Chairman’s Annual Report for 2019

I have enjoyed another great year of golf and golfing companionship with the Society. I hope you have too. Excellent venues, superb courses, fine food and too much wine. I have that feeling that many of you have shared the same experiences.

It has been a successful year on most fronts with meetings well attended and more importantly thoroughly enjoyed. This year we started at Woodhall Spa with its two fine courses, The Hotchkin and The Bracken. Undulating greens on The Bracken and risk and reward and ultimate disaster on The Hotchkin, good weather and a fine dinner were enjoyed by all attendees. David Archibald had the honour of being crowned this year’s Men’s Scratch Cup winner fending off challenges from Alan Golbourn, Lorne Smith and last year’s winner Tim Russell. David adds his name to the Cup for the fifth time. Gillian Curley won the Ladies Scratch Cup by one shot over Pat Bennett with Kathryn Archibald a further two shots back. Some excellent golf was played (not by me, sadly).

June saw us enjoying ourselves oop North at Middlesbrough, Brass Castle and Cleveland links. One an excellent parkland layout and the other Yorkshire’s oldest course and only true links. The weather was kind to us and a firm zephyr made a stern test for our links golf. Weather-beaten, sun-bronzed and not dismayed we all enjoyed the experience. Paul Collier won the men’s version of the Sir Aynsley Bridgland Trophy and Linda Cusack triumphed in the Ladies competition. We have a new venue for our AGM at East Sussex National and then the North West entices us with links golf at St Annes Old Links and our new member Fairhaven (she of many bunkers – 118 so bring your sand wedges). We are blessed with our courses.

Last Autumn, Alan Golbourn led the wettest and windiest tour in living memory to Wales. Congratulations to those hardy souls that lived to tell the tale. We rather like the idea of some British or Irish tours and Spring 2020 sees Robert Hill take us to Dublin. Travelling further afield, Liz Clarke led a winter tour around South Africa. Thank you Liz for your hard work in bringing a trip like that together. This year our Autumn tour is to Costa Navarino in Greece. Warm sunshine on excellent courses in a top-quality hotel overlooking the Med. I am really looking forward to it. And Autumn 2020 I hear you ask? Well, it looks like it will be a stunner to Bordeaux and Biarritz. This society is literally going places.

Next year we return to Ganton, Yorkshire’s finest layout, along with Hornsea and for the first time, we visit Seascale and Silloth in Cumbria. Silloth’s wonderful links has an incredible eye-opening abundance of beautiful turbulent fairways, sunken greens, sensational scenery of the Solway Firth and some of the most attractive yellow gorse in golf. We also visit Littlestone GC, a top 100 course that is laid out on the natural undulating links land between the famous Romney Marsh & the English Channel in the South-East corner of Kent. The coastline enjoys a unique microclimate that makes it one of the driest places in Britain providing us with perfect greens ready for your best putting!!

On a general note, the finances of the Society remain satisfactory at broadly break-even point after our contributions to clubs and tournaments that support junior golf. Our events are well supported but please pass on details of the Society to like-minded souls as new members are always welcome.

Your committee and, more importantly, our excellent secretary Brian Ward work hard on your behalf to provide meetings and tours for your enjoyment. We are always pleased to hear the views of you, the members of the Society. Well, nearly always! Enjoy your golf and stay healthy.

Giles Hinchcliffe

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