News for 2018

The 2018 season is coming almost to a close with the outing at Pine Ridge, but with the weather staying benign the practice that players have put in over the previous months is finally paying off (just a pity that it's too late for the Order of Merit for the year!). Once again we were delighted to welcome Luke's guest Michelle who was so fearful of the fines system that she dropped a generous £5.00 on the table and scarpered.

On the day, the wrath of the new Fines Master (FM) (confirmed with much grumbling at the AGM later in the day), Paul B., was easy for people to see but not to avoid.

John T was sanctioned for very poor parking (some BMW drivers never learn!), arguing on the first tee when informed about club rules, moaning about picking the FM out of the raffle and then winning the competition himself!!. Luke P, although playing off 28, was fined for driving his ball 100yds past lower handicappers. He then quickly trained a random local dog to pick his ball up off the fairway and drop it closer to the hole. Some feat Luke!!!.

John F was targeted for trying to put on the green with his driver, but failing miserably, and then would not shower with the other golfers and went home to have one (a shower).

Paul H & Chris T were observed, and snitched on, talking about frequenting Gay bars. But Paul H was in the trees so often looking for relief that he was named Forest Gump.

Chris Hebdon did not remove his head attire (or his teeth) on the 18th to shake hands (and he is a Pro as well). Mr. Grumpy, Dave Sturgeon, was fined for crowing about picking his own name out and he didn’t even frame in the competition and (and!) he putted from the tee box to green using a driver on a par 3.

And last but definitely not least, in a vain attempt to keep his ailing knees warm, Ian T tucked his trousers into his socks (plus 4’s anyone?).

Well done to John for winning the event.

Roving reporter: John Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

A first visit to Dummer Golf Club, near Basingstoke, in over 13 years proved a notable success.

Designed by former Ryder Cup Player and legendary golf commentator Peter Alliss, the course was officially opened in 1993.There were no steep hills to climb and the walks from tee to green were nice and easy.

Built on chalk downland, the course is free draining and, with four lakes and Hampshire’s largest (but where you can ground your club) bunker to add interest to the challenge, Bunkers was delighted to be there.

The Putt Putt Cup competition, being held for just the second year, was fiercely contested with the 3 slots on the podium being taken by John F, Frazer W and John T (who won it last year).

However, it is rumoured that this excellent scoring did not exempt most players receiving heavy fines.

Unfortunately no one kept a record of the Vice captains' splendid efforts in identifying miscreants, but those who were fined remember them well!.

Well done to John for the win.

Reporter: John Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

With an excellent 2018 season drawing to a close (on some great courses negotiated and chosen with skill by Ian T.) at Lambourne there were six players who, mathematically, were in the running for the Order of Merit accolade.

Just like the calculations for Formula 1 championships, 5 players had a chance if some crashed and any others didn't finish in the top six. In the end it was all academic as Matt T., who led the field going in to the final match, blew the competition away with a masterful 44 points (even complaining, and incurring a fine!, that he "ruined" his final score by bogeying the last 3 holes).

The Captain, who has been practising hard on his fines list all season did not come up short, and some of the ways that members earned them this time were quite bizarre........

Tony P. was a busy man, winning shortest drive with a ball that moved 1.5 inches and not engraving the score alongside his name on the trophy. Colin T. also bet Tony P that he could not hit a high draw. He then proceeded to hit a high draw.

Our Captain had 2 balls in same lake (Prev put 2 balls in same lake) and 2 shots in the woods that finished further back than they started. Luckily John T. had it confirmed that the Captain was within range before he took his shot on 18th (and missed!).

John F. kept quiet about the 2 shots out of bunker on 14th, but when asked if there was any fine info (as he put his clubs in the car) said "Who was I playing with?", and that was before he'd had a pint. Despite Luke playing military golf on the 16th, he not only won 2 skill prizes but also the strongest man award. One day I am sure we will see him winning a competition and taking home all of the skill prizes.

