Welcome to the Men’s Captain’s Blog for 2019, I hope that you will find it interesting, informative and inspiring!
Best wishes for a great golfing season
Howard Kemp – Men’s Captain 2019
Captain’s Week 2019
Sunday 30th June – Greensomes
Another belting day though the wind got up for the Greensomes in the afternoon making scoring difficult. It was hard to dampen the mood though and, yet again, this comp was played in great spirits (some of these having been consumed on the first tee!!). Remarkably the scoring was high with Tim & Jane Clark convincing winners with 40 points, well played to you both, please wear your polo shirts with pride! Second place went to John & Judith Hewison who held off the challenge from Team Taylor on countback (both teams scoring 37 points). There was similar drama in the battle for 4th place with June & David Plant recording 36 points to match Forster & Senga’s score. Countback decided the places in favour of the Plant team!
Saturday 29th June – Captain’s Prize
At the end of a great week of competition the Captain’s Prize was contested between 182 golfers. It was tremendous to see everyone off at the first tee and the weather could not have been better. In such friendly conditions the scoring was very tidy with many players under the standard scratch. Two players tied for Best gross, Derek Johnson & Tom Reid, both regular team players and in a hot streak of form. Both players carded a gross 72 and could only be separated by a countback. Derek winning the prize by one stroke on the back nine, brilliant playing Derek and hard lines Tom. Tom recorded the 4th best net score (68) and also won the putting competition (21 putts) and with his dad, Andy, winning the nearest the line challenge on the first a good haul of prizes went the way of the Reid clan. Best net was 67 and, again, there was a tie for first place with Phil Traise & Chris Burt being inseparable after 18 holes of hotly contested golf. Chris took home first prize on countback. Well played to you both! Steven Wood (68) and Andy Lucan (69) completed the prize winners. Special mention must be made of the Buggy Bar which provided much needed sustenance for weary golfers at the 10th green. In fairness, watching the tee shots there weren’t too many “Carlsberg” moments!
Friday 28th June – Juniors’ Prize
In two separate comps for the Junior section, Lewis Hills and Tom Robinson tied on 31 points for the 18 hole competition with Lewis triumphing by virtue of the dreaded countback. Well played to both boys, stars of the future I am sure! In the 9 hole competition John Peacock scored 10 points on his first three holes to lay the foundations of a creditable 18 points which earned him the first prize.
Wednesday 26th June – Midweek Stableford and Orange
A much improved day and with it some good scoring as Rob Gilbert held off Mike Addison to win the Midweek Prize by one point, well played fellas! Third place went to Nick Unwin with 34 points. In the Orange competition a close finish saw the top three players separated by one shot. In the battle of the Bills, Mr Johnson beat Mr Gibson on countback (34 points) to claim the bragging rights from Anthony Beeton (33 points). Thanks to all the 5 & 6 day members who participated this year this was the best attended Captain’s Prize for several years!
Tuesday 25th June – Ladies Prize
On a day more suited to November than June, the Ladies’ Prize was claimed by Christine Rutherford with an excellent 74, in second place June Plant (76) and third place Margaret Hartley (77) also performed superbly in difficult conditions. Thanks to Ann & Margaret for your support in organising the event and the results.
Saturday 1st JuneToday’s Stableford scores continued to impress in spite of the rain in the afternoon. I was fortunate to be playing alongside Jonathon Nash who carded a superb 41 points to win Division 1 from a spirited 40 points from Jason Brown & 39 from Mark Ross, great scoring lads, well played! Division 2 winner was Keith Patterson whose 39 points just pipped Stan Elwell & Dave Ross (38 points) at the post! Delighted to see Russell Hall and Mark Renton tussling for supremacy in Division 3 with Russell triumphant yesterday thanks to an excellent back 9. Thursday 30th May On a drizzly evening at Backworth GC, the WBGC Men’s team won a tightly contested match 8-4 for our first league victory of the season. This was a great achievement as the home side had previously beaten both Ponteland & City of Newcastle on their own patch and with small greens and tough pin positions Backworth will always be hard to beat at home. However sterling performances from Paul Taylor (2&1), Mark Ross (2&1) and Derek Johnson (1 Up) ably supported by Tom Reid & Daniel Beeson halving their matches ensured that the points came back to the Bay. Congratulations lads on an excellent win!! Thanks to Backworth who were superb hosts. Wednesday 29thMay Good to see Ally Hall, my vice captain, playing himself into a bit of form with 37 points in this week’s Stableford. Still this wasn’t good enough for the win with Paul Morton (37 points) and Lindsay Reid (39 points) taking first & second places respectively. Congratulations to all three players! In Division 2 Harry Bell & David Vogel (now a formidable 14 handicap player!) tied for second with 39 points one point behind John Hill, congratulations John on a superb score. Saturday 25thMay The George Houghton Cup produced prodigious scoring with Messrs Rippon, Vogel & Rayner not even making the podium with 40 point hauls!! Congratulations and a sharpening of the handicap scissors to Andrew Jobling (3rd with 42 points), Paul Towns (2nd with 43 points) and David Read who won with a magnificent 44 points!! Brilliant shooting lads keep it up!
