Monthly Archives: February 2013

Order of Merit and Winter League updates

Cold wind and snow flurries were the order of the day as round nineteen of  Greetham Valley’s Winter Order of Merit got underway on the Lakes course. After eighteen weeks of the competition nobody has managed to win it twice and this week was no exception. Carl Causbrook playing off nine took the honours with a sterling 36 points. Carl has come close to winning before but lost out on countback and had to settle for second place a few rounds ago; he will play the next round off seven after being docked two shots. Club Captain Trevor Smith playing off plus one also came in with 36 but lost out on countback to Carl; he loses another shot and will play off plus two in round twenty on Saturday. The ever consistent Steve Anderson was just the one point behind on 35, he loses point five off his handicap and will play off five this weekend. Wayne Terrett also came home with the same score as Steve but was dropped back to fourth place on countback. Club President and winner of the first Order of Merit in 2010/11, Martin Boughton, was fifth with 34 points.     

It is very tight at the top of the leaderboard: Paul Jenkinson just managed to hold onto the top spot, he has a mere five point lead over Steve Anderson: Steve has 206 points. Carl Causbrook jumps up nine places into the third spot with one hundred and eighty six points whilst only three points behind him is the ominous figure of Trevor Smith who moved up six places into fourth. Trevor is now just three points ahead of long time leader Ian Copley on one hundred and seventy nine. The top ten places are very close to each other and the last five weeks will prove interesting as the title is within reach for a large number of players. Fifty points separate first from tenth, from first to twentieth it is less than a hundred points, if somebody can get two wins they will shoot up the leader board and with so few games left, could win it overall. The scores won’t be high for the remaining five rounds as everybody in the top thirty has had at least one cut to their handicaps.

The Winter League round robin stages finished this weekend. The final games were played on winter greens for the first time this winter, thankfully, the Greetham Valley ground staff are not fans of winter mats and apart from just the one set in concrete on the tenth, they have built separate winter tees for all of the other holes. Gary Graham and Kevin Burdall finished at the top of group one. Alan Bennett and Steff Dutton lost their final match and dropped from the second qualifying spot into third. Peter Zimmer-Smith and Peter Key turned up for their game but their competitors didn’t, this meant that they took the two points on offer and moved up to second place to claim one of the two spots to qualify for the quarter finals.

Bernard Bell and Neil Crees, Bill Skinner and Graham Day both lost their games in group two but still qualified for the quarters. 2011/12 winners Dave Morgan and Iain Bain finished in third place despite a valiant fight to win their final game against their opponents from the final last year, Mick Carnie and Jim Kearney. The top three all finished with nine points and countback was employed by Greetham Valley Secretary Dennis Millington to sort it out.

Matt Asher and Ben Gasson topped group three with eight points and go forward to the quarter finals. Steve Sharples and Mick Jones were fourth before the final round, Les Kowal and Jason Giblett were second, Steve and Mick beat them in the last game to leap ahead of them into the second qualifying position. Ray Gladwinfield and Mark Hibbett were the only pairing to win all of their games in group four and finished the round robin stage with a perfect twelve points. Peter Dickinson and Pete Smith lost only one game and qualified in second. 

The eight pairs will become four after the quarter finals this Sunday.

Greetham Valley’s Ladies, led by Ladies Captain Sheila Douty, found a way to use up the times when the recent snow caused a cancellation  of their golf games: they have started a bridge school. This has become so successful that they now play bridge at least once a week as well as playing golf. Sheila said that in the future, they hope to play host to other golf clubs in the surrounding area who also play bridge.

Order of Merit and Winter League updates

Week eighteen of the Winter Order of Merit saw yet another first time winner; nobody has won it more than once,  although a couple of players have come close. This week’s scores reflect the cuts in players’ handicaps over the past eighteen weeks of the competition. Immediate past Captain Jim Wheeler was this week’s winner with thirty six points. Jim said that he didn’t have a spectacular round but just played steadily to his handicap; he was cut by two shots and will play off twelve in the next round. Neil Harris also had thirty six points but was pushed back into second on count back after a poor back nine. Neil was the only player still on his original handicap in the top half of the table, he was cut by one shot and will play off four this week. Three players returned a score of thirty five points: Steve Anderson had the better back nine and so took third place, he will now play off six. The other two, Martin Boughton and Ian Cunningham, were tied for the fourth spot. Paul Jenkinson retains the top position in the Order of Merit with a twenty five point lead over Ian Copley. The consistent Steve Anderson climbs two places into third. Dave Copley has moved back up into the top five, he has jumped from seventh to fourth, organiser Neil Harris leaps ten places into a tie for fifth with George Grant, they have a hundred and sixty one point six, only point four behind fourth placed Dave. Week eighteen winner Jim Wheeler has the biggest move of the week going up eleven places from thirty eighth to twenty seventh. Thirty eight players have seen their handicaps cut in the series so far this year and with only six more games to go, anybody making a run could win it. A hundred points separates first from twentieth but with fifty points on offer to the weekly winner, this could soon change.

