Chaps,

The problem with raised expectations, is that expectations are raised. Tiger, that beautiful big cat species threatened by nine irons and fire hydrants, has gone and done it again, this time at Augusta where of course it where it should be done. He has kicked off the season in glorious style, and no doubt those of us addicts who watched it unfold on the box, will, despite the slower greens at Augusta this year, still be leaving our putts short at the Gogs for some days to come. Talking of shorts, no not those ones you long to have too many of after a good meal, the fabulous golfing weather means they must come out again. And talking of longs, those will of course be the socks you wear with your shorts....or am I just an old fuddy-duddy past his prime?

New Elders

My fading memory can recall only two new recruits in the last few weeks. Firstly, Iain Campbell, who is now also a member at the Gogs but who played in the recent humiliating match against the Elders at Wellingborough (read all about it below). Secondly, John McComish, who was wise enough to fill one of the booking slots last Wednesday week when my former mates Gross and Davidson both let me down, and then humiliate me with his towering drives (read all about it below). Having both humiliated me, I am sure that a warm Elders welcome is guaranteed.

Elders & Ladies

There was a great turnout for the annual Elders & Ladies Mixed Greensomes competition on Thursday, 4 April. We had 36 Elders and 36 Ladies competing in pairs from a shotgun start on all 18 tees of the Old Course. The weather was fine, the course in good nick and after a splendid meal, brief speeches and a bit of light-hearted banter, the prizegiving took place. Top honours went to David Lawrie and Ann Caffall with 38 points, followed by Martin Roland and Sally Pinnock with 37 points and Willie Davies and Miranda St John with 35 points. Geoff Savage won the Elders Nearest the Pin on the 17th, and Elizabeth Bielby the Ladies' on the 9th. Well done all. Chris Reynolds and his partner beat Matt Mills and his partner 3&2...see Foul Ups below!

Elders & Ladies

There was a great turnout for the annual Elders & Ladies Mixed Greensomes competition on Thursday, 4 April. We had 36 Elders and 36 Ladies competing in pairs from a shotgun start on all 18 tees of the Old Course. The weather was fine, the course in good nick and after a splendid meal, brief speeches and a bit of light-hearted banter, the prizegiving took place. Top honours went to David Lawrie and Ann Caffall with 38 points, followed by Martin Roland and Sally Pinnock with 37 points and Willie Davies and Miranda St John with 35 points. Geoff Savage won the Elders Nearest the Pin on the 17th, and Elizabeth Bielby the Ladies' on the 9th. Well done all. Chris Reynolds and his partner beat Matt Mills and his partner 3&2...see Foul Ups below!

But (unlike in Game of Thrones) winter is going, and the Summer Competitions are here. The draw for both the Munro Cup and the Summer League have both been made and are on the noticeboard...and have deadlines, so you had better pay attention this year! The first round of the Summer Wandlebury Eclectic is on Monday, 13 May, and the Frank Moore Trophy (Friday, 10 May) and Veterans Cup (Friday, 17 May), both over 60's competitions, are also looming. For the over 75's, the crinkly sign-up sheet and rules for the inaugural Super Vets Stableford on Thursday, 13 June is now also on the noticeboard. I repeat, the crinkly sign-up sheet and rules for the inaugural Super Vets on Thursday,13 June is now also on the noticeboard. Elders Invitation Day is set for Thursday, 27 June, so find a mate whilst I try to get around to putting a sign-up sheet up!

Invitations to Senior Invitation Days

Remember this?

We have received invites to Senior Invitation Days at both Letchworth and Knebworth. For the Letchworth Senior Invitation Day on Thursday, 13 June we have been allocated two £35 places, each to play with a Letchworth Senior in a Fourball Betterball stableford competition. This includes lunch and loads of prizes and is favourably endorsed by Nick Shaw, who can't go this year because he is planning to win our very own inaugural Super Vets Stableford on the same day. The Knebworth Senior Invitation Day clashes with our John O'Gaunt Away fixture on Friday, 16 July and is the day before our Elders Away Day. Format details are pretty much identical to those at Letchworth but it is £40 entry fee and even non-winners get a bacon roll. If anyone wants more information on these invitations, please email me. Well I have had no response from any of you. Do I just say sorry chaps, can't do? Answers to flood my mailbox please.

