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Tuesday 5th Feb. Yesterday was the first day back after the snow, and Chris Baker came in, in torrential rain, to a have a knock for a few holes. I saw him coming off after three, clearly bedraggled and cream crackered.
Today though, that little bit of practice clearly made the difference as, armed with a 9 wood on the 10th tee, he aced the hole!! Fortunately, this was the Seniors Medal and so a claim will be processed as normal for achieving the Ace in a club competition.
However, I couldn’t resist a wind up.
So I have just had a conversation with the Senior Captain, knowing that Chris could and would overhear it, where I explained that owing to the fact that the weekend medal was postponed until this weekend coming, and that the senior medal is always the Tuesday following the Club Medal, that today was in fact just a social knock round for the seniors and their medal would be next Tuesday. this of course would mean that today’s ace wasn’t in an official competition and that would mean that the bar bill was not covered by insurance!! Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Chris choking on his Ham Egg & Chips.
Weds 2nd January 2019. whilst rumours abound of local clubs insisting that players play off tee pegs for all shots, or have a pick, clean and place within 1 clublength rule, as a result of the damage sustained in the heatwave last year and the lack of recovery in the autumn, in the parallel universe that is Chalgrave Manor Golf Club, the greenstaff celebrated the New Year by getting the mowers out and cutting the fairways because we have too much grass on them!!
So, pick clean and place within 6″ on our stripey fairways, and tee pegs only on the tees please!!
Sunday 2nd December. 25 years of practice finally leads to perfection as Steve King gets his first ever Ace on the 5th Hole in the medal on Sunday!! A sweetly struck 7 iron to a couple of feet and the slope did the rest as it looped down the hill and into the cup!
Pete Moss and Kev Branch helped Steve celebrate in suitable style and Steve generously opened a tab behind the bar on his return to the Clubhouse. A howling gale with occasional rain did limit the size of the field and his bar bill!! Steve will of course also get a share of the 2’s pot as well! That’s the 6th ace of the year, and still a few weeks to go for someone to sneak another one in yet.
Friday 16th November. News of another ace. Braddy hits his third ace at Chalgrave, following his first one in Dec 1994 on the 5th and he followed that in 2009 when he finally played another decent shot on the 5th again to get a second one!! On Weds 14th November, 2018, he added the 10th to his repertoire, with an 8 iron, joining an elite club of just four people who have had three or more aces here at Chalgrave!!
Thursday 15th November.
I had a message a couple of days ago, from Dave Bromley, the scratch team captain. Now Dave knows a thing or two about the game, and plays to a standard that most of us can only dream of. A couple of months ago, he set a new course record round Chalgrave. That’s the lowest score ever in almost 25 years!
Dave plays off 3. When he has a putt knocked off line by a defect in the putting surface, it costs him 33.333% of his handicap allowance, whereas the same putt and the same defect costs a 20 handicap golfer 5% of their allowance! So the surfaces that we prepare and play off, especially the greens, are absolutely crucial to all golfers, but massively important to the category 1 golfer.
So the message read:
” Had a nice days golf today at Aylesbury Vale shooting a solid gross 73 but have to stay the condition of the course is not a patch on Chalgrave’s, our fairways are so much lusher and our greens are running so much better. To be honest I’ve played quite a few other courses recently and without being biased have to say the condition of Chalgrave will stand up against most others at the moment and that’s being put up against some quality courses.
Whereas many courses have suffered in this years heatwave and are still trying to recover Chalgrave has held up superbly. So that’s a massive well done to all involved in doing that work ( green keepers, artizans etc) and lets keep that going during the winter months and not take your eye off the ball ( we know there are still a few things to have a look at )and next spring / summer we will have a course to be proud of .
Please pass on my thanks to all concerned in making this happen and repost this if you like so people can see the good work that is going on. Keep it up and let’s not let this drop.”
Thank you Dave. It’s been a very tough year but we know that we have made huge stride forwards and the reservoir has been worth every bit of stress and strain that we went through to get it built, with the results that we saw from it in the summer. It is very gratifying for the whole team to hear that what we have achieved this year stands up to scrutiny against other courses from all areas and standards. We will endeavour to continue to improve things as we go forwards into our 25th Birthday Year
Monday 5th November. Vice Captain Dan Glass incurred a 2 shot penalty for grounding himself in the reservoir almost 26 hours after playing the 12th in the medal at the weekend!! As the Monday morning drew to a close, a phoned message from the course gave us details of a Muntjac Deer stranded in the reservoir. The greenstaff attended and were looking for something suitable to throw in to try and help it get back out, but despite a prolonged effort, they couldn’t catch Braddy to chuck him in, and option two was to call the Fire Brigade.
The Brigade Boys arrived with blue lightsflashing and they were all excited as they had been told it was a rescue at a stag do. Vice Captain Glass was into his dry suit in a jiffy and two of them headed out into the reservoir to try and rescue the deer. It didn’t really fancy being rescued by Danny, and promptly swam off to the other side of the reservoir!!
Eventually, they corralled it to the narrow end, got a tarpaulin under it and dragged it out. Next stage was to wait for the arrival of the RSPCA, who turned up, dried it with a towel, drove it off to a location, on the golf course, away from the reservoir and released it! I’m sure they had a word and told it not to be so stupid in future and to stay away from the reservoir!
Friday 2nd November. It’s all happening now. Hot on the heels of the Ladies County Championship victory, the Mens County Golf Union has finally recognised the true status of our Club. For almost 2.5 decades, we have been the upstarts, the “new kid on the block”, but our club and course has grown in stature to a point where it was finally recognised by the County at their Annual Dinner. John Gibson, Dave McGarry, John Trott and Steve Bradshaw had the honour of representing Royal Chalgrave GC last night. I must say, it does have a certain ring to it. LOL
Monday 29th October 2018. Karen Crane & Lorain Ronis, Bedfordshire County Champions.
3 up on the 14th tee at Dunstable Downs in the Beds Ladies Couty Foursomes Matchplay Final. They seemed home and dry. As always, it ain’t over til the larger sized lady sings. and so they managed to lose 14 and 15. Things really went pear shaped when they lost 16 as well to go all square with 2 to play.
These Chalgrave Ladies are made of stern stuff!! Lorain nailed the drive down the fairway on 17 and their opponents headed for the trees. Karen needed to hit the green to turn the screw and ramp the pressure up on their opponents. Karen stuck it in the middle of the dancefloor abd they were 1 up with 1 to play.
Karen to drive. The 18th at DD is a par three, protected front and sides by bunkers. Another one on the green would make it so difficult for their opponents. A 5 wood sailed into the heart of the green, whilst their opponents missed right, didn’t get the next one out and and chipped over and off the otherside. They had had 4 by the time they had the ball on the green and the hole, match and championship was conceded!!
We are all very proud of you both!!
Saturday 27th October. The Halloween Handicap was brutal. As always, a full handicap stableford is played in the normal manner. There is then the trick and treat aspect!! The “trick” is two holes picked at random, where your stableford points are tripled and then applied to your score as a minus!! As you also don’t get the original score either, so a 2 stableford points becomes -6 but you don’t get the 2 either so it has the effect of being a deduction of 8 points.
The treats are 4 holes where your score is doubled.
So, when the random draw threw out 8 and 17 as the tricks, there was going to be potential for some severe losses!! The plusses were 3/5/12/13.
Out of the whole field, only one person actually ended up with more points than they started with – Phil Billington shot up from 42nd= to 3rd and into the prizes!! Remarkably, Mike Faherty was in 1st place and remained there whilst Cally Hawker was 2nd with normal scoring but dropped to 4th and just missed out after the trick or treats. Others were not so lucky, none more so than Kate Tilcock, Duncan McAllister and Barry Moorhouse, whose net eagles on either 8 or 17 for 4 points became the biggest penalty of the day with a -12 and the loss of the 4 points as well!!
Friday 12th October. Belated news of only the 4th Ace of the year as Immediate Past Captain John Crane Aced the 10th with his wedge on Saturday 29th September. John timed this particularly badly as he wasn’t playing in a competition so there was no insurance cover but he still coughed up for the round of drinks to celebrate his first ace. Given some of the scores that have been coming in on the 10th recently, not having to putt on it is definitely a great plan!!
Tuesday 21st August. Seniors Pairs Greensomes Bowl. a random draw for playing partners.
so what do you think the chances are then of there being:
one group of four all called Ken,
another group of four all called Peter
Three Ians and a Hugh
another four made up of 2 x Pauls against 2 x Micks.
I’m going to get them to buy my lottery tickets for me.
Tuesday 7th August. The course is playing short, the fairways baked hard. I’ve been wondering if any of the big hitters will manage an ace on a par 4, the 2nd is definitely in range (and we have had an ace on it before, all the way back in 1998 – with a 6 iron!! To be fair, we were playing it as a temporary par 3 at the time, as we had relaid the fairway from the tee, but occasionally someone notices it and thinks 324 yards with a 6 iron. For those big hitters blessed with a draw, the 3rd might even be gettable if you can carry the ball round the corner onto the downslope. I’ve seen plenty of people over the ditch in previous years and its never been like this before in 24 years. 18 would be doable with a tail wind, but the tee is much further back than it used to be so that may be out of range. Plenty of people reaching 9 in 2 though, at the moment!!
Which brings us to the two latest additions to the Hole in One Club, both seniors, Peter Howson on 24/07 on the 10th with an 8 iron and in the medal on Sunday 5th August, Don Parrott must have mishit a 7 wood on the 5th, as if he had hit a wood properly on that hole he would have been on the 6th fairway.
Mon 25th June. Chris Baker is in early, hot and sunnd day and will want a buggy no doubt. I’m heading for the pro shop and he follows me out into the lobby to go to the loo. As I come out of the pro shop, there is a crisp plastic �10 note on the floor, so whilst I’m 99.9% certain that I didn’t drop it, taking the till drawer through, I check the CCTV and sure enough, the tenner drops out of Chris’s pocket.
He comes back in, still oblivious to the fact that he lost it, so I tell him its he’s and show him the “action replay” on the CCTV.
He is profuse in his thanks and then disappears off to play golf. 5 Minutes later he’s back.
“Is this yours?” he asks, holding up a mobile phone.
“Yes, that’s mine, where did you get it?” I reply, puzzled as I was fairly certain where my mobile was.
“I picked it up in the office!!”
Now, I’m sure that when I read the story of the Good Samaritan as a young lad, I don’t recall the Good Samaritan crossing the road to help the guy and the guy then half inching his phone as a bonus!!
Friday 11th May. what happened to the news page?? Well, we do add a lot of stuff onto the Club Facebook pages, and that enables interaction and messaging with club members, so the news page has been somewhat usurped by the face book page. I do understand that not everyone has facebook, so we will endeavour to maintain the news updates and anecdotes that the news page has become renowned for over the years!!
In an effort to catch up, El Bandito’s Albery and Bradshaw nipped off to Cosby Golf Club and snaffled up the Seniors Open prize with a nett 65 in 4BBB format, so well done to you guys!! We also tried out the latest golf fad idea, Super 6’s instead of the tried and tested 9 hole competition. Suffice it to say, that players don’t want to play a comp over 6 holes, find themselves at the most remote part of the course up by the church, and then play non competitive golf for three holes to get back to the clubhouse!! Clearly, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!! So the 9 hole competition has returned, with best 12 scores from 18 weeks to count over the summer. Plenty of prizes to play for – including the Summer Champion Title and a rollover if non one wins outright on a week!
