Autumn is definitely with us with colder mornings, earlier nights and the inevitable preferred-lies being introduced.
The annual programme of knock-out competitions and the 2016 Masters qualifying competitions have been completed, congratulations to all of you who have been successful throughout the season. Over the last two weeks we have also crowned the 2016 Ladies and Men's Masters Champions and many congratulations go to Rosie Birch and Paul Conway. Congratulations to all the men and ladies who received their annual trophies presented at the respective Masters Dinner Presentations.
Congratulations to Came Down Ladies who playing at Weymouth Golf Club won the Beales Bronze Trophy against Broadstone. It is over 20 years since Came have won this trophy, the previous and only time being in 1995.
For 2017 I am pleased to inform you that we have secured sponsorship, generously provided by Leigh Cornick of Claydon Scaffolding, for both the Club Championship and Men's Invitation events. We are continuing to seek sponsorship for other Club events, course signage and promotion, anyone with any leads, suggestions or indeed offers of sponsorship please contact Matt (General Manager).
Due to the hard work of Hugh Lawes, Nick Rodgers and their team of volunteers, our junior section has gone from strength to strength seeing the number of junior members increase from 17 to 45. We are currently making a bid for a grant from the Dorset Golf Union for the provision of junior specific equipment and other equipment that will benefit all members. Both the Captains and Business Management Committee's have agreed and approved to match fund any grant received. Additionally the Club's Senior Section have generously offered to provide some financial support for the junior section. Our goal is to be in a position to have a team that can represent Came Down in next year's inter-club junior competitions. Anyone wishing to assist with junior golf development please contact Hugh or Nick.
Thank you for supporting the Captain's Friday evening competitions throughout the summer, I hope you enjoyed some of the novel scoring formats. In the August competition Lenny Fletcher, Bob Parks, Mick Lamming and Bob Winning managed to score an unbelievable 108 stableford points on the 10th, thereby crushing the competition in a single hole. I am pleased to say they sportingly carried on to complete their round of ten holes.
On the subject of the Captain/Pro Challenge, it had looked like I was to become the first Captain to be whitewashed, however a late charge by Nick and myself saved the day by winning our final match. In the final, we found ourselves against an unprecedented eight pairs, with Alex Anderson and Karl Bowen returning a superb 45 points to win the competition. Nick and I did not disgrace ourselves and finished in the top half of the field. Thank you to all who took part and in the process raised money for charity and provided relaxed and fun golf along the way.
We continue to make improvements to the Club, with the new club house carpet, front windows, front facade and entrance gateway all being completed over the past couple of months. Further improvements will include new lighting in the Club room and further works to the main driveway entrance. The winter course maintenance programme has commenced with alterations to bunkers on the 2nd, 15th and 18th holes. At long last we have received permission from English Heritage and the Environment Agency to fill the pit on the right-hand side of the 11th. Please see the Club notice board for details.
A new initiative developed by the Captain's Committee, fully supported by our Club Professional Nick is the facility for members to advertise, through the 'pro-shop', second-hand golfing equipment for sale. Please contact Nick for details and conditions.
Behind the scenes, the BMC continues to undertake a great deal of work in respect of securing a favourable renewal of our course lease arrangements. The present lease expires in 2019 but there already looks to be the potential for a significant improvement in the terms of the new lease that should favour the Club in the future. However there is an obvious requirement for a degree of confidentiality in order not to jeopardise any negotiations that are taking place. There has been a tremendous amount of progress and we would ask members to be patient. Like the BREXIT negotiations a running commentary would not be helpful. As soon as a substantive proposal is in place a number of seminars will be held to apprise members of what has been negotiated, to present any other options and to discuss major issues such as the construction of a new Clubhouse.
The BMC, Captain's Committee and Green's forum are also considering a potential programme of 'greens improvement' and are initially looking at a range of proposals for rebuilding the 3rd green.
Most members will be aware that the BMC sponsored a Membership Categories Sub-Group which reviewed the appropriateness of our membership categories in the light of present day expectations and golfing trends both nationally and at Came Down Golf Club. Most of the proposed changes were minor but some are more substantial and warrant agreement at the AGM. Detail will be put out well in advance of the AGM so members are well briefed before the event.
On Saturday August 6th, the Club hosted a superb musical evening with NINA GARCIA and MIKE DENHAM providing entertainment for the evening. In the process raising over £500 for the `WELDMAR CHARITY'.
On Saturday November 12th the Club is pleased to present - 'A Tribute to the legendary Eva Cassidy' with Lucy Martin and Stephen Kenyon providing entertainment for the evening. Tickets are £8 pp, any money raised on the evening will be donated to the `WELDMAR CHARITY'. There will be no formal catering but the kitchen and restaurant will be open until 9.00 pm. (See website for full details)
Remembering that your committee members (all committees) are all volunteers, they continue to work hard to ensure that the experience offered to members and visitors is a positively memorable one. Following a very successful year dealing with 'Match and Handicap' Dave Allen has decided to step down for the 2017 season. If any person or persons are interested in taking on the Match and Handicap role could you please contact Dave, Matt or myself (Dave will be offering a full handover and support).
The Captain's 'last stand' will take place on Sunday November 27th, open to all players, and will feature a four person team event with some novelty golf and innovative scoring thrown in for your amusement. My 'elves' will be travelling around the course to offer playing guidance! along with a dram of alcohol and a festive snack to keep you going as well as taking some photographs. Keep an eye on the notice board for the entry form and details.