Ian Smith (Seniors Captain) – Chairman
Roger Fry (Seniors Vice-Captain)
John Wood (Seniors Secretary/Treasurer)
and Members of the Senior Section
Apologies for absence were received from: Mike Merrison, Derek Isaac, Bill Randerson, Derek Green, David Rickaby, David Stanley, Morris McGee, and Dave Toyne.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and requested a minute’s silence in memory of members, members’ wives and former members who had died in the year since the previous A.G.M. A special mention was made for Bob Marshall who had died suddenly over the previous weekend.
MINUTES OF THE 2014 A.G.M.
The Minutes of the 2014 A.G.M. had been displayed for the required period. There being no matters arising they were accepted unanimously by the meeting as a true record on the proposal of Roger Fry and seconded by Jim Keable.
SENIORS CAPTAIN’S REPORT 2015
Captain Ian then gave the following Report:
“The year has passed by with something of a blur so please forgive me if I forget to mention some event or person of significant importance. As a number of you keep reminding me my sense of direction and purpose has not improved with age. Despite being a sensitive soul I have not let this detract from my role and responsibilities.
At the beginning of the year I had three clear aims:
Firstly, to enjoy my Captains year and by so doing encourage the Blankney Seniors to do likewise. Remembering how fortunate we are to be able to play golf whatever our personal circumstances. Well I’ve enjoyed the whole experience anyway.
Second aim was to play in every match and participate in all of the competitions. With an added goal of playing with every past Seniors Captain who I had the privilege of playing for. I fulfilled the first but sadly failed by two with the past Captains. My thanks to all of you who played with or for me over the season. I share your suffering!
Thirdly and perhaps the most important was to support the Club and Ladies Captain. With the aim of incorporating a respect and understanding of everybody’s contribution to the Club. The adoption of the same Charity, combined Presentation evenings and supporting various golf and social events were some of the ways this was achieved. I sincerely hope this aim will be continued by future Captains.
As for the golf, well we won 16 matches, drew 5 and only lost 8. This was achieved by a committed group of about 40 seniors who played a minimum of 4 matches and of those 24 played 10 or more games. This despite having 165 Seniors listed in the book!
Elsham GC has decided to drop us whist we have decided not to include Sandilands and Normanby Hall in our future fixtures. However, we have added South Kyme and Belton Woods from 2016.
I would like, on your behalf, to express our thanks to those who provided the Half Way hospitality. Their contribution was appreciated by everybody but especially the visiting teams with the course and our friendliness winning much praise.
The entries for the main Senior competitions attracted on average 55 participants although the Seniors Invitation Day was very poorly supported. Apparently only 30 of you have a golfing friend! However, the turnout for the Senior Captains Day, with over 70 players was most rewarding. The format of the day was appreciated and enjoyed by all, or so it seemed. The generosity of the sponsors and other donations made the day very special for me. A special thank you must go Terry Bentley & his wife Sharon and Olive Brenchley the Ladies Captain for ensuring such a successful and enjoyable day.
During the year I have tried to represent the Senior Section as an integral part of the Club and promote whenever possible its contribution and value to the Club. To this end I have attended the Club’s committee meetings, presented concerns to the Club Professional and forwarded suggestions and ideas to those concerned.
Finally, my thanks to everyone who has contributed to making my year such an enjoyable experience with special thanks to John Wood for ensuring it was stress free!!
Last but not least is my wish that Roger Fry and his Vice-Captain John Thompson receive and enjoy the same support and respect you bestowed on me. Thank you.”
SECRETARY & TREASURER’S REPORT
John gave the following report:
“Having managed to reduce the Seniors’ finances considerably, in my first year, I realised that it was obviously necessary for me to reverse that trend and I am therefore very pleased to be able to tell you that this year we have made a profit, albeit only £25.24.
I am sure that you would like to know how this has been achieved, so here goes my second Annual Report;
Once again I will combine both of my roles using the Income and Expenditure Account as the basis for the report.
The first event was the ever popular Valentines Dinner, organised expertly by David Stanley and Nev Scott. Unfortunately, I was out of the country and so couldn’t attend but I am assured that it was excellent once again. The Dinner gives the Section its first opportunity of the year to honour the Club Captain and Professional by inviting them to the event with their partners. These invitations resulted in a cost to the Section of £47.15
Two away days were organised by Andrew Wylde, once again at South Kyme and Waltham Windmill. Andrew persuaded me to put money into the prize fund, hopefully not to be repeated next year; hence we made a contribution of £100. As well as these Away Days, Peter Morley organised an exchange day with Toft Golf Club on a very wet but enjoyable day in October. Peter and I came to an agreement so that it didn’t cost our accounts anything. My thanks to both Andrew and Peter for these events, which will all be repeated in 2016.
