I hope you are keeping safe and well. Usually at this time of the season my Captain’s page would have reports on the Atherstone dinner and dance, Captain’s Day , The George Birt rearranged comp, my first Charity Day and how the season has started for all the club’s Teams. Instead, my home is now a show house, my cars are showroom condition and my garden is of Chelsea Flower show standard.
Over the last month a large number of members have instead been revising the calendar and getting everything ready for the day that is approaching, when we can all play golf again. Behind the scenes the work done by the different committees has been going on, and in most cases the workload has more than doubled.
In the near future, all the necessary information will be communicated to you, Golf, facilities, events and how to play safely. Most importantly, how to keep our staff safe. So please be patient.
For all that had booked my St Pierre away weekend, this has been rescheduled until the same weekend next year, which means you will have to put up with me until February 2022.
As for the social side of things, we are hoping Boris and his team will be informing the nation soon on the steps we will all have to take, to get back to normality. We can then rearrange our annual events, open the bar and cabin, so we can all get back together for a pint, food, music and merriment.
The year so far..
After my relaxing travels to Portugal for the warmer weather, it came as a bit of a shock to sit at the head table for the 2020 AGM in February. I thanked Sarb for his hard work last year and his support for all members. The AGM was well attended and chaired by our new President, Charles O Donnell. Colin Deegan‘s outstanding work for the club was recognised in the presentation of the Edwards Trophy.
The Drive In…
The Drive In was well organised by Steve and Helena Woodward, Bill and Sandra Baum, John and Shelagh Neave, Colin Deegan and Di Fisher, and Steve and Amy in the pro shop. What a fab day! It saw 26 teams playing on a beautifully drying course and a buzzing club house with juniors, parents, guests and members. Air Ambulance was presented with a cheque for £8000, a great effort by all. 112 sat down for lovely Sunday Lunch and it was a particular pleasure for me to have all my family there to support Breeda and myself. £1004.00 was raised for Cancer Research UK.
The weather began to improve from then on and the course at last started to dry up. Adam and his team did a fantastic job cutting and preparing for the new season.
I attended the Ladies’ Charity Launch luncheon, with great food and the great company of 34 lovely ladies in attendance. Jayme Shepherd from Cancer Research UK described local research projects and the work done with your donations. Jayme has been invited to attend future charity events and help to raise awareness.
The painters and decorators, our own make-over team, began their work in the snug, then have moved on to the boardroom, the entrance hallway, the 19th, function room toilets and finally the lockers. The place has been transformed with little money….but a lot of time and effort. A huge thanks to Knocker, Shelagh, Bob, Rita and the many other helpers who have joined the team.
The Cheltenham Race day was another great success. 38 pairs played golf, followed by a full function room watching the racing and enjoying the splendid buffet provided by ACL.
A big thank you to all who were involved in putting this annual event on, Steve Hope and his team. And the Pro Shop again working hard to give us such an enjoyable day.
Steve Hope gave Breeda and myself a free £20 bet each, Breeda’s horse came in and so a further £80 was donated to CRUK. Other winners donated £120 on the day.
On Monday 16 March it became obvious that the virus was about to hit all our lives hard in the UK. Various meetings were held at HGC to discuss how we could manage the situation and keep the club open for as long as possible. But on Friday 20th March the government closed all restaurants and pubs and the course was forced to close on Tuesday 24th March, with Boris Johnson advising us all to lock down for 3 weeks.
All the staff members had worked hard to make the clubhouse and the course safe for us to use. The team managing the staff and the buildings worked over and beyond, to bring in all what was required to follow the directions of our government.
If we all follow the instructions, then the quicker we will be back playing at HGC. Stay safe and well.
It is with great pleasure that we announce that David Stott, a member of Hinckley Golf Club for 40 years, has just taken up the position of President of The Society of Leicestershire and Rutland Golf Captains.
This week he was in the winning AMAM Team at Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, and is pictured with the Claret Jug. His playing partners were from Melton Mowbray, Charnwood and Forest Hills.
We wish him every success in his role and he has our full support.
Captains Chris, Breeda and Mike
Mr President, Lady Captain, Lady President, Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thanks very much to Sarb and his team for doing a great job. Sarb asked me along, throughout the year, to various events and nights out. The first team curry night was interesting, and I don't know how many of the team made the curry. The Nuneaton dinner and dance was a great evening, and I now know how much Sarb loves playing with Slazenger golf balls. He's done a great job with the amount collected for the Club's charity.
Also, well done to the ladies for having a great season without a Captain. You all worked well, congratulations.
Twelve months ago, Breeda and myself flew back from Portugal for a week to attend the AGM. How twelve months have flown! This time last year it was twenty degrees -- I could have played golf in my shorts. Unheard of for late February. What a difference! Probably one of the wettest winters on record. It can only get better.
I would also like to thank Steve Woodward and Mike Davis for proposing me. It's a privilage and an honour to take this role on.
