Annual Golf Day & Dinner – Shrigley Hall 2010
Handicaps, Buggies & Dancing
Wow, what an introduction to the GCA. I joined in September 2009 and was immediately Press Ganged, sorry nominated onto the committee.
I attended my first meeting on a cold windy day in Castle Donnington in January, and Press Ganged, sorry volunteered to arrange this years golf day.
Why, you may wonder? Well, I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to attend the previous 6 GCA annual golf days as a guest of Paul Fenton from JP Polymer Sheetings and I felt that the time was right to let Paul’s wallet have a rest and get some of my ideas, thoughts and opinions outside of Munsch’ies walls.
July seemed a long way off on that morning back in January when the committee were asked for suggestions as to where this year’s golf day should be held.
Sandy McEwen explored Scotland, but following the slightly disappointing attendance at Slaley Hall in 2009, that was put on the back burner. A Leicestershire course was considered due to its central location and I was asked to suggest one other. I looked at providing the best value for money services, coupled with a central location and a quality golf course.
When we compared the different options Shrigley came out the winner, and I am pleased to say it proved a good choice.
Shrigley Hall Golf and Country Club is an old Salesian Monastery, set in 262 acres of stunning countryside on the edge of the Peak District overlooking the Cheshire plain as far as the Welsh mountains. It is not unusual to see a herd of deer whilst enjoying the championship golf course; that is, unless someone mentions that Keith Payne is taking his camera!
So, 27 golfers pitched up in various states of wellness, admiring the professional looking Archery equipment, and sharp looking arrows stacked outside the clubhouse. “Don’t hit your golf balls into the big wood, and we won’t aim at you… we were advised” O.K. then, that’s me sold, the sun was shining, buggies were recommended and Handicaps were mentioned, then handicaps were discussed, then handicaps were debated….. err most people didn’t like their handicaps! Oh well, never mind, and off we went.
Our hired help; retired Ex Europro Tour and Malaysian Tour Pro Andy Corrigan, gave his pre course briefing then set up the camcorder on the first tee, while people were debating handicaps….
Mark Kelly was showing everyone his new putter with a 2 foot wide face!
I had the privilege of playing with last year’s champion Paul Stansfield and Mark ‘Curtly’ Ambrose. All was going quite well over the first 4 holes until we got to the first “Prize Hole” – Nearest the pin in 2. Paul boomed his drive 330 yards down the fairway, now only 45 to the pin…. easy hey?
Now; I learnt some time ago that you should “Always leave yourself a full shank to the green!” I just forgot to tell Paul this as he sh***ed his shot to the right…. (That’s enough of that word!)
Onto the 8th, Shrigley’s signature hole and one of the finest par 3’s in the County.
The “Beat the Pro’ Challenge”
He gave us a chance missing long and left, Mark then stood up to the Tee and put it right in the middle of the green! Wahay’s all round. Paul tried laying up: in the stream; and I found out that fringe doesn’t mean green.
I would like to thank JP Polymer Sheetings here for sponsoring the Halfway House after the 9th where we were all treated to an excellent barbecue with a steak burger, corn and choice of drinks.
The group behind us were obviously taking their golf seriously whilst sipping their Isotonic drinks………. so we picked up our bottles of San Miguel and proceeded onto the back 9.
Chuckling to ourselves about the people who chose to walk, as we drove up the 1 in 3 gradient 12th fairway, (With Paul Stansfield clinging to the back of our buggy!) gave us time to admire the magnificent scenery and views.
“Best Drive” beckoned next, get it closest to the line painted in the middle of the fairway, (Painted by someone who had obviously been to the halfway house and tried the San Miguel!)
The less said about our tee shots here the better really, but Jenny West in the group behind was winning for quite a while.
Andy had finished his “Pro” duties for the time being so joined us for the remaining 4 holes and on the 18th demonstrated how to play a really difficult hole, into the wind; he hit driver, driver then wedge to reach the green…. We 3 mortals didn’t! However we did avoid the Archers in the woods…. Just.
We made it to the Courtyard bar, and started discussing…. well just about everything, Excuses, The Course, The World Cup, the squirrel that picked up my ball and put it in the bunker, England’s failure at The World Cup, The only tree on the entire hole and I have to hit it twice…
Then Alistair Inglis arrived and we talked about Scotland… and England’s failure at the world cup!
When the final group came in, rumours were abound about someone rolling a buggy….. but this will have to be confirmed…..
Having had a wonderful day so far we moved on to the evening meal and presentations. I must say, from a personal point of view that was the best ‘Corporate’ meal I have ever experienced. After Max said Grace, we started with Gala Melon and Summer Fruits, (Phew we made the right choice Julie!) locally reared Pork, seasonal vegetables, garlic mash and a peppercorn sauce, followed by cheesecake and coffee. The staff were alert and efficient. The whole serving took around an hour and the food was delicious. My thanks go to them and the Chef.
I, somehow got Press Ganged, sorry, I volunteered to present the trophies, once Keith Shepherd had said his 4 words and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although my apologies go to Simon Noble for introducing him as working for Novus!
It is fantastic to see people return year after year, and great to see new members attend these events. I only managed a fleeting conversation with them but I think the guys from Sealex thoroughly enjoyed the day…… especially Ian for rolling the buggy! I believe we have more members in the pipeline which is paramount to the success of the GCA.
Some people had great days, Mark Kelly, how did you score one point at Slaley and achieve a very respectable 20 points here? ‘Curtly’, 8 points to 17? Simon Noble didn’t throw a club in the lake! Well done to all of you and more.
I headed this article up with Handicaps, Buggies & Dancing, I’ve covered the first two…. If you want to know about the final one, drop me an e-mail and I will send you the CD, which incidentally also has everyone’s tee shots at the first.
If I am arranging this next year, I have made a promise that the handicapping system will be more reflective of people’s true abilities where they don’t currently hold an official handicap.
I would like to thank our sponsors, JP Polymer Sheetings and Maclellan Rubber; without your support the day wouldn’t have happened.
My final special mention must go to Keith Payne, who in Julie’s absence did a wonderful job, not only taking all the photo’s, but making sure the room was ready, unpacking trophies, and checking the bill! Thanks Keith.
Finally I will leave you with this:
There are no more R & A Rule changes until 2011, however I feel some people may have missed out on the recent 2009 update below:
Ball Hit Perfectly Straight
If, in fairly taking his stance on the teeing ground of any hole, a player intentionally lines up well to the left or well to the right of his desired target in order to compensate for a chronic hook or slice and proceeds to hit a straight and flawless shot directly into unplayable terrain along the margins of the hole, he may replay that shot without assessing a stroke or incurring any penalty. However, if he thereupon deliberately readjusts his customary corrective alignment to a square stance in the belief that his long-established directional error has been unexpectedly and inexplicably cured, and then hooks or slices his second ball, he must play that shot from wherever it lies, no matter how unfavourable its position, even if he can clearly and convincingly demonstrate to his fellow players that if he had adopted his habitual preventive posture, his ball would have come to rest in the middle of the fairway.
Click here to view the Results of the day.
I wish someone had reminded me….