Some people will do anything to improve their chances...Prev, on finding Frazer's tee shot from the 10th on the 18th fairway did not pick it up or tell Frazer until he got back to the clubhouse. But perhaps Frazer deserved it this time as his club abuse resulted in Darren being covered in mud. Beardy had a Senior Moment in the changing room - "Do they have towels here" he asked, as he stood next to the shelving rammed with towels. Ian T. completed Beardy's happiness by comparing Beardy's score to Beardy's waistline. (Both numbers are a closely guarded secret), and we won't mention Dave S.'s belly out at the dinner table.

Our favourite scrooge Bryan was fined for not leaving any fine money at previous event when he did not stay for dinner. But fair play, I don't think he requested a refund.

With one or two more non Merit events before Christmas the season is not quite ended, but I think all would agree that this one has been very enjoyable and successful.

Well done to Matt for winning not only the event, but the whole year's Order of Merit.

Proper rover: John Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

This seasons final Order Of Merit can be seen here

Returning to Mill Ride after a couple of years on a good weather day although a little windy at times. The course has several long holes and although these had not changed, the dry weather helped the run of the balls – so it was still long but felt shorter too!

The society members must be learning – fines for ‘Loud’ clothing did not appear this time, however, fines still came in thick and fast from our masterly captain.

Some highlights - Bryan Carter almost holed his second shot on the Par 5 first but with a simple Putt guaranteed the Nearest the Pin in 3 accolade – shame couldn’t stay for dinner to collect the prize - but it made someone else happy to get one!

Dave (the Clone) Shorter, what can we say – his nick name ‘First Tee Shorter’ has been officially dropped as he outdrove his team with ease on the first tee and many others to follow. He puts it all down to his special purchase of a £23 ebay driver – and we heard all about it – a lot of times! 😊

Alan Sutcliffe and Dave Shorter visited the tree’s whilst playing the 7th only to find out playing the 8th that a certain tree – literally feet from them previously - was actually on fire. This same tree was then hit at high level by Luke Peters (well it hit some trees in the same area) whilst playing the 8th then proceeded to collapse as he walked towards it – was the wind speed of his balling passing it.

Dave Flavell did the ‘Barnes Wallace’ shot on the Par 3 11th

Well done to Bryan – 36 points winning total closely followed by Dave Shorter on 35 (shame about the shot with the Non Ebay £23 wood!)

We must welcome our visitor Ian Dowdeswell. – a 9 handicapper who obviously had a few nerves playing is such distinguished company, took time to settle down and failed to score on the first 3 holes – in fact failed to recover fully and ended up being the strongest player.

Well Done to Skill Prize winners – NP (8th) Dave Sturgeon, NP (15th) Ian T, NP2 (7th) Prev, NP3 (1st) Bryan C – in the hole!

Unfortunately Bryan had to leave early so we have no photo of Bryan receiving his winnings, but we do have a picture of Bryan's almost Albatross on the 1st.

Stand-in rover: Ian Turvill

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

With the once in a hundred years (but getting more frequent they say) fantastic summer continuing, the old course at Burhill was set up perfectly for a great day of golf. Although some fairways were a bit crisp in places, in general the condition was good and the greens were in great condition. The sharp eyed amongst us also noticed the famous golfer Neil Coles sitting next to us at lunchtime.

On the day, Bunkers was delighted to welcome Luke’s friend Michelle, who managed to put many of our resident sportsmen to shame by carrying her bag!, and other guests who added to the success of the event.

