a brand spanking new road, its a bit bumpy!! But don't worry, once you get onto our driveway, you will appreciate the smoothness of our tarmac, and then onto the smoothness of our greens for putting!!

 

Tuesday 2nd May.......The Bank Holiday is over and the Seniors are bringing normality back to Chalgrave.......there is a senior out there today who will be losing a substantial amount of weight as he goes around the course. I know this as he clearly missed his cup with at least three spoons of sugar which are now all over the table and the floor instead of in his cup, therefore he will be burning calories that he hasn't consumed on the way around........

 

I'm not sure who it is, but I'll be looking at all the scorecards that are massively over par to handicap. After all, the coffee cup and the hole cup are approx the same size, so if he's as accurate with the ball as his is with the sugar, I reckon about 140 shots should cover it..........

 

Thursday 20th April........

Golf and Politics. These things are inter-twined. To keep you up to date with the election whilst you enjoy your golf, here are a few phrases for golf that have a political slant:

A "Theresa May" (Conservative): So far ahead in a matchplay competition that, quite frankly, it would be bloody embarrassing if you lost it now.

A "Jeremy Corbin" (Labour): A guy on the first tee, who clearly has absolutely no idea what he is doing whatsoever. He's got all the gear, he's read all the books, he just has absolutely no talent for the game at all.

A "Tim Farron"(Liberal Democrats): A very average golfer who promises much but has never won  anything at all, ever.

An "Arlene Foster" (Democratic Unionists): Play her for money, there is no limit to the payouts you might get on winning.

A "Gerry Adams" (Sinn Fein): Talks a great game, very steady player these days, but you still expect him to blow up suddenly.

A "Leanne Wood"( Plaid Cymru): A visiting golfer from some obscure, inconsequential course you have never heard of.

A "Caroline Lucas & Jonathan Bartley" (Green Party - Job Sharing!): Devastatingly bad mixed doubles players

A "Paul Nuttal" (UKIP): A golfer who hates visitors and societies.

and finally....

A "Nicola Sturgeon": A nasty little five footer........

    

 

Friday 14th  April......Tom Caulfield sets a new course record. In the long(ish) history of Chalgrave Manor Golf Club, no one has baptized their clubs and trolley TWICE! Aficionado's of my ramblings will recall that Tom Caulfield was the source of a story where the electric trolley, bag and all the clubs plunged below the surface of the 10th, and were retrieved by the greenstaff with a grappling hook! The trolley was still driving onwards despite its complete submersion!!

 

So, entirely appropriately, at the start of the Easter weekend on Good Friday, Tom was on the 7th, playing again with Peter Kane who was present at the first baptism, when he left his trolley on the left side of the fairway as they approached the green. Once again, the trolley seemed strangely attracted to the depths of the pond, lurching over the side and plunging down into the reeds.

 

For a moment, the wheels gained traction on the surface vegetation and appeared to float on the surface, before gravity won the battle and for the second time in its life, the trolley disappeared beneath the surface! The pond on 7 is not quite so deep as the 10th, and the trolley handle still stuck up above the surface, like Arthur's Excalibur, held aloft by the Lady of the Lake. Arthur, sorry, Tom, plunged down into the pond and grasped the handle, pulling it from the murky depths, before standing proudly, dripping wet and with a still working trolley as the remainder of the 7th pond poured out of his bag!

 

They proceeded to the 8th tee, where Peter Kane provided a towel to dry his grips!!

 

Tuesday 11th April....The seniors are almost 100 strong in total numbers and when the sun is out on a Tuesday, then it can get a tad busy!! Mick Moulton almost reduced the numbers though as he nearly ran down Seniors Captain, Tony Henderson, in the car par this morning.....Nice effort, Mick, thanks for having a go.......

 

Having said that, there are 55 playing today, if the average age is 65, then there is approx 3,575 years out on the golf course today!!

 

Still Tuesday 4th April........The Seniors Treasurer joins his Captain in the melee, having forgotten to bring his "spare" driver with him today, so he pops his head around the office door and asks if he can "borrow" his own driver and 3 wood, which he brought in late yesterday to have regripped....

 

Yes, he did actually ask if he could borrow his own driver.......

 

Its only 8.15am! Its going to be a very long day I can tell........

 

 

Tuesday 4th April......The Seniors Captain has been a vociferous defender of the Seniors reputation, defending his section to the hilt at suggestions that the onset of age also precipitates the onset of daftness and general absentmindedness, so you can imagine the difficulty that the early arrived seniors have had (and you would have to include me in that number!) in containing their mirth as Rupert Groves receives a phone call from Tony, saying he will be delayed in arriving today as he has locked himself out of his house, whilst getting ready to leave to come down and play! The consensus is, that the clubs and bag are locked inside the house, the house and car keys are also locked inside the house, Tony is currently stuck outside with a mobile phone, in his leopard skin onesie, waiting for his son to arrive with a spare set of keys........

 

 

Monday 20th March...the Monday following the Annual Dinner Dance.....a great night was had by all!! A couple of snippets from the night, clearly the ladies section are becoming the new "seniors"!!  First we had Alison, not content with winning every trophy under the sun, including the much vaunted Lady Golfer of the Year, she came over to me to enquire why the Ladies Course record was not adorning the walls of the Clubhouse alongside the Mens versions? Now, I did feel that there was probably an element of "self interest" here, so I ventured the question "Do you have any idea who holds the record?" to which I received the entirely expected response "me!"  (I'm sharp as a tack!). Apparently, the record card exists and I haven't put it up, was the gist of the continuing conversation, but I pleaded not guilty to that one and said I was happy to put the card up if it could be found. Alison made a bee line for Cally, who then headed into the Ladies Changing Room as she was sure the card was in there, framed and recorded for posterity.  Indeed it was, and Alison gleefully brought it over to me, I think, with the expectation that I would retrieve my electric screwdriver from the office, and affix it to the wall in my dinner suit!!  Unable to resist the temptation, I said that, in fact, the net 67 from the 2015 October medal, should be a DQ as the card wasn't signed!!! (Yes - I know its a neatly written record specifically for the purpose of being framed and retained, but you need to add a few Cosmopolitans and Skittlebombs to the mix as well!) Completely affronted, Alison grabbed the framed card and headed for the bar to get a pen!! I said to Cally, that this would be good, and I felt that an error in spelling her own name, or some such nonsense was about to occur.........

 

Having dismantled the frame, signed the card, then reassembled the frame, it seemed only fair to point out that the signature A.T. Savage adorned the markers signature section!! So, when the card finally makes it onto the main wall, you now know the reason for the line of tippex where the Marker signs the card.........

 

 

Now, you would be thinking that this might be difficult to top, but perhaps it was......

 

Kathy had also taken a liking to the option of Cocktails at the bar, and the Cosmopolitans mentioned in Alison's story, bore no small part in this one!! We were offering Cosmo's and Mojito's, alongside the Jaeger and Skittlebombs, but Kathy wanted a greater variety than that that was on offer. After asking at the bar, Clare and Holly suggested that she should suggest a more densely populated list for future functions, so she came over to me and sat in the chair vacated by Alison moments before! After listening to an impassion plea for a greater variety of cocktails to be available, I said that I'm sure that by the next function, I would have at least five, The Cosmo, The Mojito, a Harvey Wallbanger, a Rusty Nail and a Prawn. "What the hell is a prawn?" said Kathy. "What, you've never had a prawn cocktail?" I asked innocently...........

 

Rarely has fishing with the ladies section been so easy.......

 

 

Thursday 23rd February......The ladies section entirely defeated the Molers today......I arrived back at the club having been out for most of the day, with the few remaining Molers still in the Clubhouse drowning their sorrows about how they have been soundly beaten by Doris today.......I thought this was slightly odd, as I didn't recall a Lady Member by the name of Doris, but assumed that she had recently joined.

 

It turned out, of course, it was Storm Doris, not Doris Storm that defeated them. A few did try and play a few holes though in 50mph winds. Graham Busby said he went to lift the flagstick out of one hole, and in the bottom of the cup was a newt!! I asked him if it was really small, and he said "No, Why?" I said if it was really small, it would be my newt!!"

 

Tuesday 7th February........I've finally capitulated and my life as I knew it is clearly over......I've filled in the form, and paid 5 to join a section of my own Club. I am now a paid up member of the Chalgrave Senior Section....... I didn't quite go the whole hog and actually play today, but I will contemplate it next Tuesday if the sun is out!!! On the upside, the amount of news stories could just be about to take a massive leap upwards, the question will be how long will it be before no one wants to play in my group as they will appear on the news page later on!!

 

 

Thursday 19th January.......Its been a bit quiet over the Christmas and New Year period, and as the cold snap hit, the numbers of people braving the cold winds also drops. However, there are still matches going on, and our Winter Scratch Team have absolutely excelled themselves with a brilliant win at Mowsbury last weekend.

 

Leading from the front was skipper Dave Bromley (who played having sadly and unexpectedly lost his brother the previous Wednesday) and would have understandably been excused from playing but he did. His sense of duty and commitment to his team in his role knows no bounds.  He is probably too modest to shout the result from the rooftops but I think it worthy of note especially as the team comprised several players who have not stepped up to the scratch team level before.  Team composition was (in pairing order) Dave Bromley, Tim Bevan (W 5&4); Dave McGarry & Kev Clinton (W-2up); Adam Henderson & Gary Turner (L-3&2) and Tony Henderson & Frank McKenzie (W-2 up) for an overall 3-1 away win.

 

Well Done Chaps!! 

 

 

 

2017

 

 

 

Monday 19th December......news has finally reached me of yet another ace, as Mark Stroud aced the 16th with a 3 iron on Thursday 8th December, bringing the number of aces to a record equalling 12 in a single calendar year, equalling the standard set in 2012. So, we have 14 days, including today, to launch another one and make 2016 a new Club record! No pressure then!!

 

Tuesday 13th December......oh dear oh lord.....in 11 days time, I will be 55 years old and eligible to join the Seniors Section on the Tuesday Morning rituals........and if ever there was a time for a time machine to arrive and transport me back a few years, to alleviate the onset of madness, it is now! The prospect of what lies in store for me has never been more perfectly epitomised, than the organisation today for the Seniors Turkey Trott. A day where each player brings in a small gift to adorn the prize table, to be claimed by another player at the end of the round. Nothing, to me, heralds the arrival of Christmas more than the return of the decade old Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry. Every year it is faithfully kept and returned to the prize table. These days, there is rarely even the attempt to disguise it by giving it new wrapping.......

 

but this is not what has stimulated my funny bone and filled me with dread with what is about to happen in my life, this morning. Every October/November I deal with the fixtures for the new year ahead and enshrine the dates in the fixture card. So the date of the Senior Turkey Trott has been fixed for the best part of 14 months. There is also a clue in the name........so you can imagine the incredulous looks, even from the seniors themselves, when Chris Baker, newly installed as Seniors Treasurer, the man with the access to the purse and who was given one task for today, bring the Turkey, announced that, despite their being a Sainsbury's/Morrisons/Asda/Tesco/Lidl et al on almost every street corner, he has been "UNABLE TO FIND" a frozen turkey for today's competition!! 

 

"Forgot" would have been entertaining in its own right, but "unable to find" is a line worthy of seniors folklore. According to British Turkey, over 10 million turkeys are purchased in the run up to Christmas. The major and minor supermarkets restock their fast moving lines on a daily basis. How unlucky do you have to be, to walk into a Sainsbury's just as the last one is taken from the freezer and before they are replenished? I think the chances must be about a million to one. So to presumably, go down the road to Tesco and have the same thing happen, and then a day later, it to occur again in Morrisons brings odds of eye watering magnitude.......to be the person looking for the 10,000,001 turkey and for everyone to have run out with 2 weeks still to go to Christmas is bad luck of staggering magnitude.....

 

You may think the story ends there.....it doesn't. 5 minutes later, Chris Baker puts his head around my office door and asks for an envelope......he needs one so he can put a 5 note inside because he has "FORGOTTEN" to bring his prize for the table! I've sent the greenstaff out onto the course to shoo away the swans and geese from the ponds and reservoir, just in case Chris tries to redeem himself by getting a fresh one!!

 

Chalgrave has long been associated with Great Golf at  Great Prices. To that we can add unbelievable Turkey Prices as I will have one for sale at 175 in a few hours time....

 

 

Sat 10 Dec.....Cabaret Night was utterly fantastic. A packed house, fantastic food from Lucie and her team, and plenty of beer flowed.......To put it into perspective, Dave McGarry's guest Bill, is seen here pictured at about 1.00am, wearing a pair of white golf shoes, which seeing as he doesn't play golf, that's quite impressive!!......I'm not sure what happened to the ones he arrived in!!  

 

 

 

 

Friday 25th November.....we have all had occasions where as hard as we've tried to get things arranged, things conspire against you and prevent it happening...and so it was on the Steve Rumball/Dave McGarry v Dave Appleby/Paul McGarry Winter Matchplay KO. The match was eagerly anticipated, but whenever we looked like getting it played, something always messed it up. In the end, as the expiry date for the round was nigh, the game was decided on the toss of a coin. However, a simple 50/50 chance seemed a pretty plain way of doing it, so I enlisted the help of Lucie and Clare as independent adjudicators/coin tossers (you can make your own jokes up here......)

 

They decided that Steve/Dave were heads and Apples/Paul were tails, and we played for each hole, and an agreement that if all square after 18, then sudden death would be played......

 

Unbelievably, Apples/Paul stormed into a 5 up lead, as tails kept coming up trumps. Dave/Steve pulled one back on the 6th, lost the 7th, won the 8th and lost the 9th to go to the turn 5 down after 9!!

 

Steve/Dave won the 10th, raising hopes of a storming back 9 comeback, but Apples/Paul slammed the door shut taking the 11th and 12th to be dormie 6 going up the 13th. Faced with a long walk back to the clubhouse if they won 13, Steve/Dave sensibly lost that as well, losing the match 7 and 5, which I'm pretty sure is one of the heaviest defeats I've ever suffered on a golf course, especially without actually hitting a ball!!!

 

For the record, the scorecard supplied by Lucie and Clare was:

 

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf, Great Prices and tails never fails......

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 11th November......Like buses, there is nothing for a while, then three stories turn up together.....firstly, the last seniors awayday at John O'Gaunt a couple of weeks ago, had a minor glitch.....Dave Jones was given the duty to bring the Awayday Trophy with him......which turned out to be a bit of a disaster as he wasn't going..........

 

but this was surpassed today by Clare, who managed one of the finest blags I've seen for a while. Derek Collins brought a club in to be regripped, with an extra thick grip, on Tuesday, and Clare arranged for Simon to collect it on Thursday and have it returned for Friday. Derek arrived for his knock around a couple of holes on Friday, and Clare duly presented him with the club for his inspection, asking "is that all OK?" to which Derek replied "Well its fine. It looks a bit shiny, but yes its OK" as he coughed up the required 7 for the new grip and went off to play. Five minutes later, Simon arrived and asked where the club was that he needed to regrip as he hadn't managed to get in on Thursday to collect it!! Yes, Mrs Puddick successfully sold Derek his old club with old grip back to him for seven quid!! So, Clare went off to retrieve the Club, giving it some waffle about how she felt that he wasn't quite as enthralled with the new grip as she felt he should be and she was getting Simon to do it again, completely free of charge.........

 

.....and finally, Rupert Groves was standing outside my office an hour or so ago, looking intently at the trophy cabinet.......I asked if he was waiting for me, but he said, "no, I'm just checking something....." "What's that then?" I asked. "and why are you looking at the Ladies Trophies?" Rupert looked at me, looked at the Ladies cabinet, looked at me again and then sheepishly moved off to the seniors cabinet around the corner..............there's more to this story to come yet so watch this space........................  

 

 

 

Tuesday 25th October.......Three in 6 Days!!!! Some of you need to get your finger out if you haven't had an ace at Chalgrave......Peter Leatherland joins the Club in April and aces the 7th just 6 months later......he also joined the senior section  and picked the date of their Summer Awards trophy presentation to do it!! The bar was packed and Peter's is now known to all of the section.................

 

Sunday 23rd October.......OK OK I Hold my hands up.......I made a slight boo boo on the report from yesterday about the two holes in one last week.....I took the information I was given as verbatim, which now means that I have to admit to not recognising the name of a Club Member, as Duncan McLaren is infact a 5 Day Member of a few years standing....... which then meant I had made further errors with my report as that makes Ross's ace the 10th of the year not the 9th.....  As I was also missing the info about which club was used for the Hole in One Page, I asked him what he used......"I opened the face of a 9 iron and hit it very high!" was the response.......sliced it then..........

 

 

Saturday 22nd October......Ross Daniels aces the 16th for his first ever hole in one, the 9th one by a Club Member in 2016. We also had an ace by a guest during the week, a gentleman by the name of Duncan McLaren. I'm not sure what disaster befell him on the 9th, but he was forced to open a box and select a brand new ball on the 10th tee. Faced with chunking a brand new ball into the water, he avoided that ignominy by acing the hole instead. The first ever strike of a club onto a new ball!! One assumes that it won't ever get struck again and it is on his mantelpiece somewhere!!

 

Tuesday 4th October..... as a general Rule of Thumb, getting Tarby involved in any aspect of organisation is fraught with danger, and never has this been more perfectly confirmed as asking him to deal with a couple of cards to be signed by the seniors section......Tarby approaches Ade Purser who signs the card with "A great bloke and will be very, very sadly missed" which then turns out to be Derek Collin's card on his retirement after 20 years as Treasurer of the Seniors Section and NOT the card of condolence for Ron Gray.........Ron, of course, would have absolutely died of laughter........... Valerie, Derek's wife, apparently said "That's very nice of Adrian to make such a nice comment....."

 

 

Tuesday 4th October.......news has come in of a hole in one....not here though, but worthy of reporting.....Ben Hope 81 (and a half) years old - got an ace at a 163 yard par 3 at Anstey GC, near Coventry, on a Seniors day out with John Townley and co..... I only know it was Anstey because Ben at least managed to remember who he was playing with so I could ask them! I'd heard he had got an ace, so I asked him "where did you play?" "Er, can't remember!" "Which hole was it?" "Er, can't remember!" " What club did you use?" "7 wood, 163 yards" "Did you keep the ball?" " No, I lost it a few holes later.." 

 

 

Friday 30th September.....I'm out and about today, having collected a large pile of old newspapers (shredded and used for horse bedding by Mrs R) and delivering a bulk bag of logs. One of those glorious opportunities for a wind up was presented and grasped with both hands......

 

I've collected the papers and arrive at the delivery address to drop off the logs. I open the back of the truck and some of the loose newspapers drop out. A builder, working near to my delivery address sees the papers and asks if he can have one, but I tell him its not this weeks, they are old ones.....he looks at the huge pile of papers and sees the big bag of logs as well. "What do you do with all the papers then?" he asks.

 

"I've discovered a way of reversing the process" I say!. "We take the papers, pulp them, and compress them in moulds so that they look just like split firewood logs" as I take a log out of the bag to show him. "Listen, they sound hollow when you tap them and they are really light (both features of kiln dried wood!!)" He takes the log and taps it himself and studies it intently. "Thats f**king incredible" he says "I'd never know that wasn't a real one!!"

 

The logs were slightly moist by the end of the delivery from my tears of laughter once out of sight, and no, I didn't tell him!!

 

Friday 30th September.......hot on the heels of the attempted duck hole in one comes a real one, as Dave Ballard aces the 16th with a 6 iron, and then generously buys everyone in the Clubhouse a beer......in his description of the magnificent strike, he said "I didn't even think it was that good a swing!" to which Godders instantly responded "its not, I've seen it!!" He may miss 90% of the conversation most of the time, but he ain't lost it when he hears things!!

 

Thursday 29th September.........the molers are in as usual and Roy Evans, Pete Nicholls and Eddie Ballarano have a relatively uneventful front 9. They arrive at the 10th, where Pete Nicholls tees off and puts his ball on the green above and to the left of the flag. A duck wanders up the green from the bottom and has a close look at the ball. Moments later, Roy Evans tees off and his ball thuds into the green about 10ft from the bottom. Presumably, because they didn't shout "fore" (or perhaps "DUCK" was an option?) the duck ran, yes not waddle or walk, it runs down the green, and clouts the ball off the bottom of the green with its bill!! Eddie opted to put his in the bunker so as not to offend the duck! (Well that's what he says, but if he can hit a sand target that is 15ft x 8ft with such unerring accuracy then he should not be off 23!!)

 

Personally, when the story was being recounted in the bar, I felt a sense of disappointment when I discovered that the duck just knocked the ball off the green. I was expecting that the ball had rolled across the green into the hole! Then a birdie would have got an ace......

 

Roy correctly replaced the ball (ball at rest moved by outside agency Rule 18-1) but failed to get a birdie despite a birdie getting him.

 

 

Friday 16th September....apparently El Capitano Simon Ward has a new technique for ensuring that that his team members don't forget they are playing in a Club Match on a Saturday Morning. at 6.05am on FRIDAY morning, he sends a text to his team reminding them they are playing the following day. In various parts of Bedfordshire, 11 wives/girlfriends hear the phone make a noise as it wakes them up. They, in turn, wake their other halves and shout at them about texts arriving at some unearthly hour that wakes them up.

 

Ten minutes later, after everyone has settled back down and drifted off to sleep again, the second text arrives, correcting the first text which had a mistake on it, waking up the same wives/girlfriends who again wake their other halves and shout even louder at them "WHY ARE YOU GETTING BLOODY TEXTS AT 6.15M ABOUT A BLOODY CLUB MATCH TOMORROW AWAY AT COLMWORTH???

 

So now, the whole team has been properly reminded, and it is likely that they will continue to be reminded at every opportunity over the next 24 hours......

 

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf, Great Prices and a text from the Captain at 6.00am

 

Monday 12th September.....a blast from the past......Andy Cusack, a member here well over 15 years ago, decided to call in and play 9 holes or so as he fancied knocking a ball around as he contemplates an imminent move to the Derbyshire Dales. The thought he was in the wrong place the moment he turned off the main road. Smooth tarmac greeted him instead of a rutted, potholed track. That track used to be framed by rows of small sticks about 2ft high and are now glorious trees. My office was much tidier as well, he said (I could be making that bit up.......). A few hours later, he was back, genuinely astonished at the transformation of what was a bare agricultural field into what the course has become in those 15 years.

 

Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to help remind you what we have achieved in just 22 years.

 

Thursday 18th August...... news from the Tuesday Seniors.....who have returned from marshalling the Pro's at Woburn and its clearly affected them!! The Tuesday competition saw 54 players compete over 18 holes off the yellows. 15 of them were at par or better. Eight of them swanned into the clubhouse with their 40+ points all thinking they have nailed this to the floor and won the event. They didn't. Frank Howarth, 75 years old, 17 handicap, plays loads of competitions midweek and weekends, shot his age. Yes. 75 shots, 3 over gross, and 50 stableford points to win it. Normally, 50 points would bring forth the accusations of banditry and dodgy handicaps. Ken Goodland played with Frank and said it will be a round he will never forget. Par's, birdies even an eagle. If it could be chipped in or putted in from miles away it unerringly found the hole or stopped on the rim. Utterly staggering. I don't think Frank will be off 17 next week though.........

 

Thursday 18th August....News filters through of some decent scoring.......firstly Rob Weir eagles the 6th for the second consecutive round, chipping in for a 3 nett 2 and 5 points for his total. Amazingly, he lost ground to his playing partner, Phil Billington, who had already been given his Srixon ball back by Rob, who had retrieved it from the hole as the albatross 2 (nett 1!) had accumulated 6 points for Phil!! 11 stableford points on a single hole!! That would have been useful on Charity Day!!

 

Monday 1st August......The club is returning to normal, or at least what passes for normal here, after the mayhem of Charity Day on Saturday. As always, the golf was of secondary importance to the prime purpose of raising funds for our Captains Charity, Keech Hospice. As I said on Saturday night, our fundraising and the destination of our funds had a particularly poignant and relevant meaning this year, as on Friday a large contingent from the Club were at Bedford Crematorium to support Steve and pay their respects to Beryl. Steve and Beryl were both supported massively over the past few months by Willen Hospice, and it cannot be underestimated the importance of the fundraising that we do so well, and the selection of our local Hospice Keech as the recipient of our donations.

 

The day, as always was a brand of organised chaos for which we have become rightly famous. Club Captain Simon Ward lead by example, forgetting to pick up one of his golfing partners on the way in and having to drive off to retrieve him when he finally remembered about an hour after arriving! Fancy Dress was again donned by at least half of the teams, the Captains two guest teams both said they would have also dressed up if they had been told!!

 

Some decided just to go Fancy Dress and ignore the film theme. The Morris Dancers were a classic example of this, but it would have been churlish to criticise them for this, given the worrying level of skill and synchronisation they showed when performing their dance routines in the early evening, gave a clear indication that rehearsals have been going on for some time.

 

My playing Partners, Sean and Tony displayed a level of mastery of the art of BBQ cooking rarely seen as we catered for 120+ people without breaking sweat. Well, OK maybe we did, but the BBQ's were pretty hot.

 

Sam Groves donated his hair. 180 was donated to the cause for a No1 head shave. Dave "The Hairdresser" McGarry did the honours and he enjoyed himself so much that when a set of heated curling tongs came up in the auction, he bought those for 20 as he contemplated a possible new career. The Hawkers assisted by Mick Parrett and Paul Northcott won the Fancy Dress, having played 18 holes in full Alice in Wonderland regalia. They didn't however, win the golf. Fines were levied for anything I could think of in the presentation, Don Parrott collected Dave Millards prize for a nearest the pin, so he was fined for impersonating Dave Millard. He subsequently was required to collect something as Don Parrott, and so was fined again for impersonating Don Parrott on the basis that he had admitted to being Dave Millard!

 

After the prizes were claimed and the auction completed, we launched into the disco for the remainder of the evening. This morning, we tallied it all up and we have a grand total. Rupert Groves generously offered to double the funds raised on his son's haircut. I'm never going to pass up an opportunity like that, so I've contacted all of the sponsors, players, auction purchasers and ad hoc donators, and they have all agreed to withdraw their original monies and re-donate them to the Sam Groves Haircut Fund.

 

Rupert.............. a cheque for 5,195 instead of the expected 180 would be much appreciated! Yes. That is the staggering sum raised by a 120 people playing golf. 5,195 is a magnificent sum of money to raise in a whole year. We still have 10 months to go. Watch this space..........

 

Sat 23rd July....John Ainsworth aces the 13th, to make it three aces (so far) in July. This one was a first though, as I cannot recall anyone getting a hole in one with their driver! Just goes to prove, it doesn't matter what club you hit, its where it ends up that counts!!

 

Friday 22nd July......

Congratulations to Chalgrave's Abbie Roberts who won the County Junior U16 Nett Championship with a nett 67 round South Beds Golf Club.

 

Her main focus is football and she plays for MK Dons girls team plus the U16 England Girls Football team - in fact earlier this year she captained the U15 England team for their trip to Germany.

 

 

Friday 22nd July.......my prediction comes true as Colin Barden shoots a gross 77 in the Pro Am and beats his Pro partner by 8 shots gross!! Stenson and Mickleson picked the wrong partners as well, as Colin Clough and Karen Crane failed to capitalise on their majestic final rounds at The Open. Rob Peck had the distinction of winning the amateur only comp and hanging onto the lead thanks to the 70 scored by Argentinian Emiliano Grillo.

 

 

Monday 18th July.....Meanwhile, I'm waiting for the Amateur Scores so I can work out the result of the Pro~Am, but Colin Barden is in with a shout.....of beating the score made by his Pro, Greg Chalmers who shot an awesome 85 on the last day at The Open! The two lowest scoring Pro's were the top two, Stenson and Mickleson, so the pressure is on Colin Clough and Karen Crane to have done their bit to lift the trophy.....we will see!!

 

Monday 18th July.......Two aces in three days, as Steve Jenkins aces the 5th on the 15th July and Captain Simon Ward aces the 10th on Sunday in the Pro ~ Am, to record his third ace here and join a very exclusive Club of now El Presidente John Gibson and Capitano Simon Ward who have three each to their name.........

 

Clearly, if you want multiple aces, you need to be on T'Committee!!!

 

Thursday 14th July......I know its been quiet on the news front, I have been rather busy with stuff and have got behind on stuff.......but here's a snippet for you that shows the differences between the generations and the way we are attached to our technology......Brian Gidley played golf today and left his mobile phone in the buggy afterwards. We retrieved it for him and put it behind the bar in the safe for him. He's left us know he will collect it on SATURDAY when he is next in! Be honest. How many of you would live for 2+ days without your mobile??

 

Friday 1st July....news from the Captain, Simon Ward, who ventured off piste and played Luton Hoo in the County Seniors Championship last week, along with past Champion Tim Bevan and also Mick Parrett. The consensus was that if you think the rough at Chalgrave is tough at the moment, then the Hoo will change that perception right away!! Impossible to find the ball, and if a miracle occurred and you did, another three ratchets up the scale of impossible in terms of actually getting it out! Mick Parrett marked the occasion by aceing the 153 yard 16th, but even this magnificent feat didn't get Chalgrave onto the podium this year. Apparently there was a tie for 1st place, and those involved had already got changed out of their wet golf gear, into jackets and ties, had dinner and a beer and themselves sorted, before having to get back into the wet gear and go out and play extra holes to decide the winner!!

 

Tuesday 21st June.......In or Out?? Rick Maughan is definitely IN, on the 5th, with a 7 iron!! To hell with a referendum, this is far more important!! The third ace of the year and worryingly, 4 of the last 5 aces have come from the seniors section!! How is that possible? Unless of course they have miscounted!! Definitely a miscalculation by Rick as he chose one of the busiest seniors days of the year to record his first ever ace.

 

We have been indulging in referendum debates in the clubhouse all week, not always with a great deal of success. In or Out of Europe raised as a question earlier this morning, brought the response, "we are still in, a draw was enough!" which perhaps indicates the level of seriousness (and confusion) with which the referendum is being taken.

 

To assist you in your deliberations in your decision we might divide the clubhouse on Thursday into four sections, IN, OUT, UNDECIDED and WHAT REFERENDUM. Having purchased your pint (or 0.568 litres) of beer you then have to sit in your declared area. Visitors to the Club will not be allowed to sit with the OUTS as they don't want immigrants. On the other hand, there could be unlimited numbers of visitors on Thursday, sitting with the IN's but they might not have brought any money with them and the IN's will have to contribute to their beer and green fees. Meanwhile, both the INs and the OUTs and the Undecideds will debate having Rules/Laws passed by unpopular unelected people who foist taxation/charges upon all for what appears to be the benefit of a relatively small number. I don't agree with England Golf and its structure either......

 

Tuesday 14th June.....A great group of people, a significant number of the Club Captains who have been responsible for the 100,000+ raised.....

 

 

 

Monday 13th June..... news from Captains Day....as we welcomed Simon and Cally to the start of their Year......the golf went down a storm, without a storm in sight.....Mick "Moses" Bewley still managed to get wet, losing his balance whilst playing a shot close to the edge of the pond on 7 and sliding down the steep slope and ending up flat on his back in the reeds (or bulrushes!!). There is no truth in the rumour though, that he parted the waters of the 10th and walked directly to the green......

 

Tim Bevan amassed a superb 43 points to win it, shooting a gross 71 in the process, with Graham Samsa second with 41 points. The course was in magnificent condition, probably the best its been so far this year.

 

The evening dinner was superb and we were delighted to see Steve and Beryl Bradshaw make a short but most welcome appearance. Moses then led the Children of Chalgrave to the Promised Land, otherwise known as the dancefloor where he performed miracles for the rest of the evening!

 

Probably the highlight of the evening though, was the presentation of the cheques to Banita and Mark, our guests from Keech. As well as the magnificent 10,391.56 that we raised last year, we also had a photocall of a fantastic group of Club Captains who have been the lynch pins of the unbelievable 100,467.31 that we have now raised for Keech to date..... I hope to have a photo of that presentation very shortly.

 

Tuesday 7th June....Senior Captains Drive In.......the start of a new captains year, Tony Henderson is at the helm and Bob Hall is Vice Captain. Well, they had a hard act to follow. Rupert is organised within an inch of his life, technology is his friend, and his ability to delegate  and keep on top of tasks is exemplary. Today had a nostalgic feel to it.......Peter Whitton was not available to guide them through the computerised sign in, but that seemed to go OK. First problem was the absence of a printer for the cards, and for the start sheet, so the start sheet was copied from the computer screen by hand.......well, most of it was anyway!!

 

The handwritten start sheet was quite challenging to read, so Tarby, who wears glasses but gets really close to what he needs to read and then peers over the top of the glasses, started to read out which groups were off which tee, except he couldn't read the handwriting that well. The situation was compounded by the fact that there had been some subtle name changes in the translation from computer to handwritten list; Jerry Atkinson became Jerry Atkins, but Jerry Atkinson didn't know if we actually had a Jerry Atkins as a member, so he was unsure if it was typo (or should that be a hando??) or not. Mick Howard, however, appeared on the list twice.

 

Meanwhile, oblivious to the chaos in the lobby as half the seniors tried to find out where they were playing and with who, coupled with the fact that no one actually had any cards, Tony and Bob casually made their way down to the 1st Tee and with the half of the section that has sussed out who they were playing with and where they were starting, launched into Captains Drive In.

 

Eventually, everyone had disappeared to their starting tee for a texas scramble, apart from a folorn three ball in the lobby who didn't appear on the list at all. So I sent them off to start on the 11th as a group.

 

The three groups that went down to start off the 10th, were greeted by the sight of Kathy Tabor and Kate Tilcock, and a vast array of cakes and snacks, along with a tipple or two. All of them declined to partake of the delicacies before them (for clarity, that's the snacks and cakes not the two ladies  - although thats also not to say that the two ladies are not delicacies in their own right..... I'll stop digging now!!) and the 12 players said they would partake later on. Well that will be a challenge then chaps, when you start on 10, you will finish on the 9th green, so you either will be walking all the way to the 10th tee and back again to the clubhouse for a sausage roll or you won't bother/remember! I know what my money is on......

 

Amazingly, they all managed to return to the clubhouse where Captain Tony held court for the prize giving. I have no idea who won, but I believe that Mick Howard, who had 2 chances to win, came last and second last...........

 

All in all, the reputation of the seniors is clearly in extremely safe hands........after a year of normality, chaos has returned! The Tony and Bob show is well and truly underway.

 

 

 

Tuesday 31st May......Hugh Kerr sends me an advert he has received...

A dramatic coastal destination.

A masterpiece unveiled.

An icon reborn.


 

From the 1st of June, the legendary Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry will be available for play following a highly anticipated renovation. Experience the exhilarating changes on this famous course and become part of golfing history as one of the first to

take on the reborn Ailsa course.


 

Tee off from just 539* per person, which also includes overnight accommodation in one of Trump Turnberry’s lavishly upgraded bedrooms, inclusive of breakfast, and a three course dinner in hotel’s 1906 restaurant

 

So, one round of golf, breakfast and dinner, plus an overnight stay, or a whole years golf and access to free golf at 30+ courses......

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf, Great Prices but not Donald Trump's ones!

 

 

 

Monday 11th May....I've often been asked if I make the news page stories. No. I don't credit myself with that level of wild imagination! Whilst I might get quite elaborate on the description for comedy purposes, every scrap that appears on this hallowed page is a genuine story. So you can imagine my delight at coming in this morning to be told that Tom Caulfield of the seniors section, has been inducted into the Chalgrave News Page Hall of Fame, after an escapade so magnificent it may take me a while to describe it.

 

The only, and sincere regret, is that what follows is fractionally out of screen from the CCTV camera located at the rear of the 10th Green.......

 

So Tom was playing his normal Friday social round, when he arrived at the 10th hole. The fourball all teed off and there was a bit of uncertainty of the location of one of the balls which had headed towards the trees to the left of the green. As they rounded the pond, all the players headed for the treeline to search for the ball, Tom pressed the "roll on 10 yards" button on his trolley and went off to help. He failed to appreciate that the slope leading to the green is reasonably significant, and that gravity will try and pull a rolling object down a slope.......

 

so the trolley turned right......and trundled down the hill, getting angry squawks from the ducks and geese as it disturbed their slumbers. Perhaps it was the urgency of the squawking that alerted the guys to the impending danger, as they looked up just in time to see the trolley, bag, which was complete with Tom's wallet and his house/car keys, do a bad impression of Evel Knievel's Grand Canyon Jump......

 

They turned just in time to see the trolley reach the edge and plunge in. Tom, abandoning the search for the ball he was looking for, despite 5 minutes not elapsing, and raced to try and locate the trolley. Using one of his playing partners clubs, he was able to hook the trolley and pull the handle back above the surface but was unable to drag it out of the pond, so he set off for the greenkeeping shed to enlist some help.

 

Jamie and Danny, after a 10 minute delay to wipe away the tears of laughter which were preventing them from driving anything, made it to the 10th pond, but the trolley had disappeared! The raft was unhitched and Jamie started  trying to hook anything under the water on the last known location of the trolley, and miraculously managed to hook it. They dragged it to the surface and as it rose from the depths like the Henry VIII's warship The Mary Rose, the reason why it has disappeared was obvious......the wheels were still driving it onwards!! Had the pond been solid on the bottom, it would have been back at the tee!!

 

As the water cascaded from the bag, Tom grabbed his putter, holed out and then played the back nine!!  For the record, he didn't get any penalty strokes either, as "exception 1 of Rule 13-4" Section (b) allows that as he did not improve the lie of his ball (which wasn't in the hazard), there is no penalty for "placing his clubs in a hazard!"

 

I'm trying to find out who the manufacturer of the trolley is, as to still be running 10/20 minutes after it was submerged is pretty damn impressive. Tom "U Boat" Caulfield has so far not be available for comment!!

 

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf, Great Prices and Hall of Fame Seniors...

 

      

 

Friday 22nd April... Captains Awayday at The Bedford was won by Scratch Team Captain Dave Brommers, with the Club Captain Mick Yule in 2nd place. The accolades though go to VJ "WONGA" Mistry who turned 1 into 20 in just 4.5 hours.  As is the norm, there was a 2's competition, but Don Parrott was unable to stump up the requisite 2 and had to borrow 1 of it from Wonga Mistry. The "loan" was granted on the terms that as he had paid half the entry, he would be entitled to half the winnings. In absolutely standard Chalgrave folklore, there was just one winner, Don Parrott who scooped the entire 60 pot and to great merriment was forced to honour his word and offer half to Wonga. VJ, in a very non wonga manner, took 20 not the 30 he was entitled to, but this amounts to any eyewatering profit of 2000% return on 4.5 hours of lending. My mathematical calculation is that amounts to 10,680% per day and 3,898,200% APR!! 

