Captains’ Weekend at Greetham Valley Golf Club!

Captains’ Weekend 26th and 27th July
Greetham Valley Golf Club’s 2014 Captains, Shaun Denholm and Bev Dolman, have great pleasure in inviting members and their guests to enjoy the Captains’ Weekend events on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July. 

BBQ chefWhat’s On: Saturday
Captains’ Stableford Competition (full handicap) – on the Lakes course, enter on the computer from 5th July. Sponsored holes with lots of prizes (please let Shaun or Bev know if you or your company/business would like to sponsor a hole – the more the merrier!). Nearest the Pin competitions on 10th (gents) and 12th (ladies); Nearest the Pin in 2 on 18th (ladies and gents). Complimentary refreshments in the Halfway House.

BBQ from 7.30pm,  live entertainment from comedy and musical duo Fingers ‘n’ Fumbs, and disco until late. Evening tickets £8 for members and £10 for members’ guests – tickets from Hotel Reception.

golf team of three

What’s On: Sunday
Fun golf competition - 10 Hole Waltz on the Valley course! Teams of three – entry sheet, format and rules will be on the noticeboard from 5th July. Prizes for Ladies, Mens and Mixed teams. Duck Race on the brook after the competition. Back your duck NOW in the Lounge Bar, just £1!

Raising funds for the 2014 Captains’ Charity, the Air Ambulance Service

 


Team results, foursomes and midweek medal

Overhead lakesMost of Greetham Valley’s teams have had a good weekend despite the weather. The First Team led by Chris Steele lost a very tough match away to Boston Golf Club by four games to two. Chris said that they had one or two players drop out for various reasons but he was grateful to the members who stepped in at the last minute.

Steve Anderson who is Second Team Captain, praised his players for winning again this weekend. They won against Tydd St Giles in their first game of the season and this week beat Boston at Greetham Valley to win by four and a half games to one and a half. Steve said that despite the occasional bouts of rain, a three club wind and tough opposition, they stuck to their task to register a “played two, won two” start to the year.

The B Team (friendly) welcomed neighbours Rutland County to Greetham Valley. The Greetham team won by four and a half games to one and a half. Team Captain Fred Aspin said that the team, which included three debutants to matches since joining Greetham Valley recently, played very well and they look forward to their next match against Melton Mowbray away.

The Ladies Scratch Team, Sophie Beardsall, Emma Tipping and Kay Ropson beat Belton Park by three games to nil.

Former Senior’s Captain David Aldred and Senior’s Vice Captain Peter Wood had a great game in the Tudor Spring Foursomes. They came home with a nett score of 73 to take the trophy and the honour of representing the club in next year’s Daily Mail Foursomes competition. Trevor Smith and partner Dave Morgan, with a joint handicap of 3.5, were second with 73.5. Third place went to Captain Shaun Denholm and Gary Moat, they finished with 74.5.

Held on the same day, the Ladies Peugeot Foursomes, which is a stableford competition, was won by Hayley Taylor and Kay Ropson, they scored 37 points. Second place with 36 went to Eve Mills and one of Greetham Valley’s rising young stars, thirteen year old Ellie Haughton. Valda Austin and Chris Edwards were placed third after they too scored 36 but lost out on countback.

Susie Ellis, who has been a member for less than a year won her first Midweek Medal last week. Susie, off 36, won with a nett 67 and was cut to 31; Hayley Taylor was second with a 73. Peggy Smith who is also fairly new to the club took third place on countback from Liz Haughton after they both scored 75.


Gallant James rescues a golf trolley in distress

James AblettA hundred golfers were asked “If you saw an electric trolley go into one of the many lakes at Greetham Valley Golf Club, would you jump in to get it out”? Only one said yes – and did so at the weekend! Greetham Valley member James Ablett and partners had just finished their round and witnessed a fully laden trolley shoot down the hill from the practice putting green and into one of the lakes on the 18th hole of the Lakes course.

The owner, a lady who was a visitor to Greetham Valley and her husband rushed down the hill in a panic. Without any hesitation, James jumped into the water to rescue it. When the lady’s putter was found to be missing, he went back in to retrieve that too!

