Captain’s Newsletter – October 2017

Dear Hazards,

Since writing in June this year the Hazards golfing season has been running along at some pace with meetings, matches and tours and, with only one match remaining (vs The Elders at Hayling GC) before the Annual Dinner, it seemed an appropriate time to let members know how things had been going. Sadly, we have recently heard of the death of Allick Whittle, who was a member for a number of years and remembered by many.


The meetings held in recent months included the Captain’s Day at New Zealand in August on a beautiful sunny day, with some 48 members attending during the day. Beyond that I can remember little as the “half-way hut” seemed to be dispensing alcohol with some abandon, which made it very difficult for my foursomes partner (John Griston) in the afternoon, as he played from some very strange places! Steve Wilkins won the Salver, Bruce Bevan-Jones won the Quaich and Peter Robinson & Alan Carpenter won the Pat Hunt Goblets with a ridiculous 45 points! I enjoyed the day hugely and would like to thank all those who attended.

The Ladies day at Worplesdon at the end of August was very slightly curtailed in the afternoon as some rain was on the way. In fact we were worried about the Members crossing the road so decided to go directly from the 10th green to the 16Th tee in the afternoon round. IPC David Downes & his partner Liz Clark were worthy winners with very creditable scores of 37+18=55, closely followed by Ben Richards & Esther Miller with scores of 26+26=52. I am very pleased to say that both members and ladies behaved very well.

Another great sunny and calm day was laid on for the meeting at West Sussex at the end of September, and the challenge of the Alfred Hawes Spoons – won by Richard Willacy & Mike Roden with 33 points. Multiple winners of the minor prizes were present during the day to enjoy such a wonderful course and excellent lunch – even the Captain snuck in for a best 9 prize in the afternoon due to a talented guest.


In amongst all the frivolity I was very proud to represent the Society at the Carris Trophy at West Sussex and award the Hazards Salver and funds to the best under 16 player. The quality of the golf was exceptional and our salver winner only lost the main event down the first extra hole in the play-off. Jean Bekirian from France was our man and he finished the four rounds in 8 under par. I was then even more welcomed at the Girls equivalent of the Carris Trophy played at Littlestone at the beginning of August. This was the first year we had presented a Salver and funds to the best under 16 in this under 18 competition. England Golf were hugely grateful for our contribution, and the event was played in very inclement weather, with high winds and rain, and was reduced to three rounds due to the wind force. The overall winner was a terrific 7 under par and our winner for the under 16 title was Annabell Fuller from Roehampton GC. You can imagine my enjoyment when you see the photos below.


Then I must mention the Suffolk Tour in August. We played our match against Aldeburgh Club on the Monday and the 12 intrepid Hazards managed to beat the home side 4.5 to 1.5 – preceded by an excellent lunch and followed by an marvellous dinner in the Club with our hosts and their wives – much jollity all round. We then moved onto two rounds at Thorpeness and another day at Felixstome Ferry on day three. A wonderful cocktail event at Hugh Smith’s Suffolk hideaway was included in the events where it gave us a tremendous opportunity to devour some of his wine cellar – a most convivial evening of high quality. The HGS players were divided between a President’s team and a Captain’s team and, I am delighted to say that the Captain’s team prevailed in the two-day match by an impressive 6.25/3.25 – huge prizes were awarded to the victorious members and we are indebted to Stephen Chappell for organizing the tour.


This year the Society has done well in the matches with the only loss so far to Royal Porthcawl. The win against Aldeburgh was followed by a 3-3 halved match at St George’s Hill, very ably masterminded by Alistair Defriez; as can be imagined there was a certain challenge to keep the Club’s bar profits in the black and I am assured that we made a very good fist of that. Another excellent venue in great company – the only drawback being rain preventing a nine-hole wind down after lunch. Then in early October we played the inaugural match against Huntercombe; the team, selected by Duncan Bateman assembled for lunch, and the foursomes match went the Hazards way with a 4-1 win. Many thanks are due to Duncan who was unfortunately sidelined with a back injury and could not play, and to Jim Kerevan for organizing the day for the Club. May this fixture continue into the future. That only leaves the final match of the season against The Elders at Hayling later this month, and Max Hunt has assembled a large squad for a two-day extravaganza.


David Payne took a six-man scratch foursomes team down to Newquay for the Piskey Trophy where, after a first round win they succumbed to the Westcotts 1-2, with much rivalry on show, I am sure, as the Westcotts boast a number of Hazards in their ranks. A creditable combined 97 points in the Mugs Mug on the Sunday was a good way to conclude the festivities of the weekend. It must have been fun.

The Hazards have certainly been blessed with great weather for our golfing events this year and I firmly trust that this will continue into the last match. That will leave the Annual Dinner on Friday 24th November to conclude the fun for 2017, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the RAF Club in Piccadilly on the night. Please let us know through the website or whichever way suits you.


Keep swinging well.