John Thompson (Seniors Captain) – Chairman
John Wood (Seniors Secretary/Treasurer)
and 39 Members of the Senior Section (3 more than at the Club AGM)
Apologies for absence were received from: James Keable, Len Coffey, Derek Mitcham, Derek Isaac, Mike Turner, John Kent, Robbie Selway and Mick Cawsey.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and requested a moment’s silence in memory of members, members’ wives and former members who had died in the year since the previous A.G.M. The Captain asked members to be mindful of those senior members who were currently in hospital.
PRESENTATION OF THE CAPTAIN’S CHARITY CHEQUE
Senior Captain John Thompson stated that he had hoped to present his charity cheque to PAACT, unfortunately their representative had contacted him during the morning of the meeting informing him that he would not be able to make the AGM. John thanked everyone for their efforts in helping him raise the money and assured them that he would present the cheque at a later date.
PRESENTATION OF ANNUAL AWARDS
Div 1. Div 2.
- 1. Paul Ryan 62.5 1. Phillip Johnson 65.5
- 2. Colin Allerston 63.0 2. Martin Bloomer 66.5
- 3. John Wood 63.5 3. Bill Stonier 67.0
- 4. Bob Manser 64.0 4. John Thompson 67.5
- 5. Steve Brown 64.5 5. Carl Hill 68.0
The Order of Merit
- 1. Bruce Hayes 128pts
- 2. Colin Allerston 98pts
- 3. Bob Manser 96pts
- 4. Terry Johnson 91pts
- 5. Maurice Smith 74pts
- Clive Lewis 65pts
- Martin Bloomer & John Wood 59pts
MINUTES OF THE 2016 A.G.M.
The Minutes of the 2016 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 Don Ridley and seconded by Peter Kennelly.
SENIORS CAPTAIN’S REPORT
John presented the following report:
It has been an honour to be the Blankney Seniors Captain for the 2017 season, and it has been, in the main, an enjoyable experience, allowing me to meet many different members, though not as many I would have hoped to, due to low turnouts for Seniors events organised to represent Blankney Golf Club.
On a positive note, I hope that the reduction of
carries on certain holes has benefitted those who were struggling to reach the fairways at times.
SENIORS EVENTS REVIEW
Now, the odd thing is that 144 Seniors took part in something this year. I say odd because this is a tremendous number of members to be involved, and yet the turnouts, competition by competition, are down again following the pattern of the previous 3 years.
144 were involved in some way
118 took part in at least one Club Competition
84 took part in at least one Qualifier
Sadly only 36 took part in at least one of the away days.
We had 2 Away Days with turnouts of 25 and 21
The Exchange Day at Toft had only 17 entries, twice as many coming here from Toft as went there.
It is such a shame that the opportunity to come together with other groups and individuals for Inter Club Matches, Away Days and the Exchange Day etc. is ignored by so many.
This trend began in 2014 and is heading downwards ever since.
Team size for the 27 Inter Club, friendly Matches, was reduced to 16 for 2017, but even so, for the majority of matches it was a challenge to get a team out.
However, 49 players supported one or more of these matches during the year, and I managed to play with 22 different partners along the way.
Match results for the year were; PLAYED 27, WON 12, DRAWN 1, LOST 14.
There are many who do not take part because they do not consider themselves Seniors. My message to them is this.
There is NO Seniors section at Blankney.
The definition of a Blankney Senior is “those male members who are 55 and over”.
It means that, as a Senior, you can play in both Club competitions and Seniors competitions, they are not mutually exclusive.
If you put your name down for an away day, exchange day, or match, that is the extent of your commitment, you are not joining a section or a closed group.
Anything placed on the Seniors notice board is open to you.
Finances will be addressed by the Secretary/Treasurer later, however I would like to mention that;
Blankney Seniors received a bequest from the will of Norman Emerson. A Cheque was sent to me by Mrs. Janet Emerson, for £500 for Seniors Fund. I sent her a thank you note on behalf of the Seniors. The Secretary Treasurer will have something to add later.
She has requested that a Plaque to Norman’s memory be placed in the Halfway house in memory of his regular picnics there. That request has been granted by the club and will happen upon completion of the Halfway House improvements.