We organised six board competitions during the season, one more than last year, having taken over the running of the Bert Medhurst from the Club. A total number of 433 seniors entered these competitions. Eighty-three entered the first one but only slightly more than fifty entered each of the last three, I hope this isn’t an indication of things to come. I was considering asking you to allow me to increase the minimum age for the ‘Seniors’ to sixty, over the next five years, however it is obvious from the fall in entries that it will be some time before the Section is too big to cope. I have decided to leave the Bert Medhurst as a weekend comp, albeit open to all Club members who have reached their 55th year including all five-day members. After last year’s loss I increased the entry fees this year and this has resulted in a contribution to the accounts of £430.65.
Rather than presenting the winners with their prizes at either the Senior Captain’s Day or at our AGM, on the agreement between the Club Captain Terry and Ian our Captain, we incorporated our presentations into the Club’s two Prize Presentation Evenings. These went very well and it is envisaged that this will be repeated next season, our Winners were as follows:
Ken Williams Cup – Bill Stonier Stuart Blytham Salver– Martin Cornelius
Bert Newman Shield – Fred Fox Gilliatt Driver – Doug Riddell
Bert Cawsey Cup – John Watson Bert Medhurst – Derek Finch
Reg Woolley KO – Mick Middleton Order of Merit – Ray Pacey
Congratulations to them all.
The main event from an organisational point of view was the annual Watson Trophy (The Senior Open). Disappointingly we had only 119 entries, 67 from 30 visiting Clubs but only 52 members, playing in four age groups. I mentioned my disappointment to ex-secretary and Past-Captain Derek Green, who produced figures (from his back pocket) which showed that in his last year of running the event in 2008 we only had sixty odd members entered, however we had 195 visitors. From these figures it isn’t hard to see how he could cream off £200 into Senior Funds and I obviously can’t.
We gave out 17 prizes including the Watson Trophy to John Spooner from South Kyme Golf Club, John played at 8.15am and waited in the Clubhouse until he received his prize twelve hours later. Over half of the other prize winners went home, admittedly with an apology, and because of this I have decided that no matter the format you decide on later I will join with the rest of the Club for Opens and not have a presentation immediately after the event, but will send out vouchers as soon as possible. Although I do not mind driving over to Nottingham to watch the football I find it a pain having to go to Wollaton Park to deliver a prize on a Saturday morning. Despite the lack of income, I followed the normal policy in taking the opportunity to say thank you on your behalf, to those who have been a major help during the year and in the past. These payments have helped to ensure that the event registered a loss of £100.16.
Senior Captain’s Day was the next item and having been surprised by the costs last year; I took a little more control, without hopefully spoiling the Day for Ian but managed to reduce the amount we spent. I believe we still all had a great day especially Ian. The day cost the accounts £233.00.
The next item was the Invitation Day, and although it was enjoyable, once again the number of entries was a little disappointing. We retained £52.88, but it would have been nice to have had more than the 30 members and their guests, surely more of you must have friends out there. We will continue to have a presentation after this event in 2016.
The Section played twenty-nine matches against other Clubs during the season with a £1 per game levy being charged from the players. I know that this levy can be a pain especially when the meal costs get out of hand, however without it we would not be able to look after our Captain or contribute to the Charities we support, especially as the Charity Whisky draws only contributed £222 on the season. As the Captain as already told you next year we will have two less matches. With no costs set against the levy income, the Matches made a contribution of £523.00 to Funds.
We gave £450 to local Charities and incurred £58.98 of general expenditure.
All of this resulted in a surplus of £25.24, which is not very good, but is much better than a loss.
I reiterate all of the thanks that the Captain has made but must give special thanks to; Mike Merrison for keeping the website updated with the Competition details; Jo and James for printing the cards and for their help in general, Graham and staff for dishing out those cards and for looking after the cash. A big thank you to Don Ridley for vetting and sorting out the cards after each comp, he assures me that he is only being cruel to be kind, so if you have suffered please forgive him. Also, thanks to Bob Spandler for taking his time to audit my books. One of the problems of running a singles Open Competition is the need to have all of the visitors’ correct handicaps including their CDH numbers, I was very fortunate that the Club have within its membership, the Ladies’ County Handicap Secretary, Terry McCarthy who spent many an hour ensuring that all entrants’ details were correct on our system and I thank her for that efforts and support. A big thank you must also go to retiring Club Comps Chairman, Steve McGinty for all of his help, especially stepping in to close the odd competition when I’ve been away.
Finally, a big thank you to all of you for putting up with me and allowing me to continue serving you.”
