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Captain Shouts Fore

Compliments of the season to all Nomads and may 2016 be a prosperous one. Even though the country may experience significant headwinds this year, myself and the committee will continue to try and make the Nomads experience an enjoyable and affordable one. Thankfully our budget is not priced in foreign currency, although those travelling to Botswana and Zimbabwe Nationals later in the year may need to make extra provision. The nominations for the committee have opened for 2016 and I trust that Barry will make his appointments with more consideration than those used in appointing our recent finance minister. On the topic of finance, please remember that your subs are due by the end of January.

Having returned from another December holiday on the Natal South Coast, which was spent relaxing and playing some golf, with what seemed to be the entire Gauteng committee, as well as several Gauteng Nomads. For those of you wishing to experience a 20 day Nationals, played over various courses, you are welcome to join us in 2016. Book early as places are limited. Thanks to both Doug Watson and John Brewin for arranging all the golf. I would be surprised to learn of another Club in SA where the Captain, Vice-Captain and JVC were all together on New Year’s eve.

For those of you that attended our Xmas Cup and 55th anniversary, I am sure that you will agree it was a massive success. To both Bev and Spero and all those who assisted on the day, once again a huge thanks for all the effort in making it a success. I had the privilege of playing with our National Chairman, Gary Rodwell, one of Nomads greatest ambassadors and both National and local sponsor, Antonio Rossetti as well as our National Co-ordinator Michael Payne. As a member of Randpark, it is always a pleasure to welcome guests to the Club and I am always confident that they will enjoy both the golf course and the facilities the Club has to offer. We had a massive turnout with 20 players in the morning and an afternoon field of 144. The dinner was well supported with almost 200 meals served that evening. My apologies to those that have complained about the noise and disruptions at prize-giving, we are aware of it and it is being addressed. Congratulations to Brian Burns who was awarded his 450 game badge. I did approach Brian to play in my fourball, but I think watching him arrive on the18th green with 3 gentlemen that he had proposed (Tony Luyt, Brian Bolton and Cyril Ferrar) was a memorable experience for all of us. I also had the pleasure of presenting Bev Du Toit with her 15 year award and Roy Mentis with his 30 year tie. Thanks to Roy who managed to not only have his Father Andrew attend the evening, but also to say a few words. I am sure we are all aware of what Andrew Mentis has contributed to Nomads over the 55 years. Finally, we welcome Dave Marsden to Gauteng.

See you at Wanderers

Graham Bishop

As the 51st Gauteng Nomads Captain, it is my honour to welcome and host everybody at this 55th Anniversary game, on the newly revamped Firethorn Golf Course. All of us Randpark Nomads are hoping to one day do Golforama duties at an SA Open here at Firethorn. To our current National Chairman, Gary Rodwell and those members of the National Executive present, as well as our Honorary Life members, past National Chairmen, past and current Captain’s and members, visitors and guests, it is a privilege to have you all present at this milestone.

I have received apologies from both Brian Cusins (who is celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary today with Noreen) and Arthur Ferneyhough (who is unable to attend, but did confirm to me on the telephone, that he is proudly wearing his 55 year tie). It is also great to see – one of our Founder members, Andrew Mentis, two of our Honorary Life members, who are still playing every monthly game (Doug Watson and Alec Saunders), our past National Chairmen (Doug, Alec and Glen Dalton) and all the past Gauteng Captain’s, sixteen of whom are playing today. On behalf of Gauteng I would like to thank all the past Captain’s and committees for what they have contributed over the last five decades. A special thanks to our 55th co-ordinator, Spero Marinaki, for all his hard work in putting this event together. Thanks to all our National sponsors, in particular Antonio Rossetti from SAB, for all they contribute during the year, as well as our local sponsors, who continue to donate prizes and funds every month. Without sponsorship for an occasion like this it would not be possible and we have once again been fortunate to receive a substantial contribution from Joe De Klerk (Cellsure) for the suit covers. We were also fortunate to have Saul Van Greunen (Hyundai Cresta) donate funds towards the costs of the day. Last but certainly not least to Bev Du Toit who has done an exceptional amount of work in assisting Spero with all the arrangements for today. I trust that everybody will enjoy the day and join us this evening in celebrating this occasion.

Since my last insert, we sent a contingent of 23 players to the 3rd Swaziland Nationals. This is an exceptionally well organised tournament, played over two rounds at Royal Swazi. As a result of its affordability, proximity, quality of food and venue, condition of the golf course and the best positioned cowboy bar on our calendar, there is no problem getting entries to the tournament. It appears that our biggest problem in future will be deciding on the qualification criteria for entry. Congratulations to Theo Mason and Mervyn Lubbe on another memorable Nationals. It always seems that where a tournament is played at a venue which offers accommodation on the course, the enjoyment and camaraderie is more evident.