 

 

Thursday 21st April......Alan Loveday aces the 10th for the second time here at Chalgrave, almost 11 years after the first one. He's getting weaker as well as the first ace in 2006 was with a 9 wood and this one needed a 5 wood to make it. In another decade he'll need a driver!! It was bl**dy cold out there as well, so he had a blinding result afterwards as well, as they all wanted coffee!! The round of drinks cost 21 !! Its only the second ace of the year so far, after nearly 4 months. We had ten in total last year.

 

Tuesday 19th April......Dave Burden is a changed man in retirement. Today, he is amongst the first here, fit and raring to go. Its a team event today, 4 players to a team and Dave is full of banter and laughter as he teases and cajoles the arriving seniors about which team they will be in and who their playing partners will be....... a the 8.00am cut off time approaches, he glances at the Whitton Computerised Draw System and realises there are 39 players entered, so as Adrian Purser arrives he congratulates him on rounding the numbers to the perfect 40 and wanders outside for a bit of chipping practice prior to the start....

 

As the "explosion" of seniors to occurs as the disappear off to all parts of the course, Dave pops his head back around the front door to peer at the list to see which tee he needs to head off to, but struggles to find his name on the sheet. Slowly it dawns upon him, that he was so busy taking the p*ss out of everyone else, that he actually didn't sign in himself, so having been here for best part of 1  1/2 hours chatting to 40 other blokes, he hasn't got a game!

 

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf, Great Prices and opportunities for solitary practice.....

 

Friday 15th April......Another two days of torrential rain had an impact on golf today.....first the Beadlow Early Bird society capitulated at 8.00am without a ball being struck in anger. had coffee, decided that it was just too miserable to contemplate golf, and rebooked for June instead. The brandy boys came in for coffee and decided against it as well. Late morning and the Friday boys were here, the rain had abated but there were ducks swimming on the bottom of the 18th. As the forecasted more heavy rain started, they sensibly capitulated and came in before the onslaught. As the rain grew heavier and the ducks on 18 were suffering from exhaustion as it was a long swim to the edge, Kathy Shaw and Denise Brooks turned up to play their matchplay KO match! Now its been a while since I've seen the traditional Chalgrave "I'm going to play this whatever the bloody weather throws at me" demeanour and to be fair, the ladies usually exude far more common sense than most when the conditions are arduous. Not Kathy and Denise. Somehow, they managed 9 holes in torrential rain and flooded greens. For the record, Kathy is one up and they are coming back to finish this, come hell or high water, or in their case even higher water!

 

I would take my hat off to them but I'd get wet...... 

 

http://www.chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Great Golf, Great Prices and Wet Ladies!!

 

Tuesday 12th April....the weekly chaos of the seniors ensues, and there are no holds barred today.......two have arrived without their trolleys which it turns out, is small beans.....Steve Howarth is probably one of our more "remote" seniors, making the pilgrimage every Tuesday and Thursday from Bricket Wood, near St Albans up the M1, through the road works and speed restrictions to the club. Today, he has his trolley......but no clubs, having left them in the garage, next to where he picked up the trolley from.......so a round trip of about 45 miles for a cup of coffee and somewhere to read the paper. Before you ask, yes I did offer him a spare set to use, but the bag of clubs also contains shoes/hat/gloves etc and all the rest of the senior golfers paraphernalia required to participate on a Tuesday.....

 

 

Monday 11th April....news from the Saturday Club Match against Tilsworth, who we trounced 5 - 1. The match always features a "Nearest the Pin" with a 5 entry fee and a 40 prize with the balance going to Keech. So on Saturday the 5th was the designated hole, and debutant Adrian D'Arcy teed off with playing partner Barry Moorhouse having first agreed that if either won the Nearest the Pin, they would share the proceeds......Adrian then watched aghast as the ball took a hop and a skip and nosedived into the cup for his first ever ace!!

 

So, half the winnings, 20, less the 5 entry fee, and a 50 bar bill........Barry, meanwhile was chuckling away counting his 15 profit!!!   

 

 

Monday 11th April....I'm sitting here on Monday, drained, after a catastrophic round of golf. No. I'm not talking Jordan Spieth collapsing in the Masters. I'm talking Pete Warren, Lee Nash and yours truly in the Apple Designs on Sunday. Overnight, someone broke into the course and added about 2,500 yards to the course without me noticing. We did, to be fair as a three ball, have a very tight match between ourselves, with just a single stableford point separating the three of us after 18 holes. It started bizarrely, as I pulled on a glove, marked up my ball and then ran back up to my office to put my golf shoes on. Four decent shots later with a stroke for a three pointer to start, I was a happy bunny. Then things took a turn. Suffice it to say, that 17 stableford points is not exactly the highlight of my golfing career. I don't think Lee and Pete on 18 points each will be looking back with much joy either!

 

 

Tuesday 5th April......News from the weekend medal.........Don Cook gets a PAR on the 7th!!!!!!

Now the more churlish of you would be thinking that this is a particularly hash bit of sarcasm from me, singling out a club member for what achieving what hopefully is expected to be achieved, and the severity of the sarcasm is compounded by the fact that I generally don't make reference to players scores unless they achieve something exceptional, so a par doesn't really cut it, does it? Except it does on this occasion, as Don hoicked his tee shot way over the left mound and out of bounds and was therefore obliged to play this third shot from the tee, which he promptly holed for a par!! So before you ask, no, its not a hole in one. The clue is in the 3 on the card...........

 

 

Friday 1st April........ Following George Cox and Colin Tipping falling for the April Fool, I am delighted to announce that Taff Rowlands and none other than Peter Whitton, a man who normally arrives on the 1st of April, pokes his head around my door and says "I know what day it is, don't even think about trying anything" have just come back into the Clubhouse after playing the front nine. Now I was talking to Taff as he got a coffee before they started, about the hot air experiment and asked him to let me know later if he could tell any difference between the 3rd green and the rest when he came in.

 

At the time, I was convinced that Peter Whitton turned away to mask his laughter at the preposterousness of the suggestion and I was grateful to him for not exposing the prank at that moment.

 

So you can imagine my delight, when Taff pokes his head around my door, gives me the "thumbs up" and says that the 3rd was "noticeably drier" than the rest of the holes they played. As I wanted to drag the prank out a little, I walked out of the office to where Peter had joined Derek Collins and Alan Laid for morning coffee, to discuss the greens heating system option with them all. You can imagine my unbridled delight when Peter Whitton said he didn't think that he recognised the difference quite as much as Taff did, but still thought that there was some improvement. So, you can imagine his crestfallen face when I continued with the conversation for a short while before mentioning that my life was now complete as I didn't in my wildest dreams ever think I would catch Peter Whitton with an April Fool gag. Peter looked slightly baffled and said "but its not even April" whilst Alan and Derek laughed and Taff still didn't realise it was a prank.... The penny dropped though and it may be a while before Peter speaks to me again.......

 

 

 

We have taken the opportunity today with the early morning frost, to conduct an experiment that may have a far reaching impact on winter golf here at    Chalgrave in the years ahead.

 

We have added some pipework to the biomass boiler and connected it up to the course irrigation system. This enables us to divert hot air from the kiln into the irrigation system and then using a short connection open a pipe into the under green drainage system as well as have a surface outlet pipe ...as well.

  As the 3rd green is closest to the boiler, we set off the experiment at 6.30am this morning when the greenstaff arrived and by 7.20am we had hot air rising    from the hole cup on the 3rd hole as well as a surface level open pipe feed.

One of our early starting golfers, George Cox was able to see the benefits of the system and agreed that the greens surface on the 3rd was way softer than the previous two holes he had played.

Hopefully, we can extend the system through all 18 greens and will be able to bring the same sort of under soil heating and drying to Chalgrave Golf Club, that you see at the Premiership football stadiums.

 

This will enable not just better, softer greens throughout the winter, it will also reduce the potential for damage when we currently use the greens in frosty conditions.   The video of the experiment can be seen here:

http://youtu.be/wxTLEqbqEkM

 

 

Thursday 24th March...Pete is off on a cruise soon, and his missus, decided that he needed a haircut before he went.....so rather than take advantage of the on board facilities (would that be a crew cut?) Marcia had a bash with the clippers herself. Pete has spent a lot of time in the pro shop looking at baseball caps today............

 

Tuesday 22nd March......Seniors..... Dave Jones runs the Seniors "Bonus Ball" and comes into the office proffering a 10 note. No, I haven't won, he just asks for 2 x 5 notes in exchange. So I dig him the requested fivers out of my wallet and hand them to him. He takes them and offers me one back saying "can I have 5 ones please?"!! So now I'm baffled as I'm unsure if Dave is not capable of just asking for a five and five ones in one go, or worse, he thinks I'm not capable of dealing with a multi denomination change request in one go!

 

 

Friday 4th March.....Hot on the heels of Peter Kay trying to kill Colin yesterday, young Ben Hope has a go at himself today!!! Octogenarian Ben was trundling down the 3rd, (playing on his own as he doesn't like to hold up the youngsters!) and he had hit his ball down the slope, where the newly dried and cut grass allowed the ball to have sufficient momentum to reach the ditch and come to rest near the top on the far side......as he approached the ditch, Ben realised that he could get a  club on it!! Yes, I know he was playing on his own, and that the proper, sensible course of events would have been just to lift it out, put it on the fairway and whack it again. After all, what was going to happen? Was he going to go one shot or one hole down against himself?? 

 

But clearly, clear lucid thoughts were not exactly flying about in vast numbers at that precise moment, a fact made clearer when he decided that he was still a twentysomething young man and he wasn't going to bother with the bridges provided for the purpose of crossing the ditches, but was going to hop across with the casual fitness and agility of his youth. It was, to be fair, a massive fail. Actually, it was a massive fall as well. By all accounts, the leading foot didn't even vaguely get close to the opposite side and Ben keeled over. landing rather solidly on the fairway on the other side. Things got worse, as he now seemed to take on the skills of an upturned tortoise, and despite rolling into every conceivable position, was unable to right himself and clamber to his feet. Fortunately, his plight was seen by Gavin Puddick, who was waiting for Clare and went to his rescue!

 

Ben recounted the story to me a short while later, and thankfully he is absolutely fine and laughing about it himself. I asked him what happened to the ball? He said he lifted it out, whacked it onto the green and walked off with a 5!! Now, there is one bit of that story that isn't believable!! 

 

 

Thursday 3rd March......Colin Clough heads out onto the course with Peter Kay for a swift and convivial nine holes....as they make their way down the 8th hole, they are discussing yesterdays news that Doctors think contact rugby should be banned in schools due to the chance of injuries etc. Colin said, with staggering perceptiveness, that life, in general, is dangerous. They finished the 8th and teed off the 9th, their last hole. Pete was down by the ditch, a line he favours off the tee on 9 for some reason. Colin was some 60/70 yards further ahead, in the rough on the right hand side, confident that his 2 shot lead was going to be enough to secure the beers from Pete in the bar afterwards. Pete was also confident that the 2 shots was going to be too much to overcome, and so played an attacking shot of such mastery and guile, in order to try and recover the position.

 

He thumped into the back of the ball and the ball soared skywards. "That's a decent contact," he thought, as the ball looped higher but with a slight hook (Pete is a leftie) to the right. At this point, he realised that the trajectory of the ball and the line of its flight and his playing partner Colin were all in a line. As you do, he shouted "fore!!" Colin looked at Pete, realised that a ball was coming at him and wrapped his hands around the sides of his head, just leaving the very top of his head exposed, from a vertical assault. With an accuracy that has been sadly lacking from the Russians in Syria, Petes golf ball, approx 3cm in diameter, had a target area of no more that 10cm diameter from a distance of 70 yards. Thud.

 

The moral of the story, is never ever predict that life in general is dangerous, especially when you are 2 shots clear of Peter Kay. 

 

Tuesday 1st March......Well I did say that the seniors would have to pull out all the stops to get close to the comedy burglars, but they had a decent go at it! Senior Captain Rupert Groves nailed the day perfectly, as it was Brian Gidley's birthday YESTERDAY, which according to Rupert makes him 18 years old! So despite the fact that the seniors would not normally allow an 18 year old to actively participate in the regular weekly events, they have given him special dispensation to continue and celebrated the occasion today with an 18th Birthday Party, complete with card and large 18th Birthday Badge!

 

It was also their first day back on the earlier start times, starting at 8.30am for the summer, but predictably one forgot. Bob Given arrived late, they had to re-jig the entire start sheet to accommodate the extra player, who then played 2 holes before the heavens opened and Bob decided enough was enough and went home, so he was last to arrive and first to leave!! Just a normal Tuesday really!

 

Monday 29th Feb......We had a break in last night, minor irritation levels in that they snapped the chain on the gate, forced a window and nicked the change out of the coffee machine which amounted to about 50.......but in reviewing the CCTV for the Police today, these two display levels of comedy incompetence that deserves a mention on the hallowed pages of the Chalgrave News page......

 

They arrive at about 11.30pm, in what the police believe to be a stolen BMW X5 which is doing the rounds by all accounts at present. They park up nicely in view of a CCTV camera and wander around the building analysing where best to break in. They opt for the window by the kitchen door, probably because its nearest to where they parked the car. They go to the boot of the vehicle and equip themselves with the nefarious required tools of their trade, including a 2ft long crowbar to force the window. Suitably equipped, they head for the window, then hesitate and return the the vehicle.

 

Why? To shut the rear tailgate which they had left open!!!

 

Now I don't know about you, but I close the rear tailgate on my Navara when I'm about to leave it for a bit, just in case some dodgy character happens to take a passing interest to the contents and decide to take the opportunity of an open rear tailgate as being one to good to miss!! I can't quite frankly, think of any other reason why they might otherwise need to shut it!! Maybe my carpark at 11.30pm at night is such a hive of activity from the crim network that they think it is unsafe to leave the vehicle open for a few minutes!! The police forensic chap who was here had to sit down for 5 minutes as it was just too funny!

 

Once in the building, they force open the coffee machine to nick the aforementioned 50, they both have 2 kicks each at my office door which fails to give, so they go and give the Pro shop door a single kick as well, which also fails to open. As they make their way out, one of the little darlings, who clearly are attending a fancy dress party as muslim ladies in  burqa pretty soon afterwards, nips back behind the bar, opens the fridge and removes 2 cans of red bull!! Not armfulls! Just a couple as that's all they need, although one does think that had they drunk them first they might have had more chance of getting through the doors....The Police said the gate was shut when they arrived just ahead of me, so the nice chaps kindly shut the gate after them on the way out as well!!!

 

I am absolutely baffled as to how the seniors are going to top this tomorrow!!     

 

 

Monday 29th February.........At last!! Happy "Happy Employers Day" to all my fellow employers!!! Once every 4 years, this day arrives, where your staff who are Annually paid, come in to work for a whole day for nothing!! This year, and indeed today is the extra day, my staff work for 366 days for the same annual salary that they get for 365 normally!!  So, today, I'm even happier to see you all than I normally am!!!

 

Sunday 28th February........Proof that playing with the Seniors on Tuesday is good for your health......I know that seems like a slightly mad statement, but blame Hugh Kerr!! Hugh emailed me this morning, complaining that the claim that I made on Friday that golf would be more exerting this weekend thanks to the reopening of Holes 1/2/3, which adds some 1200yards to your round of golf....

 

Hugh, claiming to be "scientifically minded" has an app on his phone which measures the distance walked, and so had a recorded distance of 4.79miles walked on Tuesday 16th February, whilst playing with the seniors, playing 15 holes........so he reasonably expected to add an additional 2/3rds of a mile to that total on Sunday. He didn't. On Sunday, whilst covering the full 18 holes, his walk amounted to 4.4miles!! So his exercise amounted to around 0.4 miles less, instead of the expected 0.6 more!! Aspersions may be cast concerning the relative straightness of strike between Tuesday Seniors and Sunday morning boys. They may or may not be correct. Hugh feels cheated out of the extra exercise that he was expecting on Sunday and asks for suggestions. Well, Hugh, if you fancy a long walk, play on Tuesday then as the Seniors will be venturing out of 18 holes. Make sure your phone battery is charged, let alone your trolley one, as you could be out there some time!!  

 

Friday 26th February....Some very bad news for you all if you are planning on playing this weekend. Golf will take longer and will be more exerting, requiring you to walk at least 1200yards further than you have been doing. Following a stupendous effort by the greenstaff, all of the fairways have been cut, as have all the greens, including the 2nd. Whilst the 2nd remains very soft, with the continuing forecast for crisp dry days over the weekend and the fact that we didn't get 1.5 tonnes of mower stuck whilst driving over it, the first three holes will return for play with immediate effect. Anyone with a trolley weighing more than 1.5 tonnes must still start on 4.......... 

 

Tuesday 23rd February.....The seniors, and Dennis Richards is in and clearly thinks, from our conversation,  I'm just shutting the 2nd hole for the fun of it. So I ask him to go and play the first three holes as part of his seniors round and give me a fair evaluation of whether the 2nd fairway is firm enough yet to play on. Please play it, I say, fill your boots, have a proper go! He dragged the Senior Captain and another senior, Colin as well.

 

15 minutes later, they had filled their boots as I had suggested! With a certain amount of moisture! There is a very good reason why the 2nd is as wet as it is. Its been raining since October. The fairway is probably the flattest fairway we have, so there is absolutely no water run off. the rain just lands and soaks in or lies on the surface. The fabled Chalgrave wind, that dries out the rest of the course in no time, is virtually ineffectual on this hole because of the dense woodland to the left of the hole, so the hole is completely sheltered.  Still, there is less water on the surface at this precise moment, than there was about an hour ago, as it is now residing in the golf shoes of Dennis, Colin and Rupert! Perhaps next time, they will listen to me!!

 

Friday 5th February......Well we have had a few days of dry (ish) weather and danny has managed to get around most of the holes to cut fairways. The ones that he hasn't done are just too wet/soft. We took the mower up to the 2nd fairway to get it stuck there just to make sure that it was as soft as we thought it was though! We have been busy though, as the greenstaff have planted some 750 trees over the last few days as well, with a further 350 to go in next week. The majority are on the banking to the left of the 5th and 6th Holes. On the 5th, we have planted trees to the rear of the 5th green and to the right hand side along its whole length, so that in time, the entire hole will be framed by trees.

 

The 6th Hole, the planting is mainly to the left side, with some in quite close proximity to the tees, with the objective of trying to block the mishit shot that might head in the direction of the houses. The medal tee will be quite a challenging tee, as the existing trees to the front right will be complemented by the ones to the left and it will be like hitting from the thin edge of a wedge out onto the fairway. By the end of next week, all the new plantings will be protected by spirals some on the banks may be uncovered this weekend.

 

The majority of these trees are fast growing hybrids. We have used them to great effect before, so we know that they like our soils and that they grow with great speed. They can be 20ft or more high in 5 years! The remaining trees to be planted will largely be in existing plantations, such as between 6 and 8, to replace trees which have not survived. Particularly the new stock that is in play, we will be putting a woodchip mulch circle around them and there is plenty of space between the trees to allow a drop away from a sapling.   When you stand on the 5th and 6th Tees now, you could be in the forests around Center Parcs (if you have a very vivid imagination!!)   

 

Thursday 4th February......Bill Potton wins the award for the the most pointless adjustment of the day.......he comes in after golf, puts a 1 coin in the coffee machine, selects the + strong button for more coffee and then completely negates that by pressing the + whitener as well! He did leave the "larger cup" option alone, which was handy, as the drink would have overflowed the cup. He then didn't remove the first cup he had poured and pressed the buttons again for the 2nd cup and overflowed the first one!! Absolute mayhem from one bloke!!

 

Ron Gray is not here with the molers, he is in hospital with a bout of pneumonia.....we had a text from him today, saying he has had 90+ texts and international calls from as far away as Australia and the Isle of Wight!!  If you are bringing Ron to the upcoming Quiz Night on 19th Feb, don't ask him the geography questions!!

 

Tuesday 26th January......The Seniors always manage to create mayhem where things really should be so straightforward. How complicated can a raffle be??  So when Past seniors Captain, Chris Burrows donated a brand spanking new, Adams Golf Super S Hybrid to a raffle to raise funds for Keech, you would not of thought that too many things could cause any great issue. Indeed, the raffle was brilliantly successful, with 200 worth of tickets sold to the section that current Captain Rupert Groves adds to the main Charity Fund......so the day of the big draw, and the winner is..........Chris Burrows!! So Chris decided to donate the club for the second time, and again the section put their hands in their pockets and this time accumulated another 120 to Keech. Today, Clare drew the winning ticket and the winner is.....Seniors Captain Rupert Groves.......so.....they are now selling tickets for the third time!!!!

 

 

 

Monday 25th January......pictures arrive from Graham Busby taken last week. The course was frozen solid, but the sunshine had cleared the frost and left the reservoir a glistening mirror, enabling the 4 resident swans to create an optical illusion that they can walk on water.....

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 21st January.......with the ground frozen, we had a chance to get out with a mower and Danny Sanders has done an amazing job cutting the rough on almost half of the course. I will tell you now, that sitting on a mower for 6 hours in these temperatures is unbelievable  dedication to duty!  We have rain forecast for tomorrow, so we will see what things are like before the weekend, as the temperature is due to rise again. Today, we have had all 18 holes open, as the frozen ground made the 2nd firm enough to play. We will be reviewing that for the weekend, but we currently expect that the medal WILL go ahead over the weekend, with the competition played over either 18 holes or 15 holes, dependent upon the condition of the 2nd hole.

 

 

Tuesday 19th January....The Seniors are in and at last there is an expectation that a ball will bounce on the fairway as the temperature has plummeted to -5 overnight. Brian Gidley, as you would expect, is heading out to play a few holes in shorts, a polo shirt and because its so cold, he has added a sleeveless sweater, albeit a lightweight one......   Chris Baker is playing one of his last few rounds before he heads off to Rio De Janeiro.... He said he got a blinding deal on the tickets, but I'm not convinced that he realises the Olympics are not until the summer, and that the hotel he is booked into is an incomplete athletes village!! Either that, or he has really been scammed and he thinks the Winter Olympics are about to start over there!

 

Thursday 14th January...... at long last, its stopped raining........its now snowing!!! And Brian Gidley has just arrived to play with the Molers, in his shorts!!! Normal times at Chalgrave Manor Golf Club. Its a bl**dy madhouse!!

 

Thursday 6th January.....I get back to the club and find the Thursday Molers, Graham Busby, Bryn West and Ron Gray, plus Peter Kay all clustered around the computer in the pro shop, whilst Clare searches for Enrique Iglesias "I'm a freak" video for them.......Lets just say it will get their pulses racing.....which is entirely ironic as it turns out the reason why they are looking for it is that Graham Busby wants it played at his funeral! Ron Gray decides that he needs to start work on his then, and is searching for "Sound of the Underground!" Just a normal Thursday at Chalgrave really!!

 

Monday 4th January.......For the first time in several years, I have been forced to close some of the course. The first three are closed as the 2nd hole is impassable at present. The final part of the 17th, the sideslope approaching the green, is  so slippery, that I have decided that social golf only for those who are desperate for their "golf fix" playing holes 4 - 16 are available. Having ventured out onto the course yesterday, I can honestly say that in the 22 years that we have been open, I have never know the course to be this saturated across its entire area. We need some clear days with strong winds!!

 

 

 

2016

 

 

 

 

Thursday 31st December.....Storm Frank has swept through, the course is rather wet but the sunshine and winds will dry it out as they always do. Its been a pretty dire end to 2015, weather wise and we hope that the New Year will bring better golfing weather. On behalf of all of the staff at Chalgrave Manor Golf Club, I wish you all a very Happy New Year!!!

 

Thursday 17th December....Bob Hall, current Senior Vice Captain, so he will be taking over the reins of the section from Rupert next year, cements his place in the folklore of Seniors Newspage entries..........after a morning on the course with The Molers, he has come back into the clubhouse and participated, as always, in the banter and camaraderie of a Thursday lunchtime in the clubhouse. The mornings golf activities had clearly required some sustenance and he duly ordered a sandwich from Lucie at 1.52pm. At 2.00pm, he received a phone call from us, asking him what we should do with his sandwich, now he had gone home!!! If the Senior Vice Captain is indeed a sandwich short of a full picnic, its because he ordered it and b*ggered off home!! He duly returned to the club to collect it!!

 

Thursday 17th December.....Pete gets a phone call from a scottish guy, wanting to play golf. Pete came in and recounted the anecdote, but his scottish accent sounded indian/pakistani to my extremely deaf ears!!"Roughly translated it was " Can I play golf today and what's the green fee?" "20 sir, on our loyalty card scheme" "Can I have a buggy please???!!" "No, sir, the buggies are not out, its been a bit wet recently!!" says Peter with consumate drollness. "But its the hottest December ever" is the reply. "Yes Sir, and its been raining, following hard on the heels of the wettest November since records began. The course is too wet, the buggies would churn the course up and slide everywhere." "Well lots of other courses have got them out" 

 "Well sir, if you want a buggy, you will have to play at one of those then!" "But you are my last hope!!" is the final response, at which point he realises he's just shot himself in the foot and hangs up....... 

 

Tuesday 8th December..... almost 23 years to the day he joined , Pete Graydon draws the curtain on his illustrious career as a Chalgrave Member. Joining at the end of November 1992, Pete and Fiona are now relocating to Portand, in Dorset, just down the road from the famous Chesil Beach, so Pete's skills at playing in a Chalgrave Wind for 2 decades will still be in demand.

 

Pete sent me a message:

 

"I must say the last 20+ have been fantastic, watching a course grow and establish itself, made many many friends and golf buddies, I would like to personally thank all those people who have driven me to the club, all over the county and Britain. But there are far too many to mention individually.

 

I will miss the banter etc the most.

 

I wish you and club all best for the future, I will of course be keeping an eye on the Facebook and web site."

 

Pete is in a very small select group of people who have been both Club Champion and Club Handicap Champion, along with recording 2 aces along the way as well. Pete also mentioned that he will be in over the weekend, so it would be a good time to scrounge a drink.....

 

So, Pete and Fiona, its been a blast! I hope that you will keep checking in with the Club and have got a big enough house down there to accommodate the Chalgrave South Coast Tour 2016.......

 

 

 

Tuesday 8th December....Chris Baker is a real enigma......here is a man who in recent weeks has spent money on hedgehog wheels for his Go Kart Trolley and has also just invested a not inconsiderable sum on a new, superlight Lithium battery, so that the already light GoKart, equipped with supergrip hedgehog tyres is now powered by a battery pack that weighs about the same as his putter.......today, he arrives for the seniors medal and he is carrying his bag.........I actually daren't ask him why............  

 

Thursday 3rd December.....the result for the If Only is in....33 played, 2o didn't finish and 2 were DQ'd for not signing the card!! For the first time in the club's history, I believe, a score of Nett 78, 6 over par, won the competition!! Danny Glass and Mick Parrett were the only two to record sub 80 rounds! (thats nett to handicap!!) Braddy finished third in shots but was ousted to 4th place and out of the money as Steve Emmett got the flag further up the course despite finishing in 4th over 18 holes....with Alan Gunney in 11th with a nett 114!! 

 

Monday 30th December......at the end of the committee meeting we had the Captains November Raffle Draw. The prize is a superb Christmas Hamper, generously donated by the Seniors Section. The winner? Rupert Groves, Seniors Captain!! Rupert wasn't at Committee and is still unaware of his victory, but even with out trying, the Seniors manage to make you laugh.....!!

 

Tuesday 24th November......a bittersweet day for the Seniors Captain, Rupert Groves. Being the leader of a burgeoning and vibrant section and leading that section by example has the occasional downside......today was one of those days. Despite the poor weather, the section once again turned out in force........which proved rather costly when the Senior Captain launched a 7 iron from the 5th tee, landed it gently and drifted it down the slope into the hole for an ace.......The seniors gleefully celebrated the occasion at the bar.......so the last two holes in one, or entries to the Not the Joe Silva Club, have been recorded by the seniors.....

 

Tuesday 24th November.....The latest addition of the Decisions on the Rules of Golf has arrived on my desk.....I know you all knew the Rules perfectly well, but there are 29 new decisions to grapple with, along with 81 further decisions where the ruling has been revised ( which presumably means that the previous decision has been changed and the revised decision is now the "new one"!! So, with 110 new rulings, it is entirely possible that Dave Holland could break a new Rule on every shot on the round...........

 

A number of these changes relate to the application of penalties to scores after a round has been completed, mainly to put an end to the armchair viewer spotting an infringement and ringing up to complain, with the previous result of players being DQ'd, but to a point, this will also affect our own games. For example, a player who removed an OOB stake as it was in the way, and he didn't know that he was not permitted to remove the stake (you can only remove hazard stakes as "obstructions" OOB stakes are a permanent fixture and you must play the ball as it lies), would have the penalty added after his round. If, however, he knew the rule correctly but still removed the stake, the penalty would remain as a DQ.

 

This surely breaches one of those basic tenets of law, that "ignorance of the law is no defence"!!

 

However, in addition to the 2 shot penalty added for removing the OOB stake, a further 2 shot penalty is added at the end of the round (for each occurrence) so perhaps it does pay to know the Rules!

 

However, just to add a bit of confusion, if you breach a rule that you didn't know, and its penalty is disqualification, then you will still be DQ'd  after the round as before. For example, you have played a "wrong ball" on the 12th and failed to correct it before teeing off on the 13th.  These changes come into effect on 1st January 2016, there are new copies of the Rules of Golf in my office and are available free of charge to anyone who wants them. For the real armchair enthusiast, the Decisions book is a great book to have, as it explains the backgrounds and reasons for a decision in a Q&A format.

 

Notable changes are of course the "anchoring" rule, where long/broomhandle putters are no longer able to be anchored against a part of the body. Whilst players may still grip the club against the forearm, if you intentionally hold the forearm against the body to create a stable point around which the stroke is made, then this again becomes anchoring!

 

The New Decisions also deal with errors on Stableford Scoring, so if you incur a penalty after the round, the stableford score for the hole will be adjusted AND a further 2 shots will be deducted from the final total.

 

Perhaps one of the most relevant changes, to amateur golf, is Rule 14-3 which deals with the use of Measuring Devices. Previously, if the device enabled to user to gauge slope angle/windspeed or other conditions other than distance, its use on the course in competition was prohibited. This effectively meant that your mobile phone, despite being one of the most advance pieces of technology, equipped with apps to give you distance to the hole, becasue it also gave you wind speed/direction etc you could not use it. The revised decision now only results in a DQ if you USE the mobile phone facility that is in breach of the rules........

 

All this, and more, applies from 1st January 2016.    

 

Thursday 19th November....I just popped in to the club, as I needed to sort a few things out. I was only here an hour, but Brian Gidley provides comedy gold in that time to keep the news pages ticking over......The Thursday crowd were all in the bar, Lucie in the kitchen and Clare was going through stuff with me, so Brian popped behind the bar to sort his drink out as no one was available.....Aidan was with me and he went into the bar to help Brian, who seemed a bit flummoxed...."Ive got a brandy" says Brian, "is this the port?" as he proffered a glass to Aidan of a deep ruby coloured liquid......"where di you get that from? questioned Aidan on smelling the glass. "out of that decanter" said Brian. "Thats Blackcurrant juice" said Aidan. "Oh, OK" said Brian as he downed it in one!!  I wish I could say I was making this up, but I'm honestly not..........

 

Tuesday 3rd November.....a story from the weekend, of a lost ball on the 8th hole.......now you would be excused for thinking, well, that's not difficult, we've all done that. There are copious opportunities in the 500+ dogleg yards to do that, the trees to the right off the tee, the rough to the right along its entire length, the trees to the left alongside the 12th, across onto the 17th and finally the plantation and long grass that wraps around the back of the green. Well that really covers all the bases doesn't it?? Apparently no.

 

The Ladies section managed the impossible. I know there have been occasions when people have considered the greens slower than they might like, and felt that a trim would be in order, but never has it reached proportions that a ball has been lost on the green.....until Sunday, where two fourballs ended up on the putting surface at the same time, but only 7 putted out as one ball was, apparently lost. As all players left the green, someone pointed out the ball left forlornly  on the putting surface and one of the ladies went back to putt out.......should have gone to specsavers......

 

Tuesday 3rd November......In a moment of complete madness I agreed to the installation of the new coffee machine, in the period between the seniors disappearing to play golf and returning to the clubhouse after the round. The new machine has a coin slot in a different place. That was the start of the problems! It also has touchscreen type buttons instead of physical ones that you can press in. There is also a small cup shelf, where you place the mug ready for the dispense. Unfortunately, it would appear that the mug also fits underneath the cup shelf, which makes an almighty mess when the coffee drops onto the empty shelf, splatters about and then drains through into the cup below, doesn't it Bob Hall?? Finally it once again has a coin op system that accepts a variety of coins, between 5p and 2. That is going to stitch up whoever has been paying in 1p and 2p pieces for the past 4 weeks!!

 

Clearly, in the seniors, there are some real coffee connoisseurs. Derek Collins for example, was intrigued by the options of instant and ground. "Which one's cheapest?"

 

I'm not going to tell Peter Kay we have a new machine, as he will stay up all night worrying about how it works!! But I will get a text from him by 7.35am tomorrow!!  

 

Sat 31st October....The Halloween Handicap is the usual carnage, except for some reason, maybe because it actually fell on Halloween itself, it was way worse than usual. The usual rules applied...There were 4 holes where the stableford score was doubled, the "treats" but there were two holes where the scores were tripled and then became minus scores, the "tricks" Tricks are worse than you think, as the original score no longer counts either! You have to feel sorry for Frank Howarth, who had a 2 nett 1 on the 16th for 4 points. It was a trick hole, so his 4 points became -16, but he didn't get the original 4 either, so it is effectively - 20! Add that to his -6 (worth -8) with the other trick hole, and with -28 points on two holes it will not surprise you to hear he didn't win!!

 

Normally, someone with a middle range score happens to score well on the treat holes and scores particularly badly on the tricks. so their score improves dramatically. It didn't happen. Most went backwards, some substantially. Lorain Ronis came in with 20 points and finished with 1. The top three all had lower scores than their normal scores, they just happened to score badly enough on the trick holes to survive. All a bit of fun, and my thanks to all who played as the surplus helps to fund the Halloween and Fireworks Party that starts in a couple of hours time.

 

Thursday 22nd October......an item on last nights BBC news is making me think......Wentworth are changing their pricing structure for members. Where previously it was 8,000 per annum to be allowed to strike a ball off the hallowed turf, from April 2017 that will rise to an eye watering 16,000 per annum.......     You may think that is a tad excessive. That is not the half of it. If you are an existing member, in order to be ALLOWED to pay the new 16,000 fee, you will first have to stump up a debenture (effectively an interest free loan that won't get repaid) of 100,000 in order to have the opportunity to pay the 16K a year!!   But in an absolute masterstroke of marketing genius, this is being touted as a great deal, as if you are not currently a member, it will cost you 125,000 for the debenture.....so, from an existing members point of view, they are saving 25,000!!!   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-34591272

 

I am really worried about the exodus that is going to occur as members leave in droves to sign up for this...........

 

Monday 19th October, just getting the website back up to date after a weekend away, and the Competition Committee Cup gives an example of how to play golf! John Trott accumulates a meagre 26 points on the way to a lower third of the table finish.....but clearly that was 17 holes of mediocrity and a 2 on a par three. The two though, was the only one in the competition, netting him a cool 26, only 4 less than the winner, Dave McGarry who had to play well for 4+ hours for an extra 4!!

 

Tuesday 13th October........now I know that the Seniors section seem to spend most of their time creating hilarious newsworthy items, effortlessly and without really trying to, but currently leading that burgeoning section, regularly seeing over 55/60 players on a Tuesday, is Captain Rupert Groves and his deputy Bob Hall. These two, as well as leading the section in their inimitable style, have been driving a senior section fundraising exercise in a way never previously seen in 20+ years. I know they have been doing it but I didn't realise just how effective they have been, until Rupert plonked a cheque on my desk to pass to Vince as the FIRST payment into the Captains Charity, Keech Hospice. It totals a smidgen over 1,000. Gentlemen of the Seniors Section, I applaud you.

 

 

Tuesday 13th October.....The final word on the Woburn Masters, the eventual champion and our senior marshal......Patrick's role standing on the 3rd fairway, of course, was as a ball spotter!! One might churlishly suggest that as he didn't see the ball that hit him (otherwise he would have got out of the way!) that he wasn't perhaps cut out for that role. The national papers though, missed one of those golden headline opportunities, for which I can't take credit for myself, it was Peter Whitton, this morning, that pointed out that FitzPatrick HitzPatrick should have adorned the back page of The Sun! We even have a photo of the winner, checking with Patrick that (a) he is OK (b) do the glasses work and (c) was there any chance of the binoculars being used!!

 

 

Monday 12th October......Patrick fires off an indignant email, as it would appear that I have been given duff info by Pete Warren.....Patrick was marshalling the 3rd fairway not the 2nd when he was struck by the ball from the eventual winner.....so Patrick was the direct cause of Matt Fitzgerald's only bogey on front 9!! I was going to make comment on the earlier missive, that a small donation to Patrick from his substantial winnings would not have gone amiss, as a par was perfectly acceptable score and he could have stopped it being worse.....However, with a bogey, perhaps there is a reason why such a contribution was not forthcoming........  

 

Sunday 11th October....Chalgrave seniors marshalling at the Seniors Masters have a direct impact on the outcome of the trophy......Patrick Ng, the man with the smallest surname and a physical stature only surpassed in size by Braddy, is marshalling the 2nd fairway as Matt Fitzpatrick tees off. At home, Pete Warren is watching the Masters on Sky TV, and realises instantly that as the ball lands on the fairway and bounces forwards, that the marshall the ball hits is Patrick, keeping the ball nicely on the fairway from where he made a par and went on to win a cool 500,000!! Pete Warren rang Patrick to check he was OK, as by then, he was battered black and blue, as Pete had replayed the impact 400 times on Sky TV!!

 

Sat 10th October...more comedy from the clubmatch......a Henlow player arrives by the side of the 18th green in a buggy as we finish the hole. We are the last group out, and he asks if we have, by chance, found any car keys on our way around the course. Regrettably no, but I furnish him with the benefit of my 20+ years of running this place, and say to him, that before he goes out and scoures the course, he should go and empty his golf bag, completely. Take all the clubs out, shake it upside down, unzip every pocket and turn that inside out as well. The keys, in my experience, will be in the golf bag. He says thanks, and heads back to his bag to check again, and then 10 minutes later, we see him forlornly heading back up the 18th in search of the elusive keys. He lives, apparently, in Sandy!! An hour and a half later, all his playing partners and team mates have gone home, he comes into the bar looking sheepish, having just driven around every single hole, bar the first three, when, as he glanced at his bag which was on the buggy with him, he noticed a small zipped pocket he had forgotten about............If he ever decides to leave Henlow, he will fit in well here.........

