April 2022 – Draycote Hotel & Whitefields Golf Course

In April 2022, the society will be heading to the Draycote hotel and Whitefields golf course, near Coventry.

What the club says:

Whitefields Golf Course and Driving Range, in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, is as spectacular as it is challenging. It is a testing 6,289 yards and has a par of 71. It can be played as a championship 18 hole course or as a diverting 9 hole course, and provides excellent entertainment for all abilities.

There’s a sense of anticipation among the players from the off, with the first hole being a generous opening one with a good drive, leaving just a short iron to the green. Two greenside bunkers lie in wait for any wayward approaches. After this there are 17 more holes to master.

Venue: Draycote Hotel, London Road, Thurlaston, Warwickshire, CV23 9LF

https://goo.gl/maps/FLExpikCwzkVhHJa9

Dates: Thursday 21st – Saturday 23rd April 2022

Golfer sharing £189
Non Golfer sharing £159

Golfer Single occupancy £229
Non Golfer Single occ. £199

Buggy costs: £25 per buggy Thursday/Friday, and £30 Saturday

Please get in touch if you wish to attend.

October 2021 – Cambridgeshire Hallmark Hotel

In October 2021, the society will be heading to the Cambridgeshire Hallmark Hotel at Bar Hill, just 5 miles from Cambridge.

What the club says:

The 6,750, 18-hole, par 72 Cambridgeshire golf course is designed to challenge seasoned golfers whilst also providing a beautiful vista from which to relax and really enjoy your game. We’ve hosted players such as Nick Faldo, Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros. Why not follow in their footsteps around one of East Anglia’s finest golf courses?

Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge

Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge

Venue: Hallmark Hotel Cambridge, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8EU

Dates: Sunday 10th – Tuesday 12th October 2021

Further details to follow, please get in touch if you were not already signed up for October 2020 and wish to attend in October 2021.

October 2020 – Cambridgeshire Hallmark Hotel CANCELLED

In October 2020, the society were due to visit the Cambridgeshire Hallmark Hotel at Bar Hill, just 5 miles from Cambridge.

Unfortunately, following consultation with the hotel in Cambridge, and due to the Covid restrictions they will still have in place for October (no presentations, household-only room and meal- sharing options etc), the committee have decided to cancel the WCAGS autumn 2020 meeting.

Whilst the cancellation of both our April and October meets this year is disappointing, we believe the safety of all our members is the only significant consideration.

So, all being well, we will have our next meeting in Cambridge in April 2021. Dates for your diary are Saturday 10th through Monday 12th April 2021.

Deposits already paid will be rolled forward to next April, but if you have any queries about this, please contact us.

 

2019 Match Reports

WC&AGS vs The Lady Taverners Ladies, Thursday 8th August

Played at Sunningdale Heath in Surrey, the players enjoyed a lovely bacon roll and coffee on arrival. The weather was good, and the heather was the best they had seen for a good few years – very pretty unless you landed in it!!

Taking on the short but tricky course, the pairings were Ali Thornber-Taft and Clare Mulvaney, Jane Thornber-Taft and Anne Crawley, and Carol Brown-Kenyon (CBK) and a friend of Mulvaney’s, Liz Shutler. Anne Crawley and Jane particularly enjoyed the chance to nip through the fence and pay a very quick, slightly illicit visit to Sunningdale course next door!

A lovely day was had by all, rounded off with tea, sandwiches and homemade cake.  WCA&GS came out overall winners 2-1. Hostess Chris Watmough was very pleased as it was only the 2nd time we have won the trophy. Thanks to all WC&AGS members who turned out.

WCAGs vs Lady Taverners 2019

WCAGs vs Lady Taverners 2019

 

WC&AGS vs MCC, Wednesday 5th September 2019
In the annual fixture against the MCC men’s golf society, the regional rotation found the players visiting Fulford Heath in Birmingham.

With the WC&AGS having won the 2018 fixture 5-1, the MCC were out for a bit of good-natured, gentlemanly revenge. Only 2 players on their side had handicaps above 20 – they meant business! Fortunately our team was just as strong, and we’d borrowed a couple of guests from Fulford to bring in some local course knowledge.

mcc-flag-team-photo-2019

MCC vs WCAGS, Fulford Heath, 2019

Clarkie (nominated captain for the day) and local member Georgina had the honour of teeing it up first, and found themselves playing against former England batsman, Dennis Amiss and the man with the best stripy MCC socks, Dan O’Sullivan. A steady start from Georgina gave our first pairing a one point lead after 9 holes.