The lady visitor was over the moon after getting her clubs and trolley back so quickly and praised James for his quick and selfless thinking. Even though a very soggy James had to endure a bit of leg pulling from his mates, they and other club members all agreed that he really is a top man. Club Captain Shaun Denholm praised James and said that what he did was well above and beyond the normal courtesy that the members always extend to the club’s visitors. Incidentally, whilst he was wading around neck high in the lakes, James’ own trolley suddenly developed a mind of its’ own and headed off for the lake – its’ progress was arrested by Bob Green, who was filming the whole episode.

James’ friends in the Airshots Golf Society, a charitable group who fundraise for the Air Ambulance Service,  presented James with the equipment required in case he ever felt the need to repeat his heroic performance!

The video of James’ soggy adventure, as captured by former Greetham Valley Captain Bob Green, is available to view here on YouTube, entitled Golf Trolley Rescue.


Gilly and Liz enjoy Midlands North Foursomes success

Gilly Grant and Liz HaughtonGreetham Valley Ladies Gilly Grant and Liz Haughton took part in the Midlands North 36 holes Foursomes on a beautiful sunny day at Spalding Golf Club last Thursday. The pair, playing off a combined handicap of 9.5, had a fantastic morning eighteen holes, coming in with a gross 83, nett 73.5 off a standard scratch of 74. The pair said that they really scored well on the greens, hardly ever missing a putt.

After a spot of lunch,  they didn’t know where they stood in the field as the results hadn’t been published but when they stood on the tee for the second eighteen they were still buzzing. Unfortunately, this meant that they didn’t get off to the best of starts and it took a couple of holes to settle down to the task in hand. Foursomes is a tough challenge at the best of times but 36 holes requires a lot of concentration and physical strength to complete and play well at a gruelling course like Spalding.

The pair really thought that they had spoilt their chances when they came in with a gross 89, nett 79.5. but were amazed to find that they had won the gross competition in the morning and were only 0.5 off the nett. They had a long wait until the rest of the field finished their rounds and the final leaderboard for the day could be published.

Gilly said that they were really pleased to find that they had won the Nett trophy with a score of 153 and although they were joint top in the Gross competition with a 172, they lost out on countback and were pushed into second place. They were slightly gutted to have come so close to a clean sweep but with so many good golfers in the field, they were very happy with their day’s work.

Both players agreed that it had been a fabulous and well organised day and said that they had thoroughly enjoyed it. They can’t wait to defend their trophies next year in Derbyshire.

Liz isn’t the only good golfer in the Haughton household. Thirteen year old daughter Ellie, who won the Ladies Medal last week also won the Easter Pairs with partner Suzie Ellis, they scored 41 points.

Ellie has also been voted in as Junior Captain for 2014. Junior organiser Pat Jones said  “Ellie has a maturity beyond her years and plays a fabulous game of golf”.  Ellie, who only took up the game in May 2013 along with younger sister Isobel, is enthusiastically supported by Mum Liz and Dad Darren, themselves excellent golfers. Both girls have benefitted from the junior coaching days led by Greetham Valley Club Pro Neil Curtis.

The Men’s Easter Pairs was a very tight affair. Pete Dickinson and Mark Hibbitt were the overall winners with 45 points. The next three pairs all came in with 44 points and were separated on countback. Dean Wilkinson and Dave Morgan took second, Ben Miles and Darren Haughton were placed third just ahead of Gareth Williams and Dave Squires.

Greetham Valley’s Second Team got their season off to a great start by beating Tydd St. Giles away from home by three and half to a half. Team Captain Steve Anderson said that it was just the start that they wanted and the team hope to build upon it in the coming months.

The Ladies Mail on Sunday team have drawn Toft at home in their next round.

Mike Pare won the Seniors’ Stableford competition on Monday with a score of 45 points on countback from Rod Wells. Third and fourth were also decided on countback, Keith Smith took third from Steve Lakeman, both players scored 40 points.


Oakham Rotary Club Charity Golf Day

Oakham Rotary Club Golf day winnersPhoto – some of the winners of the Oakham Rotary Club Golf Day. In the foreground from left to right are Fred Aspin, Greetham Valley President John Sparks, ORC Foundation Chairman Bruce Strickland, GV Captain Shaun Denholm, Oakham Rotary Club President Richard Simmons and Wayne Terrett.