We also have a new Captain of the Mid Handicap League, Dave Ballard who has taken over from Kev Clinton. My thanks to Kev for his sterling work in leading the team over the past few years and I hope that he will continue to support Dave as a player in the matches. Both the Mid Handicap and Scratch teams are always looking for new players. These matches, played against other clubs in Bedfordshire, enables you to pit your skills against other players from other clubs in matchplay. It is a most fantastic and prestigious thing, to be selected to represent your club in a county competition! I wholeheartedly recommend it to you. If you want to play, just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass your name to the Captains.
Monday 19th March. Today, by a fortunate coincidence, with a quiet day in prospect as we were still largely snowbound this morning, we had a First Aid at Work course for the Club Staff. We covered a wide range of topics, including heart attacks, wounds and bleeding and CPR.
To give you an example of the high standard that all of the staff achieved, I will recount a role play scenario to you.
Peter Kay had just parred the 9th and in walking off the green, he tripped over his trolley and plunged headlong in to the greensmower waiting on the side of the green, driven by Danny. Pete stuck out his hand to try and break his fall but only succeeded in slicing through his wrist, sending spurts of arterial blood across the mower before clattering his head onto the mower and gashing his skull open above the eye. There was some uncertainty if he had damaged or possibly broken his ankle in tripping over the trolley in the first place.
Clare and Lucie happened, by chance, to be nearby. They immediately assessed the situation correctly and treated Danny for shock as Pete had parred the 9th.
Seriously though, our staff all take their responsibilities very seriously and did a fantastic job today. If anyone has the misfortune to have a health issue whilst at the Club, you can be assured that you will be in good hands
Thursday 1st March. The Beast From The East is winning by some margin, but all the staff have managed to get in (and the greenstaff are working outside to get stuff done on the Driving Range!! The fact that the big tall Leylandii trees are providing an excellent windbreak may have some bearing on the choice of work venue today. With “new boy” greenkeeper Cameron on his first day, the rest of the lads were determined to set an example that we really do work in all weathers!!
Pete has spent the morning painting in the clubhouse, and was just about to leave, when the phone rang.
“I’d like to book a round of golf with a buggy for tomorrow morning please” the man with a scottish accent said.
“Tomorrow? You will need skis” said Pete
“Is the weather not good then, will I need a big coat?” said the scotsman.
Pete was struggling not to laugh, but maintained his composure well, and eventually persuaded the scottish guy that golf tomorrow was not going to be possible, with or without a buggy. He hung up, and came to see me to tell me about the bizarre call and say he was off for the day. He popped his head round my doorway and I said
“I’d like to book a round of golf with a buggy for tomorrow morning” in a Scottish accent!! The penny dropped.
Tuesday 2nd January 2018. I thought it would take a while to get back into the swing of things after a break over Christmas, but my thanks to Peter Whitton in ensuring that things are entirely normal within minutes of his arrival for the seniors first meet of the year.
Peter has one of the Zippo Handwarmers, a steel case which you fill the absorbent pad it contains, with lighter fluid, light the “wick”, close it up and it is a brilliant handwarmer. except Peter had overfilled it this morning at home, and when he lit it in the clubhouse bar, standing directly underneath the smoke/heat alarm sensor, he had a 6″ high flame coming off the top of it.
Days, weeks, years will pass, and some things, the seniors in particular, will hopefully never change. Happy New Year.
Friday 9th December. I’ve got a flyer from Cawleys, who empty our waste bin telling me about their Christmas opening hours and their collection schedules, which are basically normal working apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day, when they are closed and no collections will take place on the closed days. OK, sounds reasonable so far.
It then goes on to say that if your scheduled collection is on one of their closed days, then you will still be charged for the collection unless you cancel or reschedule the collection by email! So, you have to cancel a collection that they are not going to do because they are closed, otherwise you will get charged for it!! Bah Humbug said Mr Scrooge.
Tuesday 31st October. Well that was brutal. the results of the Halloween Handicap, Trick or Treat Competition are in. For the first time ever, the person with the best stableford score still won the trick or treat version, and in fact had almost the perfect card. The format is that your trick is that the scores on 3 holes are tripled and then become a minus score as well, which seeing as you then don’t get the original score for the hole as well, means its a quadruple whammy. You really need to blob these holes!! The treat is more subtle, you just get your score on 4 holes doubled. A random draw for holes affected was done at the Halloween Party on Saturday eve, with the result that Holes 4, 7, 11 and 12 all were doubled and holes 2, 5 and 16 were tripled and deducted.
Phil Billington knows immediately that this is not going to end well. That will teach him to get a 3 net 2 and 4 points on the 2nd!! That becomes a -12 and he also loses the 4 points it was worth in the first place!! Nick Hawker had 3 blobs on his card, on 4, 7 and 11, meaning his doubled score for those three holes was still zero!! Keith Esden excelled himself by accumulating -24 plus the 8 points he scored on those holes and blobbing both 11 and 12 to fall from a mid table 27 points to the only minus score at -2!! Jack Beaney will be happier though, after a somewhat disastrous total of 14 playing normally which had him propping up the table, saw him end on 10 points in equal 10th place ahead of his Dad Mark who scored double what he did in normal play.
Perhaps next year, we will enhance the treats and reduce the tricks and see if someone can get 100 points.
Thursday 26th October. news from the mini “awayday” from the guys who marshalled at Luton Hoo for a recent tournament, they all got a freebie round as part of the deal to help marshal the event. Peter Whitton, always a man who keeps the sartorial elegance of the section in the upper echelons, suggested that they all go in their blazers and ties as there was food provided afterwards as well. things didn’t really go according to plan though, as after the game, all resplendent in jackets and ties, they were served their meals in the spike bar, surrounded by people in jeans and even one rather solid lady who resembled Bubbles DeVere and dressed like her too.
Chris Baker also required medical attention due to suspected heart failure after ordering two pints of lime and soda at the bar and being charged �10.
Monday 9th October. News from the weekend is that the 148th ace was recorded by Dave Dickson with the Brandy Boys on Friday Afternoon. The 16th, into the wind with a 3 wood, was the cause of much merriment from playing partners Peter Hunt and Gerry Wells who immediately recognised that they were not going to be buying the brandies!!
Friday 6th October. Team Chalgrave comes 4th at the SmartGolfer Network Cup at Hazlemere. A fabulous day out, �25 each, including 18 holes and a superb meal afterwards, brilliantly hosted by Hazlemere. Stick the date in your diary, as it is 5th October 2018 next year and worth every single penny. Bizarrely, for such a brilliant deal, they only had 4 teams in attendance, so we actually came last.
Tuesday 19th September. An invitation from Hazlemere Golf Club for Club Members to enter a side for the SmartGolfer Network Cup on Friday 6th October!!
Teams of 8 players from any section of the club, the format is 18 Hole Stableford with Tee Times from 9.00am, with the best 6 scores from 8 to count. A delicious Two meat two course carvery meal will be served from 1.45pm, with an engraved trophy and other prizes to the top two/three teams. Amazing Value @ �25 per person!!
Bourn GC are returning as current champions to defend their trophy, so maybe Chalgrave can take that off them?
To enter a team or for further information, call 01494 719306 for Gavin Cousins, Head Professional at Hazlemere GC
Tuesday 19th Sept. an ominous start to today for the seniors. I arrive bright and early, take the till drawer through into the kitchen and kick the bucket on the way through.
Friday 15th Sept. with the news yesterday that unemployment is at a 40 year low, and also that rates of employment are at an all time high, I was quite hopeful that the interview that I had scheduled today for 11.00am for an Apprentice Greenkeeper, would be a positive experience. well.
At 10.50, Rob came in to have a pre interview chat and for us to go through other course related stuff. At 11.15, we reviewed the written CV and confirmed that it did say effective communication and reliable, although to be fair, punctuality wasn’t mentioned! At 11.20 I rang the mobile no. “Hello? Is that Bill (names have been changed etc etc. ) ” “Who wants to know” is not really the answer I was expecting. “I’m trying to speak to Bill as he should have been having a job interview with me at 11. Are you Bill?” There was a satellite delay, whilst this question was considered, and then he said “Is that Tom? (Names not changed, he genuinely asked if I was Tom!). “No I’m Steve, are you Bill?” Another satellite delay before I finally received confirmation that Bill was Bill. “You are supposed to be with me now being interviewed for a greenkeepers job” “I went there and Tom didn’t know anything about it” he said. “I don’t employ anyone called Tom, where did you go? to” “South Beds Golf Club (who do have a head greenkeeper called Tom!)
So, we finally established that he needed to come to Chalgrave Golf Club, and he said he could still make it today, at around 1pm! I said “well, where are you now,as you are supposed to be in an interview with me and you were at South Beds at 11 presumably” “I’m in Dunstable” “Ok well it won’t take long to get to Toddington from Dunstable so lets say 12 noon” We agree and hang up.
10 minutes later, my phone rings. ” I can’t make 12, it will have to be after 1″. I pointed out that if he had made it to the correct address at 11, then it would have been pushing it to arrange to be doing something else at 12, if the interview had been going well. “well I can’t get there in time, I’m in Houghton Regis. ” “Well thats good going” I said! 10 minutes ago, you were in Dunstable and now you are in Houghton Regis, which is only 5 minutes from where you need to be. 12 noon won’t be an in issue then!
Suffice it to say, the call didn’t end on a positive note, so if anyone knows of a 16/17 year old who wants a proper apprenticeship job, then I still have a vacancy.
Tuesday 22nd August. well its been a while since I added anything to the news pages!!
Today though, there is a spectacular opportunity for confusion generated by todays competition. Firstly its a greensome competition. Secondly there is the handicap allowance. Thirdly, its the seniors.
So, as both players tee off and then they play the best ball, no doubt the course will be strewn with golf balls as the pairings forget to pick up the drive they don’t play. There is already massive confusion over the need to calculate 0.6 of the lowest handicap and add it to the 0.4 of the highest, then round that up or down to get the team handicap. You really don’t want to know about the confusion generated from two players with the same handicap and the argument over who was getting the 0.6 and the 0.4!!
Captain Bob came in last week to ask me about the greensomes format, and I did point out that one of the problems with the format was the the number of entrants needed to be divisible by 4 in order for it to work perfectly on a random draw and all teams to have a marker, otherwise someone has to accompany a pairing but can’t actually play in the competition themselves. This morning, Bob is bemoaning the fact they are one player short of having everyone paired up and playing with another pair. Almost exactly one hour after they went out to start, Ben Hope arrives on his own, saying he was intending to play, had got himself ready to go, made himself a cup of tea, sat down for a moment to drink it and fallen asleep!!
Chalgrave Seniors Section. A hotbed of comedy.
Friday 23rd June. just catching up with some news. Tim Bevan gets his first ace here, in the June Medal with a 22 degree hybrid on the 13th. and is also then the first person to gain from our new fully comprehensive insurance against such an event in competition, and will shortly be getting a cheque from the insurance company to cover his �60+ bar bill!! What is also remarkable, is that after an incredible 12 aces by club members in 2016, it has taken until June for the first one of 2017 to pop up and on the longest of the par 3’s as well which has only seen 14 aces in 23 years.