Second out were Claire Jenkins (also a member at Fulford) and Shirley Taylor. Whirl had clearly packed her “A” game in the car that morning, scoring a whopping 5 pointer on one hole! Third pair were Jane TT and Fulford guest Louise Parker, who looked fairly handy playing off 12.

The fourth pairing were Ali TT and Coral, who had a very close game until a shift of momentum/better stamina kicked in on the 15th, 16th and 17th eventually putting daylight between their score and the MCC chaps.

Fifth group on the course were Baggie and Lesley. Despite the MCC’s skipper Brian Thompson having also nicked local member and seniors captain Andy Harris (playing off 8), Baggie is also a member at Fulford and put her local knowledge to exceptionally good use. At one point, smoke was seen over the course (ok, big black clouds) as Baggie was on fire – she said she’d played “the round of my life!” and scored an enormous 42 points on her own.

The final pairing were Ruth Bailey and Chris Knight. Bails, having made a characteristically late entrance, and Chris were up against MCC stalwart Julian Batson (13) and Tom Crisp (15) – perhaps the MCC’s secret weapons were being deployed last?

In the first group, Clarkie eventually began to find some long drives on the back nine, and also contributed a 4-point birdie 2 on the signature 16th hole – par 3, uphill, over water. Not a daunting tee shot at all!

fulford-heath-16th

The Signature 16th Hole at Fulford Heath – uphill, over the water

The back nine was more clear cut than the front, and Clarkie and Georgina ran out winners by 5 points.

As first pair back in the clubhouse, Clarkie was keeping track as the pairs came in and it soon became clear the WC&AGS were on for a big win. There was very nearly a whitewash until the last group arrived back having halved the match – allowing the MCC to salvage a small amount of pride!

The scores were:-

Dan O’Sullivan (15) and Dennis Amiss (16) Sarah Clarke (17) and Georgina Foxwell (20) 36-41 WCAGS win
John O’Driscoll (15) and Trevor Shepherd (16) Claire Jenkins (17) and Shirley Taylor (24) 33-38 WCAGS win
Jonathan Harris (14) and Bob Cooke (22) Jane Thornber-Taft (18) and Louise Parker (12) 35-36 WCAGS win
John Lockwood (12) and Rupert Morris (18) Ali Thornber-Taft (22) and Coral Handley (23) 35-37 WCAGS win
Andy Harris (8) and Brian Thompson (21) Maria Bagust (19) and Lesley Smith (20) 28-44 WCAGS win
Tom Crisp (15) and Julian Batson (13) Ruth Bailey (11) and Chris Knight (22) 36-36 Halved

Final result: WC&AGS won 5 1/2 to 1/2

WC&AGS retain trophy

Dennis Amiss presents the trophy on behalf of the MCC

After a lovely two course meal, the trophy was presented by Dennis Amiss to Captain Clarkie. Huge thanks to Sue Redfern who did all the organising with Fulford but was unable to actually take part due to the ICC World T20 qualifiers clashing with our fixture – how rude! Next year’s match will be played at High Post in Wiltshire on Friday 4th September 2020.

Clarkie

April 2019 – Ullesthorpe

In April 2019, the WCAGS returned to Ullesthorpe Court in Leicestershire.

DAY 1

Unusually for a WCA weekend, this meet found us running up to and into the Easter weekend. Also unusually around a bank holiday, the players who arrived on the Wednesday to begin play were met with warm weather and a favourable forecast for all three days.

The society welcomed back some old friends who have been absent recently, with Chair Taff Martin returning for her final meet in the top seat. Chris Watmough was also back and playing again, sporting a snazzy low maintenance hairstyle. Also rather pleasingly, a number of debutants from the last meet were not scared away and came back for more.

Unfortunately your usual correspondent was unable to attend this event, so very little can be reported about the first day of play. The competition format was a Waltzer with a twist in 4 balls, and the course at Ullesthorpe was in excellent condition. The greens were fast and undulating presenting a fine challenge, which some players evidently mastered better than others.

Nearest the pin in two on the par 4 5th hole went to Angie Bainbridge. From the elevated tee on the railway embankment over the valley to the 12th, Sarah Wenn had the deadliest aim.