 

Sat 10th October.....I'm playing in the Club Match at Home v Henlow. We get around to the 10th hole and we are waiting as group in front has not yet cleared the green........so you stand about having a chat, as you do.....and the opposition venture the comment, "I love this hole, I nearly had a hole in one here once, have you had one Steve?" "Yes" I say. On here and on the 5th. I nearly choked with laughter when he asked my playing partner, Joe Silva, if he had ever had a hole in one.......

 

Thursday 8th October.......something I forgot to put up a while ago.....and Phil Greenhill sent me a reminder of my error!

 

It is a note of thanks from Phil.....

 

If you wouldn't mind, could you post something on the news page thanking the members & friends of Chalgrave for their help over the last few years, we managed to turn around a golf society that barely covered its own costs into a donation of 2,623:00 for the British Heart Foundation in memory of my Dad, Peter Greenhill. Cheque presentation made on Charity Day, you can use any of the photos from my facebook albums if you wish.
Some have played in it, many gave to it, including you.


If you could thank all those that have helped from all The Greenhill clan.


Although we have now drawn a line under the actual Golf Society Days/Weekends as we thought 10 years was a good number, we now have the occassional auction, on facebook, of varied items in aid of varied charities.


https://www.facebook.com/PeterGreenhillMemorial

 

I was always happy to support it Phil, and I applaud you and everyone who took part in it for honouring the memory of your Dad in such a great way.

 

Friday 2nd October....some late news this week as Patrick Ng announces he aced the 10th AGAIN, to join the Two Holes in One Club, having previously aced it with a 7 iron in 2013, this time a 7 wood was required as he aced it in a matchplay game against the Seniors Captain, which I'm sure must breach some rule of ettiquette somewhere......"Can you let Joe Silva know I've got two now" said Patrick..........

 

 

Thursday 1st October...... OK OK OK, I give up. I will hold my hands up and admit to a senior moment.........about 7 days ago, one of the club members, (a senior I believe!!) was having a problem with his Go Kart Trolley. So I said I would sort it out, send it back to Go Kart and get it fixed. We put the trolley in my office and I said I would let him know when it was back......An hour or so later, I had a bit of a eureka moment and realised that the problem might not be the trolley itself, but rather it might be the battery or the charger. I tested this theory by putting my battery on his "broken" trolley and, lo and behold, it worked perfectly! So its either the battery was flat as he had forgotten to charge it, or he had not connected the charger properly, or the charger is broken.

 

I emailed and messaged him with the good news, that it wasn't the trolley and I needed the battery and charger to test them.............

 

I got messages back....."No idea what you are talking about, I don't have a GoKart trolley!!"

 

So, the person who I thought it was, it wasn't. I cannot, for the life of me, remember who it was! I was working on the basis that seeing as I had said they would collect, fix and return the repaired trolley within a week, that someone by now would have put their head around my office door and asked if the trolley is back yet, but it hasn't happened. Probably because there is another senior moment going on elsewhere and some one somewhere is wondering where the hell they left their Go Kart Trolley!!!!

 

So, if anyone knows who it was, can they please point them in my direction!!  

 

Sun 27th September......Today, there was a sudden lurch in the time/space continuum and the world changed forever. I witnessed something that shocked me to the core, as it is a clear indication that we are all getting older.......Ronnie Cooper came in and ordered an orange and lemonade....Ronnie joined as an Associate Member in 1999, so its taken him almost 16 years to not order a pint of bitter....... I've attached a photo as Mick Bewley will never believe it.......

 

 

 

Sat 26th September......7.10am... I've just opened up, and first in is Steve Glover who has set the bar high for the day.......we are standing in the bar and he says, "have you been decorating, I can smell paint?" I said, "not painting, what else do you think it could be?" he looks around him and offers "floor polish??" "One of those words is close " I said. "Polish" he says!!  "Should have gone to Specsavers, Steve" was my response!! He looked around again and finally noticed the 96 square metres of carpet, hard flooring and a dancefloor!! How the hell is he planning on seeing a small white sphere this morning??

 

 

Thursday 24th September..... Note to self: at no point ever take the greenstaff on at eating. Whilst I fondly imagined that I was reasonably competent in this department, I am now a chasened and heavily defeated man. I took the greenstaff out for breakfast as they managed to achieve the figures for heat output from the biomass boiler that we need to do each year, in 10 months. The past month, where the log business has gone mad, and the course has been growing like the blazes, has been challenging.

They selected the Harvester, "eat all you like Breakfast" in Hockcliffe as the venue, not necessarily just for the volume of food. Jack and Danny seemed very interested in the crayons and the colouring in sheets as well!

Jamie's breakfast didn't fit on his plate. The small bowl to the edge of the picture contains his 5 hash browns.....
toast has already been consumed, as has coffee and juice.....

My "full english" paled into insignificance alongside this gargantuan mass of food. Before you ask, yes, it was finished!

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 24th September....all done......the club bar area has undergone an upgrade. Gone is the grotty green carpet. Also gone is the portable dancefloor. In its place, a permanent wooden dancefloor and the thick, plush carpet. Meanwhile, the beer and coffee prices have remained the same. I know, that's very nice of me!! No, you can't wear soft spikes and definitely not metal spikes in the bar area!!

 

  

 

 

Friday 18th ........honesty and Integrity from the Handicaps and Competitions Committee...... from the submitted cards, Parrett and Hawker appeared to be in 2nd place in the Parrett Hawker........but it turned out that Messrs Cook and Davis had not only added their handicaps together incorrectly, they also calculated the 3/8th combined incorrectly on the incorrectly added handicaps!!!!  Fortunately from their point of view, their obligation is to put THEIR full handicap on the card correctly and all mathematical errors thereafter are the responsibility of the the Committee to correct..... So Parrett and Hawker were moved down to third in the Parrett and Hawker, by the Chair of Handicaps Hawker, who was sick as a Parrett!!!

 

Friday 18th.......news from County Comps, as Cally successfully defends her title winning the Beds Ladies Past Captains Championship for the 2nd consecutive year......and I'm expecting great things on Sunday when the County 36 hole mixed foursomes takes place at Aylesbury Vale.....there are 22 pairs entered, of which the Chalgrave contingent make up 9 of them!! I'm expecting an email by Sunday night telling me about a clean sweep........No pressure then!!

 

Thursday 10th September....Nothing like starting the day with a sarcastic rant at people who waste your time.....PRS is an organisation who charge licences for the playing of music to then, in theory, pay out royalties to the songwriters. They are, in my experience, pretty incompetent in their recordkeeping. Which makes you wonder if the money ever makes it to the songwriter......so my email missive this morning......

 

Dear Mrs Francis

Not for the first time, I have received a Final Demand threatening me with unleasing the dogs of hell upon me for failing to pay your invoice.

    Not for the first time, you are wrong.  Our cheque, No 7677 for 108.38 was debited from our bank account on 19th August 2015, and presumably credited  to your account around that date as well.

 

Not for the first time, we have completed your ridiculously amateurishly created form, returned it on time, received your invoice, paid it and then had threatening letters as your systems of accounting must be on a par with the original form. How complicated can it be to use a computer?

 

Surely in this day and age, you can create an online form and use a computerised accounting system to keep track of incoming payments. Then, you would not waste so much money in sending out umpteen reminders, threatening letters and such like, all with reply paid envelopes in there as well.

 

Not for the first time, I won't get any response or acknowledgement from you for this email, confirming that you have infact received our cheque and that you have made an error, again, and that you apologise for the ongoing incompetence in your office.

 

I have been in business for 22 years with the golf club. We have had a PRS licence as long as we have had a clubhouse. I have NEVER not paid you or indeed any supplier who has sent me a correct invoice. If I had a choice in the matter, I would go elsewhere.

 

I look forward to not hearing from you shortly!

Yours Sincerely, extremely so,

Steve Rumball

Managing Director
Chalgrave Manor Golf Club

 

 

 

Tuesday 8th September.......I have today received the most bizarre letter ever. Someone has taken the trouble to print a sticky label with our address on, stick that to the front of a white self seal envelope, add a self stick 1st class stamp, not a franked mark, and of course add the 4 white pages of A4 that have been folded twice to make them the appropriate size to fit into the envelope, finally sticking down the flap and putting it into a postbox somewhere near Gatwick, as that is the Royal Mail Centre that processed it.

 

Page One of the 4 pages says: ERROR>>>ERROR>>>ERROR>>>ERROR>>>ERROR>>>ERROR>>>   Pages 2, 3 and 4 are completely white, pristine nothing printed on them whatsoever! I took it out and handed it to Rupert Groves, saying that this letter arrived this morning and it must be for the seniors section, as it makes no sense whatsoever!!!!!

 

Monday 7th Sept....despite having a ladies section with one of the smallest active group of players amongst the Bedfordshire County Golf Clubs, our ladies keep flying the Chalgrave flag deep into the county competitions. The latest to feature are Lorain Ronis who won the 1st Nett Prize of the County 1st Division and also winning the Silver Coronation Medal, which dates back to 1929! Not to be outdone, Cally and Sue overcame South Beds in the County Foursomes and are now waiting to hear who their opponents are and the venue for the next round. Next round is a slight understatement. It's actually the FINAL!!!!! The match will be played at neutral venue at a date still to be agreed......I hope to be able to report a  favourable outcome in due course! These are fantastic achievements and a testament to the competitiveness of the ladies section.    

 

Thursday 3rd September.....A snippet from the Molers....Dave Burden is out with John Townley and Terry Payne, for the normal "social" Molers Thursday Golf Round.....Dave is always good for a bit of witty repartee, and today was no exception.....he said "Terry and John have been having a right ding dong battle out there from the start, after 5 holes they were still level, nothing to separate them......."  literally nothing to separate them.....they were still equal on zero points after 5 holes.......I'm waiting for them to come in to see who won...... 

 

Monday 24th August......the news page is not normally the haunt of factual golfing stuff, so in order for "normal" news to make it signifies something of outstanding proportions has occurred......and indeed it has. I also usually add my own wording to a missive sent through for inclusion, but again, such is the magnitude of this achievement, I would not want to detract from it by making any alterations/additions myself. It stands up, and speaks for itself.....

 

So, from Dave Bromley......

 

As Captain of the Chalgrave Scratch Team today I am very proud of them.

 

We played away at Millbrook today (where teams very rarely get any points) and we came away with a 2 and half, 2 and half draw so getting the 1 point we needed to ensure us getting the runners up spot and so getting the promotion to the top division. 


What an achievement for a club of our stature where our lowest handicap I think is 5 to be playing against the county elite where most of the players will 
be scratch or better. It's gonna be tough but what an experience it's gonna be for the lads. Bring it on.


So once again my many thanks to everyone who represented Chalgrave in this years county summer scratch, that is....

Scott Kelly, Mick Parrett, Tim Bevan, Colman Horgan, Paul Northcott, Dave McGarry, Steve Howarth and myself. 


Be proud of yourselves and I hope the club as a whole is as well. Once again, it is a great achievement to gain 3 promotions in a row and to now be mixing it with the County Elite.


 

  

 

Friday 14th August.....I have some 2 for 1 tickets on my desk, for the Travis Perkins Senior Masters 4th - 6th September at Woburn. Gone, it would appear, are the days when they would send us a few complimentaries for sticking up a poster to advertise it! Still, if you are planning on going, instead of 15 each for a day ticket or 30 each for a season ticket for the whole tournament, you can do it at half price! 10 tickets are available on a first come first served basis, it would be nice if you popped a small donation into the Captains Charity Jar........ 

 

Tuesday 11th August........Chris Baker......(what - again!!???) arrives in my office with the usual sheepish grin on his face which normally precedes an admission of something daft along with a request for assistance.....I may be deaf but I tell you what, I think I'm psychic!! He then explains that he was running late this morning as he couldn't find his glasses, but he eventually found them.....so presumably he put them on which one would think would improve his eyesight, and then promptly walked past his trolley battery and didn't notice it, so he wants to borrow mine..........I did, of course, as I'm a kind and generous soul, allow him to do so. I didn't mention the fact that he wasn't wearing his glasses.........

 

Thursday 6th August......it is rare that Mick Bewley and Ronnie Cooper are struggling to find something to take the rise out of, or find something hilarious to discuss at length at the bar, but when an opportunity is plonked in front of them on a gold plated platter, tied up with yellow ribbons and a bow, and bells (literally!) on it, they are not going to pass up on that opportunity!!! So yesterday, when their golfing buddy Paul Godfrey turns up in his new car, the sarcasm, humour, cutting remarks and general p*ss taking reached a level not seen in years......the "own goal", an exocet missile strike from 5 yards outside of the box, screaming into the top corner of his own net......is the new car.....gone is the blue convertible, renault megane, and in its place is a red convertible Noddy car. I'm not sure of the make, as it is so small I 'm not sure that there is space for the manufacturers logo....but suffice it so say, its small, bright red, and Paul being a solid, chunky, reasonable tall bloke, looks bl**dy enormous sitting in the drivers seat.....Mick and Ronnie have had to have the day off work today as they are so dehydrated from the amount of tears of laughter they shed last night........

 

Thursday 6th August....an update from the Chris Baker GPS saga...and an example of how "many a true word said in jest" is so true......so Jamie found the GPS, still clamped in its holder, which somehow Chris had manage to dislodge from his trolley between the 10th green and 11th tee, in the woods. He has performed his own modification of the design, attaching an ultra strong "curly cable" as added security between the device and his trolley. The was a curly security cable supplied to him by First Capital Connect to keep his keys on when he was a train driver......Jokingly, I said "Just for clarification, you didn't ever lose your train then?"......."well sort of, I took the wrong one once......"   ...and Chris still wonders WHY they gave him early retirement......

 

Monday 3rd August.....Chris Baker comes in at lunchtime, not a happy bunny. He was, you will recall, the recipient of many Go Kart accessories in the past few weeks, in a concerted effort by his wife to keep him at the golf course and not at home. One of those accessories was a GPS device holder. This had already caused Chris a number of problems, not least the fitting of it to his trolley. It didn't fit, he said. I assisted. I pointed out the second sentence of the fitting instructions..."if you have an auto handle, please start at No 6 on the fittings instructions". Chris, of course, with an Auto Handle, was starting at 1. A while later, he returned. "It doesn't fit together" he said, holding two sections that clearly needed to be fitted together. He passed them over. "CLICK" as they fitted together!. Hand them back, away we go. I didn't  expect to hear any more, but yesterday Chris, at lunchtime was despondent. The GPS Accessory Holder, complete with held GPS had fallen off his trolley (presumably as he still hadn't fitted it correctly!!!) I said "take a buggy and go and get it, you must know where it is?" "Well, No" was the rather odd answer. "Chris, the point of a GPS sat nav is that after you have taken your tee shot, it tells you how far you have to go to the flag, which aids your club selection for the next shot. Therefore, if you are on the 6th, and it says 325 yards, and then when you play your next shot, its not there anymore, it can only be somewhere between the previous shot and where you are now. When did you know you had lost it?" "The 11th" says Chris. "OK" I said, "when did you look at it previously?" "I don't know, I was playing cr*p (by which I presume he means he was coming up 20 yards short of a green because he had used the wrong club because he hadn't used the Sat Nav!).

 

So, off he went in the buggy to search, presumably just the first 10 holes, but to be honest I didn't dare ask, he was gone a long time so he probably did 12 to 18 as well.....all to no avail. The GPS holder and Sat Nav is out there somewhere. Look on the bright side, he has 60 seniors on the case this morning who can look for it.......

 

In the Baker Household, there could be many bittersweet moments.....Mrs Baker spending endless hours trawling Ikea for a piece of furniture, then having it wobble and collapse inside a week. However, at least she still knows where the collapsed sofa is..... 

 

Monday 3rd August.....Last Tuesday afternoon, we suffered damage to the 4th green, as a Red Vauxhall Corsa, Registration MM08RUY came into the course, did a number of handbrake turns on the 4th Green and then left in the direction of Toddington. The act of vandalism, criminal damage, call it what you will, was witnessed by a Club Member, who recorded the numberplate, but was unable to manoeuvre back to the gate to block it before they got away. He came down to the club and reported it to me, and I went up into Toddington and immediately found the vehicle. Perhaps it was the bright orange shirt with Chalgrave Golf Club on it that gave me away, but he knew I was after him and sped off. The police are on the case, and so am I. The car has been seen regularly around Toddington, and we believe that we now know who the driver is. Once I have this confirmed, I will be pursuing a civil action for damages, nothwithstanding any criminal prosecution that the Police may follow. If the lout can afford a shiny red car, he can afford to pay for the hours of work it has taken to get the green back into a passable condition. One week on, you can still see the tyre marks. If anyone spots the car in Toddington, I would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Tuesday 28th July......There are times when this Club just takes my breath away. At no stage of the original "back of a fag packet" business plan - the very first draft was "Build a golf course. Grass, how difficult can it be to make it grow?" which was handily short as I didn't and still don't smoke and fag packets were hard to come by to write the business plan on - did I ever envisage that the combination of the business that now exists and the fantastic membership that makes the Club what it is, would make such a magnificent contribution, annually, to a massively worthy local charity Keech Hospice.

 

The aftermath of yet another superb Charity Day, where raffles, book sales, auctions, hole sponsors, random donations and Captains Charity Fines, the appearance of 130+ golfers in various "standards" of golfing apparell, from the normal golf gear, to the bizarre sight of Paul Northcott in a tutu and a headband, all combined to produce the quite magnificent total 4,750 raised on the day for Keech.

 

This will take the Captains Charity cumulative total contribution to Keech Hospice to a smidgen over 95,000 and the question is really will Mick and Ann be able to break the 100,000 barrier this year?

 

Even Captain Mick's own inability to grasp the concept that Charity Day is a mechanism for getting loads of people to play and contribute to the fund, whilst distributing prizes and goodwill to all and sundry, by leading his own team to the 1st prize failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the assembled masses!! At one point, I had all four clubhouse staff on the dancefloor, with Hollie as the American Diner Waitress, Aaron as Elvis and Clare and Lucie still going strong after 10 hour shifts!

 

One of my team, Archie McIntosh, a man with a Chalgrave background who knows how to party, but now embraces the quiet demureness of a Dunstable Downs Member put it perfectly. "No other golf club does a social quite like Chalgrave. Looking forward to next year"

 

My sincere thanks to every single person who contributed, to the Greenstaff who pumped thousands of gallons off greens at 6.00am after the Friday deluges, to the golfers who came, played and paid, to the hole sponsors, the evening guests, the Clubhouse staff who worked and partied hard all day, the Captains, and the immense contribution to the smooth running of the day by Vince.  

 

 

Thursday 23rd July......Just catching up with stuff from the weekend still!! TWO new entries on the Not the Joe Silva Club Board, as both Rian Maginn and Colin Barden ace the 5th, Rian on Saturday with an 8 iron, and Colin in a downwind gale on Sunday with a wedge....................no sign whatsoever of a Silva ace though..... 

 

Tuesday 14th July.....It has been a regular feature over the years, the Tuesday seniors ability to cause chaos at the drop of a  hat. Today was a masterpiece in the creation of effortless chaotic mayhem, arranged and orchestrated by the Seniors Section Captain, Rupert Groves. At 7.45, just before the bulk of the seniors section arrive to sign in, Rupert arrives, burdened down by a large batch of colour photographs taken on a recent Seniors awayday, which he has for free distribution to his section. He proceeds to neatly arrange these for viewing and collection, on the narrow shelf in the lobby area. Over the next five minutes, roughly 50 seniors arrive to sign in, which means that they have to pass through the lobby area into the bar. The first 20 odd make it, as they follow the time honoured general club traditions of completely ignoring all signage and notices and other paraphanalia on the way through...indeed Taff Rowlands made it past 4 times in 5 minutes. A few had a passing glance but clearly couldn't see well enough to recognise themselves or indeed any of their fellow seniors and probably thought that this was a random display of photo's I have put out, of old geezers playing golf at a club that wasn't Chalgrave!!

 

Ken Goodland started the downward spiral, recognising himself and claiming his photograph. Suddenly it clicked. all the passers by returned, searching for themselves amongst the 50+ pictures of an old bloke with a set of golf clubs on a fairway on a green background. Factor into this, Tarby and John Steele who are picking up pictures at random and holding them 3" from their eyes in the hope there might be some spark of recognition. Come to think of it, how DO they know what they look like now? It might have been 30+ years since they last saw their own reflection accurately? Anyway, as you might imagine, once Tarby and John made it into the area by the lobby door into the bar, it was as though there had been a lorry overturned in the M1 Roadworks.

 

Those in the bar were stuck, and traffic quickly backed up past the junction with my office. The lobby slowed and jammed as well, but the influx of new seniors at least had a load of photo's to look at! Tarby and John finished looking at the photos but were now wedged up against a shut door to the bar, with a solid mass of seniors behind them, and a door which opened towards them.........eventually, they managed to get it open and seniors exploded in all directions like a champagne bottle wielded by Lewis Hamilton....the mayhem subsided and things returned to normal, well whatever passes for normal on a Tuesday morning. Five minutes later, Rupert passes through the lobby, clears away the remaining photo's, completely oblivious to the 10 minutes of mayhem he had caused!!! Rarely has a Seniors Captain managed to cause such chaos so effortlessly!

 

Monday 6th July...Chris Baker comes in to order some accessories for his Go Kart trolley, which his much better half is purchasing for his birthday......these bits include the hedgehog wheels, which are brilliant in the winter period, making sure that the trolley doesn't slip and slide about in virtually any horrendous weather conditions.......it strikes me that Mrs Baker is an extremely willing golf widow who is trying to ensure that there is no excuse whatsoever for Chris being unable to play.......

 

Friday 3rd July......we come to the end of a torrid week, but one thing that this week has shown, is what an outstanding group of members and staff we have here. On Wednesday, one of our club members, John Mould, suffered a heart attack whilst playing golf with his mates, Frank and Richard. They were out at the back of the course, but fortunately were in buggies and they got him back to the clubhouse in double quick time. Peter was on duty and activated the defibrillator and with the help of some more club members, they operated the defib and performed heart massage until the emergency services arrived. We had ambulances and the East Anglia Air Ambulance arrived and landed on the 9th fairway. After extensive work by the emergency services, John was taken by normal ambulance to the L&D. The Doctor from the Air Ambulance went with them, so he could continue to help John. Sadly, despite the herculean efforts by staff, club members and the emergency services, John had suffered too great a trauma and passed away later that day. I am immensely proud of my staff, in particular Peter Kay, and our club members, in the efforts that they made to help John. 

 

Tuesday 30th June....."new boy" Jack Cook started work with the greenstaff yesterday, on his probationary period, which will possibly lead to him taking an apprentice position with us. After a 6.30am start on his first day, he was still here at 8.45pm having played some golf (also for the first time!) with Danny and Jamie after work. After being here for 14 hours + on day one, he still had a smile on his face and was here again at 6.30am today for more!! Good start Jack!!!

 

Thursday 25th June...following the capture of illegal immigrants at Toddington services yesterday, I have asked Pete/Clare/Lucie and the Greenstaff to keep an eye out and make sure that they charge visitor green fees if any make their way across the course...........

 

Thursday 18th June....OK I have given the albatrosses serious consideration......I am happy to have a record of albatrosses, and players who have achieved one will be known as "Trossers". If you achieve more that one albatross, you will be a "Big Trosser" and anyone who manages to get the whole set of albatrosses on all our Par 5's here at Chalgrave, will be known as a "Complete Trosser". As far as I am aware, Paul Northcott, Colin Barden and Graham Tarbox are Trossers, there may be more trossers in the club I'm not aware of. Anyone wanting to be on record as a Trosser needs to contact me ASAP with the details of the Hole and approximately the date that you became a Trosser. 

 

Thursday 18th June.....we may be a "small club" but we do BIG things..... On Saturday on Captains Day, amongst all the silly stuff and the golf (which was also silly at times), we did something serious and big. Immediate Past Captains Steve Howarth and Alison Savage handed over a cheque to Keech Hospice for the sum of 6,143 taking the total contribution that our "small club" has made to Keech Hospice to a grand total of 90,0075. Big things.   

 

Wednesday 17th June.....an email from Colin Barden, pooh poohing the 100+ holes in one and wanting to know when I am starting an Albatross Club.....having just holed his second shot on the 3rd from about 190 yards for a 2. To be fair, he has a point, as I know of probably 5 or 6 albatrosses in the 20+ years we have been going. When I get one myself Colin, I will give it serious consideration!!

 

Wednesday 17th June......I receive an email from Chalgrave's most remote member, USA Associate Section Chairman, Phil Barter. I gave him an update on what has been happening and he will be over in September and will pop in and see us. Phil reminded me of a picture that used to adorn the website, of him, on some far distant Captains Day in the past, teeing off on the 10th hole in only his grundies...... he had started on 11 so it was his last hole and as usual there had been a bit of alcoholic refreshments around the course....... in a moment of bravado, Phil announced to his playing partners, that he was about to get a hole in one on the 10th, and to celebrate, he would jump into the pond, so he had prepared himself..........as he was about to draw back the club, Nick Hawker, one of his playing partners that day, said "thats OK Phil, it's a gimmee from there................"  sadly, I don't believe that PB jumped in................  

 

Tuesday 9th June....I've been away for a couple of weeks, hence the lull in the news page, but I return to a seniors Tuesday for my 2nd day back and things immediately return to normal.....my first thought as I see Graham Tarbox signing in for today, alongside Seniors "newbie" Harry Lyons, is that could be part of a 4 ball from hell....with 18 holes of continual "I can top your last story"!...... Harry Lyons confirms he is entirely adequately equipped to be part of the seniors section, by putting his head around the door and asking if we have "free wifi" in the club, to which I reply "yes, for about the last 5 years!" Harry said he didn't know, so I took him on a tour of the clubhouse, pointing out the numerous signs which are emblazoned "free wifi" and show the access code.....as I said, perfectly qualified.......

 

 

Tuesday 19th May......Mark Harvey and Vijay Mistry get a poor reward for their third magnificent victory in the Daily Mail Foursomes as they make it to the 4th round...very few have ventured that far..... after a magnificent victory at home they have drawn the short straw and have to go and play at some dodgy track called Woburn......its a tough life!!!

 

Tuesday 19th May....an update from the Seniors Matchplay of yesterday.....after waiting for an hour to meet up with each other whilst only being 40 feet apart, one in a car and and one in the clubhouse, apparently Rick and Ken then decided that the weather was so bad that they would abandon the opportunity to play and agreed to meet up on another day to play!!! I wish I could tell you that this is made up but its not.....its all true!! We have to go through it all again!

 

Monday 18th May.......Dreadful day, rain in large lumps hitting the ground. Rick Maughan arrives at 8.00am, as he has his Seniors KO to play. Grab a coffee and wait for his opponent, Ken Forder. One hour later, no sign of Ken, so he pops his head around the office door and I give him Ken's home number. The response, he left at 8.00am. 2 minutes later Ken appears in the office doorway. He has been sitting outside in his car for 40 minutes waiting for Rick to arrive!!! Its Monday, 9.12am, and the seniors are causing chaos already! Its going to be a long week!!................

 

 

Thursday 14th May....... Dennis Richards is in with the molers, comes in after his round and complains about bits of grass on his ball! I said "just to clarify, are you complaining that we are cutting the fairways?" "Yes!" So, I assume that if next week, we let the fairways grow so that they look like light rough (and they will do as we are cutting some of them twice a week at the moment in the current flush of growth!) and Dennis chunks it 10 yards down the fairway as he can't get into the back of the ball, he will be a happy bunny (or moler!)!

 

Thursday 14th May......Pete has returned from his 4 day cruise to the Channel Islands and beyond and "regales" us with stories of the force 9 gale that followed them around!! They went to Guernsey, but Pete only knows that becasue the Captain told him that over the PA system. The ship was too big to dock in port, so the weighed anchor off the coast and would normally be transferred by small boat to the quayside.....except that the weather was so bad that they would not launch the small transfer boats and the rain/cloud gales actually meant that at no time, as the visibility was so poor, did they actually SEE Guernsey! So, the Captain set off for a different port for them and ended up in Le Havre.....the ferry terminal. Only Pete could take his Missus on a 4 day cruise to a ferry terminal!! Classic!

 

Sunday 10th May....Kelvin aces the 5th with a 9 iron to record his second ace at Chalgrave, although for some reason the first does not currently appear on the list. People often quote statistics about the chances of an ace, or winning the lottery, or meeting Elvis in a pub in Toddington. Here's one for you. If your name is Kelvin Weedon, the odds of you winning the bonus ball lottery in 5 years, is greater than the chance of getting two holes in one!!!  

 

Thursday 7th May.....just seen a card from the Molers...where the back 9 score of the marker (who diplomatically and cunningly didn't sign the card) was a meagre 8 stableford points........which surpassed the score of the player, a certain Mr Steele, by 7 stableford points!!! There are rumours of over 150 divots being taken on the back nine between them!! 

 

Thursday 7th May.....a sad day in the history of Chalgrave Manor Golf Club, as it is the funeral of Kay Annis, a fantastic lady whose spirit and determination has been awe inspiring. Kay was the absolute mainstay of the establishment of the ladies section at Chalgrave, and inspired many new golfers to become the players that they are today. It has been an honour to have known her and she will be greatly missed and never forgotten. The funeral is at 12 followed by a gathering here at the club to celebrate her life.

 

Friday 1st May.....Pete is taking his Missus on a short cruise, to Guernsey etc... ...the shipping forecast shows gale force winds in the Channel....Good Luck with that Pete!!

 

 

Friday 1st May......Greenkeeper Jamie brings me a putter he found on the course......it sadly did not survive the experience. It was in the deep rough at the back of the 15th Green. I am assuming that someone did drop it by mistake, but it was in such a strange place that there is the possibility that it got slung there after missing a short one!! My point though, is this. If it was slung there, then it was hit by the cutting deck of a 28,000 rotary mower. Fortunately, the bits remained under the deck when it was smashed apart by the blade. The blade and the deck did survive the experience as well, but could easily have been substantially damaged. If you are going to chuck putters away, can you please ensure that you follow the Adrian Purser technique and make sure they are lodged high in a tree where they can't get hit by a mower. Thanks.

 

 

 

Sunday 26th April......Every year brings a new batch of Virgins for the Gibson +50, and this year saw three new arrivals in the +50 category who were clearly taking it with the seriousness that was required!!

 

 

Dan, Joe and Nick sporting "L" plates and babies dummies!!

 

Friday 24th April......Congratulations to Mark Harvey on his debut at a Captains Awayday.......we know Mark was on the Captains Awayday, because he turned up here at 8.30am instead of Mentmore!! Captains Awaydays have long been the source of humorous anecdotes on travel, Tim Smith gained the Tag of Squadron Leader after his high speed flight to Woodhall Spa many years ago, Richie, as I recall, did a 250 mile round trip to go to a venue about 50 miles away, Kelvin and his van at Magnolia and Mick Yule, more Budweiser than you can imagine and a coach at Kingsthorpe all spring to mind. The clue, Mark, is in the word "awayday"!! Classic!!!

 

Tuesday 21st April......there is something about Tuesdays that just tickles your funny bone, and today we had a classic example is this, in visual humour.....just short of 12 noon, with the seniors spread out all over the course, the sun beating down and all things looking well with the world, we had the slightly bizarre sight of a senior, perspiring hard, who had lost his trousers and all his golf gear, running across from the 4th tee and around the back of the 18th green. Clearly, his knowledge of etiquette and his desperation to recover the trousers and clubs from where ever he had lost them was of greater priority than David Andrew's golf swing as he played his shot towards the 9th green. Stopping in mid backswing, from the clubhouse it appeared that a few choice words might have passed........it was at that point that I realised that my expectation of the ridiculous as a state of normality on a Tuesday was in fact the culprit, and it was a random "senior" jogger on the public footpath and not a dishevelled, clubless Tuesday senior!!    

 

Tuesday 21st April.......Seniors in vast numbers......64 of them today......Peter Whitton's state of the art Seniors Competition Entry Programme on his computer, which allows them to enter, prints their card for them, allocates them into a random draw system, is simply a state, not a state of the art!! It can't cope with anything over 60!!! That's probably the first time a computer has understood how I feel on Tuesdays!!  We also have a glitch on the irrigation system, so we are manually operating the system this morning to water the greens and we have got all of them watered on the first 12 holes before the senior shotgun start at 8.30am. I told Peter not to use any tees after the 11th as start points this morning, as they might get wet otherwise.......here we are at 9.30, with three bemused, damp seniors on the 18th green as it waters itself whilst they try to putt out!!!

 

Friday 17th April.....yet another new member of the "Not the Joe Silva" Club, as senior George Cox aces the 16th with a rescue wood.....with his two playing partners looking aghast, and just Clare and Pete in the Clubhouse, George decided against his Friday after round coffee for some reason!! 

 

 

 

Sunday 12th April.....The last day of The Masters, and Spring is here at Chalgrave as well.....as determined by the arrival of the Apple Designs Spring Trophy, so it must be Spring!! Utterly brutal, was the best way to describe it. A proper, Chalgrave 4 or 5 club wind, that never, at any time seemed to be downwind. It was either into your face or a crosswind. The 12th, stroke index one, from the elevated tee, was about as tough as it gets. Drivers at the 16th green, 160 yards away. The greens were firm and fast. Downwind putts required the slightest of touches to send the ball miles. I haven't seen the result yet, but anyone who played that to par had a miracle round.   

 

Friday 10th April.....with the General Election looming, Chalgrave Manor Golf Club shows just how up to date we are and ahead of the game on these things....today, the big story is airports and new runways...whilst they are talking about it, we are already doing it, as the new runway construction is underway outside the clubhouse/terminal 1. Actually, I have half a dozen seniors in for coffee as well......might change that to Terminal 6 then.....

 

The new runway.....

 

Thursday 9th April......this is what I have to deal with.......John Litchfield, him of the tissue paper in the end of his shoes a few weeks back, accosted me to complain about inaccuracies in the story, saying that he takes size 11 not size 9 shoes!! It then turns out, that earlier this morning, he had had the SAME problem with tissue paper in the SAME shoes this morning, as he had repacked the shoes with tissue paper (so they keep their shape!!) after he used them last time, and forgot to take it out AGAIN this morning!!!! Hopefully, if you do come back as something else after you pop your clogs, JL will come back as a goldfish as he is clearly already highly qualified...........

 

Thursday 2nd April.....The Ladies March Stableford result is in, and clearly the Ladies are seriously keen on improving their game as well as indulging in some serious self analysis, as a massive 29 points won it.........and according to the result sheet, the CSS was 75 (33 points) and Reducation Only!!

So, hopefully, by the time the next ladies event comes around, they will have been re educated enough to break 30!   

 

Tuesday 31st March....Over the past two decades, I have had the privilege of playing Chalgrave in all kinds of weather conditions. At times, the course is magnificently benign, as calm and still as a windless lake surface and just as beautiful. At other times, a tricky, blustery wind can follow you around the course, so that every hole seems to play into the wind.....and then you get the rip roaring Chalgrave 5 Club wind, where you take 5 more clubs than you need from 120 yards and still often don't get there.....today, we have a new one....the Chalgrave HHHITS Wind, an acronym for the Chalgrave Ha Ha Ha its the Seniors wind!! This makes a Chalgrave 5 club wind look calm!! This is a rip roaring sabre tooth tiger, with bad breath, right in your face, sort of wind. There is every possibility that today, we will have 6 x 4 balls of seniors, all playing the 17th at the same time and none of them able to hit the group in front with their next shot!! If any of them get a par on 17 today, I will go out and buy a hat so I can eat it!!

 

Thursday 26th March....just uploaded onto the Facebook page a new photo album containing the pictures taken at the Annual Dinner Dance 2015. I have a proper printed copy for all of the trophy recipients, but if you want a high quality digital file of the photo, have a look and email me at steve@chalgravegolf.co.uk the number of the photo(s) that you want..... I will email the file back to you. The link for the Facebook Page is

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chalgrave-Manor-Golf-Club/114964491896018 Don't forget to "like" the page as well and then you will get all the Chalgrave stuff onto your own facebook news feed!!

 

Tuesday 24th March.....Seniors and its been pretty quiet today, nothing much happening, no silly stories, so I'm thinking that something has to give......eventually it does, as John Litchfield returns things to normal with his new golf shoes......clearly the onset of Spring has warranted some additional outlay on sporting goods and a new pair of shoes to propel him across dry ground and growing turf seems a good plan.....but like a lot of new shoes, they seemed a bit tight, and he was struggling to get them on, which seeing as size 9's have been his size for the past 40 odd years, it would appear odd that his feet have swelled massively all of a sudden. After 20 minutes of trying to get his tootsies into the new shoes, he discovered a final piece of tissue paper, now scrunched right up into the toe area of both shoes.......a surgical extraction of said paper suddenly released that vital extra few millimetres of space and the size 9 feet once again fitted perfectly into a size 9 shoe.....life will never be dull on Tuesdays at Chalgrave

 

Thursday 19th March........probably the best advert I have seen to encourage people to try the game.......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3TuLF7U0gI0

 

Tuesday 17th March.....oh here we go, this is going to be chaos.....7.45am and I am getting reports from Seniors who have seen a small, single seater buggy on the main road in Toddington. What has drawn their attention is the set of golf clubs on the back!! Sure enough, just before 8.00am, Gerry Simpkiss comes careering down the driveway on his personal buggy!! So, in due course, we will find out if the buggy has enough electrical power in its batteries so get around the 4 miles of undulating terrain that is Chalgrave Manor Golf Club, plus the approximate 1 mile in each direction in distance between home and the club!! Realistically, the going home will be the big one, a long uphill run up the driveway, turn right across the flow of traffic on the main road (nerves of steel required there!!!) and then a further uphill run back to Toddington as the artics thunder past!!! 

 

Mon 16th March....the are some club members you can set your watch by, and Chris Baker is one of them, he will always be here 1st thing every Monday morning and he always makes a point of popping his head around the door, saying hello and asking how things are going. When you consider that he plays probably 3/4/5 times a week, and always comes into the clubhouse before and after his round, you would think he would have his finger well and truly on the pulse of what is occurring.......so when he said hello this morning, asked how things were and what I was up to, and I responded, I'm just sorting out the weekend stuff and the Annual Dinner Dance. I was, therefore,  somewhat surprised to be asked "The Annual Dinner, when is that then?" I pointed out that it was the Saturday just gone, and that the clue had been in the posters and various other hints on facebook, the website, the club diary, the fact it has been held mid March for the past 21 years, all of these things combined to make me believe that someone who is in the clubhouse at least 10 times a week, might just have caught a glimpse and a hint. Clearly not!!

