020 8391 4666

Club News - Summer 2019

Issue 104 published by GolfClubNewsletters
Dear Member
Summer is well and truly under way although we had Winter Rules extended to 12th June at my club for some inexplicable reason!  Maybe was to compensate for having chopped down over 2,000 trees over the Winter to bring our course back to its original 1929 Harry Vardon design.  The arboreal controversy has caused more dispute than Brexit but certainly took far less time to finalise, with many a heated discussion both in and out of the clubhouse.   It has been very drastic with every ornamental non-indiginous tree being removed along with whole swathes of tress between fairways.  However like most things in life, time is a great healer and now the remaining trees are in full leaf the course looks magnificent and most of us have already forgotten what it looked like before the great “deforestation”.  The same definitely won’t be said about Brexit!
Some members have been querying when the new handicapping rules will be in place – our software will be updated in the New Year to be in line with all the changes being brought in by the R & A and the USGA under the new World Handicap System. 
These new rules will do nothing to alter the fact that I go up .1 every time I venture out onto the golf course!
And now for my perennial nag about scorecards – PLEASE make sure your membership number is on every card submitted, along with the name of the course, date played and most importantly, the gross score MUST be added up and preferably any scores higher than a double bogey adjusted down.
Until next time,


What seems like an age ago but was in fact at the end of April, saw a group of us venturing into the wilds of the Essex/Suffolk borders to Stoke by Nayland golf resort, just outside Colchester for a 2 day competition.  This replaced our usual Spring overseas trip to Turkey which has been moved to the Autumn this year.  Settled in glorious Constable countryside, this was a hidden gem with two manginficent courses with plenty of water, rolling hills and challenging to all of us to say the least.
The first day was an individual stableford competition on the Gainsborough course and apart from the main winners, scores did not exceed the 20s mark. Third place went to Ken Mock with 30 points, 2nd place with 32 points was Karen Duncan and the winner with an impressive 35 points was Rob McCanna.
Nearest the Pin went to Karen Duncan, Ladies Longest Drive to Elaine Benton and mens Longest Drive to guest Derek Sharpe who was delighted to be in with the prize winners

Next day was the team event on the Constable course which finished in glorious Spring sunshine.  The winners were Karen Duncan, Elaine Benton and Derek Sharpe with 67 points on countback to runners up, also with 67 points, Tom Senior, Clive Martina and Janet Mock.  Was great to see Tom again who played off his old GCGB handicap of 5 without complaint!
All agreed this was a great venue and may well be repeated next year.


Our annual Nat West Trophy pairs betterball saw a return to the popular Birchwood Park complex near Dartford back in May, which has to be one of the best value for money public courses around.  It was a great pleasure to see Peter Hickson who had returned from Australia for a few weeks holiday in the UK and Europe.  Also good to see last year’s winners Ken Price and Nick Sharpe (a new partner) defending the trophy.   We were blessed with good weather and some very decent scores.  Third place went to Rob McCanna and Dave Chell with 40 points, Ken and Nick were pipped to the post on countback, coming in second with 42 points but the winners with 42 points were Gary Cavill and Cliff Larkin.
Gary also won the Nearest the Pin and Peter the Longest Drive.



The Silver Jubilee Cup event was held at a new venue for GCGB on a glorious sunny June day.  Set in rolling Surrey countryside with magnificent views it was also the perfect setting for a wedding which was to be held there later in the day.  The clubhouse was festooned in bright purple bunting and balloons, with various vases of purple gladioli which hadn’t quite opened (thankfully!) in time and tables piled high with wedding favours consisting of chocolates, cakes and sweets!  Was quite a backdrop for our prize giving photos!  But back to the golf… the course was in great conditions, very hilly with several blind spots and so lots of lost balls all round.   The scores were generally low with only the first two places scoring over 30. We were delighted to welcome back our new Burmese member, July, who had brought his wife and children along for the day while he played golf and later on his brother (I think?) joined the festivities.  Also present were Peter Hickson, still in the UK and our other intrepid traveller, Nicholas Hercules, on leave from his posting in South Sudan with United Nations where he is fighting the latest Ebola outbreak.  So a truly international event!  July must have had inspiration from his better half as he won the day with a great score of 35 points, second place with to Nicholas with 31 points and third place was Gary Cavill with 29 points.  Rob McCanna won the Nearest the Pin but there was no winner for the Nearest the Pin in 2 as I seem to have been given the most difficult hole to reach in 2!
If anyone is interested in playing at Sweetwoods, I can highly recommend it and the staff and catering were excellent… but maybe we had benefitted from the wedding food!

