It’s official, Winter has started and with it an upturn in wind and some might say welcome rain. However, the conditions don’t seem to have thwarted our greenkeepers who have been working hard to get ahead of conditions with an early cut of all the dense rough areas and ahead of schedule with the course development program too. And all of this without disrupting play on the course too much. Well done and thank you to Leigh and the team.

As you know, the rules of golf are undergoing a significant change and these changes will come into effect from January 1st 2019. The feedback about both the communication sent out in October click here and the rules evening held on December 6th has been very good, and furthermore appreciated by members. The rules open evening was really well attended (approx. 100 members) and Tiku Patel did a fantastic job of taking those that came along through the changes with great clarity and examples. It demonstrated the effort he had put into preparing to make the evening a success. Thank you Tiku. The presentation used by Tiku can be found (here). If you have not done so already, please collect a copy of the “players edition of the Rules of Golf” (effective January 1st 2019) from the pro shop. It’s a very useful compendium and arguably an easier read than current editions of the rules book. The rules changes give way to some new terminology such as “penalty areas” and in turn the opportunity for us to look at the course set up and compliance with the rules. Watch out for a communication between now and early January that will detail what’s changing and why.

December 2nd saw 96 players don their best festive outfits and have some fun playing in the traditional annual Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot has its roots in races run on Thanksgiving (US Holiday) where competitors wore Turkey outfits and raised money for charities. The first official race ever recorded was run in 1896 in Buffalo NY. It has since become a tradition for many golf clubs to host a Turkey Trot event where players play for prizes and raise money for charities. In the past, before the days of Health and Safety regulations, prizes included fresh meats such as Turkey, and whilst no Turkeys were included in our prizes, the winning team of Fabian Napier, Dan Plested, Greg Ruffle, and Jamie Raven won a bottle of Champagne each just in time for Christmas. Members generosity was once again in evidence with Insurance ball sales on the day raising £440 for the Captain’s Charity – Oakleaf Enterprise, and the parking space auction lots (2 lots) raising £545 for the Junior Scholarship Programme. Thank you! Thanks also to the volunteers who helped with the registration desk and the beverage buggies out on the course – Helen Hall, Tom Hall, Anne Sharp, Susan Holland, and Richard Snook. And big thanks to both Gill Wood and Chris Pritchard for organising the day.

Those of you who use Handicap Master on a regular basis may have noticed that in addition to the traditional Order of Merit held from April 1st to September 30th, we have added a Men’s Winter Order of Merit too. The Winter OOM is up and running and will cover Oct 1st to 31st March. There are 13 possible Division 1 and Division 2 competitions in the period. The best 5 scores to count. The winner of the Men’s Winter OOM will receive £75 plus a memento, 2nd and 3rd places will win £50 and £25 respectively.

Our ladies have been busy competing in two highly popular and competitive regional competitions – The Maple Leaf, and The Pearson’s.  In the Maple Leaf, the Ladies have played two matches so far this year, both against Alresford, winning both matches 4/1 at home and 3/2 away.  The away match was played on November 22nd, and a special mention goes to Anne Sharp who played in her first ever match and together with her experienced caddy, Pat Dowsett, finished with a 6/5 win.

The Pearson’s Team have enjoyed a fantastic start to their 2018 / 19 campaign with four wins out of four matches played so far. Fingers are definitely crossed for the Pearson’s Team, led by Team Captain, Lynn Lambert, to prevail in their last two matches and get through to the knockout phases for the second year in succession.

Whilst talking about ladies golf accomplishments, Ellen Yates was named as the 2018 Junior 90’s League Order of Merit winner. Ellen was undefeated in 2018 and played in every single Junior 90’s League match for Windlesham. A fitting end to a great season for Ellen.

This month, the Handicap Committee, led by Lynn Lambert, Handicap Secretary, held the annual Handicap review meeting to determine if handicap changes (increases or reductions) were necessary based on the playing history of all members with a CONGU competition handicap at Windlesham Golf Club. Thanks to Lynn and her committee for managing both the process and the communication to members about changes to their handicaps.

I can’t believe that 2018 is almost over, and it won’t be too long before the 2019 season gets up and running. With 2019 in mind your committee, amongst other things, has been considering some small changes to the qualifying criteria for certain competitions, not least Club Championships, and these will be communicated in early January. If you would like to ask the committee any questions or you have a point of view to share with the committee, please take advantage of the email address committee@windleshamgolf.com.

Wishing you all season’s greetings.

Lee Wood

Club Captain