Chairman's Annual Report 2022

Fantastic, I guess we are all hoping to get a full year of GSGB golf this year.  The great thing about the intrepid members of our society is that they never age (or admit to aging).  Perhaps a few replaced joints here and there but that will always helps us.  As the rest of the country starts to suffer from brain fog, we have already experienced it for years and so notice no difference.  It means that I can safely write the same report as last year and no one (except Brian, Paul and Yogi) would know.  I wouldn’t do that, would I?

Our 2022 year started with a trip to Ireland.  Some flew, some boated and some swam!  Blessed with dry weather and attractive and difficult courses, it was a resounding success.  Thanks to Robert Hill for patiently staying with the plans and never giving up to Covid.

Our May meeting was at Seascale and Silloth.  I could give you a blow by blow account but suffice it to say that winds of 46mph on the Beaufort Scale were recorded, (a strong gale).  Seascale were a really hospitable club and made us very welcome.  We saw no two-headed rabbits but Zaphod Beeblebrox would have struggled to complete the fine banquet they provided.  Silloth was even breezier!  I was grateful for my low centre of gravity but scoring was beyond me.  But we did have scratch winners who conquered the storms.   The ladies winner was Kathryn Anthony and the gents Ian Chamberlain. Well done both of you.

In June we were warmly welcomed at the Gog Magog Golf Club. There are two excellent courses with underrated slope ratings and great clubhouse facilities there. This is the home club of several of our members and they supported us well despite being penalised for doing so.  The heat was blistering and straw hats were de rigeur.  But still there were plenty of pink bald heads noticed at the dining tables (on the men of course).  It was great to stand on the shoulders of these two giants (Gog and Magog).  The ladies outperformed the men (again) with Sue (I chip ‘em in for my two) Devine clinching the top spot.  John Fulton, surprisingly injury free for both days, snuck in to win the men’s title.  I was seriously abused for the quality of my two, but hey, I took it on the chin.

The AGM at Ramside Hall, near Durham, is fast approaching and we hope for normal weather.  Thanks to all of those of you who are supporting us at this AGM which will be my last as Chairman.  I offer my best wishes to whichever new Chairman you vote in.  Plus I thank all the committee who have supported me excellently. 

But the year is not yet over. In August we go down south to enjoy the excellent links golf at the testing and fabulous Littlestone paired with Cooden Beach.  Then September sees us end our year at Cirencester and Tewkesbury Park, both new courses to me.  An itinerary to enjoy!  And then, finally, the exciting trip to Bordeaux and Biarritz.  Wining, dining and golfing with the elite of Europe!

On a more general note, our website is up and running with detailed results and glorious photos.  Our finances remain broadly where we would like them to be with another roughly break even scenario this year keeping our bank account at circa £20,000.  It has been maintained at this level for many years to cover us for any unexpected surprises and continue our support of junior golf.

Events this year are thankfully well supported.  Our membership slowly declines to around the 500 mark. Please pass on details of the Society to like-minded souls as new members are always welcome.  Show them our excellent new website which should whet their appetite.  Most of our new members come from personal recommendations so you can do your bit.

The 2023 itinerary can be really anticipated with a smile. At this early stage there is always the possibility of a change of date. 

  • We start our season with the (fully booked) tour to Belek, Turkey. All inclusive accommodation and the great courses of PGA Sultan, Pasha and Carya the number 1 ranked course in Turkey.
  • Our May meeting involves two of the best links courses in Wales at Royal St David’s (22/5/23) and Aberdovey (a new course to me).
  • In June we head North for more fabulous links golf and visit Goswick (28/6/23) and Dunstanburgh Castle. I love Goswick where my mum in law is a member. Christine has to be on her best behaviour there. 
  • Our July AGM is in the South at Dale Hill in Sussex on (18/7/23). A new venue for us with two fine courses which ticks all the boxes.
  • August sees us in Hampshire at the highly rated courses of Blackmoor (21/8/23) and North Hants, the golfing home of Justin Rose.
  • September sees our final meeting of the year at Cavendish in Derbyshire (20/9/23) and Prestbury in Cheshire.Alister MacKenzie’s Cavendish is our most recent participating club and Prestbury, designed by Harry Colt, has a fine reputation.
  • Another trip is booked for October (7th to 16th) and sees us visit Europe again. This time we go to the North of Lisbon and play the well known courses of Praia D’El Rey, West Cliffs and Royal Obidos.  Details of the trip will be available at the AGM.

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 happy to hear some of your thoughts.

Enjoy your golf and please stay healthy.

 

Giles Hinchcliffe, 

Chairman