I've been a member for 28 years, captained the C-Team twice, and vice-capatained it four times. I have now worked with the Board, Council, Competitions Committee, and I'm still coming to terms with the House and Grounds responsibilities.
I'd like to thank Breeda, our new Lady Captain, for standing with me at the helm. Between us we will put 100% into our roles.
Congratulations to Charles O'Donnell for becoming our President, and to Judith Cooke for her second year of office. I look forward to working with you both to make it a great year for the Club.
We now have a queue for my job! So I wish Richard Morris and Clive Pitt every success.
Our Seniors Captain is Mr Mike Kirby, a gentleman I've known for years. The seniors section is strong, so I know it will be great to get to April, when I can officially play for them. Good luck Mike, I know you will do a good job.
I watched as many first team matches as i could last season, and they did a fantastic job in the first division, finishing third. Well done to Chris Brook and thanks for being Captain again. This year's fixtures are already on the notice board, and I recommend you come along and watch Hinckley, and the top teams in the county, they play a high standard of the game.
The B Team have Keith Zenner and Brian Godfrey at the helm.
My favourite team, the C-Team, have two newish members and young guns in charge, David Fray and Rory Long. They have already organised a warm up away day, and the team championship in September. Well done. I think I'm in for those. The first Captain I played for was John Cooke, Lady President Judith's husband.
I've done various small jobs on the course, helping the greens staff with their autumn greens maintenance, painting the tee boards and signs. Adam and his team do a sterling job, preparing the course to a very high standard, in the sometimes atrocious weather that the Great British climate can throw at them. Just as an example, yesterday, Amy took 12 ladies for a lesson in the morning sunshine. The club members played golf in light showers in the afternoon, and at the ladies AGM, the cars were all covered in snow! Three seasons in one day.
Thanks to Helen and the clubhouse staff. Helen's helping me later in the year with a little project we are working on. Much appreciated.
There are four people in the room tonight, which I must give a special thankyou to. Bob and Rita Watts, and John and Shelagh Neave. They have painted and cleaned, polished and hoovered nearly every room in the clubhouse for us all to enjoy. They have all done such a professional job. Well done. So can we all give them a round of applause.
I would also like to thank Mr Chairman, Barry, and the Board for their neverending work. All the hours they spend behind the scenes add up. All done for the love of the club. The club is run by groups of committees that meet regularly. Again in their own time. It is much appreciated. Sally Crossfield has made a few changes with her lady's attention to detail, so with Neil and ACL, I am looking forward to a season of good food and merriment organised by the amazing social team in this room.
Steve Baxter, our new pro, has already made an impact. His golf at night was an instant sell-out. He has some very exciting events planned, and would like to play golf with as many members throughout the year as possible. The shop is now up and running, his notice board is brimming with events, and with Amy by his side, with her valuable input, the juniors and ladies into golf, we're in for a good year. I recieved this message from Steve this morning.
Really enjoyed the welcoe from all the members and I am truly sorry for the bad weather I have brough with me! Hopefully the good weather will come soon.
Events already booked and running:
Night golf 20th March - sell out.
Return of the Hinckely Pro Am - Friday 31st July
Masters Sunday Competition
Euro Football 2020 Competition
Captains Pro Challenges
Also enrolled on the away days and weekends.
Now, Lady Captain, Breeda, what can I say? I thought it would be a good idea if she fancied taking up golf. Breeda played county badminton in Coventry, so I got her a passport across the A5, early retirement was looming, so a few lessons later Breeda joined the ladies section to enjoy the game and make new friends in the area. Breeda has now thrown herself head-first into this club, taking on roles in her section, and it now makes me very proud to have her by my side, this year. Breeda and I have chosen Cancer Research UK as our charity. Both our families have been effected by this disease. Their work has made a step in the right direction in tackling this illness. We hope you will all help us in making a donation that Hinckley Golf Club can pass on to help them in further research. We will be helped by Steve Baxter on the course with golf days, we might even challenge you to part with some money on non-comp Saturdays. We will be having BBQ evenings and a sponsored bike ride to Skegness, which has been arranged. Helen Wilebore has kindly offered to do this with me. Thanks to Colin Deegan and Diane Fisher for raising money for the two charity car parking spaces, plus Amy in the shop arranging 'guess the length of our drives'.
I've arranged to go to St Pierre Chepstow for my weekend away. and there is another away day later in the year organised. We would very much appreciate your support of the clubs social events throughout the year.
I've just seen this on the back of the AGM agenda -- Alan Cropp passed Seniors Captain, proposed as Hon Sec by Mike Kirby, the Seniors Captain, and Mr David Stott, who on Wednesday will become the SLRGC President. So our fourball all those years ago are now all holding office at our Club.
So I'm looking forward to my year as club captain, with my lovely wife by my side, I wish you all good health and a very enjoyable year.