Matches

Having reported two glorious victories in previous updates I can only reflect a steep decline. Halving 4-4 away at Newmarket Links so soon after being crushed by them in the CAGU Seniors Knockout may seem a good result, but when it is followed by losses away at Saffron Walden and Letchworth (both 5 1/2 2 1/2) and Wellingborough, and then losing 3-5 at home to Kings Lynn, you can see the root cause of my distress. The astute amongst you might notice I have not mentioned the score at Wellingborough. Suffice to say I will congratulate the pair that managed to halve their match, and I will not mention the pair that managed to halve a hole. You work it out.... but not in the presence of Iain Campbell, our new boy, their mole. Sadly, in the days of GPS we can't even issue Wellingborough Seniors with Wandlebury Planners for the return fixture on the Old. Coming up, we have matches against Ely (25/4...I hope that is the date and not the score!), Ramsey (26/4), Mid Herts (1/5), Thetford (3/5) East Herts (14/5), The Cambridgeshire (20/5) and St Neots (21/5).

Availability for matches has been poor of late, and I must implore you to either sign up, or email me to say why you don't sign up for matches...I want to know what's going wrong so we can fix it. For those who need to be encouraged, just take it from me, it is a great way to spend a chunk of the day. Semi-competitive golf, social banter, a good meal and maybe a different course...what's not to be enjoyed?

Currently we are still short away at Mid Herts (a great James Braid course) on Wednesday 1 May, so please immediately contact Tim Gross on 07801 677128 to tell him you can play. My grateful thanks to Pete Carpenter and Henry McTrusty who have stood in to captain the forthcoming matches against Thetford and Ely respectively in the stead of the ailing captains nominated. Henry you will recall has already been the stand-in for the stand-in v Bishop's Stortford and once again he steps up and afterwards will have earned a lie down.

Win a Lagonda!

Well, maybe not, but you could watch some top class golf from inside the ropes by waving a flag at the appropriate moment. Please sign-up in the bar. There are a few slots still to fill, and the event on Wednesday, 22 and Thursday, 23 May gets ever closer.

Feats, Flukes and Foul-ups

I mentioned earlier that I was grateful for new Elder John McComish teeing up with me a couple of weeks ago. I am grateful again for his inadvertent contribution to this section of the newsletter, if only because I can leave you in suspense for at least another edition as to how I played my second shot on the 17th of the Old all those weeks ago. John has big levers and plays off 17. Both could also be said of me...but there the similarity ends. John hits the ball a long way. In the Medal, on the par-5 fourth on the Wandlebury, off the white tees, my GPS measured his gloriously drawn drive at 296 yards. He followed this up by reaching the green in two, but missed the twelve-foot putt for an Eagle, settling for a tap in Birdie. I doubt many Elders have achieved that, and I doubt John will be playing off 17 for much longer! Well played sir! What a feat.
What does a Mixed Greensomes Stableford Competition with a Shotgun Start sound like to you? We even sent each fourball out with a prepared scorecard for each mixed couple and a sheet entitled How to Do It (!), but we weren't imaginative enough to think that no-one in the four would read it! That sheet explained how the handicaps had been calculated, that there were no restrictions on the number of drives, that it was alternative shots thereafter, that the men were off the yellow tees, that the Ladies were off the reds. All pretty Janet and John. We were pretty surprised to get just a single scorecard back from one fourball with no shots recorded, but a 3&2 win shown for one pair over the other! What a foul-up!

Winter League Final Postscript - the Sloth Bear Fights Back on St George's Day

You have probably had enough of hearing about the Winter League Final. You may have read a report from our Elders Golfing Correspondent (sic), where he was perhaps a little rude about both his partner, and his opponents. Well one of his opponents, the one prone to a snooze, has reacted as though poked with a sharp stick. He has been bombarding your humble correspondent with incomprehensive observations but clever photographs. Donald would call it Fake News. It being St Georges Day, I thought I should recount that before the Final he accused me of stirring the Dragon. I merely pointed out that as my middle name was George this might not end well for him. Clearly the Sloth Bear had the better of George on the Day...and sent me two photographs to remind me.

Click here
to view photos.


Keep swinging.

Roddy

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