 US OPEN – Report by Vice Captain Simon Grigor

 As some of you know, I am just as much an avid golf watcher as I am a golf player.  When I retired, I had two ‘bucket list’ golf spectating events I wanted to do.  I achieved the first, a visit to the Masters at Augusta, in 2016, and I’d been waiting for the chance to do the second.
Like our own Open, the US Open uses venues on a rota basis.  Pebble Beach had been the venue I’d wanted to go to, probably ever since I’d viewed on TV Tom Watson chipping in on the 17th to win his only US open back in 1982.  It looked such a fantastic setting.  It had last been used in 2010 (a British winner, Graeme McDowell) and it came up on the rota again in 2019.  Plans were made!
Getting a ticket was way, way easier than getting one for the Masters.  US Open tickets are put on general sale and I watched the internet for when that would happen, and leapt in at the appropriate time.  Flights were booked and an AirBnb found about 25 miles away.
I arrived in San Jose, about 60 miles to the north, two days before the championship and found the weather incredibly hot, with the thermometer touching 100 degrees Fahreinheit.  But the Monterey peninsular, where Pebble Beach lies, has its own micro-climate and the temperature there was a full 45 degrees less.  Players had their mittens on while I had four layers on every day and on one, five.  The shorts I’d packed stayed in my suitcase!
Transport arrangements were excellent.  All cars parked at the California University campus and Greyhound-type buses shuttled you from there to the course.  I arrived on day one to find the course looking every bit as beautiful as it does in photographs, and more.  The Pacific was calm, the beach a beautiful bright yellow, and the little harbour inlets dotted with boats.  On day one I made sure I walked the whole course, hillier than I’d imagined.  At the day’s close there was a British leader too – despite the pressure of being paired with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose shot a 65.
Days two, three and four saw me spending a bit more time on specific holes, watching groups go through.  My favourite?  Probably the eighth.  Players had to take a bit off their drives, to go as near as they dared to a massive cavern over the sea.  The nearer they got, the ‘easier’ (ha ha) the second would be, to a tiny green, surrounded by treacherous rough and deep bunkers.  On the Saturday I saw Francesco Molinari, going well at the time, probably lose his chance here as his second disappeared to the right of the green, not to be found, and he had a lonely trek back round to the tee side of the cavern to play a second ball.
Come the Sunday, Rose was still in contention, but he was now one shot behind leader Gary Woodland, a top-thirty player but one who’d not previously contended in a major.  Just a bit further back lay two big guns: defending champion Brooks KJoepja, looking to win three US Opens in a row, and our own Rory McIlroy.  Rory got off to a poor start and fell off the board immediately, while Justin stuttered around the turn.  Kopka became the main challenger to Woodland but, despite his lack of major experience, it was Woodland who held on to claim the title.
Like some of our Open venues, you and I can play Pebble Beach.  It ain’t cheap though!  The basic green fee is $550.  Add to that, $100 for a caddie.  And you’ll increase your chances of getting a start time massively if you stay at the resort on site.  However, a room there costs upwards (and in some cases, considerably upwards) of $950 a night…..   So, probably not the venue of our next GCGB Overseas Championship!


Captains Day – Hever Castle

Our next event is Simon Grigor’s Captains Day at Hever Castle Golf Club near Edenbridge in Kent on 15th August. The day consists of Simon’s drive in, coffee and bacon rolls on arrival 18 hole individual stableford competition with prizes for the winners and also Nearest the Pins and Longest Drive, and a 2 course meal for £58.  As usual we will have a sweepstake to guess the length of Simon’s drive.  He has missed the last few golf days so his driving skills are a mystery to most of us! I am sure you will want to support Simon and guests and friends are more than welcome.  Please contact Kate in the office to book a place.

Bletchingley – 18th September

We will be returning to Bletchingly on 18th September which is near Godstone off the A22 in Surrey.  Cost is £54 for coffee and bacons rolls, 18 holes golf and 2 course meal.  Again, contact Kate in the office to book your place.


The Golf Club Great Britain & The International Golfers Club provide membership and a recognised handicapping scheme to thousands of golfers both in the UK and around the world.
The Golf Club Great Britain & The International Golfers Club provide membership and a recognised handicapping scheme to thousands of golfers both in the UK and around the world. 

Golf Club Great Britain 
338 Hook Rd, Chessington, Surrey KT9 1NU, 
United Kingdom.
Phone & Fax: 020 8391 4666,  Email : info@golfclubgb.co.uk