My final Inside Right insert – which I am actually going to miss writing in future, but am looking forward to sitting back and reading the next 12 issues in the comfort of my lounger, with no input. It has been three and a half years as part of the executive committee of Gauteng Nomads. I am now looking forward to my new role as immediate past Captain and club liaison. The new badge has been placed on my jacket in its rightful position and it is one that I will wear with pride and very fond memories.
The AGM is a thing of the past and congratulations to Barry Bruton, Sean Ledden and Graham Swallow on your appointments. I hope that you all enjoy the experience as much as I did. For the final time, thanks to all the members for their support during the year and to my committee, for their dedication and sacrifice of personal time during my term. I enjoyed working with each and every one of you. Thank you to all the members for the kind words and support after Gold Cup at Glendower, it is really appreciated. In particular to Paul Isaac, Riki Corthouts, Larry Bredenkamp, Brian Cusins, Mike Hendricks, Mike Rickhoff, Colin Nicholls and Alec and Verena Saunders, for what you said that evening, it won’t be forgotten and is much appreciated.
What a year it has been and there were many highlights. I inducted eleven new Nomads, one transfer and one re-induction. 20 year ties to Malcolm Sheppard, Dereck Cuthbert, Les Coetzee and Grant Cochrane. 25 year ties to Dave Stevens and Mike Olive. 30 year ties to Heinz Walter and Roy Mentis. 45 year ties to Rob Hoar and Ken Blake. 300 game badges to Heinz Walter and Ken Jacques. A 350 game badge to John Welsh and 450 game badges to David Brown and Brian Burns. A 40 pointer at Royal, winning the Langham Edward and Drakensburg Cup and re-claiming the Captains Cup. The most important of them all, was not having to read the creed for those for whom the Bell has tolled.
Gold Cup was once again hosted at Glendower and with all the distractions as Captain, it was not a good day on the golf course for me. Having qualified for Gold Cup, my chances of winning were over by the 5th hole, after having amassed a total of two points. The golf course was in superb condition and is a true test of your golf ability. To my fourball, Miguel Cardoso (Captain of Glendower and a Nomad), Ian Bradley (past treasurer) and Dave Tunbridge (current equipment officer), thanks for joining me and apologies for having to witness all those shots. We had a magnificent turnout, with 8 morning players and 140 in the afternoon. Gold Cup is the most important game on the calendar and the numbers certainly reflect this. I still believe that it should be moved back to December and have raised the issue at National level. It remains on the agenda for Barry and his co-Captain’s to take forward at future National Management Meetings. The importance of the event was further highlighted by having our National Chairman, Vic Hall as well as our National Vice Chairman, Alten Hulme also present on the day. Vic had the privilege of inducting a third generation Nomad in Kyle Germs and we also welcomed Erik Van Der Merwe and David Atkinson.
That’s it from me – cheers
The end of my year is fast approaching. I have attended my last committee meeting as Captain and from our next meeting, Barry will be in the chair. We are working on securing committee members to replace those who are leaving and to arrange a seamless handover of portfolios. I still have an AGM to attend, one last game and my final Inside Right insert for Kyalami.
March was a busy month, with SA Nationals and two monthly games and then throw in a multitude of public holidays. We once again played Houghton, which we re-introduced onto our playing calendar last year February. Last year we had 143 players, so one would assume that it was well received and very popular. It is the most expensive game on our playing calendar and unfortunately it seems that all the activities in March took their toll on our field. We only managed a field of 91, with the result that the per member game cost came in at R277. You don’t have to be an accountant to realise we made a loss. Notwithstanding the financial implications, I thought the condition of the course was excellent, albeit very tough. The rough was like Sun City, the greens were quicker than the 2004 US Open at Shinnecock and it felt longer than Legends Golf Course in the Waterberg, (at 8,473 yards, second longest in the world after Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in China). It certainly showed in the scores with the field average a meagre 26.5. Thanks to my fourball, Des Rosen, Captain at Houghton, David Gibb and Graham Swallow (who took 6 holes before he saw his first point). The course set up for all future games is an issue that has been identified and with my new role as club liaison, it will be addressed. In front of a packed house of 66 members, I had the privilege of presenting a 5 year tie to David Sibiya and a 15 year tie to Garth Elliott. Also, thanks to Pops for a well conducted fines session.