With only one game to go in the round robin knockout stage of the Winter League, it is extremely tight at the top of most of the four groups. In group one, Gary Graham and Kevin Burdall have eight points and look favourites to be one of the top two to go forward to the quarter final; a point from their last game would mean that nobody could catch them. Steff Dutton and Alan Bennett have six points as have Peter Zimmer-Smith and Peter Key: only one pair can go on to the next round so both need to go for the win. In group two, Bernard Bell and Neil Crees and the team of Bill Skinner and Graham Day have nine points, however if they were to lose their final game and third place pairing of Dave Morgan and Iain Bain were to win theirs, they would all have nine points and it would depend upon count back. Matt Asher and Ben Gasson lead the way in league three with eight points, Les Kowal and Jason Giblett are only a point behind them. Kevin Hingle and Andy Webb are on six, so it is all to play for. In the final group, Mark Hibbitt and Ray Gladwinfield have already qualified for the quarter finals with a perfect score of ten points, and are the only team to go into this weekend in a relaxed frame of mind. Behind them, it is all to play for, Peter Dickinson and Peter Smith have eight points and Steven Chisholm and Steve Burgon have six. The weather forecast for the weekend hints at a cold and possibly icy weekend, this could throw a spanner in the works!

Hole in One for Peter!

The seventeenth week of the Winter Order of Merit saw yet another first time winner. Ray Hughes returned a solid 39 points to win, just edging out Club Captain Trevor Smith with an equally impressive 39 points off scratch. Ray was docked two shots off his handicap and will now play off ten, Trevor also loses a shot and will play off plus one in his next game. Andrew Queen finished third on 38 points, he pushed Terry Smith into fourth place on count back. Andrew will play off eight in the next round after losing point five.

Paul Jenkinson produced another solid round and came in with 37 points, this takes him to the top of the Order of Merit leaderboard for the first time with 186 points, deposing overnight leader Ian Copley into second place some nine points behind. George Grant moves up to third with 161 points, just four ahead of Tony Mould in fourth who slipped back as he didn’t play this week. The injured Adam Clegg falls another place to fifth, he will be out for several more weeks yet and seems destined to drop down the leaderboard.

Trevor Smith jumps up nine places to enter the top ten once again and Ray Hughes moves up eleven places to enter the top twenty. Thirty one players have finished in the weekly top three places and have had a handicap reduction. Neil Harris is the only player in the top twenty five still playing off his original handicap.

Former Seniors’ Captain Peter McDonald Pearce had his first hole in one last week while playing with the seniors on the Valley course. Peter’s ace came on the par three third. Hitting into a strong headwind, Peter decided to go up two clubs and selected a six iron. The flag was on the far left hand side of the green which meant that he had a choice: go over the branches for the flag or go for the middle of the green. Peter went for the direct route and hit the ball cleanly over the trees, the ball landed six inches or so past the hole and spun back into the hole for an ace and five points. He and everybody in the clubhouse celebrated afterwards with a bottle of Jamieson’s Irish whisky to the delight of all who were eager to help him empty it.

The first round of the Gents’ Mail on Sunday competition saw Greetham Valley drawn away at Priors Hall, (Corby) The match was played in cold, wet and windy conditions – far from ideal to play in a competition like this.

Trevor Smith beat Tony Ferns two and one to set Greetham Valley up on the right track; Fraser Denholm continued the trend by beating Ryan Jeffray two up. Steve Anderson managed a half against Graham Thompson in a game that swung backwards and forwards for the whole round. Wayne Terrett lost to Corby Club Captain John Leneghan seven and six.

With everything hanging on the last match Neil Harris fought back twice against Mark Asher from two down to level the match coming in to the final hole. The team just needed a half to secure a win. Neil was unlucky on the flooded last green, he just lipped out on the final par putt. With the overall match all square Neil and Mark had to go head to head on extra holes in a sudden death shoot out. 

With both players finding the hazard off the tee, the game was poised on a knife edge. Another flooded green and a second lip out for Neil saw the match slip away in favour of home player Mark Asher. Both teams battled hard in the cold winds and heavy rain for the tightest of finishes but the home advantage proved decisive in the end for Corby.

February News from the Greens

I get the feeling that Spring is just around the corner – although the first two weeks in February are traditionally the coldest, the sight of the sun, the early hawthorn breaking buds and the emergence of the daffodil shoots certainly gives you a good feeling!