 

Sun 15th March.....The Razz Pairs, and for many participants, it was a timely reminder why we normally don't have a competition the day after the Annual Dinner!! There were some wonderful shots being played out there!! Bearing in mind that it was Greensomes, so teams had a choice of 2 drives to pick from, it was somewhat surprising to see one group playing their SECOND shot on the 15th hole, from what appeared to be the BACK of the ladies tee on the 15th hole!! If the best drive had gone forwards 15 yards, what the hell happened to the one they DIDN'T choose!! I reckon I have played shots from most locations on the course now over the 20 odd years of existence of the club, but Dave McGarry introduced me to a new bit on the 9th, as he thumped a ball in theory at the 9th flag, but send it miles into the woods behind the 17th tee. Amazingly, the ball was sitting up, and I had a full swing, but trees in every direction. I took the line of least timber, and hit the final branch, just before it cleared the canopy and it dropped down into 10ft deep brambles. We took the blob.  

 

Sat 14th March... The Annual Dinner Dance saw 90 attending the evening, to see the awarding of the 2014 trophies. Congratulations to all of the winners, in particular Cally Hawker and Bob Stillie, our Golfers of the Year, and to Joe Silva for the Clubman of the Year for his contribution to the success of the Mid Handicap League as a non playing Captain of the side. A fabulous evening saw a well supported raffle and the Chalgrave 500 Lottery Draw for a years Membership of CMGC being drawn out. The lucky recipient of the 1 year Full membership prize was Alan Davis. Alan generously has donated the sum of 100 to the Captains Charity as a result, which is a superb gesture.     

 

Friday 13th March.....Well as expected, something happened.....and that something was Mick Bewley. With a virtually empty carpark, certainly no one within 50 yards of him, he got stuck!!! Don't ask me why, when he got it the car and with nothing in front of him, he didn't just select 1st gear and pull away forwards? Instead he selected reverse, put it on full lock and reversed over one of the telegraph poles on the edge of the carpark. He would have got away with that, as he clearly realised he had bumped over the pole as he stopped. Then he selected reverse and went back further, changing the direction of travel further. He then straightens the wheels, drives forwards, until there car comes to a sudden stop, grounded on the telegraph pole between the front and rear wheels!! There is a bit of checking that the reverse lights are working , as they keep coming on!! and off!! and on!! until the dreadful realisation dawns that not only is the car well and truly stuck, but he will have to return to the clubhouse and admit to this fact in order to get help!! Lucie phoned the AA, and then had to call for an ambulance to attend the AA phone centre to assist the lady who had split her sides laughing! She referred to the AA "member benefits" manual to try and determine if impaled on a telegraph pole was covered by the AA, and determined that cover was available and despatched an AA van to help. Some time later, the van arrived and we had to call for another ambulance for the same split sides problem that the phone lady had had. Eventually, after about 45 minutes, the car was extracted! What makes the whole episode all the more enjoyable, is that it was caught on the CCTV and the light was just sufficient at the moment of madness to make it entertaining viewing. Regrettably, as it gets darker, the extraction process is not worth seeing. Have a check out of the youtube link below!! Mick Bewley joins the Chalgrave Hall of Fame, alongside Aqua Ray, Webby's Car Fire and Vijay's Driver. Enjoy!!     

 

http://youtu.be/_QtYn2coBes

 

Friday 13th March....If you go up onto the main practice ground (OK Yes, I know you are all avid practicers and are up there regularly anyway!!), don't think there is some weird crop circle type thing going on!! We have just cut 7 short holes with fairways/greens to develop a fun area for youngsters to come and play golf!! It will take a few cuts to get the shape tidy and smooth, but hopefully the end product will be a short, fun, family golf course that Mum and Dad can bring the kids or Nan and Grandad can bring the grandkids up to play for a bit of fun!! The area will be multi purpose, still available for the 1000's of practicing members (!!!) as well as the family course! Watch this space!!!

 

Friday 13th March.......Well its quiet here, despite it being another nice day. Cut fairways, cut greens and tees and playing off the grass tees as well......all things are looking rosy on the golf course......why is it so quiet?? Well today is Senior Captains Awayday at Mount Pleasant Golf Club......on Friday 13th!!! What can possibly go wrong??????

 

An update on the story from yesterday as well, all is not quite what it seems either, the significant discount of 355 off the subs is not quite true....as it is a pro rata fee for the remainder of the year...which, bearing in mind the sub of 1055 runs from 1st Jan to 31st Dec, and the Open Day is 29th March, this means that 8 months will be remaining if someone was to join on that day.....8/12 of 1055 is 703.34, so a saving of 3.34 is what is on offer!!! Cracking Deal!!

 

Thursday 12th March....The Molers are in and Frank Howarth becomes the third person this year to join the "Not the Joe Silva" Club as he aces the 10th hole with a 5 iron! That's possibly your problem Joe, you should try taking a bit more club!!! Whilst any Hole in One provides us with rib tickling mirth at the ongoing barren desert of aces that has befallen the golfing career of Jose, this one had an added twist of humour, as Dave Burden had missed the Molers today for the first time in donkeys years, and as a result missed the free drink on Frank!! That, I am sure, will rankle almost as much with Dave as the actual ace (or lack of one) will with Joe........

 

also a bit of a news snippet from elsewhere.......a Captain of a Bedfordshire Golf Club sent an email out to his Club Members....."Our membership is the lowest it has been for many years and, whilst this doesn't mean we should all panic, we do have to make every effort to recruit new members....." This does of course beg the question if they don't all have to panic, it at least infers that some of them need to!!! It goes on to say, (bearing in mind that the people who the email was sent to had paid or committed to monthly fees to cover the 1055 annual fee a few months back) that there was going to be an open day and there are 25 places @700 available!! That strikes me as someone is panicking!! Not to mention probably p*ssing off the remaining 270 odd members!!

 

 

 

Tuesday 10th March.....Guess what day it is....Seniors Day.....usual chaos, they jam the coffee machine with their attempts at putting euros or buttons or tap washers into the coin mechanism, and then trundle off out to play golf, with the buggy crowd in attendance for the first time this year.....but none of that is anything out of the norm really......Bob Hall made his weekly appearance at my office doorway afterwards to ask about what the ruling would be for his rules transgression this week....he is such a regular requestee, that I reckon he must have broken every Rule going nearly now. Today's was a 2 shot penalty for playing the wrong ball.....but it was Alan Bevan who won the senior moment award this week as he appeared at the office door to ask if his iphone had been handed in as he had dropped it somewhere on the course......I asked where he last knew he had it......"the 9th, when I got it out to switch it off!" , so I was about to offer him the use of a buggy to go and check, when Pete Warren appears clutching said phone.....which he had found in the changing rooms!! Now I could understand that some players might get confused over where they are on the golf course as, after all, grass is pretty uniform in colour and length, but mistaking a 600 yard ish  Par 5 for the carpeted, seated area in the changing rooms is pushing it a bit far!!

 

Monday 9th March......well, we had a weekend of "proper" golf following a Thursday and Friday where we stopped focussing on kiln dried firewood and got the mowers out of the shed. With almost all of the fairways cut and the tees getting a trim too, it will be dependent upon the weather this week as to whether we end up on grass tees for next weekend.

 

One thing that will be happening, at least tomorrow and again on an ongoing basis for the moment subject to the weather conditions, is that the buggies will be out for use tomorrow. 

 

We are not quite out of the chills of winter yet, but there is definitely that hint of Spring, lighter evenings and warmer days..........

 

Saturday 28th Feb......The Dan Glass Pre 50th Birthday Party Bash.......just as a warm up event to the main thing on 28th March.....Alan Davis, who shall remain nameless to save his embarrassment, arrives at the Club during the day, has a beer and says "See you later on" to Clare as he leaves.....Clare thinks this is somewhat odd as she is not aware that Alan is taking her out and thinks her husband might have something to say as well, so she queries this..... Alan says he will be back for Dan Glass's 50th Birthday....so Clare points out that that is 28th March not 28th February!!! "Damn," says Alan, "I've not got anything to do tonight now....."

 

Tuesday 24th Feb....Nostalgia/Memorabilia time.......today, I saw the land agent who acted on behalf of the farmer who sold me the land, and he brought me in an original brochure from their marketing of the land, some 23 years ago!! I have scanned it in and it will appear as a .pdf file if you click on this link. I remember seeing it back then and thinking how hard can it be to build a golf course?? Its just a bit of grass! A couple of mowers and you are laughing. If ever there was a real live version of "build it and they will come"  Chalgrave Manor Golf Club might just be it......

 

 

Monday 23rd Feb.....Greenkeeper Danny Sanders......have you got something to tell us??? Now I am used to the greenstaff having parcels delivered to the club rather than home, so they don't end up in the eternal chase around depots and sorting offices to retrieve them, and my office receives a full array of boxes and packages on a pretty constant basis as it would appear that the greenstaff keep the Ebay economy going almost singlehandedly.....but today is different......on my desk, addressed to Danny, is a small slim plastic delivery bag, white, with nice little black dots, containing presumably a very lightweight item of clothing from TopShop!! I will let Daniella know his/her parcel has arrived.......

 

 

Monday 16th Feb.....news from the weekend.....you know that occasionally, there are days when you can do no wrong, that everything seems to click and fall into place...well Dan Glass was having that day on Saturday......with playing partners John Crane and Nick Hawker, he stood on the 7th tee with 17 points already safely in the bag, 1 under gross after 6 and feeling mighty pleased with the way things were going! The moment the rescue wood hit the ball off the tee, Dan turned to Nick and John and said "get your hip flasks out, that ones going in the hole!!". They arrived at the green, and Dan's ball was nowhere to be seen.......until they looked where he had told them to look back on the tee!!! The hip flasks were duly flourished and then there was a scramble to find a mobile to relay the news to Joe Silva who was four holes behind!! The text message was not picked up, as Dan saw Joe on the 8th as he played the 12th a while later....."how did you do on the 7th Joe??" "Very Nice, I had a Par" was the response....there were a few more comments a moment later when the ace was revealed!!

 

For the record, Dan continued on his round for 17 holes, amassing 45 stableford points, before double bogeying the last!!

  

 

Monday 16th Feb.....there is always one, at least one, every year and this year is no exception..... so step forward and receive a warm round of applause, Barry Moorhouse, 17 handicapper and entrant to the Flitwick Oil +18 competition......the clue, Barry, is in the competition name!!

 

Monday 9th Feb......an offer for Golf in the SUN!!! A FREE HOLIDAY to Costa Del Sol with 3 rounds of golf (with buggies & transfers). Mark Mansfield has been organising a 24 player tour.  Unfortunately he has had a late withdrawal due to one of the players starting a new job, and its too late to get a refund, so a free place is available. The only costs would be the flights which they would have to book & prize pool & beer money!!!!.

If they would like to make a donation to the unfortunate person that is entirely their choice, but it is not expected!!!

 

We have 24 booked to go. We are staying at the PYR Fuengirola on the Costa Del Sol.

 

An optional round on the Sunday is available at extra cost depending on which return flight is booked.

 

The dates are flying out to Malaga Weds 18th February & returning either Sunday or Monday following. Most of us are flying BA Wednesday morning from Gatwick & returning BA to Gatwick on Monday evening. The golf competition is Thursday, Friday & Saturday with a Trilby presentation night on the Saturday.

 

If you are interested in taking the place, please email me asap on steve@chalgravegolf.co.uk and I will provide you with Mark's contact details to sort out directly with him.

 

 

Tuesday 3rd February......its 8.00am and we have had three phone calls from seniors already asking if we are open........2" deep in snow outside their front door, and a blanket of snow covering the entire country, but they are still hopeful that the Chalgrave Micro Climate might mean that 150 acres of Bedfordshire was exclusively exempt from the snowfall!!

 

In other news today, (I'm in "The Two Ronnies" mode now) Cally and Nick are welcome here at any time. It would seem this is not the case elsewhere, where they are specifically banned.....

 

 

 

 

Monday 2nd February.....An excellent evening was had by all at the Quiz Night on Saturday evening. It will come as no surprise to those that were here to learn that the team drinking J2O's won and VJ's team didn't!! The silly game round of build a tall tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows has had a small spin off for the club, in that there is spag bol on as a special for the seniors tomorrow now!! Hopefully the bol will overcome the slightly odd flavouring of pink marshmallows!! The real winner in this was Keech Hospice, as the event raised, through the raffle and the team entry fees, the small (or not so small) matter of 596!! Peter Montgomery's team aka "The Snowmen" won with 136 points beating the Team that knew "Jacques Sheet" into 2nd place. The outstanding performance of the night was Team "Jack O'Club" who won the wooden spoon with a mere 63 points, including an absolutely masterful decision to play their joker on the sport round and then getting just 2 questions right and doubling that to 4!! Two other teams scored 3 points on sport, "Dunstable Lawn Tennis Club" and "The Busby Babes" and with names like that you would have expected at least a mediocre score to be achieved in that round!!    

 

Tuesday 27th January.......It is starting to get to the stage where you think there cannot possibly be a new seniors story, they have done it all........and then they surpass themselves once again.......Dennis Howard is challenging John Steele these days for the most appearances on the news page, as just 11 days after his appearance for the daft KO competition - which incidentally finished on the 3rd extra hole in near darkness with Dennis holing a long putt for a 5 to win the match (oh the irony of this!! - just wait and see!) - as he demonstrated perfectly today why the game of golf has the ability to lift you to such high stature and then bring you crashing back down to earth......

 

Now Dennis, a 20 handicapper, can find the 11th hole at Chalgrave somewhat daunting and challenging - indeed we all can!!- and so it was to his extreme pleasure that he drilled the tee shot down the fairway today. The flag is up on the top tier, so the hole is playing as long as it can, and that second shot, to the elevated green is a tough one. Dennis drew back the club, turned the shoulders and hips, reached the pinnacle of his backswing and commenced the flow into the shot. The hands rotated, the weight transferred, there was the merest snick as the steel clubhead met the slightly battered topflite dead centre of the sweetspot. The ball left the turf and rocketed at the flag, landing on the middle tier, skipping forward, up the slope to come to rest just 2 feet from the pin....oh my word.......what a shot......

 

The rest of the group were struck dumb by the sheer magnificence of the strike and the end product, they finished the hole themselves in their normal zig zag fashion and then stood back to admire the 2 foot birdie putt.......there was a collective, sympathetic groan as the ball slid by the edge.......there was a further groan as the par putt did the same.....past the edge of the hole again for the net par and past the edge again for the net bogey. 2 shots of sheer brilliance to cover almost 1,000 feet to start, then 4 more shots to not get closer than 2 feet as the ball kept rolling the same distance past every time........I wish I could tell you that the agony ended there, but it didn't! At least the 6th putt, for an 8 was only a tap in!!  

 

Monday 26th January.....a little bit of belated news, but a snippet that has to be recorded, as the first entrant to the "Not the Joe Silva Club", more properly known as the Hole in One Club has emerged for 2015, as Adrian Clarke aced the 13th with a 3 wood in icy conditions. He, and his playing partners had been searching in the long grass well to the back of the green for 5 minutes, before his playing partner decided to check the hole!! Just in case any smart alec thinks that he should have played 3 off the tee as the ball is "lost" after a 5 minute search, that's wrong. Even if they had searched for 25 minutes, it is still a hole in one as the ball is holed and dead the moment it finishes in the bottom of the cup..... Clearly it was Adrian's day with the three wood, as he used it from 4 ft off the green on the 6th, hit it poorly and significantly wide of the hole, but it cannoned off several lumps of frozen mud and ice on the green and veered back into the hole! After playing the 14th and 15th with the ball he used in the ace, he decided that discretion was the better part of valour and changed balls to make sure he hung onto the ball........and promptly lost 2 balls off the tee!! All this luck in one round....and Joe is still looking for that elusive ace!!! 

 

Tues 20th January....a tale from last Friday has popped up......VJ, him of the broken driver in the doorway, was playing in a threeball with Dave "I've got a new driver as well" Millard who christened it, literally, by dunking the first two strikes he ever had with it, into the pond on the first!! Simon "Vice in Waiting" Ward made up the threeball. By the time the 6th hole arrived, the golf had degenerated into a round where the social side of the game was coming to the fore as the possibilities of winning had already slipped away in the first 5 holes.....

 

Dave finally got a decent strike with the new driver, and all three balls were in the fairway. 2nd shots were played, with Vice in Waiting landing his third onto the green, whilst the driver boys came up short and chipped on for four. VJ had a putt for par and lined it up. The club was drawn back, stops in mid swing, bends down, picks up the ball, declares it as not being his and throws it away, registering (not the first)  a blob for the hole. Dave Millard is chuckling away at the misfortune of VJ, until he addresses his par putt and discovers he too is playing the wrong ball!! In a forensic dissection of the hole, it was determined that they each played each others ball on the 2nd shot, and had happily played three shots each without noticing!!

 

Dave Millard at least could claim to have had difficulty remembering which ball he was playing having lost so many on the first, whilst VJ is clearly looking to have the most number of appearances on the newspage in 2015.......  

 

Tuesday 20th January......I have just reduced two NHS nurses to tears.........they are here to carry out a free NHS  Abdominal Aortic Anuerysm screening program with the Seniors......as they were setting up, I wandered over and asked the nurses that if they discovered any potential bad results over the course of the next few hours, would they mind ensuring that Club Subscription payments were up to date and renewed before they passed that small detail on......

 

Friday 16th January......as the mercury drops in the barometer, or the BBC weather person tells you its getting colder for those who don't understand barometers and dropping mercury....a tale to warm the cockles of your heart from our seniors.....in on Friday to play their winter pairs match.

Les Douglas, Dennis Howard, Graham Busby and Pete Warren will remain nameless to save their blushes....so they set off to play the senior winter pairs, a slightly bizarre format of pairs stableford where both players scores are combined to generate a team stableford score over 18 holes and the highest team score wins....

why bizarre? well winter matchplays are generally designed to keep you moving, and in the event of a sound thrashing in inclement weather, you can get off the course and into the bar quickly, but this format demands that all 18 holes are played and indeed the seniors rules are that failure to play 18 holes results in a DQ for both pairs.

Just to add a bit extra to the mix, they play it off 3/4 handicap as well.....but I have already massively digressed!!!

So the nameless fourball set off for their match during which, on one tee, an air shot occurred. There was much debate about what happens with the next stroke, with a suggestion being that the next stroke would be theTHIRD stroke, ie there might be a penalty of 1 shot for missing it completely the first time!! Clearly that is unduly harsh (and wrong!!) it is simply that the ball is now in play and it is the second shot.

So as they came off the 18th, cold and cream crackered, they had no idea who had won as they had forgotten to score it of 3/4 handicap and their brains were so numb they could not work out 3/4 of 14.....

I have failed to mention that the 3/4 handicap is off their "seniors handicap" which might mean that a player with a club handicap of 20 plays off 14! and then gets 3/4 of that!!.. so they put all the gear away, returned to the bar, got drinks coffees, sorted out that the air shot didn't get an extra penalty shot, worked out the 3/4 handicap. applied that to all players, worked out the stableford score per hole per player, added the player score up then combined them to make the team score, and shook their heads in disbelief.

They checked the scores, the penalties, the addition and everything. Nope, it still came up as a draw, so they had to get all the gear back out, get the shoes back on and go up the first hole to play sudden death....

They didn't come back in, so I am slightly worried that sudden death may have actually occurred, so those who are starting early in the morning, can you please check the 1st hole (and possibly the 2nd) in case there are some carcasses we need to move.......if I ever find out who won I will let you know....
 

 

Tues 12th January......oh here we go......chatting to the seniors before they go out, about trollies, proximity to greens and the desire to walk right up to the hoops into the wet areas that are visible from space......"oh yes" there is one hole that's really bad for that" says one chap....."the one up the hill after the 12th....which one's that then??"    "The 13th?" I venture... its going to be a long day!!!   

 

 

Mon 5th January....you will recall the lost bull dog.....from Monday 29th December.....which lasted 1.5 holes before being lost.....well today it was claimed......and Ray Lacey made the minor error of mentioning that he actually had ALREADY lost it once in the carpark before he started!! As if I'm not going to mention that!!

Bull Dog and Owner will hopefully be reunited shortly, I think the dog needs to be on a lead for the future, or I get the feeling that I will be seeing it again soon!!!!!

 

 

Mon 5th January........nothing pleases me more than to be able to start the 2015 year blog with a Chalgrave Story that touches the usual extremes of daft, hilarious and bizzare extremes of being a Chalgrave Member......so we start with the January Medal, Saturday a virtual washout and Sunday, a packed field as the first event of Golfer of the Year 2015 gets underway.....in fog which failed to lift throughout the entire round. The only tee shot I hit that I saw land was on the 10th!! Everything else, hit it and walk off into the fog and hopefully find it again!! So as I hit the halfway point and saw Lee Nash heading to the 18th tee on 40 points....I was inclined to call it a day!! Still, in my opinion, that is peaking too early!! If you score 40+ points in the 1st medal of the year, then its going to be a downhill after that for the rest of the year!!

 

But lets get to the story of the day......VJ was in early, juts before 8.00am. He headed off out to the tee, strapped his clubs to his back, and then realised that he had not picked up a scorecard, so he headed for the clubhouse......the door swung open and he entered...except he came to an abrupt stop as the golf bag, across his back in the rucksack style, jammed in the door frame.....in the classic style of Tom and Jerry cartoons, that wasn't going to stop him so as he had been sprung slightly backwards from the impact, he made a renewed challenge on the door frame with the rucksack of clubs still in the same widthway position.....Doorframe 1 VJ's Driver 0 as he shot through the door this time, with what appeared to be a headcover landing on the floor behind him. Clearly, from the slight slump of the shoulders as he picked up the headcover, he realised that the headcover was still covering the head!!

 

7.58 is the time to scroll through too.....

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK7-Q1mzjhI&feature=youtu.be

 

You might think that was the last of the humour from this...but no.....revealed on another camera is Mick Yule assisting VJ, by trying to get into the office to find a spare driver....which they manage successfully to do......and VJ charges off onto the course fully equipped with a LADIES DRIVER!!! You could not make it up!! I am, however led to believe that even with a Ladies driver he still smashed my score!! I was trying to make sure that I didn't peak too early in the year......

 

2015 Happy New Year!!!

 

 

 

Monday 29th December....my sincere thanks to the ladies and gents of Steppingley Golf Society, who came in to us today and looked after our greens so well.....they asked for 2 x nearest the pin markers for the 5th and 10t holes and then returned them unused as no one hit the greens!! Any pitchmarks out there on the greens were not caused by Steppingly!!

 

From earlier in the day, I have a Christmas present which lasted 1.5 holes.... which is where the very nice bulldog head cover was found, halfway up the 2nd hole......brand spanking new, even still got the little plastic price retainer thingy on it.....now in my office waiting to be reunited with its owner....a bulldog headcover is for life, not just for Christmas......

 

Friday 19th December....even at Christmas the seniors try it on!! Tom Caulfield comes up to the bar wanting some change for the pool table, puts down a 5p and says can I have 2 10p's please!!

Now I reckon that even with dodgy eyesight (and I've seen them play pool!!) that the size difference should have been enough, let alone fact that a 20p isn't round!!
 

 

Sun 14th Dec.....more from the Turkey Trott.....Don Parrott's 9 iron appears, returned to it's owner by Craig Kemp.....who found it near the fairway bunker on the 3rd....now Don said he retraced his steps back down the 3rd, which is where he started his round from and clearly walked straight past it, as did the next 8 groups before Craig came across it!!

 

We returned the missing club as part of the prize giving, stopping to ridicule those who finished on 19 points or less, as they were beaten by a bloke with a 7 wood and a putter!! Keeping things very quiet as well, was Andy Oakley, who has just made the error of telling me that this morning, instead of just putting all his clubs into the car and sorting it out at the club, he pre planned his 2 clubs and a putter assault on the course and selected his 2 clubs at home.....and then forgot to add the putter!!! So he arrived here and played with just the 2 clubs!! What makes him think that telling me after the event will absolve him from an appearance on the website and facebook page?

 

Sun 14th Dec...Back for 7.00am and the Turkey Trott...shotgun start at 9.00am, 2 clubs and a putter.......by 9.00am, we have a winner......of the Turkey Trott Prize Numpty Award....as Don Parrott arrives back at the clubhouse to enquire if anyone has handed in a 9 iron!!! Quality!!!! Somewhere between teeing off with his 5ish wood (well thats what I thought it looked like as I caught a glance.....) and requiring the 9 iron on the 1st hole he played, he had lost the 9 iron!! So Rule 4 -3 was invoked, which seeing as the club was simply lost as opposed to damaged or broken in the course of playing a shot, and Don is currently playing the Turkey Trott with 1 club and a putter!! I really, really hope he goes into a bunker....... 

 

Sat 13th December, Cabaret Night and a great time was had by all, as Richie Soul serenaded us throughout the evening after we had feasted in traditional Christmas Fayre, superbly cooked and served by our own staff. Special thanks to Lucie and Clare!!  2.00am finish....which leaves 5 hours to get home, have some kip and get back to start the Turkey Trott at 7.00am!!

 

Friday 12th December.....The final result of the year is in, the December Medal, and the most hotly competed finish to the Golfer of the Year Award, possibly in our 20 year history. For the past 2 years, current Captain, Steve Howarth has won the GOTY, and with the final event, the Dec medal to go, he stood on 101 points in second place to Bob Stillie who was on 107.5.

 

Staggeringly, Steve picked up 6 points whilst Bob was agonisingly close but outside of the GOTY points. Nick and Cally had a complete recheck of all the events, all the points, all the additions, as the margin of Bob's win in the GOTY 2014 was just 0.5 of a point!!

 

With Kev Branch, Tim Bevan and Colin Barden all recording 87 points or more, the achievement of finishing top in such a competitive environment reflects the magnitude and consistency of performance of the top 5 players. To finish top for 2 consecutive years and miss a hat trick by 0.5points is incredible. To beat everyone is magnificent. Congratulations to you all.   

 

Monday 8th December....El Presidente arrives to collect the car. We had spent 30 minutes to no avail with a wire coathanger. A man in a van took 60 seconds to get in, and that included him walking back to his own van twice!! 

 

Monday 8th December......well its been a hectic week, and quite frankly, a mad weekend. Last week saw the "official" launch of our new winter business, the sale of kiln dried logs for use in fires and woodburners. We had stock available after 7 days in the kiln, and we delivered to our first customers on Friday. This is a business which should dovetail nicely with the "quiet" time of the winter periods, where it is difficult to get out onto the course for maintenance. The biomass boiler will be burning some of the vast logpile as its fuel, with other sections of it being split and dried and sold for fuel. Kiln dried logs are a premium product, as the can be used straight away, not needing to be stacked for 18 months first!! As a complete startup, we have priced the bags exceptionally competitively, and if you register with me as a log user, I will guarantee that the initial offer price now will be the price that you pay for the remainder of this "season" until 31st March 2015. To register, just email me on steve@chalgravegolf.co.uk to secure the price. You can access the full set of prices from our logs website www.logs.co.com

 

So as I have been out and about a lot recently, I have been reliant upon my staff members to hold the fort and keep things shipshape on the golf front. All has been hunky dory, and Pete in particular was looking forward to the weekend as Friday night was his annual reunion "pub crawl" with his mates from Pearl Assurance. So on Saturday, I get a text from Pete, advising that he will be unable to work for at least the next week, as on Pub 3 of the crawl, it became a pub "trip", as he failed to negotiate the steps properly and went shooting across the floor of the pub, banging his head, breaking his new glasses and a rib for good measure!! His mates now call him "Torpedo" Pete in recognition of the speed at which his fizzed across the pub floor!! With a singular lack of foresight, his mates from Pearl Assurance had all failed to sell him a permanent health policy before the crawl started!! When he told, he by text, I responded and asked if there was a spare bed in the hospital next to him, as I was going to need one as I had split my sides laughing!! I know its not really the degree of sympathy you might expect from a concerned employer, but it is bl**dy funny!!

 

You might think that this would be enough in the way of Chalgrave stories for the weekend, but then El Presidente went and added to the fun on Sunday, coming off the course, loading the gear back into the rear hatchback of his car, slamming the  boot lid shut and then realising his keys were in his jacket in the boot!! We had a go with the old wire coathanger, but clearly where some nefarious toerag would have been in the car in 15 seconds, it defeated us. So if you are due to play El Presidente in a KO competition, offer him a date in the next few days, as he wont have his clubs or his trolley!!

 

Just a normal weekend at Chalgrave really!!

 

 

Friday 28th November.....The waste bin saga moves on.... I've had a response saying they do weigh my bins, the bin is expected to contain 75Kg in total and ours averages 106Kg and places the blame on the 40-50 glass bottles from the bar as the reason why the bin is "overweight". This is a bin they say is ideal for shops, restaurants and small businesses!! 

 

So I have responded again......

 

Hi Phil

 

Thank you for your informative email.

 

I did wonder if the technology available today meant that you could weight the bins as they are collected and I will be pleased to review the weights logged for our eurocart when you send them through.

 

You state that the max weight that Cawleys have for a Eurocart is 75Kg with ours averaging at 106Kg. Given that, as I explained in my first email, our kitchen and bar are rather small, and that you recommend the Eurocart (on your website) as being "ideal for restaurants, shops and small business waste" I am rather amazed that anyone can actually get their bin under the 75Kg threshold.

 

This is based upon a small but simple experiment that I conducted.

 

Firstly, it would appear logical to me to reconcile the limit of "weight" that you apply to the limit of "volume" of the cart. The industry standard Euro Cart is 1100 litre waste container so it provides a basic capacity of volume to limit what can be placed in it, rather than a limit by weight. 

 

If I decided to dispose of my obsolete stock of gold bars, then on the basis that a 1kg gold bar measures  8cm x 4cm x 1.4cm and is therefore taking up 57.6cm3 of volume, I can actually get around 37,000 of these in your Eurocart, and it would weigh 37,000Kg. However, it would be churlish of you to increase the charge for collecting my bin as you could probably buy a few more lorries with the 962,000,000 of recyclable gold in there.

 

There is a point to this flippancy. You are expecting no more than 75Kg in weight in the bin, otherwise you want to put the price up. There are 1,000 grammes per KG, therefore 75,000 grammes per 1100 litres of volume or 68g per one litre of volume. This doesn't really sound a lot to me?

 

You blame the 40/50 glass bottles as being the likely culprits for the bin being "overweight". So, in the interests of a proper analysis, I consumed the contents of a bottle of Peroni and weighed the empty bottle. Unsurprisingly, the empty Peroni bottle weighed in at more than 68g, infact at a horrendous 190g and so was providing the weight for 3 whole litres o volume on its own.

 

By chance, I also had an empty plastic Persil  "Small and Mighty" bottle. Even more convieniently, it was a 1 litre sized bottle. So it is a plastic bottle, empty, that takes up 1 litre of space (actually it takes up slightly more as the contents are 1 litre and the lid and thickness of the plastic will make the bottle bigger, but I'm not going to split hairs). It weighs, empty, 113g!! So an ideally recyclable empty plastic container that uses up the exact volume of 1 litre (uncrushed/compacted) weighs almost 160% of the "acceptable" weight that you want to permit in the bin before you put the price up!!

 

Based upon this rather simplistic experiment, I simply cannot fathom how any restaurant, shop or small business can possibly keep the bin under the 75Kg threshold unless it is under half full when you collect it. Are you sure that you are not confusing the "industry standard" of 65Kg with the actual weight of the bin which IS 65Kg (according to your website specifications).

 

However, I am prepared to consider the option that you have made, in order to reduce the weight of the bin. You have suggested a 240litre Eurocart for glass only. Personally, I cannot see the point of you picking it up to empty it when it is only half full or less. How about thatyou supply the 240 litre bin and I will call you to request it to be emptied when it reaches 3/4 full and you can then bill me for the 6 lift as it is required?

 

In this way, you will reduce my waste bin cost to the existing price but will get additional monies when the bottle bin is emptied (6 per lift) and your recycling processes will have clean glass to process. If you only come and get it when its full, then there is less carbon footprint from fewer visits of your lorries and less damage to my driveway and verges when your lorry goes off the edges of the tarmac.

 

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday 24th November......fancy a round of golf @ Three Rivers GC near Chelmsford?? David Isaac won a 4 ball in a raffle at the weekend, and is unable to use the voucher which must be used by 31st Dec 2014. Valid anytime Monday to Friday or Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon. Available to any Club Member to use, for the consideration of a donation to The Captains Charity, Keech Hospice Care. Email me if you are interested. First come, first served...

 

Friday 21st November....

I had a letter today from my waste bin people, telling me they were putting my prices up as our bin was always too heavy. I was of the opinion that they are taking the p*ss and I had a bit of time before tonights AGM at the club to compose my response to their letter. I don't really care what they say. If they don't impose a price increase I will just let life go on. If they do, I will get someone else to empty it. But I felt it a worthwhile exercise in letterwriting.........

 

Dear Ms C

Thank you for your letter of 19th November 2014 where you advised that you have been reviewing your waste collection rounds and have determined, somehow, without the use of scales that our 1100 ltr general waste cart is "consistently over the expected weight for general waste services"

 

You then helpfully point out that this can be caused by a high proportion of food waste or glass weight or other heavy and non compactable material.

I immediately reviewed your extensive website, but despite an exhaustive search I was unable to find out what the "expected weight for general waste services" was.

 

I did have a long read about the Materials Recycling Facility or "MRF" at Wellingborough and Luton, from which would reasonably appear that whatever is in the cart, goes to these sites and is sorted/recyled at that point. Our cart contents will not have changed almost at all in 15/20 years.

 

We have a small kitchen, not a restaurant, banquet hall or or other such food and beverage function suite. Given that our food sales takings per week average at about 250/300 per WEEK and you empty the cart every week, we would have to have people bringing in food waste from outside of the business to chuck it in our cart, to make the food waste on weekly basis amount to any substantial weight or volume. What we buy in, we sell. We put the empty wrappings in the bin. The only way it might leave the premises in the same volume is via the sewer, but generally I find that people are here for a short time and tend to take that bit with them.

 

We have a small bar, which does have bottled beers. We have two small "trugs" or plastic handled buckets which we use to store empty bottles as they are used, which are then emptied into the cart. The volume of bottled beer that we buy in on a weekly basis, which again, unless we are shipping in empty bottles for the sole purpose of disposing of them in our cart, amounts to around maybe 40/50 bottles. Therefore it would be difficult for us to be disposing of more than we buy.

 

We sell, in our bar and golf shop, plastic bottled water and energy drinks and cans, and golfers often bring their own as well. As they have to carry them around the course, they tend to avoid the glass ones as they can break if dropped and they are heavy to carry 4 to 5 miles around a golf course and generally not resealable on the golf course. We empty our litter bins which contain this stuff once a week. Plastic bottles and aluminium cans are, in my opinion, a lightweight compactable trade waste and indeed I would estimate that this makes up over 50% of the volume of the cart contents on a weekly basis.

 

The other week, we did do an evening function, and for the first time in many many months, the cart lid almost didn't shut, due to the number of black bin bags therein. Given that these bags were bulky because they contained polystyrene plates and bowls from the buffet, once again I would consider that to be a compactable trade waste.

 

I would therefore be grateful if you could provide me with the legal definition of the "expected weight for general waste services" and the industry standard or even British Standard that defines this. Can you please also itemise the weights over which my waste cart has exceeded those industry standards on a week by week basis over the past 6 months, on a paper/cardboard/glass/foodwaste subsection so that I can review our working practices here, cross referencing it with our schedule of functions to see if we can identify when and who is nefariously disposing of heavy waste in our general cart which is causing difficulties for the lifting hydraulics on your lorries.

 

Or perhaps you can review your letter suggesting that you are increasing our prices and consider that this may in fact be an error and that our prices can remain as they are.

 

I will be happy to meet you onsite here on any day that you might choose so that you can lift the lid of the cart and review its half empty interior.

 

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Yours Sincerely

Steve Rumball

Managing Director

Chalgrave Manor Golf Club

 

Friday 21st November.....Clare comes into the office to say she cannot close the firedoors....which baffles me slightly as I am trying to fathom why they would have been opened anyway....but it turns out that Bob Albery, Don Parrott, Alan Michael, Derek Horwood and a few other nefarious characters asked her to open the doors to "check the weather"....now I'm slightly worried about this, in that seeing as the clubhouse is about 80% glass windows and whilst we have a normal %age of spectacle/contact lens wearers I would imagine, I failed to see why they were unable to ascertain the type of prevailing weather by looking through the nearest window??? Equally, I was worried that one of my normally, ultra sensible, switched on staff members, was daft enough to go and open the doors to check!! On the other side of the room, a group of Tuesday seniors were sipping coffee........virtually High 5ing each other that at last someone else had surpassed their own efforts of normal levels of gibberish.....Chalgrave!! You couldn't make it up.

 

 

Sunday 16th November.....Not really golf, but it provided a decent laugh in the clubhouse so it makes it!! ....those of us of a certain age, 50 ish +, graduates of the Monty Python era, will probably at some time in our lives have seen the exceptionally funny public information/safety at work films made by the genius that is John Cleese, combining great humour to underline a serious point about safety.....the modern day version of John Cleese is Darryl Bazeley, who arrived at the club on Sunday sporting a rather angry looking cut to the head, which he had sustained at work, which of course brought forth the question of why he wasn't wearing a hard hat on site......You can imagine the mirth when the answer came back, that it was the hard hat, falling off the shelf above his head, that landed peak first on his shiny dome, that caused causing the damage!!!! 

 

Tues 11th November....Seniors.....and in fact the continuation of last weeks saga.....where they lost countless yonex 7 irons....Rupert Groves comes in, clutching a ....7 iron....lost today on the course.....and bemoaning the fact that somehow, in finding a 7 iron on the course, he had lost his own!!! Now even I am somewhat taken aback, as this would make FOUR 7 irons lost in 2 weeks....so as a complete random shot in the dark, I asked if the missing 7 iron from his own bag happened to be a Yonex......"Yes!" exclaims the Seniors Vice Captain, "has it been handed in?" "well, that's amazing" I say, "I think it was handed in seven days before you lost it...." as I hand him back the club he lost last week, played a round on Thursday without realising it was missing, possibly the weekend as well, and half of today's round before finding someone else's club and then realising his own was missing and assumed he had left it near a green TODAY despite the fact that he couldn't have used it at any time during the previous 300ish shots (95ish shots a round for 3 rounds)...............god help him really, there are 2 turkey trotts, 2 clubs and a putter just around the corner!!

 

Friday 7th November.....Tony Henderson and Eric Hayes surpass themselves.....they are the amongst the last to leave. They are parked next to each other in an otherwise deserted carpark. They walk to their cars together, before getting into their cars, just feet apart. Clearly their is a new meaning for being out with your "wingman" as one now has a dented wing and the other has lost a wing mirror as they managed to have a gentle prang despite being the only vehicles within 20 yards!!!

