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Club News - Spring 2018

Issue 102 published by GolfClubNewsletters

Dear Member
At long last the cold wet days of Winter are finally over and Spring has arrived, merging into Summer as we have had two mini heatwaves already.  Unfortunately we had to cancel our first golf day of the year in March at Hever Castle due to heavy rain and a complete trolley ban which ruled out most of us playing!  The course was closed for several days due to the weather so I will be re-scheduling next year, hopefully late Summer 2019 when the course should be dry!  For once I planned our Spring trip away perfectly this year.  We had a warm spell before we left, then while we were away basking in clear blue skies and sunshine, it was freezing cold and raining here.  Then once we were back, the weather improved and we had a glorious hot Bank Holiday weekend.  Must be a first!
I also had a very wet day at Tandridge when I invited Karen Duncan to play in the Organisers Society day with some 80 players taking part.  I was the only token lady playing last year so made sure I would at least have one female to keep me company but Karen and I were playing with another two ladies who belonged to the United Services Ladies Society for “Wives of serving commanding officers in the  Armed Forces”.   Whilst a very worthwhile cause it did seem a little outdated and elitist to say the least!  Despite the weather and my terrible golf we had a very pleasant day, topped off by the wonderful three course carvery and famous Tandridge dessert trolley.
Enough talk of the weather… enjoy the glorious greenery and blossom that makes playing golf in the Spring so special.
Until next time,

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 Westerham golf day – 11th April

Having had to cancel our event in March, our first golf day of the year wasn’t until April and even this was a near wash out.  The day dawned wet and foggy and when we arrived at the club we were met with the news that no trollies were allowed out – yet again!  However, they did allow buggies as they have a dedicated cart path and managed to rustle up enough for all of us to play at a very reduced rate.  We played the first 9 holes in very thick fog, it was a miracle nobody got hit but it did lift by the back 9 thankfully.  Apart from Dave Chell who won the day with a very respectable 34 points, there were no high scores.  Second place went to Norman Beckett with 29 points and Peter Hickson came third with 27 points.  Dave also won the Nearest the Pin in 2 while Neil Burton took the prize for Nearest the Pin.




Away from the ongoing damp and freezing British Spring, 18 GCGB members travelled to warm, sunny, dry Turkey for the 2018 Spring break and European Championship.

With the help of ‘Golf and Wellness’, Kate had found a simply magnificent 5-star hotel, the Cornelia Diamond, on the coast in Belek, about 40 minutes’ drive east from Antalya airport.  16 of the 18 took the same Easyjet flight, getting to the hotel approaching midnight, welcomed by some pink champagne and the offer (taken by five of the girls) of upgrading to a villa.

It was an early start on Day One, the Pairs Competition, giving an opportune excuse for the poor play of some that they’d only had five hours of sleep or so.  But it did not hold back Ken Hall and Pauline Ronson, who set about the challenging Cornelia Faldo course to record a winning score of 66.  Runners-up Brian Cosgrove and Ogy John shot 51.  Third place went to Gary Cavill and Mark Hopkins with 50 points.

That evening the group had their first enjoyment of the sumptuous buffet that was available every night, preceded by drinks in the ‘La Boheme’ bar, where most also ventured afterwards for an excellent disco and dancing with the locals who thought we were all a bit of a novelty act but were really friendly.

A welcome lie-in on Day Two preceded a short coach ride to the National Golf Club and the first day of the individual Stableford.  Ken Hall’s early form continued as he took an early lead by winning the day’s competition with a score of 32.  Second place went to Pauline Ronson with 30 points and Kate’s cousin Pauline Baker came third with 29 points (ALL members of Sand Martins golf club, Gary and Sally Jackson’s old club)

Returning to the hotel, some began to explore the different pools, the beach or the wonderfully-appointed gym, before another evening of the ‘Three Ds’, that is drinks, dinner and disco. We were really into the Turkish dancing by now!