I have many people to thank for making this year enjoyable;
To the Seniors team, Vice-captain, Jim Keable, for his support,
To John Wood, Seniors’ Secretary and Treasurer, for his organisation of the various qualifiers and other competitions, including 3 Seniors Opens,
To Steve Grundy, the BGCC Chairman for his support and advice through the year,
To Lady Captain, Mandy Horne for the organisation of the mixed match and mixed scramble.
To the supportive volunteers, Mike Merrison for the website, Derek Isaac for the Eclectic and Order of Merit competitions, Ian Smith for the Away Days, Peter Morley for the Exchange Day, and
to Paul Coathup, Past Club Captain, who has supported all the Seniors away days.
Thanks to all who supported Blankney Golf Club by turning out for the Seniors in inter-club matches
to Olive, Pat and Joan for my Captains Day halfway house and to all those who volunteered to step up and provide refreshment throughout the year,
to the Club staff, in the kitchen and behind the bar.
I have make particular mention to Becky, and her staff, in her first year as in-house chef, Our match food has been some of the best on the circuit.
I am sure you would want to join me in a vote of thanks to John Hart and his team for the fantastic preparation and presentation of the course, throughout the year.
At this point I would be handing over the Captaincy to Jim Keable, you may have spotted that Jim is not here. I would like to read a message from him;”
“I have as you know been struggling with my breathing. which has to date not made any real progress.
As a result I do not feel that I can carry out the duties of Captain in the manner that I know it would require, with the need to play a match twice a week, plus other duties.
I realise that I have come to this decision rather late, but I was hoping that I would improve, sadly this has not happened.
This decision is one made most reluctantly, as I understand the results of this late call.
I must however put the health issue first and only hope that I will recover to enable me to once again enjoy golf at Blankney.” Best Regards Jim Keable
SECRETARY & TREASURER’S REPORT
John Wood gave the following report:
“This will be the fourth year I have made the Annual Report and as I will once again be combining both of my roles, Secretary and Treasurer and will be using the Income and Expenditure Accounts as the basis for my report please forgive me if it sounds somewhat similar to the previous three, however this is inevitable.
The first event was the excellent Valentines Dinner, organised by David Stanley and Nev Scott. Sixty-eight members and guests once again had a great evening and enjoyed The Dinner, which gives the Section its first opportunity of the year to honour the New Club Captain and our Professional, by inviting them to the event with their partners.
Senior Captain’s Day appears next on my Accounts. We were once again able to provide John with his prize fund and Olive Brenchley and her helpers were able to put on an excellent half-way house so that He could welcome and socialize with all the players. With no extras this year for Gavel updates or new Honour Boards, we returned the cheapest Captain’s Day since I took the job, with the day costing only £151.
Two away days were organised, at Bondhay and Rufford Park. These were great, enjoyed by those who took part, but the size of the entries was very disappointing. The Accounts were involved in paying the upfront deposit to both venues and I helped out by collecting some of the money. Both were self-funding. Next season to encourage more members to attend, we will only have one away day, organised by Past Captain John, on Wednesday, 25th April at a venue to be notified. Once again Peter Morley organised an exchange day with Toft Golf Club, the final one before we move on to Holme Hall. Again Peter’s organisation ensured that the event didn’t cost our accounts anything.
The main event from an organisational point of view was the annual Watson Trophy (The Senior Open). As most of you know this turned out to be a four month battle against the weather. I managed to select the three wettest days of the summer in an attempt to get the event played.
In June we were forced to abandon it during the afternoon as the whole course disappeared under the rain. I tried again in August but had to abandon this time before a ball was struck in anger, I was very grateful to the Ladies Captain, Mandy and her Vice-Captain Linda, for the over two hours they spent on the phone successfully attempting to stop the majority of our visitors from travelling. On 5th September, a day before my seventieth birthday I tried again but when Maurice Smith told me that his weather app was telling him that it was heavy rain for the next four hours and he was going home, I wasn’t sure that I would make it to three score and ten. One of my own apps, set on Lincoln agreed with him, however my second, the BBC weather app, set on Blankney, told me that the rain would stop after 10:00am and thankfully it did, only starting again after 5pm. Three groups walked in, soaked through, and a few visitors rang in to call off. However, over a hundred players braved the weather and we got a winner. Returning the best score for any of our competitions during the last three years, Steve Bigwood came in with an excellent 41 points. Blankney also produced winners in each of the three age categories, Eric Feeney under 65s, Bruce Hayes under 75s and Stan Poole in the senior group, well done to all off these and everyone who persevered through the rain.