Oakham Rotary Club has been in existence since 1952 and, as with Rotary clubs throughout the world, they are focusing their main charity efforts in trying to eradicate polio on a global basis. However, they also never lose focus on their local charity efforts. Foundation Chairman Bruce Strickland said that one of the charities that they sponsor are the First Responders in Rutland. These are the people who will arrive at an incident even before the paramedics. They need specialist machines for resuscitation as well as keeping people alive and comfortable at the site of an accident or incident. Bruce said that the First Responders are an extremely important service but, as with the Air Ambulance, they receive no government funding and rely totally upon donations from the public. Their efforts to raise money for them and the fight against polio have led to Bruce organising the eighth Rotary Club Charity Golf Day at Greetham Valley.

The competition was played on the Valley course in warm sunshine with just a hint of breeze. The format for the twelve teams of four was stableford, with three to count on each hole except from the par threes where all four counted, a tough ask on a course featuring six very tricky ones.

The team of Trevor Smith, Bob Beverley, Sheila Douty and Jackie Friend just missed out on the prizes after being placed fourth on countback by Kevin Newman, Dennis Lowe, Mark Mousley and Les Orridge. Both teams scored 108 points.  Graham Smith, Mick Peasgood, Chris Wheatland and Darren Haughton scored 115 points to take second place.

The win on the day went to the team of GV President John Sparks, GV Captain Shaun Denholm,  GV Vice Captain Fred Aspin and Wayne Terrett, they scored a brilliant 122 points. Shaun thanked all of the participants for coming to Greetham Valley for the competition and said that although he was pleased to be part of a winning team, the real winners were the charities that the Rotary Club spend all year campaigning for.

Nearest the Pin winners were Darren Haughton for the men and Sheila Douty for the Ladies. C team Captain Neil Sellars won Nearest the Pin on the 18th, which was open to everybody. Sheila Douty also won the Ladies Longest Drive. Rob Smith hit two monster drives to win the Longest Drives for both the men’s and the open competitions.

Kevin Newman was given a Ryder Cup 18th hole flag and team tie by one of his clients to be auctioned on the day, this was bought by Greetham Valley Chairman Frank Hinch. £1250 was raised from this, the raffle, the competition and their loyal sponsors. Bruce Strickland said “this is an event that is held just once a year and continues to grow, it will be held at Greetham Valley again in May 2015 and all golf club members, male or female, young or old are very welcome to take part”.

Greetham Valley Ladies beat Melton Mowbray, in a  friendly match played at home, three games to one. The team was Bev Dolman/ Cathy Steele, Hayley Taylor/Lizzy Taylor, Pat Jamieson/Angela Wheeler, Beryl Crosland/Chris Edwards.

The Ladies’ Mail on Sunday team played their third round match at Brampton Park in Cambridgeshire during the week. Kay Ropson was out first and got the team off to a good start by winning three and two. Gilly Grant lost a very tough match on the final hole to make the score all square. Hayley Hunt lost two and one but Liz Haughton won her game with a magnificent score of seven and sixth. The match was all square and all eyes were on the only game still live on the course as the winner of this would decide the tie, Sheila Douty duly obliged by winning one up to give the team a win by three to two. Ladies’ Captain Bev Dolman said that Brampton is a very tough course to get a result at and that the team performed extremely well. She went on to say that the team were ably assisted by caddies, Pat Jamieson, Beryl Crosland, Trevor Smith, Hayley Taylor and Chris Edwards. The team will learn this week who their next opponents are.

Robert Lewin won the Midweek Stableford on the Lakes course with 40 points on countback from Ian Copley. Countback was also used to sort out third and fourth, after both players scored 37 points. Alan Childerley took third and Tim Nixon was pushed back into fourth.

The Men’s Mail on Sunday team took on Burghley Park away on Monday. The Greetham Valley team got off to a great start after Nick Cunnington and Adam Clegg won the first two games. Unfortunately, Chris Steele and Richard Wilson lost the next two so it all depended upon the last game with Greetham Valley Captain Shaun Denholm. Shaun and his opponent were all square on the 18th tee but the game and the match ended up going Burghley’s way. Shaun said that it was a great try by the team playing away from home and wished Burghley well in the competition.


Jon and Hayley triumph in the Anniversary Trophy

Valley golf course at Greetham ValleyGreetham Valley opened for business some 22 years ago with a driving range. During that time the Hinch family have added two 18 hole championship courses, a par three academy course, enlarged the clubhouse and built a hotel. Every year they celebrate the anniversary of the club with the first main competition of the year, the Anniversary Trophy. There are separate Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s trophies.