It was off to Carya Golf Club, billed as Europe’s first floodlight golf course, for the next day. This is now adjoining the superb Regnum hotel which hosted the G20 conference a couple of years ago. Though our rounds were not played under lights, but in the hot sunshine that we were starting to acclimatise to: my, those buggies were welcome!  Helen Street was the day’s winner, with 31 points on countback to Gary Cavill.  Third place went to Linda Rich with 29 points.

That evening, ‘La Boheme’ featured a karaoke, and Ogy John and Simon Grigor each took the plunge, with the friendly support (or otherwise!) of their GCGB pals.  Simon’s rendition of Dire Straits’ ‘Walk of Life’ was particularly liked by a Turkish man and (we assume) his daughter.  Simon had a couple of dances with the young lady, name of Tuba (musical instrument!), probably an error on his part, as very shortly afterwards he was asked out of the bar, to find Tuba’s family waiting to meet him, and within minutes an offer of marriage being made!  Your Vice-Captain was very glad that Kate too had accompanied him. (I think she was asked to come along as marriage broker).  Playing a sisterly role, she told a couple of white lies that, back in the UK, Simon was happily married!  Although, bumping into the family again the next day, Simon was once again asked for his contact details!

The Sunday was a rest day.  Some travelled into Antalya, some into Belek, and others simply relaxed, in or out of the sun, at the Dome poolside restaurant and bar.

Back to the golf, and the next day saw the group at the Pasha Golf Club, venue of the Turkish Airlines Open when Justin Rose won there a few years back. Today saw the week’s outstanding round, a 40-pointer from Ken Mock that propelled him into contention, with one more round to play, and that would be back at the Cornelia Faldo, the resort’s ‘home’course.  Second place went to Gary Cavill, this timing taking the countback back lead over Ogy John, also on 33 points.

At the start of that final round, the two Kens, Mock and Hall and Gary all had 64 points, with Ogy John behind them with 58.  Ken’s partner Pauline was also in contention with 58 points.  Pauline was happy for the four men to form the final fourball - with Pauline Baker, Miles Williams and Simon joining her in the penultimate group.  There wasn’t really anyone else seriously in contention and the final days groups proved to be very accurate for the end results.

No-one came from behind and it was the two Kens who emerged to fight a ‘duel in the sun’.  It took countback to the back 6 for the daily prize to separate them with Ken Hall winning the last day with 32 points.  It was the closest competition in the history of the Spring championship. Ken Hall won the last day on countback but both Kens ended up with 94 points and Ken Mock won the previous day and also had the highest score of the week.  So it was eventually decided to call it a draw.  This is holiday golf after all!  Gary came a very close third with 94 points and Ogy held on to come 4th with 84.  Miles Williams came 5th on countback with 83, also on 83 was Pauline Ronson.

A nice meal in the resort’s Italian restaurant was the backdrop to the presentations, and after a restful day awaiting our transport back to Antalya airport, it was Easyjet back to a cold Gatwick, cold enough for your author’s car to need its windscreen scraped free of ice.  Quite a contrast!

Thank you, Kate, for all your efforts in putting together a terrific week’s golfing at a brilliant venue.  I think all agreed they would be very happy to return there.  Thank you too to my fellow golfers for your company.  Yes, even you, Gary and Mark, with your ongoing joking about Simon and Tuba’s nuptials…..

Simon Grigor



Captain Nigel Smith recently played golf in Japan, in the snow!

Putting only, but the "greens" were 50 yards long, tennis ball size balls, and dinner plate size holes and would you believe it specially made putters. Nigel forgot to take a photo of the actual golf but did remember at the ice bar