Our November game was played at Germiston with a field of 104. The Germiston game is usually played with either the rain falling or evidence of it having rained recently. This year was an exception and Johannesburg is in desperate need of some rain. Under the dry conditions the scores were good which were helped by excellent greens. Thanks to my playing fourball, Gavin Marshall (Vice-Captain), Andrew Souris (on receiving his 10 year tie) and Les Coetzee (who apologised on not being able to stay to receive his 20 year tie). Congratulation to Tyron Zaaiman who had the honour of collecting his 5 year tie and not too long after that the matchbox. Welcome to Grant Hawkins who was inducted that evening.

The 120th National Management Meeting was held in Cape Town on 7 November as part of the Western Province 50th Anniversary. I was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting but did fly in early Sunday morning to play in the game at Milnerton. Thanks to Spero for representing me at the meeting. By all accounts the meeting went well with not much to report back on. The two notable decisions were, to reduce the National Management Meetings to one per year and to scrap the qualification criteria of games played, for SA Nationals. Unfortunately for those who are reading this and have not entered for Knysna, entries have closed. We have 46 entries for our allotted 39 spots. According to the Gauteng members who attended the anniversary dinner it was a well organised and an enjoyable evening. The Milnerton golf course on the Sunday was in superb condition, with very little wind for Cape Town standards. Congratulations to Gavin Scott on a great anniversary.

Finally – as this is also our annual X-mas Cup one is reminded that the year is almost over and all that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – travel safe and see a lot of you on the Natal South Coast. If not, see you all at Glenvista on Thursday 21 January 2016.

Graham Bishop

At this time of the year the Nomads games come thick and fast, as does my responsibility of writing this article and getting it out in time to go to print. Even though the time between this and my previous article is shorter than usual, the activities have certainly not diminished. Subsequent to my last insert, we travelled to the Lowveld for the annual Quadrangular. It is hard to believe that it was my sixth visit to this event. It has become tradition to travel up on Friday and meet all the players in Nelspruit for welcome drinks, before the competition gets underway. It has also become tradition to stay at the Karula Hotel in White River. It is always a more enjoyable experience when the entire team are staying together. To all the Gauteng Nomads and their spouses who made the trip, I am sure that everybody enjoyed it once again. Unfortunately the result on Saturday at Nelspruit did not go our way, with us finishing fourth, just outside the medals. The Sunday morning we all participated in their monthly game, which comfortably doubled their average playing field. For those who are not aware, the 2017 Nationals will be hosted in the Lowveld, the course however is yet to be decided. Thanks to Mossie for arranging the weekend and to Brian Springorum and my fellow Captain, Neville Blum for all their effort.

Shortly after our return, it was off to Ruimsig for our monthly game. Unfortunately we had a terrible playing field of 98 Nomads, our lowest turnout year to date. That is 22 players less than we had at the same course in same month last year. There is no doubt that with these numbers, we will have to consider an increase in playing fees and/or annual subscriptions. Thanks to my playing fourball, Kevin Strydom (Ruimsig Captain), James Luyt (on receiving his 15 year tie) and Rob Hoar (who travelled up from Port Alfred to receive his 45 year tie). Congratulations to Ken Jacques on his 300 game badge and to Pino Gerin who was there in person for his 100 game badge. I also had the privilege of presenting Roz Lewis-Williams with her 30 year service award to Nomads. Roz has not been well of late and has decided that she is no longer in a position to assist us at our registration table. We all wish her well and on behalf of Gauteng Nomads I would like to thank her for all her assistance over many years.

On Sunday evening 18 October I attended the prize-giving at the annual Gauteng Nomads Inter-Club competition, played at Eagle Canyon. The entire event is sponsored by Gauteng, with the assistance of Central Gauteng Golf Union. Thanks to Andy Truluck from CGGU and our own Eugene Marx, who continue to arrange and run these junior tournaments. On the day there were 14 teams of 8 players from most of the clubs in Gauteng, with Modderfontein having entered three sides. Congratulations to Ruimsig on winning the event and as a result, they will host it next year. The funding for these junior events is derived from our Furtherance of Golf revenue, which in turn we receive for Golforama duties. We urge all Gauteng Nomads to participate in Golforama and to assist Bev by giving up a day or two of your time for the upcoming SA Open and Joburg Open in January. It is great to see that the revenue is being used to promote junior golf in South Africa, which is after all, is one of the main objectives of Nomads.

See you at the next game and post-game function.

Graham Bishop

This is already my sixth Inside Right insert and I am officially half way through my year as Captain. The committee continues to meet on the Monday evening after every game to analyse the current affairs of the club and to also plan our upcoming events. I would like thank each of the committee for their work and input so far, it is much appreciated and the Gauteng club is in a sound position, both financially and in respect of membership. In particular, I would like to thank Andrew Mostert, who has been arranging all our away tours, with only two remaining this year. Also to Mike Payne, who stepped in after Sean was elected as JVC. Mike has been extremely busy with arranging the Swaziland Nationals in October and the Southern Cape Nationals entry form has just come out, so that will keep him occupied for the next couple of months. Also to Spero Marinaki, who volunteered to be our 55th Anniversary co-ordinator. Spero and I have been working closely together on this event and it promises to be a successful one.