 

Thursday 6th November...OK so it's a day early, but John won't be here on Friday....John Townley, Senior Senior, is 84 tomorrow. He came in with the Molers and trundled around 9 holes, before the molers launched into his birthday party afterwards. Now I have often heard that people appear to regress back to childhood the older they get, and whilst John appears to have remained eminently sensible, the molers regressed so far that it was like having a 5 year olds birthday party here.....in the end, I fully expected them to be picked up by Mummy and Daddy leave with party bags.....One of John's presents was wrapped so many times, it looked like he had had a solo game of pass the parcel!! Congratulations John, many of us would like to knock it around in 84, let alone still be knocking it around WHEN you're 84!!

 

Tuesday 4th November.......well its been quiet on the seniors front for a few weeks, but things have returned to normal today.....Firstly we had more Rules queries in a single competition that we have had for a while, firstly concerning the status of a ball on a bridge, is it in the hazard (yes) and what are the options? The bridge is an immovable obstruction, which means the ball can be played as it lies, including grounding the club as the bridge is not "ground in a hazard" even though the bridge is in the hazard!! Alternatively, under penalty, the ball can be dropped as though it was in the hazard, behind the hazard. By this time I hazarded a guess that there was haphazard understanding.......we moved onto Tony Henderson, who enquired about the status of Fox Sh*t....where he would have had to stand in it to play his shot off the fairway. I did point out that he could place his ball on the fairway within 6" which one would hope would have solved the problem, but apparently this was either a very big fox or it had had a good/bad night behind the curry houses of Toddington, depending upon your viewpoint. I advised that the offending steaming pile would be classed as an abnormal ground condition and relief may be taken without penalty, where clearly relief had been taken by a fox some hours earlier. Given that Tony was involved, I suppose there was every chance that Bull and not Fox was involved.......

 

you would think that would be enough for a single day, but no.....Adrian Purser brings in a 7 iron that had been lost on the course.....a Yonex XP 7 iron, so not the cheapest bit of kit to leave lying about......and just before Senior Captain announces he has it safely awaiting collection, Bob Hall reclaims it. 10 minutes later, Adrian and Dave Burden arrive at my office with a lost 7 iron, a Yonex XP!!! and unless Bob has reclaimed his 7 iron and then in 10 minutes played 1478 holes with it, averaging about 5 shots per hole, this is not the same iron!! So what are the chances of 2 identical Yonex XP 7 irons being lost on the same day at the same course and it being Seniors day?? So, I am now awaiting this one to be claimed, at which point we will find out if Bob has his club or whether he has erroneously upgraded it to a newer shinier version!!

 

Add to that the glasswasher has flooded the bar, the till went loopy and refused to work and then decided to play ball and be OK again ever since, it is fair to say that it's never dull on Tuesdays!!

 

Tuesday 28th October.....4.20pm....Robbie Peck and Ray Bowles are running scared......on Sunday morning at 8.00am, they face Rumball & Rumball in the Winter Pairs KO....and at 4.20pm today, as the light fades, they arrive for 3 holes of practice!!!! I popped out to watch them play their second shots on the first hole, from the 3rd fairway...both of them!! Hopefully, they will spend the next few holes ingraining that swing into the memory!!

 

Sun 26th October...The Generation Gap Trophy, won this year by a country mile by Jack and Mark Beaney, produced some great moments of amusement. On the walk down to the first tee to start, with us supposed to be first off, Aidan says "is that another pair going off ahead of us?? Who is that Junior then?".......it turned out to be Braddy......so we get underway and after a reasonably uneventful first 10 holes, we arrive at the 11th tee. The fact that Aidan and myself played 2 provisionsals was soon forgotten, as the Natus's choose Andrew's tees shot and John sticks it in the bunker back left. The flag is on the middle tier. Getting it close was nigh on impossible, but Andrew played a sublime shot, the ball rolling slowly across the top tier, just making the break, rolling down and missing the edge of the hole by a fraction.....and going on and past and down and off the green at the bottom!! John wanders down, lines up the putt, fizzes it past the hole and up onto the top tier!! Andrew gives it the most gentlest of nudges. Juts to get it rolling, down the slope, past the hole, over the edge and back to the bottom. John wanders back to get it. Putts it back up, fizzes past the hole and regrettably, from the perspective of the story, is 6" short of putting it back onto the top tier, and it doesnt quite have the legs to go back past the hole and down the slope again!! You would think that would be hard to surpass, but the Isaacs managed it. With the Beaneys accumulating 40 points, it would have taken a monumental effort to match and beat that score, except the Isaacs were on fire, smashing 17 points from the first 7 holes taking just 32 shots in the process of making 4 nett birdies in 7 holes... I'm not saying the wheels came off , more like the engine exploded, they got 5 punctures ( including the spare!) the steering wheel fell off and they put diesel into the petrol tank.....It was that bad!! 6 blobs in 11 holes and 3 nett bogey's whilst getting a shot per hole, is an outstanding turnaround as just 7 points came from the final 11 holes in 72 shots!!     

 

Sat 25th October....The Halloween Handicap produces the usual looks of horror (what else do you expect!!!) when at the culmination of a good round, the trick and treat awards are added. This year, for the treat, we had 3 holes where the stableford points would be doubled on 6, 14 and 16 but disaster would befall anyone who scored well on 7 and 10, as for the trick the score would be tripled and then become a minus!! Not only would John Sullivan's 2 nett 1 and 4 points on 7 become the days biggest disaster at -12, the original 4 also disappears from the score, so it is effectively a -16!!!  He then had a nett birdie on 10 to get a minus 9 for that as well, but lost the 3 original points as well. To add insult to injury, he blobbed the 14th, doubling his zero points to zero points, turning a middle table 29 points into just 6 points!!  Cally also suffered a disaster, recording an excellent 33 points in normal play, but also achieved a -12 on 7 but just a -6 on 10!! Meanwhile, Nick had it sussed, with a rock solid 39 points with one blob, which was perfectly placed on the 7th hole catapulting him to victory!

 

Friday 24th October.....An update on the Tony Robb saga (and as he is an over 50 it is definitely a SAGA story!!)....the missing shirts and jumpers have been reunited with their owner and Tony has returned to his normal levels of sartorial elegance.........at the cost of 17 in postage to have his stuff returned from Okehampton....and it turns out that there was more to the story than I first knew, as on ARRIVAL at Okehampton for the start of the golf week, Tony found out why his suitcase was a tad lighter than expected, as he had left ALL his golf trousers at HOME on the bed waiting to be packed!!! Rather than pay to have his trousers posted to him from home though, he coughed up the dosh to buy some new pairs down there.....so the "bargain golf break" in Okehampton cost an unexpected best part of 100 more in new trousers and postage to get his shirts back!! I love this place. You simply could not make it up.....

 

Saturday 18th October....Tony Robb comes in not quite looking his usual sartorial self, jumper and shirt looking like they have seen a bit of golf in their time.......and there is as reason for this, with Tony and Chris having just returned from a weeks Golf in Okehampton, Devon. There is a drawer in a chest of drawers, in a room in Okehampton that is stuffed full of decent polo shirts and jumpers for the Autumn golfing period.....which is where Tony has left his entire golfing wardrobe!! I did say that we had a number of special offers for bulk purchases of clothing, but he was not amused, although everyone else definitely is!!

 

Monday 13th October.....Torrential rain, howling gale, a proper Chalgrave 5 club wind blowing, one of those days where it is worth considering taking 10 balls to the 18th tee and trying to drive the green.......and knowing you are in with a shout....I'm waiting for John Steele and Chris Baker to turn up, they are the only ones daft enough to think they might play really......

 

Monday 6th October....I need a lie down.....this morning, with the help of Clare and the Cleaners (sounds like a bl**dy X Factor band) we had a bit of a tidy up of the office....clearly I have no work left to do, so I'm going out to play golf until some appears.......

 

 

Monday 6th October....just over a week ago, our Mid-Handicap League side won their semi final 4 - 1 against Leighton Buzzard, in a match played at Aspley Guise. Over the weekend, the date and venue for the final was announced, so it with be against Aspley Guise on Sunday 19th October, at Beds & County Golf Club. There have been some great performances so far to date to get us into the final, and hopefully the team will rise to the occasion once again and bring home the trophy!! 

 

Monday 6th October....The ladies medal result is in, and there is something I haven't seen before......I'm not entirely sure why the result shows this as the ladies, as far as I am aware, don't run a 2's sweep in their competitions (the uncharitable ones amongst you might insinuate that not many are scored....) so it appears rather amazing that, out of a field of 10 players, there were 4 players who got a 2!! 40% of the field had a birdie 2!!

 

Thursday 2nd October....Great to see Dave Tomblin back at the Club today. Last time we saw Dave, he had collapsed on the 16th, and had been carted off in the back of an ambulance having suffered a fairly major heart attack. He has had stents inserted and still has to go back for a few more yet!! He came in to thank Clare and Pete for the assistance they gave him that day, which included a box of chocs for Clare.....is it just me or has Dave not really fathomed the irony of a gift of chocolates which could contribute to an increase in weight, clogging of arteries and a heart attack??  Meanwhile Pete got a bottle of red wine which is supposed to be good for you!!

 

Elsewhere, Chris Baker revealed his true colours, trundling up to the bar to buy some drinks after a round with the molers, Clare started to pour him his normal Fosters, but he stopped her and said he would have a Stella instead....apparently he always drinks Fosters when he is paying and Stella when someone else is and he was buying the round with someone elses money!! He will be drinking halves of fosters next week when someone else is buying when the rest of the molers read this!! 

 

Tuesday 30th September.....8.20am....so far I have lent out a trolley battery to Peter Whitton, another one to Chris Baker and a pair of golf shoes to Bob Hall.........meanwhile, John Steele, who booked a buggy is crossing the carpark with his clubs on an electric trolley......so it must be Tuesday Seniors....

 

Tuesday 23rd September....well it must be Tuesday, I can tell without looking at the day or the date on the calendar....I can tell by the fact that there is a tea bag floating in a cup of "cafe au lait" and John Litchfield is looking slightly bemused......having now checked my watch for the time, it is 7.29am. It is going to be a long day......

 

Tues 16th Sept.....the result from the Franklin is in, and it shows the full benefit of remembering your clubs....Kev Clinton (see below) actually bringing them this time, picking up a 2's payout AND coming third with 40 points...at the other end of the scale, Harry Lyon's wished he had forgotten his clubs as he amassed a monumental 12 stableford points.......Dave Holland is out celebrating, as he beat 2 players in the same tournament for the first time in history as Harry and Charlie Lee were eclipsed by his superb 18 points.......

 

Sat 6th September.....Club Match Away v Mount Pleasant......and Chalgrave's reputation as a source of bizarre and humorous stories is cemented into inter club folklore......Kev Clinton arrives and pops open the boot of his car. It is spacious, easily capable of taking a set of golf clubs, which is what he wished he had done!! No clubs....so he quietly scrounged a set of irons off the Captains' son Matt, a Deriver and a 3 wood off Tim and Tim, who presumably didn't think they would need them, and a putter from the home team captain......and suggested on his own facebook page where he owned up to this gaffe, that it would probably end up in a momentous victory or crushing defeat....he was right as Kev Branch was unable to stop them succumbing to a 4 and 3 defeat!! If you don't expect this to make the news page Kev, don't borrow clubs off the captain, and don't post it on your own facebook newsfeed!!

 

Friday 29th August.....catching up after a few days away, I return to find that the 5th is clearly a doddle these days, as Vijay Mistry whacks in the 3rd ace in 3 months on that hole, gaining himself a place in the Not the Joe Silva Club.....to add insult to injury for Joe, Vijay is part of the same "consortium" as Joe, where they have an agreement that if any of the group get an ace, then the group will contribute 5 each towards the bar bill that ensues......so not only has another hole in one been added without Joe's name appearing, but Joe has now had to buy a drink for a hole in one without actually getting one!! There are times when you just love the humour of Chalgrave......

 

......and earlier today, Dennis Sibley pops his head around my door, and asks if I can help him out....Dennis loves his golf and is, lets say, well into senior section, and is having greater trouble with his eyesight, and plays with a partner of equal difficulties so they feel they spend a rather inordinate amount of time actually searching for their golf balls rather than playing the game......so he asked if I had heard of a golf ball tracker....my absolute 1st thought was "next years April Fool is sorted!!!", until a quick check on the wonderful www actually produced TWO versions both costing in the region of 300 upwards!! A hand held device emits a beep as you point it in the direction of the "lost ball" with that beep getting louder or quicker as you approach the ball, rather like a metal detector would do...as it picks up the microchip embedded in the ball.......which all seems very clever to me, but I do wonder why, then, the purchase pack comes with 4 dozen golf balls!! Surely you only need a few as you can't lose them!!

 

Monday 18th August....Steve Peppiatt becomes the latest member of the "Not the Joe Silva Club" otherwise known as the Hole In One Club, as he aces the 5th to become only the 4th person this year...a very quiet one so far!! He announced it in the clubhouse afterwards....." Do I get anything for it??" to which I responded..." hopefully a round of drinks for everyone...." which I don't think was the anticipated response......

 

Monday 18th August....as always, one of the early visitors to my office is Chris baker, and he is usually a good barometer as far as how the week is likely to progress.......this morning was " Morning Steve, I need a buggy for me and John and another one please." So that's 2 buggies in English?" I replied! It's going to be a long week..... 

 

Tuesday 12th August.....and whilst on the subject of Basil Fawlty.....a Basil type rant actually succeeds......last week I received a notice from UK Power Networks, that they were planning to shut off power for the entire day today, whilst they cut down trees along the line.....faced with the prospect of a Tuesday, 70 odd seniors and then the rest of the casual golfers, all without power for coffee machine, seniors sign in computer, catering, bar, general admin etc etc, I was not best pleased. I was, however heartened by the "Helpful information" section on the poster which said "please note we are unable to provide generators for private use." I took this as a reasonable indicator that a generator would be provided for a business, so I rang them on the number on the poster. After a considerable time listening to lah di dah music, I spoke to a human who said they couldn't help, I needed to ring another number!! I said "The poster says, if you have any questions, please call ....if you can't answer any questions why not just put the right number on the poster? Are you just employed to answer the phone and give out a different number?"

 

I rang the new number, and spoke to a customer care lady who sounded very helpful but wasn't. No generators. I followed up the phone call with an email, outlining why the planned shutdown would have a major impact on my business and why I needed a generator to resolve that. The following day, I had an email from "Care@ukpower which opened with the foll owing statement "I am sorry that your power will need to be isolated to the property. I do understand the disruption this can cause, especially when running a business." it then went on to try to justify why a generator couldn't be supplied " As planned outages are on-going throughout the year the costs to provide generators to all businesses affected would mean there would be less money to invest in our electrical infrastructure causing the supply to your business to be less reliable." What they actually presumably meant is that they would make slightly less multi billion profit if they gave me a gennie....

 

This did rather annoy me, so I emailed them back.......

 

I am pleased that you "understand the disruption that this can cause". How do you understand it? What experience do you have in providing catering for 70 people who will want food and cold beverages on Tuesday 12th August without any power to do any cooking or chilling? Please enlighten me on your experience in doing so, so that I can adequately deal with my obligations to my members.
 
In the event that your understanding of my problem is purely a whimsical nonsensical platitude, designed to make me feel as though you have some vague concerns for the wellbeing of my business, then I require that you escalate this immediately to a senior manager who actually can do something about it.
 
I would hazard a guess that if I was Tesco, or Tesco was next door and on the same power grid section, that a bloody great fleet of generators would be here a week in advance and they they would have been pre tested to ensure that they worked and provided sufficient power.

 

 

I didn't to be fair, expect to get an answer to that, but the helpful lady who wasn't very helpful is made of sterner stuff....she rang me yesterday to say she had spoken to the man in charge of the tree cutting and he had said to her that we couldn't have a gennie....I thanked her for asking him and asked for his mobile number, as I said I wanted HIM to tell ME that I couldn't have a gennie....she said she couldn't give me his mobile number, so I gave her my numbers and asked her to get him to call me, and if he didn't I would come and talk to him, at the work site, today, seeing as it was less than a mile away, as I wouldn't have anything else to do as my power would be off, so I could allocate all day to talking to him about the requirement for a gennie!!! I didn't, to be fair, expect a response, but he rang me!! To save me writing the conversation down, just re-read the entire section again from the top!! I also pointed out that tree surgeons had been on the golf course over the past two weeks, cutting down trees under the same line, not needing to shut off power at all, and they came to see me to arrange the best time to do it! Senior Man said he would ring me back....which he did, to tell me the tree cutting had been cancelled for today and that he would arrange to come and see me to find out when would be a quiet day that would have the least amount of impact as they had to shut the power off to do the section the need to do......Halleluyah...Basil, I love you!!  The proof of the pudding is in the eating....I am sitting here recounting the story to you, 15 minutes after the time when we would have been shut down.....

 

 

 

Tuesday 12th August....Richard Muckleston wasn't the only senior in a day early.....a couple of other regulars, as always, pop in after their round for a coffee...."what does cafe au lait mean?" "Coffee with milk, white coffee" I reply...... "I didn't want that, I wanted Chocomilk"  "Well the machine has been the same one for a few years and its predecessor had the buttons in the same place as well, so lets call it 5 years, so why did you press the cafe au lait button, not knowing what it would dispense and expect to get chocomilk when for the past 5 years the button marked chocomilk has always been in the same place and dispensed chocomilk when you press the button?" "I don't know"..........Fawlty Towers was based upon real life events.....I know how they felt!!!! 

 

Monday 11th August.......Richard Muckleston, him of the predawn practice routine to hone the cr*p chipping to perfection on Tuesday mornings is now here on Monday morning, 24 hours prior to his Tuesday round, getting in some extra practice!!!. I can tell you having watched him chip for the past 5 minutes, the skill and technique that Richard must have, to mishit the ball, that well, that often is at a level probably only attained by a tiny minority of players. Practice makes perfect. Richard has finally perfected the mishit....................

 

Tuesday 4th August.....one of the hottest selling golf products of the year has been the Go Kart Trolley. I'm not surprised as it is a storming piece of kit, great value and superb customer support. We sold another two in the past week, one of which was bought by Greenkeeper Danny Sanders. I picked his bag up last week and I'm not surprised he needs a trolley, the weight of it.........although I wouldn't have put it past Jamie to have loaded it with a few bricks a year or so ago and just not mentioned it.......so he wanted a trolley and as a staff member, also wanted a staff discount.....so I said he could, if he ordered the pink one, as I hadn't sold one of those yet. I was joking but he said yes, so I gave him a small discount for being staff and got him a pink one. So here you have it...Danny Sanders, the only gay in the village.........

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 4th August.....about time we had a seniors success story.........John Walshe playing the 14th, tops his tee shot off the whites down the hill. He made a less than perfect contact with his second and comes up just short of the ditch. Things don't really improve with the 3rd and he is short of the 2nd ditch. An average to poor strike and he is about 80 yards from the pin after 4 shots. The 5th is a scuttle along the ground, which crosses the green at some speed, striking the flagstick and burying itself in the hole cup. The group passing behind the 14th green on their way to 12th raise their arms and roar their approval. John arrives at the green and enquires "did anyone see where my ball went???" 

 

Sat 26th July...Charity Day...the day starts at 7.30am as we start to get organised for the onslaught of players and additionals.....hot and humid, and fancy dress is a vicious combination. My team were moderate, resplendent in Hawaiian shirts, but this was quickly conquered as the boys from Hawaii were followed by the Hula Hula girls. Bear in  mind this 4 ball included Ray Tilcock and Neil Tabor, you can see how this is going to quickly degenerate!! Chris Burrows and Alan Janes in nurses outfits is something that is seared into my brain! Peter Whitton, Alan Laid,Taff Rowlands and Doug Oakes were superb, as they came dressed as old men and carried it off perfectly!! And then we came to the heavy hitters.....Pete Ward, Gary Pratton, Ian Hillier and Rob Peck as old women....crinolene dresses, grey wigs, surgical stockings and the image was disturbingly close to Norman Bates "mother" rather than Nora Batty. Even more disturbing is the sight that greeted me at 2.00am as I cleared the club up....at the far end of the mens changing room, Gary Pratten's dress is hanging perfectly from a coat hanger, clearly it is important to him not to crease the crinolene as it appears that further wear is likely!! Any normal bloke would have stepped out of it, kicked it off into the corner, scrunched and dirty, having performed its task and never to be used again.....but no. On a coat hanger, ready for further use. Worrying!!

 

John Isaac again appeared in a dress, as did Gary Turner and both look as they are enjoying it far too much! The auction was a spectacular success, raising almost 1500 on its own, with some spectacularly appropriate purchases. David Isaac and his mate bought a family ticket for MK Dons before realising they don't have kids.... Chris Burrows, Senior Captain, bought a 60 Go Ape voucher, an extreme adventure game involving rope bridges and slings high in the tree tops culminating in a long, fast zip wire to ground level before you climb back up into the trees!! Bob Hall bought a 1/2 flying lesson, which will no doubt end in chaos as it was taking him 20 minutes to decide if he was going to bid, so 30 minutes flying probably wont even leave the ground!! All in all, a spectacular success, raising thousands of pounds for Keech.

 

More details if I can remember anything else over the weekend!!    

 

Fri 25th July.....OK OK I had top have a shocker at some point....late last night I had an email from Kev Branch, querying the result of the Pro - Am. Now some people might just say that they thought there was an error, but Kev took it upon himself to point it out in the style of the news page......writing to tell me that he has been an accountant for the best part of 25 years and I had now thrown his whole career into dissarray, casting doubts onto every form and set of accounts that he had ever done. The basis for this problem, that he had, for as long as he could remember, worked on the basis that 1 + 2 = 3 and indeed 2 + 1 = 3 as well. Having seen my first attempt at producing the result (done in something of a rush with chaos going on in the clubhouse - that's my excuse!!) he was now having doubts as I had managed to make 1 + 2 = 3 and 2 + 1 = 1!! OOPS!! Apologies, the website is corrected, as is the main board and the post I put on yesterday slating the Pro's for failing to support their partners no longer applies as the only change from the amateur score was that John Crane leapfrogged Karen Crane thanks to the performance of HIS pro.....now why did I mention that AGAIN???

 

Thurs 24th July...the result for the Pro Am is in......and a family disagreement is on the cards......Karen Crane having beaten John on countback on just the amateur scoring section, but her Pro, Branden Grace had a shocker with a 74 and shot her down to 18th place, whilst John was partnered with Shane Lowry who shot a 65 and got him onto 3rd Place. The Pro Am is notorious for destroying the hopes of a low scoring amateur, and this year was no different as Greg Stack shot a gross 71 off 10, (and got a cut to 7 for his troubles!!) but his pro Manero Mannassero was 1 shot worse with a 72, opening the door for Mark Gibney and Charley Hoffman to sneak through and take the title with a combined 131 shots!!

 

Thursday 17th July.....How complicated can this be??? The entry sheet for the Pairs Championship is up, and there is an entry on there, on a single line from Godfrey Cooper who presumably needs a partner to play with as the second box is blank.......except that I understand about these things and realise that infact Godfrey Cooper is a pairing already, with Paul Godfrey and Ronnie Cooper!! Sometimes, I just want to go home and lie down.....

 

Friday 4th July.......Our "LifePack" has arrived. Funded by the Club Members, through fundraising, and me, we now have a Defibrillator in the Clubhouse. It is, supposedly, utterly impossible to get it wrong. The people who wrote the manual and designed it though, have not met my seniors section!! If they can't switch on a golf trolley (see 1st July below) this could be an issue!!!

 

Tues 1st July.....Seniors...what else??? You don't need to know what day it is, you just have to watch the carpark.....John Steele arrives at about 8 and spends 10 minutes assembling his trolley, adding the wheels and the battery, fixing on the bag and generally getting ready to go.......except the trolley won't. Go, that is. A small crowd of "knowledgeable" seniors gather to assist, checking the connections and there is much manual pushing of the trolley to see if pushing it backwards and forwards will miraculously engage the electrical system despite the fact that its not designed like that!! Eventually, they all nod sagely and declare it dead, so the bag is unstrapped and mounted on a buggy and off they all go, abandoning the now deceased trolley, still with battery attached, in the car park.......I am, of course, intrigued by now, and with the trolley abandoned and available, I wander out for a look myself. I have long understood the basic principle that you should check the basics first before delving deeper, so I started from the beginning. I switched the red button on and turned the knob that regulates the speed. Off it went!!!! I started to laugh. I disconnected the cables, reconnected them again, just to make sure there wasn't a dodgy connection that had resolved itself. Switched it on, off it went!!! So, chaps......if in doubt, try switching it ON!! ....and THAT is what tells you its a Tuesday!!!

 

Tues 24th June...arrive to open up for the seniors at 6.58am...and Richard Muckleston is already on the practice green honing his mishit chips to perfection.....he finally comes in for a coffee and I ask if he has perfected the mishit yet, and he says "its much better than it was, I reckon I am 50/50 now as to whether it will come up off the ground now!!" .....classic!!

 

Sat 14th June....some early snippets from Captains Day......got here to open up at 6.00am and the golfers were arriving from 7.00am for registration. Adrian D'Arcy was here for 8 and back home by 8.10, collecting his golf clubs!!! Whilst all and sundry were having coffee and beer, Gary Turner was diligently practising on the chipping and putting greens, followed by the nets. By 1.30 pm, he did not figure in the top 10 thats for certain!!

 

Jose Silva was presented with a small memento on the 1st tee, to commemorate the monumental international incident that occured last night in Brazil, but for some reason failed to see the funny side of being presented with a portion of Dutch Edam.....

 

....and whilst we are talking World Cup, it worth recounting a story concerning our Club Member and England Manager namesake, Graham Taylor, who emailed me a few days ago to say take him out of all competitions as he had decided as a last minute thing, to fly to Brazil to follow England until they get KO'd. Today, I noticed on Facebook, that he was still in the UK. Apparently, having made it to Heathrow on Friday for a flight to Brazil, he didn't make it past check-in as he didn't have a return ticket!! Despite frantic calls from the mobile trying to get a return, the phone died and so did the dream of seeing England play Italy tonight in Brazil.......unless watching it on TV still counts!! Classic!!

 

Tuesday 10th June.....there are some Tuesdays that I look forward to with a great sense of anticipation. Today is one of them. Ball no 37 was the Bonus ball on Saturday. No wwhilst I have that number in the Club Bonus Ball draw which netts me a very nice 40, I also have the same number in the Seniors Draw, which only pays out 25 for the same 1 stake (stingy lot!!), but let me tell you, the "boos" that I get when I go and collect my winnings are worth every penny of the 15 difference!!

 

Peter Whitton said on completing his round to day, that the greenstaff don't put the holes where his ball goes. I said its not normal to put the flags in the rough.....   

 

Tuesday 3rd June....the seniors are playing a texas scramble for Senior Captains Drive In.....and I have to pop out to pick something up......so as I go past the 5th tee on the way out, I am somewhat surprised to see a seniors 4 ball, 40 yards SHORT of the bunker on the 5th and about to play their second shot!! (Well hopefully it is their second, third or more would be even more embarrassing!!) I mean, seriously?? A texas scramble, 4 tee shots on a par 3 and the best you can do is a 50ish yard chunk to the start of the fairway on a par 3??? 

 

Tuesday 3rd June....Senior Captains Drive In......51 seniors in attendance in somewhat poor weather to witness their new Captain start his year. "Chris "I don't need an umbrella, I've got eyebrows" Burrows absolutely smashed it up the 1st fairway, hopefully not reaching a peak to his Captains Year with his very 1st shot!! Time will tell....... 

 

Sunday 1st June...the 20th Birthday Competition....American Greensomes, not a format we have played before. It was surprising. The format is reasonably straightforward, 2 players playing as partners, both drive off in the normal greensomes manner. Each player then both plays a second shot, using the ball hit from the tee by their playing partner. Where ever those two balls finish, they then pick the best ball and play alternate shot as in normal greensome/foursome golf to the end of the the hole.  So, on the basis that you get to play 2 balls twice, you would think that the scoring would be better than normal greensomes! Clearly not the case as 38 points won it, with only one other pairing at par!!

 

Sat 31st May 2014......A momentous day, 20 years to the day since we opened. I had invited all of the Founder members, The Shareholder members, the Life Members and any Past or Current Captain who was still a member to participate in an Invitation Tournament, to celebrate this milestone. We had a great meal afterwards, and were entertained by "Richie Soul" until after midnight. As the witching hour approached, Tim "Braveheart" Murphy commenced the "Dance of the Captains Jacket". This will, hopefully, become a tradition because I would dearly love to see it again......Its components are many and varied. It requires the outgoing Captain to be in a fluid state of inebriation at midnight, reasonably incomprehensible in speech, but flowingly smooth in movements across the dancefloor. The dance clearly has its origins in Scottish Dancing, high hands, twirling capes (or in this case) the new Captains Jacket and a zig zagging coverage of the dancefloor that would have graced "Strictly". From a H&S perspective, the pockets of the Captains Jacket do need to be checked in advance to ensure that they don't contain something solid, like a mobile phone, as this stage of the dance could result in decapitation of the casual revellers amongst whom the outgoing Captain twirls. The dance moves on, possibly as the memory span of the outgoing Captain is somewhat fuzzy, and the cape becomes the weapon of the Toreador.....and the casual revellers, those that have survived decapitation, are now the bulls......I'm reasonably sure we segued into Tom Jones and "It's Not Unusual" before returning to the role of toreador and finally the clock struck Midnight. The once pristine, new burgundy jacket of the incoming Captain was now a bedraggled, slightly stretched and mis-shaped jacket. It was held forward temptingly by the New Immediate Past, and instantly withdrawn as the new Captain reached for his prize, in the childish prank style of the Krankies. Finally Steve G Howarth grasped his prize. Club Captain 2014. Have a good one Steve. Practice the dance for next year though!! It will take some beating!!

 

Weds 28th May....Seniors Match...  Pete is in the bar when they come off, and a particularly tall opposition golfer (Steve Howarth size!) comes to the bar, says to Pete, "a pint of Fosters and some peanuts....shorty...." Pete's hackles come up immediately. "Did you call me shorty??" "I'm not having that!!" "No" the tall guy says, "Peanuts, salted!" Classic!!

 

Tues 27th May....Committee Meeting....the weekend competition starter, Steve Emmett recounts a story from the 1st tee on Saturday, amidst the gloom and torrential rain...... Pete Graydon, even before the start, is bemoaning the fact that the Sunday players have an advantage as the forecast for Sunday is fine and Saturday is wet and windy. He says to Steve, "If the winner of this competition comes from Saturday, I will bare my *rse in a shop window!" Result? 1st Andrew Young (played Saturday) 2nd Steve Howarth (played Saturday) *rse, shop window, will try and get a photo for the website.....

 

Tues 27th May......Those great laid plans.......the Seniors Captain's  Farewell, moved from January to the last week of May to try and ensure decent weather, is met with torrential rain this morning.......

 

Friday 23rd May...... Now I know that the storms and the approaching onset of thunder and lightening can affect people, but the 9 Hole Competition?? What other reason can there be for FOUR players, in two different groups, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, playing the FRONT nine instead of the BACK nine this week? The sign in sheet on the bar makes it absolutely clear which nine to play??? Barking Mad..

 

 

Tuesday 20th May....Subliminal Advertising is a cunning thing. Doing something that does not appear obvious but it has the desired effect. The seniors have become notorious for the chaos and mess around the coffee machine on a Tuesday morning. Empty milk cartons and used spoons discarded on the table top, sugar spilled everywhere, used cartons put BACK into the basket where the new ones are etc etc, all this despite a notice which politely asks people to put used spoons and cartons into the bin which is all of 6" away...........so today, I changed the notice......

 

 

Marvellous!! They didn't read it, I watched them, but picture 2 is how the table was left!!!

 

Sunday 18th May.... The Chairmans Cup....is is one of those strange things in life that two extremes can result in the same effect, in this case, a new nickname......."Laser Dave" and "Putting Pete" were born on Sunday. "Laser" Dave Bromley is the new Scratch Team Captain. We wont say anything about his debut against Millbrook where he had a 10ft putt to win his match and the overall match as well, on the 18th. A 2 putt would secure the half. A three stab lost it!! So definitely not "Laser" for the putting!! So it was the other end of the scale, where his driving was splitting the fairways with unerring accuracy, so much so that it was causing comment from his playing partners Pete Graydon and John Sullivan. On the 8th, the drive prompted some discussion about exactly how accurate he was, as the ball came to rest on the "join" between the coloured stripes of the fairway from the direction of cut. A bit of jovial banter was stopped dead in its tracks when they realised that the particular "join" was the exact dead centre of the fairway. Laser Dave was born. "Putting" Pete was in the same group for the completely opposite reason. The ball would not go in at all.....TWO four putts, a number of three putts, interspersed with a single putt on 12 and no putts whatsoever on 17 as an eagle three dropped in from 140 yards. The euphoria of the eagle was quickly dispersed as he managed 3 putts on 18!! 

 

Saturday 11th May....Captain v Vice Captain....... a convivial, good humoured event that provides an opportunity for a bit of banter and general joshing between the incoming and outgoing Captains.....Victory this year for Jock Murphy and the Captains Team, but it also raised that strange scenario, where normally, in Competition, if you take just 2 shots you can win anything from 5 to 50 for the 2's...........so when Cally Hawker stood on the 5th Tee and took just one, in a competition that was jam packed full of people who would stay for a beer afterwards, there was no surprise when Nick, who was partnering her as well, looked suitably distraught. Even Joe, who was playing in the event as well, didn't want a Hole in One on Saturday!! So, nothing for the 2's as there was no comp, just a 94.50 bar bill for picking the wrong day to do it!!

 

Tuesday 29th April.....Seniors.......Coffee machine, 1 in get a coffee, get a spoon, one sugar, get a milk pot, take the top off, pour contents into bin and drop the empty plastic container into the coffee..........I want to go home now...........Looking on the bright side, at least he used the bin, which is more than most of them do. The current trend is to leave the wet, coffee stained plastic DISPOSABLE (the clue is in the name chaps!!) spoon, ON TOP OF the laminated notice which says please put the spoons in the bin!!!

 

Sun 20th April...Easter Sunday and I have to open up.....short staffed and no one else available.....but the usual chaos is going on.....Dan Glass arrives, not intending to play, but to take the mickey out of the 50+ year old friends of his who have "qualified" to play in the +50 competition.....except the joke is on Dan, as the "Altzheimers +50" is next week!!  

 

Tim Murphy arrives at 9.00am, have you seen Darryl?? Yes at 7.30am with all the rest of them!! Tim makes some amends to his error, by recounting a story from yesterdays Club Match v Colmworth.....9.30am and he is still one short, no sigh yet of Phil Gibbons, so he rings him on his mobile....it is answered pretty promptly....."Hi Tim, yes sorry, I took a wrong turning but I'm on my way and will be there by 10....." which seems a bit odd, as Phil has been a member for years and one would assume that he knows his way from his house to the club by now.....except that he had made a slight error and gone to Colmworth not Chalgrave!! Now, Phil lives in Irchester, so a match at Colmworth was the equivalent of a pop around the corner, which was then turned into a speedy run down the M1 to make his start time!!

 

Tim, having rectified his error of a late arrival by recounting a greater error made by someone else, then blotted his copybook virtually immediately. Sitting in the clubhouse, he decided to use his time productively to put the remaining photos from the annual dinner into envelopes with peoples names on so that they can be collected. I thought it was odd when I saw him, so I let him do it 5 or 6 times before I queried, it, just to make sure that it wasn't a one off......so I said, "you do know that those are self seal envelopes that you are licking, don't you??"  Bonkers this place!

 

Thurs 17th April...Chris Baker comes into my office, and croaks at me "I've lost my voice..." I see this as an immediate bonus, as Chris talks 19 to the dozen most of the time. In fact, my instant response is " that's good news, can you go and snog Tarby as well please??" meant as a jest and in good humour......this backfired, as Chris then explained at great length, Tarby's round today, in such exquisite ball by ball detail (despite the lost voice) that Tarby must have recounted it at least 200 times already (about halfway through then for Tarby!!). This is very much a downside, as it means that I will have to sit through the same thing in due course before Tarby goes home!!! Bugger!!

 

Tuesday 15th April.....John Townley, the "Senior" senior, is still currently out of action following his fall a month ago as he scurried about the house in haste, looking for his golf gear!! He has been to the L&D for a scan etc, to try and identify what exactly he has done, and he popped in to show me the letter he has received from the L&D explaining the circumstances, what action has been taken and what will happen next.....I quote..."she sustained the injuries in a fall and she has suffered discomfort and lack of mobility since".  I said 1 thought that getting a gender reassignment at 84 was probably ambitious, but looking on the bright side, when a full recovery is made and golf can recommence, there is no reason why he can't play from the red tees then!!

 

Mon 14th April......a missive from Pete Graydon, who was seeking reimbursement for the loss of a share of the 2's money, having "holed" a 15ft putt on 16 only to see the ball strike the back of the hole and rebound back out, remaining resolutely perched and overhanging the lip but refusing to drop. The "claim" was based upon the spurious suggestion that the hole cup was a mere 5mm below the putting surface. I had a quick look and probably 12mm is a more reasonable estimation. Still a bit too close really, but worthy of a robust defence of the claim, I felt.

 

I pointed out that if he hit the upper lip of the hole cup, which was 4 1/4" away on the opposite side of the hole, with a sphere that is 42.5mm diameter, and weighing 46gsm that the laws of physics will tell you that in order for a rolling sphere to travel 4.25"(or 108mm) but only drop less than 21mm as gravity tried to pull it downwards (on the basis that if more than half the ball had dropped below 12mm then it would have been impossible for the ball to rebound upwards...it must have hit the lower hemisphere...then had the ball not actually hit the hole, it would have travelled many feet past and would have been likely that the one coming back would have been missed as well, making a 4 not a 3!!

 

...or, in other words, it was going too fast!! Simples!!

 

Mon 7th April......It was something of a testing time last week, we suffered a break in to the greenkeepers shed on Tuesday Night, losing strimmers, chainsaws, generator and waterpump. Whatever we do, we are not going to stop these people getting in, this lot smashed through the front fence, then tried to pull the shed doors off their hinges with a vehicle chained to them. The security padlock eventually sheared off, and they then had a good look around the shed, before locating the bits they fancied and making off. All on CCTV, and they don't care.  Toddington was then overwhelmed by the Caravan Clubbers for the next few days, resulting in us having to try and secure the course with additional barriers at the road. By the time they had vacated the area on Sunday, we had had a visit from some young Evil Kenievels (don't worry, I think my spelling IS correct!!) as three people decided to demonstrate their lack of control by doing wheelies and donuts on the 4th green. Rob and his team have repaired the damage and hopefully as the growth period is just about to hit, any uneveness will soon disappear. Apart from that, it was quiet!!

