Monthly Archives: March 2013

Order of Merit and Winter League finals coming up!

The odds are shortening on who will be the eventual winner of the Winter Order of Merit. With the last 3 games of the 24 game series  being cancelled due to snow, it now comes down to a mad dash in the last round to try to get as many points as possible. Three weeks ago in round 21, anybody from 20th place upwards could have put a run together; when that was cancelled anybody in the top 12 still had a chance. The round 22 game came to a halt half way through thanks to snow laying on the greens making putting an impossibility.  

In round 23 last weekend we were down to only the top five who had a chance to win. However, winter returned with a vengeance and for the final round it is really the top three who have the best chance. Club Captain Trevor Smith, who leads the series, Paul Jenkinson in second and Steve Anderson are now the main players who have any realistic chance of taking the win. With only fifteen points separating the three, if Paul or Steve wins, Trevor needs to come in no worse than second to take the overall win. If they have a complete nightmare on the course, Carl Causbrook and Tony Mould in fourth and fifth, some 35 points behind, could still take it. There are an awful lot of “ifs” but it has been that sort of up and down series this year. Former winner Adam Clegg is back this week after injuring his shoulder in a ski-ing accident, he and several others could still improve their positions. The leaders will be going out last as a three ball and they will no doubt be keeping a very watchful eye upon each other.

It isn’t just about the win however: players in the positions below the top three still have a lot to play for. The prizes go down to twelfth place and everybody from twentieth upwards still have chances to either get into the top twelve or to improve upon their position within the top twelve. Organiser Neil Harris has added a further twist to the competition to keep the interest going for players outside of the top twelve. He has put aside a separate fund to reward the top player outside of the main prizes with the most points gained in rounds played on a Saturday or Sunday.

The WOOM, as it is known, started last year on 20th October and after Neil changed the rules from the previous year to give a two shot penalty to the winner, one shot for second and a half for third, nobody has won it more than once. The final round will take place on the Lakes Course, snow permitting, on Sunday 7th April.

The WOOM has been confirmed as a club competition for next year but this doesn’t mean that the Winter League will disappear. Club Secretary Dennis Millington confirmed that the competition will still go ahead, providing there are enough entrants to make it a viable competition.

Sunday 24th March was also supposed to be the finals of the Winter League but that was also snowed off. The semi final was played the weekend before in atrocious conditions, high wind, snow, sleet and rain. Ben Gasson and Matt Asher were scheduled to play Peter Key and Peter Zimmer Smith, unfortunately Peter Key had to play them on his own as his partner couldn’t play in the semi final due to a long standing family commitment. Peter did very well to give Ben and Matt a game, he took it to the fourteenth where he finally lost five and three.

Pete Dickinson and Peter Smith beat Bill Skinner and Graham Day four and three and will now play Ben and Matt on a day to be set by Dennis Millington and whoever keeps throwing snow all over the course.

Greetham Valley’s Ladies win Mail on Sunday round

Lady golfers are made of very stern stuff and a bit of rain and snow doesn’t put them off. Greetham Valley’s Mail on Sunday team of ten played host to Burghley Park Ladies in the team knockout competition at the weekend. The teams had horrendous conditions to contend with: very high winds, hailstones, snow and driving rain. In the first game Captain Gilly Grant led from the front and beat Anne Hughes one up. Sue Brand kept up the momentum by beating Joan Hickman four and two. In game three, Pat Jamieson had a comprehensive win against Carole Hollman, Pat won seven and five. This was enough to put the Valley through to the next round with two games to go. Mandie Cassie lost to Kay Hircock four and three and Sophie Beardsall lost to Hanna Vaughan three and one.

They had the option of just tossing a coin instead of going out in the tough conditions but it says a lot about both teams that they wanted to play the game to have the chance of going through with a win. Gilly said that both teams did very well to play not just against the course and their opponents but against some of the worst weather conditions that she ever has played in. Greetham Valley now go forward to the next round of the Mail on Sunday in a couple of weeks’ time.

The March Medal was played the previous weekend before the snow hit and was played off yellow tees; because pick and place was in force, it couldn’t count as a qualifier. Alex Carter thought that he had won division one with a net sixty three but unfortunately his handicap was ineligible, it only counted towards his three cards needed to get his handicap up to date. Trevor Smith, playing off two, won the division with a net 68. Jordan Burdall, off scratch, took second place and the lowest gross on countback with a fantastic 69 consisting of fifteen pars and three birdies. Fourteen handicapper Neil Baker took third and Fraser Denholm off six was pushed back into fourth.