From a financial point of view the extra two attempts at the event did nothing to help our cause especially the reduced entry fees and extra half-way house costs. It is only through the generosity of our members, the majority of whom, when not being able to play in the September event, agreed to leave their entry fees in the Seniors’ accounts and not have a refund. Their generosity allowed us to show a small excess from the Open.
We organised six board competitions during the season. A total number of 309 seniors entered these competitions, which sadly was 58 less than last year, which in itself was 66 less than the year before. This is a very worrying trend, I don’t know how to reverse this situation and would welcome any suggestions members may have. The income from those competitions is shown here and includes £55 from the entries to the Eclectic and Order of Merit awarded earlier, despite this extra income, the competitions only contributed £176.05 less than half of the 2016 figure.
As with last year all of the winners were presented with their prizes at one of the two Club presentation evenings held during the year. Despite several prize winners not attending, these went very well and it is envisaged that this will be repeated next season, our Winners were as follows:
Ken Williams Cup – Terry Johnson
Stuart Blytham Salver – Ivor Samways Newman Charity Shield –Eric Feeney
Gilliatt Driver – Terry Johnson
Bert Cawsey Cup – Peter Morley
Bert Medhurst – Graham Brown
Reg Woolley KO – Bruce Hayes
Senior Stroke Play Champion – Terry Johnson
Congratulations to them all.
Whilst speaking about Competitions, handicaps come to mind; the Handicap Committee is currently carrying out the end of season review. The first effect of this is that a list of those members who have not put in the requisite three cards this year has been placed on the Club’s main notice board. Those members, especially those who have put in two cards, have until the year end to get the extra card(s) into the system. All you have to do is the next time you play with your mates collect a card from Graham, put Supplementary Card on the top, put you name on, the tees you are playing from, get your mate to fill in your scores and make sur you both sign it at the bottom. It doesn’t matter what your score is; put the completed card into the Men’s Competition box over here (in the bar),and assuming Sutty gets around to opening the box, this will allow you to play in any competition for the whole of 2018. Failure to do this will mean that you will have to put in a further three cards next year before you are eligible to compete.
The second effect of the review has made it obvious that the majority of those members with handicaps in the twenties need at least five or six shots back to become competitive. This has been confirmed by the eclectic awarded early which shows Division 2 being won by scores at least three higher than last year, the winner 5 shots higher. Unfortunately, CONGU does not permit this, so you will all have to make do with two.
From 2018 the new CONGU rules will also help those of you who have a handicap of 28 as this will be allowed to rise to 36.
The next item was the Invitation Day, only twenty-four members (ten less than 2016), invited members of other golf clubs to join them at this competition which once again was very enjoyable. We retained £34. The Prizes were presented after the competition although as with the Club presentation evening several prize winners were not present, which was disappointing however, we will continue with a presentation next season.
The Section played twenty-seven matches against other Clubs during the season with a £1 per game levy being charged from the players raising £426.00 (£38 less than 2016 due to the reduced size of the teams). In an attempt to reduce the effect of this reduction I have agreed to reinstate the home and away match with Carholme. This levy is the main income of the section and without it we would not be able to look after our Captain or contribute to the Charities we support, especially as the Whisky draws only contributed £87 on the season. I would like to remind members that the whisky draw is a charity draw and even if you don’t drink whisky, as I don’t, if you win you can always find someone who would take it off your hands for a small fee!!
We gave £450 to local Charities and incurred £104.94 of general expenditure.
All of this resulted in a deficit of £24.08, which is not a situation we are happy with.
I reiterate all of the thanks that the Captain has made but must give personal special thanks to; Steve Langley for our Directories, Mike Merrison for keeping the website updated with the Competition details; Jo and now Diane 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 and thanks to Bob Spandler for taking his time to audit my books.
Finally, the Captain advised you earlier of the very generous donation received from the late (and great) Norman Emerson. What to do with the money we could of course leave it in the coffers to stop me complaining all of the time or in keeping with Norman’s enjoyment of the half-way house give it to the Club as our contribution to the renovation fund. My personal preference would be for some of the money to be used to create an honours board (panel) for the winners of our only competition not already honoured in this way, the Watson Trophy. The Senior Open is our most prestigious competition and the winners should be recognised into the future. I had hoped to have a costing from the contractors by now but as they have not come back to me we will have to leave it until later.
