Wednesday, 8th May 2019
Reigate Hill Golf Club
SHANKS AUTUMN MEETING
Aldwickbury Park Golf Club, Piggottshill Lane, Harpenden, Herts AL5 1AB on Wednesday 26th September 2018
An impressive location is Aldwickbury Park, nestled into the side of the rolling landscape at Harpenden in Hertfordshire and for our Autumn meeting we were also blessed with a fabulous sun drenched day. We couldn’t ask for better conditions and the greens were something else – despite the fairways having suffered from drought and the blistering heat in the summer. These greens were VERY GREEN, and many had split levels, with dips, hollows and burrows to test even the very best of the putters.
I must give Michael Black a mention as it was his suggestion that Shanks should try out this course, and thanks Michael for the recommendation. By the way, if any Shankers or anybody in PICT can suggest golf venues for Shanks golf days I would be grateful if you would let me know. We try to have courses close to motorways, (but not too close), and ideally around the M25 so that we attract as wide an audience as possible who can easily commute to the venue for a 12.00 noon kick off.
One small downside for our golf day was the lack of players, which seems such a shame, as the absentees missed a great day of golf. So, we had twelve players, which dropped to 11, when our Captain (Peter Bothwick – alias Nick Faldo) decided that for medical reasons he couldn’t raise his golf club higher than his waist – but if the truth be known his beloved football team – Spurs – were playing Watford that evening at the MK Dons stadium just up the road from Aldwickbury. But he did act as our starter for the day, so thanks Peter for making the effort. Our regular starter – Mike Windett (alias Divot) had declined attendance on the basis that he would be in Dubai – with the presumption he must have got a better offer as starter for a camel race!!
Just a mention on the group photo – you will see two players missing – Keith and Gary who were late on parade; I can only assume their lateness was due to an extended stay at the hairdressers – but as you will see from the “extra” photo they were certainly well coiffured when they eventually turned up.
When back in the golf club we found that most golfers had an average day, and more importantly for the first time no howlers of wayward golf balls or the like. However, it was well known that Andy Thompson was missing the Steve Beckett Trophy from his mantlepiece. It was therefore evident that having an exemplary score card with the same “lowly” number stableford point on both the front and back nine holes, plus finding on or about 50% of the bunkers on the course – and Aldwickbury was well endowed with plenty of sand traps, it was the unanimous decision that Andy be awarded the Steve Beckett Trophy for Shanker of the day. The citation on the roll of honour to read – For consistency in not scoring and hitting over half the bunkers on the course.
The Steele Bowl for the best stableford score by the high handicappers (H/cap of 24 or higher) was deservedly won by Chris Godfrey, The photo shows Chris being presented by the past holder of the Steele Bowl, Martin Stears.
John Ladd a guest was the overall winner with a stableford score of 34.
The Yellow Ball team competition was won by the team of Keith Spiers, John Ladd and Kit Kat who were the only team who managed to coax the ball round the course with the original yellow ball.
Aldwickbury Park did us proud with an evening meal of Shin of Beef, followed by Bread & Butter pudding – proper grub for golfers of our ilk.
Thanks to everybody who supported the golf day, which regretfully didn’t raise as much as we have seen from previous Shanks outings, but at least we had a positive contribution to our charity funds. Clearly the more that play the more we raise for PICT.
So we’ll do it all again in Spring 2019 and details of venue and date will follow shortly.
Kit Kat ( alias Mike Kerlogue – secretary of Shanks Golf )
SHANKS SPRING MEETING
Grim’s Dyke GC - Wednesday 16th May 2018
Our secretary, Mike (Kit Kat) Kerlogue networks well and has good communications up top, so the Shankers who made their way to North Middlesex were expecting a scorching, sunny day following the tropical Tuesday. Unfortunately, Mike must have been missing Mass, so it was a little dull and overcast and had us scurrying for warm sweaters and gilets. All except for Graham
Warley who insisted on playing in shorts and ankle socks. We thought he was shivering but this could, of course, have been some age-related illness!
The Grim’s Dyke staff made us very welcome and coffee and bacon baguettes were consumed whilst Kit Kat distributed chocolate and the infamous Team Yellow balls. He did try to explain the scoring system but eventually gave up and delegated to a ‘responsible’ member of each team. In management speak this probably constitutes empowerment but in the Shanks is better classed as desperation.
Thirteen Shankers made their way to the tenth tee (Grim’s Dyke trying to confuse us by insisting we start on the 10th) together with spectator and non-playing Shanker, Alan Piper, in his Brian Hanrahan role of counting them out and counting them back in again!
Following the Bob Newhart school of accountancy, we started within a few bucks of 1.00pm despite the secretary changing the location of the photo shoot to higher ground as his smart phone works better pointing upwards!