 

 

Sat 5th April....I have long thought that trolley stories would never surpass the Patrick Ng saga where he set his trolley on auto by the 3rd green and sent it to the 4th tee, pressed the wrong button and someone eventually retrieved it from the 16th hole, would be impossible to top......but no....last weekend, Matt Dennis was playing the 7th, pushed the "roll on 10 yards" button and watched as the trolley moved ahead of him towards the green. The undulations, as you know, are such that golf balls are magically drawn to the new, enlarged pond on the left. Clearly, the same applies to trollies......despite constant warnings from his playing partners that the trolley was veering left, Matt was convinced that (a) it wasn't going to go far enough left and (b) the boost button would cut out and the trolley would stop well short anyway......as you would expect from the fact that this anecdote appears on the news pages, he was wrong on both counts!! Whilst the boost probably did cut out, gravity simply took over and the gentle arc became more pronounced until it was clear that this would not end well. At that point, Matt decided to capitulate on his stance that the trolley was safe, but not even Usain Bolt could have covered the distance in time. The trolley toppled over the edge and did a passable impersonation of a seagoing vessel...regrettably, that vessel was a submarine on a crash dive whilst being hounded by depth charges.

 

Now, it would also be sensible to point out at this juncture, that the pond on 7 is probably at its deepest now, following the winter storms and the point of entry was the very steep right hand bank..... Matt's playing partners declined to assist in the recovery, as they were suffering from severe stomach pains from laughing too much, so in a brand new pair of golf shoes, guaranteed waterproof, but regrettably this assurance doesn't stand up to being submerged in 3ft of water and mud!!

 

Eventually, the Environment Agency were called to bring up a dredger from the Somerset Levels, and the bag and trolley rose again from the murky depths with the same majesty as the Mary Rose all those years ago....The phone, wallet, car keys, battery, trolley all survived in about the same way that the Mary Rose did....so a few pieces of useless junk was all that remained!! I would love to see the insurance claim form.... 

 

 

 

Thursday 3rd April.....I arrive at about 9 ish, and Pete is already having a right old chuckle as he comes into my office to recount a story....."you know the one"  he says, "the tallish grey haired guy who plays with the seniors!!" (it's all right for you lot, we have to work with him!!) I pointed out that this description didn't exactly narrow down the field of potential  people that it might be!!  So anyway, it turns out that the tallish grey haired senior, enquired of Pete "How the hell did that van get there on Tuesday? Was anybody hurt??" Pete replied "The greenstaff put it there for a prank" "Why did they do that then??" "What day was is when you saw the van?" "Tuesday!" "No, what Date?" "What is the date today then?" "The 3rd" "That would make it the 1st then" "Yes......and.....???" "What do you mean????" "APRIL 1st is......."   CLANG!!!! The noise of the penny dropping was palpable.......

 

Tuesday....oh hell you know what day it is!!!.....another group investigate the upturned van, still smoking away....after moving their trolley out of range in case it explodes!!!

 

Tues 1st April........an update on the update on the update.......Ken Cavendish in the Bar, I say to him, "did you see the van?" "Yes How did that happen?? Was it the fog and too muddy??" "Did you not see the body then?" "Body?? NO!!!" Tim Petzing arrives....."Ken, its April 1st...." "**##$$%%**##"

 

Tuesday 1st April...an update on the update.....the greenstaff were working on the 16th when they were approached by a senior......"what the hell happened with the van?? Was everyone all right??" "Did you not see the body stuck under it then??" "No!!!! Oh that's terrible" "No, whats terrible is that Steve has told us there is nothing else we can do for him, and to stop wasting time and get some grass cut!!"

 

Tuesday 1st April.....an update on the April Fool Prank....The greenstaff were hiding in the woods reasonably adjacent to the scene as the first seniors left the carpark, having just ignited a handful of smoke pellets in the back of the van and engine bay.....Eric Hayes, John Welsh and Keith Morris were the first to the scene, and I am (reasonably) reliably informed that the conversation went "Oh my goodness what has happened here??" " Careful, its on fire, it could explode!!" "There is someone trapped under there!!!!" "It's a bit muddy though!!" "Here, those tyres look OK, I need a new set for my car!!" at which point the greenstaff jumped out and revealed that it was infact a spoof!!! They were somewhat crestfallen though, to discover that in the event of them actually suffering a serious accident on the course, they need to make  sure that it is not in a muddy area if they want to be rescued!! 

 

Tuesday 1st April...Seniors on April Fools Day......and Senior Captain Ray Tilcock spikes my guns by organising a golf competition off "scratch", which brings groans of dismay from the assembled mass of seniors, until he reveals his little "prank". So now they all know what day it is!!! Which makes it all the more satisfying, that after a delay of an hour due to fog descending, when they finally head out to the tees at 9.30 to start, that the Clubhouse phone starts to ring at 9.32am.......David Hazell....the wonders of excel spreadsheets, sort, and last number redial mean you have been sussed!! "There is a greenkeepers van upside down, on fire and there is someone trapped!"..........he says to Clare. Unfortunately for Clare, she had only just arrived and I had not appraised her of the stunt, so she came running into my office, with "Its An Emergency!!!" written all over her face, recounting the phone message to me..........when I appear to be showing little concern for the safety of the greenstaff, and indeed seem to relish the prospect of a reduction in the wage bill, she starts to realise that all might not be what it seems!!!!

 

To get the Seniors is getting a bit easy these days, but to get a staff member as well is the icing on the cake.........

 

For those of you unable to get here today, the full scene.......

 

 

 

A handful of smoke pellets added to the effect, although this was slightly offset by the surrounding fog, but up close, you could see the smoke rising and smell it!!!

 

In order to get near to the stuck "person", you had to walk into the somewhat wet and marshy area so someone probably got their toes wet!!

 

It's a Cracker........

 

Mon 31st March 2014.....British Summer Time heralds the start of the longer evenings, nothing like a round of golf after work really, and plenty of opportunity to get your singles matchplay games sorted out......the draw has been made, and the match I want to see is Ian Hillier v Barry Lampard!!! I reckon you can just about guarantee this will be played on a Friday eve, followed by a few sherberts of Fosters.....pretty much the same as every other Friday really!!

 

Mon 24th March......a member, who shall remain nameless...popped his head around my door at 8.30 this morning, to say hello and drop into the conversation that he was off to Australia for 3 weeks later today, to go on a cruise......so...... whilst he is thinking "mmm, is that a 6 or 7 iron to the green do you think??" his wife is running around the house like a headless chicken, mentally checking off the 1001 things you need to do before you disappear to the other side of the world for 3 weeks, such as have I packed enough spare pants in case we get kidnapped by Somalian Pirates and the Malaysian Airlines planespotters guide.....

 

 

Thurs 13th March....John Townley, the Senior Senior....84 years of age.....has been kicking his heels and champing at the bit to get back out onto the course, so in his excitement at being told that the buggies were out, the sun was out and he could get a game of golf in today, as he rushed around his house looking for clubs and bits of kit, he took a tumble, whacked his chest and and now can't play golf for another week!!!

 

 

Mon 10th March.....four consecutive days of dry weather.......and we have fairways........

 

 

 

Sat 8th March.......Simon Ward peaks a fraction early, as he celebrates his first round to handicap in some considerable period of time......24 hours before the first "Major" of the season as the Razz Pairs kicks off tomorrow!!!
 

 

Friday 7th March.....Ray Bowles, in the sunshine, finds his form. A par up the 1st, a birdie 3 on the 2nd and an eagle 3 on the 3rd. The course is being taken apart!!! Blob on the 4th and blob on the 5th as reality strikes.......

 

Friday 7th March......you would not believe it......the Friday afternoon boys filter into the Clubhouse having enjoyed a round in polo shirts, with a warm, comforting sun on their backs.......the first really genuinely warm day, and a dry one to boot, that we have had in months......so they get into the clubhouse, get their beers, the sun is streaming gloriously through the windows, so they draw the curtains!!! "it's too bright!!!" Mad. Completely mad....

 

The medal result is in, one notable moment, literally one, as Philip Howells joins the club that Joe wants to be a member of, as he aces the 13th.....the first one of 2014......will this be Joe's year???

 

Monday 3rd March ........nothing changes at this club.......the usual array of daft stories etc....Quote of the weekend came from Anne Isaac, when asked if she wanted a starter at the Annual Dinner in a few weeks....."Can I have a Prawn Cocktail, without the prawns please..."   Sliced lettuce then.....elsewhere, Alex Blair, Matt Dennis and Dave Bryant win the award for failure to read a notice, as they enter the Flitwick Oil +18, specifically putting down their handicaps as being between 12 and 15......the clue is in the competition name chaps.......and listen out for the soulful sound of Barry Saunders next weekend, as he brings either his trumpet or his saxophone next Sunday as he tells me he is competing in the Jazz Pairs!!!!!

 

Anne Isaac and Chris Robb, meanwhile, trounced South Beds 6&4 in the Daily Mail 4somes........I suggested that they had sandwiches after....prawn sandwiches, so it was just 2 slices of bread......

 

Monday 24th February.......it was all happening at the weekend, we have 150 acres of wide open spaces, even the trees look a bit small with no leaves on at this time of the year, so players are honing their skills by taking aim at other targets instead, Gary Mason provided a perfect demonstration as to why the new 5 per annum personal liability insurance is such a good deal, and El Presidente blobbed the 5th....Gary "drifted" his second shot into the carpark, where Darryl's 1.5m2 of car windscreen kindly deflected it back into play, surely it would be easier to hit the 500m2 of the green??.......5 for the insurance premium or 75 for the excess?? And El Presidente.....on the 5th was even more impressive with the accuracy, striking a 2.5cm diameter golf ball with a full blooded blow into a 10cm wide wooden marker post, with the result that the ball flew back past the tee, over the driveway and onto the 4th. A slightly poorer connection got the ball back just beyond the tee, the next into the bunker and a final blow to get out before accepting the inevitable and taking the blob. The blob was more inevitable than he thought actually, as in crossing the driveway he was OOB anyway!!

 

Thursday 20th February.....Despite the recent, difficult economic times, poor revenues due to exceptional poor weather, Chalgrave Manor Golf Club continues to expand and to reinvest in the course and its staff. We currently have 2 new vacancies for staff positions, which are aimed at enhancing the way the club can provide our golfing facilities and adding new revenue streams as well. If you feel that you meet the criteria required for either of these positions, please contact me with a full CV, giving details of current experience and current salary levels.

 

Position 1: Senior Witch Doctor. Must be competent and effective in Rain Management Dances. Will need to work flexible hours, mainly during November to March, although a reverse dance system would be useful and could possibly add to the hours required in July and August. Our reservoir system may negate this requirement though. The successful applicant with be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of golf club etiquette, as the club does have a dress code which our staff are expected to meet as well as the members. Nudity and Major Facial Piercings may be in breach of those codes, but would be discussed at Committee if necessary. Music would either have to be completely original and own work, otherwise documentation showing full compliance with music licensing and performing rights will be required.

 

Position 2: Webbed Footed Diving Instructor and Marketing Expert. The Club is looking for a highly motivated individual who can actively promote to and source new golf members who are adept at playing in the current extreme conditions. The successful applicant will be PADI qualified to ensure that Club Members are not at risk from drowning, or getting the bends as they resurface. A PGA Level 3 Qualification as well is highly desirable. When not out on the course instructing club members, the successful applicant will be expected to source new members to add to the club membership roster. Casual usage is also desired, with coach parties  being highly desirable.

 

If you feel that you can meet the requirements to fulfil either or even both positions, (I have my doubts if a webbed footed diving witch doctor exists!) then please contact me on icantbelieveyouhavetakenthisseriously@chalgravegolf.co.uk

 

Thursday 13th February.......Do you believe in Karma? I didn't but.......today is the molers, as usual, (summer is here, the sun is shining, it is positively balmy out there, if still a little damp!!) and Tarby is amongst them as per normal and holding court in the normal way. "Normal way" in the context of Tarby means that a vast amount of sh*ite is spoken!! Now, the Americans have spend vast fortunes perfecting the art of precision bombing, minimising the collateral damage as they hunt down the Taliban. Clearly there are greater powers, karma, which is already ahead of them in capability. Greg Stack was making his way across the carpark heading for the tee, when he heard the beating of wings, looked up to see a pair of high flying geese, followed by the rat a tat tat of impact, as they missed him by millimeters and completely obliterated a single car from a car park of 40 cars.....Tarby's. Karma.

 

 

Thursday 6th February...been out for a few days, and return to more worthy snippets for the newspage.....Peter Kay greets me this morning and is keen to show me the "new" set of irons he has acquired from John Steele....a set of Ping Eye2's in quite reasonable condition.....but I am slightly baffled.....Peter Kay is a leftie.....and I have played a round or two with John Steele and he ain't!! "Yes" says Pete, "he didn't realise they were left handed clubs when he bought them himself........" Well I know John's eyesight is pretty bad, but surely when you have a "test waggle" of a club you would realise the head was pointing the wrong way.........talking of which, (in a second or two, you will appreciate the absolute genius of the linking of two unconnected subjects) Ron Gray had the same problem on Tuesday...arriving for the seniors Tuesday meeting, he was chatting to Pete at the bar (as I was off for the morning) and all seemed well, Ron in a smart but plain crew necked sweater........until Ray Tilcock tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around to speak to him, leaving Pete in tears of mirth as he was now confronted with the V Neck and the Chalgrave Club Crest adorning Ron's back!! So his head was pointing the wrong way as well!!! I have often thought that some of the seniors don't know if they are coming or going.....we now have proof!!!......it actually gets worse......having just quickly scrolled back on the cameras, Ron spent 6 minutes standing at the bar, with his back to Pete and Pete never saw it either!!

 

Thursday 30th January......Dennis Richards declines to challenge the elements of golf in the wet at Chalgrave, in favour of going shopping with the missus instead......he returns later on to find out how his moler mates have done against the onslaught of the Chalgrave weather.....and foolishly recounts the story of his morning.....having been dragged around the shops, buying various items, he also buys a new secure shredder for unwanted papers......he unboxes it, plugs it in and it instantly whirrs into life.......if anyone has an instruction manual for a shredder, Dennis needs one!! As always, I try to be helpful, so I wander over to Dennis and say " you are so lucky, I have a spare copy here...." and then pass him a handful of shredded paper from my own office one!!! Tears of mirth from the rest of the molers........

 

Monday 13th January.....The new Past Captains picture screen is scrolling through in the bar, past captain Mick Moulton is watching it avidly (I let it go through 3 full cycles before I let him know that his picture is not yet on there!!) and then mentioned to him that it is a fantastic, hi tech system as it runs off water, not electricity.......well the water pipe from the coffee machine passes directly behind it and all other cables are hidden so it was only a slightly outrageous attempt at a bluff....given that the pipe and the coffee machine have been there for years......"how the hell does it do that??" comes the response......I wish that these things were made up sometimes, but John Steele will confirm that the conversation was genuine.......it is going to be a long week, I can tell.......

 

Friday 10th January.....The deluge onslaught continues, but the course keeps shedding the water like it is going out of fashion....all 18 holes remain open, the greens are playing unbelievably well in the circumstances, and all around us, other courses are closing as they are waterlogged......you have to be careful out there though, Tony Robb has just arrived back in the clubhouse after completing his round......looking fine from the front, but the rear view...is rather muddy!!! As you do, I showed a reasonable amount of concern (whilst trying to keep a straight face) on his well being and also to discover which part of the course was so slippery that gravity won the battle against his golf studs.......The 3rd, the 6th, the 8th all were in the forefront of my mind as being the likely culprits.......the 11th, 4 yards short of the ditch, in the rough it turns out!! Yes, I know. The flat bit!! With a load of dense grass coverage!! Well, the grass coverage is rather less dense now as by the sound of it, Tony did a passable impression of a Barnes Wallis Dambuster Bomb!!  You have been warned!! Watch out for the flat bits!!!

 

Thursday 9th January... I hear from Steve Howarth, who will once again lead the top 5 players from last years Golfer of the Year listings, in our entry into the Mail On Sunday Team Classic...last year, you may recall, the team were drawn away, for their first match, at Woburn. You can, therefore, imagine the excitement and anticipation that was evident when we found out that we were once again drawn away in the first round........to Tilsworth......

 

Tuesday 7th January ....I have a place available on the Saturday Bonus Ball Draw, commencing Sat 18th January for ball number 48. Please email me asap if you want to take the number. Cost is 1 per week, payable in batches of 10 weeks, and payout is 40 per week with the remaining 9 going to the Captains Charity......email me on steve@chalgravegolf.co.uk if you want the number. 1st Come 1st Served

 

Tuesday 7th January....It has been torrential rain for several days now, the pond on the 1st is up to the brim, part of the path between the feeder pond and the main pond on the 10th has been washed away, the new drainage ditch from the 4th Green is currently suitable for white water rafting, the 18th Green has two rivers running down it.......and 25 seniors have arrived to play the seniors medal......oh I tell a lie.......26 now as another madman has just walked in...... Ken Goodland has brought in a picture of a new invention from California.....a wheeled surfboard, driven by electric motors, whihc you stand on and "surf" around the course. Get rid of the wheels Ken, you can just surf down the 18th at the moment!!

 

Wednesday 1st January......and so it begins........I arrive at the gates at 9.05am to find Mick Yule sitting there waiting patiently.......I think he is mad.....and then glance up and realise that on the 4th green, putting out are Pete Doran and Dave Shoemaker......who, it turns out, let themselves in at 7.45am and got started by 8.00am!!!!! As I sit here typing this at 9.30am, cars are arriving and John Crane/Lee Nash/Captain Murphy/Chris Webb and Darryl Bazeley are all in and raring to go......Messrs Crane, Yule, Murphy and Bazeley all quickly congregate in the smoking shelter....Darryl is clearly still feeling the after effects of last night as when I pop my head around the door....he appears to be trying to smoke a sausage roll instead of eating it.......

 

2014

 

Tuesday 31st December.....that's it then, another year of the blog is done.....my thanks to all who have contributed, mostly by mistake, to yet another momentous year in the history of Chalgrave Manor Golf Club.....can anyone beat Steve Howarth to Golfer of the Year in 2014, or will he make it three in a row????? Can Joe get a Hole in One???? Will Kelvin's ball No 16 get drawn as the bonus ball in the lottery?? How will we celebrate 20 years of age on 31st May 2014??? All this, and so much more, will be revealed in the new 2014 year, starting tomorrow......it simply remains for me to say.....

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!! 

 

 

Monday 30th December.......I was expecting to be the only one here all day, the forecast is dreadful....so why are there 2 cars already in the car park in the dark at 7.15am??? A 2 ball already on the course now, and a 4 ball are getting ready to play the Winter KO....the phone has rung three times in 10 minutes with people asking if we are open......has the world gone mad??

 

A new Charity Fundraiser is underway, the Chalgrave 500 Lottery Draw. 2 a go, when all 500 numbers are sold, there will be a draw...winner will receive a 12 month Full Membership here at Chalgrave. This will start at your normal renewal date in 2014. The balance of the funds will go to the Captains Charity, and we will start it all over again once the first board has been completed. Great idea, and yes, I am going to have a go myself!!

 

Friday 20th December.......Peter Kay really is funnier than Peter Kay.......today, we are discussing the two Go Kart Trolleys in the office ready for collection....one is an Auto Version and the other, the Manual version. I tell him who each one is for and he marks one of them accordingly, with an R for Ray so he doesn't give the wrong one to the wrong person..........I look at him and ask how he intends to remember the R is for Ray instead of Rob then? Perhaps another note elsewhere?? He looks at me for 10 seconds before the penny drops......I am, of course doing a service here really, a sort of "care in the community" project......

 

Friday 6th December...did I really send out a newsletter to 1500+ people, reminding everyone that the Turkey Trott on Sun 15th (yes I know I put the 16th as well!!) was a "shitgun start". Just don't stand to close to me when it goes off, that's all I can say!!!!

 

Tues 3rd Dec.....Seniors....8.00am.....Richard Muckleston "helping out" with the coffee machine, replenishing the sugar bowl......."where do you keep the bags of sugar once they have been opened" he asks....."down there on the shelf, next to the ones that already are open" is my response.........its going to be a long day, I can feel it in my bones........

 

Mon 2nd Dec....Congratulations to the Vice Captain, successfully defending his Golfer of the Year Trophy, even though there is still the December Medal to go. Kevin Branch, in 2nd place, can't catch him, but he can't be caught either by players below, so with a month to spare, the top two are decided.

 

Mon 2nd Dec......news from the weekend, carnage in the Winter Matchplay KO as last years winners lose in the first "full" round of matches, and last years runners up also fall by the wayside in the same round as well.....and I ventured out onto the course on Sunday morning, partnering son, Aidan against Dave and Paul McGarry in a friendly match (seeing as we had already been knocked out of the matchplay BEFORE the first "full" round!!)....a conversation between Paul and Aidan on the 8th fairway......"I hate this lie" says Aidan as he stands over his ball to play his approach to the green...."It's pick, clean and place, and you have just done that, why did you place it there then?" says Paul.......Welcome to my world, Paul, I don't understand it either!!!

 

Weds 27th November..... Mick Williamson is about to play his approach to the 2nd, so the greenstaff take protective measures, with buckets and spades as they work on the bunker in front of the green!!! Strangely, the man on the green has a clear understanding of the risks involved, taking no evasive action whatsoever, as he is on the green and therefore completely safe from the incoming ball!!

 

 

 

Sunday  17th November.....rarely are the news pages used to report a golf competition!!! But rarely does a result show such a comprehensive destruction of the rest of the field....the House Committee Pairs, a random draw pairs competition, which threw together Tim Bevan and Alan Michael, with a modified stableford scoring system that rewarded birdies and severely penalised double bogeys.... a score of +22 eclipsed the rest of the field by miles, second place being a mere +11. Incredible stuff....

 

Friday 15th November.....At the kind invitation of Ray Tilcock and the seniors section, Lynn and myself, plus the club staff and the Club Captain were guests at the Seniors Dinner.......a meal followed by Strictly Come Dancing and a raffle really.....a good time was had by all......there was the usual array of comedy moments as you would expect from a room full of seniors.......Derek Collins, has been shuffling about with his zimmer frame and broken foot, it seems all year, and if anything is getting slower as the months pass not faster....still it has given him ample time to sort out the seating plan and general organisation, so it seemed a bit odd the he placed himself as far away from the entrance door and the toilets as it was possible to be!! I am pretty certain that having gained his chair, as soon as "grace" was said, he had to make his way to the loo, calculating that by the time he would get there he would actually want to go!!! As a result, he missed the starter and main courses, and then had to get up to leave for home before dessert was served as it was going to take him another 2 hours to get back to the front door, as everyone had to be out by 12......you would think that was reasonably funny, but when we arrived at the grand raffle, and everyone spread their selection of multi coloured tickets in front of them, I thought the array in front of the seniors captain looked odd.......but they were well underway and the draw was going well, so I felt it churlish to point out that the Senior Captain had both his tickets AND the stubs on the table in front of him, so Ray looking expectantly at Peter Whitton on the microphone to see if he had won, was a waste of time as his tickets were never even in the draw!! It turned out, that Dougie Oakes had got involved in selling the tickets for about 2 minutes.....and none of the ones Doug sold actually made the draw!! About normal for the seniors then!!

 

Tues 12th November...better late than never.....news finally arrives that Melvyn Mash joined the Not the Joe Silva Club (otherwise known as the Hole In One Club on 1st October, acing the 5th Hole.....his chances of getting a hole in one are significantly less than than Joes as well, as Melvyn is an off peak 5 day member, so he can only start in the mornings Monday to Friday and can't play at all at the weekends, so by my reckoning, he has less than half of Joes opportunities.......and still managed it!!

 

Thursday 31st October.....just updated the Competitions page after the Result came through last for week......does anyone else find it funny that at the bottom, under handicap adjustments, Ian Hillier has Kieron Pidgeon immediately below him......I'm reasonable sure that Kieron is not festering though....

 

Thursday 31st October....I arrive to find Frank Howarth in the nets being given advice on his golf swing by Roy Evans and Ken Cavendish......the takeaway, the top position and the angle of attack into the ball were all being worked on.....whilst I understand the principle that David Leadbetter is a damns sight better coach than he is a player, otherwise he would be out on the tour himself....I'm pretty sure that he doesn't play off 20.....I am, of course, waiting with bated breath for the molers to return and me to be proved wrong with Frank recording something like 47 points..... watch this space!!

 

Tues 29th October....The Competition Committee Cup last Sunday was carnage.......54 people braved the conditions. Chalgrave hasn't shown its teeth for quite a while really, but Sunday, it showed a full set. wide open and sharp as hell. 3 people made par or better.  Only 21 people made 30 points or better. Only VJ succumbed completely and offered a No Return......Graham Taylor smashed Joe's record of 7 Stableford points, by recording just 4!!!

 

Monday 28th October...the big storm.....and Chris Baker is now waiting for John Steele to turn up to play golf.......Chris has also parked his car away from the Clubhouse, in an exposed part of the carpark where the wind may rip his doors off......as opposed to parking in the lee of the clubhouse out of the wind......Chris is now retired.....he used to be a train driver......so all of the above probably explains why they cancelled all the trains!!!!!

 

Thurs 24th October......a couple of stories, true ones of course, I have no need to make these things up!!! both stories involving Ian Hiller......firstly his "mates", playing the 18th about three weeks ago, came across a deceased pigeon by the green.....as you do, they tied it to a golf hat, wrapped it up well, and jammed it down into Ian's bag amongst his clubs.....and nothing more was said.....three weeks elapsed, Ian has become a solitary golfer, no one will play with him, or if they do, they walk on the other side of the fairway.......the reek of decaying pigeon seemingly obvious to anyone except the Hillier nose......even the manky bits that kept messing up his grips failed to arouse his curiosity of why his clubs didn't come out of the bag easily anymore!!!!

 

 

The Hillier Pigeon,.....

 

 

You would think that would be hard to top......now my staff, as you all know, are awesome at the best of times, but on this occasion, Clare and Lucie rose way above the awesome levels normally provided, and indulged in a wind up that I would have been proud of on April Fools......and if you have been a reader for a few years, you will know I am no slouch at those....so Ian was playing with a couple of the guys, (and with a festering pigeon along for the ride...) and on the 3rd hole, he pulled his second shot left, up into the carpark........playing partner Pete Ward, phoned the clubhouse and Clare and Lucie readily agreed to participate in a windup, calling Ian on his mobile to say that his ball (which they described to him) had struck a car in the carpark and the driver was apoplectic with rage, threatening to call the police and sue anyone and everyone. In a moment of sheer genius, they pointed out that the new, optional third party liability insurance cover available with your membership now, would ensure that he was covered, but had he taken it out?? They said that they had placated him at the moment, so it would probably be best if he finished his round to ensure things remained calm, which he did.

 

Later, in the bar, the story was embellished, the man had lost his temper again and was going to call the police if Ian did not ring him to sort things out. He had left a mobile number for Ian to ring. Ian, from his side of the bar, rang the number given. Clare, behind the bar, answered her phone with "hello Ian, why are you ringing me I'm only a yard away?". The Captains Jar was added to for significant swearing...... absolute genius, perfectly executed by my two staff who continually embellished the story making it ever more unbelievable and yet believed. I will go and buy a hat so I can take it off to them!

 

 

Sunday 13th October....Proper weather has returned to Chalgrave, wild and windswept, the phone was constantly ringing as people mysteriously found they were suddenly unable to play in the Competition Committee Cup...... The hardened few ventured out, Pete Graydon having been moved forwards from the last start time to the first (at his own request) led the charge from the first tee as the elements threw the kitchen sink at them. After due consideration, and almost an hour and a half into the competition, we decided enough was enough and the competition was abandoned and rescheduled for Sunday 27th October, by which time, Pete, Bob Albery and Alan Michael had bravely battled as far as the 8th hole in horrendous conditions......should have stayed off last Pete, the Clubhouse was warm and dry.....

 

On  day of such extreme weather, we need a story to warm the heart, if the thought of Messrs Albery, Graydon and Michael walking  best part of 2 miles for no purpose whatsoever hasn't already done that for you.......so, with the possible exception of Joe, the remarkable story of a Mr Jim O'Brien of Market Harborough will warm the cockles of your heart. 71 year old Jim, who is completely blind, decided to take up golf about 16 years ago, roughly the same time that Joe joined Chalgrave..... last week, on Wednesday 9th October, Jim got a hole in one!!!! 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-24475445

 

So, perhaps a tip for Joe is in there? Try Closing your eyes?? Only trying to help!!!

 

Tues 8th October.....this website page provides such a service to club members, as the trolley wheel that was "abandoned" on the course has now been claimed by its rightful owner........Mark Harvey emailing me to explain that he realised it was missing on the 17th, when his clubs and trolley fell over as the wheel was missing.....the error was compounded, as the trolley FIRST fell over in the rough just beyond the ditch, and then AGAIN up by the green, where he realised the wheel was missing.......Mark asked if my eagle eyed green staff could keep an eye open for the nut that is missing as well!!! I think the nut was operating the trolley, on the basis that we found the wheel on the 16th tee!!! Every week, I think we must have exhausted the supply of ridiculous stories, but no, we keep on producing them!!!!

 

Mon 7th Oct.....Greenkeeper Jamie arrives in my office, brandishing a trolley wheel that has been abandoned on the course.....I said I know who that belongs to, or one of two people anyway....Paul McGarry or Steve Bradshaw, both of whom were having very decent rounds in the medal on Sunday until the wheels came off on the back 9!!!! Great conversation on the 10th hole (apparently!!) Our 3 ball, playing partners, Dave and Paul McGarry had a skins game going on as well as the medal score, and dave was keeping track of the skins and therefore knew everyone's score as well....he says to Paul "you are having a decent knock" Paul says "I don't want to know, keep it to yourself". I chip in with "39 shots for the front 9 then Paul?" I was only double checking his card!! One of the risks you run when you play golf with someone who is deaf as a post!!

 

Monday 7th October......just been scrolling back through the cctv on 10, as I have had an email from a three ball who played on Sunday, arriving at the 10th at about 12 noon. The swing was lovely, the grip wasn't. There is less water in the pond on 10 today, approximately the amount displaced by the size and volume of a 9 iron........the email was from the playing partners who wanted footage for the unfortunate players wedding reception in a few weeks time.....I assume that to mean that they think losing the club was unfortunate, not the getting married!!!!!

 

Sunday 6th October.....more from the strange goings on.....remember the cow?? Well what are the chances of it being caught by Kelvin?? He happened to be going past the club , into Toddington, and saw the black cow grazing on the verge.....so, as you do, he stopped and tried to catch it.....First port of call was to try and get assistance from the people who run the florist place on the edge of the village, so he rang the bell but was getting no answer, whilst keeping the cow in his sights.....he noticed a sign on the gate, with a telephone number for Central Beds Council animal welfare officer!! Now that is what I call exceptional Council efficiency......in a county that has 1,000's of cows and hundreds of thousands of acres, there is a sign adjacent to where an escaped cow is!! So our man Kelvin rings the number, the chap answers and says he will be there....in an hour and a half!!! The Council efficiency rating plummeted immediately!! Fortunately, Kelvin, by now, had other assistance from passing motorists, which was handy as, according to Kelvin, the cow was starting to panic.......quite where Kelvin got his degree in Identifying Changes in Bovine Psychology, I am not sure, but eventually the cow was coaxed into the florists, who had finally answered the bell, and all was well, no spilt milk to deal with......so if you were waiting for a plumber on Thursday afternoon and he spun you a cock and "bull" story, it was probably true!!!!!

 

Friday 4th October......strange goings on at Chalgrave...Pete collars me on my arrival to tell me off for leaving the lights on in the clubhouse last night when I locked up.....and I'm sure I didn't so we reviewed the cameras, and sure enough, the lights are all off when I went out at 8.20pm last night........and they come back on at 7.15am today, 5 minutes before Pete opens up!!!

Clare and Pete are amazed, until I explain that back in the 1600's there was a village of Chalgrave, which was razed to the ground following an outbreak of plague which killed the entire population, and the bodies were buried some distance from the church, approximately in the area of the 18th green, to enable the church to continue to be used even though the village no longer existed, hence the existence of Chalgrave Church, the parish of Chalgrave, but no village by that name.....

The bodies were buried at 7.15am on a Friday......well I got as far as that before they actually realsied that I was winding them up.....which makes it no surprise to me why my April Fools stuff seems to work every year, no matter how outrageous it is!!!!!!!!

 

I have no idea why the lights came on though!!

 

Thurs 3rd Oct.......one of the stranger conversations here....chap comes in and says there are reports of a cow wandering around near the entrance to the golf course......I told him to pull the udder one......no sign of it anywhere on the front 9 anyway.....keep your eyes open for large cowpats anyway just in case.....

 

Tuesday 24th Sept...an update from the Hole In One by Simon Ward on Saturday........if you believe in strange coincidences, how about this then?? As well as the lucky 21 (see Sat 21st below), Simon's playing partners that day were Nick and Cally Hawker......Nick had a Hole in One on the 16th, exactly 16 years ago to the day .........on 21st September 1997!!!! There is a further coincidence between these two aces on the same day 16 years apart......Joe hadn't got an ace on either of those dates.......

 

Sunday 22nd Sept, the Foursomes, a real test of friendship when things don't go well.....I was making a rare appearance on the course, partnering Donny, who wrecked our pre game strategy of having an exceptionally low expectation of what the outcome might be, as neither of us had played much golf in the past three months, by winning the Mixed Greensomes with Alison the day before and so clearly being on form for the weekend.....we started with 2 bogeys and then settled into a run of pars, finally arriving at the 6th hole, our nemesis and resident comedy hole over the past few years....my tee shot, Dave's second to 80 yards, my wedge to 3 ft and a single putt for a birdie exorcised the demons and we were flying, finishing the front 9 in a very solid gross 40. 10 and 11 were negotiated without too much damage and I stood on the top tee of the 12th in a good frame of mind. The comedy hole has moved without telling us.... the tee shot flew down the left hand side, landing on the right side of the mounding....the ball defied the laws of physics and bounced sharply against the slope and was likely to be OOB. Dave he a provisional , avoiding the left hand OOB by going almost OOB down the right deep into the trees...... we headed off to find the 1st one, which was, as expected, OOB.....except that the stake was missing....we found the ball, found the stake, even found the hole the stake should have been in, so we were uncertain of the status of the removed stake....if it is removed and we take the line between the ones that are there, we are in bounds, if we put the stake back, we are OOB. We opted to play both balls, consult the rule book on completion, and record the correct score at the end of the round....Dave chopped us back into play, I fired it towards the green and we headed off to find ball 2....deep in the trees, just in bounds and with a small gap to aim through. Miraculously, the 5 iron found the gap, cleared the next set of trees and headed for the green but we couldn't see it finish. Clearly, the last thing it did, was to hit pretty much the last tree before the green and ricochet sideways out onto the 8th to be OOB!! Dave headed back to replay the provisional that was now OOB, putting us onto the left of the fairway, short of the green...we popped the 1st ball up onto the green and returned to the provisional....shank is an unpleasant word that perfectly describes my next effort, as I attempted to flop shot the ball over the left hand bunker...., leaving it short of the green and above the right hand bunker.....Dave attempted to flop shot over the right hand bunker and put it in there instead.......my bunker shot finished 8ft away, my 1st putt with ball 1 shaved the hole and was tapped in for a 6, whilst Dave's putt from 8ft went past the edge and I holed the one coming back for and 11.......17 shots taken on a single hole!!!! That is something we never in our wildest dreams hoped to achieve on the 6th!! The ruling was complex, and offered a glimmer of hope, that if we could find another competitor who had played from the "grey" area without realising a penalty applied , then we would be justified in also claiming the 6. We didn't want to face the embarrassment of that, so we took the 11 on the chin.....     

 

Sat 21st Sept.....21 is clearly Simon Ward's favourite number, as he joined the "not the Joe Silva Club" otherwise known as the Hole in One Club for the second time today, aceing the 5th with a 9 iron in the mixed greensomes, whilst partnering Anne Isaac.....having previously recorded an ace on the 10th last year, again on the 21st of the month (April that time)!! Despite the ball disappearing for an ace, Anne still teed off!!

 

Sat 14th Sept..... John Crane arrives at high speed as he is late for the club match....he is actually even later than he thought, as it is away!! He left at even higher speed than his arrival, fortunately for him, we were only away at Tilsworth!!

 

Friday 13th Sept..... Dave Millard is berated by his playing partners for foul and abusive language on the 9th......"Why the f**ks that there?" his partners thought he said.......matters were resolved amicably when he revealed he actually said "why's the fox sat there"..........

 

 

Thurs 12th Sept....Steve Emmett, Alan Michael, Danny Glass and Joe Silva have become regular attendees at the Coventry Building Society Charity Day over the past few years, and they again headed up into the Midlands again for this years event. Apparently they peaked early, destroying the course on the practice round on Sunday, and subsequently destroyed the opposition in the bar afterwards as well. This came home to roost on the actual day of competition, where they came nowhere!! The internal match, between Steve and Alan v Joe and Danny was won comprehensively by Steve and Alan, mainly through assistance from Danny who spent the entire round sledging his own team mate!!

 

 

Tues 10th Sept....The Tuesday seniors story.....Dave Burden is in a seniors "buggy" group, playing the 8th....they hole out and move on, Taff Rowlands driving the buggy, Dave walking behind. Taff pulls up at the back of the 9th tee, Dave grabs hi s driver, walks onto the adjacent tee and smashes it down the fairway, with Taff looking slightly bemused......"we are playing the 9th, not the 18th??" he says!! Dave, having played this course for the last decade, has walked up onto the 18th tee instead of the 9th! A 2 shot penalty is incurred and he starts the hole properly from the right place!!

 

Tues 3rd Sept... a seniors story to warm your heart and tickle your funny bone.....one of todays fourballs, John Welsh, Terry Payne Bob Given and Tony Henderson arrive at the 10th tee after a front nine that has been littered with just general chaos. John stands on the tee and finds the water. He heads back to the bag and has a rummage around, "that ball's no good, that ball is too good, that one is rubbish, hold on chaps, I know I have got one in here somewhere.." "Would you mind looking for a ball in your own bag!" say Bob Given!!! Its bad enough when you can't see your own golf ball, but when you can't see you own golf bag it is getting worrying!!!

 

Tues 3rd Sept.....I know what she meant, but I still was a bit surprised by a request from Cally for the greenstaff to trim the ladies bushes on the 1st tee......

