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