Jon RookledgeThis year’s men’s competition, a stapleford off full handicap, had a field of 127 who played on the Lakes course off white tees. This was won by Jon Rookledge with a brilliant 42 points. With six pars, a birdie and two bogies on his card for the front nine, Jon was well under his handicap. Like many, Jon struggled with the new white tee position on the tenth and dropped a shot, he also dropped two more on the par three twelfth but bounced back with four pars and a birdie to put himself back on track only to unfortunately drop one last shot on the final green.

Jon said that the course was in fantastic condition thanks to Adi Porter and his greenkeeping team, he hit a lot of fairways and greens in his round and stayed very positive with his putting. He was very disappointed with the double bogie on the par three twelfth but overall he was really pleased with the way that he regained his concentration. Jon went on to say that as a single figure handicapper, he generally plays quite well but this year after lessons with Greetham Pro Neil Curtis on the mental side of the game, he feels so much more confident and relaxed. Jon will play off eight in the April Medal next weekend.

Jamie Lowndes of seventeen was just one point behind Jon on forty one. Kevin Burdall off eighteen took third on countback from twelve handicapper Mark Mousley after both scored 40 points.

Hayley Hunt 1Sixteen handicapper Hayley Hunt, who won the Ladies’ Winter Order of Merit last weekend, won the Ladies’ Anniversary Trophy this weekend. She got off to a bad start when she dropped three shots in the first two holes. Hayley, who has grown in confidence since moving from Toft a few months ago, took a few deep breaths and got her concentration back on line to register 20 for the front nine. She went on to also score 16  points on the back nine including two no scores to give her a winning score of 36 points. Hayley took the win on countback from playing partner Hayley Taylor off fourteen,who has also only been with Greetham Valley for a few months.

Hayley H said that Hayley T is a brilliant player and it helped to be playing with her as she pushed her all the way, by making her concentrate hard. She went on to say that she thought that she had lost out when Hayley T birdied the final hole. Hayley Taylor was very disappointed to have had double bogies on holes eleven and thirteen as they really made a big difference on countback.  However, she said that she was very pleased with the way that she had played overall and it bodes well for the rest of the year.

Jill Cannings off sixteen and Sophie Beardsall off one were placed third and fourth on countback after both scored 34 points.

First Team Captain Chris Steele, playing off six, won the first Midweek Medal of the year with a net 69 on the Lakes course. Chris dropped five shots up to fourteenth but got two of them back with birdies on the sixteenth and seventeenth. He said that the Medal win and Posh winning the Johnsons Paint Trophy last weekend has started his year off in a very nice way! Kevin Shilham off eight took second place with a nett 70, another eight handicapper Tony Mould was third with 71. Trevor Smith off one won the lowest gross coming in with 73.

Greetham Valley Ladies “friendly” team got off to a good start to the year when they beat Burghley Park on the Lakes course mid week. Captain Bev Dolman and Chris Edwards won the first game one up. Gilly Grant and Annie McCulloch halved the second game. Angela Wheeler and Rosemary Thomas won their match by two and one. Jackie Friend and Chris Slattery won the final game five and three. Bev said that the girls had played very well and she looks forward to a good season.

Ken Stewart, playing off ten in division one won the April Seniors’ Medal despite appalling weather. Gusting winds and intermittent rain slowed everybody down. Ken dropped just the one shot on the front nine but suffered from the worsening conditions on the back nine. However, he still came in with the lowest gross of 78, the win in the division and the overall medal win. He will play off nine next time round. Eighteen handicapper Ian Jarvis was second with nett 73 and Michael Maffei off eleven took third place with 74. Ken Upton had nett 70 to win division two on countback from Michael Webb and Mike Guy took third with 72.


Adi triumphs in Winter Order of Merit

Order of merit playersImage shows some of the players in the Winter Order of Merit. In the centre holding the trophy is this year’s overall winner, Adi Cunningham. To his right is WOOM organiser Neil Harris and to Adi’s left is this week’s winner, Kev Hingle.   