On the subject of the 55th Anniversary – the anniversary takes place at our monthly game on 20 November and entries will be sent out shortly, which will differ from the traditional game entry form. Please remember that we have invited Nomads from around the country, as well as the International Clubs. We will also be hosting the Club Captain’s from all our local clubs at which we play our monthly games. This initiative was introduced last year and replaces the old traditional Captain’s Dinner. As a consequence of these potential attendees there will not be any guests invited to the day. I also urge each of you to enter as soon as you receive the entry form as we will have limited space available in the field.

We played our monthly game at Reading in September and thanks to – Todd Young (Captain), Mark Rondi (who received his 15 year tie) and Sid Rickhoff (our club secretary who continues to work hard in the background compiling the agenda, minutes and wading through all the correspondence circulated between the clubs) – for joining me on the day. We had a rather poor attendance with only 108 players and over 30 of those having paid to go. It sounds as though a rumor went around that Reading had seven temporary greens and as a result our numbers declined. The reality is that there was only one temporary green. I thought that under the circumstances and with Joburg Water having laid a pipe through the course it was in good condition. These are the courses where we receive our best playing rates and we use that revenue to offset the losses we incur at the more expensive courses. If we increase our playing numbers at these courses, it may be possible to maintain our current playing fees for next year. Please make every effort to enter for Germiston on 5 November.

At Reading we also introduced the new Gross Score Input System. Gauteng undertook to try the system first, with the assistance of Bruce Richards and if successful, to roll it out nationally. My thanks to both Bev and Wilma who captured all the scores and only found one score card error. As a result, the system will now be implemented nationally. Please remember that this new system only affects you if your CLUB handicap is higher than 18.

See you at the next game and post-game function.

Graham Bishop

I suspect that in April next year, when my final report is due and I have to look back and reflect on the highlights of my Captaincy, the month of August 2015 will certainly stand out. There will be two reasons for that, the trophies at both Drakensburg Cup and Langham Edward and my 40 points at Royal.

On 14 August fourteen of us gathered at Sica’s Guest House in Berea (owned and managed by Natal Vice-Captain, Janus Horn). He put on a great spread and we were treated to free drinks by the Natal Captain, John Elliott. Early Saturday morning tee off at Royal Durban against Southern Natal and Natal. What a pleasure it was to receive the Drakensburg Cup trophy on behalf of Gauteng. As history will show, it is not easy to beat those guys at their home track in the wind. Sunday morning and off to Cotswold Downs to compete for the oldest inter club competition in Nomads, the Langham Edward Trophy. The course was set up like the final round at the US Open and the greens were as slick as some of our Joburg winter greens. The conditions must have favoured Gauteng as we won the trophy, which hasn’t been done since 2006. I do not have the statistics but would has it a guess that the Durban double has not been done for years. My thanks and congratulations to those Gauteng Nomads that made the trip a memorable one.

We have so many great golf courses in Johannesburg and Royal Johannesburg & Kensington is no exception. We have in the past seemed to play the East course with monotonous regularity and a change to the West course seemed a good idea. As it turns out it was an inspired change and achieving a silver salver as Gauteng Captain will not be forgotten. In 2013 I needed a birdie up the 18th at CMR for 40 points and made the putt and once again at Royal needed another birdie up 18 for 40 and made the putt. My thanks to the Vice-Captain of Royal, Nigel Sand, our soon to be new National Imperial sponsor member, Jeremy Lumley and Heinz Walter, who received his 30 year tie that day, for joining me at the game. Even though Heinz and I were opposition that day, he is a 30 year Nomad and I could hear him willing in that putt on the last.

After the game and at the very poorly attended prize-giving (37 players paid to go in a field of 128) I had the privilege of inducting a long-time friend and colleague, Russell James. For the handful of members there, you will have noticed that we have adopted a new induction format. In future the inductee will be presented with his jacket and tie on the evening he is inducted. We have intentionally requested the inductee to not wear a jacket at prize-giving so the members can identify those persons being inducted that evening.

Consistent non-attendance at prize-giving is being recorded. If you have a valid reason for not being able to attend, be it medical or otherwise, you are to inform the Captain of the reason. I leave you with another extract from my Captain’s report –

I believe that the term “prize-giving” is an inaccurate description of what takes place after any Nomads game ……. attendance at the post-game function should be compulsory and is required to remain informed about Nomadic activities, pay your respects to those for whom the bell has tolled, welcome newly inducted Nomads and give recognition to those Nomads who have achieved awards over many years of service and to acknowledge both National and local sponsors.”      

See you at the next game and post-game function.

Graham Bishop