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Captain’s Report on 2015

From David Dinkeldein – f 1959

An interesting year with members enjoying fluctuating fortunes on the various courses on which we played. The weather was a mixed bag, but playable.

Tournaments

It is appropriate to start this report by congratulating the team that won the Halford Hewitt Plate in April and the Burles Plate at the Mellin in July.

Matches and meetings

Matches played: 21; won 9; lost10; halved 2. A total of 98 members played during the year, including 8 new members. The final tally was; won – Marlborough, Tonbridge, Woodbridge GC, Woking GC, Malvern, Cheltenham, Downside, the School, Aldenham; lost – R Cinque Ports G C, Wrotham Heath GC, Saunton GC, Littlehampton Seniors, Sherborne GC, Lancing, Aldeburgh G C, Rye GC, West Sussex GC, School & Staff,; halved – Blundell’s, Radley.

The winners of the major prizes at the three meetings were: Sherborne – Lewis Hinch, Patrick Macintosh and Tony Steele-Perkins; The Berkshire – Robin Irving, Ed Kelly, Roger Mather, Martin Macpherson, Iain Webb-Wilson and Orme Webster-Smith; Rye – Richard Parsons, Malcolm Pryor, Nick Chamberlin and Jonathan Godfrey.

Family Day

Eight pairs came to Woking in October to play for the Peter Currie Cup. Andrew and Richard Gray won with 30 points after a countback from Simon and Mary Brown with the same score.

Bermuda Trophy

September 2015 saw the Bermuda Trophy played in northern France and won by David Watney. The Committee have agreed that in future the dates should not impinge on Society matches or meetings.

New members

We welcomed the following new members – James Caldwell, Jack Dible, Oliver Gardner, Patrick Hobbs,

Jonnie Massey, Stephen Reed, Alexander Rydon, Harry Scarlet and Hugh Williams

Obituary

Bill Davis (a 57) and Sam Quick (a 57) had died.

To playing members

The fixture list and tick list for 2016 are attached in this emailing, together with a separate note from Howard Gill. It would be a great help if tick list replies could be sent in as soon as possible, and by email if you could please arrange that.

The fixture list

2014 and 2015 were experimental years in that we did not have a printed fixture card and made do with an email list and managers’ communication details. This was done in order to save printing and postage costs and control the expenditure of running the Society. The Committee has agreed to a further year for the experiment and intend to debate the future of the printed fixture card at its meeting in November 2016. If you have any constructive comments on this approach, please send them to Howard Gill at howard.gill@forsters.co.uk

Playing members should note that we are going to expect a more responsible attitude as to how they treat a tick for any event. It is accepted that it can be difficult to say “yes” in January to an event many months later. This year we will be sending out a “confirmatory” email in early July asking you to re-confirm the ticks for later in the year. This seems a reasonable thing to do as it will help not only the individual potential player, but also our hard working match managers.

Website

The website is about to become more active in the two way dialogue with members. Final plans should be agreed in March, and you will be informed of the overall plans.

Golf at the School

Patrick Francis informed the November Committee meeting of the latest news re golf at the School.

Having had the pleasure of playing yesterday (October 18th) in glorious autumn sunshine at Remedy Oak with David Dinkeldein and John Irving, whilst the boys were battling against some top class OSGS opposition, now is a good time for a brief report on the current state of golf at Sherborne.

It has to be said that we are in a phase of rebuilding as regards the School golf team. At the end of last term we said farewell to three long-serving members of the team – Hugh Williams, Stephen Reed and James Caldwell – and also to one of the brightest prospects amongst more junior boys in recent years, namely Nico Olazabal-Hartley, though he may perhaps return to Sherborne in two years’ time.

Consequently, results in School matches have not been as good this Michaelmas Term as in the previous couple of years. Although we beat Downside very easily in a home match in September, it was not at all surprising that we should lose to a capable Truro at Woodbury Park in the first round of this year’s HMC Schools Foursomes Competition and in fact we did well to go down 1-2, with the outcome decided by a 2 and I defeat for the top pair, Will Caldwell (now U6) and Thomas Stagnetto (of the 4th Form). Neither of them was able to play in a ‘friendly’ against a strong Canford team the following week and we were beaten quite easily by the opposition on their own school course.

As ever, some of the most enjoyable golf this autumn has been in the company of Old Shirburnians. Having Caldwell and Stagnetto available again for the match for the Tom Parry salver on October 4th made a big difference and helped the School and Staff to win 3-2 but neither could play yesterday at Remedy Oak (Will due to injury and Thomas because of other commitments) and the boys went down 0-4 and mostly by big margins. That said, the event was hugely successful again in all other respects, not least in developing personal connections between those representing the School and some of the leading lights in the OSGS.

The tremendously supportive involvement, not to mention the financial generosity, of the OSGS in seeking to assist and develop School golf continues to be greatly appreciated. This extends to the vital area of coaching. Ben Christey-Clover, PGA, has again been doing group work with new boys this autumn but he is lined up to do some additional sessions with others, including School team members, once the Third Form carousel has been completed. Inevitably, conditions for golf will become more difficult as winter comes on, but we do want to try to ensure that as many boys as possible get some coaching and that the School team is well prepared for the West of England Public Schools Invitation Tournament at Burnham next March 16th and 17th.

The Committee are very appreciative of Patrick’s approach and have supported the financing of the coaching scheme as this is considered to be in the longer term interests of the Society.

Summary

My year to date (six months) as Captain has not emulated the excellent achievements of silverware won the previous year, namely the Grafton Morrish and the Brent Knoll Bowl. Nevertheless, success was achieved in claiming the Halford Hewitt plate and the Burles plate, both for the first time.

The match against the School at Remedy Oak was a particular success this year and played in fine weather. My thanks to John and Robin Irving in instigating this event three years ago which I now hope will become a permanent fixture. It has proved a perfect venue for the boys to enjoy the surroundings of a prestigious club and experience playing golf for the Society in an enjoyable and friendly atmosphere. To date the results have been rather too one sided with the OS young guns winning with consummate ease.

Mention should be made of the unstinting efforts and patience of the match managers, in particular coping with last minute cancellations and abstentions. The introduction of the second tick list in the summer should hopefully reduce the incidents of this. For those who may be interested in playing in the Bermuda Trophy from September 4th to 6th please contact Pat Farmer who is the organiser this year. It is being held in Devon and based in Thurlestone. It is a very friendly tournament in which wives are encouraged to play. Finally my thanks to all who have made my time as Captain most enjoyable. I wish Gavin Prentice every success as Captain next June and extend to all a happy and successful 2016.