Saturday 11th MayWhat a difference a day makes! The sun shone yesterday (for the most part!) and with the increased temperatures came increased scores in the Saturday Stableford. Division 1 had a tight finish with countbacks required to separate Jacob Swallow & Chris Graham who both carded 38 points. Jacob took the honours, well played sir! A similar situation in Division 3 was resolved in favour of Brian Tunmore who beat Mark Robson courtesy of his superior score on the back 9. Division 2 was clear cut with Stanley Elwell blowing the competition away with a magnificent haul of 41 points, that should ensure a trip to the handicap cutter! With the forecast looking more like Spring I look forward to more exciting golf this week!
Thursday 9th May A dramatic end to our first home game in the NDGL on Thursday with three games being decided on the 18th green. Unfortunately it was not to be our Liverpool/Spurs moment as the points went to Gosforth 8-4. Well played to all the team who fought back well to make each match so close. Congratulations to Jason & Tom for bringing home the points in games 5 & 6. Thanks to the greenkeeping staff for the immaculate presentation of the course and those challenging pin positions!! Also thanks to the catering team for a superb post match meal. We travel to Newcastle United GC, on the Town Moor, for next week’s fixture. Cold wind and rain greeted the visitors for the Seniors’ Open this morning. A really good turnout though and lots of compliments about the course. Well done to Jim Douglas & Dawn Ridley for organising and to Ann and the Ladies’ section for doing “Meet & Greet”.
Thursday 2nd MayOn a cold, damp evening, more like February than May, the NDGL season teed off with the team playing away at Tynemouth. In a tough, competitive match the Tynemouth lads played really well and won 10-2. Commiserations to our lads who played the match in a good spirit but came up against an in form team on their home patch. Well played Mark Ross who brought home our only win. Thanks to the members who turned out to support the team, especially expert caddies Alan, David & George! Thanks also to Tynemouth who provided excellent hospitality and congratulations to their team and all the best for the rest of the season. Our first home fixture of the season is against Gosforth on Thursday 9th May at 5.30 p.m.
Star Wars day (May the fourth)Winter seems to have been extended into May this year, with the wind gusting to 40 mph and temperatures at a chilly 4 degrees scoring was tough. With the CSS at 75 (3 over par) it is remarkable that players were able to record such good scores. With three division titles to play for competition was tight, no more so than in Division 3 with the three top places recording 33 points!! David Vogel recording the best back 9 to triumph, well done! David Playfair carded a fine 36 points for victory in Div. 1 whilst Richard Bramley signed for the same number in Div. 2. Well played lads!! Three of our team members, Brandon Jones, Daniel Beeson & Jason Brown, played in the NUGC North & South Trophy at Longhirst on Saturday. Really tough conditions were reflected in the scoring however the lads performed well, particularly on the second 18 holes in the afternoon, Brandon & Dan both scoring 77, excellent effort lads!
Sunday 5th MayThanks to all those who took part in the Mixed Greensomes. Lovely weather at the Bay and some good scoring with Barry & Margaret Hartley recording 39 points only to be pipped at the post by Team Brindle! Maureen and Warwick registering 21 points on the back nine to take 1st place on countback. There was also success for Marcelle Oliver and Deon Krishnan with a nearest the pin and a two, the other two being scored by Gill Mason and Michael Bell on the 17th. Nearest the hole on the 9th was also recorded by Gill & Michael! Congratulations to all and thanks for helping to make the event so successful! Congratulations to Rosie Belsham on an unbelievable performance in the Fairhaven Trophy event in Blackpool. Not only did Rosie win, she destroyed the field with 4 rounds of 70 or under! Her -23 was 20 shots (YES – TWENTY!!!) ahead of her nearest rival. Sensational playing in any event but to card such a series of scores in a National comp is just exceptional, congratulations Rosie! The Seniors Open takes place at WBGC on Thursday 9th May, I hope that it is a great success.