There was also another hole in one story this week which I would think most of you will have missed. This week, the English Amateur Championship is being played at Sandwich in Kent. After qualifying in stroke play events, the championship is decided by a knockout matchplay competition over a number of days. On 21st June, Finland’s Casper Simberg finished his match off in style, hitting his first ever competitive hole-in-one to defeat South Africa’s Kyle McClatchie on the third extra hole. How pissed off do you think Kyle must have been, standing over his tee shot, knowing he needed to hole it for a half!! Now, you would think that he had absolutely no chance whatsoever, but if you ever fancy a drive up to Lincolnshire, go and play The Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa. Probably one of the finest inland courses you will ever play, with some of the deepest bunkers you will ever see. When you reach the 12th hole, read the plaque on the left of the tee. It commemorates the event where one player, in matchplay, aced the hole and his opponent followed him in for the half.
Great Golf, Great Prices and more aces!!
Monday 12th June. Captains Day has been and gone, but it will live long in the memory!! Affectionately known as “Cranes Day” as Husband & Wife, John & Karen launched their Captains Year on a hot and windy day on Saturday 9th. The Captains and their crew arrived at about 6.30am, and Nick Hawker and John Isaac were quickly allocated the task of putting up the new pop up gazebo at the back of the clubhouse to house the ice cream machine. The Clue is in the name. It pops up. No it doesn’t!! 25+ minutes elapsed in total!! 15 minutes into the attempt, and with a growing crowd inside the clubhouse offering helpful advice, Nick finally capitulated and read the instructions. A further 10 minutes passed before it could be said that it was completed! To put it into perspective, John Trott managed to get two more gazebos properly erected and secured, plus tables, chairs and food and drink, to the 1st tee and the back of the double green and still get back to add his helpful comments! Within the hour, the Chalgrave Breeze had won the day and only the one in the relative shelter of the 1st tee survived the Chalgrave Experience!
Captains Drive In itself was a magnificent affair. Bob Hall, the new Senior Captain, bashed his inaugural drive down the left, finishing in the rough short of the dogleg. Karen stepped up for the Ladies, and with the banter and general cacophony ringing in her ears, from the Mens white tees, battered it straight up the middle into the teeth of the gale!! It could have been tears of mirth, or just eyes watering as you looked into the wind, but we all knew that John was now on a hiding to nothing!! Contact was made and the ball soared skywards, and then sideways as the wind caught it, sending it into the deep stuff between 1 and 3. Karen won that by a mile!!
The rest of the day proceeded as normal, the usual mix of golf, banter, food and drink flowed as the 94 golfers on a shotgun start meandered around the course in tough, windy conditions. The strong wind and hot sunshine were a brutal combination, but Ray Bowles was well prepared as he proceeded to keep his head and face liberally covered with suncream throughout the day. Unfortunately, his team mates were miles ahead of him having emptied the suncream out and replaced it with lager!! It accurately reflects Ray’s day that he didn’t notice the pervading smell of fosters was following him around the course, even in that wind!!
Finally, it came to the presentations. Prizes were handed out and Banita and Hannah from Keech were our invited guests to take possession of the cheque from Immediate Past Captain, Simon Ward, who handed over the magnificent sum of �8,647.07, raised in his year of Captaincy.
You would think that that was enough. Nothing could possibly top the gazebos and the lager based suncream. you would of course, be wrong. This is, after all, Chalgrave, where reality is stranger and funnier than you can possibly imagine.
Mick Bewley tops the charts. As always. Mick and Ronnie participated fully in Captains Day, and were in their usual fine form as the evening function got underway. Everything was reasonably normal as the meal started, but Mick had a bit of a wobble on the main course, and so removed the very expensive, titanium false teeth and placed them safely in his pocket ready for his dessert. He forgot to replace them and today arrived at the clubhouse with a lower jaw gap, as they have gone missing. So, I’m looking for someone who had one more drink than they paid for as someone has aperitif they shouldn’t have.
Great Golf and Great Prices so you can afford the dental repair bills.
Monday 22nd May. News from the weekend. clearly the ladies section are getting too many members playing regularly now, as they had a complete disaster over the weekend. I’m working on the principle that the more members there are in a section, the greater the likelihood of two of them arriving wearing the same outfit, which in turn will simply activate the Chalgrave banter bus.
So you can imagine the mirth when not two, but three arrived sporting the same jumper!! Cally, Anne and Chris all discarded the jumper on returning home so that it can’t happen again. and no doubt went out and bought a new replacement. hopefully they will be identical as well.
Monday 22nd May. An update from the Captain, Simon, regarding the inaugural Captains Tavistock Competition played on Sun 14th. Simon has donated a trophy to be played for annually, with this being the only team matchplay event (Ryder Cup style) that we have running. 27 players particpated, 9 from the Men/Ladies/Seniors and the first winners were the Seniors. They accumulated 21 points to the Ladies 18.5 points and the rest of the club had their *rses kicked at 14 points!! Hopefully, we can expand the team numbers a little bit for next year as well.
Friday 12th May. Every now and then, one of those moments that you couldn’t make up occurs. Even more rarely, it happens in front of a CCTV camera. Today was one of those days!! John Steele and Pete Warren had been out in a buggy, and they returned to the carpark where Pete proceeded to unload his gear and John started to do the same with his. It wasn’t the fastest unloading I’ve ever seen, and so it seemed odd that John managed to miss the fact that whilst he had undone the strap which had held the clubs onto the buggy safely up hill and down dale over 18 holes and several hours on the course, he hadn’t actually removed the clubs from the buggy and put them in his car.
So, he jumped behind the wheel and drove off, intending to return the buggy back to its normal parking spot. There is a reason why the strap is around the clubs normally. From my schooldays, it is the law of inertia, I believe. The clubs, standing unstrapped on the back, do not accelerate forwards at the same rate as the buggy, they just fall straight off the back, right next to the back of John’s car, so he can put them in the boot.
Except when he picks them up, unless he actually does have a driver with a hosepipe for a shaft, there is clearly some damage to his driver.
Great Golf, Great Prices and a place in Chalgrave Legends for John Steele
Friday 12th May. A great new competition for members and non members!!
So SHARE this post with all of your friends and get them to enter as well!!
Entry is open until 31st May 2017 and the winners draw will take place on 5th June 2017. Winners will be notified by email.
Click on the link below and enter your email address on the form!
Thursday 11th May. Our new �162.1million access road is now open. Built specifically to make access to Chalgrave Manor easier from both the A5 and M1, you can now leave the M1 at the new 11a Junction and be enjoying a bacon butty in minutes, instead of queuing behind buses, lorries and the school run in Toddington. After endless years of design and planning, someone finally grabbed a ruler and drew a straight line from the M1 and A5 and whacked a big roundabout at the bottom of Lords Hill . for access to the golf club.
For a brand spanking new road, its a bit bumpy!! But don’t worry, once you get onto our driveway, you will appreciate the smoothness of our tarmac, and then onto the smoothness of our greens for putting!!
Tuesday 2nd May. The Bank Holiday is over and the Seniors are bringing normality back to Chalgrave. there is a senior out there today who will be losing a substantial amount of weight as he goes around the course. I know this as he clearly missed his cup with at least three spoons of sugar which are now all over the table and the floor instead of in his cup, therefore he will be burning calories that he hasn’t consumed on the way around.
I’m not sure who it is, but I’ll be looking at all the scorecards that are massively over par to handicap. After all, the coffee cup and the hole cup are approx the same size, so if he’s as accurate with the ball as his is with the sugar, I reckon about 140 shots should cover it.
Thursday 20th April.
Golf and Politics. These things are inter-twined. To keep you up to date with the election whilst you enjoy your golf, here are a few phrases for golf that have a political slant:
A “Theresa May” (Conservative): So far ahead in a matchplay competition that, quite frankly, it would be bloody embarrassing if you lost it now.
A “Jeremy Corbin” (Labour): A guy on the first tee, who clearly has absolutely no idea what he is doing whatsoever. He’s got all the gear, he’s read all the books, he just has absolutely no talent for the game at all.
A “Tim Farron”(Liberal Democrats): A very average golfer who promises much but has never won anything at all, ever.
An “Arlene Foster” (Democratic Unionists): Play her for money, there is no limit to the payouts you might get on winning.
A “Gerry Adams” (Sinn Fein): Talks a great game, very steady player these days, but you still expect him to blow up suddenly.
A “Leanne Wood”( Plaid Cymru): A visiting golfer from some obscure, inconsequential course you have never heard of.
A “Caroline Lucas & Jonathan Bartley” (Green Party – Job Sharing!): Devastatingly bad mixed doubles players
A “Paul Nuttal” (UKIP): A golfer who hates visitors and societies.
A “Nicola Sturgeon”: A nasty little five footer.
Friday 14th April. Tom Caulfield sets a new course record. In the long(ish) history of Chalgrave Manor Golf Club, no one has baptized their clubs and trolley TWICE! Aficionado’s of my ramblings will recall that Tom Caulfield was the source of a story where the electric trolley, bag and all the clubs plunged below the surface of the 10th, and were retrieved by the greenstaff with a grappling hook! The trolley was still driving onwards despite its complete submersion!!
So, entirely appropriately, at the start of the Easter weekend on Good Friday, Tom was on the 7th, playing again with Peter Kane who was present at the first baptism, when he left his trolley on the left side of the fairway as they approached the green. Once again, the trolley seemed strangely attracted to the depths of the pond, lurching over the side and plunging down into the reeds.
For a moment, the wheels gained traction on the surface vegetation and appeared to float on the surface, before gravity won the battle and for the second time in its life, the trolley disappeared beneath the surface! The pond on 7 is not quite so deep as the 10th, and the trolley handle still stuck up above the surface, like Arthur’s Excalibur, held aloft by the Lady of the Lake. Arthur, sorry, Tom, plunged down into the pond and grasped the handle, pulling it from the murky depths, before standing proudly, dripping wet and with a still working trolley as the remainder of the 7th pond poured out of his bag!
They proceeded to the 8th tee, where Peter Kane provided a towel to dry his grips!!
Tuesday 11th April. The seniors are almost 100 strong in total numbers and when the sun is out on a Tuesday, then it can get a tad busy!! Mick Moulton almost reduced the numbers though as he nearly ran down Seniors Captain, Tony Henderson, in the car par this morning. Nice effort, Mick, thanks for having a go.
Having said that, there are 55 playing today, if the average age is 65, then there is approx 3,575 years out on the golf course today!!
Still Tuesday 4th April. The Seniors Treasurer joins his Captain in the melee, having forgotten to bring his “spare” driver with him today, so he pops his head around the office door and asks if he can “borrow” his own driver and 3 wood, which he brought in late yesterday to have regripped.
Yes, he did actually ask if he could borrow his own driver.
Its only 8.15am! Its going to be a very long day I can tell.
Tuesday 4th April. The Seniors Captain has been a vociferous defender of the Seniors reputation, defending his section to the hilt at suggestions that the onset of age also precipitates the onset of daftness and general absentmindedness, so you can imagine the difficulty that the early arrived seniors have had (and you would have to include me in that number!) in containing their mirth as Rupert Groves receives a phone call from Tony, saying he will be delayed in arriving today as he has locked himself out of his house, whilst getting ready to leave to come down and play! The consensus is, that the clubs and bag are locked inside the house, the house and car keys are also locked inside the house, Tony is currently stuck outside with a mobile phone, in his leopard skin onesie, waiting for his son to arrive with a spare set of keys.