A week later and off to Wanderers for our rescheduled game. Unfortunately the Club could only accommodate us on the 23rd, right in the middle of the short week. That too played havoc with our arrangements and size of the field. Thanks to Bev who managed to arrange a very successful day under the circumstances. A special mention to Dave Tunbridge, who could not play, but still found the time to set up the altar and have everything ready for the 66 members who attended. With a small field of 90 (that’s not a typing error), we finally completed game 11. Thanks to my fourball, Gavin Ditchfield, Bob Fussell (who received his 10 year tie) and Grant Cochrane (who received his 20 year tie). I learnt a few things that day, a rules lesson from Bob, your double Gin and Coke will be waiting for you, a golf lesson from Gavin, I’ve already paid you and a history lesson from Grant, whose Father, Roy, was inducted into Nomads in April 1967 and is currently a Western Province Nomad. It was also nice to see a return to the fines master role by Mike Rickhoff, another entertaining session.
Lastly, congratulations to both Richard and Julie Moore, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on 26 March.
Cheers – see you at Kyalami
NATIONALS REPORT – LOERIE NATIONALS 2016 – KNYSNA GC
After having attended the National Council Meeting on the Saturday, we were ready to kick off the tournament at Knysna Golf Club with flag raising at 18h00. The drought being experienced in the Southern Cape was quickly ended by talk of a National Tournament being held in the area. Flag raising over the last few years has traditionally been conducted in the rain and 2016 was no different. Notwithstanding the conditions, it was a privilege to raise the Gauteng flag to our National anthem.
I would like to thank Michael Payne on a well organised event. I was responsible for the 2012 and 2013 Nationals and can attest to the amount of administration involved in getting 39 players to the tournament. I can also recall the frustration when you open your inbox and are greeted by the words, “unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I will not be able to attend this year’s tournament and will have to withdraw. By the way, when can I expect my refund.” After having received several of those, we managed to field 35 players of our allotted 39. As a consequence, our allocation for Nelspruit will be around 36 players. With three automatic qualifiers and two Captain’s picks and considering the proximity of the tournament I would suggest that when the entries are released later this year you enter immediately. Congratulations to Alec Saunders who played in his 44th National tournament and to Jimmy Sales who was playing his 45th consecutive Nationals.
There was consensus that the glory bag handed to each player on registration was one of the best we have seen. The bag and its content were sponsored by Southern Cape Nomad, Braam Van Huyssteen (the owner of Tekkie Town). It is difficult to explain the amount of work and sponsorship involved in arranging a tournament of this size and the attention to detail from Flats and his team was unbelievable.
Sunday was a superb day for golf and the weather held out for the day. The conditions were reflected in the scoring with most of guys scoring in excess of 30 points. Pino Gerin managed our highest at 36, with 35 from Terry White and 34 from Sean Ledden. I was only due to tee off on Monday morning and that’s when the rain started. I managed 9 holes in the pouring rain and wind and finally the misery was over with the morning play being suspended and the afternoon field being cancelled and given 28 points. With the 3 hole scoring system being used for the morning, the field scores were terrible. John Brewin and his partner won best playing pair on 57 points. Tuesday was another good day for golf and our round two winner was Glen Dalton on 35 points. After round one we were 6th in the Bert Hunt and slipped to 7th after round two.
Every evening is hosted by one of our National sponsors and some interesting statistics were mentioned. Imperial thanked Nomads for the 250 vehicles which had been purchased during the year. Europcar and Tempest were seeing good increases in usage through Nomads. Please remember to use the link on our website to book your vehicles. Glenbrynth mentioned that SA was the 8th biggest whisky market in the world (7th after Nationals).
Wednesday and Thursday were both good golfing days. Day 3 honours being shared between Glen Dalton, Dawid Ferreira and Sean Ledden on 35 points. After the third round Gauteng had slipped further down the standings to 11th. There was a genuine chance of us being 12th come Friday evening. With the week starting to take its toll on the guys, our cause was not helped by four scores of 20 and less. Sean Ledden (20), Sheldon Botha (19), Jamie Gowans (17) and Nic Du Toit (17). As it turned out, a 37 from Pat Frampton, 34’s from myself and Alec Saunders and a couple of 30 plus from some others, we managed to move up to 10th overall at the close of the tournament.
Finally – thanks to each and every player for your participation, support and attendance at prize-giving. What a great bunch of guys to tour with. To the wives that attended, I hope that you all enjoyed the week and will join us again at Nelspruit.
My apologies for the disjointed nature of this article, but after the Wanderers game having been washed out, we have had to improvise due to time constraints in getting the magazine printed in time. I can now see why the 3 hole rule was introduced into the Nomads system. One has to try everything to make sure that everybody completes 3 holes on the day and to avoid having to replay the monthly game. I am sure that you will all agree that the lightning siren was premature at Wanderers, which seemed to detect lighting over Heidelberg. Unfortunately we are obliged to obey the siren and to complete the hole which you are playing and to then stop play. I was relieved to see the rain finally arrive an hour and a half after the siren went off. I don’t recall ever being washed out without a drop of rain. To Garth Elliott, Trevor Baillie and Dean Redelinghuys of Wanderers, I really enjoyed the walk down the first hole.
