The first two weeks of January have seen the Belton Woods ladies’ section out in force on the golf course, despite the inclement weather on several occasions.
On New Year’s Day, the cold, wet weather deterred some couples from taking part in the first mixed betterball stableford competition of the year, but some hardy pairs went out to take part in a shortened format, played over nine holes, with the two par three holes offering a nearest the pin opportunity.
Matt Haynes was nearest the pin on hole four, but no-one else reached the green on either chosen holes; instead Jacquie Francis and Heidi Rees won chocolates for par on the fourth. 4. The winners, with an amazing 23 points, were Jules and Chris White.
The winter/weekday winter challenge continued with round four held on the Lakes course. This is a pairs competition, held over six rounds, with the best three scores to count.
The Daily Mail foursomes competition was held last week in varied conditions. Wednesday saw gale force winds, and on Saturday players had to contend with frozen greens. The eventual winners were Val Williams and Lesley Perrin.
The ladies’ annual meeting took place last Tuesday. More than 40 ladies heard reports from the general manager, Seamus Coen, and Ben Skeet, as well as from various committee members.
Liz Moses was elected lady captain for 2017 and was presented with her badge of office. Becky Foster was appointed as handicap and competition secretary, whilst Elaine Lilley and Jules White remain in their positions as secretary and treasurer.
Stoke Rochford seniors annual meeting was well attended and heard outgoing captain Graham Manton report on another successful and enjoyable year.
His final duties were to present his Captain’s Cup to Tim Haward for all his dedicated work and help, and to present the traditional sweater to the newly elected captain Jim Price. Brian White was elected as vice-captain.
After the meeting, most stayed and played a round of their Winter Warmers series which was a Scotch Foursomes, a new format for Stoke seniors.
Winners with 38 points were Phil White and Greg Ewart. Brian Nightingale and Colin Howett were second with 37 points, whilst there was a tie for third place with 36 points when countback could not split the cards of Graham Manton and Mike Nixon, and Brian White and John Wright.
Winter Warmers overall lead remains with David Hamilton on 31 points, Brian White has 26, and three others have 25 points.
There were top Order of Merit points for senior golfer Dick Marshall in the January monthly qualifier, in a mixed field of all ages of gents, ladies and juniors.
Off 19.2 before the competition, Dick beat the CSS by two, with a margin of two from the best of the rest, and was reduced to 18.6. There were no other handicap reductions in this event.
On a countback, the day’s overall runner-up was Trevor Whatton with a superb back nine score. Trevor’s card was best of Category Four, one better than Steve Squires, Martin Whistler and Jeff Ward, who all shared that category’s prize fund.
Huge credit to four handicap Martin Corby who played exactly to 3.7 and the day’s CSS, and brought home the best score of a strong field from the lower handicap range of Divisions One to Three. This solid result earned Martin 23 January Order of Merit points which, added to his previous tally of this new playing year, launches him straight to lead position in the table.
Consistent Steve Davis, one of last season’s prime players in this series, is just five points adrift. Then come Phil Hall, Andy Stones, Simon Green Allan Griggs and Michael Coupland.
Michael Coupland’s card of the day has put him in a very new position in his golfing career as overall top of the winter six month Eclectic, on a net score of 57. Best of the higher handicap section, for 21 to 36 handicaps, are Chris Wilmot and Keith Moore, jointly on net 59.
Sue Watson’s steady card won her the best of the ladies that day, playing in her 32 handicap buffer zone, a creditable result on a January day.
Seven-year-old Daniel Agapito had his first introduction to Saturday main club singles golf and, playing his heart out as usual, was not at all out of place off his 33 handicap, and held his own to win the High Handicap Junior prize.
Others who enjoyed a share of the prize fund were six handicap Ben Richards, four shots from the lead, and Paul McCarthy, Malcolm Edwards and Allan Griggs whose birdie twos on hole numbers three, six and 12, respectively, credited them very generous shares of a very large twos sweep.