Teams and Competition results…. 13 players, 4 teams.
TEAM A: Peter Bothwick, Alan Badcock and Chris Bell
TEAM B: Nigel Howl, Mike Gee and Graham Warley
TEAM C: Mike Kerlogue, Michael Black and Gary Brady
TEAM D: Keith Spiers, Barry Gregory, Geoff Parnell and Matt Ingram
The winning team was Team A who were the only team to nurse it around the 18 holes. The secretary didn’t need to announce the points score as the other teams lost their balls too early in proceedings!
Best Overall Score:
Keith Spiers with 29 points.
24 and above playing for the Syd Humphries trophy. The winner on 25 points playing off 27 was Nigel Howl who appreciates that he is only keeping it warm for Martin Stears. Yee Ha.
Nearest the Pin
On the 110 yard 6th green. Gary Brady being the only Shanker to land on the green – another benchmark for the section!
Steve Beckett Trophy for Shanker of the day.
Team D for managing to lose their yellow ball off the tee on the first hole! A splendid effort but probably understandable on a difficult tree lined par 5 you might think. However, on a par 3 with quite an open approach this took no little skill.
Chris Bell of Team A. When their yellow ball was struck into a hedge bordering water, the intrepid Chris, with no thought to his own safety and wellbeing, plunged into the water and searched among the brambles. Trench foot, lacerations to the arms and torn Gucci polo notwithstanding, he emerged triumphant with three yellow balls – one of which was Team A’s. The Captain, yes me, Bothwick, Captain, laconically commenting ‘Well done Chris, great teamwork’. For the reply, please send an opaque self-addressed envelope and a small charitable donation to PICT.
It was judged that Chris’ effort in going the extra mile for his team and offering to pay his own medical expenses, meant he should be the recipient of the trophy.
It was a delight to have PICT President, Paul Johnston-Knight, join us for dinner and to present the prizes.
Mike (Defib Divot) Windett also joined us for dinner having taken on the role of official finisher as his previous role of official starter was costing him too much in chocolate.
Our thanks again to Mike Kerlogue for organising an excellent day and for his rounding up speech mentioning the Grim weather, the Grim rough and the tough Grim greens leading to his new nom de plume of The Grim Reaper. As one wag commented, this was better than the other sobriquet on offer – ‘Dyke Head’!
A splendid day with £90 being raised for PICT funds.
SHANKS AUTUMN MEETING
Abbey Park – 27th September 2017
Mike (Kit Kat) Kerlogue organised the Autumn meeting on a warm but overcast day that threatened a wet back nine unless the section did something extraordinary and completely out of character by playing quickly!
The Abbey Park course was not looking its best as the greens had been treated with an anti-fungal agent, so that it appeared you were putting across a green and black zebra skin, which did little to assist such ‘touch’ golfers as found within our ranks. However, as there was only one of these, the rest of us made merry on the camouflaged greens when we were lucky enough to land on them.
Our numbers were down with only 11 shankers making the journey. Sadly, our resident starter, Mike (The Divot) Windett has had to have a new injection system and catalytic converter fitted, which means his engine ticks over evenly and his exhaust levels are reduced (much thanks there). When he shakes your hand, it doubles as an internal taser so it’s best to avoid physical contact if possible. Our best wishes to Mike, who is making a speedy recovery with his new defibrillator and wants his new nom de plume to be ‘Defib Divot’.
Coffee and bacon baps were consumed whilst Mike Kerlogue distributed cards and the infamous Team Yellow Balls. No new competitions were introduced as it was not a day for multi-tasking. The President of PICT, Joe Piggott, could not be with us but had sent a message declaring “may all your drives be long and your putts accurate” which proved he hadn’t a clue what the SHANKS were all about.
We should have been underway at 1.00pm but Andy Thompson had to change into his golf wardrobe without the aid of an assistant and Martin Stears was negotiating the car park. It was pointed out to the secretary, that the first communication had stipulated a 1pm tee time, whilst the second communication had a 2pm start. Of course, no one had bothered to query this in advance so the photo shoot had to be delayed until all had assembled. (This has nothing to do with Mike kneeling, as this is his usual praying position before starting a round!)
Teams and Competition results …. 11 players 4 teams.
Team A – Peter Bothwick, Stephen Goodwin and Neil Haslam
Team B – Mike Kerlogue, Martin Stears and Tony Poyner
Team C – Chris Godfrey, Geoff Parnell and Gary Brady
Team D – Andy Thompson and Nigel Howl
Yellow Ball Competition - The winning team was C with 16 points and they lost their yellow ball on the 7th. All the other teams had lost it by, or on, the third hole. Our despairing secretary declared this the worst yellow ball performance ever at a Shanks golf day, so there’s a benchmark for the future!