The final of the twenty two round Winter Order of Merit was played on the Valley course at the weekend in warm sunshine with just a light breeze to cool the competitors slightly. The players took to the course in reverse leaderboard order, Adi Cunningham, Carl Causbrook, Kev Hingle and Dave Copley were all out in the final group. Neil Harris said that this ramps up the pressure at the top and brings out the best in the players. Kev Hingle was victorious on the day, he came in with a fantastic score of 41, 19 on the front nine and 22 on the back. Dave Copley was second with 38 points and last year’s winner Steve Anderson was third with 37 on countback from Darren Haughton. 

Adi Cunningham didn’t have such a good game but, having led from the very first game of the series, still did enough to take the overall title for the 2013/14 season. Adi, who has been a model of consistency this year, scored 351 points, having had several wins plus some second and third places. Kev Hingle jumped from fourth place to second after winning this week, he finished on 321 and overtook Carl Causbrook and Dave Copley who finished in joint third with 313. Trevor Smith, who has played off plus three for the last four rounds, was fifth with 265. Nick Cunnington missed half a dozen games but still took sixth place with 230, just 5 points behind him was last season’s winner, Steve Anderson. Darren Haughton was eighth, Graham Smith was ninth and Neil Crees rounded off the top ten. Prizes also went to the top scorer for rounds played on the Saturday or Sunday outside of the top ten. Peter Bagshaw won the Saturday with156 ahead of Martin Boughton who had 149. Club President John Sparks won the Sunday, he had 131 ahead of Fred Aspin who finished on 127.

This has been the fourth season of the Winter Order of |Merit organised by Neil Harris. Neil said that it has been gratifying to see fifty seven people take part throughout the series, which provided competitive golf throughout the winter. He went on to say that as it is an open competition in which any male club member can play, it was fantastic to see six members new to Greetham Valley take the opportunity to play and integrate into the club. They all agreed that it has not only been a great way to meet members but they feel totally accepted within the club.

Hayley HuntThe Ladies Order of Merit also finished at the weekend. Hayley Hunt, who joined from Toft in January, has led right from the first round, she finished with a 163 points. Hayley said that her long game was quite good at Toft but since having lessons with Greetham Valley Pro Neil Curtis, her short game has come on in leaps and bounds. Hayley cites this as the main reason for her win but went on to say that it will stand her in good stead for the competitions and matches that have just started this year, she also hopes to see a drop in her handicap. Liz Haughton, who returned to Greetham Valley last year after a lay off from golf was second with a 130 points. Another new member to Greetham Valley, Susie Ellis, was third with 95 points. Yet another new member, Hayley Taylor who came from Sleaford Golf Club, was fourth and Lizzie Taylor ended the series in fifth. As with the men’s competition, this has proven to be a great way for new members to “join in” right from the start.

Seniors away daySeniors on their Away Day at Peterborough Milton Golf Club. In the “harlequin sweater” in the front is Club President John Sparks, to his left is Club Captain Shaun Denholm, next to him is Senior’s Vice Captain Peter Wood who organised the day, Seniors’ Captain Radley Wardhaugh is to Peter’s left.

Fifty three Greetham Valley Seniors had their Away Day at Peterborough Milton on Monday, the weather could not have been any better, 18 degrees with alight breeze. The day was organised superbly by Seniors’ Vice Captain Peter Wood. The competition was in two parts, a singles stableford and a pairs bogie game. Club Vice Captain Fred Aspin won the singles competition on a tough course with 34 points. Second place went to David Aldred on countback from Chris Dawson, they both scored32 points. Jack Vernal and Keith Godwin won the team prize with a score of minus three. David Lucas and John Clinton who came in with minus six took second place on count back from Peter Macdonald Pearce and Chris Grey. Although the greens were tough having just been treated, everybody agreed that they had enjoyed the course. The catering was extremely efficient and very tasty. Fred Aspin was so impressed, he is thinking of holding his Captain’s Away Day there next year.

Alternative Winter leagueAs well as the Order of Merits and the Winter League knockout competition, the alternative Winter League, which has been organised by Ian Bain, has been running for five years. This year it was won by Dave Thompson.

Tony King had his second hole in one in a Seniors’ competition during the week. Playing on the Valley course, Tony said that he could feel a little breeze against him as he teed up on the par three third hole, he returned his nine iron to his bag and pulled out an eight. He said that it pitched just before the hole then dropped straight in for an ace. Happy days and a bottle of scotch on the counter for anybody to partake!