Ullesthorpe Golf Club Course Map

Ullesthorpe Golf Club Course Map

The team results were:
1st: Angie Bainbridge, Jane Thornber-Taft, Anne Brown, Chris Watmough – 138 points
2nd: Kate Brown , Claire Jenkins, Chris Knight, Sue Thornley – 123 points
3rd: Ruth Bailey, Lesley Smith, Megan Botha, Remi Russell – 113 points

Nearest the pin in 2 on 5th: Angie Bainbridge
Nearest the pin on 12th: Sarah Wenn

During the evening’s fines, Anne Brown was apparently targeted mercilessly for multiple indiscretions during the day, as was Gill Smith for her demonstration of caddying skills – she was not able to play due to an ongoing frozen shoulder problem. The wine and prosecco was flowing liberally, except for those in training for more strenuous events – Sue Thornley was just one week away from running the 2019 London Marathon in aid of the Dementia Revolution charity in memory of her mum.

(Side note: Sue finished in 5 hours 42 minutes and 37 seconds, a fantastic achievement – and she raised over £2000 for her charity).

DAY 2

The second day of the April meet is always Championship day, where individual prizes are up for grabs in silver, bronze and copper divisions, and an Over 70s category, alongside the team competition. The format for the teams was an Am-Am with 2 to count on par 4s and 5s, and all to count on par 3s. The lake halfway up the first hole claimed more than its fair share of balls off the tee, for which anyone who suffered this fate was fined that evening.

Other wayward shots throughout the day were reported, along with some unusual commentary from Chris Bailey in particular:- most golfers, when hitting an errant shot that might endanger others, are encouraged to shout “FORE!”, but Bailey has never exactly been conventional and decided instead to shout “BUSH!” – at least her object recognition skills are still intact.

The multi-talented Alison Simmonds was once again in attendance at the meet, not playing but acting as ball spotter and finder extraordinaire, photographer, and on this particular day, caddie and chauffeur for Freda N. Ali’s no-nonsense style was perhaps a little forceful for an octogenarian player – she was overheard several times shouting “get out!” (of the buggy) at her player. Admittedly, she had been parked next to the ball for some time!

Golfers at WCAGS

Liz, Ali Simmonds, Freda N & Clare M

Elsewhere on the course (as reported during fines), Chris Knight was observed doing a striptease to remove an unnecessary base layer in the warm conditions, and Jo Osborne managed to hit the bag of her team captain, our El Presidente. Angie Bainbridge was seen forcing her teammates to drink magic potion (it worked, see results below!), and Clare Mulvaney was witnessed having a little bit of a tantrum (“f*#€ it, I’m not going to catch it!”) when her trolley decided to take itself off into some bushes.

Anne Brown was fined for showing sympathy to Lorna over her hearing problems, which they had been discussing during the day whilst sharing a buggy. To be clear, Anne wasn’t actually fined for showing sympathy, but for referring to Lorna’s condition as “tittinus”. Meg was also fined for forgetting to bring the dolly to the meet.

Back to the golf – Gill Smith was once again showing her caddying prowess. However, on the 16th there was a bit of an incident – the group Smithy was with were putting out, and Pyl’s trolley was attempting to escape while the group were distracted. Smithy tried to shut the trolley off, but as reported later during fines, it went something like this:

Smithy: I’m not quite sure how I mixed up “Off” with “Rev the damn thing up to full speed” but I did. I think I was only completely horizontal for one and a half seconds. Fortunately I then remembered my old Ruth Prideaux coaching fielding routines. I dropped the left shoulder…

Taff: (interjects) That’s not the frozen one

Smithy: …and rolled forwards, remembering to point my toes as my legs were at their height. Upon rising I then managed to find “Off”.

(Semi-hysterical laughing from the group from this point on)

Smithy: However, I must thank my ex-Vagabond colleague Clare Mulvaney for her dramatic long barrier intervention…

Clare Mulvaney: I’ve never done one in my life!

Ali Simmonds: I can vouch for that!

Smithy: …that actually prevented the trolley screeching off at 30 miles per hour towards the 14th tee. I should also like to thank Pyl, clearly a class fielding act in her time – she caught all 8 clubs as they left the trolley and hurtled towards her!

(Louder laughing)

Smithy: I was however, disappointed in Meg – she did not contribute to my saving, and I found “Smithy, I couldn’t move for laughing!” a very poor excuse

Meg: I was doubled over!

Smithy: So I apologise wholeheartedly to the society, and thank you (Taff) the chief of fines for your understanding. With love, embarrassment and willingness to pay a huge fine!