Out on the course, John T and John F, in the last group, managed to put both drives on the 1st into the G.U.R. gorse, but then couldn’t find the balls. A return to the tee produced a good drive for John F but a second shocker for John T. Nil points for him then!. With perspiration obviously taking its toll, Ian’s 2nd tee drive sailed over Captains head on 3rd fairway with no cry of Fore, Dave F had an air shot on the tee, new boy Ross made a 60 ft putt look easy and Prev played wrong ball. Tony P had a 180 yard daisy cutter drive and Colin visited most of the bunkers around the course. Dave S was spotted sunbathing half way around course (but his deck chair was hit by Colin as it was in a bunker) and having a cigarette in a non designated area. John T, John F, Charles Chan & Rob L – drove through the group in front twice (nearly hitting Michelle on at least one occasion – but she was invisible in the woods having been deserted by her playing partners!). John F, on the stroke index 1 hole, was on the fringe of the green from drive and then took 4 putts. Michelle was fined for leaving a 7 iron behind next to green (but for a fee it was gallantly returned to her by the following group). Frazer scored less than Dave S even though Dave had sat out 4 holes and Trevor scored an earth shattering 6 points on the front 9. Bryan & Tony P were fined for signing incomplete card (senior moment Gents?)

Sartorial taste was again at the front of everyone’s mind........Alan B with a lemon posset coloured top, Dave S for the first time this year wearing shorts at Bunkers event, Prev with loud shorts and belt, new boy Ross with trousers, new boy Trevor with Andy Pandy shorts and Ian as the only one in his 3 ball without loud shorts on.

The interior of the elegant club house proved to be a source of many fines at the beginning and end of the day with Chris H using his phone inside, Luke wearing his hat & black socks with shorts, Matt, Alan B, Dan, Bryan, Ray- no socks, New boy Trevor, "Hi, I'm here as a guest of Frazer. What does he look like?", Daniel - only player to use the Burhill hairdryer to make himself pretty for dinner, Ray - pinks trousers and flamingo themed shirt for dinner, John T - wearing white socks at dinner and Frazer, Daniel, Alan B, Ray & Dave S all started eating before Captain.

Finally, Alan B, our illustrious winner, was fined for complaining that he had lost the golf plot half way round when he came in with 39 points!.

Maybe losing the plot even earlier in life is the key to a successful golfing career!

Below is Captain Healy with winner Alan Brunton receiving the trophy.

Back in form rover: John Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

The Captains Day was, for this occasion, renamed Macca's day and our thoughts were always with our good friend as we played.

With East Berks dry in most areas (just like all the other courses in the South East at the moment) tee shots were carrying 150 yards, but rolling out twice as far. Greens were fast and in good health. Barry the starter did a splendid job of keeping the troops honest on the 1st tee and received a special mention at dinner.

The Captain did a really great job in organising all of the 'in-game' competitions. The Captain had also invented a significant number of ways that members could win and was particularly generous with the prizes. The yellow ball competition was fiercely competitive, especially as John T. had lost his teams ball with the first drive on the 1st. In particular, the longest drive competition with the strangest ball on the market and a hickory club proved a short lived favourite. But, with a club head speed faster than a Tongan warrior on kava, Alan B. managed to fracture the hickory club and Dave S. finished it off a short time later. Good job that Matt T. had already launched a tremendous drive that nobody was going to beat anyway!. Strongest man on the putting competition was Ray S.(with a 6! on one hole) and a collapsible putter was a suitable prize. First tee nerves caught out a number of players. John T. of course and Colin T. who should have gone to 'StrokeSavers'TM. At lunch, the Captain (unusually?) took so long to start eating that the temptation was too much for Paul B. and Ian T. who were fined for pre-emptive scoffing!.

Our resident fines maestros, Dave Shorter & Paul Beard, were on blistering form later in the day. Fines for odd choices of clothing included the 'man in the white suit trousers' (Tony P), very odd shoes (Alan S.), and flip flops for Matt T. and Daniel. A well known shirt rule for the day - white or pink - was broken by John T., Greg P., Rob, Patrick, Matt T. and Paul B. amongst others. On a really warm day, those in long trousers were severely punished by the heat and fines, although some in strange shorts - Ian T, Alan B and Daniel J. didn't escape. Peter G. was late on the tee and Ian T not only misled Paul B. on the par of the course but also talked really loudly on the tees. For some reason, that shall remain unknown, Dave S. (who on one hole took 3 shots to get off the tee) spent a while impersonating Alan S.