John concluded by reminding all members that if they had problems regarding Senior Competitions or Handicaps then they should contact him and not the Pro Shop.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Nominations for the election of officers had been on display for the required period. In the absence of any counter nominations the following were appointed by unanimous vote to hold office in 2015: -
Roger Fry Proposed Ian Smith seconded John Wood
John Thompson Proposed Roger Fry seconded John Wood
John Wood Proposed Roger Fry seconded Malcolm Earney
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
- Proposed by John Thompson and Seconded by Roger Fry:
“That a new competition be formed to replace the current Order of Merit and Roll up League’.
Roger Fry explained that the Roll-up League would be discontinued as it did not breed the friendly competition that was expected from the twice weekly roll-ups. He further explained that the Order of Merit would be extended to fourteen fixtures to include the eight monthly qualifiers as well as the six Board Competitions. The best eight scores from those fourteen would make up the players score. Points would be scored according to the number of entrants into each competition. A full list of rules would be published before the season got underway. A small entry fee would be required and would be collected before points could be scored. Following a vote, the proposal was passed. During the discussion regarding this new competition a Senior Champion had been suggested, the Secretary stated that it was his intention to award a prize to the player with the lowest gloss score in the Gilliatt Driver. This would bring the situation into line with the Club’s other Medal competitions, this player could be declared as the Senior Champion.
- Proposed by Gordon Brenchley and seconded by John Watson:
“That the Watson Trophy (Senior Open) be changed from a Singles Competition to a Pairs Competition from 2016”
After a lengthy and sometimes heated exchange of views, the proposal was put to the meeting, only three votes were received for the proposal so for 2016 the Open would remain a Singles competition. A reduction in the number of age groups was suggested and the Secretary agreed to look at this, possibly reducing it to three, under 65, Under 75 and Over 75.
HANDOVER OF CAPTAINCY
The retiring Captain, Ian Smith welcomed the new Captain Roger Fry wishing him and his Vice-Captain John Thompson all the very best for their time in office.
Roger replied by making the following statement:
“Good afternoon, today I find myself in the rather unusual position of being serious, a situation I am not used too and I hope it will not last that long!!
So, in that vein I do have some thank yous’ to attend to, firstly thank you all very much for voting me in as Seniors Captain for the 2016 season. I shall try, as I have done this year as Vice-Captain, to lead and organise next seasons teams and matches with the same enthusiasm and clarity of purpose previous captains have done.
Next I would like to thank Ian Smith for all his efforts during this year, especially as he so kindly took over the reins at short notice when we lost Neil Blanchard so tragically half way through HIS Vice Captaincy. I’d say his heart is definitely in the right place even if the rest of his body isn’t this he fervently blames on his Sat Nav!!
During this year, as you may know, I have been under the surgeon’s knife and consequently for some weeks I have been unable to play, so my thanks goes’ to John Thompson (your new Vice Captain) and Tops Turner for standing in and allowing things to continue as usual. My thanks also goes’ to Mike Merrison for looking after the Seniors Web Site, Derek Isaac for looking after the Roll Up League and John Morgan for looking after the Eclectic. Also my thanks must go to John Wood for all his work as secretary and the help and advice he has so readily given me. There are others of course, the likes of Len Coffey, Andy Wylde and Don Ridley (especially for his strict scorecard checking) for their away day specials, all these people add something to the well-being and health of the Seniors Section and are worthy of our thanks.
Now for next year, we have covered the New Seniors Competition and I hope that you all understand how it is going to be managed. The Doug Bray Shield does say “Roll-Up League” on it so rather than tarnish its name a new cup will be supplied and the shield retired to the trophy cabinet.
The fixture list has been confirmed by our stalwart of a secretary John Wood and I am looking forward to hopefully playing with as many of you as possible. The sheets I put up asking for those available to play each match will have an extra column asking for your present handicap, this is so I can match players who will complement each other rather than me having to scratch about for inspiration. My Vice Captain John has promised to keep me on the straight and narrow with regard to the spreadsheet that determines who plays with the captain at these matches so that will be well organised, all I have to do now is update my own Sat Nav!!
Having talked to Richard Tasker, our new Club Captain, we have agreed to pool our respective charity resources to the same cause and this year it is Dr Banardos. I believe it a worthy cause and one which I personally have a lot to be thankful for as my Mother-in-Law was brought up by them and had it not been for the care and protection they afforded her, my wife would not be here neither would we have benefitted from her love and experience of life.
So, I think I have said enough, if I have missed anyone out of a mention of thanks I apologise and so it just leaves me to say thank you once again for allowing me to be your Captain, let’s have a brilliant 2016 season and hope that the actions of our brilliant ground staff, who have hopefully removed the curse of the “chaffe bugs” we can keep playing on this wonderful course we now have. Take care over the festive season and if I don’t see you between now and next year, have a great Christmas and may 2016 bring you all that you would wish for yourselves.