February turned out to be a month of two halves, two weeks of Arctic cold followed by two weeks that were very pleasant.  I don’t do ‘cold’ so I am just grateful the days are getting longer and warmer weather is getting closer.

Alas, in the last week of February we lost Peter Thew, a founder member of the Club and well known to a lot of us, particularly the Highwaymen.  Peter sponsored the Thew Bowl which is played for at the annual Juniors and Highwaymen golf event.  Our sincere condolences to his wife, Hilda, and the family at this difficult time.

February was also a quiet month.  I played in the new members welcome event and enjoyed it as always, and my team managed to come third.  Not bad, but ‘no cigar’.  The Bridge Club held it’s charity event, 80 people played and enjoyed lunch, and an amazing £755 was raised for the Captains’ charity, Disability Challengers www.disability-challengers.org .  Many thanks to Yvonne Pini and her team who organised it all very well.

Alastair Higgs gave us his regular update on course management activities at March’s Committee meeting.  The tidying up and maintenance activities on the second 9 holes, and the bunker modifications on the 3rd and 4th holes are progressing well and should be complete for the start of the summer golf season.  As reported in Windlesham News the week commencing March 19th will be a course maintenance week.  During the week only one of the two nine holes loops will be available each day, so you will need to plan your golf carefully for this week.  There will be a second course maintenance week commencing August 13th.  The good news is that the ten days of greens and course maintenance activities which are in the diary in April, May, June, July and September will not be necessary.  One of the interesting things is that the greens maintenance which has occurred recently has not been at all disruptive to the way the greens are playing.

The Committee also had an initial discussion of how best to support the Junior Academy and the Club’s charitable activities in the long term.  The objective would be to ensure that we could support local causes and assist promising youngsters through their formative golfing years.

The Men’s Committee, formerly the Competitions Committee, have put out a useful document on men’s golfing activities in the coming months.  This is on the notice board in the entrance hall and also in the airlock in the men’s changing room.  It will also be available shortly on the web site.  It will give you pointers on a variety of items and how to get involved: theSurrey5s, Scratch, and Seniors knock outs; the 90s League Tigers and Rabbits matches; the Summer knock outs; and inter-club matches.

The Summer Knockout Sign Up sheets are now available and you can sign up either on-line or using the touch screens at the Club.  The closing date for entries is 10th April and by then you must have signed up, paid the entry fees, and played in a minimum of three qualifying competitions (excluding No Returns) since 10th May 2011, if you want to enter.  If you have not yet played enough qualifiers there are still six opportunities after 7th March.  Any questions, please ask Scott Patience who has put out an informative email.

Towards the end of March we will be running two competitions in a different way to see the effect on the speed of play and course congestion.  The March 25th Division 1 Stableford will be a four ball event with 10 minute tee times.  The March 31st Division 2 Stableford will also be four ball but with standard 8 minute tee times.  Constructive feedback will be welcome from participants.

To increase the opportunity for Division 2 to play medals the Division 2 Men’s Stableford on Sunday April 29th will be changed to two competitions, one stableford and one medal.  If this works well it will probably be extended to the June and August competitions.  For the 5 Day members three of the midweek competitions in April, June, and August will be medals.

The sign up sheet for the Captain/Pro matches has gone up on the hall notice board.  Any pair who wishes to challenge Lee Mucklow and I to a 4BBB match can sign up for a convenient date.  I am not difficult to beat but if you beat Lee then I expect a more generous donation towards the charity.  However, that isn’t going to be easy as Lee does not countenance defeat when he stands on the first tee.

A cautionary note: on Tuesday April 10th we will be hosting a golf day in memory of Bob Gilby who died last November.  In addition to Windlesham members there will be participants from the Home Office Golf Society, the Vagrants GS, the Quarter Century GS, the PGA Marshalls, and others.  We will be trying to put 60+ people on the course from 11:00 am and give them dinner, so your golfing patience may be tested.  Bob’s friends have not had an opportunity to celebrate his life so it should be a great day.

That is it for this month.  Have a good one.  The next time I write the clocks will have gone forward – can’t be bad.