Monday 20th March. the Monday following the Annual Dinner Dance. a great night was had by all!! A couple of snippets from the night, clearly the ladies section are becoming the new “seniors”!! First we had Alison, not content with winning every trophy under the sun, including the much vaunted Lady Golfer of the Year, she came over to me to enquire why the Ladies Course record was not adorning the walls of the Clubhouse alongside the Mens versions? Now, I did feel that there was probably an element of “self interest” here, so I ventured the question “Do you have any idea who holds the record?” to which I received the entirely expected response “me!” (I’m sharp as a tack!). Apparently, the record card exists and I haven’t put it up, was the gist of the continuing conversation, but I pleaded not guilty to that one and said I was happy to put the card up if it could be found. Alison made a bee line for Cally, who then headed into the Ladies Changing Room as she was sure the card was in there, framed and recorded for posterity. Indeed it was, and Alison gleefully brought it over to me, I think, with the expectation that I would retrieve my electric screwdriver from the office, and affix it to the wall in my dinner suit!! Unable to resist the temptation, I said that, in fact, the net 67 from the 2015 October medal, should be a DQ as the card wasn’t signed. (Yes – I know its a neatly written record specifically for the purpose of being framed and retained, but you need to add a few Cosmopolitans and Skittlebombs to the mix as well!) Completely affronted, Alison grabbed the framed card and headed for the bar to get a pen!! I said to Cally, that this would be good, and I felt that an error in spelling her own name, or some such nonsense was about to occur.
Having dismantled the frame, signed the card, then reassembled the frame, it seemed only fair to point out that the signature A.T. Savage adorned the markers signature section!! So, when the card finally makes it onto the main wall, you now know the reason for the line of tippex where the Marker signs the card.
Now, you would be thinking that this might be difficult to top, but perhaps it was.
Kathy had also taken a liking to the option of Cocktails at the bar, and the Cosmopolitans mentioned in Alison’s story, bore no small part in this one!! We were offering Cosmo’s and Mojito’s, alongside the Jaeger and Skittlebombs, but Kathy wanted a greater variety than that that was on offer. After asking at the bar, Clare and Holly suggested that she should suggest a more densely populated list for future functions, so she came over to me and sat in the chair vacated by Alison moments before! After listening to an impassion plea for a greater variety of cocktails to be available, I said that I’m sure that by the next function, I would have at least five, The Cosmo, The Mojito, a Harvey Wallbanger, a Rusty Nail and a Prawn. “What the hell is a prawn?” said Kathy. “What, you’ve never had a prawn cocktail?” I asked innocently.
Rarely has fishing with the ladies section been so easy.
Thursday 23rd February. The ladies section entirely defeated the Molers today. I arrived back at the club having been out for most of the day, with the few remaining Molers still in the Clubhouse drowning their sorrows about how they have been soundly beaten by Doris today. I thought this was slightly odd, as I didn’t recall a Lady Member by the name of Doris, but assumed that she had recently joined.
It turned out, of course, it was Storm Doris, not Doris Storm that defeated them. A few did try and play a few holes though in 50mph winds. Graham Busby said he went to lift the flagstick out of one hole, and in the bottom of the cup was a newt!! I asked him if it was really small, and he said “No, Why?” I said if it was really small, it would be my newt!!”
Tuesday 7th February. I’ve finally capitulated and my life as I knew it is clearly over. I’ve filled in the form, and paid �5 to join a section of my own Club. I am now a paid up member of the Chalgrave Senior Section. I didn’t quite go the whole hog and actually play today, but I will contemplate it next Tuesday if the sun is out. On the upside, the amount of news stories could just be about to take a massive leap upwards, the question will be how long will it be before no one wants to play in my group as they will appear on the news page later on!!
Thursday 19th January. Its been a bit quiet over the Christmas and New Year period, and as the cold snap hit, the numbers of people braving the cold winds also drops. However, there are still matches going on, and our Winter Scratch Team have absolutely excelled themselves with a brilliant win at Mowsbury last weekend.
Leading from the front was skipper Dave Bromley (who played having sadly and unexpectedly lost his brother the previous Wednesday) and would have understandably been excused from playing but he did. His sense of duty and commitment to his team in his role knows no bounds. He is probably too modest to shout the result from the rooftops but I think it worthy of note especially as the team comprised several players who have not stepped up to the scratch team level before. Team composition was (in pairing order) Dave Bromley, Tim Bevan (W 5&4); Dave McGarry & Kev Clinton (W-2up); Adam Henderson & Gary Turner (L-3&2) and Tony Henderson & Frank McKenzie (W-2 up) for an overall 3-1 away win.
Well Done Chaps!!
Monday 19th December. news has finally reached me of yet another ace, as Mark Stroud aced the 16th with a 3 iron on Thursday 8th December, bringing the number of aces to a record equalling 12 in a single calendar year, equalling the standard set in 2012. So, we have 14 days, including today, to launch another one and make 2016 a new Club record! No pressure then!!
Tuesday 13th December. oh dear oh lord. in 11 days time, I will be 55 years old and eligible to join the Seniors Section on the Tuesday Morning rituals. and if ever there was a time for a time machine to arrive and transport me back a few years, to alleviate the onset of madness, it is now! The prospect of what lies in store for me has never been more perfectly epitomised, than the organisation today for the Seniors Turkey Trott. A day where each player brings in a small gift to adorn the prize table, to be claimed by another player at the end of the round. Nothing, to me, heralds the arrival of Christmas more than the return of the decade old Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry. Every year it is faithfully kept and returned to the prize table. These days, there is rarely even the attempt to disguise it by giving it new wrapping.
but this is not what has stimulated my funny bone and filled me with dread with what is about to happen in my life, this morning. Every October/November I deal with the fixtures for the new year ahead and enshrine the dates in the fixture card. So the date of the Senior Turkey Trott has been fixed for the best part of 14 months. There is also a clue in the name. so you can imagine the incredulous looks, even from the seniors themselves, when Chris Baker, newly installed as Seniors Treasurer, the man with the access to the purse and who was given one task for today, bring the Turkey, announced that, despite their being a Sainsbury’s/Morrisons/Asda/Tesco/Lidl et al on almost every street corner, he has been “UNABLE TO FIND” a frozen turkey for today’s competition!!
“Forgot” would have been entertaining in its own right, but “unable to find” is a line worthy of seniors folklore. According to British Turkey, over 10 million turkeys are purchased in the run up to Christmas. The major and minor supermarkets restock their fast moving lines on a daily basis. How unlucky do you have to be, to walk into a Sainsbury’s just as the last one is taken from the freezer and before they are replenished? I think the chances must be about a million to one. So to presumably, go down the road to Tesco and have the same thing happen, and then a day later, it to occur again in Morrisons brings odds of eye watering magnitude. to be the person looking for the 10,000,001 turkey and for everyone to have run out with 2 weeks still to go to Christmas is bad luck of staggering magnitude.
You may think the story ends there. it doesn’t. 5 minutes later, Chris Baker puts his head around my office door and asks for an envelope. he needs one so he can put a �5 note inside because he has “FORGOTTEN” to bring his prize for the table! I’ve sent the greenstaff out onto the course to shoo away the swans and geese from the ponds and reservoir, just in case Chris tries to redeem himself by getting a fresh one!!
Chalgrave has long been associated with Great Golf at Great Prices. To that we can add unbelievable Turkey Prices as I will have one for sale at �175 in a few hours time.
Sat 10 Dec. Cabaret Night was utterly fantastic. A packed house, fantastic food from Lucie and her team, and plenty of beer flowed. To put it into perspective, Dave McGarry’s guest Bill, is seen here pictured at about 1.00am, wearing a pair of white golf shoes, which seeing as he doesn’t play golf, that’s quite impressive. I’m not sure what happened to the ones he arrived in!!
Friday 25th November. we have all had occasions where as hard as we’ve tried to get things arranged, things conspire against you and prevent it happening. and so it was on the Steve Rumball/Dave McGarry v Dave Appleby/Paul McGarry Winter Matchplay KO. The match was eagerly anticipated, but whenever we looked like getting it played, something always messed it up. In the end, as the expiry date for the round was nigh, the game was decided on the toss of a coin. However, a simple 50/50 chance seemed a pretty plain way of doing it, so I enlisted the help of Lucie and Clare as independent adjudicators/coin tossers (you can make your own jokes up here. )
They decided that Steve/Dave were heads and Apples/Paul were tails, and we played for each hole, and an agreement that if all square after 18, then sudden death would be played.
Unbelievably, Apples/Paul stormed into a 5 up lead, as tails kept coming up trumps. Dave/Steve pulled one back on the 6th, lost the 7th, won the 8th and lost the 9th to go to the turn 5 down after 9!!
Steve/Dave won the 10th, raising hopes of a storming back 9 comeback, but Apples/Paul slammed the door shut taking the 11th and 12th to be dormie 6 going up the 13th. Faced with a long walk back to the clubhouse if they won 13, Steve/Dave sensibly lost that as well, losing the match 7 and 5, which I’m pretty sure is one of the heaviest defeats I’ve ever suffered on a golf course, especially without actually hitting a ball.
For the record, the scorecard supplied by Lucie and Clare was:
Great Golf, Great Prices and tails never fails.
Friday 11th November. Like buses, there is nothing for a while, then three stories turn up together. firstly, the last seniors awayday at John O’Gaunt a couple of weeks ago, had a minor glitch. Dave Jones was given the duty to bring the Awayday Trophy with him. which turned out to be a bit of a disaster as he wasn’t going.
but this was surpassed today by Clare, who managed one of the finest blags I’ve seen for a while. Derek Collins brought a club in to be regripped, with an extra thick grip, on Tuesday, and Clare arranged for Simon to collect it on Thursday and have it returned for Friday. Derek arrived for his knock around a couple of holes on Friday, and Clare duly presented him with the club for his inspection, asking “is that all OK?” to which Derek replied “Well its fine. It looks a bit shiny, but yes its OK” as he coughed up the required �7 for the new grip and went off to play. Five minutes later, Simon arrived and asked where the club was that he needed to regrip as he hadn’t managed to get in on Thursday to collect it!! Yes, Mrs Puddick successfully sold Derek his old club with old grip back to him for seven quid!! So, Clare went off to retrieve the Club, giving it some waffle about how she felt that he wasn’t quite as enthralled with the new grip as she felt he should be and she was getting Simon to do it again, completely free of charge.
. and finally, Rupert Groves was standing outside my office an hour or so ago, looking intently at the trophy cabinet. I asked if he was waiting for me, but he said, “no, I’m just checking something. ” “What’s that then?” I asked. “and why are you looking at the Ladies Trophies?” Rupert looked at me, looked at the Ladies cabinet, looked at me again and then sheepishly moved off to the seniors cabinet around the corner. there’s more to this story to come yet so watch this space.
Tuesday 25th October. Three in 6 Days. Some of you need to get your finger out if you haven’t had an ace at Chalgrave. Peter Leatherland joins the Club in April and aces the 7th just 6 months later. he also joined the senior section and picked the date of their Summer Awards trophy presentation to do it!! The bar was packed and Peter’s is now known to all of the section.
Sunday 23rd October. OK OK I Hold my hands up. I made a slight boo boo on the report from yesterday about the two holes in one last week. I took the information I was given as verbatim, which now means that I have to admit to not recognising the name of a Club Member, as Duncan McLaren is infact a 5 Day Member of a few years standing. which then meant I had made further errors with my report as that makes Ross’s ace the 10th of the year not the 9th. As I was also missing the info about which club was used for the Hole in One Page, I asked him what he used. “I opened the face of a 9 iron and hit it very high!” was the response. sliced it then.