Division two was also a very close finish with two players in with a net sixty three; Ken Mason took the win from Steve Burgon who also won the lowest gross. The next three places were also settled on countback as all three scored a net sixty eight. Adam Smith took third, Paul Childe Freeman was fourth and Simon Bell was pushed down to fifth.

For the second week running the Winter Order of Merit was affected by snow. The field of thirty six hardy individuals soldiered on through the rain which quickly turned to snow, unfortunately organiser Neil Harris had to call it a day half way around as the snow was laying on the greens and putting was impossible. With only two games left in the series, this means that the top five are the only players in with a realistic chance of taking the title this year. As the players came in the snow stopped and it started raining, clearing the greens.

On one of the very few good weather days this week the Seniors got their season off to a good start with a terrific win away to Thorney Lakes. The day didn’t get off to a very good start, an accident on the A1 meant that five members of the Greetham Valley team were late. Captain Rod Wells changed the teams around to get the games under way, if the rest of the team didn’t arrive they would have to forfeit those games, luckily they did and quickly got changed, onto the course and into the games.

Alan Sorlie and Rod Wells lost their game two and one, Mike Guy and Colin Bateman won theirs by the same score. Greetham went behind again when Peter Macdonald Pearce lost five and four, they were soon back on an even par after Fred Aspin and Jack Vernal won their game three and two. Denis Cleggett and Keith Godwin then put Greetham ahead with a win, two up. John Taylor and Ken Upton won two and one, this meant that the visitors couldn’t lose and needed a half or a win from the next two games to take the match. Brian King and Martin Boothman lost their game by three and two. Stu Dodd and Ken Moore won the final game three and two to give Greetham a five and three win. Captain Rod was very pleased with his team and grateful to the latecomers for settling in so quickly. Their next match is also away, they visit Belton Woods near Grantham and hope for good weather again.

2014 England Golf Boys County Championship Midland Qualifier

Greetham Valley’s owners are a very proud bunch this week – they have just had confirmation that Greetham Valley has been selected as the venue for the England Golf Boys’ County Championships Midland Qualifier in 2014! 

Midlands Golf Union Secretary Neil Harris, one of the committee members who chose the club, said that the Midland Golf Union is very pleased that Greetham Valley Golf Club will be hosting the 2014 England Golf Boys County Championship Midland Qualifier. He went on to say; “The MGU Championship Committee are always on the lookout for venues of high quality for our Championships, where golfers will be presented with a testing challenge on the course backed up with excellent practice facilities. The driving range at Greetham Valley combined with the fantastic par three course for short game practise fits the bill perfectly. With thirty five hotel rooms and eight lodges everything necessary for a successful championship is on site. We look forward to working with Greetham Valley’s owners and staff to make this a championship to remember.” 

The Midlands Golf Union area consists of ten counties who are all eligible to field a team for this prestigious championship. The teams will consist of six players under eighteen years of age who will be picked by their County. There is no lower age limit so if you are good enough, then you are old enough!  

The format will be medal play off scratch with five out of the six to count. They will play thirty six holes on the Lakes course, eighteen in the morning going off two tees and the same in the afternoon. The qualifier will be on Wednesday 28th May 2014 and all teams will be able to play a practice round on the 27th. The top team on the day will then go forward to the national final at Sandiway in Cheshire for three days of intense competition starting on 26th August, to find the top County boys team in England.

Greetham Valley Managing Director Robert Hinch said that the owners and staff were incredibly proud to be asked to host this event next year. He said ‘We are delighted that after 21 years of continual development, improvement and reinvestment, Greetham Valley is finally getting the recognition that the courses and complex truly deserve’. Adi Porter, Greetham Valley’s Course Manager, added ‘Our greens in particular are already the envy of many golf clubs and I am very much looking forward to preparing the Lakes course for this prestigious event’. 

This year,Greetham Valley is equally busy with lots of other County events. They are to host a round of the Lincolnshire Poacher, part of the Lincolnshire Order of Merit, later in the year. They have also been selected to be the venue for the Lincolnshire Seniors versus the Leicestershire Seniors team in June. The Leicestershire Junior Girls will play the Nottinghamshire team at Greetham Valley and the complex will once again be the venue of choice for the Lincolnshire Girls Junior Coaching and Fund raising Day. 

The Ladies’ County Captains for Lincolnshire South event will also be held at GreethamValley. Robert Hinch said that they are very pleased and excited to be part of so many different counties’ plans for the months ahead.