I am at present constructing new pathways around the putting green which should be completed next week; I will then start the path on the 10th hole on the Lakes, which will take about two weeks if the weather is on our side. No guarantees on that, looking at the weather forecast for the weekend and beyond!

The wooden benches and tee markers have all been treated and are ready to go back out on the courses. We have repaired the sleeper bridge next to the 11th tee on the Valley. The new Ladies’ tee on the 12th Valley has been constructed and will be in play from the start of the season.

I will be treating the moss in the greens very shortly with lawn sand and give them a light scarifying. And then top dressing will commence ! This year we will be purchasing a new topdresser, which is able to apply very light amounts of sand in a very short time. It’s quite a large capital expense but it will enable us to apply sand on a monthly programme, aimed at helping to keep the courses in the best possible condition throughout the year.You will hardly notice that it has been done each time as there will be no disruption to play at all.

Enjoy this month’s golf!

Regards, Adi

Order of Merit resumes, Ladies win Mail on Sunday 1st round

After a two week lay off due to heavy snow, the Winter Order of Merit got back underway on Sunday in cold and extremely windy conditions. Thankfully, the snow had gone and it didn’t rain but many of the competitors struggled in the conditions. Wayne Terrett got off to a bad start with bogies and blobs in the first five holes but after a birdie on the sixth he then went on to par the next eight holes to put himself into contention. However, a lapse in concentration caused him to drop shots on 15, 16 and 17. Wayne came home with thirty seven points, enough to place him third. He will lose point five off his handicap and will play off twelve in the next game, he moved up from fourteenth to tenth in the league table. 

Club Secretary Dennis Millington defied the years and the elements to record his best score of the series so far, thirty nine points and second place; Dennis said that there was nothing spectacular about his game, just steady golf right from the start. He loses a shot off his handicap and will now play off fifteen. Dennis moves up from thirty fourth to twenty third in the order of merit.

This weeks winner was Tony Mould playing off six. Tony got off to a bad start with bogies on the first two holes giving him just two points. After parring the next two, he dropped back with bogies on the next three to give him twelve points after seven. A birdie on the eighth resulted in a welcome three points followed by two points on the ninth, just one over his handicap for the front nine was a better return than he thought possible after the first couple of holes. Could it be a good enough springboard to give him a chance to go for the win that he needed to climb into the top three in the table?

The back nine was nothing short of a master class in how to play in the cold and windy conditions. After pars on the tenth and eleventh Tony hit one of the shots of the day on the par three twelfth. The flag was four paces on from the right, another two paces further right was a bunker: Tony hit a superb four iron into the gap only two feet from the hole and sank the putt for a birdie. He parred the next and birdied the tough par three fourteen, this was followed by a magnificent eagle on the par five fifteenth. The sixteenth was right into the teeth of the gale and Tony just missed out on another par but said that in the conditions he wasn’t too unhappy with that. Although the par four seventeenth was also into a tough wind he managed a hard fought par. One hole to go and the nerves were jangling, a cracking tee shot was followed by an uncharacteristic hit into the lake. Tony was determined not to drop more than one shot and chipped his next close and finished off with a bogie five. This gave him a fantastic score of twenty three for the back nine, forty overall and a gross score of seventy four, only two over gross.

Tony had to wait for the next five groups to come in before he was announced as the winner. He became the fourteenth first time winner this year and moved up from thirteenth to third on the table, he was also docked two shots off his handicap and will play off four in his next game. Paul Jenkinson, Steve Anderson and Ian Copley all tied for fourth with thirty six points.

Ian Copley retains first place thanks to a steady thirty six points, he has one hundred and seventy six points so far; the very steady Paul Jenkinson is ten points behind him and Tony Mould is third on one hundred and fifty five. Adam Clegg is in fourth for the moment but he will be out for at least six weeks after breaking his collar bone in a fall while snow skiing. George Grant is less than a point behind Adam in fifth.

Greetham Valley’s Ladies got off to a winning start in their first round of the Mail on Sunday team knockout competition on Sunday against local rivals Rutland County. The Rutland weather conditions were very cold and extremely windy. Gilly Grant got the team off to a good start when she beat Imogen Huxley six and five. Next up was Sue Brand who kept up the pressure by beating Ann Milsom two and one. Anne McCulloch also won her game beating Suzanne Huxley two up. Everybody went to the fourth match to support Pat Jamieson who was playing Michelle Powell. They halved their match to give Greetham the win. Scratch player Sophie Beardsall had a tough game on her hands against Trisha Clark, Sophie was giving Trisha twenty three shots and lost seven and five.  

Well done! The Ladies will find out who their next opponents are in a couple of weeks’ time.