High handicappers - 24 and above playing for the Steele Bowl. The winner on 27 points was Martin Stears playing off 27. Suggestions that he should turn up in his cowboy hat next time were a little unkind but good-humoured.
Steve Beckett Trophy - for Shanker of the day – there were three considerations:
Andy Thompson for emulating the Eurovision Norwegian jury with nul points after 18 holes. In a very considerate manner he did give your scribe the full benefit of his coaching skills, which enabled me to record a much lower score than usual and so retain Shanks status.
Stephen Goodwin for finding the fairway and then taking a divot larger than a roll of turf at B&Q.
Peter Bothwick for not organising drinks on his lawn, which adjoins the 13th.
It was judged that the Captain, ‘yes me. Captain’, Bothwick was just watching the pennies with retirement fast approaching and while Andy’s was a remarkable effort, it must be considered as a performance rather than a Shankers incident. So, the winner was Stephen Goodwin for his gardening skills.
A splendid day rounded off with dinner and conversation in the adjoining Abbey Hotel.
Report by Nigel Howl
Badgemore Park - Thursday 4th May 2017
Mike (nee Kit Kat) Kerlogue convened this Spring meeting on an overcast day, which in prospect looked set to improve, only a fresh northerly breeze was present to remind us all that it was still only early May.
The Badgemore Park course was in excellent condition, bearing in mind the lack of any notable rainfall in April, with the firm fairways providing that much needed extra length and assistance to all shankers. Our party, 21 shankers and Mike Windett our resident starter, was welcomed by the club with the obligatory bacon baps, piping hot coffee and tea at midday. Unfortunately, Andy Thompson could not stay due to ‘pressing business commitments’ leaving a total of 20 active players.
Mike Kerlogue, Secretary, formally opened proceedings with a welcome speech laying out the plans and orders for the day’s play, distributing the score cards to team members and providing each team with that dreaded Team Yellow Ball. In addition, two new competitions were introduced, a ‘Nearest the Pin’ on the 6th and a ‘Nearest the Line’ on the 16th.
Mike Windett, Shankers’ resident starter, got proceedings underway at 13:00hrs with the distribution of ‘KitKats’ to each player. Despite the club’s formal starter providing some guidance for all players, the first team set the seed for the days play by splaying their balls in all directions with no one hitting the fairway. Good to see nearly everyone entered the spirit of the day by showing their abilities to pepper the surrounding areas of the first fairway with only a few hitting the true target.
The weather remained fresh but dry and overcast providing encouragement for all standards of playing ability. Unfortunately, not all could stay for dinner in the evening but we were joined by the President of PICT, Joe Piggott, who kindly presented all the prizes.
Teams and Competition results … 20 players 6 teams.
The teams were as follows:
Team A - Peter Bothwick, Nigel Howl, Rod Benwell & Gary Brady; Team B - Geoff Parnell, Martin Stears & Steve Collier; Team C - Chris Bell, Peter Blair & Chris Godfrey; Team D - Matt Ingram, Ben Reeves & Steve Tinniswood; Team E - John Ladd, Barry Gregory, Graham Warley & Mike Kerlogue; Team F - Alan Badcock, Neil Haslam & Alan Piper
Overall winner for the day - Steve Collier with 39 points, playing off 15, won a bottle of bubbly.
Yellow Ball Competition - Winning team was ‘C’ who came home with the yellow ball and scored 65 points; runners up Team A with 58 points, but as two members had left by the time of prize giving, Nigel and Gary got two bottles of beer each.
High handicappers - 24 and above – playing for the Syd Humphries Trophy - goes way back to Stationers Social Society Golf. Winner on 37 points was Martin Stears, playing off a ‘bandit’ 26.
Nearest the Pin - Steve Collier.
Nearest the Line - and possible longest drive - Peter Blair (guest of Chris Bell).
Steve Beckett Trophy for Shanker of the day – there were three nominations.
John Ladd for a misdirected drive from 3rd tee across the 2nd green and out of bounds, AND failing to shout “Fore” despite only just missing members of Team F who were putting on an adjacent green.
Team “A” for losing their way and playing incorrect hole – made aware of this fact by another golfer who happened to be a long-standing member of Badgemore?!?!?!
And the winner was - Neil Haslam for playing the 16th in an aboral fashion and running out of strokes. The details: Tee shot somewhat wayward leaving his ball behind rather large trees albeit there was a good opening to chip through. Second rebounded off first large tree flying even deeper into trouble behind tree two. Third shot rebounded off tree two into even greater difficulty behind tree three. Fourth shot was badly topped and whilst finally clearing these pesky trees only just managed to stay in bounds by which time his players partners were crying not in despair but in fits of laughter.
I am confident everyone will agree a most worthy recipient of this notable award.
