Despite the current weather conditions, the new summer season is upon us and we are about to embark on a summer of competitions and interclub matches.  May we wish you all the best of fortune in whatever you choose to enter in the coming season.

Vice Captain Tony Grice

At the club AGM on Friday 1st April our section member Tony Grice was formally appointed vice captain of the club in 2016, and therefore club captain in 2017.  I am sure that we all wish Tony well in his period of office, and hope that the road ahead is a smooth one for him and his wife Janet.  I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you all in supporting Tony in whatever way you can, whether that be through his charity in his year as Captain, or by joining him at social events throughout the next two years.  It is without doubt that Tony will appreciate any support that we as a section are able to give to him.

Dress code

All those who attended the AGM, will appreciate what a sensitive subject the general relaxation of dress codes across many clubs seems to be at the moment.  For that reason I feel it is appropriate to remind you all of what our position is, and that of our host clubs, for our inter club matches which will take place throughout the summer.  For home matches we have adopted the position that a smart/casual approach for post match lunches is acceptable.  We adopted this stance last year and it was well accepted by all, and well adhered to.  The majority of the venues which we visit take the same approach.  As far as we are aware at the time of going to publication, the only exceptions are Sickleholme where a jacket and tie are required, and Hallamshire where a jacket should be worn, but the wearing of a tie is optional.  Should we be made aware of any changes to this position we will let you know as soon as possible in the usual fashion.

Inter club matches

Richard and I raised the issue of team selection for these matches with you all a few weeks ago, and we are grateful to all of you who have taken the time to consider the position we adopted and to enter your names on the chart on the notice board.  Having seen the response which you have given us, we believe the position we decided to take was appropriate in the circumstances.  The team for our first away match at Hickleton has selected itself as the number electing to play is just sufficient to fill the team sheet.

In respect of other venues the reaction has been overwhelming, and leaves us with some very difficult decisions to make.  From our point of view, whatever we do, we know that we will leave some of you disappointed, and for that we apologise.  We will leave the chart on the notice board until Tuesday 19th April, and at that point we will take it down, lock ourselves away in a darkened room, select the teams on the criteria outlined in our earlier circulation, put the teams with reserves on the notice board, don flak jackets and hard hats, and wait for the response.  What we have decided to do in addition to what we have already outlined is to keep a record of who plays where, and for those who do not get the opportunity to play in a particular match this year, we will do our utmost to ensure that you get the opportunity to visit there next year, personal availability and good health allowing.  Please bear with us.  We have set ourselves a difficult and challenging task, and hope that you will accept that we have adopted the new system, with the best interests of everybody involved in our expanding membership at heart.

A new competition

Thanks to Dave Parker, we have acquired a new trophy, a very nice shield, which is currently being altered slightly to suit our use.  We have given some consideration to how we will use this and have come up with the following proposal, and I will explain why.  Amongst our playing membership, which has now reached 61 by the way, we have a number of members who no longer feel able to take part in our fifteen hole competitions.  With this in mind our proposal is that on a Tuesday in the summer, date yet to be fixed, as well as playing whatever event is taking place over the course, we will hold a putting competition to take place on the practice putting green.  Everybody will be encouraged, no press ganged into taking part, and by some means we will decide handicaps, entry fee, etc, and a winner will be found.  Our aim is to get everybody involved.  We have given much thought to a name for this new competition, and have decided to call it the “PPP”.  To save you scratching your heads too much, that stands for the “Parker Putting Plaque”.  We hope you approve.

As always we are available to discuss any issues which might arise from this letter.

John, Richard, and Keith