Mr Captain's AGM Speech 2019
Mr President, Mr. Captain, Retiring Lady Captain, Lady-vice, Mr Chairman, Past Captains, ladies and gentlemen.
It is an honour to be asked to be the Captain of Hinckley Golf Club. At the age of 13 when I stood up on the steps of the Golden Temple and thought about a prospective move to England for a new life, I never imagined that I would one day be asked to be the Captain of Hinckley Golf Club.
I’d like to thank Bill for having the courage to ask me to be his vice-captain. I am greatly honoured to take up the role and really look forward to my year in office and working with the other officials: with Senior Captain Alan Cropp, incoming Lady President Judith Cooke and, of course, our continuing President Colin Deegan and other council members. I also do not believe in long speeches, so I will try to keep it short.
I would like to pay tribute to our departing Captain, Bill, for the great job he has done. He has put in a huge amount of effort over the year and has had a good year in so many respects. However I don’t see it as competition between Captains, it is not about how I do as a Captain, it’s about the difference that it makes to our golf club.
Well done to Mr. Captain Bill Baum’s lovely wife, our retiring Lady Captain Sandra. Thank you to our 2 Presidents: Mr Deegan and Lady President Kathy Webb, for all of their great work over the year.
I do have a couple of disadvantages – I have been told many times I am neither a good organiser nor a good speaker. However I do have a very efficient and organised wife, who is both of those things, so perhaps I may still have a good year! I do, however, have a great desire to work hard together with Management to develop the Club and to improve it for all our members. I have also spoken to most of the past Captains’ and learned from their experiences, especially Mr Channing; his advice has been educational and inspiring about Hinckley Golf Club. So far everyone has summed it up in two words, ‘enjoy it’.
The Club will not have a Lady Captain this year,– but rest assured ladies, I and my vice-captain Chris Lester, (when he is not gallivanting in his motor home in Europe) will give you our full support. My only advice for my Vice-Captain Chris Lester is to do his travelling before 29th of March, otherwise he might not be allowed back in the UK and we might have to raise funds to release him! Chris, it is great to have you as my Vice-Captain. AS you all know we are currently looking for Junior Vice-Captain, why not live your dreams and come forward?
It has been a very tough year for Hinckley Golf Club under the circumstances and passions and ideas have run high in the 19th and on Facebook and social media. After consuming reasonable amounts of alcohol at affordable bar prices, hundreds of good ideas have been dribbled into conversations and I have listened to many of those ideas, lots of it making good sense.
To see all or any of those viable ideas through we need time and devotion to make them happen. There are a number of volunteers who spend a lot of their time and use their skills to help the club to be successful. But we always need more volunteers, so when you are about to be harsh regarding the operations of Hinckley Golf Club, ask yourself what you might do to help! and do you have the time to offer your expertise? I think the Chairman is always looking for skilled people to move the club forward. It was stated in our General Manager Mr Prior’s memo that communication is the key to inform members. He is absolutely right - true and concise information helps to stop gossip mongering in the club house. My aim will be that if a member asks a question he/she should get an accurate and precise answer. The last two points are the only party political broadcast points you will hear from me as captain of HGC this year.
In my 13 years of membership I can hold my hand on my heart and say that I have not found any member of this golf club that I would not play golf with. The golf club is about the happy membership and one big family. The 19th hole i.e. the bar is the warmest place to meet and have a conversation with all members of the club. The first impression of the club is when a new person walks into the 19th and how we treat that person whether he or she is member or guest, of whatever gender or age. An example of this was when I met my nominated charity representative (Emma) recently. She commented on the atmosphere and the warmth and politeness from all of the members she has met so far.
A happy club is a united one with a shared interest. In particular we are on recruitment drive for new members, especially in the ladies and juniors sections and recruitment is going well according the latest report. But we still all need to do our bit in this. If you see a new member of any age or gender, please go out of your way to welcome them and help them to settle in; we know that the first year of your golf membership is key in deciding if you want to stay.
The common goal of all the volunteers who work on different committees and council and the board is to see the club to be successful. Difference of opinion without malice is a healthy debate in any organisation.
I love competition and will support all the members who represent Hinckley Golf Club in teams or as individuals in every event wherever possible, in recognising their efforts for the club. So let’s have a good year and show our competitive spirit in the matches.
The scratch team will be captained by Chris Brook. The B team captain will be Bob Hyde and C team captain will be Geoff Peg and his two vice captains Kevin Courtney and Paul young. Ben Craig and Chris Brook will be captain of under -35 handicap and scratch teams respectively. I wish the ladies every success in their scratch, handicap and friendly matches and hope that they too, have a great year. We have some wonderful lady players at our club as those of us who regularly play mixed golf can testify!
I hope to try some new ideas with the competition committee, to put some new competitions in place where everyone is involved and try to bond every section of the club together.
There are so many charities dear to everyone for different reasons. My charity this year is Derby, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance-let’s hope we don’t need it on the golf course this year, but it is reassuring to know we have such a good air ambulance service should we need it. The Air Ambulance relies on charity and is not funded centrally so relies completely on donations. Please support me in raising money for this worthwhile cause. I will have charity days which will be open to all as previously. I would like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to Mr President Colin Deegan and Diane Fisher for kick-starting the charity on Captains drive-in by running the raffle for the car spaces.
My thanks go to all of the club staff who work so hard to make the club and our great course as good as it is. Thanks also to all of the unpaid officers, the Board, the Council, greens, competitions & social committees, and also the volunteers such as Dave Baggott and his gardening crew, who give up their time for the benefit of this Club and its members.
I am usually good with names but John Bedward, John Wright and Kevin Courtney may disagree. Please don’t hesitate to correct me if do get your name wrong.
And finally, I assure you I will give it my best effort as your Club Captain, and work as hard as I can to make our vision for the club a reality in 2019.
Thank you for your support.
Sarb Matharu - Club Captain