(Cheers and applause)

The team results were:

1st: Angie Bainbridge Lesley Smith, Lorna Rolfe, Ghost – 91 points
2nd: Ruth Bailey, Maria Bagust, Coral Handley, Ghost – 90 points
3rd: Sue Redfern, Sarah Wenn, Liz Whelan, Sue Thornley – 89 points

Nearest  Pin on 9th = Ruth Bailey
Nearest pin on 12th = Lesley Smith

Championship Results

Silver Champion – Angie Bainbridge – 39 points
Bronze Champion – Coral Handley – 34 points
Copper Champion – Remi Russell – 30 points
Over 70s Champion – Val Castle – 31 points

At the formal meeting of the weekend, 3 committee members were standing down and their replacements were elected. The society would like to thank Taff Martin for her leadership as Chairman, and Sarah Clarke will be taking over this role. Kate Brown stepped down as Secretary after two terms in post, and will be replaced by Alison Thornber-Taft. Anne Crawley and Ruth Bailey also stepped down as Competition Secretaries, and Jane Thornber-Taft will be in this role from October.

An amendment has been suggested to the constitution to shorten the length of term for the committee posts. This amendment will be drafted by the committee and circulated to the members, for discussion and voting at the AGM in October. As ever, thanks to all on the committee for their ongoing work in running the society.

Day 3

On Easter Monday, 24 out of 34 golfers stayed for the final day’s play, a 4-ball Texas Scramble (4 drives each), with one group of 9 hole players.

Golfers at WCAGS

Day 3 at WC&AGS, April 2019

Despite the disaster on day 2, Smithy once again valiantly took on the caddying role, this time for Liz Whelan. To her credit, Liz very quickly settled into the role of an aloof top professional, dismissively passing clubs back to her caddy without eye contact, and striding confidently ahead up the fairway while Smithy tried to keep up!

The lake on the 1st once again took several balls, and the pond by the 2nd took a couple too. Generally spirits were high even though  bodies were tired after 3 days on a relatively long course in (blissfully) warm weather. There was much jeering from the group behind watching from the top of the embankment as Liz, Sandy, Clarkie and Michelle all missed an 8 foot putt from Liz’s fantastic tee shot on the 9th. Smithy decided as caddy she’d obviously lined up the putt wrong, and left the group after 9 holes.

The last group arrived back at base around 1pm, and after most had ordered lunch, the final day’s prizes were awarded thus:

1st: Anne Crawley, Pauline Weeks, Chris Knight, Chris Bailey – 65.4
2nd: Clare Mulvaney, Kate Brown, Lorna Rolfe, Patsy Garner – 65.7
3rd: Ruth Bailey, Jane Thornber-Taft, Ali Thornber-Taft, Sue Thornley – 67.6

Nearest Pin on 2nd =  Ali Thornber-Taft
Nearest Pin on 10th =  No one hit the green

For the October meet, the society returns to Patshull Park in Shropshire. See you there!

2018 Match Reports

WC&AGS vs MCC 2018

In the first fixture since the decision to introduce regional rotation of the match against the MCC, both teams travelled to High Elms in Kent on a sunny August morning.

The course was in great condition, and so apparently was the golf of the WC&AGS! Playing 4 ball better ball, Pauline Weeks was in particularly fine fettle, chipping in from off the green and barely missing a putt.

The final score was a resounding win for the WC&AGS 5-1. The meal in the clubhouse was wonderful, made all the sweeter by Jo Osborne receiving the trophy on behalf of the team, which has been in MCC hands for far too long!

Thanks to all WCAGS ladies who played:-
Standing, L to R: Carol Brown-Kenyon, Ruth Bailey, Angie Bainbridge, Shirley Taylor, and Pauline Weeks
Sitting L to R: Mary Pyl, Clare Mulvaney, Remi Russell, Jo Osborne, (Radhi, playing for MCC), Kate Brown, Sandy Gristwood and Sarah Clarke.

WC&AGS vs MCC 2018

WC&AGS vs MCC, High Elms, 2018

The 2019 fixture will be played at Fulford Heath near Birmingham on Thursday 5th September 2019.

2017 Match Reports

WC&AGS vs Lansdown Golf Club Ladies
We had problems with The Lady Taverners match, communications between their players and a confusion over the date (their confusion not ours) resulted in a cancelled event. Chris W has agreed to organise next year!

The match v Lansdown was successful, in spite of rain early on, it cleared and off we went. Numbers were down, but we had three pairs and Pam C played a singles match with the Lansdown Captain of the Day. Thanks to all WCAGS members who turned out. We won quite comfortably, 3-1, and retained the Centenary Plate.