The winners pick draw raised £110 and there were a touching number of donations from members. The target figure of £200 was smashed with an amazing total of £400 being raised. A staggering amount from the field of 19 who stayed for dinner.

Full list of all the winners throughout the day:
AM Lighten the Load Stableford Individal - Patrick O'Hara (G)
AM Longest Drive - Matt Turvill
AM 18 hole putting competition - Dave Sturgeon
PM 18 hole stroke play individual winner - Peter Gray
PM 18 hole team Yellow Ball Stableford competition - Paul Healy, Alan Williams (G) & Alan Sutcliffe
PM Nearest The Pin (9th) - Matt Turvill (14)
PM Nearest The Pin in 3 shots (11th) - Alan Brunton (20)
PM Nearest The Pin in 2 shots (12th) - Rob Lamond (15)
PM Nearest The Pin (16th) - Alan Sutcliffe (28)

Below is Captain Healy with the winner of the main competition (the 18 hole individual stroke play) winner Peter Gray accepting the trophy.

Back in form rover: John Thorp

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

Today on a bright summers day, Bunkers returned to The Drift Golf Club. Surprisingly only 10 members registered to play – still those who stayed away missed out on a glorious day to play golf. The course was in good condition and even though we were few numbers the Drift made us really welcome.

So, to the game…. A quote comes to mind
‘After the Lords Mayor Show – Comes the dustcart!’

Well this rung true for our current OOM leader Chris Turvill, he won at the last event – Mid Hants – but today managed to pick up the strongest man award with a score of 26 with the winner only getting 34. This must be one of the highest strongest man’s score we have had (certainly the highest in the last two years) Last year 26 would bring you in 15th out of 19 with the strongest man on 19. Only 8 points separating the 10 players.

Some of the Highlights:
- It was like playing Millionaires golf on occasion
- Frazer fined for Club and Bag abuse
- Everybody gets order of merit points
- Prev got fined for Overswinging on the 18th
- No one got on the green for NP2 and NP3

There were plenty of fines issued by our skipper but unfortunately I did not record many – whoops!

Still, our next event is Captains Day and your appointed 'Roving Reporter' Mr John Thorp will return and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

Below is Vice-Captin Shorter with winner Bryan accepting the trophy.

Stand in rover: Ian Turvill

You can see the full set of results on the results page

The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

Although more on the actual event in a moment, we have to top and tail this report with some updates on a couple of friends who aren’t well at this time.

Firstly many thanks to all in the society who turned out for Macca’s charity day on Sunday. Over 150 of his friends managed to raise over 4.5k for good causes. We have been informed that there is to be a charity auction coming up so we will let you know more when we do. The society will be contributing a couple of lots for the auction, as I’m sure you will all agree it is the least we can do for our friend in the circumstances. We hope that some of you can get to the auction and help them raise even more.

The 2 charity 11’s, umpires and Macca before the game. You may spot some familiar society faces in that line-up.


The home course of England’s Justin Rose welcomed us on what turned out to be a very humid 6 month late Christmas Bash. Snow in December and the closure of the course had delayed our 2017 Christmas event, causing many in the clubhouse to wonder in awe at all the Christmas hats and jumpers on display!

The course was spectacularly turned out and quite rightly boasts as being one of the best in the area. Personally the lack of heather, which had apparently died off a couple of winters ago, made the course more playable and more forgiving for the higher handicappers. The greens, although true, were a little slower than they looked like they should be – maybe we caught them just before a cut rather than just after. It did not detract from the experience though.