 

Tues 3rd Sept....members are requested to go out and buy a hat if you don't already own one, put it on, and then take it off to Tim Bevan....yesterday at Leighton Buzzard, Tim shot a gross 75 to win the Bedfordshire Seniors County Championship by three clear shots. Tim has the honour of being the Club's first ever County Champion, and he will be heading for Woodhall Spa to represent Bedfordshire in the Champion of Champions weekend later this month.

 

Congratulations to Tim!!!

 

 

 

Tues 27th August....well a Tuesday wouldn't be a Tuesday without a seniors story.......so the section had got a Hole in One Trophy for Terry Honey to commemorate his ace in last weeks seniors event, he proudly collects the award and returns to his seat, placing the trophy in front of him on the table..... Tom Caulfield leans across and picks it up to read the inscription, drops it and breaks it!!! The award for a hole in one is no longer whole and in one!!!

 

Tuesday 27th August, the seniors championship over the weekend, Kelvin was second to Phil Gibbons, having taken a gross 83 shots to win a 20 voucher....John Crane takes a NETT 83 shots and wins 19.50 for playing just 2 of them, as he cleans up with the only 2 of the competition!! Elsewhere, the Scratch Team have got new jumpers and are kicking *ss, with another victory, this time 4 -1 against away against Pavenham!! At this rate, we could get promoted!!

 

Tuesday 19th......also for the record, the Wrest Park Concerts, I have had an email from the organisers...the Lesley Garrett Concert on Sunday 26th August has been cancelled. If you have bought tickets from anywhere, apparently they are valid to see Status Quo instead on the Saturday night!!

 

Tuesday 19th August......well I never thought I would defeat you all......those who read my newsletters as well as the newspage, will know that there is usually a "Steve's Quiz" with a silly prize, well this time, the prize was 140 worth of concert tickets for Status Quo or Lesley Garrett at Wrest Park.....and no one got it right!! For the record...

 

Q1 Who are the "The Spectres" ??...topical question.....the answer is of course Status Quo

Q2 Lesley Garrett sang at Wembley Stadium in the final FA Cup final before the stadium was knocked down and rebuilt. What song did she sing? Just like all previous finals.....Abide With Me is the pre match Hymn of choice....

Q3 The crossroads in Dunstable Town Centre is known as Eleanor Cross. When and why did it get is name? There were 12 crosses erected down the east of the country, from Lincoln to London, marking the overnight resting place of the body of Queen Eleanor in 1290. The body lay at rest at the Priory Church in Dunstable.

and this is the one that got everybody!!!

 

Q4 Tom, playing the 9th Hole at Chalgrave, hit his ball onto the 17th fairway where it rolled towards Harry who was in the process of playing his own shot on his own ball. In the process of hitting his own ball, Harry also hit Tom's ball. Harry's ball only went 20 yards and Toms ball was never found again.
(a) Where does Tom play his ball from next?
(b) Where does harry play his ball from next?
(c) what penalties apply to either Tom, or Harry, or both?
 

Both players are "outside agencies" to each other.

 

Tom hits his ball at Harry, on the 17th, where Harry strikes it in the process of hitting his own ball, and the ball ricochets away and is lost. Therefore Tom has to replay his shot from the 9th, under Rule 27-1 lost ball, under penalty of one shot.

 

Harry's ball has travelled 20 yards, and has to be played as it lies, without penalty.

 

So Tom has a one shot penalty and Harry none.

 

Simples..........

 

Tuesday 19th August....I return from a week off, to find the seniors are taking the michael......having viewed the previous news post about holes in one and the ladies taking the challenge to Joe, they decided to do something about it themselves, with Patrick acing the 10th on Mon 12th and Terry Honey repeating the feat the following day in the seniors Tuesday event.....presumably Terry got stung for a fair wedge in the bar afterwards as there are usually well over 50 playing on Tuesdays these days!!

 

Thursday 1st August.....more from Charity Day....Kathy Tabor wanted to have a chat with Joe about Holes in One seeing as she has two of them but Joe did not appear to be to interested in the conversation......

 

 

.....and Simon Ward has been into the Club seveal times since Charity Day, still sporting the bright orange/strawberry blonde (just cut to the chase and call it ginger!!) hairdo that he temporarily dyed for his team outfit......next time Simon, read the bit n the label that says if you want a temporary colour, dilute the dye with water in the ratio of about 8:1, with 8 parts water to 1 of dye, in which case the colour will go with a day or do......to use the the whole tube, undiluted, means that the rest of the club have about 8 weeks to spot Simon from some considerable distance before it fades away!!

 

Tuesday 30th July....it didn't take me long to get my revenge on the "coffin dodgers" as I took yet another 25 off them in their bonus ball draw....my hearing may not be great but even I heard the "boo's!"

 

Tuesday 30th July....it has taken me this long to sort out Charity Day!! After two or three weeks of constant hot and dry days, 144 golfers descended upon the course on a day forecast to have thunderstorms!!! Once all of the gear was out onto the course and Vince installed in the corner to dispense cards and sage advice on  what was supposed to happen, I led off the day with Steve's All Stars at 10.22. It was a fairly poor start. One opening drive stayed in bounds by 2 yards, one went out of bounds by about 100 yards, one dissected the fairway beautifully and I hit the silver birch by the 3rd green and ended in the ditch! We finished the opening hole with just 2 points! Things improved greatly after that, and we were leaders in the clubhouse at the end.....well until the second group came in anyway!! Clearly it was not our finest moment, eventually being beaten by the seniors (beautifully named as the "coffin dodgers") and also by John Isaac in a leopard print dress!!! It is the taking part that counts, that what I say!!

 

As the day progressed, we got the BBQ's underway, the weather held off for longer than it should have done and 2/3rds of the field got away with it. The final 1/3rd had to endure some heavy rain, as did Sean on the BBQ as he was cooking on the side that wasn't covered by the umbrella!!ked on the basis that Sean is an immensely polite guy, if I offered him the choice of sides, out of politeness he would have selected the non covered side, sacrificing himself for the well being of others, so on that basis I would have been undercover anyway!!!

 

Nick Greenhill ran the most complicated fundraising scheme ever seen, despite over an hour of explanation, no one understood, but we all just gave him some money and let him get on with it. After appearing as Wally in bright red and white stripes, he subsequently changed into normal garb for the evening, which turned out to be even brighter than the Where's Wally outfit!!

 

The Isaacs and Alison were in the leopard prints, and I am amazed at how easily John is coaxed year after year into some new and somewhat unflattering garb for his frame....mind you I have appeared as Daffyd, the only gay in the village so perhaps I should shut up!! Vince did his usual performance of sorting the result, Captain Tim had more copies of the itinerary than were strictly necessary (one!) and was making notes of what needed one different ones each time, with the result that we spent more time looking for which note on which bit of itinerary came next than anything else!! We did the result, and then the auction. I broke all previous records in a charity day auction by getting 4 different people to bid against themselves at different times! We sold 4 balls to club members at reciprocal clubs where they could actually go and play for nothing anyway!! We sold Tottenham shirts and a signed football, and staggeringly, we sold an Executive Box for a home game at Luton Town for 8 people for 250!! For a non league game!!All in all, the auction made 957 on its own, the raffle did another 367 and there is still the sponsorship and surplus from the entry fees to come!!

 

A great start to the fundraising year for Tim!! I will get a final total asap and let you know.

 

Finally, we were finished. 2.00am, the place was almost quiet! As always an immensely long day but worth every moment of hard work to achieve a decent start to the Keech fund for the Captains Year. My thanks to all that helped, played, contributed, worked and attended another great charity event.  

 

Friday 26th July.....Mr & Mrs N Tabor cordially invite Mr & Mrs J Silva to dinner at their convenience. Mrs Kathy Tabor will then spend the duration of the evening dinner, discussing with Joe the finer points on how to achieve a Hole in One, something that Kathy is becoming an expert on, having just become the first Lady Member to achieve the feat twice.....holing a 7 wood ace on the 7th earlier today.......her previous effort was in April 2010, again on the 7th but with a 3 wood, so Kathy is getting stronger!! The menu will be whole salmon fillet to start, Toad in the Hole as a main course and I'm not sure what the dessert could be...suggestions are welcome......

 

Tues 23rd July...Pete Graydon adds his voice to the growing ranks of those dissatisfied with the performance of their Pro on Sunday. Pete, having shot a nett 67 and being partnered with Hunter Mahan, someone who was in contention, he felt that the opportunity for Pro Am glory was heading his way.....until Hunter destroyed those hopes with a nice little +4 in the final round!! No doubt there will be others in the same boat...will anyone have had both players in the pairing heading for the under par scores?

 

Tues 23rd July...still waiting on the result of the Pro Am, but already I hear of at least one member dissatisfied with the performance of his Pro....last year, Phil Greenhill recorded his best round of the year but Retief Goosen scuppered his chances with a 74 to leave him 1 shot adrift of the winners spot. This year has seen another decent round I am told, but this years partner has angered him even more, with "Thomas bl**dy Bjorn" shooting a wonderful 80 and Phil in the foot!! I want to know how the Scott twins did? What are the chances of Ritchie Scott, one of a field of 92 amateurs, being drawn at random to partner Adam Scott from a field of 84 Pro's? Probably still better odds that a Joe Silva hole in one I suppose!!

 

Monday 22nd July.....news reaches me of a Hole in One.....30 years+ of playing the game and finally it drops.......my first thought was Joe!!!!! At Last!!! but no.....sadly that one is still unresolved and ongoing, the happy receipient of that one was Tim Bevan whilst playing for the scratch team at The Millbrook....which also precludes him from appearing on our hole in one page as they only count for that if it happens here!! A man with a real sense of perfect timing, Tim also managed to arrive at the bar when only the two teams were present and so got away with only 10 drinks!!

 

Tues 16th July...The weekend saw the ultimate challenge, the Club Scratch Championship, 36 holes, strokeplay, gross scores only, lowest score wins. This year we had the added challenge of searing heat, 24 players took up the challenge, and, subject to the posting of the official result, Mick Parrett rolled back the years and recorded his 4th Club Championship, a mere 17 years since he won it for the first time in 1996!! Being out in that heat was one thing, walking some 8-9 miles, up hill and down dale, chasing a small white ball for the best part of 9 hours, whilst hitting it a grand total of 151 times is an achievement very few can manage anyway and certainly, on the day, no one could match. The winning margin was 4 shots from Steve Howarth in 2nd place on 155.

 

Sat 13th July....Alison led out the ladies for Vice Captains Day in the sunshine, a team event pink v purple to add a splash of colour to the event. Alison and two other members of the ladies section are below:

 

 

Tues 9th....so finally the story is clear.....Julie has enlightened me with her version of events...it does of course bear little resemblance to anyone else's which is no more than you would expect....for the sake of clarity....Julie and Anne had hit their 2nd shots, no one had played a wrong ball at that point.....Julie hit her 2nd out to the right, past the pylon in the rough. Despite this absolute, clear knowledge that her ball was somewhere in the rough on the right by the pylon, when she saw a ball on the left hand side of the fairway as she walked up, there was something of a blonde moment.....instead of questioning how a ball clearly hit into the rough by the pylon had mysteriously appeared on the left side of the fairway, without the sudden appearance of Derren Brown, David Blaine or even Paul Daniels as well, walked over to it, gave it a cursory glance and whacked it....Cliff is puzzled by the location from which the shot was played, and reasonably, asked if Julie had checked the ball was a Precept. "No" was the answer! Cliff, some distance away, but strangely, over by the pylon, in the rough, where he was looking for his ball from his tee shot, said "well there is your Precept over here" "Oh Golly gosh, how terrible, I must have played the wrong ball" is what Julie thought. "sh*t" is what she actually said. So Julie placed her club on the ground where she had hit the wrong ball from.....Paul (not Daniels) comes over the hill on 17 looking for his ball....Anne says she will go and retrieve the wrongly hit ball and runs!! (yes in that heat!!) off down the 9th to get it back....having run all the way to the ball, and back to Julie, Anne is somewhat hot and flushed...she shows the ball to Paul (not Daniels) who says it is not his, he is playing a Titleist not a Wilson Staff....Julie now decides to have a go at the running and runs off to the far side, over to Cliff, who is still vainly hunting for his ball......Julie explains that the ball Anne took back, was the wrong ball it was a Wilson and had he seen a Titleist with red dots on his perambulations through the right hand side rough, which was by now worn down to almost fairway height.... "yes that's here!" says Cliff "and the Wilson is mine!!" So eventually. all balls were returned to their rightful place, shots were played and the game continued. If you had a slow round on Sunday, you now know what the hold up was!! It was Cliff's fault, for not finding his ball quicker, and hitting it. Had he done so, Anne could not have picked up the wrong ball and run off with it.......and the rest would never had happened.......

 

Tues 9th.....the ladies, still in the process of clarifying what actually went on on the 9th hole on Sunday, have as a side issue and also gleefully rubbing salt into the wounds, pointed out that they still have Cally and Sue contesting the County Foursomes, now in the last 8, against Pavenham. Presumably we will hear more if they progress further!!

 

Tues 9th....ah.. actually I have now become confused myself......to clarify (some chance!!) Anne didn't hit a wrong ball Julie did. Julie hit it and realised it wasn't hers. Anne decided to help out, by retrieving the ball that was hit in error, but in error she picked up the wrong ball (Cliff's) which no one had hit (except Cliff off the tee) and took it over to Julie who then replaced the wrong ball in the place where she had hit the wrong ball from. Cliff, meanwhile was still searching for his ball in roughly the right place which had not been wrongly hit, just wrongly carried to the wrong place and wrongly replaced. Julie still appears to have hit a second wrong ball (Paul's) but I could be wrong on this. If Cliff had then played his ball, placed in the wrong place, he would have been wrong, but I am also unsure if he replaced the wrongly moved ball in the right place before playing it. If he didn't he was wrong.

Hopefully that is all clear now.

 

Tues 9th...for those of you following the saga of ladies playing with the mens balls, it would appear that the extremely confused position that we left it in last time has been muddied further.......Anne apparently, at no time played with any mens balls on the 9th. She simply retrieved a ball that Julie had played in error.... which turned out to be Husband Cliff's, so really there can't be too much of a problem playing with his.....except that if you read the full extent of the confusion that reigned, Julie also played with Pauls ball on the same hole!! Now this raises an interesting point, that Julie would have incurred a 2 shot penalty for playing the wrong ball (Cliff's). Having realised that, and then found another ball, and hit that (Paul's) Julie had effectively incurred the same 2 shot penalty twice in 2 strokes!! This is not a continuation of strokes at the same wrong ball (which would be ignored under the Rules), it is a new stroke at a second wrong ball!! What is yet to be determined, is if Julie ever found the correct ball and eventually played that!! Personally, I think there will be very few people who have managed to incur 4 penalty shots in 2 successive shots in their entire lifetime of playing golf. I would go as far as to say it is almost as rare as a Hole in One from Joe........

 

Mon 8th July.....it must be the heat......why else would there be 5 Medal cards, 2 from Saturday and 3 from Sunday, in the clear plastic envelop for handicap cards instead of in the wooden box marked "competition cards only" less than 2 ft away.....imagine playing golf in that heat for 4.5+hours, all that time effort and sweat and tears, to get an NR as your card is 2ft from where it should be!!

 

Mon 8th July.....it must be the heat!!! more from the medal on Sunday....

 

Paul Northcott, Steve King and Kelvin Weedon, had rounds that could only be described as ‘ Bertie Bassett’ ie allsorts. Paul Northcotts 3 OOB is already documented below, but there is more to it than that!! To be fair it was immesnely tough out there...there was a raging gentle breeze to contend with, along with the azure clear blue sky being ever so slightly obscured by the slightest wisp of a cotton wool cloud, all which would be difficult to contend with and would make club selection a real drama.....so the threeball took a genuine countdown score over the 6th and 7th holes, registering a 9,8,7,6,54 between them across the two holes, a total of 39 shots, or 15 over par for the two holes!!!! Paul Northcott claimed the 9 and the 4!! You would think that this would be enough excitement for one group, but it was but a gentle prelude to the penultimate hole....Steve Emmett's escapades with the 7th Hole were simply a warm up!!

 

Standing on the 17th  tee Paul hit a power draw…ok vicious hook towards the 9th .The line from the tee box appeared to be the edge of the left rough on 17 or edge of the 9th fairway, whilst his partners took a more traditional route down the middle of the 17th fairway….As he trudged mournfully to the left, shoulders slumped, head down, just wanting the torment to end, he crests the rise and sees a group playing the 9th consisting of Anne Isaac, Cliff Perry and The Lady Captain, Julie. Anne is walking purposefully toward the RIGHT of the 9th fairway. Paul is quietly wondering where his ball has disappeared to...is….Anne stops picks up a ball and waves to Paul and starts walking toward him ‘Sorry we played your ball, I’ll put it back as I have marked the spot’

(This of course begs the question as to WHY Anne marked the spot, did she KNOW she was playing the wrong ball before she hit it, marked it first considerately, whacked it, then went and got it back??? Why else would you mark the spot??) so the ball is replaced near the fairway bunker on 9….. Paul joins Anne looks down and sees that the ball Anne has replaced is not his ball….meanwhile Cliff is quietly minding his own business, looking for his ball down the right of the 9th …. Confusion reigns!!! ‘So where is my ball?’ asks Paul??  Then the Lady Captain arrives, also clasping a golf ball..... ‘is your ball a Titleist with two red spots?' asks Julie  ‘Yes’. says Paul. ‘Sorry I played it accidentally’ responds the LC!! There is a lot of accidental playing with the mens section balls by the Ladies going on if you ask me!! …..’er ok no problem’ said Paul, now reunited with his ball, but still confused….. Meanwhile Cliff is still mooching about down the rhs of 9 looking for his ball, which of course, if you have been following this, is now a good 120 yards behind him near the bunker on 9!!!! Seeing as Cliff must have seen his ball from the 9th tee, no one is any the wiser as to how it has arrived at the bunker on the left, other than Anne hit it by mistake, marked the spot and put it back!!

 

By now, a small crowd has gathered as Steve and Kelvin have finally joined the group. "what’s going on?" is the reasonable request from the two guys whose balls have not be played with by the ladies, to which Paul’s reply was …..’ I have no idea!!!’

 

You are not the only one Paul!!!

 

 

Mon 8th July....a suggestion from Pete Graydon about the Garmin watches..... which for those of you that use them will know that the back nine is a bit mixed up on their setup. As there is no way that we can rectify this, and they have been told countless times the hole order is wrong, Pete has suggested that anyone who owns a Garmin bombards them with requests to correct their error.... to assist in this matter, simply click the link below, fill the form in and send them an online report:

 

http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/forms/golfcourse.jsp

Other than the fact that they have the holes in the wrong order, the watches are really good, and I have a brand spanking new Garmin Approach S2 on my desk at the moment. Available on Amazon for 209, you can buy this one, in its box, off me for 199. First come 1st served.

 

Mon 8th July, Webby is in early, and the greenstaff are on the first round of cutting and maintenence....Rob sees Webby on the edge of the 12th green, about to putt, as he approaches with the greensmower......the dew on the grass gives Rob an indication that the irrigation system may have stopped, as he has put it onto a short program given the sunshine, ahead of his cutting....the system clearly has not watered the 12th ahead of him......as Webby pulls the clubhead back, the irrigation starts up on the 12th......the ball, which was virtually lying on top of one of our mini sprinklers is shot into the air like it is a bonus ball in a lottery machine, whilst Chris is forced to beat a hasty retreat to get out of the sprinklers arc!! shame the cameras don't reach that far!!

 

Mon 8th July......after a blistering weekend of sunshine, clearly the heat is having an effect on people.....the scratch team lost the plot completely and beat John O'Guant here on Saturday.....a result that is up there amongst the top 5 best ever results by a club team......but Mr Graydon could not even claim mental and physical exhaustion from that momentous result as he didn't play as the excuse for the following day, in the medal, he NR'd on the front nine to avoid the embarrassment of losing over 9 holes, head to head off scratch to Fee!!! Whilst a recovery of sorts was effected, an NR is an Nr and Fee's 42 points (with a blob!!) will probably be enough to win the Ladies Medal, and will no doubt provide ample opportunity for mentioning at dinner tables over the summer....  elsewhere on the course, the 6th Medal tee caused a few problems, for one three ball in particular, who liked the tee position so much they played shots from it (not including the penalties!!) Another of the Scratch team, Paul Northcott, was OOB three times, which really demonstrates the level of consistency that you need to achieve if you ever want to play scratch golf.......Immediate Past Captain Emmett negotiated the 6th with ease, but found the 7th more trying......finding the ditch/pond up near the green with the tee shot. Steve has always been an ambitious chap, so when he found a ball in the ditch, he opted to play it instead of taking a penalty drop, reckoning he could get it out and save his par......he made it far worse, as despite successfully extricating the ball with the first blow, and taking 2 furthers shots, he then realised that the very nice Srixon 4 was going to cause him a problem, in that he wasn't playing a Srixon 4!! The word Srixon should have been a clue as he wasn't even playing one of them!! So, a 2 shot penalty for playing a wrong ball, this time take a penalty drop chip it close, hole the putt for a 6 of which half of the strokes were penalties!!!!    

 

Tuesday 2nd July.....Get ready for Chaos!!! For those of you living in the Luton/Dunstable areas, you may already have experienced the delays in getting through Houghton Regis with the restructuring on the road junctions there. The good news is that these are just about finished. The bad news, is it is going to get worse.....a lot lot worse!!! The main access road, Poynters Road, is going to be shut completely for approx 8 - 11 weeks whilst they dig it up and completely rebuild it!! This is due to commence on Monday 8th July.

 

The easiest and most obvious routes will be to use the M1 or A5 to get to the Club, but if either of these gets jammed it could be very entertaining. The only person looking forward to this is Derek, who lives on Poynters Road and has been subjected to tens of thousands of vehicles passing his property everyday for decades. Derek informs me that he is going to take advantage of the expected peace and quiet for the duration of the works, to sunbathe nude in his front garden.

 

Sunday 30th June...the Pairs Championships.....always a potential source of good scoring, 4 ball better ball, get 2 players playing well and the course can be decimated......and so it was with Ray Bowles and Barry Lampard as they romped gleefully through the front 9 in a nett 29......they followed that with a par on 10 and were looking well set for a tremendous score.......Barry holed out for a 10 on the 11th, with Ray still some way from the hole having played 11......Chalgrave's own Amen Corner of 10 to 12..... (that's the hole numbers but can also be your score!!) can be an absolute score wrecker....so we will wait for the result to see if it has claimed another pair of victims!!!

 

Friday 28th June......the postie drops the mail into the office as he has done for the past 5 years or more.....and heads back to the front door....."cheers Graham, thanks" says Pete, as he has done apparently for the last 3 years......Clare looks baffled....."I'm sure that is Keith" she says......Pete heads for the front door...."See you Keith" he says to the departing back of the postie, who turns in response to the use of his name...."cheers" he says. "I have been calling you Graham every day for years," says Pete. "why didn't you say something?" "I've been called a lot worse" he says!! So, Pete has failed to get the name right of someone who he sees virtually every day....if you are a club member, and play less than 365 rounds per annum, don't expect Pete to recognise you then.......

 

Friday 28th June......finally, the answer that we have all been waiting for arrives.....was the 2 shot penalty dished out to the Captain, for being late,  crucial???....YES!! Round 2 of the Handicap Championship.....1st place Steve Howarth, Nett 69. 2nmd, on countback, inc a 2 shot penalty for being late....Captain Braveheart, nett 69!!!! LOL. To add insult to injury, yes the Club Captain DID also become the first Captain to get a 2 shot penalty and a handicap cut in the same event, getting promoted to Division A in the process!! In the overall scheme of things it made no difference to the final destination of the title, but still worth a chuckle or two....

 

Sunday 23rd June......after his late arrival on the tee, the administering of a 2 shot penalty for the first hole, the Club Captain was fired up and determined to avenge himself......like Braveheart on thebloody battlefield of Bannockburn, he tore into the opposition, smiting all before him as he plundered his way to a nett 67, plus the added 2 for a nett 69....when I heard the news, I scoured the Round 1 result to see what sort of position he was in after Round One, and whether the 2 shot penalty would affect the destination of the Handicap Championship......No, nett 79 last week......should have been late then Tim, it clearly provides a level of motivation!!!! It does of course beg the question, will the Captain be the first Club Captain to receive a 2 shot penalty AND a reduction in Handicap in the same round???

 

Sunday 23rd June.......the Club Captain, who has the opportunity to select his preferred start time in competitions for his year of Captaincy, gets a 2 shot penalty for being late on the first tee for Round 2 of the Handicap Championship, having cut it finer than the finest silk last week!! He arrives at the bar at 9.47 for a 9.48 start time!!! Is there any sympathy, a thought of granting a concession, seeing as it the Club Captain?? No chance!!

 

Fri 21st June....today is the longest day..... grey and miserable...and that is just Pete in the bar, let alone worrying about the weather!! So from tomorrow, we are heading back towards winter......

 

Thurs 20th June...the molers are in as usual, and the greenstaff are working on the 11th, sorting out the wet spot just beyond the ditch on the left....I pop down to see them and they are seriously in play down there!! They park the van, just beyond the ditch, broadside on, so that IF (and it would appear that not everyone does!!) someone shouts "fore" to indicate a ball is heading in their direction, then they have the van to hide behind...."fore" come the shout, the greenstaff abandon the conversation I am having with them and head for safety, leaving me looking like a deaf meerkat oblivious to the impending attack of a tiger...."clang" goes the side of the van on impact......and the angle of deflection is perfect and the ball now nestles nicely in the bottom of the ditch!! Ron Gray arrives in his buggy to survey the aftermath.....an hour or so later, I saw him in the carpark.....did you put the penalty shot on your card then for the ball in the ditch on 11? I asked...John Townley, also still in the buggy and just having lost to Ron by 1 shot....perked up immediately!! Ron was of the opinion that the drop should have been a free one because the van "should not have been there!!" I pointed out, that if the van had been short of the ditch, and had stopped his ball from rolling into the ditch, he would not have added a penalty shot as a result!!  The van is an obstruction, moveable if you ask the greenstaff nicely, immoveable if you don't!!

 

Thursday 13th June....After having one or two complaints at the bar about the news page not being updated, I've taken it upon myself to answer the calls of certain disgruntled members not getting their dose of Rumball humour. Various occurrences have happened over the past week, Alan Graystone tries to break the club record of hitting the 9th pylon as many times as possible in a row, only managing 4 before magnificently slicing the ball over the top of myself and Matt Howarth standing on the 17th fairway... I've been informed the current record is 7 by an unknown suspect, you can happily take the silver medal though Alan!

 

Earlier in the week, the usual suspects venture down the club on Tuesday to play their normal 9 holes. I am pleased to announce Joe Silva has broken the duck and finally got his first hole in one on the 7th. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with a golf ball! As he slowly ventures down towards the 7th green on the left hand side, Joe graciously slips and loses control of the under power golf trolley, which is heading straight for the 7th pond! His attempts to stop it in vain, Joe watches his trolley sail into the 7th pond! Luckily Joe regained balance at the crucial time, precariously sitting on the edge of the pond and narrowly avoiding the same fate as his trolley... Drinks all round Joe!

 

Yesterday saw another member of the Hole in One club inducted, Dave Bryant aces the 7th (funnily enough a day after Joe did it himself) with an 8 iron. He comes in, big grin on his face. Part of that was down to the Hole in One, the other half was down to the fact himself and Colin Bynoe were the only people on the course!! Dave splashed out on a big round though, 3 drinks... one for me, Colin and himself!

 

Let us see what the end of the week brings us. With Steve on holiday in France I'm sure things can only go wrong!!!

 

Tues 4th June.....more from the seniors......Terry Payne arrives bright and early for his bacon roll and coffee, has a great chat with all his mates, goes down to the 1st tee to see Senior Captain Ray Tilcock hit a stonking tee shot to drive in and start his year, wanders back up to his car, collects his clubs and stuff and goes back in to see what tee he is down to start from.....he is not!! Despite being here for well over an hour, and the entry system being electronic and a simple two key strokes......Terry has forgotten both of them and not actually entered at all!!! It was rather like the fable of the Pied Piper of Hamlyn, all of the rest had disappeared, leaving Terry to play a few holes on his todd, despite the fact that 50 of his mates were all over the course!! Seems like a normal seniors Tuesday really!!!! 

 

Tues 4th June.....Seniors Captains Drive In.....Ray Tilcock takes the reins of the Seniors....and with the sun shining and the prospect of a free bacon roll before they start, the seniors are flooding in.....Steve Howarth is at the coffee machine, cussing and cursing. He has about 8 in various coins littered across the table that the machine has failed to accept, and about another 3.50 worth in his hand still to try.....I helpfully point out the various coins that might work..."try that 20p" "what about that 10p" until we have exhausted the entire repertoire of his change......his cussing and cursing has reached epic proportions, so I helpfully pointed out that the machine was on free vend........ simple, childish, and very funny!!

 

Ray has brought in a set of persimmon drivers and woods for the longest drive competition on the 4th...I may have made an error here as I put the marker just the other side of the ditch!! I don't think anyone will reach that with them!! There has been some reminiscing on their appearance, not so much of " I remember these when I was a lad......" more "I'm sure that is my old set!"

 

Sat 1st June.....High Quality Jumpers = High Quality Golf.......The scratch team have just taken delivery of their fantastic new Pro-Quip Jumpers, superb value at just 47...these things normally retail at about 55 without embroidery!! They arrive at Beds & County GC for their match, and set the tone immediately, with a swift lager to warm up.....Mick Parrett, stalwart of the scratch team for so many years, leads off for the team, and absolutely smashes his drive 9 yards......he would have been short of the pond if we had been at home......his opponent is clearly unnerved by the skill and precision that it takes to hit a ball with that sort of clubhead speed, but only move it a tiny distance.......but he demonstrates that this will be a tough match, by out doing Mick, by hitting it 5 yards!!! Yes, you did read the 1st line correctly, this is the scratch team!!! Things did, to be fair, improve!! Captain Matt Howarth had a stormer, winning his match 6&5, Mick Parrett and Tim Bevan also won their matches by considerable margins, Cliff Perry won on the last hole, and Dave Bromley was 4 down with 5 to play......at which point he decided to play properly and halved his match!! An away win, 4.5 to 0.5!! For the scratch team!! We will have to put a stop to this, people will think we are a proper golf club..... 

 

Friday 31st May......Steve Emmett's final day as Captain of Chalgrave, and what a totally memorable one it has turned out to be as well.......El Capitano is with a group of Chalgrave mates on their annual pilgrimage to Ullersthorpe in Leicestershire.......he has arrived for a three day golfing and socialising  extravaganza, minus every single item of golfing clothing he intended to take with him........a few weeks ago some toerags nicked his car with his clubs in the boot, but these were subsequently recovered in Houghton Regis...(the local plod....and El Capitano have not yet put 2 and 2 together and made the connection that the incoming Capitano lives in HR!!!!)..... but losing your own golfing gear without the intervention of the toerags is quite an achievement!!!! Steve is currently having to shell out for golf clothing from the pro shop, to see him through the next three days!!!  

 

Tues 28th May....Seniors.....and there is such propensity for confusion to reign here today.....there appears to have been a minor printing error with the scorecards...in that the occasional card is printed the same on both sides, some have 2 adverts and no scorecard at all, but what is going to cause the mayhem is that some have scorecards printed on both sides........I can see it now....that someone will reach the 6th, get the card out to mark up the score for the 5th hole, and see a blank card!!! confusion will reign as they hunt for the "proper" card, convinced that they have been filling in the card correctly on every one of the first 4 holes previously.....what chance do you think there is of them having a "spare" duplicated card in their bag, rewriting that one and then another 6 holes later being confronted with yet another blank card!!

 

Chris Baker comes into the office, extolling the virtues of a course he played over the weekend, 2 rounds, with a buggy and a bacon roll...50 for the day....said it was wonderful value.....he looked less impressed when I said I was happy to let him have his subs at 18,250 per annum....and I would throw in the buggy and the bacon roll free every day.....I even offered to better the deal and give him a free pint as well, but for some reason he has declined....

 

Tues 21st May....suggestions for the Channel 4 documentary title.....CountUp......Dff'rent Strokes....if it turns out to be Pete who was in error, how about Gray(dons) Anatomy....

 

Tues 21st May....Keith Esden comes up with the most implausible excuse for not paying his subs.....I have been sorting out the seniors and I finally get back to my office...underneath the computer mouse is an envelope with my name on it, written in that flowing posh looking script that comes from being at school when pens had proper ink, desks had inkwells and probably the pens had feathers still attached too......so I lift open the flap to reveal its contents.....its empty!! The most perfectly presented envelope, uncreased, beautifully written but devoid of all content.....I shrug my shoulders, certain that the reasons will become apparent in due course......they do, just 5 minutes later, as the Seniors are on their way out, Keith pops his head around the door to enquire if I had got his subs.... I asked if the envelope, beautifully calliographed, was his. Yes thats mine, said Keith proudly. Empty, I said, beautifully done, but empty. No form, no cheque, nothing, nada, zilch...not even sealed....the car is searched, and eventually Keith phones home, where the mystery is solved.....having written so nicely on the envelope, the cheque had been put into a different one, which then was discarded by tearing it up, with the cheque inside it, and putting it in the bin!!! Original, Keith, I will give you that!!!

 

Mon 20th May, news from the weekend...the clubmatch away at Beadlow, arrangements are made for Webby to collect John Natus from his Flitwick home enroute to Beadlow...this surely cannot be complicated......but is the longstanding traditions of Chalgrave is becomes very complicated....Webby sets off in good time, armed with detailed directions of how to find John's place....to my mind, having viewed the required route, these instructions would have amounted to "turn left off main road, take the 2nd right and then 2nd left - house is 50 yards up on the left". Seeing as all of the road names are birds, Lark, Kestrel, Eagle etc etc, there was a reasonable clue that you must be in the right area as well!!! ...as usual, I digress..... however simple it might appear on paper, things were not so simple in real life, and Webby was lost....so he decides to ring John for assistance.....regrettably, he has forgotten his mobile, and the technological advances of the past 2 decades, and our absolute reliance upon them are thrown into sharp focus....unable to comprehend pressing the button to wind down his windows and ask, Webby scours Flitwick for that most elusive of items these days, a public phone box....despite being unable to find a bloody great house, he finds a phone.....except it follows in the great traditions of the British phone box, and is out of order!! Miraculously, again despite the fact that it would be far easier to find the house, he finds a second box!! Again the Out of Order scenario raises its head and so he capitulates, ignoring the environmental catastrophe in doubling his journey and burning our limited supply of fuels, he heads back to Tebworth to collect his phone so that he can drive back to Flitwick, get lost in the same location and phone John for directions.....as he does so, he sees a car flashing its lights wildly, which he took to assume that the driver coming the other way had spotted another public phone that he could use....it was of course John Natus who had given up waiting and was making his own way to Beadlow!! Webby makes it home, gains possession of his mobile, rings John and struggles to understand the conversation, thinking the line was very poor.....it wasn't, it was simply muffled and garbled  as John was chomping his way through two Bacon Rolls at Beadlow.....well Webby was going to be too late to have one, so it would have been rude to leave it.....eventually, Webby arrives to jeers and catcalls of his teammates......

 

Mon 20th May......oooooh eeeerrrr...... Channel 4's "Cutting Edge" team are desperately trying for the TV rights for a new "fly on the wall" documentary to be filmed in a household in Toddington......the base for the documentary will be the heated discussion on whose job it was to ensure that the card was signed either by the player or the marker, after a 1st place equalling score in the Mixed Greensomes, which subsequently resulted in a DQ under Rule 6 - 6b, and the ensuing fallout over the week ahead......suggestions for the Title would be appreciated...

 

Monday 13th May.....more reports from the Ladies......Fee Knight won through to the Final of the County Matchplay and narrowly lost on the final green, a final, single putt on the last!! What a great effort!! John O Gaunt have felt the steely determination of our ladies with a vengeance this weekend....Sue and Cally played a round of the County Foursomes here at Chalgrave and KO'd their opponents from JOG. Even more impressive, was Karen and Lorain who played away at JOG, against the Lady Captain and a past Captain and beat them 4 and 3 on their own course!!!  Meanwhile, news from the Men and their attempts to make the 4th round of the Daily Mail seems to have gone very quiet.......from which I assume that we are now ignoring the competition until it starts again next year!!!

 

Sunday 12th May.....I missed a sight worth seeing today.....but as reported from me by Vince Hasker, whilst he was on the 17th green, a deep and unmistakable sound of engines filled the sky.....and then slowly, gloriously, one of the few remaining airworthy Lancaster bombers flew overhead, waggling its wingtips slightly as I had asked, to acknowledge the final few days of Capitano Emmett's year.  I have been known to occasionally embellish a story to suit an occasion.......there is also no truth in the rumour that Vince had hurled himself into the bunker, acrobatically somersaulting and rolling into position, before firing his make believe AA gun (otherwise known as his putter) at the departing twin tails of the iconic bomber. 

 

Friday 10th May...the 9 hole competition on the back 9 was carnage in the winds.....Martin Wilkinson sneaked into 10th place for 4 points thansk to a monster total of 9 stableford points!!!! When you consider that 23 handicapper Martin, birdied the 11th for a 3 and 5 stableford points on a single hole....it was a chance that got away really!! The 12th hole won convincingly.....stroke index 1 showed every single one of its teeth..... 15 players managed just 5 stableford points between them on it, and every single one of them got at least 1 shot on it!!

 

Thurs 9th May...the medal results are in and clearly the course is playing a bit harder from its full length that it has done for a while!! Division A was won with a score above par, whilst the top 3 only in Divison B were at par or better......the 10th accounted for some of this as well, with a particularly tough pin position, where once the ball was below the hole, there was nothing to stop it....whilst it clearly was borderline, I can also point out that there were a total of 11 two's on the whole course in the competition, of which 5 were on the 5th, 3 were on the 10th, 2 on the 13th and 1 on the 7th.....so does that make the 16th the hardest par 3??

 

Friday 3rd May..... The greenstaff, in their "Grass Roots" update, reveal that they are one step ahead of the buggy users.....we know there is a perception that one or two buggies are faster than the others....and so people tend to take one particular buggy more often than other ones.......

...but the greenstaff have now revealed that the moment they recognise that one buggy is favoured above the others, they swap the windscreens over so that the numbers change!!!

Now you may think then, that you can combat this by taking a different buggy each time, as the likelihood of selecting the "faster" buggy must be greater if you DON'T use the one you had last time....except that occasionally, we go with the double bluff and DON'T change the numbers over.....