Profit for day £204.91. (Includes £20.00 penalty contribution from Mike Kerlogue for eating his Kit Kat before team photos before play started!!)
Scribe – Alan Badcock
SHANKS AUTUMN MEETING – 13th October 2016
Venue – Pine Ridge G C, Old Bisley Road, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey
Mike aka Kit Kat Kerlogue called this meeting on a day of probably the most perfect weather conditions that could have been hoped for, sun and shade a hint of a breeze, just about ideal.
17 of us met at Pine Ridge at midday for coffee and bacon baps with a tee off set for 1pm. Kit Kat and Shanks Captain Peter Bothwick moved into action (these guys are just so organised) sorting us into 5 teams, issuing cards, yellow balls (these for the team as against the individual competitions) and generally running the show like clockwork.
Pine Ridge is a beautiful parkland course in cracking condition, wide fairways and fast greens and a large, comfortable clubhouse. In the near distance could be heard the constant rattle of musketry from the Bisley Ranges which took this scribe back to his days with the old Stationers Social Society Shooting Club. What fun that was.
It was good to see Mike Windett issueing us with our Kit Kat choccy bars on the first tee. There were no major hold ups on the course and we all got back to the club house for a pre-prandial pint with tales to tell in time for dinner at about 6.30 pm. Dinner was roast chicken followed by apple crumble and custard. In truth the chicken was a bit tough but otherwise all was good and service excellent.
Firstly the yellow ball Team Prize…(Team B lost it’s yellow ball which is close to being a Shanks Moment of itself. However, we were merciful) but the rest of it went like this:-
Team C………42 Stapleford points
As E and D tied on points there was a count back and Team D got it with 39 against E’s 36 points. Team D was made up of Geoff Purnell, Mike (Kit Kat himself), Barry Gregory and Alan Piper.
The Steele Bowl (for 24 handicaps and above) Winner was Geoff Purnell with a cracking 40 points.
The Guest Prize Winner was John Ladd with 38.5 points.
We now come to the Steve Beckett Trophy for the best SHANKS moment. There were several discussions as to who made the biggest mistake, cock up whatever, of the afternoon. After due and deep consideration of all aspects it eventually went to Andy Thompson. I commend the readership to note the photographs of Captain Peter (Nick Faldo) Bothwick telling us (with gestures) as to what Andy actually did. It seems he teed off, hit a nearby tree the ball coming to rest behind the golfer thereafter causing Andy much grief for the rest of the hole. Well done Andy, you really must come again.
Neil Haslam dropped his pitching wedge on the course somewhere and gave a generous donation to the Charity to get it back. Speaking of pitching wedges and donations a brand new one of these was donated and sold at a brief auction by the Captain to Peter Blair the guest of Chris Bell for £40.
A vote of thanks was made by Alan Badcock to Mike Kerlogue who tirelessly gives his time and effort to this event and I am pleased to report that we raised £283.02 for the Charity which is really what this is all about.
Kit Kat tells me plans are being laid for the SHANKS Spring 2017 meeting to be in early May this time north of London and an announcement will be made early in the New Year. All in all a most successful day and it’s good to be back.
Bev (Slicer) Steele
3rd May meeting Leatherhead Golf Club
The sections spring meeting was held at the historic Leatherhead Golf Club, situated just off junction 9 of the M25. Opened in 1903 (the golf club) it has welcomed such luminaries as Harry Vardon and Henry Cotton to the course and can now add 18 Shankers to the list of players that have graced this venue. Apparently in their day Harry and Henry normally arrived by helicopter to avoid any congestion on the M25.
Players of our standard may have played the course before. A prime example probably being a certain Mr O’Flynn who in 1971 sliced a 5 iron into deep rough and in searching for his ball found instead the body of a dead woman. Her killer husband was eventually caught but only sentenced to manslaughter as “she had been very bad to me”.
Greater attendance would have ensued but for the late withdrawal of two regulars. One had no acceptable excuse ( a business matter ) but Alan Piper’s recent illness was accepted as genuine and a suitable card was signed by all with best wishes for a speedy recovery. Actually Alan would have played but we understand that “The Boss” knocked that idea on the head, so Alan wisely relented.
In contrast we were delighted to welcome back Bev Steele to the fold looking extremely well and more than willing to assist Divot Windett in his capacity of official starter for the day. Hopefully both will be able to contest for trophies at the Autumn meeting. It was also a pleasure to welcome new member Arthur Langridge after several attempts to secure him as a Shanker.
The course was found to be a bit boggy, especially “off piste” but fairways were in a better condition after several recent downpours. Past President and local expert Alan Badcock was however very disappointed with the course feeling that surfaces were not up to the standard expected and normally found, even after wet weather at Leatherhead. Certainly drainage needs improvement and rock hard bunkers did not help our saving techniques!