But less about the course, what about what happened on it. Captain Healy decided to mix it up a little this time out, so first up came a Putting competition, which will forever now be known as the Putting Conga. After spending a lot of time manufacturing a load of markers, Paul turned up to find that the course had them and would happily provide them for our use. Dutifully Paul set out the markers on the practice green (I’m sure I saw a few people kick them a bit closer to the holes!) and away we went. Well almost – Dave ‘Tom Tom’ Flavell, normally one of the early birds was still not there. A quick call later and it revealed that Dave had decided to follow the Highways Agency diversion advice and had somehow managed to travel from Oxford to Fleet by way of Guildford! Only a 30 mile detour.

So all but Dave did the Putting Conga, and what a sight it must have been. The poor club members tried to butt in but they could not get on the practice green due to all the Bunkers members hogging it.

Luke ‘on fire’ Peters was slamming the long putts in from all over the place, but it was Alan ‘Taps’ Brunton who eventually came out on top with a 1 over par 37 strokes.

Our host starter, Bernhard, was keen to get us off the green and onto the first tee though, so off we trotted with the first group having to wait til last due to Tom Tom’s Guildford holiday.

The dobbing of fellow golfers into the fine pot was as healthy as normal with many a cursing going on.
  • Alan B was fined for looking like Harry Potter with his thick rimmed black specs.

  • John F was fined for having hair that he shaved, as opposed to being nearly bald as Beardy thought he was.

  • Luke for managing to putt off of the 17th green into a bunker.

  • Dave F for hitting his approach shot into a bunker and then promptly forgetting which bunker it was and going to the one on the wrong side of the green.

  • Frazer for achieving 3 sandy par’s in a row

  • Tony for visiting 14 bunkers during his round

  • John F - making health excuses in the clubhouse before the round

  • Dave"Tom Tom" Flavell - late due to diversion via Gulidford when in 1st group out

  • Beardy - late and golf shoes in clubhouse.

  • Peter C & Luke for 4 putting in the putting competition

  • Beardy - hitting tee shot and tee flying into air and landing in the broken tee box ( tee in 1 fine )

  • Ian T, and John F driving through after not checking mirror on pole to make sure fairway was clear.

  • Ian T lost yellow ball on 2nd hole, with his first shot using it!

  • Paul H lost yellow ball on 18th after having commented on how rare it was for yellow ball to last all round.

  • Dave Shorter abuse of lob wedge

  • Frazer - ballerina pirouette on 7th tee shot

  • Frazer - nearly hitting train with stray shot

  • Tony P - wearing hat in clubhouse - even though it was a christmas hat

  • Ian T - being anti-social to John F - everytime John hit a shot right Ian hit a shot left

  • Alan B - handicap protection - blobbed the 18th as already had 36 points

  • Alan B - Captain had Alan B in draw to win. Alan B lost on count back due to blob on 18th.

  • Luke, Chris T & John F - not wearing Christmas clothes at Christmas Bash dinner

  • The traditional Yellow Ball team competition, an individual Stableford along with 4 skill prizes were on offer. That on fire Luke won pretty much most of it, bagging Nearest the Pin, Nearest the Pin in 2 shots and being part of the winning team and coming 5th in the individual. Nice one Luke, keep it up. His father, Tony, grabbed one of the other Nearest The Pin’s, and Luke’s teammate Chris T grabbed the last. Captain Healy made up the remainder of the Chris, Luke, Paul team which bagged the team competition by a massive margin.

    The final prize went to the Ginger Tom residing on the steps up to one of the tee boxes. When the first group came upon him lazily sitting there he was accompanied by a grey squirrel – an in tact one, albeit dead. By the time the last group got to that tee the squirrel was no more – well most of it wasn’t as just back legs and tail were left. The Tom was busily chomping away and was not put off by his fellow course inhabitants! My guess is he had a happy snooze in the sun and then went off home for his deserts!

    Well done to all the winners on what was a fun day, hosted by a lovely course. Captain Healy with winner, Chris who seems to be doing a little irish jig in celebration – actually he was trying to get his xmas socks into the photo and failing!