Block paving and new topdresser!

We have now finished the block paved paths around the putting green and on the 10th hole on the Lakes course and I am sure you will all agree it is a vast improvement . There have been many suggestions as to where we should do next – thank you, members! – and these will be a priority when we continue with the paving  in the Autumn (or sooner!).

We have also managed to fit in some greenkeeping this week as well! We have lightly scarified the greens after applying lawn sand last week; this procedure is aimed at controlling the invasion of moss,which has thrived throughout last year due to the wet conditions.

We then followed up with a very light dressing of sand using the new topdresser; it can apply very small amounts of sand very accurately and is so light it doesn’t need brushing in. The sand is distributed in such a way that it is thrown into the canopy of the sward. My intention this season is to do this operation on a 2 weekly cycle which will sustain a very smooth putting surface along with all the agronomic benefits.

Fairways and rough have been cut this week and I hope to cut and fertilise the tees next week and return the tee markers to the normal summer playing areas, although Mother Nature may have something to say about that as I think we are in for another blast of cold weather!!

Enjoy your golf! Adi

Wedding Menu Taster Evening

We are delighted to invite all soon to be Brides and Grooms to enjoy a wonderful evening of fine food, wine and music….

Still pondering your menu choices, not yet sampled our cuisine or just looking for a good excuse for a night out to talk weddings?

Then Saturday 23rd March 2013 at Greetham Valley is the perfect evening for you! At a special price of just £20 per person, to include a glass of sparkling wine, delectable canapes and a scrumptious three course wedding meal. Our Wedding Co-ordinator will be on hand to help with any queries.

So – grab your groom, your parents and in-laws to be, bridesmaids and best man and call Claire or Mitch on 01780 460444 to reserve your table for this very special evening!

Click here for wedding taster menu


Order of Merit and Winter League update 1st March weekend

Week twenty of Greetham Valley’s Winter Order of Merit got underway in almost Spring like conditions – sun, warmth and unusually, next to no wind. Even the greens felt Springlike, very fast but true. After nineteen weeks of the competition, no player has won it more than once and week twenty, yet again, was no exception. Second Team Captain Alan Bennett, playing off seven, won this week with a massive 41 points. Alan, who was two under for the front nine and level on the back, said that he just played steady golf with the feeling that he just couldn’t miss. He was docked two shots off his handicap and will play off five next Sunday.

Club Captain Trevor Smith continued his push to not only win the Order of Merit but to do it with the lowest handicap possible. Playing off plus two, Trevor was second with yet another sub par round, he came in with 37 points and had a further shot taken off his handicap, he will play off plus three this weekend. Fraser Denholm headed a group of three on 36 points to take third and saw his handicap drop down to six for Sunday. Steff Dutton and Bob Beverley were pushed back into a tie for fourth place.

With the Order of Merit leader Paul Jenkinson missing through injury, Trevor Smith took over at the top of the league with 224 points, 12 ahead of Paul. Steve Anderson drops to third just 3 points behind Paul. Last week’s winner Carl Causbrook drops down a place to fourth and another previous winner Tony Mould is in fifth. This weeks winner, Alan Bennett moves up nine places into twelfth. Organiser Neil Harris said that it is all still very tight for the top thirty players and impossible to pick the eventual winner. Seventeen of the top twenty are now playing off single figure handicaps, somebody could still burst from the pack and make a charge.

 Next year, this competition, which started as an alternative to the Winter League, will be adopted as an official club competition but for now with only five rounds to go all of the players are focused on winning the last independent one.   

In the quarter finals of this year’s Winter League, played on the Lakes course on Sunday, Ben Gasson and Matt Asher beat Neil Crees and Bernard Bell four and three. In group two Bill Skinner and Graham Day beat the previous unbeaten pairing of Ray Gladwinfield and Mark Hibbitt on the last hole. Peter Dickinson and Pete Smith beat Gary Graham and Kevin Burdall three and one to win group three. In Group four it was a comprehensive win for Peter Zimmer Smith and Peter Key who beat Steve Sharples and Mick Jones six and five.

This coming Saturday 9th March sees the first Medal of the year and on Sunday round 21 of the Winter Order of Merit takes place. The following week Saturday 16th is the date of the Winter League semi final. Ben Gasson and Matt Asher play Peter Peter Zimmer Smith and Peter Key and Bill Skinner and Graham Day will play Pete Dickinson and Pete Smith. The winners will go forward to the final on Sunday 24th March. Good luck to all involved!