Gasket Cutters Association

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Social Events

Throughout the year the Association organises inspiring and entertaining events for its members at locations across the country.

Events are always a huge success, as the reviews attest, and you can book your places for the next event on the Bookings page.

GCA Golf Day & Dinner 2012

28th June 2012

Once again we have staged our annual GCA Golf Day. This year we chose the magnificent venue of the Celtic Manor Resort, near Newport.

The Celtic Manor Resort, started life as a Manor House before becoming a hospital and now an Hotel.  It was bought by Celtic Inn’s in 1980 and transformed into the amazing venue that it now is.   Sir Terry Matthews (who was born in the Manor House Hospital) has invested £100 million on the project, which at all times has endeavoured to protect the various ancient sites (Mainly Roman) that have been discovered during construction.

Once only a 17 bedroom Hotel, the Resort can now boast over 400 bedrooms, 3 golf courses including the 2010 Ryder Cup Course, two leisure clubs and numerous other attractions.

The Committee chose the Celtic Manor as we thought it was the perfect choice for golfers of all abilities, with the Montgomerie course being more suited to the higher handicapper, yet a wonderful layout, with the option, for the more regular golfer to go and play the Roman Road or the 2010 courses.

So that’s the serious stuff out of the way….. Free weekend away please Sir Terry…. Now onto the more important matters……….

Wednesday 27th June 2012
Some of us regular golfers (I use this term loosely!) decided to take advantage of our venue and the special offer of a reduced green fee (£89 against £175) to play the 2010 course on the Wednesday, and wow what a treat.

The whole experience was incredible, from dropping your bag off, valet parking, a tour of the locker rooms and then being shown to our own private locker in the “Champions Room” with our very own name on the door, through being driven to the first tee, with our own practice ground (Free balls too) our own chipping  and putting greens, and then after completing our round, being told that our clubs would be cleaned and be waiting for us at the Montgomerie Course the following morning. Then we were presented with a “2010 Course” bag tag, engraved with our names and tee times.

Certainly something I would like to do again, albeit, I would recommend that if you decide to walk the course, (Mr Shepherd), please remember to bring your battery for your electric trolley!

Our three ball certainly wasted no time around the course, and remember passing Keith Shep, Max, Sandy and Fred Taylor admiring the err views from the halfway house… (Or was it the fact that they sold beer too?)

Thursday 28th June 2012
Having been awoken by 3 years of rain in an hour on my windowsill (Well I think that’s what the weather forecaster said, as I couldn’t hear properly) I decided with one of my guests to make the swift journey from the Holiday Inn over the road to the Celtic Manor as we had much to do. Andy (One of my guests) hadn’t been through the complex before, and couldn’t believe the sheer size of it.  We decided to take the “Internal” route and then getting to main reception were promptly offered a lift to “The Lodge” where the reception was taking place.

On arriving there, I was pleased to see many friends from the Gasket Cutting world already gathered. They were pleased to see that it had stopped raining!

In total we had 33 golfers, so we had 3 teams of three, each allocated a “Ghost” player from one of the other teams as we had best 2 scores from 4 counting towards the team prize, and 6 teams of 4.

Despite the heavy rain overnight the Monty was in excellent condition, with firm fairways and true greens. The view after reaching the brow of the hill on the 609 yard, Par 5, 3rd has got to be one of the best in golf.

True, the front nine holes were a bit slow, taking around 2 ½ hours, but the pace soon picked up on the back nine, allowing people to reach the bar for that well-earned drink.
Again, we ran, The Best Drive competition as oppose to longest drive, on the 9th hole. Whether it was my eyesight or the couple of beers consumed the night before, I obviously saw a different blue rope to the people who managed to hit it close!

Nearest the pin in two was on the 11th and I particularly liked one golfers comment of “I wasn’t that f****** close in 4!”

One of my playing partners decided on the 12th, that the path was “An Integral Part of the Course” so promptly hit it, and watched his drive finish just over 400 yards from the Tee, but 30 yards past the pin!