    Quick mention of our missing roving reporter, The Thorpedo, who’s been in hospital for a while. Make sure you recover properly John, and hope to see you back on the course soon.

    Stand in rover: Frazer Webb

    You can see the full set of results on the results page

    The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

    On a sunny and breezy day, Sutton green showed its best side for today's fierce competition. Winter rules were still in place (fine the Captain failed to point it out to those who had not read the large sign near the 1st tee) Matt T. chose to check the work of the green keepers ( in a suitable green T shirt that he changed out of in the car park) Sporting flip flops (which he shed on the 1st tee) in the clubhouse raised a few eyebrows with some members. Dave Flavell had to be asked 3 times if the 'tea for one' order was for him. Carrying on with the clothes theme, Darren, Chris H, Prev, Tony P & Frazer were all in long trousers whilst Dave Sturgeon, Ray Steel & Mikey James were fined for not having shirts tucked in.

    Sutton Green is indeed the home course of Tony P., but he still managed to turn up late!. Others seem to have similar problems with geography...Dave S turned up early despite asking for a late tee time and, whilst telling the story of his recent holiday, Ray S was convinced Torquay was in Cornwall.

    Matt T came in for a well deserved barrage of fines for late payment, using his phone on the course (in flip flops) and not winning when the Captain had him in the draw. A bit harsh as the Captain won the day. !!

    From the depths of his waterproof outfit, with only his head showing, John F uttered a few well chosen Northern obscenities when a 7 iron tee shot ended up in a lake. John F was also involved in some strange acrobatics with Ray S (made to look even stranger as Ray had turned up in his shorts and blue socks with brown golf shoes) as John was bending down. Strangely no northern obscenities at the time from John F.....

    Frazer had an exciting round and was fined not only for club abuse (he threw a club into ground so hard it stayed standing up), but on the 16th (Par 3 NTP) hit a tee shot heavily left over lake & then put next 2 balls into the lake. Dave S had a few no skill moments with a terrible Stevie Wonder impression on course and hitting his own golf trolley with a shot. Mike J remembered his energy drink but forgot his change of clothes for dinner but didn't forget to use his phone on the course (blamed on Ray being late picking him up...the clothes not the phone).

    With many more fines too numerous to note (records available from Somerset House when released in 50 years time) it was left to the Captain to very generously congratulate himself on winning the day....celebrated with an in a focus selfie.!

    Below is Captain Healy who couldn't present it to himself, so Vice Shorter is helping him out. Well done Cap.

    Roving reporter: John Thorp

    You can see the full set of results on the results page

    The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

    It was easy to see how the previous few days of very bad weather had affected the work of the ground staff. Although the greens were in great order, running true but difficult as ever, the fairways were long and lush to give them a chance to recover before cutting. For most this did not present a problem, but the hilly course took a heavy toll on those players who usually used a buggie or have bad backs.

    Most people's troubles started early in the day. Ian T even managed to incur a fine before playing as he had agreed a menu containing cheese, forgetting that one of his sons dislikes cheese. (OK for the rest of us!). Some..Luke P, Ray S, Mike J, Mike P, both Daves and Peter C. all wore long trousers on the hottest April day for 70 years and were deservedly fined. Mankinis may become obligatory if the weather gets hotter for Sutton Green next month. Ian T and Colin T showed brotherly love by wearing matching hats, this disaster costing them £1 each. Ian T managed an 'in-off' on one green, Dave F played one whole hole in the woods without threatening the fairway and one of Dave S's shots did not make it off the 1st tee. Another duff hit the Captain. Phones were again in use on the course ...... Ray S, John F and, best of all, Ian T answering a call from Paul B on the 1st tee.

    At the end of a tiring day the winners and losers assembled in the club house, had a quick shower in the ladies changing room (very odd) and watched the new windows being put in. The first of the evening fines went to Frazer's table and all of the Captains table ( with the exception of Luke) who started eating before the Captain. Frazer was fined for saying that he did not stand a chance of winning the NTP on the 13th & then hitting a fine shot which won it. Dave S was fined as he was Captain’s pick & did not win.