Charity Race Night at Greetham Valley Golf Club

Race Night at Greetham ValleyFriday 21st March
The ever-popular Charity Race Night makes its’ annual appearance at Greetham Valley on Friday 21st March. This year’s event will be raising funds for the 2014 Captains’ charity, The Air Ambulance Service.

Tickets are available from Greetham Valley Hotel Reception at just £5.95, to include a fish and chips supper served from 7pm. First race is at 8pm. Don’t forget your tote money – the Hinch girls will be in attendance as usual!!


Darren wins Order of Merit round 17 after advice from Paul

Darren HaughtonThe heavy winds that have been with us for what seems ages were once again a feature for round 17 of the Winter Order of Merit. Many players struggled with the uncertain level of it, one minute it was very heavy “in your face”, then for a few seconds, usually when a player is just about to hit the ball with an extra club or two, it would suddenly drop. Darren Haughton took on board the advice from last week’s winner Paul Clegg, “swing slower, use two clubs extra and forget about distance, just think about where you want to take your next shot from”. Darren, playing off ten, said that it was great advice and worked fantastically well for him.

Playing on the Lakes course, he had a couple of putts just pushed off line by the wind as they slowed to the hole but still had 18 points after the front nine. Darren scored better on the more difficult back nine, he had a birdie on the par 5 thirteenth directly into the wind as well as several pars to come home with 20 points, giving him a total of 38. Darren said that he was pleased with the way that he had played but went on to thank Paul for the advice. Thirty eight points was enough to take the win this week and means that he will play off eight in round 18 on Saturday and moves up the overall leaderboard.

President John Sparks, off fourteen,  just missed out on the top spot after scoring 37 points but said that in spite of the rough conditions, he felt that he had really played well. John loses one shot and will play off thirteen in round 18. Trevor Smith, playing off plus two, who had held the long time clubhouse lead, took third place with 35 points on count back from Ben Miles. Trevor loses point five which means that he will play off plus three next time. Chris Wheatland, Kev Hingle and Paul Jenkinson were a point behind with 34.

Adrian Cunningham still leads the overall table, he is 64 points clear of Kev Hingle with Trevor Smith just 15 points further back in third. Carl Causbrook drops to fourth place but Graham Smith remains in fifth, David Copley drops down to sixth place. John Sparks jumped up seven places to take over seventh place, Steve Anderson dropped one place to eighth. Ben Miles edges forward to ninth and Nick Cunnington who has been scoring steadily recently makes it into the top ten.

Organiser Neil Harris said that with just five rounds to go now, Adie Cunningham who has played exceptionally well this series, still has a good lead but that has been cut in recent weeks from 100 points to just over 60. The next few rounds will be a test of his nerve.

The Ladies had much better weather for their Order of Merit on Saturday. Hayley Hunt, who started the series off eighteen, kept up the pressure at the top of the table but had to be content with second place to this week’s winner Jacky Bayley. Both ladies scored 35 points but Jacky took the win on countback thanks to a better back nine. Angela Wheeler was third. Hayley who is now playing off thirteen still keeps her lead at the head of the table, Liz Haughton is second and Susie Ellis is in third.

The final round of the round robin Winter League threw up a few surprises. In group one James Abblett and Bryan Birchall lost their first match of the competition but still went forward to the quarter finals as group winners. Andy Dickinson and Brian McInerney also lost and Gary Moat and Adam Smith leapfrogged them to move into the quarter finals. Bill Skinner and Peter Key were unbeaten to win group two, Ali McNaughton and Dave Pusch lost their last game but still go into the quarters. Trevor Smith and John Sparks were also unbeaten in group three, they go into the mix with Pete Dickinson and Peter Smith. Club Captain Shaun Denholm and Wayne Terrett were also unbeaten, they go forward with Bob Green and Bill Kirton. The quarter finals will be played on Sunday the second of March. Trevor Smith and John Sparks play Ali McNaughton and Dave Pusch. James Abblett and Bryan Birchall take on Pete Dickinson and Peter Smith. Bill Skinner and Peter Key will play Bob Green and Bill Kirton. Shaun Denholm and Wayne Terrett play against Gary Moat and Adam Smith.