On 5 March Barry, Sean and I attended the 51st National Council Meeting held in Knysna. I will not detail what was discussed and resolved over the 7 hours but will highlight some of the points of interest raised in the various reports and discussed at the Captain’s meeting. A well-deserved congratulations extended by the National Chairman to Bev Du Toit on her efficient handling of the Golforama portfolio over the three major tournaments, in the first two months of the year. It was determined that 3400 hours have been spent on Golforama duties since 1 January. The appointment of Ken Walker as National Co-ordinator for the 2018 Nationals, hosted by Western Province. From the 2017 Nationals onwards, the Captain, VC and JVC will automatically qualify for Nationals, irrespective of their playing record. The current SA Nomads membership is 1644, down from 1747 in January 2015. Gauteng remains the largest club with 209 members and unfortunately shares the honours with Western Province as having the oldest average age of 59.6. The National average is 56.6. Konica Minolta have been introduced as our 8th National sponsor. An interesting discussion point was that of revising the current Nomads handicap system. This will be looked at more carefully and the suggestion is to adapt the scoring system to rather account for the average scoring on the day, as opposed to the rather rigid 28 to 32 points system.
For those of you that like to plan ahead, we have received dates of upcoming events and they are as follows: Zimbabwe Nationals will be played at Chapman Golf Club in Harare from 1 to 3 May. Botswana Nationals will play both rounds at Phakalani this year from 8 to 10 September. Royal Swazi will once again play host to the 4th Swaziland Nationals in October. Lowveld will celebrate their 20th anniversary at White River from 23 to 25 September. The inauguration game for Zambia Nomads will take place on Sunday 19 June.
Cheers – see you at Glendower
The beginning of the year on a Nomads calendar is very quiet. It seems as though the year only really starts in earnest from March. There is however one tournament arranged during this time and that is the Captain’s Cup. The event was introduced by Spero Marinaki and Robbie Hillhouse during their Captaincy in 2014. This will be the third time the event is being played between the 20 man teams fielded from both Gauteng and Easterns. This year it will again be hosted by Gauteng and the results to date are one each. The format is the traditional Ryder Cup format played over 3 rounds – fourballs on Saturday afternoon at Eagle Canyon, foursomes on Sunday morning on Bushwillow and finally the singles on Sunday afternoon at Firethorn. I have been fortunate to play in both the previous events and have been hard at work arranging the event for this year. It is not a random team selection and should you wish to participate next year, either win the main GPKO or the plate. If that is not possible, the highest average scores over the preceding 2 years will probably be sufficient. If you are unable to rely on your golfing abilities, then join the committee. It is an excellent competition and certainly one worth striving for. I will display the trophy at our next game, once it has been returned to Gauteng.
Speaking of excellent events – my personal favourite and the one I look forward to most – the South African National Tournament. This will be the 51st event and is to be hosted by Southern Cape at the Knysna Golf Club. My thanks to our co-ordinator, Mike Payne, for all his hard work in arranging, accommodation, transport, tee times, special requests, kit and having the patience to deal with all the late withdrawals. Good luck to our contingent of 38 players and I trust that our more experienced campaigners will teach our debutants the spirit of Nationals and show them the route to the much anticipated Cowboy bar. Please remember that Gauteng will host the final prize-giving on Friday evening and you are requested to please attend, whether you are playing on Friday or not.
The monthly game at Glenvista in January was well supported by 117 players and just under 100 at prize-giving. I think the increased support was due to the first game of the year being played later in January and playing the course in summer, as opposed to the traditional dry conditions in July. I have had nothing but positive feedback on the condition of the course and change of the date in our playing calendar. With an average of 28.1 for the day, it appears that the summer conditions make the course a good test of golf. Unfortunately the Captain was unable to join us on the day and the junior golf pledge was handed to Gavin Ditchfield, as a member of Glenvista. I had a most enjoyable day with Dave Stevens (who received his 25 year tie). My thanks again to Dave, who has been a long time sponsor of our best playing fourball winners and has once again confirmed that he will continue that sponsorship with Smith Power Equipment. Tony Pacheco (who received his 15 year tie) partnered Dave and managed a narrow win over myself and Norman Leys. Thanks to Norman who too, has been a long time sponsor of our best playing pair.
I also had the privilege of handing a 25 year tie to Mike Olive, a 20 year tie to Les Coetzee and a 300 game badge to Heinz Walter. We welcomed back Dick Van Assen to Gauteng and inducted Filip Brezovic that evening.
Cheers – see you at Houghton