I was looking forward to working with new Captain Jim, as I have during this year and his Vice Captain Ray Harrison. It now looks like I will have to put up with another year with John.”
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Nominations for the election of officers had been on display for the required period. Unfortunately, Vice-Captain Jim Keable’s ill health had not improved and had forced him to resign shortly before the meeting so following discussions with the Golf Club, current Captain John Thompson would continue in post for a further year. In the absence of any counter nominations the following were appointed by unanimous vote to hold office in 2018: -
John Thompson Proposed John Wood seconded Steve Grundy
Ray Harrison Proposed Jim Keable seconded John Thompson
John Wood Proposed John Thompson seconded Don Ridley
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Although no official “any other business” proposals had been received the following questions were asked from the floor:
Gordon Brenchley reminded everyone that at the Club AGM (24th Nov) he had asked the President what plans were in the pipeline for the Club. Although the President had offered no comment, the Club Chairman had stated that the Committee had asked for an update and had been told that they would be kept up to date with any developments. As the Club Chairman was at the Senior AGM Gordon asked him if he had anything further to say. Steve informed the meeting that, yes some of the improvements being rumoured regarding extra holes etc were still being considered but financial restraints would mean that these would only be undertaken as and when possible.
The problem with the weather and the early start of that morning’s Christmas Greensome were discussed and it was agreed that the start of the competition would be delayed in future years. Members expressed concern that a big field would need time to finish if starting later and it was agreed that this would have to be monitored. The suggestion that the AGM be held at 08;00 before the competition, was not received with any great enthusiasm!
The Secretary Informed the meeting of two late alteration to the Members handbook;
The Stuart Blytham Salver would take place one day later (Tuesday 8th May due to the Monday being a Bank Holiday) and the Past Captain’s gathering would be a day earlier (Thursday, 2nd August due to a Club competition on the Friday).
The Captain advised that Steve Langley would like to pass on the production of the Handbooks. After several years of producing the excellent booklets Steve thought it was about time someone else had the opportunity to produce them. The Captain asked the members to consider doing this and to inform him as soon as possible.”
Peter Morley advised the meeting on the current situation with Jim Keable, stating that Jim had had a problem whilst out shopping and had been hospitalized overnight and was undergoing tests. Peter promised to keep the Seniors informed about Jim’s progress. The Captain asked Peter to pass on the Groups best wishes.
Andrew Wylde asked that the meeting give Secretary/Treasurer, John Wood a vote of thanks. Nev Scott announced that he was about to make a presentation; stating that he had carried out a collection from the Seniors and presented John with a voucher for £72 for Majestic Wines. John thank Nev and all the Seniors stating that it was a pleasure to serve the section.
HANDOVER OF CAPTAIN
Captain John Thompson made the following closing remarks;
- Circumstances have dictated that I have not had a lot of time to think what I might say at this point. I have made most of my important points already, in my incoming Captains speech, this time last year, and in my Captain’s Report a few minutes ago.
- I have Ray Harrison as my Vice Captain and I am sure that we will work well together. With John Wood as Secretary and Steve Grundy as Club Chairman I feel in good hands
- It would be nice to get more support for the Seniors matches, particularly as I would like to reduce the number that I play in next season.
- Upcoming attractions in 2018;
- We have an Exchange day with Holme Hall in September, courtesy of Pete Morley.
- We have an Away day, courtesy of Ian Smith, venue to be chosen, your input would be invaluable. There is a sheet on the upstairs Notice Board where you may indicate your preferences.
- The Eclectic and Order of merit entry sheets are upstairs and Derek Isaac will be collecting entry money from those who have their names down.
- We also have the usual 8 Qualifiers, 6 Seniors Club Competitions, the Seniors Open, Seniors Invitation Day, and I get another Seniors Captain’s Day.
- I have thought about which good cause I will support in 2018.
- Again, I want to focus where the beneficiaries have no choice, where the supporters need support, where the workers are volunteers, and whose influence is amazing, for me that means PAACT again. I hope that you will be generous in your contributions through the year/
- In closing, May I wish you all a happy and successful Christmas, New Year and 2018.
The Meeting was closed at 16:30