Nevertheless, after bacon baps and coffee, five groups teed off on a warm and sunny afternoon with high expectations and handicaps to match. The renowned yellow ball team competition is always a strongly contested part of the day but a slight problem developed in that Hon Sec Kit Kat Kerlogue forgot to bring any yellow balls! White alternatives therefore had to be used and contestants asked to use their imaginations. This suggestion was lost on at least one team who managed to lose their “yellow ball” on the first hole and thereafter could only “imagine” winning this particular competition.
Although this par 71 course is relatively short at 6200 yards (5669 metres) it is somewhat protected with tight tree-lined fairways making accuracy an essential for a successful round. This is not a normal part of a Shanker’s armoury but all gave their best resulting in some notable results.
Young Mr Spears recorded the best Stapleford score of the day but was not awarded first prize on the basis that he had triumphed on previous occasions and therefore must be a show off! Team E lead by Chris Bell with his guests Stuart Palmer and Peter Blair won the “yellow Ball” competition with Peter also returning the best individual score for a guest. Team B consisting of Tony Poyner, Chris Godfrey, Arthur Langridge and Commodore Green came close also managing to keep their ball for the whole round. Tony even tried to help by nicking the “yellow ball” of team D but was apprehended before any advantage was gained. He was later fined by Mr President Nick Gee for this misdemeanour with his donation added to the PICT coffers.
Chris Godfrey was also fined for leaving his sand wedge on the 13th Green. Initially it was reported as a sandwich but Chris had already consumed this prior to arriving on the 9th tee. (The fine for both players was agreed at £10 but when offering £20 notes for settlement both were reminded that the Hon Sec didn’t demean himself by carrying cash so change was not an option. This resulted in PICT being better off to the sum of £40 !).
Speaking of the 9th which is a par 3 of 179 yards (164 metres) this was chosen for the nearest the pin competition but the Hon Sec forgot to designate the maximum number of shots required. In the event none of the 18 competitors managed to hit the green with their tee shot so the prize was awarded to Tony Poyner who came within 18 inches (0.457 metres) of reaching the putting surface, as did his ball. It was later decided to change this to the longest drive as 179 yards is a major accomplishment for most Shankers.
The Syd Humphries trophy for high handicappers was rightly won, after a count back, by Rod Benwell. The Hon Sec’s system for awarding this trophy is now a complete mystery to all but himself (possibly linked to the Eurovision Song Contest structure). As an example, we believe that yours truly was awarded the runner up bottle of plonk based on having a handicap of 24, being over 70, scoring more than 10 stapleford points and wearing pink underwear! There is no other explanation.
The main prize of the day, The Steve Beckett trophy, was awarded to Captain Bothwick for demolishing a waste bin and ball cleaner during his attempt to negotiate a sharp turn whilst driving his buggy. The golf club refused an offer of compensation but instead insisted that Peter must attend their school for bad drivers. Peter left the course after 9 holes obviously distressed over this incident, so he was not there to receive the trophy in the evening. Hopefully however he managed to avoid any traffic cones or the like on his return north.
Nick Gee was a welcome guest at dinner, consisting of a main course of Fish & Chips, and gave a presidential speech in honour of the members, guests and PICT. Is this the first time two brothers, with one being president, have attended a PICT sporting event? Perhaps another first for Shanks. After witnessing the approach shots and putting techniques of several teams on the 18th Nick felt happier with his promise to consider playing in the Autumn fixture.
The food was perhaps secondary for the few who succumbed to the Hon Sec’s preference for a pre-dinner beverage and downed a pint or two of “Gunners”, apparently a drink for disadvantaged golfers consisting of Ginger Beer, Ginger Ale, Lemon Juice and Angostura Bitter. Most however stayed with the grape or grain hoping not to bump into captain Bothwick on the way home.
An overall profit of £123.50 (EURO 157.06 prior to Brexit) was secured for PICT and as always and as thoroughly deserved a grateful thanks was given to Hon Sec KKK for all the hard work he puts in to arrange our Shanks events. Long may he reign !!
TUESDAY 29th SEPTEMBER at Flackwell Heath Golf Club, near High Wycombe
For those of you who missed Reigate Hill in May – you missed a great day – our erstwhile scribe, the Commodore ( Bob Green ) has penned a worthy report of events which will be in the next PICT Newsletter.
Moving on, our next golf day will be TUESDAY 29th SEPTEMBER at Flackwell Heath Golf Club, near High Wycombe – post code HP10 9PE.
We shall meet at 12.00 noon for coffee and sausage bap, with tee off on or around 1.00pm. 2 course dinner to follow golf at approx. 6.30pm and everybody away I hope by 9.00 ish.
We shall have the usual array of competitions and prizes, and High handicappers will be playing for the Steele Bowl, currently held by Geoff Parnell from last year’s Autumn match at Badgemore park, Henley-on-Thames.