    The Captain fined himself heavily for having a yellow ball competition with white balls on the Captains weekend at the Vale. Next time it really will be a white ball competition!.

    With some reflection on the day, the Captain decided overall that he did not like the design of Tylney. Perhaps too many blind drives onto the fairways. Something to be kept in mind when the course for the Captains day is chosen. (Hint to Ian T).

    A special gift of thanks was given to Frazer for his work on the now excellent website and everyone welcomed the future work of Mark T as our resident social media executive.

    Below is Captain Healy with the 'don't like eating cheese' Matt T. Well done Matt.

    Roving reporter: John Thorp

    You can see the full set of results on the results page

    The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

    I would like to say a big thank you to all of you who came along to The Vale Resort last weekend. Not only were you all great company, you all made it a very easy organisational task. As a society you all have amazing timekeeping, generally being early everywhere. All extras on the meal were paid without any prompting. Frazer has obviously trained us all well.

    Congratulations to Mr Alan B (TAPS) on his win thanks to some superb golf on day 2 around the Wales National course and to his guest Daniel on winning the guest trophy. Nice to see the hot Taps back on form. Well played Colin for some very steady golf all weekend to come in third after coming back from the (sports enhancing) surgery.

    Luke very graciously accepted the biggest trophy of the weekend winning a presentation boxed wooden spoon Strongest Man award. Don’t worry Luke, a bit of practice this year and someone else can have it next year.

    Tony P, Chris T, Chris H and John T all put in a good performance to win the non yellow ball competition ( Yes I know fine due).

    Mick Tedder (guest) proved that alcohol poisoning was no impediment to winning the putting competition although Rob Ewing (guest) did not fair so well. Amusing to see golfers still following the one to eighteen putting markers long after we had finished with them.

    The Lakes and Wales National courses proved quite a challenge for many of us. The Fairways were a little soggy in places, but who would have thought that we would be dry in Wales when it rained constantly at home. The staff were all friendly and helpful. Granted the food service was not the fastest but the result was worth the wait. Overall I hope the venue lived up to expectations, that you all enjoyed yourselves and will come along again next year. Suggestions on venue welcome.

    Special Correspondent: Paul Healy

    A very busy day for the Society at Burnham Beeches.

    With Paul H taking up his new position as Captain there were sure to be a few changes made as he put his foot down with a firm hand.

    With early start club members filing back into the club house looking like drowned rats and the weather seeming to be set in for rain and wind, the club made an excellent suggestion that we delay our start time by 30 minutes or more. This allowed time for the weather to clear and time for an extraordinary general meeting to elect a new vice Captain. In the apparent absence of other candidates, Dave S bravely threw his hat into the ring and was duly elected as the man to help as deputy to Paul H.

    With the formalities out of the way and the rain almost stopping, play commenced on a lighter note with Chris T making a fine birdie on the NP2 first hole. This may have proved to be the high point of his day as he and many others found the course challenging in the usual ways (and in some very unusual ways!). Chris hit the sleepers on the long Par 3, bouncing backwards over the bunker to embed in the mud and on one hole avoided the fairway by playing tee to green via the trees.

    Alan B’s ball hit a tree on 18th and wound up 40 yards behind where he started. Paul B, suffering from his usual flatulence, nearly hit Alan with one of his ‘golf’ shots. Ian T hit the ball from 10th tee straight at the group in front on the 11th tee. They were saved by a lucky deflection off a tree branch.

