The second game of the year and by my account some very difficult but enjoyable greens at Bryanston Country Club. On a cold and blustery day the scores were not of the Silver Salver variety. Bryanston Country Club certainly has spent a lot of money on their Clubhouse and surrounds and it looks great, but it is an expensive venue and so may not be on the Calendar for next year’s games, as we need to reign in the costs of a game of golf.
The Andrew Mentis Rugby Day is to be held at Ellis Park on the 25th of July and is a sell- out. We are trying to organise more tickets for those Johnny-come-lately’s who still want to attend. The day should be as good as previous years although it may be colder than last year, so bring warm clothing. We have an Eastern’s and Northern’s contingent joining us as they did last year, so lots of fun to be had by all.
The Andrew Mentis fund raising is going well and the chosen beneficiary of the initiative is Prim Villa, a home for the elderly specialising in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia. We will be adding onto their therapeutic, tactile room. For those of you that are interested you can visit their website on www.mha.co.za/primvilla_mha.php
I realise that the Andrew Mentis committee asks a lot of the membership with regard to the fund raising efforts, and we really appreciate all the draws the Nomads do support, but I would like to ask for a final push with regards to the Lotto Draw. There are just a few tickets left so please speak to Mossie if you would like to support this draw and maybe win a cash prize of 3000 good South African Rands. Both the last 2 draws were won with numbers that weren’t sold!
Finally – the last two games have intentionally been raffle free, however, this is soon to change. We will be doing another Taylor Made draw, to be drawn at the Andrew Mentis Golf Day at Modderfontein on 4 September.
Well I managed to avoid the match box at Kyalami at my first monthly game as VC, which is a plus because as JVC at my first game I made 18 points off a 13 at Glendower, not so good.
It may be the starting duties and the Whisky table, but more likely I just can’t play golf very well. Anyway I would like to thank all those individuals who assisted me over the last 12 games with the starting duties. A particular thank you to Tony Shaw and the Ladies. Also to Hennie Ehlers who due to an operation has been starting the last four games, Hennie has had his operation re-done and is now on the mend. The Rickhoff’s Sid and Mike who were always there for me, and all the other starters that have done duty, we have used mostly new Nomads where possible so that they can get to know the other, older Nomads . To our new Junior Vice-Captain Sean Leaden, good luck and enjoy it, if you need any help phone life-line. No only joking, phone me anytime you need help in your year as JVC.
A new challenge awaits this year and that is the responsibility of selecting a worthy charity, collecting funds on their behalf and appropriately distributing those funds. I have already submitted my charities for approval by The Andrew Mentis Nomads Foundation and will share these with you once I receive official correspondence. The delay in having the charities approved has not halted our fund raising efforts and we have already sold out our Whisky draw tickets. The first Taylor-Made raffle is done and was won by Graham Duggie, congratulations to Graham. We still have a number of tickets left in the Lotto Draw, guys we need your support on this one. To all the members who continue to support these fund raising efforts, month in and month out, we really do appreciate the donations.
I have not had an opportunity at a monthly game to introduce my new Andrew Mentis committee, so here they are. Darren Holm, Graham Bishop, John Brewin, Sean Ledden, Andrew Mostert and Tyron Zaaiman. We have also received some informal undertakings by members who are willing to assist where needed. Thank you to those who have put up their hands and I trust we will have a rewarding year and one that is beneficial to our charities.
The Gauteng Nomads Annual General Meeting was held at Randpark Golf Club on 3 March 2015. Fortunately it appears that election of the Captain is a mere formality. Thanks to all the members who made the effort to attend this year’s AGM. If you didn’t enjoy the drinks bought by the new Executive, at least you managed to get a point towards the 51st South African Nationals, hosted by Southern Cape and to be played at Knysna Golf Club from 5 to 12 March 2016 and to be known as “The Loerie Nationals”.