Cost £55.00 per head, buggies available – please let me know if you need a buggy and I’ll reserve – cost £20. ( N.B. only 3 buggies available ).
Payment in advance by cheque ( payable to PICT Ltd ) or can be to my electronic account ( let me know if you prefer this and I’ll send you details ) or pay cash on the day. Cheques to my home address please – Elmwood, St. Marys Drive, Riverhead, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 2AR.
Please let me know a YES or a NO so I can get numbers in advance.
AND, enjoy the summer, it’s just around the corner !!
PICT SHANKS SPRING MEETING –Reigate Hill Golf Cub – May 12th 2015
Our first visit to this course designed by David Williams, as a 6270yd SSS 71 challenge. He was obviously happy to work with a rolling countryside aspect having also designed Kit Kats’ home course at Westerham. The club is also host to The Surrey Golf Lab, with the short game area designed by Paul Casey. Sadly not many of our Shanks members took advantage of the “Trackman Launch Monitor Analysis” available in the Golf Lab before teeing off, which was probably a wise decision!
As a precursor to the day the chance to interview the local German born Tory MP, Crispin Blunt, was too good to miss, especially as he had been returned to Parliament the week before with an increased majority, with UKIP coming a distant second. Surprisingly he didn’t want to discuss his decision to confront his homosexuality after 20 years of marriage, and fathering two children, and only wanted to talk about politics and golf. The former was just boring so we concentrated on his main contact with the great game (golf). This turned out to be his niece, the actress Emily Blunt, who thinks golf is “cool” and keeps a special wardrobe for this purpose. Naturally very good news for him that UKIP didn’t win, for obvious reasons.
With regard to “a special wardrobe” it was extremely pleasant to see Mike Gee turning up wearing the latest designer shorts with matching socks and shirt. A reminder to the other members that although our events should be taken as a serious test of golfing ability, they can also be used as a fashion statement.
Twelve members arrived for bacon baguettes and coffee and were then persuaded to cancel all previous appointments and stay for a round of golf. We were extremely pleased to welcome the arrival of a new member in Paul “Cut Size” Rossiter, who somehow managed to obtain an invitation, even after confirming that he played off 12 (albeit at Southend Pitch & Putt). More members were expected but, in addition to the usual unacceptable excuses for non attendance, it was thought that several may have turned up at nearby Reigate Heath Golf Club, in the belief that there was only one RHGC in the area!
Eventually four groups of three were sent off in various combinations of old, young, able and feeble and were confronted with a bright, sunny, breezy afternoon, with the course in immaculate condition. The adjacent M25 was a noisy distraction for most of the front 9, and Geese with their Goslings for most of the back 9, but this didn’t detract from the standard of golf (how could it !). Goslings can actually walk, feed and swim within 24 hours of hatching, creating a connection with our golfers, who normally do this within 24 minutes of teeing off, depending on how much water they find!
At this point it should be mentioned that somehow Kit Kat Kerlogue forgot to buy any Kit Kats. He was therefore ordered to “Take A Break” and was sent back to the club house shop to retrieve the situation. This senior moment should be noted for future reference, when his contract comes up for renewal (from PICT and Rowntree’s).
“Cut size” Rossiter eventually confessed that he actually plays off 12 inches, and therefore greatly exceeded expectations when his opening drive managed to fly slightly further than the length of a sheet of A3 (Perhaps the extra length was gained by the RHGC being 235 metres above sea level). Nevertheless, later in the day, he was properly awarded the Steve Beckett Trophy, for shot (clot) of the day, by our esteemed captain, Faldo Bothwick. As an aside, the name “Faldo” originates from a medieval phrase - “fol de rol”- given to a person who liked to “sport” and was not much given to work. Good old Nick!
Winner of the yellow ball competition was team B, consisting of Chris Bell, 12 inch Rossiter and Kit Kat. This was awarded (by Kit Kat) seemingly on the basis of a vote rather than for golfing expertise (perhaps Chris Blunt would have been a worthy winner?).
Chris Bell added to his trophy cabinet by rightfully being awarded the Syd Humphries Trophy, for the best round of the day, with a Stableford score just short of bandit territory. No doubt his handicap will be reviewed before the Autumn meeting, but in the meantime, well done Chris! (fol de rol?).
The day was rounded off with a fine curry meal ( someone mentioned Vesta) but we missed out on the Angel Delight and finished off with a fruit crumble and custard.
On behalf of PICT and Shankers of the day, past president, Alan “Sailor” Badcock thanked Kit Kat for another well organized event and confirmed how much his efforts are appreciated by all concerned. Also in this respect a healthy profit of £154.20 was made on the day for the PICT fund.
A venue for the Autumn meeting has yet to be confirmed, but no doubt it will be another suitable “Shankers” course.
