New Year’s Day at Greetham Valley heralded the change of captains as symbolised by the traditional drive-in.
Outgoing captains Fred Aspin (Club), Cathy Steele (Ladies), Peter Wood (Seniors) and Ellie Haughton (Juniors) are being replaced by Micky Fish, Susie Ellis, Mel Clarke and Tom Haynes respectively.
As is usual, the drive-in took place from the tenth tee on the Lakes in front of a large gathering of noisy members and it is nice to report that all the participants safely cleared the water hazard and saved themselves any embarrassment.
Following the drive-in, a nine hole shotgun start was played with two ball aggregate scores and prizes for the best score on each half of the course.
The winners of the front nine competition were a pairing of Darren Sargood (5) and veteran Charles Guttridge (19) who scored a competitive 41 points to win by two points.
The back nine was won by George Brand (18) and Ian Cunningham (14) with 36 points (on countback from John Dowding and Ian Copley). Following the nine hole competition the new captains were presented with their badges of office and they then introduced members to their aims for the coming year.
The captains’ charity will be Dove Cottage Day Hospice at Stathern which, as the name implies, provides specialised respite, care and support in the NE Leicestershire, Rutland and SE Nottinghamshire areas. Funds will be raised through a club raffle with first-class prizes for winning entrants.
l The club Winter League competition, played over nine rounds in leagues, prior to a knockout format for the top teams in each league, reached the (almost) halfway stage with four rounds played.
On Sunday, in truly atrocious wet weather which resulted in bunkers being flooded and greens saturated, all the teams struggled manfully to complete their matches.
Of the 40 pairs who have entered the competition only three teams remain with a 100 per cent record to date and two of these are in the same league. Graham Smith and Ian Copley, together with Anthony Mousley and John Herbert seem destined to fight over the honours in League Three whilst Bryan Birchall and Matt Williams are undefeated in League Four.
l Just prior to the Christmas holidays the Seniors section played the fourth (of 10) Winter League competitions and in spite of the high winds scoring was at a good level with eight players separated by three Stableford points. In third place John Morfee scored 37 points but was beaten into second place by Keith Smith on 38 points in a round that included a run of six pars on the front nine; an error on the difficult tenth (bearing in mind the high winds) meant a double bogey to mar a near perfect round. The winner, however, was Mike Hoye who has had a highly impressive run of consistent golf and scores over the past weeks; Mike also scored 38 points but managed to cancel out his less good holes with a mix of two birdies (on the fourth and sixth holes) and pars.
l In the Seniors Winter League, after the New Year, the fifth round was played in windless and dry conditions although the ground was still soaked from the previous day’s downpour.
Scoring was again consistently high with eight players scoring better than par and separated by only four shots. John Dowding scored 38 points to take third place on countback whilst the top two places were also decided on countback.
Rob Gray, who has been scoring consistently over the previous rounds and currently heads the competition, started very strongly with a birdie on the first hole and amassed 22 points on the front nine. His return half, however, was marred by a failure to score on the fourteenth and which adversely affected the countback totals.
Top place was taken by Ian Jarvis,also with 40 points, who likewise had a failure to score but this was on the par three sixth; his back nine score of 19 secured the top place.