At the time of our last communiqué, we were looking forward to the Calcutta Cup and the Race Night. Well, both have come and gone and both were a great success.

Although slightly biased, I’m thrilled to report my England side came through the former with a hard fought victory. Winning by 2 points, this was an extremely close margin when considering there were 19 matches played. Scotland and the Rest of the World must be congratulated on being extremely worthy opponents but alas could not prevent England from making it two in a row.

The Race Night was also a runaway success. Intended to celebrate the start of our season, the night was attended by approx 120 people. With many getting into the spirit of things, the tote was kept busy all evening. The popularity of the evening was such we may well see a rerun of this event again next year.

The beginning of the season brings with it the usual hive of activity out on the course. The 1st April has seen the numerous knockout competitions get underway, the start of inter-club friendlies, the various league matches and of course the external competitions. One external competition worthy of note must be the Ladies Maple Leaf Trophy. In an unbeaten run of matches, the ladies defeated Weybrook Park in the final at North Hants GC to bring the trophy home to Windlesham Golf Club. Congratulations ladies!

Congratulations also go to our junior Aidan Milham who successfully defended his title to take the Paul Casey Trophy for the second year running.

On a personal level I am glad to report I captained our Team Committee to a close but solid win against a tough Team WGML in the inaugural Committee v WGML challenge. However, I cannot report such success in the Captain/Pro challenges. Three matches into the series, Lee Mucklow and myself are yet to record a win. With a half, one narrow defeat and the other perhaps not so, it appears our challengers never fail to raise their game when they turn out to face the Captain and Pro. However, the bitter pill of defeat is sweetened when considering our challengers are making a donation to the Captains’ Charity whenever we venture out onto the course. Their generosity is very much appreciated.

As a reminder, Victoria and Richard Bishton are also throwing down the gauntlet and have set some dates aside should you wish to pair up and take them on. For a small donation to the Captains’ Charity, you get the chance to match your skills against that of our Ladies Captain and resident club Pro (dates or on the notice board in the club foyer).

In addition to the golf, at committee level, we have been busy too. Apart from organising and running the regular club golfing activity, we have completed what I feel is a valuable piece of work in the ‘New Members Integration Pack’. I am particularly pleased with this since it now gives us both a thorough guide and professional process to ensure new members are given every opportunity to be properly and fully integrated into our club.

We have also been looking at succession planning and our committee structures for next year. At a time when certain sections of the club have a shortage of people coming forward to assist with committee responsibilities or to help organise golfing activity, it’s important we plan ahead. Accordingly, we have set up a working group to explore ways in which we can overcome this, and I am confident we will have a structure and process in place for next year which will enable us to ensure the golfing activity within all sections of the club continues to evolve and thrive as it has done so in the past.

As for our golf course, at this time of year, it comes into its own. We now have four sets of tees, a new score card and a return to the red, yellow, white flag system. The extensive work throughout the winter continues to pay dividends as does the completion of the much earlier than usual maintenance week. The more generous fairways, the definition of the first cut and the management of the rough adds to the playability of the course. The greens are now approaching their best, once again beginning to play fast and true.

So to events. Last weekend saw one of the major milestones in our captains year, The Captains’ Charity Day in support of the Children With Special Needs Foundation. What a fantastic day. Great weather, 27 teams, some very good golf and a fun filled afternoon. A highlight of the day was the performance of our celebrity guest Jamie Raven, but more so the auction. One very lucky bidder John Burton, securing a luxury cruise for two, ten days anywhere in the world!

Thanks to all our sponsors, helpers and organisers and of course you the members, the day raised an outstanding total of just under £14000, every penny of which goes towards helping children in our local area.

Sincerest thanks from Victoria and I for making the day such a huge success and a day to remember.

Hot on the heels of the Captains’ Charity Day are the Corporate Charity Day, the Ladies’, Men’s and Mixed Invitation Days and the Club Championships. Oh, and not to forget tucked in amongst those is the Flag Trophy. This year four successful competitors from the flag will have the opportunity to go forward to represent Windlesham at Stoke Park together with competitors from five other clubs. The winner from the final 24 on that day will receive an all-expenses-paid holiday for two to Mauritius. Sign up is now available on Handicap Master.

Such is the popularity of these days and the support of the members, most are already fully subscribed. However, if you have not been fortunate enough to get your names down for these, please make use of the reserve lists. Many people sign up for these events some time in advance but as we get nearer the event there are the inevitable withdrawals due to change of plans or other circumstances.

Finally, whilst writing, I’m thinking how fast has this year has gone. It seems like only yesterday Victoria and I were presiding over our first committee meeting and now we have but a few months of our tenure left. With this in mind, and knowing how quickly time will pass, we are planning an end of season get together. Not too dissimilar to the Race Night, (cheap and cheerful) we have plans for the evening of the 2nd September. A fun event, light meal and plenty of audience participation. So, rather than reveal all now, if you’re game for a laugh, save the date!

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.

Here’s wishing you all a fantastic and enjoyable golfing season as we head into the summer.

Mick Archbold & Victoria Westgarth

Club Captain & Ladies’ Captain 2016/2017