Last and certainly not least, a get well card was signed by all and sent to Bev Steele with our best wishes for a speedy recovery from an ongoing illness. Bev has been greatly missed at Shankers events and we look forward to seeing him at the Autumn meeting.
Commodore Bob Green.
Autumn Meeting - Badgemore Golf Club, Henley-on-Thames
9th October 2014
This was our first outing to Badgemore Park Golf Club, founded in 1972, a parkland course situated a few minutes from the centre of Henley-on-Thames. A little worrying that their website mentions their ability to provide funeral receptions but thankfully we all survived the day!
The course was designed by Robert Sandow (1922-2011) an ex-touring professional who spent most of his career playing in Canada and on the USPGA tour. Notable playing partners included Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen. He was also the Director of Golf to the Shah of Iran until the arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini. Thereafter he returned to the UK and designed golf courses (sometimes with the help of Robert Trent Jones), leaving behind a small fortune and dreams shattered. He was also ex-RAF, was a fighter pilot during WW11 and fought in the Battle of Britain. Quite a life!!
15 stalwarts turned up to challenge this par 69 – 6,129 yard course, in immaculate condition (the course that is), in changeable wet and windy conditions. Coffee and slimline bacon baps were eagerly consumed before battle commenced.
I think all that read this will already know the format of the day, although this time we didn’t have “the longest drive” or “nearest the hole” competitions – perhaps looking after a badly behaved yellow sphere was challenge enough!
Those with replacement hips/knees and other worn out parts departed the first tee by buggy, along with those who could still remember when most paper merchants were owned and run by their founders and not multi-national conglomerates. The younger, fitter members and guests used the more traditional shank’s pony, which seemed more fitting for this particular event! Our regular starter Mike “Divot/Niblick” Windett was there to officiate and to make sure that Badgemore Park members on an adjacent tee to the first were either well protected or fully insured!
The standard of Shanks’s golf was in line with general expectations although our two guests, John Ladd and Stuart Palmer, broke with tradition in appearing to take more conventional routes from tee to green without disturbing the local flora and fauna, in this area of “outstanding natural beauty”. On the other hand Barry Gregory decided that his hatred of a particular Pedunculate Oak knew no bounds, but even then, after hitting it with three consecutive strokes, and giving slumbering squirrels a headache, decided enough was enough and moved on. This brave effort was however properly recognised later when Barry was awarded the Steve Beckett Trophy for clot/shot of the day.
PICT President Alan Badcock made a return appearance but unfortunately was teamed up with “Commodore” Green whose expertise in driving the buggy was not matched with his ability to drive a golf ball. Nevertheless, with the considerable help of third team member, Alan Piper, the threesome somehow managed to come second in the yellow ball competition.
Rory Mcllroy recently stated that it was his skill with a club that made him desirable to the fairer sex, which I guess is why Shanks members are more attractive to the Anne Widdecombes of this World rather than a Caroline Wozniaki. Nevertheless, clubs were wielded with great enthusiasm and Geoff Parnell fittingly won the Steele Bowl with the best score of 33 points. Amazingly most teams retained their yellow ball for most, if not all, of their rounds but Team E consisting of Kit Kat, John Ladd and Geoff Parnell won the day. The guest prize went to Stuart Palmer, who somehow managed to get invited by Chris Bell, even though he played off 17!!
Captain “Faldo” Bothwick presented the prizes consisting of various red wines from a recent Sainsburys offer – buy one get six free - with the Hardys VR Merlot probably given to Barry as the tasting notes mentioned “a toasty Oak flavour on the nose”.
Also mentioned in dispatches should be Mike Gee, John Vanderpump, Tony Spicer, Martin Stears and Martin Triggs for not winning anything, missing all the trees, and greatly contributing to an extremely fun and enjoyable day.
An extremely pleasant dinner in the converted 18th century coach house completed the event with the next gathering announced as ‘probably’ Tuesday 12th May 2015 – venue to be announced.
After the bribe paid to the Club Secretary for allowing us to play his course and the purchase of fine wines from Sainsburys, a profit of £124.96 (who owes the 4p??) was made on the day for the PICT fund.
As always a big thankyou to Hon Sec Mike “Kit Kat” Kerlogue for his considerable effort in arranging another great Shanks event and for the use of his Nectar card. Also to Captain “Faldo” Bothwick for actually playing this time, being in all the photos and generally being HIP.
Bob (Commodore) Green
SPRING MEETING –Hampton Court Palace Golf Cub – May 8th 2014
A return to this historic golf club for the fourth time, founded in 1895 as Home Park Golf Club, and situated in the grounds of Home Park within sight of the palace ( apparently Queen Victoria was quite pleased!).