One of the players, apparently not a regular golfer, decided to leave his (or her) wedge on the course…. Or maybe they are just so good they don’t need it…. Or maybe they thought that Mark Kelly was there and wanted to prevent him beating the Pro!

Slight logistical problems, meant that quite a few of our attendees had to stop in the Holiday Inn as oppose to the Celtic Manor itself. Although only a 10 minute walk away, this was not ideal and will not happen again. Apparently the CM failed to let the secretariat know they had a big conference on, and sold the rooms on an ad hoc basis. We will ensure the venue for next year is clear on what can happen with our golf days, as this year, quite a few people booked pretty late.

Anyway, onto the evening festivities……

Following pre dinner drinks in the Via Julia Suite there followed a 3 course meal of excellent quality. Dinner was accompanied by both red and white wines sponsored very kindly by JP Polymer Sheetings

Following the meal, we moved onto the prize presentations:

Keith Shepherd and Simon Carless presented the following prizes:

1st place – Best Individual Round
Simon Carless (W.C. Munsch and Co Limited)
Sponsored by MacLellan Rubber

Runner up – Individual
Simon Winfield (Guest of Garlock)
Sponsored by Expanded Rubber Products (UK) Ltd

1st Place – Team Event
Simon Carless (W.C. Munsch and Co Limited)
Andy Corrigan (W.C. Munsch and Co Limited)
Tim Bainbridge (W.C. Munsch and Co Limited)
Russ Adamson (Ghost Player - Garlock)
Sponsored by MacLellan Rubber

Runners up – Team Event
Keith Shepherd (JA Harrison)
Simon Winfield (Guest of Garlock)
Jenny West (Keith Payne Products)
Max Rowland (Ghost Player – Guest of the GCA)
Sponsored by Jflex

Most Accurate Drive
Jeremy Shapland (JA Harrison)
Sponsored by Garlock

Nearest the Pin in two
Simon Carless (W.C. Munsch and Co Limited)
Sponsored by Semperit

Beat the Pro
Keith Shepherd (JA Harrison)
Frank Kendrick (Guest of JP Polymer Sheetings)
Sponsored by Garlock

Hidden Team
Jeremy Shapland (JA Harrison)
Simon Noble (Eriks Gasket Technology)
Frank Kendrick (Guest of JP Polymer Sheetings)
Mark Ambrose (Lonestar Grange)
Sponsored by Garlock

And finally the most eagerly anticipated prize of the evening….
The Wooden Spoon
Andrew Onion (Maclellan Rubber)
Sponsored by The British Gaskets Group

Jenny West has been our most regular Lady Golfer over the time that I have been involved with the GCA. Jenny has recently retired, so we thought it a fitting occasion to award her the trophy of “Best Lady Golfer”

Well Done Jenny and thank you.

Finally, thanks to Simon Winfield and his team from Maclellan Rubber, Keith Shepherd presented our outgoing Chairman Max Rowland with a set of 'stolen' sorry Crystal glasses and suitable filling medium.

On behalf of the GCA Committee, I would like to thank Max for his time as chairman, his passion and his enthusiasm for the GCA. Without Max’s input, guidance and drive, I am sure the GCA would not be where it is today.

Max started one of his speeches……..


Most people then retired to a bar…. Or bars………

Friday 29th June 2012
Some people were still in a bar/bars………
I have heard that some were able to stay up until 5.30 a.m…………….
Enough said, fantastic day/s I hope everybody enjoyed it.

The Future 2013
We are currently looking at two venues for next year, both Midlands based. The Forest of Arden and The Belfry. Again, we will look at hosting the GCA Golf Day on one of the courses more suitable to the higher handicapper, but what I would advise is that everyone gets their bookings in sooner rather than later to help the Secretariat avoid the situation that we had this year with regards accommodation. Also, if people would like to play the Championship Venues at these locations, please let the Secretariat know in advance as, I’m sure we could get a better deal through numbers.

I have had requests for next year for 36 handicaps for some gents, however, much as I would like to allow this, if they wore skirts, I’m not sure whether the venues we are looking at would accommodate that, but you never know……

All the best until next year….
Simon Carless


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