 

Mon 29th April....I'm not suggesting that the ladies are trying to wind the men up....but.....they have checked their records and Cally has in fact reached the 4th round twice, once with Kay and once with Sue.....

 

Monday 29th April....a note from the Captain......I still find it incomprehensible that anyone would want to sit down at a spreadsheet and record 181 blobs, 243 3 putts and 17 balls left in a bunker.....after a bad round, I just want to forget, not relive it!!!

 

As we approach the end of April I am going to freeze the pars and birdies so that we can start to collect the money prior to presenting the cheque.  The final declared numbers are 424 pars, 32 birdies. So anyone sponsoring me (or still wishing to) will pay out 4.24 + 1.60 for a total of 5.84. I also had 551 single putts and hit the fairway on 980 occasions.  I incurred the following penalties of 181 blob 243 3 puts and 17 balls left in a bunker which will cost me another 22. 05.

 

Fri 26th April....in early as we are all off on the Captains Awayday....Ray Tilcock, Seniors Captain, arrives with his personal porter - Ray is carrying a couple of golf bags with shoes in them....Neil Tabor is carry two complete trolleys!! It seemed churlish to point out that putting them down and using the wheels would have been an option worth considering....

 

...and whilst we are all out (including Joe"I haven't got one Silva" on a jolly at Kingsthorpe....Ron Tipping becomes the first to record an ace, with a nifty 5 iron on the 7th from the new grass tee......so clearly the new pond and the slight change in angle which makes the pond look very much in play, has no effect!!

 

Thurs 25th April....the numbers in our Ladies section may be a tad small, but they are making themselves known in the county events....Anne and Lorain played in the 4BBB at Leighton Buzzard this week and snapped up the 2nd place with 40 pts....with Anne now having two top two finishes in 2 weeks at LB.... Anne "the Buzzard" Isaac.....mess with her at your peril!!!!!

 

Monday 22nd April.....the beautiful weather, bright sunshine and almost a hint or warmth getting through the cold wind, shows that the signs of Spring are appearing...the grass is starting to thicken up, the trees and starting to go into leaf, and the cabriolet roofs on the cars come down........ Paul Godfrey provided the entertainment the other day, with the automatic roof down, in full view of the clubhouse and the ladies section, decided to pose a bit......casually pressing the button to activate the roof, the mechanism starts to operate before trapping something extremely valuable in the mechanism.....now those of you wondering how on earth he got that caught....should clean out your minds and stop making up your own jokes.....as it was his golf clubs that he managed to jam the roof with.....with the Ladies in tears of mirth, he refused to get out of the car to rectify the problem, instead opting to shove the whole lot out of the passenger side at a rapid rate, from the drivers seat, sending bag and all simply crashing to the ground.....the Ladies, by now, were howling with laughter....Paul, after locking the roof in place, then he to get back out of the car to retrieve the clubs.... I am waiting to hear exactly when and where this occurred.....so I can try and find it on the CCTV!!!!!

 

Monday 22nd April....as the news came in from Vice and Vice Vice ( see April 19th below) the ladies were at it as well....with Anne Isaac triumphing at Leighton Buzzard, with the best gross in the Ladies county Division 2 Spring Meeting. Fee came in 2nd as well, on countback with the best nett....so our Ladies are making their presence felt!! Fee will be in the County Cup now at South Beds, so "good luck" Fee, we will start to create a gap in the Ladies Cabinet for a County trophy!!! Sue Wade played for the Beds Lady Captains against the mens Past Captains at Beadlow and came 4th, whilst Anne and Alison took on Woburn (at home!) in the Daily Mail, and unfortunately lost the 18th and the match on that final hole. What a great effort against 2 13 handicappers from Woburn!!

 

Our ladies are definitely a feisty bunch, and the comment about a club record for Vice and Vice Vice for making the 3rd round of the Daily Mail provoked howls of derision, pointing out the fact that Cally and Kay lost to Northampton County Ladies in the 4th Round in 2008, so Vice and Vice Vice still have 36 holes to play before they catch up!! So the gauntlet has been laid down.....the Ladies have said "Yah   Boo!!" to the Mens 2nd round win....will there be a suitable response on the golf course, will Vice and Vice Vice be goaded into a superlative effort to win the next one, to have a chance of taking the Club Record off the Ladies??? watch this space!!!!!!

 

Monday 22nd April.....Chris Baker pops his head around the door and asks if I have a spare golf jacket as he has forgotten his and it is a tad colder than it looks out there.... being the helpful chap I am, I told him to grab my Calloway jacket from behind the door and use that...."it fits me fine so you will be ok! I said.....it will be bl**dy massive" says Chris.....who then froze his n*ts of on the golf course as he was right first time...he didn't have a jacket!!!! Cheeky sod!!!!

 

Friday 19th April......news from the Vice and Vice Vice....otherwise known as Braveheart and Big Steve....our intrepid warriors in the Daily Mail took the battle to Aspley Guise on their own course......and triumphed 3 and 2!!! Into the third round, could actually be a club record!!!

 

Tues 16th April.....as we move back into the main competition season, with all sorts of stuff going on, competitions, scratch matches, handicap league matches and club matches, I usually consider buying shares in Tippex as the worldwide sales must triple based upon just how many alterations are made to our start and entry sheets......but clearly some reasons for dropping out are unavoidable and some players go to extreme lengths to avoid doing so, or to ensure that their late withdrawal does not impact upon the rest of the teams....however, Friday saw one of the most dedicated and determined efforts ever seen at this club in almost 20 years......Tim Smith, on Friday had a heart attack! Thankfully, the news is good and he is OK. He rang Mick Yule, whilst in the back of the ambulance on the way to hospital, to say "Hi Mick, I can't play tomorrow, I'm having a heart attack!!!" Mick, by all accounts, simply accepted this explanation as being reasonable, said "thanks for letting me know, I'll find someone to take your place" and hung up!!!

 

Mick also makes the headlines on his own as he sent me a text by mistake on Sunday, meant for someone else....the gist was that he would be late for work on Monday as he had a medical appointment..... in this world of texting, where punctuation is non existent, this can lead to misunderstandings....I'm not sure if the text was meant to read, "got an appointment for skin clinic" or "got an appointment. Foreskin clinic". Classic!!

 

Monday 15th April.....Harry Lyons came in to say he had changed his mind and was still going to renew at the end of the month. A couple of weeks back he had said he might wander off to pastures new. I said there is good news and bad news Harry....the good news is that your membership is still available and we will be delighted to have you back....."what's the bad news then?" said Harry. Your bonus ball money would have been due last weekend, but as you were not renewing, the ball (No 6) was passed on to John Trott. Last week, Sat 13th April, Ball 6 was the bonus ball!!! Ouch!!

 

Sunday 14th April...well the first major of the season comes to a close and what an event it was......and then it was home to watch the Masters!! Despite the absolute edge of the seat, nailbiting stuff from Cabrera and Scott, they simply cannot compete with the all out action of the Chalgrave Spring Trophy.....at at this point I have no idea who has won!!!! The forecast was for a south south easterly, blowing at a minimum of 25mph.....in laymans terms it was brutal!!! The 8th, the new 12th and the 15th and 16th played right into the teeth, as did the opening tee shot on the 1st. It was not for the faint hearted!! I met up with Kelvin as he stood on the 15th Tee, doing a very good impersonation of a hamster that had been stuffing his mouth pouches on one side only......whilst playing the 11th, with a tree rather blocking the next shot, Kelvin played the hero shot, aiming for a small gap....it was smaller than he thought, as the ball came straight back, hit him full in the face incurring him a 2 shot penalty!!! You could tell that the impact was quite severe, as when he smiled on the 15th tee, he had about 235 dimples on his left cheek......

 

Charlie Lee found the new ditch across the 14th and was less than impressed with having to take a penalty drop, but I went a tad better, smashing my drive on the 14th slightly right and landing just behind the digger......except the ball clearly decided to bounce and appeared on the far side, in the GUR right between the two front tracks!!! If the ball was another couple of feet forwards, I would have had a proper shot at it.....I was tempted to try and start the digger and move it back a fraction, as the ball was sitting quite nicely!!! In the end, I had no choice but to take a free drop out of the GUR.....but whereas the World No1 clearly can decide to pinch a couple of yards if it suits him, the nearest point of relief was to the right of the digger, which then meant that I was completely blocked out by the huge lime tree and the digger itself....so I zapped it up to the 15th tee and came back in that way......Aidan was out with Darryl for the second week in a row, Darryl commended his performance, saying that Aidan was much better than last week.....he made it to the 17th this time before he lost the scorecard!!!! 

 

 

Thursday 11th April .... Paul Northcott is clearly bored at work, and has browsed through the draw for the handicap KO.....and wants to know when Merv's twin brother, soul singer extraordinaire, Marvin Whitten joined us!!! Robbie Peck apparently has "heard it through the grapevine" that  Marvin has said "Lets get it on" !!!   I am more concerned with the fact that for yet another year, I am in the preliminary round.......

 

Elsewhere, the ladies are performing well in the County events, Alison and Anne will be hosting Woburn here in the next round of the Daily Mail, after winning away at Beadlow, whilst in the County Foursomes, Chris and Sarah got a bye from Beadlow and play Bedford at home, whilst Karen and Lorraine beat Mount Pleasant and Cally and Sue won away at Dunstable Downs. The last two pairings both have matches against John O'Gaunt in the next round, so seeing as Cally works at JOG there is a bit of an opportunity for early mind games......or even sabotage??? No, we don't need to do that!!!   

 

Tues 9th April, the seniors are in for the Medal and the buggies are back out.....clearly they are not fazed by the new hole, as all four players in one fourball shape up for a birdie chance.......

 

 

either that, or the swan has its head firmly screwed into place, and has decided that the safest place to be is on the fairway in front of them.....my money is on the swan actually.....

 

Sun 8th April, I venture out to play the medal, accompanied by son Aidan and also Darryl. It was never going to be dull!!!! Aidan commenced proceedings by hooking the litter bin on the 1st with his bag and strewing the entire contents all over the place before he realised his bag was heavier than he thought as he dragged the whole bin 10 yards.....as we reached the edge of the 1st green, the bin scenario raised its head again, as Aidan announced that he had in fact put my scorecard into the bin by mistake as he cleared up!!! He then consumed both of his drinks whilst playing the 2nd and made a swift detour to the proshop after the 3rd to refill, lost his glove on the course, needed to borrow a pencil on every hole as he had lost his own on the 2nd, borrowed a pitchfork from me which he never used as he missed every green from any distance and lost his glove on the back 9 bee line for the bin on the 3rd tee when he arrived at the green!!! Apart from that it was a quiet round!!! I had a decent front 9, then smashed the tee shot on 11 OOB, and then after pointing out to my playing partners that the OOB was on both sides of the new 14th hole, I then smashed it way right and OOB!! A three putt from 4 ft on the 7th, a 6 on the 3rd when I was on the fringe for 2 and despite all of that I finished with a nett 73, so it could have been pretty good......oh well, there is always next time!!! 

 

Fri 5th April.....the new hole is open, playing downwind, downhill in a gale....from the mat, (for this weekend) I think the reservoir may be gettable....and then I get a text from the Scratch Team Captain, Matt H who has just driven the green!!!!......a round the dogleg, that is about 375 yards.....in a straight line it is still over 330 yards......

 

Thurs 4th April....I am out on the course with Rob as we discuss the new shape for the 8th fairway, as the new hole has been cut and will be in play anytime now.....so we don't want to cut the 8th fairway where it was last year.....I parked the tractor I was driving and wandered over to discuss options with Rob, and we headed off down the hill to agree where the left hand edge should be cut.....all agreed and I am on my way back to the tractor at the top of the hill.....meanwhile, back on the 8th Tee, Dave Burden has arrived, and relishing the opportunity of the howling gale from directly behind, lashes one off down the fairway, striking the tractor and rebounding 80 yards back towards the tee!!! Seconds later, I arrive at the tractor, mount up and drive it away......perfect timing all round!!!

 

Thurs 4th April....I arrive for work to find Peter Kay in as normal, but looking very worried........it turns out that Pete has seen the "Sorry You're Leaving" card that is on the bar (for Hannah) opened it up to see what it is about, and the first entry he read was one that said "Good Luck Pete". 2 and 2 made 5!! The good luck message was from "Pete", to Hannah, but I could see where he was coming from!!! 

 

Tues 2nd April...Richard "Trickshot" Muckleston has had a normal round of golf with nothing particularly spectacular occurring, until he arrives back in the clubhouse, buys a coffee for his playing partner and is feeding the machine more coins for his own, misses the slot, drops the coin which bounces twice, somersaulting on both occasions before holing out in the full cup of coffee with the grace and style of Tom Daley.....Ken Goodland looked astonished, it was clearly the only thing Richard had holed all day.....

 

Tues 2nd April....it has come to my attention that Dave Ballard may not have come back into the clubhouse following the April Fool gag on Monday, and so may still be blissfully unaware that the 15Kg weight limit for bag, clubs, trolley, battery and 3 bottles of lucozade is a spoof......

 

Tuesday 2nd April....The return of drawn start times for the medals has returned and clearly even long standing members are suffering memory loss already this year, as the notices which tell you to get staff to alter the entry sheets , not do it yourself, are ignored.... resulting in Mark Beaney and Ronnie Cooper putting their own names down...to play in the Ladies Medal on Saturday!!! Meanwhile, the seniors are arriving, and they have a new boy....Hugh Kerr is making his Tuesday debut today.....and having spent 14 years at Chalgrave carefully honing his skills to a tidy 14 handicap, he has paid his Seniors Dues and been cut to 10 in under 2 minutes......

 

Meanwhile, yesterday we had a pair of Senior Swans on the course, captured beautifully by Paul Jones, although the photo does appear slightly staged....after all, in the background, there are 2 balls only a few feet from the flag..... but these are clearly senior swans.....after all, why the hell would you have a swim in the bunker on the 12th, when  less than 70 yards away is a bloody great pond, unless you were as barking mad as our seniors.....

 

 

Monday 1st April.......Readers of the home page prior to this news page, will have seen the new Rule amendment from the R&A, which gives a maximum of 15Kg weight for a players total equipment.....which therefore includes the trolley with it battery....after all, if you hit your trolley battery with a sliced shot on the course, with your ball, it will incur you penalty shots, so it must be your equipment!! A whole range of people, from Mike Kent, to Charlie Lee, Mark Beaney and many many more have succumbed to my persuasive arguments, even though the Rules Officer from the R&A who appends his name to this missive is no other then Mr Andy P Rilphool, (or AP Rilphool Esq!!)....how ever, the star of the show has to be Dave Ballard.....he and I have had a 30 minute + conversation at the bar at how far reaching the stupidity of EU working time regulations are.. ...these being the source of the new rule, as it is designed to prevent pro caddies having to stop working due to bad backs....but there are still lots of young lads at golf courses across the country who caddy for pocket money, so their backs need protecting to....after all, in my day, I carried a bloody heavy bag full of the daily newspapers around my paper round, hating Sunday with the ultra thick editions with a vengeance....these days, the modern paperboy has a nice wheeled trolley to assist him...all this was discussed at length, cementing the concept firmly into reality.......as always, there is an icing on the cake...a moment that tells you that you have got your victim, hook, line and sinker.....and that moment came when I retrieved the postage scales from the office, weighed a bottle of Lucozade sport, which came in at fractionally over 520g...or 0.5 Kg meaning that Dave's regular 3 lucozades in his bag amount to 10% of his total weight allocation!!!!! Instead of clearly seeing that this must be a wind up, he was most indignant!!! He even pointed out that if he drank them in the course of the round, he would be well within the limit by the 18th green....I pointed out he would fail the weight test on the 1st and he headed out to play muttering curses under his breath......Fortunately, it is 10.45 am now, by the time he gets back in, Aidan will have taken over and I will be safely off site.....

 

You would think that after disinfecting equipment to stop the spread of disease, cyanide gas masks on the 10th as we are gassing moles, dead bodies discovered in the woods, and so many more that I have forgotten them....that I would tire of dreaming up the childish pranks....no chance!!! Those determined not to be caught should set an alarm date on the mobiles for 12 months time...... 

 

Friday 29th March....Alan Laid and Peter Whitton are in the clubhouse, preparing the ground for the start of the seniors matches.....Peter asks when the new hole will be open and the course back to its normal layout, as Alan wants to get the scorecards ready for the first match. They are concerned that they will prepare the cards and then we will revert to the old layout. I am somewhat baffled, and I was worried about alzheimers, as I clearly had forgotten that a seniors match was imminent.......but no.......it turned out that their first home match is on 16th May, 48 days away!! So Alan has to write out one card every 2 days to be ready in time!!! Nothing like pre planning is there???

 

Thursday 28th March...well at least we are open.....still snowbound in places, but the greens are clear and golfers are out on the course.....the usual enthusiastic and boisterous groups are in, Ian Hillier, Gary Pratten and Barry Lampard amongst them. As they head up the 5th, approaching the bunker, they are discussing one of their earlier rowdy nights out...."he's no angel" was the comment directed at Ian Hillier... "yes I am" says IH and jumps into the snow filled bunker and makes one!! A Chalgrave Snow Angel, complete with beer bottle.....

 

 

 

childish but funny......

 

Monday 18th March.....well personally, as an optimist, I think things are much improved......after all, when, on Friday, I declared the 12th and 13th reopen and suitable for play, I felt that there were probably no more than 10 - 12 remaining heavily saturated points on the course where the ground conditions were really bad.......after installing miles of drainage and ditches, today, there is just one spot remaining.......regrettably it covers the whole damn course!!!!   Then Derek Fulbrook arrives for his regular daily constitutional....."it looks a bit wet out there, did it rain yesterday then??" Regular playing partner Ronald, long used to these sort of missives from Derek, well even he looked stunned!! Methinks it is going to be a long day......

 

Sun 17th March.....St Patricks Day and we have Andy Ogden, a few other members and some mates in for the St Paddys Golf Day.....At 10.30, when they actually went out onto the course, the greens had snow on them.....thankfully, the snow rapidly disappeared, washed away by the monsoon that followed.....it was utterly torrential for four solid hours, the 18th green started to flood at about 11.00am and by 2.00pm was almost 50% covered in water and there were two rivers, marginally smaller than the raging Colorado, flowing down the green.......so you have to say, that when the St Paddy's Golf Day finally arrived, putted out on 18, allowing for both the break of the green and the flow of the water, and trundled off the course at anything from 3.00pm to the last group just before 4.00pm, you really have to be impressed!! Absolutely start raving bonkers, the lot of them..... I have seen Chalgrave Members play in the most horrendous conditions over the years, stoic determination to overcome the absolute worst that the weather can throw at them to get their golf in......and these guys, the majority of them our guests for the day, are not even members.....I would, however, be proud to have them on board (pun intended!!) These are the sort of people this club needs.....stark raving mad ones!! They would fit in very nicely!

 

Thursday 14th March.....progress continues apace on the 12th, land drain pipes installed, back filled with stone and sand, all by hand...we have one more trench to do closer to the main ditch, but there is a possibility that we may reopen 12 and 13 for this weekend. The fairway area short of the ditch is now much drier, although there are still one or two wet puddles where the water is still sitting on the surface and with insufficient slope to carry this away and the ground freezing overnight at the moment it is not moving as fast as I would like. The final trench should help clear this.

 

The molers were in this morning and for a moment I thought that they had elected themselves a new leader, but I was mistaken...it was just Dave Burden, Mick Moulton and Alan Loveday huddled together having a fag, and doing a fair impersonation of the Sistine Chapel chimney with its white smoke!!

 

Tuesday 12th March.....oh my lord....-3 and a wind chill of at least another -10......so as you would expect, about 20 seniors head out onto the course for a social round!!! Just to be on the safe side, I checked to ensure that those that were venturing out were up to date with their subs or not due for renewal for a few months.....I'm such a considerate soul, I know.....to give you some idea of how cold it is, Brian Gidley is NOT wearing shorts....

 

Monday 11th March.....the greenstaff are out in conditions of -2 with a windchill of another -10 at least.....Chris Baker is daft enough to attempt to play a few holes....how mad to you have to be, to drive from Milton Keynes to Chalgrave, to play golf on your own in temperatures that would have made Captain Oakes think twice about going out for a little while......he reasonably capitulated after 3 holes, looking suitably shell shocked at the onslaught....the greenstaff are led on their mission to complete the drainage works by Rob "I've got 8 fleeces on" Parr.....The downside to the number of fleeces is that Rob, a chunky unit anyway, was a sizeable unit as a result, and was at risk of being blown around by the strong winds....the rest of the team could be regularly seen manoeuvring their working position so that they were directly downwind and were using Rob as a human, fleece lined, windbreak....the drainage works are progressing well, although the tears that were pouring from their eyes from the biting wind were  rather counterproductive...despite the conditions, a two ball arrived at mid day, and completed 9 holes!! The "never say die" attitude that gave us an Empire and put the Great into Britain, is alive and kicking at Chalgrave.....

 

Sunday 10th March.....The Razz Pairs.....Winter Rules.....it most certainly did!!! I was making my first appearance of the year in Competition and the coffee machine becoming severely jammed on Saturday, requiring me to be in attendance at 7.30am to sort it out, with a 9.28 tee time was not a great start to the day.....the biting wind that was accompanied by a continuous light snow flurry was not the most inspiring of circumstances....I led off for us, partnering "Donny" and having decided that he performs best under pressure, I carefully laid up short of the ditch, just to the right of the 3rd green. I am sure that I don't need to explain the level of skill required to judge that shot to that level of precision with a driver....Donny responded as expected and we were miles up the 1st fairway, the ball splitting the fairway perfectly.....playing partners Gary Pratten and Ray Bowles made the usual appreciative noises of players that are awestruck by such a superior strike, and then they both proceeded to batter their balls 30-50 yards past ours......seeing as they had spend the last Friday evening in the bar systematically destroying the reputation of one of their regular playing partners, Peter Ward, for the generosity of his handicap allowance, I am not entirely sure that they fully appreciated the irony of the opening drives....there was one winner...the weather....as the wind just slowly pervaded all clothing layers and a certain numbness set in.....in the end, we were thankful it was only over 16 holes!!  

 

Tues 5th March.....The seniors are always a ripe source of amusing anecdotes.....but rarely to they reach a level of today....whereas you normally rely on one or two to do something daft, but today 30+ managed it at the same time.......I had an appointment elsewhere, so I arranged for Laura to open up which she duly did at about 7.15.....however, as the seniors started to appear just after 7.15, there was clearly an assumption that as my car was not in its normal place, that they would have to wait for me to arrive. The lights on in the clubhouse and Laura moving about rearranging chairs was not really a clue in their minds....time passes and more arrive until we have a veritable crowd congregating in the carpark, no doubt besmirching my good name.....eventually, after about 45 minutes, Geoff Davis arrives, completely ignores the throng of chatting seniors, and does something that no one else has thought of......he tries the door!!!!! Well the looks on the faces of the seniors it was as if David Copperfield, Paul Daniels and Penn and Teller had just performed the greatest illusion the world has ever seen in front of their eyes......a door and Geoff Davis just passed straight through it!!!.......   

 

Tues 5th March.....regular readers will probably also have a peek at the Captains Blog, and will no doubt have read about the explosion of fines for various misdemeanours last weekend, commencing with Mick Yule and Keith Esden for car parking standards on Saturday..... Mick Yule was required to move his vehicle as Keith was blocked in....but as Laura had phoned Tim Smith who was playing with the Captain to askif he knew where Mick was....the Captain handed out fines to all and sundry, Laura should have been fined for a mobile in the clubhouse, Tim was fined for a mobile on the course, Mick and Keith for poor parking and subsequently Mick was fined again for leaving the course. Danny Glass was fined just for laughing at the proceedings.....interestingly, the Captain fined Mick "for leaving the course" which comes under Rule 6-8 on the Discontinuance of Play (my thanks to Matt Howarth for giving these circumstances so much thought....) who quite correctly points out that the R & A have laid down strict guidelines on the circumstances under which a player may do so.....unblocking Keith Esden's car in a car park is not mentioned as a suitable reason......so on that basis, the penalty for leaving the course and discontinuing play could be as severe as a DQ, so personally, I think the Captain should be subject to a fine for the incorrect interpretation of the Rules of Golf......

 

Mon 25th Feb.... Kelvin sends me a sarcastic email asking if I have been reading his bonus ball number upside down by mistake as he has won it so few times (once in over 5 years!!) so I emailed him back, thanked him for pointing out my mistake and confirmed that ball 91 has not come out at all ever. This is unfortunate, as I have asked him for the 40 back that I have paid out in error then, for ball 16 !! That will teach him not to try and be smart with me!!!

 

Sun 24th Feb......big Steve Howarth is not a happy bunny.....as news from the Portugal Tour starts to filter through, even before they have arrived home.....Steve has just had to pay out 250 euros for excess baggage on the flight home.....despite pre paying for everything and bringing back the same stuff he flew out with only a few days ago, where he was not adjudged to be over the limits!!! Now golf tour.....what is the betting that someone has been loading up his bag with a few weights??? Brave boy on the Easyjet desk though....refusing to budge in the face of two 6' 8" angry golfers!!!!

 

Fri 22nd Feb.....after a week of dry weather, we have moved the trencher down to the current 13th hole, and run a new, open trench (for the moment) from the left hand side drainage works across the fairway to the ditch, on the steepest downhill line available. The amount of water released and still flowing through this trench, after 3 hours of constant flow, is utterly insane!! We have also started a new trench on the far left hand side, which should be completed on Monday. We will review the general area again on Monday and decide if further drainage is required for this hole. Once we have finished with the 13th hole we will start to address the huge challenge that is the current 12th hole. For this weekend, as we have an open trench across the 13th fairway and the 12th hole is so wet, I have taken the decision to close the 12th and 13th holes for this weekend.

 

Thurs 21st Feb.....oh dear oh dear...I thought I had heard every permutation of mix ups with shoes, golf shoes, carpet slippers and any other foot attire.....and then Dennis Richards sets a completely new standard altogether.....today, with the Molers, after 17 holes of golf, he realised that he had one golf shoe on one foot and a normal everyday shoe on the other one!! At no point, in the process of playing somewhere around 90 odd shots and walking 4 miles did he notice that the right foot was not quite anchoring as well as the left one!! Now you may well be thinking to yourselves, that to be fair, it is a mistake that could be easily made...to put one golf shoe on, get a bit distracted and them forget to put the other one one....well what blows that theory completely out of the water, is that Dennis wears a pair of warm golf socks in these conditions, but he did not arrive wearing those.....so he sat in the changing room, removed both of his normal shoes, put his golf socks on both feet, and then put the odd golf shoe and normal shoe combination back on without noticing it.......you honestly could not make this stuff up!! 

 

Tues 19th Feb...Seniors Day.....and with the sun shining, clearly a huge wave of optimism is sweeping across the Club....Brian Cox pops in and asks if I have any idea when the buggies will be back out????? After 4 consecutive days without rain, I am declaring that drought conditions are now in force!!! The greenstaff are in light fleeces and have mowers out of the shed to use, instead of just out of the shed so that they can put them away again!! Tees are being cut (well some of them!!) and we are contemplating giving the new 12th hole fairway its first cut of the year.......scary stuff!! 

 

Sun 17th Feb....so I worked on Saturday and had to Open up on Sunday...who agreed that Peter could have time off to go on a cruise??? Part Timers swanning around the Carribean?? I must be paying him far too much....the mood was fairly subdued, as several Hatters fans were still suffering the after effects of the loss to Millwall.....Vince soon perked things up as he regaled the assembled throng with the news that El Capitano not only had to endure the loss at Kenilworth Road, but he also has to cough up 35 for the parking ticket that he received whilst he watched the game!! Ouch.....the non Hatters amongst us mused on which "proper League" side you could have watched for the combined ticket/parking ticket cost!! 

 

Sat 16th Feb.... so I had to work this afternoon for the first time at a weekend for a long time and it was a chance to reacquaint myself with a few longstanding members who I haven't seen for a while.....Ronnie and Mick were in for 9 holes, and a beer or two....so on their return to the Clubhouse, Mick is looking suitably crestfallen, as he has lost his sandwedge. He realised this on the 9th green, or just off it, when he was short of the bunker and had to use his pitching wedge as the weapon of choice was missing....having completed the hole, he the, head down and shoulders slumped, trudged forlornly all the way back to the 7th green........then head slumped even further and knuckles dragging along the ground, all the way back empty handed.....as people came off the course, there was no sign of the missing item, so eventually, the bags were readied to be returned to the car boot....until Mick realises his 7 iron is missing its cover....and then further realises that the 7 iron cover is adorning a club....which of course turns out to be the missing sandwedge!!!  So, Mick walked over a mile to retrieve a club he already had!! He is, of course, missing the sandwedge cover, but has declined all suggestions that it might be worth him going back to the 7th green to have a look for it!!

 

So, by my estimation, the front nine amounts to around 3600 yards including the walks from greens to tees..... Mick has turned that into well over 5,000 yards today, to play 9 holes!! I had forgotten how daft the weekends can be sometimes!!

 

Tues 12th Feb...Today marks the return to the Seniors starting at 8.30am....so of course we are buried 4" deep in snow......Dave Jones arrives at 8.02am....now Dave has a similar level of hearing to me.....but at least I can still look out of the window and see that it is deep snow!!! More are arriving now....barking mad, the lot of them....

 

Sun 10th Feb....the Texas Scramble...Capitano Emmett needs your help....whilst playing with partners Gary Mason and Vince Hasker, they arrived at the 14th fairway and marked their selected ball with Gary's ball marker, engraved with GD....strange way to spell Mason with a D but there we go......despite the rules allowing pick clean and place, el Capitano places his ball so close to the marker that both fly off into the distance at impact......despite the allotted 5 minutes of searching for a ball(marker) it was nowhere to be found and GD is now crestfallen at the loss....El Capitano has offered a reward for its return, a 5 donation to charity.....it is under 4" of snow as well at the moment, and to add to the confusion, I am not certain if we are referring to the current, temporary 14th hole of the original 14th hole, currently the 13th.....so quite frankly the chances of finding it are about as slim as finding beef in a findus beef lasagna..... 

 

Thurs 7th.... Simon Ward emails me to point out that normal Chalgrave weather resumed last weekend, and has been with us for a week, as the Feb Medal was played in dry conditions, but with a subzero windchill factor, especially on Sunday....which probably explains why out of 89 participants, with the bunkers out of play and pick clean and place everywhere.....there were still only 9 players under par to handicap for the two days.....

 

Thurs 7th Feb....proper Chalgrave weather...at last!!! A freezing cold but strong wind is ripping across the course, for a change, with no rain and that is one of the things we have been missing all winter as the wind usually combats the rain...this year, the wind has been accompanied by the rain so it has not been drying the course out in the normal way....we need about 2 weeks of these gales to make an impact though I think!!

 

Wed 6th Feb....a non golf comment for you...but I am wondering if it is just me or does anyone else think this is mad???...the Banks...the architects of the current economic mess....RBS, owned 80% by the taxpayer, is fined approx 400 million by the regulators (who are paid for by the taxpayer????) .... for breaches of ethical codes of practice in fixing the LIBOR rate so that they made more artificial profits by manipulating the rates so they made more money and got paid higher bonuses, before we bought our 80% share!!! So we have just fined ourselves a huge sum for something that we had no control over, nor made any money from as it all happened before we got involved, calculated by regulators who are paid by ourselves, so it will take even longer for us to get our money back (from ourselves!!).......and I thought it was mad enough dealing with the seniors!!!    

 

Sun 3rd Feb.....the Luton giantkilling spree almost carries over into golf......Chalgrave visit the mighty Woburn for the 1st Round of the Mail on Sunday Team Classic....we take the top 5 players from the Order of Merit to represent us, Woburn have a "squad" to pick from......of which all bar 1 was in the 5/6 handicap range!! The Duchess course at Woburn is renowned for being a challenging test.....and their Captain said afterwards that most visiting teams lose 5 - 0 or maybe 4 - 1 if they get lucky on the Duchess!! Chalgrave are made of sterner stuff, eventually falling 3 - 2, but were within 1 hole of taking it to sudden death....Steve Howarth halved his match, after being 1 up with 1 to play....a half would have halved the match and Steve would have stayed out to try and see us through, it was that close!!! Apparently it was quite chilly, dry underfoot and the new 4million clubhouse was quite presentable!!....now that's why you want to finish in the top 5 of the Order of Merit....Big Steve is also representing us along with Braveheart in the Mail Foursomes.....and they have successfully negotiated the 1st round in this particular event.....with a magnificent bye in Round One!!!

 

Tues 22nd Jan.....We have been snowed under for over a week now, and today is seniors Tuesday........ so I have made it into the office early as I have an expectation that the seniors will be so completely lacking in common sense that some would turn up here today....and the prospect of them ending up sitting in cars on the main road in the snow and fog was too much to risk, so here I am......so what are the chances of the entire section displaying a level of common sense not previously seen in the past 19 years?????? Watch this space........

 

Sat 12th Jan....Beaney Senior and Junior are partnering each other in the winter matchplay....Jack say to Mark as he is heading for the bar, "here is our entry fee for the doubles"...... Laura points out to Mark that they have already paid their entrance fee so Mark pockets the cash......reverse pocket money!!! what a scheme, I wonder if there is any chance of managing that with Aidan??? .... that will be a no then!!

 

Fri 11th Jan......Steve Howarth wants to play catch up with Tim on the amount of money expended in the bonus ball for what can only be described as a negligible return.....One of the ball numbers will be available from the start of the next set, so I put a poster up on the board as we don't have any reserves for the bonus ball draw at present.....except I made a small error.....On the poster, I put the information that the entry fee is 10 per week for a 10 week set, instead of 1 per week....but despite this, Steve still put his name down to take the no 11 ball when it becomes available......so he would have to win once every 4 weeks just to break even!!!! So, golf subs.....460 per annum, entry to bonus ball competition, 520 per annum......

 

Thurs 10th Jan....Frank Howarth arrives for the molers today....and asks Peter for a handle for a pull trolley.....as he used his electric one on Tuesday with the seniors, took the wheels off to clean them afterwards at home, reload the freshly cleaned trolley back into the car this morning......leaving the freshly cleaned wheels sitting at home!!! Well there was no danger of him leaving tyre marks anyway!!! The molers are a ruthless bunch these days....Keith Esden had a storming round, 20 points on the front 9 20 points on the back 9 40 points, obviously, overall.....so he got a 4 shot "molers" cut for the score, but walked away with no winnings having been beaten by different people on the front and back nines and there was a 42 points in as well!! Nice one!!

 

Tues 8th Jan....I pass all the contact info to Steve for the Woburn team, and offer myself as reserve should any of the top 4 not be able to make it.....big Steve responds by saying he thinks he could auction off a space quite easily.....which I took to mean that he was declining without a second thought, the prospect of my capabilities around Woburn......charming.....

 

Tues 8th Jan..yes it is Seniors Day, indeed Seniors Captains Drive In today, but other than mentioning that this year will need to 565 days in order for Tarby to have enough time to talk his way through his Captains Year, nothing particularly exciting has happened yet.....however, elsewhere.....if ever there was a reason why it is worthwhile continuing to battle for position on the Golfer of the Year board, even when the chance of winning has gone....it arrived today, as 2012 GOTY and Team Captain Steve Howarth emails me asking for the contact details for the other 4 players filling places 2 to 5 on the GOTY board for 2012, as they make up our team for the Daily Mail Club Classic.....for our first round match in 2013, we have been drawn away.....at WOBURN....... very nice!!! Go get 'em guys....

 

Mon 7th Jan.....for those of you who played the medal, or indeed any golf over the weekend, will no doubt have tried to clean your shoes at the end of the round, and found that the air blower was not working. I had tried to fix it on Friday, but it was just constantly blowing fuses, and it was getting dark, so it had to be left until today......so investigations commenced this morning, new fuse which blew immediately......check out the power feed into the unit, which goes into a junction box inside the cabinet.....take the lid off that and discover that a tiny mouse has decided to commit suicide by lying across the terminals of the connections!!! Remove said mouse, lightly grilled, switch power back on, everything stays on but still does not work. 10 seconds later, the fuse blows again!! After further investigation, it is clear there is still a problem and the unit will have to be removed to resolve it...so how unlucky was the mouse...to have been zapped by a unit that was defective???

 

Weds 2nd Jan....Chalk and Cheese then.....big Steve Howarth, 2012 Golfer of the Year, was outside the gates at 9.15am ready for the start of a new golfing year.....18 holes, 41 stableford points later, he is looking forward to defending his title!!! Today, John Natus also starts his golfing year, with a few practice swings, a nice relaxed stance over the ball, a smooth and fluid backswing, classic position at the top of the swing, the downswing starts smoothly, the clubhead accelerating into the ball, the hips clear, the weight transfers, the clubhead cuts through the air with a beautiful swish..... to a magnificent finish position...the only thing that was missing was the click of titanium on balata at impact as JN starts the year with an airshot!!! I thought it was raining again, but it was just the tears of mirth from his playing partners!!!

 

 

Tues 1st Jan....Oh dear oh dear....the 1st day of the year also marks the 1st day of the new Senior Captains year, and Tarby is now officially in the chair..... strap yourself in, it is clearly going to be a rollercoaster of a ride!!!! If you ever needed a perfect example of how bad a car crash this might become.....all you need is a story, a genuinely true one....that relates to Past senior Captain Mick Moulton and of course Tarby himself...... with the year about to start, Mick and tarby headed off to Spain for a couple of days.....having arranged with Brian Cox and Ron Gray for them to give them a lift to and from Stansted....Brian got them there OK and Ron is primed to pick them up at 8.00pm on Saturday eve....... Saturday arrives, Ron is sitting down for breakfast when his phone buzzes indicating a text message.....its from Tarby and Mick...."just landed, heading for the carousel for luggage!!" Ron looks at his phone aghast.....and starts to compose a text message to let them know that he has an urgent appointment with a bowl of cornflakes to deal with first, then a 45 minute drive at least before he can get there....the phone buzzes again......."outside now, looking for you???" which means they have retrieved their cases and gear in record time.......Ron cancels the text message and presses call.......the phone rings at the other end.......Mick Moulton answers.... " you will have to find somewhere to wait, you said it was an evening pick up and I'm still in Luton!!" "Don't worry" says Mick, "we are still in Spain, I was just putting messages into "draft mode" ready to send to you later when we land!!!!" No, you absolutely could not make it up!!!!!

 

Tues 1st January 2013...Got home at 5.00am, here to open up at 9.15am....and 2 cars waiting outside!! By 9.30am we had 20 ish in!! Lets home it has set the scene for the year, it is a glorious day, beautiful sunshine, a slight breeze and no sign of rain whatsoever!!! At 10.10am I have 3 people on the practice green preparing for a round......I think that is taking it a tad far on New Years Day!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

 

 

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