Saturday 22nd October. Ross Daniels aces the 16th for his first ever hole in one, the 9th one by a Club Member in 2016. We also had an ace by a guest during the week, a gentleman by the name of Duncan McLaren. I’m not sure what disaster befell him on the 9th, but he was forced to open a box and select a brand new ball on the 10th tee. Faced with chunking a brand new ball into the water, he avoided that ignominy by acing the hole instead. The first ever strike of a club onto a new ball!! One assumes that it won’t ever get struck again and it is on his mantelpiece somewhere!!
Tuesday 4th October. as a general Rule of Thumb, getting Tarby involved in any aspect of organisation is fraught with danger, and never has this been more perfectly confirmed as asking him to deal with a couple of cards to be signed by the seniors section. Tarby approaches Ade Purser who signs the card with “A great bloke and will be very, very sadly missed” which then turns out to be Derek Collin’s card on his retirement after 20 years as Treasurer of the Seniors Section and NOT the card of condolence for Ron Gray. Ron, of course, would have absolutely died of laughter. Valerie, Derek’s wife, apparently said “That’s very nice of Adrian to make such a nice comment. ”
Tuesday 4th October. news has come in of a hole in one. not here though, but worthy of reporting. Ben Hope 81 (and a half) years old – got an ace at a 163 yard par 3 at Anstey GC, near Coventry, on a Seniors day out with John Townley and co. I only know it was Anstey because Ben at least managed to remember who he was playing with so I could ask them! I’d heard he had got an ace, so I asked him “where did you play?” “Er, can’t remember!” “Which hole was it?” “Er, can’t remember!” ” What club did you use?” “7 wood, 163 yards” “Did you keep the ball?” ” No, I lost it a few holes later..”
Friday 30th September. I’m out and about today, having collected a large pile of old newspapers (shredded and used for horse bedding by Mrs R) and delivering a bulk bag of logs. One of those glorious opportunities for a wind up was presented and grasped with both hands.
I’ve collected the papers and arrive at the delivery address to drop off the logs. I open the back of the truck and some of the loose newspapers drop out. A builder, working near to my delivery address sees the papers and asks if he can have one, but I tell him its not this weeks, they are old ones. he looks at the huge pile of papers and sees the big bag of logs as well. “What do you do with all the papers then?” he asks.
“I’ve discovered a way of reversing the process” I say!. “We take the papers, pulp them, and compress them in moulds so that they look just like split firewood logs” as I take a log out of the bag to show him. “Listen, they sound hollow when you tap them and they are really light (both features of kiln dried wood!!)” He takes the log and taps it himself and studies it intently. “Thats f**king incredible” he says “I’d never know that wasn’t a real one!!”
The logs were slightly moist by the end of the delivery from my tears of laughter once out of sight, and no, I didn’t tell him!!
Friday 30th September. hot on the heels of the attempted duck hole in one comes a real one, as Dave Ballard aces the 16th with a 6 iron, and then generously buys everyone in the Clubhouse a beer. in his description of the magnificent strike, he said “I didn’t even think it was that good a swing!” to which Godders instantly responded “its not, I’ve seen it!!” He may miss 90% of the conversation most of the time, but he ain’t lost it when he hears things!!
Thursday 29th September. the molers are in as usual and Roy Evans, Pete Nicholls and Eddie Ballarano have a relatively uneventful front 9. They arrive at the 10th, where Pete Nicholls tees off and puts his ball on the green above and to the left of the flag. A duck wanders up the green from the bottom and has a close look at the ball. Moments later, Roy Evans tees off and his ball thuds into the green about 10ft from the bottom. Presumably, because they didn’t shout “fore” (or perhaps “DUCK” was an option?) the duck ran, yes not waddle or walk, it runs down the green, and clouts the ball off the bottom of the green with its bill!! Eddie opted to put his in the bunker so as not to offend the duck! (Well that’s what he says, but if he can hit a sand target that is 15ft x 8ft with such unerring accuracy then he should not be off 23!!)
Personally, when the story was being recounted in the bar, I felt a sense of disappointment when I discovered that the duck just knocked the ball off the green. I was expecting that the ball had rolled across the green into the hole! Then a birdie would have got an ace.
Roy correctly replaced the ball (ball at rest moved by outside agency Rule 18-1) but failed to get a birdie despite a birdie getting him.
Friday 16th September. apparently El Capitano Simon Ward has a new technique for ensuring that that his team members don’t forget they are playing in a Club Match on a Saturday Morning. at 6.05am on FRIDAY morning, he sends a text to his team reminding them they are playing the following day. In various parts of Bedfordshire, 11 wives/girlfriends hear the phone make a noise as it wakes them up. They, in turn, wake their other halves and shout at them about texts arriving at some unearthly hour that wakes them up.
Ten minutes later, after everyone has settled back down and drifted off to sleep again, the second text arrives, correcting the first text which had a mistake on it, waking up the same wives/girlfriends who again wake their other halves and shout even louder at them “WHY ARE YOU GETTING BLOODY TEXTS AT 6.15M ABOUT A BLOODY CLUB MATCH TOMORROW AWAY AT COLMWORTH.
So now, the whole team has been properly reminded, and it is likely that they will continue to be reminded at every opportunity over the next 24 hours.
Great Golf, Great Prices and a text from the Captain at 6.00am
Monday 12th September. a blast from the past. Andy Cusack, a member here well over 15 years ago, decided to call in and play 9 holes or so as he fancied knocking a ball around as he contemplates an imminent move to the Derbyshire Dales. The thought he was in the wrong place the moment he turned off the main road. Smooth tarmac greeted him instead of a rutted, potholed track. That track used to be framed by rows of small sticks about 2ft high and are now glorious trees. My office was much tidier as well, he said (I could be making that bit up. ). A few hours later, he was back, genuinely astonished at the transformation of what was a bare agricultural field into what the course has become in those 15 years.
Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to help remind you what we have achieved in just 22 years.
Thursday 18th August. news from the Tuesday Seniors. who have returned from marshalling the Pro’s at Woburn and its clearly affected them!! The Tuesday competition saw 54 players compete over 18 holes off the yellows. 15 of them were at par or better. Eight of them swanned into the clubhouse with their 40+ points all thinking they have nailed this to the floor and won the event. They didn’t. Frank Howarth, 75 years old, 17 handicap, plays loads of competitions midweek and weekends, shot his age. Yes. 75 shots, 3 over gross, and 50 stableford points to win it. Normally, 50 points would bring forth the accusations of banditry and dodgy handicaps. Ken Goodland played with Frank and said it will be a round he will never forget. Par’s, birdies even an eagle. If it could be chipped in or putted in from miles away it unerringly found the hole or stopped on the rim. Utterly staggering. I don’t think Frank will be off 17 next week though.
Thursday 18th August. News filters through of some decent scoring. firstly Rob Weir eagles the 6th for the second consecutive round, chipping in for a 3 nett 2 and 5 points for his total. Amazingly, he lost ground to his playing partner, Phil Billington, who had already been given his Srixon ball back by Rob, who had retrieved it from the hole as the albatross 2 (nett 1!) had accumulated 6 points for Phil!! 11 stableford points on a single hole!! That would have been useful on Charity Day!!
Monday 1st August. The club is returning to normal, or at least what passes for normal here, after the mayhem of Charity Day on Saturday. As always, the golf was of secondary importance to the prime purpose of raising funds for our Captains Charity, Keech Hospice. As I said on Saturday night, our fundraising and the destination of our funds had a particularly poignant and relevant meaning this year, as on Friday a large contingent from the Club were at Bedford Crematorium to support Steve and pay their respects to Beryl. Steve and Beryl were both supported massively over the past few months by Willen Hospice, and it cannot be underestimated the importance of the fundraising that we do so well, and the selection of our local Hospice Keech as the recipient of our donations.
The day, as always was a brand of organised chaos for which we have become rightly famous. Club Captain Simon Ward lead by example, forgetting to pick up one of his golfing partners on the way in and having to drive off to retrieve him when he finally remembered about an hour after arriving! Fancy Dress was again donned by at least half of the teams, the Captains two guest teams both said they would have also dressed up if they had been told!!
Some decided just to go Fancy Dress and ignore the film theme. The Morris Dancers were a classic example of this, but it would have been churlish to criticise them for this, given the worrying level of skill and synchronisation they showed when performing their dance routines in the early evening, gave a clear indication that rehearsals have been going on for some time.
My playing Partners, Sean and Tony displayed a level of mastery of the art of BBQ cooking rarely seen as we catered for 120+ people without breaking sweat. Well, OK maybe we did, but the BBQ’s were pretty hot.
Sam Groves donated his hair. �180 was donated to the cause for a No1 head shave. Dave “The Hairdresser” McGarry did the honours and he enjoyed himself so much that when a set of heated curling tongs came up in the auction, he bought those for �20 as he contemplated a possible new career. The Hawkers assisted by Mick Parrett and Paul Northcott won the Fancy Dress, having played 18 holes in full Alice in Wonderland regalia. They didn’t however, win the golf. Fines were levied for anything I could think of in the presentation, Don Parrott collected Dave Millards prize for a nearest the pin, so he was fined for impersonating Dave Millard. He subsequently was required to collect something as Don Parrott, and so was fined again for impersonating Don Parrott on the basis that he had admitted to being Dave Millard!
After the prizes were claimed and the auction completed, we launched into the disco for the remainder of the evening. This morning, we tallied it all up and we have a grand total. Rupert Groves generously offered to double the funds raised on his son’s haircut. I’m never going to pass up an opportunity like that, so I’ve contacted all of the sponsors, players, auction purchasers and ad hoc donators, and they have all agreed to withdraw their original monies and re-donate them to the Sam Groves Haircut Fund.
Rupert. a cheque for �5,195 instead of the expected �180 would be much appreciated! Yes. That is the staggering sum raised by a 120 people playing golf. �5,195 is a magnificent sum of money to raise in a whole year. We still have 10 months to go. Watch this space.
Sat 23rd July. John Ainsworth aces the 13th, to make it three aces (so far) in July. This one was a first though, as I cannot recall anyone getting a hole in one with their driver! Just goes to prove, it doesn’t matter what club you hit, its where it ends up that counts!!
Friday 22nd July.
Congratulations to Chalgrave’s Abbie Roberts who won the County Junior U16 Nett Championship with a nett 67 round South Beds Golf Club.
Her main focus is football and she plays for MK Dons girls team plus the U16 England Girls Football team – in fact earlier this year she captained the U15 England team for their trip to Germany.
Friday 22nd July. my prediction comes true as Colin Barden shoots a gross 77 in the Pro Am and beats his Pro partner by 8 shots gross!! Stenson and Mickleson picked the wrong partners as well, as Colin Clough and Karen Crane failed to capitalise on their majestic final rounds at The Open. Rob Peck had the distinction of winning the amateur only comp and hanging onto the lead thanks to the 70 scored by Argentinian Emiliano Grillo.
Monday 18th July. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the Amateur Scores so I can work out the result of the Pro
Am, but Colin Barden is in with a shout. of beating the score made by his Pro, Greg Chalmers who shot an awesome 85 on the last day at The Open! The two lowest scoring Pro’s were the top two, Stenson and Mickleson, so the pressure is on Colin Clough and Karen Crane to have done their bit to lift the trophy. we will see!!
