Welcome to the first Captains’ Communiqué of 2017.

As our thoughts turn to spring and the start of the golfing season, Christmas and the associated festivities are but a distant memory; the Club New Years Eve Party and the morning after perhaps more distant than any other!

Events get underway early for our Juniors with January traditionally the start of the year. This year the formalities began with the appointment of Ethan Millham as the 2017 Junior Captain. This was followed by one of the major events of the year, the Junior Scholarship Presentation. A hugely popular evening attended this year by Ryder Cup star Chris Wood, some very excited juniors, and proud parents! Our congratulations go to Ethan on his appointment to Junior Captain, to Joe Silcock, winner of the Academy Cup and all those juniors who received scholarships for 2017 (click here).

Whilst on the theme of events, other sections have been busy too. The Competitions Open Evening was once again well supported. It was encouraging to see new faces this year together with some of the more established members who can always be relied upon for their support. The presentations, the complimentary drinks and the social chatter afterwards is always a great way for our new members to meet others and learn a bit more about the Club and the various activities available to them.

Other notable events included the annual Charity Bridge morning. This was organised by Yvonne Pini with the sole purpose of raising money for the Captains’ charity, the Children With Special Needs Foundation. This year, their incredible generosity raised a total of £1096, every penny of which goes towards helping local children. Victoria and myself offer our sincere thanks to all those who gave so generously.

There will be other opportunities to contribute to the Captains’ charity and it would be remiss of me not to mention the Membership Raffle, full details of which can be found on the website (click here). For a ticket price of £20, members, family, friends (or in fact anyone who’s interested) have the opportunity to win a years membership to Windlesham Golf Club or a £1000 cash alternative. Tickets can be purchased from the Golf Shop.

Within the clubhouse you may have noticed some new faces and in particular that of Jamie Wilson, who has been appointed to the position of Hospitality Manager (click here).

With change comes opportunity and particular congratulations go to Tomek who was appointed to the position of Bar Manager. Many members have commented on how deserving this appointment is and although we are nearly into Spring, many of us still recall how hard and enthusiastically Tomek worked during a very busy Christmas and New Year period. We wish them both well.

Spring is almost upon us and looking forward we can already see preparations are under way for the start of our season.

Leigh Powell and his team have been busy on the course. The tree work continues, installation of new signposts along the public footpaths, repositioning and tidying of tee posts, and the siting of numerous bird boxes. You will also see activity on the 9th hole as work starts again on the buggy path. This is a continuation of the accelerated programme of works which will result in a buggy path to the front 9 holes prior to next winter; all this in amongst the day to day maintenance of our course.

In the next few weeks, we can expect some further changes. Following confirmation of our course measurements from a recent visit of the Surrey County Course Assessment team and the imminent arrival of 4 new sets of ‘cannon ball’ tee markers (white, yellow, red and blue) we will have 4 measured courses in play at the start of the season together with a new score card. We will also see the existing system of ‘ABC’ pin positioning replaced by the use of red, yellow and white flags marking the front, middle and back of the greens.

Another change of some significance will be the removal of the red stakes (denoting a lateral water hazard) from behind the 16th green. The siting of red stakes to this area does not conform to the rules of golf and so with the help of Surrey County and in consultation with WGML a solution has been determined which enables us to remove the red stakes and redefine the area appropriately. A full explanation will follow in a separate email to members.

As the course takes shape for the start of the season, you will see competition sign-ups appear on Handicap Master for internal and external competitions and the usual array of knockouts. For the competitive golfers amongst us, this is a great way to meet and play with or against other members or to play at other local clubs. For those who prefer more of a casual or social game, the various sections of the club continue to run rollups and of course, we have the Friday afternoon rollup which starts again on the 7th April.

As I close, I must just mention two upcoming events, the Calcutta Cup and the Race Night.

The Calcutta Cup is a popular curtain raiser to the start of the season and this year we have a record 19 pairs matches contesting the coveted piece of silverware. The ‘battle’ will commence in the clubhouse as each side tries to out do the other with their outfits, bunting and banter. The teams will then take to the course for the real contest, the golf, and the eventual winners will be crowned afterwards in the Lutine Suite against a backdrop of the England v Scotland rugby international on the big screen. May the best team win!

Finally, Victoria and myself have organised a Race Night for the 1st April. If you’ve never been to one before, this is an evening where you can come along with a partner, family or friends and have a bit of fun together with colleagues from the Club. Betting is entirely optional, so if you’re at a loose end that evening, join us in celebrating the start of what promises to be a fantastic season (click here)

As always full details of the above together will all competitions, activities and club events can be obtained from the pro shop or via the members login on the club website (click here).

Here’s wishing you all an enjoyable and successful year as we head into the 2017 golfing season.

Mick Archbold & Victoria Westgarth

Club Captain & Ladies’ Captain 2016/2017