Sunday 28th April – Archerfield
In glorious conditions the triumphant threesome of Ken Tweddle, Lee John Smith & Deon Krishnan enjoyed a grand day out with Dave Twizell on the magnificent links at Archerfield. Congratulations on your success lads!
Saturday 27th April – Williams Trophy Qualifier
Now that we have contested the Williams Trophy Qualifier the season is really up & running! What a great start with 22 players separated by just 1 shot (from 7th to 28th position) every putt counts! The three top spots all carded a gross 78 which is grand scoring lads well played. The gold medal went to Richard Airey with his 11 handicap reducing the net score to a magnificent 67. Second place to Deon Krishnan with net 69 and third to Paul Towns who beat David Riley on a count back! Well played lads brilliant scoring and a great start to the season! In spite of missing out on 3rd spot David carded the best gross score of the day (75) which he shared with Paul Taylor, well played gents.
Saturday 20th April
In soaring temperatures the scoring was excellent for the first strokeplay competition of the season and impressive performances were seen across all three divisions with sub 70 rounds required for a podium finish. Dramatic finish in Division 1 with Robbie Stevenson pipping Chris Walker with an outstanding net 67, congratulations Robbie! Chris carded a gross 73 which represented the best gross score of the day – well done to Chris as well, top performance! Lee Smith has transferred his excellent winter form into the summer and topped division 2 with a net 68, this left Andy Dryden’s best gross score, of 79, as only good enough for second place. Mick Doxford triumphed in Division 3 with another sub 70 net score to collect the big money and a 2 shot cut to his handicap!
Sunday 14th April
Firstly, a BIG thank you to Jamie for setting up the big screen for the U.S. Masters final round. With the late change of tee times our rearranged event was not as well attended as we had hoped but there was still a decent crowd in to enjoy Tiger’s astounding comeback and the £2 a pint beer offer! There was high quality golf available a little nearer to home with myself and Ally Hall representing the club in the annual Thompson Shield competition at Westerhope GC. The event is played between the Captains and Vice Captains of all the clubs in the Newcastle & District Golf League. Although the formula to calculate the handicaps (via the Silloth method) is unfathomable to any normal player we received 3.2 shots against a par of 72. Thanks to a strong finish from Ally we finished in third with a gross 77 (better ball strokeplay) and a nett 73.8. Congratulations to Newcastle United GC who edged out Northumberland by 0.2 to claim victory.
Congratulations to Gareth Nichol who was the winner of a 4 ball voucher for the Northumberland Golf Club, I hope that you enjoy the course.
Sunday 13th April
With the wind still coming in from the east, rendering several holes (namely 5, 11, 14 & 15) unreachable in two for most of us, Mark Ross produced a gross level par round to lead the way in Division 1 with 39 points, stellar effort Mark, well done! Division 2’s winner was Mark Graham with 37 points whilst Keith Williamson held off the pack to card a tidy 36 points which was enough to claim victory in Division 3. Congratulations to all of you – a great start to the season!
Wednesday 10th April
In gusty conditions, Steve Combe produced a fine performance to card a tremendous 38 points in the first White tee competition of the season. With scores generally low this was an excellent return for this time of the season. Congratulations to Harry Vaulkhard who led the way in Division 2 with 37 points.
Captain’s Mixed Greensomes – Sunday 7th April
25 mixed pairs entered the first greensomes of the season on a foggy and cold Sunday afternoon. Although some pairs found the format a little tricky there was some impressive scoring, the new pairing of Kate Cowan and Deon Krishnan proved a successful partnership and their 37 points was enough for first place, congratulations to you both. In second place, the well established pairing of Russell & Trish Hall (36 points) pushed Kate & Deon all the way, well played. The podium was completed by the Burt family pairing of James & Hannah with 35 points. It was, in effect, a clean sweep for Team Burt with James winning nearest the pin on the 13th and also taking home half of the pot for the “twos” competition (a tidy £10.50), this is clearly a pairing to watch! Congratulations also to Gareth Nichol and Jane Cubbins for taking home the other 50% of the “twos” pot with a birdie on the 9th. Thanks to everyone who took part on what was an enjoyable and very social afternoon’s golf.