Monday 18th July. Two aces in three days, as Steve Jenkins aces the 5th on the 15th July and Captain Simon Ward aces the 10th on Sunday in the Pro
Am, to record his third ace here and join a very exclusive Club of now El Presidente John Gibson and Capitano Simon Ward who have three each to their name.
Clearly, if you want multiple aces, you need to be on T’Committee.
Thursday 14th July. I know its been quiet on the news front, I have been rather busy with stuff and have got behind on stuff. but here’s a snippet for you that shows the differences between the generations and the way we are attached to our technology. Brian Gidley played golf today and left his mobile phone in the buggy afterwards. We retrieved it for him and put it behind the bar in the safe for him. He’s left us know he will collect it on SATURDAY when he is next in! Be honest. How many of you would live for 2+ days without your mobile??
Friday 1st July. news from the Captain, Simon Ward, who ventured off piste and played Luton Hoo in the County Seniors Championship last week, along with past Champion Tim Bevan and also Mick Parrett. The consensus was that if you think the rough at Chalgrave is tough at the moment, then the Hoo will change that perception right away!! Impossible to find the ball, and if a miracle occurred and you did, another three ratchets up the scale of impossible in terms of actually getting it out! Mick Parrett marked the occasion by aceing the 153 yard 16th, but even this magnificent feat didn’t get Chalgrave onto the podium this year. Apparently there was a tie for 1st place, and those involved had already got changed out of their wet golf gear, into jackets and ties, had dinner and a beer and themselves sorted, before having to get back into the wet gear and go out and play extra holes to decide the winner!!
Tuesday 21st June. In or Out?? Rick Maughan is definitely IN, on the 5th, with a 7 iron!! To hell with a referendum, this is far more important!! The third ace of the year and worryingly, 4 of the last 5 aces have come from the seniors section!! How is that possible? Unless of course they have miscounted!! Definitely a miscalculation by Rick as he chose one of the busiest seniors days of the year to record his first ever ace.
We have been indulging in referendum debates in the clubhouse all week, not always with a great deal of success. In or Out of Europe raised as a question earlier this morning, brought the response, “we are still in, a draw was enough!” which perhaps indicates the level of seriousness (and confusion) with which the referendum is being taken.
To assist you in your deliberations in your decision we might divide the clubhouse on Thursday into four sections, IN, OUT, UNDECIDED and WHAT REFERENDUM. Having purchased your pint (or 0.568 litres) of beer you then have to sit in your declared area. Visitors to the Club will not be allowed to sit with the OUTS as they don’t want immigrants. On the other hand, there could be unlimited numbers of visitors on Thursday, sitting with the IN’s but they might not have brought any money with them and the IN’s will have to contribute to their beer and green fees. Meanwhile, both the INs and the OUTs and the Undecideds will debate having Rules/Laws passed by unpopular unelected people who foist taxation/charges upon all for what appears to be the benefit of a relatively small number. I don’t agree with England Golf and its structure either.
Tuesday 14th June. A great group of people, a significant number of the Club Captains who have been responsible for the �100,000+ raised.
Monday 13th June. news from Captains Day. as we welcomed Simon and Cally to the start of their Year. the golf went down a storm, without a storm in sight. Mick “Moses” Bewley still managed to get wet, losing his balance whilst playing a shot close to the edge of the pond on 7 and sliding down the steep slope and ending up flat on his back in the reeds (or bulrushes!!). There is no truth in the rumour though, that he parted the waters of the 10th and walked directly to the green.
Tim Bevan amassed a superb 43 points to win it, shooting a gross 71 in the process, with Graham Samsa second with 41 points. The course was in magnificent condition, probably the best its been so far this year.
The evening dinner was superb and we were delighted to see Steve and Beryl Bradshaw make a short but most welcome appearance. Moses then led the Children of Chalgrave to the Promised Land, otherwise known as the dancefloor where he performed miracles for the rest of the evening!
Probably the highlight of the evening though, was the presentation of the cheques to Banita and Mark, our guests from Keech. As well as the magnificent �10,391.56 that we raised last year, we also had a photocall of a fantastic group of Club Captains who have been the lynch pins of the unbelievable �100,467.31 that we have now raised for Keech to date. I hope to have a photo of that presentation very shortly.
Tuesday 7th June. Senior Captains Drive In. the start of a new captains year, Tony Henderson is at the helm and Bob Hall is Vice Captain. Well, they had a hard act to follow. Rupert is organised within an inch of his life, technology is his friend, and his ability to delegate and keep on top of tasks is exemplary. Today had a nostalgic feel to it. Peter Whitton was not available to guide them through the computerised sign in, but that seemed to go OK. First problem was the absence of a printer for the cards, and for the start sheet, so the start sheet was copied from the computer screen by hand. well, most of it was anyway!!
The handwritten start sheet was quite challenging to read, so Tarby, who wears glasses but gets really close to what he needs to read and then peers over the top of the glasses, started to read out which groups were off which tee, except he couldn’t read the handwriting that well. The situation was compounded by the fact that there had been some subtle name changes in the translation from computer to handwritten list; Jerry Atkinson became Jerry Atkins, but Jerry Atkinson didn’t know if we actually had a Jerry Atkins as a member, so he was unsure if it was typo (or should that be a hando??) or not. Mick Howard, however, appeared on the list twice.
Meanwhile, oblivious to the chaos in the lobby as half the seniors tried to find out where they were playing and with who, coupled with the fact that no one actually had any cards, Tony and Bob casually made their way down to the 1st Tee and with the half of the section that has sussed out who they were playing with and where they were starting, launched into Captains Drive In.
Eventually, everyone had disappeared to their starting tee for a texas scramble, apart from a folorn three ball in the lobby who didn’t appear on the list at all. So I sent them off to start on the 11th as a group.
The three groups that went down to start off the 10th, were greeted by the sight of Kathy Tabor and Kate Tilcock, and a vast array of cakes and snacks, along with a tipple or two. All of them declined to partake of the delicacies before them (for clarity, that’s the snacks and cakes not the two ladies – although thats also not to say that the two ladies are not delicacies in their own right. I’ll stop digging now!!) and the 12 players said they would partake later on. Well that will be a challenge then chaps, when you start on 10, you will finish on the 9th green, so you either will be walking all the way to the 10th tee and back again to the clubhouse for a sausage roll or you won’t bother/remember! I know what my money is on.
Amazingly, they all managed to return to the clubhouse where Captain Tony held court for the prize giving. I have no idea who won, but I believe that Mick Howard, who had 2 chances to win, came last and second last.
All in all, the reputation of the seniors is clearly in extremely safe hands. after a year of normality, chaos has returned! The Tony and Bob show is well and truly underway.
Tuesday 31st May. Hugh Kerr sends me an advert he has received.
A dramatic coastal destination.
A masterpiece unveiled.
From the 1st of June, the legendary Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry will be available for play following a highly anticipated renovation. Experience the exhilarating changes on this famous course and become part of golfing history as one of the first to
take on the reborn Ailsa course.
Tee off from just �539* per person, which also includes overnight accommodation in one of Trump Turnberry’s lavishly upgraded bedrooms, inclusive of breakfast, and a three course dinner in hotel’s 1906 restaurant
So, one round of golf, breakfast and dinner, plus an overnight stay, or a whole years golf and access to free golf at 30+ courses.
Great Golf, Great Prices but not Donald Trump’s ones!
Monday 11th May. I’ve often been asked if I make the news page stories. No. I don’t credit myself with that level of wild imagination! Whilst I might get quite elaborate on the description for comedy purposes, every scrap that appears on this hallowed page is a genuine story. So you can imagine my delight at coming in this morning to be told that Tom Caulfield of the seniors section, has been inducted into the Chalgrave News Page Hall of Fame, after an escapade so magnificent it may take me a while to describe it.
The only, and sincere regret, is that what follows is fractionally out of screen from the CCTV camera located at the rear of the 10th Green.
So Tom was playing his normal Friday social round, when he arrived at the 10th hole. The fourball all teed off and there was a bit of uncertainty of the location of one of the balls which had headed towards the trees to the left of the green. As they rounded the pond, all the players headed for the treeline to search for the ball, Tom pressed the “roll on 10 yards” button on his trolley and went off to help. He failed to appreciate that the slope leading to the green is reasonably significant, and that gravity will try and pull a rolling object down a slope.
so the trolley turned right. and trundled down the hill, getting angry squawks from the ducks and geese as it disturbed their slumbers. Perhaps it was the urgency of the squawking that alerted the guys to the impending danger, as they looked up just in time to see the trolley, bag, which was complete with Tom’s wallet and his house/car keys, do a bad impression of Evel Knievel’s Grand Canyon Jump.
They turned just in time to see the trolley reach the edge and plunge in. Tom, abandoning the search for the ball he was looking for, despite 5 minutes not elapsing, and raced to try and locate the trolley. Using one of his playing partners clubs, he was able to hook the trolley and pull the handle back above the surface but was unable to drag it out of the pond, so he set off for the greenkeeping shed to enlist some help.
Jamie and Danny, after a 10 minute delay to wipe away the tears of laughter which were preventing them from driving anything, made it to the 10th pond, but the trolley had disappeared! The raft was unhitched and Jamie started trying to hook anything under the water on the last known location of the trolley, and miraculously managed to hook it. They dragged it to the surface and as it rose from the depths like the Henry VIII’s warship The Mary Rose, the reason why it has disappeared was obvious. the wheels were still driving it onwards!! Had the pond been solid on the bottom, it would have been back at the tee!!
As the water cascaded from the bag, Tom grabbed his putter, holed out and then played the back nine!! For the record, he didn’t get any penalty strokes either, as “exception 1 of Rule 13-4” Section (b) allows that as he did not improve the lie of his ball (which wasn’t in the hazard), there is no penalty for “placing his clubs in a hazard!”
I’m trying to find out who the manufacturer of the trolley is, as to still be running 10/20 minutes after it was submerged is pretty damn impressive. Tom “U Boat” Caulfield has so far not be available for comment!!
Great Golf, Great Prices and Hall of Fame Seniors.
Friday 22nd April. Captains Awayday at The Bedford was won by Scratch Team Captain Dave Brommers, with the Club Captain Mick Yule in 2nd place. The accolades though go to VJ “WONGA” Mistry who turned �1 into �20 in just 4.5 hours. As is the norm, there was a 2’s competition, but Don Parrott was unable to stump up the requisite �2 and had to borrow �1 of it from Wonga Mistry. The “loan” was granted on the terms that as he had paid half the entry, he would be entitled to half the winnings. In absolutely standard Chalgrave folklore, there was just one winner, Don Parrott who scooped the entire �60 pot and to great merriment was forced to honour his word and offer half to Wonga. VJ, in a very non wonga manner, took �20 not the �30 he was entitled to, but this amounts to any eyewatering profit of 2000% return on 4.5 hours of lending. My mathematical calculation is that amounts to 10,680% per day and 3,898,200% APR!!
Thursday 21st April. Alan Loveday aces the 10th for the second time here at Chalgrave, almost 11 years after the first one. He’s getting weaker as well as the first ace in 2006 was with a 9 wood and this one needed a 5 wood to make it. In another decade he’ll need a driver!! It was bl**dy cold out there as well, so he had a blinding result afterwards as well, as they all wanted coffee!! The round of drinks cost �21 !! Its only the second ace of the year so far, after nearly 4 months. We had ten in total last year.