    Hebbo had tried to get out of playing at Burnham due to the weather forecast, until he realised he had already paid to play. It didn’t help his maths as he had a scorecard of 16 out and 14 back to total 27. Tony P and Luke had turned up, sniffed the air, but then gave up and went home for a ‘nice cup of tea’. Alan B was late as he was having sports enhancing injections at the doctors before playing. (they did not work). Sharp eyed undercover agents (Russian FSB?) noticed that Ray S’s phone went off in his bag before teeing off and twice on the round (one of which he answered). Glued as usual to the phone, he could not resist showing blue movies to his playing partners (is his store of exploits ever to be emptied?, to which we now add having a pee outside Mike J’s house when he picked him up to go to golf...and both managed to be late despite the time saving micturition) What is it about phones these days...John F was fined for talking about being drunk in Thailand for several holes (was that for talking or talking about being drunk again) and showing a video of a topless lady on his phone on the course. Mike J surpassed himself with awful jokes ("Did you have to use a tree wood Frazer"), wearing a South African Flag inspired golf hat and ,later in the day, an undertakers suit. John T, fresh from foreign travels seemed to have met the Del Monte man in the desert and stolen his jacket! (but it did brighten up a dull day!) Frazer W had to scale a tree to hit a ball 3 feet up from the ground. Alan, Beardy & Hebbo were fined for parking in the members' car park and Ray and Hebbo Kept their hats on whilst shaking hands on the 18th green.

    Rob Lamond’s very thin excuse for not going on The Vale Masters Weekend trip was that he was having a wedding planning weekend with his fiancée. Some people cannot get their priorities right!

    And finally...Matt T was fined for not winning, as the Captain had picked him in the draw!

    Winner Ray Steele below in photo with first-time-as-captain Paul Healy - well done all!

    Quick mention must be made of the menu as Luke Peters filed a motion at the recent AGM to not have Chicken and Crumble everytime! Look what you missed Luke!

    Roving reporter: John Thorp

    You can see the full set of results on the results page

    The current Order Of Merit can be seen here

    With the weather gods changing the 'Beast from the East' to a benign, if damp and overcast day, Ian's guest proved to be the top scorer on the day but he was ably followed in by Chris T who won the members competition. Mike J. cleaned up on some of the skill prizes, despite his bad back!.

    Mike P managed to cut things fine for the first tee, but was rewarded with a specially retrieved bacon roll. All the usual gannets had earlier in the day been fined for diving teeth first into the trays as they came out of the kitchen.

    The AGM of the Society was well attended. Once again the success of the fines system underlined a healthy financial position that enables a greater choice of courses. Unfortunately Macca was not available to immediately takes the reigns as Captain but , with a welcome level of liquid bribery , the outgoing Captain was given a rousing cheer for a job very well done over the last two years. Most decisions at the meeting were unanimous and we look forward to Paul H , as Vice Captain , ably assisting Macca in his arduous duties. To cries of 'brown nosing' by the mob, Frazer was given a special vote of thanks for his skilled work on the website, which all would agree is a great resource.

    Over the winter a rolling team of four from Bunkers competed in the three game Pine Ridge 'Winter Series' of stableford competitions, with the total score (off 3 quarter handicaps, best 2 scoring) counting towards the prizes. As is usual in these situations, our players were possibly the only ones being truthful about their handicaps. But despite that we came a very creditable 2nd to another allegedly honest team who averaged !!!!!!!! 90 points per round.

    Going forward maybe it's time for the Society to actively market its existence in some way...does anyone know about Instagram?.With a distinct lack of younger members, both male and female, in the pipeline it might be time to have a rolling recruitment banner on the home page! advertising our friendly Bon homie and our very PC and inclusive stance on almost everything...except Brexit , the EU, North Korea, eating vegetarian sausages with ketchup and of course Donald Trump.

    See you all at Burnham Beeches.

    Members winner Chris Turvill below in photo with last-time-as-captain Dave Shorter - well done all!

    Quick mention must be made of Pete Carfrae's tee-shot at the 12th - he was all excited then it stopped short. Shame it wasn't a prize hole!

    Roving reporter: John Thorp

    You can see the full set of results on the results page

    The current Order Of Merit can be seen here