The next Mixed Greensomes is on Sunday 5th May.
Race to Another Top Venue
Congratulations to Lee Smith, Deon Krishnan & Ken Tweddle for qualifying for this year’s Race to Another Top Venue. Having played throughout the winter this prize is well deserved, I hope that you have a great day out lads!
Saturday 6th April – Inter County Foursomes
On a cold, wet & windy morning at Seahouses Golf Club, Paul Taylor & Brandon Jones represented the club in the Inter County Foursomes against Alnmouth Golf Club. In spite of the difficult conditions the team performed well and the game ebbed and flowed with pars and birdies in abundance. Alnmouth took the early advantage and were two up at the turn. A magnificent 7 iron from Brandon to the perilous par 3 tenth hole and a sublime 3 wood from Paul on the 12th signalled a Whitley resurgence. The comeback was completed with wins at 13 & 14 and we were 1 up with 3 to play. Alnmouth were not finished and rallied to be 1 up coming down the last where Paul holed from 8 feet to set up a nervy Alnmouth putt for victory which dribbled past the hole. On to “sudden death” and a fine tee shot from Paul to the back of the green was matched by Alnmouth whose tee shot landed 12 feet from the pin. Brandon’s 40 foot putt finished agonisingly short and Alnmouth holed for the birdie and the match. Commiserations to Paul & Brandon who played well in tricky conditions.
Monday 1st April 2019
David Riley and Neil Fitzpatrick represented Whitley Bay Golf Club in the 2nd round of the Daily Mail Foursomes competition at Backworth on Sunday. In crisp, sunny conditions David & Neil played well against a well-handicapped Backworth team. Having squared the match with three to play the lads were defeated by two birdies at the last two holes. Congratulations to both players who played well and will be a force to be reckoned with in this year’s foursomes.
On Saturday 6th April, Brandon Jones & Paul Taylor will be representing the club in the Inter-County Foursomes at Seahouses, they are playing against Alnmouth Village in the first round, good luck lads!
There are still some places left for the Captain’s Mixed Greensomes next Sunday, make sure that you don’t miss out!
Saturday 30th March 2019
Congratulations to David Read for a creditable 37 points in Saturday’s Race to another top venue event. Well played sir! Also an honourable mention to Andrew Potter with a fine tally of 34 points. With the end in sight now the race is hotting up, good luck to all of those players still in contention.
Sunday 24th March 2019
Thank you to the 100 hardy members who took part in yesterday’s inaugural Captain’s Drive In competition. In bright sunshine and 35 mph wind it was fantastic to see representatives of all parts of our club participating in a 4BBB challenge. Remarkably, the scoring was high with Martin Hinett & Nick triumphing with a stunning 45 points (well done lads!) closely followed by the consistent Mick Doxford and his partner Mark Robson (42 points), Ian Brady & Jo Grant completed the podium places (41 points).
Given the direction of the wind, I had contemplated having a “nearest the green” rather than “nearest the pin” competition on the 9th however Jo Grant stepped up to land a beauty close to the stick and take home a dozen new balls, congratulations to Jo. Richard Bramley’s superb iron shot was enough to secure him the prize on 13.
Congratulations to all of the golfers who played in great spirits and with good humour to defy the gales! Thanks to Simon and the greenkeeping staff for the excellent condition of the course.
Further thanks to all those members who came along to the Drive In social event and to watch the Drive in itself. We had a full bar and I am very grateful for the outstanding support that I received, thank you!
Perhaps the less said about the drive itself the better! However I managed a creditable 162 yards although it was directionally challenged! It was an honour to be joined on the tee by my fellow captains, Ann Walker, Len Renham and James Burston, I wish you all the best for the coming season and offer my help and support whenever you need it.
Thanks must go to the hardworking bar staff and the fabulous catering team for keeping the party going well into the afternoon. It was a great day and a worthy start to the golfing year!
I am raising money for “Tiny Lives” charity which supports premature babies and their parents on Ward 35 at the RVI in Newcastle. My son, Josh, spent 6 weeks there in 1995 having been born 9 weeks early. I am delighted to report that we raised £459 on Sunday afternoon for the charity, thank you for your kindness.
The next Captain’s Competition is the Mixed Greensomes on Sunday 7th April (1.00 – 2.30p.m.)