Pam receives the Lansdown Trophy

Pam receives the Lansdown Trophy

WC&AGS vs MCC
Good weather, well not bright warm sunshine, but no rain. Problems with numbers gave me a headache…however, we called on some Lansdown ladies who had been members of our Society previously, Guin Slade and Trish Ritchie with another Lansdown Past Lady captain filling in. As usual the MCC brought out some big guns, but with the format, 18 holes better ball Stableford, with the Lads playing off the white blocks and their card, while we played off the Ladies card results in a much fairer format. Unfortunately we lost 3-2, BUT if we had gone over overall points we would have WON!!!

Excellent post match meal. It was sad to hear that Alan Shine, the one-armed bandit of past matches, had died whilst on holiday. Alan had organised these matches for many years and was always full of fun and some dubious jokes!! It is important we keep these matches going, I know that Lords are very keen, as this fixture with the Chaps is the longest standing fixture in the history of the MCC Golf Society. The present organiser, Brian Thompson, has said there is no objection to this fixture being moved, but would hope to keep it in the South West/South East.

The Trophy is held in the trophy cabinet at Lansdown under lock and key.

My thanks to all WCAGS members who played, it is a drag to come down for just one match, but hopefully we can maintain playing these two matches. Jo in fact, got up at the crack of dawn and drove several thousand miles there and back to play against the Lansdown Ladies..dedication or what?!

Dates brought forward due to course maintenance, this involves hollow tyning!! Bath Race Days! And there is a pretty congested fixture list. Dates booked are August 28th v Lansdown Ladies and the 29th v The MCC.

Pip

Jan Brittin MBE

Our friend Jan Brittin (JB) passed away on 11th September 2017 after a long illness.

JB was a long standing member of our golf society and a world renowned international cricketer. J excelled at hockey, golf and cricket, and still holds the world record for the highest number of test runs. She is survived by her partner Ange, her parents Kevin and Maggie and dog Millie.

A collection of tributes and articles are collated here:

BBC Sport: Jan Brittin: England’s leading female Test run scorer dies aged 58
Surrey Cricket: Jan Brittin (1959-2017)
Crickether: Jan Brittin, The Idol’s Idol
The Guardian: Jan Brittin Obituary

JB’s funeral took place on Tuesday 26th September at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium in Crawley, West Sussex. The Order of Service is available here for those that could not attend, or did not receive a copy on the day.

The collection at the funeral and fines raised (£138.65) at the October society meeting raised a total of £2668.65 for the St Peter and St James’ hospice, in memory of JB.

2016 Match Reports

WCA&GS v Lady Taverners – June 10
This match was held at the Sunningdale Ladies Course in Surrey. To put it politely the Lady Taverners are a bunch of bandits. All teams scored par or more! However, our first couple, Val and Ruth, lost by 36 points to 43, (FORTY THREE). Pyl and Shirley scored 40 points and lost to 47, (FORTY SEVEN). Jo and Francis Pope (a guest player from Lansdown) halved their match scoring 39 points apiece!

WCA&GS v Lansdown Ladies – September 20
This is the warm up game ready for the big-one against the MCC. It gives our players a chance to learn the course and prepare accordingly i.e. have a few beers. The format involved 6 holes of singles stableford, 6 holes of foursomes and 6 holes of Greensomes. Unfortunately, the opening holes were marred by the fresh application of fertilizer on wet greens making putting impossible and everything coming into contact with the ball turning blue. Playing today were Coral, Anne, Ruth, Pyl, Jackie, Gill, Pip, and Pam and the WCA&GS recorded a victory by 3 and a half matches to 1 and a half. Norma came along to support and over drinks recounted the story when on England duty the sleeves of her nightie had been sewn up – somehow can’t see that happening to Andrew Strauss.

WCA&GS v SW MCC– September 21
This was a very hard fought match against the MCC who loaded their team with some very good (low) handicappers! They were out for revenge from last year, but as always rising to a challenge the WCA&GS played their socks off and tied the match, with four games being decided on the 18th green. Playing were Clare, Ruth, Anne, Jacki, Pip, Gill, Pyl, plus guests from Lansdown ladies. A splendid carvery was devoured after the match, followed by jokes and speeches. Pip keeping us on tenterhooks with hers. These matches are fun so please look out for the sign-up sheets at Ullesthorpe.