Tuesday 19th April. Dave Burden is a changed man in retirement. Today, he is amongst the first here, fit and raring to go. Its a team event today, 4 players to a team and Dave is full of banter and laughter as he teases and cajoles the arriving seniors about which team they will be in and who their playing partners will be. a the 8.00am cut off time approaches, he glances at the Whitton Computerised Draw System and realises there are 39 players entered, so as Adrian Purser arrives he congratulates him on rounding the numbers to the perfect 40 and wanders outside for a bit of chipping practice prior to the start.
As the “explosion” of seniors to occurs as the disappear off to all parts of the course, Dave pops his head back around the front door to peer at the list to see which tee he needs to head off to, but struggles to find his name on the sheet. Slowly it dawns upon him, that he was so busy taking the p*ss out of everyone else, that he actually didn’t sign in himself, so having been here for best part of 1 1/2 hours chatting to 40 other blokes, he hasn’t got a game!
Great Golf, Great Prices and opportunities for solitary practice.
Friday 15th April. Another two days of torrential rain had an impact on golf today. first the Beadlow Early Bird society capitulated at 8.00am without a ball being struck in anger. had coffee, decided that it was just too miserable to contemplate golf, and rebooked for June instead. The brandy boys came in for coffee and decided against it as well. Late morning and the Friday boys were here, the rain had abated but there were ducks swimming on the bottom of the 18th. As the forecasted more heavy rain started, they sensibly capitulated and came in before the onslaught. As the rain grew heavier and the ducks on 18 were suffering from exhaustion as it was a long swim to the edge, Kathy Shaw and Denise Brooks turned up to play their matchplay KO match! Now its been a while since I’ve seen the traditional Chalgrave “I’m going to play this whatever the bloody weather throws at me” demeanour and to be fair, the ladies usually exude far more common sense than most when the conditions are arduous. Not Kathy and Denise. Somehow, they managed 9 holes in torrential rain and flooded greens. For the record, Kathy is one up and they are coming back to finish this, come hell or high water, or in their case even higher water!
I would take my hat off to them but I’d get wet.
Great Golf, Great Prices and Wet Ladies!!
Tuesday 12th April. the weekly chaos of the seniors ensues, and there are no holds barred today. two have arrived without their trolleys which it turns out, is small beans. Steve Howarth is probably one of our more “remote” seniors, making the pilgrimage every Tuesday and Thursday from Bricket Wood, near St Albans up the M1, through the road works and speed restrictions to the club. Today, he has his trolley. but no clubs, having left them in the garage, next to where he picked up the trolley from. so a round trip of about 45 miles for a cup of coffee and somewhere to read the paper. Before you ask, yes I did offer him a spare set to use, but the bag of clubs also contains shoes/hat/gloves etc and all the rest of the senior golfers paraphernalia required to participate on a Tuesday.
Monday 11th April. news from the Saturday Club Match against Tilsworth, who we trounced 5 – 1. The match always features a “Nearest the Pin” with a �5 entry fee and a �40 prize with the balance going to Keech. So on Saturday the 5th was the designated hole, and debutant Adrian D’Arcy teed off with playing partner Barry Moorhouse having first agreed that if either won the Nearest the Pin, they would share the proceeds. Adrian then watched aghast as the ball took a hop and a skip and nosedived into the cup for his first ever ace!!
So, half the winnings, �20, less the �5 entry fee, and a �50 bar bill. Barry, meanwhile was chuckling away counting his �15 profit.
Monday 11th April. I’m sitting here on Monday, drained, after a catastrophic round of golf. No. I’m not talking Jordan Spieth collapsing in the Masters. I’m talking Pete Warren, Lee Nash and yours truly in the Apple Designs on Sunday. Overnight, someone broke into the course and added about 2,500 yards to the course without me noticing. We did, to be fair as a three ball, have a very tight match between ourselves, with just a single stableford point separating the three of us after 18 holes. It started bizarrely, as I pulled on a glove, marked up my ball and then ran back up to my office to put my golf shoes on. Four decent shots later with a stroke for a three pointer to start, I was a happy bunny. Then things took a turn. Suffice it to say, that 17 stableford points is not exactly the highlight of my golfing career. I don’t think Lee and Pete on 18 points each will be looking back with much joy either!
Tuesday 5th April. News from the weekend medal. Don Cook gets a PAR on the 7th.
Now the more churlish of you would be thinking that this is a particularly hash bit of sarcasm from me, singling out a club member for what achieving what hopefully is expected to be achieved, and the severity of the sarcasm is compounded by the fact that I generally don’t make reference to players scores unless they achieve something exceptional, so a par doesn’t really cut it, does it? Except it does on this occasion, as Don hoicked his tee shot way over the left mound and out of bounds and was therefore obliged to play this third shot from the tee, which he promptly holed for a par!! So before you ask, no, its not a hole in one. The clue is in the 3 on the card.
Friday 1st April. Following George Cox and Colin Tipping falling for the April Fool, I am delighted to announce that Taff Rowlands and none other than Peter Whitton, a man who normally arrives on the 1st of April, pokes his head around my door and says “I know what day it is, don’t even think about trying anything” have just come back into the Clubhouse after playing the front nine. Now I was talking to Taff as he got a coffee before they started, about the hot air experiment and asked him to let me know later if he could tell any difference between the 3rd green and the rest when he came in.
At the time, I was convinced that Peter Whitton turned away to mask his laughter at the preposterousness of the suggestion and I was grateful to him for not exposing the prank at that moment.
So you can imagine my delight, when Taff pokes his head around my door, gives me the “thumbs up” and says that the 3rd was “noticeably drier” than the rest of the holes they played. As I wanted to drag the prank out a little, I walked out of the office to where Peter had joined Derek Collins and Alan Laid for morning coffee, to discuss the greens heating system option with them all. You can imagine my unbridled delight when Peter Whitton said he didn’t think that he recognised the difference quite as much as Taff did, but still thought that there was some improvement. So, you can imagine his crestfallen face when I continued with the conversation for a short while before mentioning that my life was now complete as I didn’t in my wildest dreams ever think I would catch Peter Whitton with an April Fool gag. Peter looked slightly baffled and said “but its not even April” whilst Alan and Derek laughed and Taff still didn’t realise it was a prank. The penny dropped though and it may be a while before Peter speaks to me again.
We have taken the opportunity today with the early morning frost, to conduct an experiment that may have a far reaching impact on winter golf here at Chalgrave in the years ahead.
We have added some pipework to the biomass boiler and connected it up to the course irrigation system. This enables us to divert hot air from the kiln into the irrigation system and then using a short connection open a pipe into the under green drainage system as well as have a surface outlet pipe . as well.
One of our early starting golfers, George Cox was able to see the benefits of the system and agreed that the greens surface on the 3rd was way softer than the previous two holes he had played.
Hopefully, we can extend the system through all 18 greens and will be able to bring the same sort of under soil heating and drying to Chalgrave Golf Club, that you see at the Premiership football stadiums.
This will enable not just better, softer greens throughout the winter, it will also reduce the potential for damage when we currently use the greens in frosty conditions. The video of the experiment can be seen here:
Thursday 24th March. Pete is off on a cruise soon, and his missus, decided that he needed a haircut before he went. so rather than take advantage of the on board facilities (would that be a crew cut?) Marcia had a bash with the clippers herself. Pete has spent a lot of time in the pro shop looking at baseball caps today.
Tuesday 22nd March. Seniors. Dave Jones runs the Seniors “Bonus Ball” and comes into the office proffering a �10 note. No, I haven’t won, he just asks for 2 x �5 notes in exchange. So I dig him the requested fivers out of my wallet and hand them to him. He takes them and offers me one back saying “can I have 5 ones please?”!! So now I’m baffled as I’m unsure if Dave is not capable of just asking for a five and five ones in one go, or worse, he thinks I’m not capable of dealing with a multi denomination change request in one go!
Friday 4th March. Hot on the heels of Peter Kay trying to kill Colin yesterday, young Ben Hope has a go at himself today. Octogenarian Ben was trundling down the 3rd, (playing on his own as he doesn’t like to hold up the youngsters!) and he had hit his ball down the slope, where the newly dried and cut grass allowed the ball to have sufficient momentum to reach the ditch and come to rest near the top on the far side. as he approached the ditch, Ben realised that he could get a club on it!! Yes, I know he was playing on his own, and that the proper, sensible course of events would have been just to lift it out, put it on the fairway and whack it again. After all, what was going to happen? Was he going to go one shot or one hole down against himself??
But clearly, clear lucid thoughts were not exactly flying about in vast numbers at that precise moment, a fact made clearer when he decided that he was still a twentysomething young man and he wasn’t going to bother with the bridges provided for the purpose of crossing the ditches, but was going to hop across with the casual fitness and agility of his youth. It was, to be fair, a massive fail. Actually, it was a massive fall as well. By all accounts, the leading foot didn’t even vaguely get close to the opposite side and Ben keeled over. landing rather solidly on the fairway on the other side. Things got worse, as he now seemed to take on the skills of an upturned tortoise, and despite rolling into every conceivable position, was unable to right himself and clamber to his feet. Fortunately, his plight was seen by Gavin Puddick, who was waiting for Clare and went to his rescue!
Ben recounted the story to me a short while later, and thankfully he is absolutely fine and laughing about it himself. I asked him what happened to the ball? He said he lifted it out, whacked it onto the green and walked off with a 5!! Now, there is one bit of that story that isn’t believable!!
Thursday 3rd March. Colin Clough heads out onto the course with Peter Kay for a swift and convivial nine holes. as they make their way down the 8th hole, they are discussing yesterdays news that Doctors think contact rugby should be banned in schools due to the chance of injuries etc. Colin said, with staggering perceptiveness, that life, in general, is dangerous. They finished the 8th and teed off the 9th, their last hole. Pete was down by the ditch, a line he favours off the tee on 9 for some reason. Colin was some 60/70 yards further ahead, in the rough on the right hand side, confident that his 2 shot lead was going to be enough to secure the beers from Pete in the bar afterwards. Pete was also confident that the 2 shots was going to be too much to overcome, and so played an attacking shot of such mastery and guile, in order to try and recover the position.
He thumped into the back of the ball and the ball soared skywards. “That’s a decent contact,” he thought, as the ball looped higher but with a slight hook (Pete is a leftie) to the right. At this point, he realised that the trajectory of the ball and the line of its flight and his playing partner Colin were all in a line. As you do, he shouted “fore!!” Colin looked at Pete, realised that a ball was coming at him and wrapped his hands around the sides of his head, just leaving the very top of his head exposed, from a vertical assault. With an accuracy that has been sadly lacking from the Russians in Syria, Petes golf ball, approx 3cm in diameter, had a target area of no more that 10cm diameter from a distance of 70 yards. Thud.
The moral of the story, is never ever predict that life in general is dangerous, especially when you are 2 shots clear of Peter Kay.
Tuesday 1st March. Well I did say that the seniors would have to pull out all the stops to get close to the comedy burglars, but they had a decent go at it! Senior Captain Rupert Groves nailed the day perfectly, as it was Brian Gidley’s birthday YESTERDAY, which according to Rupert makes him 18 years old! So despite the fact that the seniors would not normally allow an 18 year old to actively participate in the regular weekly events, they have given him special dispensation to continue and celebrated the occasion today with an 18th Birthday Party, complete with card and large 18th Birthday Badge!
