Dear Hazards, Now the season is underway it seemed a good opportunity to update you all on what has been happening so far. The initial news is rather sad in that I have to report that a very good friend of the Hazards and central member of Porthcawl GC – Gareth Griffiths – died on 19th March after a short illness and he will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.
Shortly after that, on 21st March, we also heard of the passing of Nick Kerridge, who had been a long-standing Hazard, and who died while away in South Africa. Our condolences go to their families and friends. Returning to the golf, I am very happy to report that our first two matches produced excellent victories for the Society. The match against the XL Club at The Berkshire was brilliantly managed by Nick Brown who masterminded a 9-3 win in a match that we had not won for a few years. The weather was excellent – as was the lunch – and, after a morning lead of 4-2, the Society pushed on to win the afternoon 5-1 to prove that we lunched rather more satisfactorily than the opposition. Highlights included a wonderful display from Downes & Smith who only succumbed to a pair on the 17th who got it round in a gross 75! While Mike Roden was ‘on fire’ all day and he, plus Donnelly, Atkins, Brown. Lago and the Captain remained undefeated all day.
The match against the Circuit Judges at New Zealand was huge fun under sunny skies, a very moderate breeze and a course in excellent condition.
Managed expertly by Mick Donnelly the society were 3-2 up at lunch (with Defriez and Hayes having a remarkable round) and, after another excellent lunch and lively conversation with some very bright opposition, the afternoon was won 4-1, giving the Society a healthy victory. It is clear that the Hazards are beginning to combine a good lunch with good afternoon golf at last.
We have had two meetings so far this season, both of which were played in the most beautiful weather. The greens at Hankley Common were a little bumpy but otherwise it was a great pleasure to play there, and some 32 members and guests attended. Off the white tees in the morning David Spence and his guest Jeremy McIlroy (Captain at Hankley) won with a very creditable 35 points, and the afternoon foursomes off the yellow tees was won with 39 points by Hugh Du Vivier and John Griston. Our new Secretary did a marvelous job on his first outing in charge, despite being laid low with a number of lurgies, that would normally have rendered him confined to barracks. My sincere thanks to him for that great effort.
An early start on the day of the meeting, attended by some 33 members and guests, was played under cold but sunny skies despite a forecast that suggested otherwise. Scoring was difficult in the morning wind but 4 pairs managed 31 points, with Tim Cracklen and Steve Wilkins winning on a countback on the last 6. The Club looked after us well and it was opportune that we could say a final goodbye to Ian Rayson (the Steward) who retired on the same day after 18 tears at the Club. The afternoon round was played in less wind and in warmer conditions and two players produce winning scores of 36 points, The countback winner was Steve Corrin (guest of Nick Hayes) which was a great effort, but I am delighted to say that the winner of the Charles Hawkins Cup was Peter Dyson. Peter was so pleased with his round that he confessed that it was the first time that he had got more than 30 points in a Hazards meeting for 10 years! “Almost’ retirement seems to suit him.
And so, onto the next meeting, which is the President’s Day at Walton Heath on the 25th May. The course will be in excellent condition as we are playing just prior to the US Open Qualifier there on the following Monday and it is a venue to which we all look forward.
The Society website development is taking shape and more will be reported on this in due time.
Keep playing good golf and I look forward to meeting up with many of you at the various meetings during the year. For some more fun.
Stephen Moore –Captain 2017