It was with some fear and trepidation that I accepted Nicholas Hercules’ kind invitation to join him in a mixed Open competition at Princes GC last month.  “We probably won’t get to play, we are 5th on the reserve list” said Nick.  Well that’s a relief, I thought as I had never played links golf before, let alone in an Open competition.  Nicholas is based in South Sudan working for the UN and returns to the UK to play in as many prestigious events as he can manage.  His aim is to play in every country in the world, he has managed 47 so far!  As the date drew closer we moved further up list until finally an email arrived to say “Great News!  We’re in!”  So there was no way out now as I certainly didn’t want to let Nicholas down.  I decided not to risk the drive to Sandwich on the day in question and so stayed at what must be the most dismal Holiday Inn Express on the outskirts of Ramsgate – one to be avoided at all costs!  I spent the whole evening watching Britain’s Got Talent in my room with a mini bottle of Prosecco…. Well I did to take my mind off  tomorrow’s golf!
The next day dawned shrouded in thick fog and when I arrived at Princes was met by Nicholas to be told that there was an hour and a half delay due to the fog, and the 27 hole event had been shorted to 18 holes.   I was mightily relieved to hear that as wasn’t sure about playing 27 holes.  My nerves soon went as we joined by a charming couple from Royal Blackheath GC who had played the course several times and did give us some tips.  Although the fog had lifted it was a cold blustery day but this didn’t spoil the splendour of the course.  And I’m pleased to say I didn’t let the side down and we came in with a respectable 36 points and came joint 9th out of some 40 pairs.  It was a great experience and another “first” to add to my golfing career!    On the same visit back home, Nicholas then went on to play in a tournament in Florence with fellow member and UN aid worker Abdul Arshad.  Will wait to hear how they got on!

Silver Jubilee Cup – Clandon Regis GC, Surrey
14th June
The competition is played over 18 holes with coffee and bacon rolls on arrival and followed by 2 course meal with prize giving and a trophy for the winner. Cost £59 a head
Captains Day – Stapleford Abbots GC, Essex
15th August
Nigel Smith starts his second year as South East Captain with his drive in at Stapleford Abbots Golf Club in Essex, where he also had his Captains Day back in 2009 first time round! Day consists of 18 holes, coffee and bacon rolls on arrval, 2 course meal and various prizes.  Cost is just £46!

Having had many years of long haul destinations to the US and latterly to South Africa I have decided to stay a little closer to home for this year’s Autumn trip.  Costs have rocketed in the last couple of years and the journeys don’t get any easier as the years go by!

I am therefore delighted to announce that the 2018 Overseas Championship will be held at the luxurious La Manga resort, Murcia Spain.  La Manga has long been the leading European golfing destination and has undergone much refurbishment in recent years.

La Manga Club is an exclusive holiday, sports and leisure resort located in a privileged setting bordered by natural parks and unspoilt beaches, offering luxury, leisure and sport with wonderful weather all year round.  

Covering an area of 1400 acres, the resort offers luxurious accommodation, first-class professional sports facilities and fine dining, ideal for those seeking exceptional tranquillity, security and privacy, coupled with superlative service.  There is a tennis centre, Wellness centre and football pitches as well as the three golf courses on the resort.
The resort boasts more than 15 bars and restaurants, all of differing styles: from traditional Mediterranean cuisine to the more unusual. The more classical tastes can be found in a variety of restaurants such as AmapolaLa Bodega or La Cala.
The trip includes:
  • Twin sharing accommodation in the 5* luxury Principe Felipe  Hotel 
  • Half Board to include breakfast and evening dinner
  • 5 rounds of golf including the South, West and North course at La Manga and also Roda Golf Club
  • All transfers from airport to golf courses
  • Cost for this fantastic trip is £900
  • Cost for non golfer is £690 and single room supplement is £295                                                                                                    
Flights are excluded and details will be available when flight prices are released in the Spring

There are just a few places left for this trip so all you need to do to secure your booking is contact the office on 020 8391 4666 and pay a deposit of £150 or email katebrown@golfclubgb.co.uk

The Golf Club Great Britain & The International Golfers Club provide membership and a recognised handicapping scheme to thousands of golfers both in the UK and around the world.
The Golf Club Great Britain & The International Golfers Club provide membership and a recognised handicapping scheme to thousands of golfers both in the UK and around the world. 

Golf Club Great Britain 
338 Hook Rd, Chessington, Surrey KT9 1NU, 
United Kingdom.
Phone & Fax: 020 8391 4666,  Email : info@golfclubgb.co.uk