It was also their first day back on the earlier start times, starting at 8.30am for the summer, but predictably one forgot. Bob Given arrived late, they had to re-jig the entire start sheet to accommodate the extra player, who then played 2 holes before the heavens opened and Bob decided enough was enough and went home, so he was last to arrive and first to leave!! Just a normal Tuesday really!
Monday 29th Feb. We had a break in last night, minor irritation levels in that they snapped the chain on the gate, forced a window and nicked the change out of the coffee machine which amounted to about �50. but in reviewing the CCTV for the Police today, these two display levels of comedy incompetence that deserves a mention on the hallowed pages of the Chalgrave News page.
They arrive at about 11.30pm, in what the police believe to be a stolen BMW X5 which is doing the rounds by all accounts at present. They park up nicely in view of a CCTV camera and wander around the building analysing where best to break in. They opt for the window by the kitchen door, probably because its nearest to where they parked the car. They go to the boot of the vehicle and equip themselves with the nefarious required tools of their trade, including a 2ft long crowbar to force the window. Suitably equipped, they head for the window, then hesitate and return the the vehicle.
Why? To shut the rear tailgate which they had left open.
Now I don’t know about you, but I close the rear tailgate on my Navara when I’m about to leave it for a bit, just in case some dodgy character happens to take a passing interest to the contents and decide to take the opportunity of an open rear tailgate as being one to good to miss!! I can’t quite frankly, think of any other reason why they might otherwise need to shut it!! Maybe my carpark at 11.30pm at night is such a hive of activity from the crim network that they think it is unsafe to leave the vehicle open for a few minutes!! The police forensic chap who was here had to sit down for 5 minutes as it was just too funny!
Once in the building, they force open the coffee machine to nick the aforementioned �50, they both have 2 kicks each at my office door which fails to give, so they go and give the Pro shop door a single kick as well, which also fails to open. As they make their way out, one of the little darlings, who clearly are attending a fancy dress party as muslim ladies in burqa pretty soon afterwards, nips back behind the bar, opens the fridge and removes 2 cans of red bull!! Not armfulls! Just a couple as that’s all they need, although one does think that had they drunk them first they might have had more chance of getting through the doors. The Police said the gate was shut when they arrived just ahead of me, so the nice chaps kindly shut the gate after them on the way out as well.
I am absolutely baffled as to how the seniors are going to top this tomorrow!!
Monday 29th February. At last!! Happy “Happy Employers Day” to all my fellow employers. Once every 4 years, this day arrives, where your staff who are Annually paid, come in to work for a whole day for nothing!! This year, and indeed today is the extra day, my staff work for 366 days for the same annual salary that they get for 365 normally!! So, today, I’m even happier to see you all than I normally am.
Sunday 28th February. Proof that playing with the Seniors on Tuesday is good for your health. I know that seems like a slightly mad statement, but blame Hugh Kerr!! Hugh emailed me this morning, complaining that the claim that I made on Friday that golf would be more exerting this weekend thanks to the reopening of Holes 1/2/3, which adds some 1200yards to your round of golf.
Hugh, claiming to be “scientifically minded” has an app on his phone which measures the distance walked, and so had a recorded distance of 4.79miles walked on Tuesday 16th February, whilst playing with the seniors, playing 15 holes. so he reasonably expected to add an additional 2/3rds of a mile to that total on Sunday. He didn’t. On Sunday, whilst covering the full 18 holes, his walk amounted to 4.4miles!! So his exercise amounted to around 0.4 miles less, instead of the expected 0.6 more!! Aspersions may be cast concerning the relative straightness of strike between Tuesday Seniors and Sunday morning boys. They may or may not be correct. Hugh feels cheated out of the extra exercise that he was expecting on Sunday and asks for suggestions. Well, Hugh, if you fancy a long walk, play on Tuesday then as the Seniors will be venturing out of 18 holes. Make sure your phone battery is charged, let alone your trolley one, as you could be out there some time!!
Friday 26th February. Some very bad news for you all if you are planning on playing this weekend. Golf will take longer and will be more exerting, requiring you to walk at least 1200yards further than you have been doing. Following a stupendous effort by the greenstaff, all of the fairways have been cut, as have all the greens, including the 2nd. Whilst the 2nd remains very soft, with the continuing forecast for crisp dry days over the weekend and the fact that we didn’t get 1.5 tonnes of mower stuck whilst driving over it, the first three holes will return for play with immediate effect. Anyone with a trolley weighing more than 1.5 tonnes must still start on 4.
Tuesday 23rd February. The seniors, and Dennis Richards is in and clearly thinks, from our conversation, I’m just shutting the 2nd hole for the fun of it. So I ask him to go and play the first three holes as part of his seniors round and give me a fair evaluation of whether the 2nd fairway is firm enough yet to play on. Please play it, I say, fill your boots, have a proper go! He dragged the Senior Captain and another senior, Colin as well.
15 minutes later, they had filled their boots as I had suggested! With a certain amount of moisture! There is a very good reason why the 2nd is as wet as it is. Its been raining since October. The fairway is probably the flattest fairway we have, so there is absolutely no water run off. the rain just lands and soaks in or lies on the surface. The fabled Chalgrave wind, that dries out the rest of the course in no time, is virtually ineffectual on this hole because of the dense woodland to the left of the hole, so the hole is completely sheltered. Still, there is less water on the surface at this precise moment, than there was about an hour ago, as it is now residing in the golf shoes of Dennis, Colin and Rupert! Perhaps next time, they will listen to me!!
Friday 5th February. Well we have had a few days of dry (ish) weather and danny has managed to get around most of the holes to cut fairways. The ones that he hasn’t done are just too wet/soft. We took the mower up to the 2nd fairway to get it stuck there just to make sure that it was as soft as we thought it was though! We have been busy though, as the greenstaff have planted some 750 trees over the last few days as well, with a further 350 to go in next week. The majority are on the banking to the left of the 5th and 6th Holes. On the 5th, we have planted trees to the rear of the 5th green and to the right hand side along its whole length, so that in time, the entire hole will be framed by trees.
The 6th Hole, the planting is mainly to the left side, with some in quite close proximity to the tees, with the objective of trying to block the mishit shot that might head in the direction of the houses. The medal tee will be quite a challenging tee, as the existing trees to the front right will be complemented by the ones to the left and it will be like hitting from the thin edge of a wedge out onto the fairway. By the end of next week, all the new plantings will be protected by spirals some on the banks may be uncovered this weekend.
The majority of these trees are fast growing hybrids. We have used them to great effect before, so we know that they like our soils and that they grow with great speed. They can be 20ft or more high in 5 years! The remaining trees to be planted will largely be in existing plantations, such as between 6 and 8, to replace trees which have not survived. Particularly the new stock that is in play, we will be putting a woodchip mulch circle around them and there is plenty of space between the trees to allow a drop away from a sapling. When you stand on the 5th and 6th Tees now, you could be in the forests around Center Parcs (if you have a very vivid imagination!!)
Thursday 4th February. Bill Potton wins the award for the the most pointless adjustment of the day. he comes in after golf, puts a �1 coin in the coffee machine, selects the + strong button for more coffee and then completely negates that by pressing the + whitener as well! He did leave the “larger cup” option alone, which was handy, as the drink would have overflowed the cup. He then didn’t remove the first cup he had poured and pressed the buttons again for the 2nd cup and overflowed the first one!! Absolute mayhem from one bloke!!
Ron Gray is not here with the molers, he is in hospital with a bout of pneumonia. we had a text from him today, saying he has had 90+ texts and international calls from as far away as Australia and the Isle of Wight!! If you are bringing Ron to the upcoming Quiz Night on 19th Feb, don’t ask him the geography questions!!
Tuesday 26th January. The Seniors always manage to create mayhem where things really should be so straightforward. How complicated can a raffle be?? So when Past seniors Captain, Chris Burrows donated a brand spanking new, Adams Golf Super S Hybrid to a raffle to raise funds for Keech, you would not of thought that too many things could cause any great issue. Indeed, the raffle was brilliantly successful, with �200 worth of tickets sold to the section that current Captain Rupert Groves adds to the main Charity Fund. so the day of the big draw, and the winner is. Chris Burrows!! So Chris decided to donate the club for the second time, and again the section put their hands in their pockets and this time accumulated another �120 to Keech. Today, Clare drew the winning ticket and the winner is. Seniors Captain Rupert Groves. so. they are now selling tickets for the third time.
Monday 25th January. pictures arrive from Graham Busby taken last week. The course was frozen solid, but the sunshine had cleared the frost and left the reservoir a glistening mirror, enabling the 4 resident swans to create an optical illusion that they can walk on water.
Thursday 21st January. with the ground frozen, we had a chance to get out with a mower and Danny Sanders has done an amazing job cutting the rough on almost half of the course. I will tell you now, that sitting on a mower for 6 hours in these temperatures is unbelievable dedication to duty! We have rain forecast for tomorrow, so we will see what things are like before the weekend, as the temperature is due to rise again. Today, we have had all 18 holes open, as the frozen ground made the 2nd firm enough to play. We will be reviewing that for the weekend, but we currently expect that the medal WILL go ahead over the weekend, with the competition played over either 18 holes or 15 holes, dependent upon the condition of the 2nd hole.
Tuesday 19th January. The Seniors are in and at last there is an expectation that a ball will bounce on the fairway as the temperature has plummeted to -5 overnight. Brian Gidley, as you would expect, is heading out to play a few holes in shorts, a polo shirt and because its so cold, he has added a sleeveless sweater, albeit a lightweight one. Chris Baker is playing one of his last few rounds before he heads off to Rio De Janeiro. He said he got a blinding deal on the tickets, but I’m not convinced that he realises the Olympics are not until the summer, and that the hotel he is booked into is an incomplete athletes village!! Either that, or he has really been scammed and he thinks the Winter Olympics are about to start over there!
Thursday 14th January. at long last, its stopped raining. its now snowing. And Brian Gidley has just arrived to play with the Molers, in his shorts. Normal times at Chalgrave Manor Golf Club. Its a bl**dy madhouse!!
Thursday 6th January. I get back to the club and find the Thursday Molers, Graham Busby, Bryn West and Ron Gray, plus Peter Kay all clustered around the computer in the pro shop, whilst Clare searches for Enrique Iglesias “I’m a freak” video for them. Lets just say it will get their pulses racing. which is entirely ironic as it turns out the reason why they are looking for it is that Graham Busby wants it played at his funeral! Ron Gray decides that he needs to start work on his then, and is searching for “Sound of the Underground!” Just a normal Thursday at Chalgrave really!!
Monday 4th January. For the first time in several years, I have been forced to close some of the course. The first three are closed as the 2nd hole is impassable at present. The final part of the 17th, the sideslope approaching the green, is so slippery, that I have decided that social golf only for those who are desperate for their “golf fix” playing holes 4 – 16 are available. Having ventured out onto the course yesterday, I can honestly say that in the 22 years that we have been open, I have never know the course to be this saturated across its entire area. We need some clear days with strong winds!!
Golf Basics For Dummies Online CHALGRAVE NEWS Have you got a news snippet. Email me now with the info. email@example.com Tuesday 5th Feb. Yesterday was the first day back