In round nine of the Seniors’ Winter League, new member Ian Jarvis, off eighteen, shot a fantastic 46 points which included birdies on the 13th and 14th on the Lakes course. Steve Taylor, also off eighteen, retains his lead at the head of the overall table after scoring 40 points to take second place on the day. Twenty handicapper Mel Clark took third place with 39 points.


Howling gale no match for Paul in Order of Merit

Paul CleggA howling gale welcomed the Winter Order of Merit players playing in round 16 on the Lakes course on Saturday 15th. With the greens running quick anyway, the addition of such blustery conditions made putting particularly difficult. Paul Clegg was probably the only person playing who seemed to have no problems with it all. Paul, off six, dropped just the two shots on the front nine having had back to back birdies on the sixth and seventh holes to end the front nine with 19 points. On the tougher back nine, he dropped just the one shot, this was on the par five sixteenth which was playing directly into the teeth of the gale. He finished with a magnificent total of 39 points and was the only player to break par on the day.

Paul said that there was no big secret to his success on the day, he softened his grip and took two more clubs and concentrated on making as smooth a swing as possible. Easier said than done when the wind is trying to knock you over and having to second guess the wind on every shot. Paul went on to say that he managed to keep his focus by playing positional shots instead of distance shots to plot his way around the course, this meant that he was always in a good position for the shot to the green. He was cut to four for the next round this weekend when the weather is expected to be kinder. Paul’s son Adam Clegg who is also a single figure handicapper didn’t fare as well as his father, he had to retire after four holes having injured himself during the week. Andy Webb, off seventeen, came in second with a brilliant 35 and was cut to sixteen for the next round. Nick Cunnington off three had another steady week, he like Neil Crees and Kev Hingle came in with 34 points but Nick took it on countback thanks to better scoring over the last six holes. Three players, Carl Causbrook, Darren Haughton and Graham Smith all came in with 33 points.

Adie Cunningham, who didn’t play this week, still holds a commanding lead in the overall table, he is 70 points ahead of Kev Hingle, Carl Causbrook is a further ten points behind him. David Copley, Graham Smith and Trevor Smith are bunched close together with Steve Anderson, Nick Cunnington, Fred Aspin and Peter Bagshaw completing the top ten. Fifty seven players have played in the competition so far this year; in the top thirty, only two players, Chris Wheatland and John Sparks, have yet to experience a handicap cut. Organiser Neil Harris said that this showed how difficult it is to win the competition. Neil went on to say that with six rounds left, the prize fund is looking very healthy. The top three each week share a portion of the prize fund but the rest goes into three separate funds. Some will go to the player with the best overall scores in the Saturday competitions and some for the top man in the Sunday rounds, this gives people a chance to win something even if they can only play on one of those days, the rest will be paid out to the top ten. The fund at the moment stands at £485 but if none of the rounds are cancelled due to inclement weather, Neil expects to finish with a prize fund somewhere around the £650 to £700 mark. Graham Smith, playing off two, leads the field in the Saturday rounds with a 163 points, 36 points ahead of Peter Bagshaw in second. Overall leader Adie Cunningham tops the Sunday list with 195 points, he is 70 points ahead of Dave Copley.

Hayley HuntThe Ladies played their round five Order of Merit in the same rough conditions. Ten handicapper Liz Haughton showed her class to take the win this week to move closer to the top of the leaderboard. Liz said that she was really pleased with the way that she kept her swing under control to plot her way around the course. Susie Ellis had another fine round to take second place and Hayley Hunt who started off in the competition playing off eighteen but now finds herself playing off thirteen, kept up the pressure to take third place. Hayley has a commanding overall lead with 97 points, Liz Haughton is in second place with 63.5 and Susie Ellis rounds off the top three with 53 points. There is still a long way to go yet and the weather could still play a big part in the competition.

Despite strong winds and rain, Neil Lowndes had a fantastic round in the February Seniors’ Medal. Neil, off nine, won the medal, division one and the lowest gross with a brilliant net 66. Three players were separated on count back after they all came home with a net 71. Jack Vernall, playing off his new handicap of fourteen, took second, Keith Heppenstall was third and Steve Taylor was pushed out of the money into fourth. Bob Harmes won division two with a net 70 on countback from Ian Kellam. Ian had the small consolation of taking the lowest gross in the division with an 89. Denis Watts took third place ahead of Derek Palmer, they both came in with net 72.