The present course was designed by Willie Park (more remembered for designing the old course at Sunningdale) and although not particularly long at 6514 yards (Par 71) the damp blustery weather and hostile heavy rough provided a testing afternoon for the 14 Shankers who turned up. Jack Nicklaus once said “the older you get the stronger the wind gets, and it’s always in your face” which was certainly the case today. Actually we were very lucky with the weather, as the forecast was for much heavier rain and stronger winds. Even then, we would have been safe, if dangerous conditions had prevailed, due to Lee Trevino’s advice that “If caught on the course and you are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1 iron”.
Various apologies for absence (mostly justified) were received from several non attendees, and these will be considered for further action as required.
Hon Sec “Kit Kat” Kerlogue obviously had a bad journey around the M25 as he found it almost impossible to formulate pairings for the afternoon. Was it 4x3+2, 3x4+2 or 6x2+2? He eventually settled on 2x4 & 2x3, which had made sense to the rest of us about an hour before!
Coffee and compulsory bacon baps were eagerly consumed before battle commenced with the normal format of a team (yellow ball contest) and individual challenges for the prestigious “Syd Humphries” trophy and the renowned Steve Becket Cup, plus longest drive and nearest the whole on Par 3 & 4 holes, whichever turned out to be the most appropriate!
Captain “Faldo” Bothwick was unable to play due to the lame excuse of being lame (something to do with hip replacement surgery due the following week) and therefore supported the day by touring the course on his buggy, encouraging the competitors and intermingling with the natural wildlife (and animals). “Divot/Niblick” Windett acted as starter, which hopefully was not too stressful for him prior to departing for holiday the next day (another lame excuse for not playing!).
Team E (Green,Gee & Benwell) kicked off the proceedings and managed to retain their yellow ball until the third hole, where a slightly off-line drive was unjustly penalized, with the yellow ball disappearing forever into the cow fodder. Thereafter Team E relaxed and concentrated on their individual games and course management techniques in order to negotiate around the 270 deer that roam the park plus other distractions including rabbits, ducks and the odd Asian golfer, not to mention the thousands of trees that always seem to be in line of sight .
Ex captain “Jacko” Steidl and “Suede Shoes” Triggs bailed out after 12 holes, blaming the weather, but the cause was more probably due to remembering that the bar stayed open all afternoon which gave them a better chance of winning the “nearest the pint” competition!
Keith “The Bandit” Spiers turned up looking as immaculate as ever, with his appearance obviously matching the condition of the course, as he proceeded to almost win every competition! The word bandit is described as a “lawless desperate marauder” –so no further comments required! So this LDM was presented with the Sid Humphries trophy and a bottle of cheap fizz for the best stableford score by our esteemed captain. Tony Poyner came an honourable second with Kit Kat Kerlogue a close third.
Rod (Basher) Benwell justifiably won the Steve Beckett trophy with an amazing birdie on the front 9. Having hit several Oak trees on previous holes, including consecutive shots, he aimed at the next English goliath only to be thwarted when his ball interrupted two gay Mallards enjoying a naughty afternoon together beneath overhanging branches. The two birds eventually waddled away, undamaged physically but no doubt emotionally distraught. Mike Gee came a brave second, but his opening drive of 26.2 feet was not unusual enough to take the prize.
Tony Poyner received the prize for nearest the pin and Chris Godfrey for the longest drive. (The latter was somewhat short of the record of 515 yards in competition managed by Mike Austin with a wooden club in 1974). Bandit Spiers was disqualified from both competitions for breaking Shanker’s rules governing appearance!
The yellow ball competition was won by team 3 – Chris Godfrey, Chris Bell, Phil Bunting and Barry Gregory. Obviously the tracker device they had on their ball helped win the day!
Captain “Faldo” Bothwick presented Nick “Jacko” Steidl with a biography of Tony Jacklin, commemorating Nick’s period as captain of the section and as an extremely grateful thanks for thinking, along with Kevin “Monty” Dewey(also in attendance), of starting Shankers Golf 12 years ago. Although “Faldo” Bothwick advised that the book was obtained at great expense, a rumour later circulated that the postage cost from Amazon was greater than the cost of the book! Apart from winning two majors, Tony is also remembered for achieving the first televised hole in one, at the 1967 Dunlop Masters at Royal St Georges in 1967. He was obviously extremely adept at taking the shortest route to hole, as he eventually fathered six children.
A sumptuous dinner was enjoyed by all before departing this Royal event. The Autumn venue is yet to be decided but any suggestions are always welcome.
Once again many thanks to Hon. Sec. Kit Kat Mike Kerlogue for all the hard work in arranging another splendid Shankers day and to Captain Faldo Peter Bothwick for supporting the event under painful circumstances . A small profit of £60 on the day will be added to the PICT coffers.
Commodore Bob Green.