I would like to congratulate both Barry Bruton and Sean Ledden on their election to the positions of Vice-Captain and Junior Vice-Captain respectively. I am looking forward to working with the team, in maintaining what has been a great spirit created by both Darren and Spero before me. For those of you that did not manage to obtain that Nationals point, I mentioned (in my very brief speech), that the main focus will be firstly, to act in the best interests of Gauteng Nomads at all times and secondly, to try and maintain our current playing fees by using all the local clubs and increasing our sponsorship revenue. When I started playing golf as a youngster my Father taught me, that the most important thing in golf is not, keeping your head down or getting the correct equipment but rather to buy your fourball a drink after the game and stay for prize-giving. We now, thanks to Bruce Richards, have the ability to track those who continually “pay to go”. This will continue to be monitored and I believe that additional Nationals credits should be awarded to those who stay. The new committee will be introduced at Gold Cup at Glendower on 17 April.
Within a couple of days of being elected, I was asked to attend the Central Gauteng Junior Golf Awards Dinner at Bryanston Country Club. Even though I have served on the committee for several years, this is a part of Nomads that I had not been exposed to. What a wonderful evening hosted by Central Gauteng and in particular Bill Swailes. Nomads received several mentions on the evening and it is pleasing to see that our funds are being allocated appropriately and the junior recipients of those funds are enjoying huge success as a result. It was however disconcerting to find Devi Sankaree Govender (the Carte Blanche presenter) in the audience, who fortunately was there to see her daughter receive several awards and not to investigate the misappropriation of funds.
I can’t believe that this is my tenth article as Vice-Captain. With the AGM around the corner it won’t be long before my Captaincy actually starts. In preparation, I have already started approaching the existing committee to ensure that they are willing to remain on and to assist running the club for another year. You will be pleased to know that we aren’t expecting many changes. With Barry and Sean both having to assume their new roles, I have fortunately managed to fill their existing portfolios and will introduce their replacements in due course. This does not mean that we do not require any additional assistance with the year ahead. If there are any existing members who would be interested in becoming more involved in the organisation of our club, please let me know and I am sure that we can accommodate you.
For those of you who did not play at Wanderers or did not attend prize-giving, I discussed the dress code for foreign Nationals (not those illegals crossing our borders) but rather the Nationals at which we represent South Africa. Our first away Nationals will be in Zimbabwe from 1 May 2015. It has been reduced to a three day tournament with flag raising on the Friday evening and day one being Saturday. The tournament is being played in Bulawayo and historically we have not had a very good response. Let’s hope that the shorter tournament will attract more interest. The official attire for the tournament is dark blue trousers with a white SA shirt. The new shirt is an Ashworth design which includes the South African flag. Any old shirts must be replaced with the new design. In addition, we are trying to arrange that our names be embroidered onto our playing shirts, in the same way that the foreign clubs have done. Should you be interested in entering either Zimbabwe or the other away Nationals, Botswana (9 to 12 July) or Swaziland (22 to 24 October), please contact me so that I can arrange sizes and embroidery.
We have also had our first Andrew Mentis committee meeting for the year. Barry has as yet not selected his charity, but plans are well under way to organise our fund raising initiatives for the upcoming 12 months. The first major event will be held on 25 July 2015. This will once again be the SA vs NZ rugby game at Ellis Park. We have already reserved tickets, the same venue and the transport. The official ticket price and cost is not yet known, but please diarise this date and support a very enjoyable day.
It is always a pleasure to play at Bryanston and with all the upgrades to their facilities it is a top Johannesburg golf experience. It was a good venue to receive my 5 year tie, with our JVC, Barry Bruton. The next time we play Bryanston I will be Captain and that also means that I get to tee off on the stroke 18 par five first hole, as opposed to the stroke 1 par four tenth hole, measuring 444 metres. I can’t recall ever managing a point on that hole. One of the responsibilities of the incoming Captain is the selection of our 12 courses for the year, starting in May. In an attempt to give clubs the opportunity to also show off their course, in the summer months, I have moved a couple of games around. You will see that we are back at Bryanston in June and in January 2016, Glenvista will host us in summer.
While we appreciate what all our National sponsors do for Nomads, there is an interesting competition on the go at the moment. Tempest has sponsored a national competition that has been running since May 2014. In brief, it is played over the calender year and at every game. All twelve South African clubs participate and it is run in a knockout format. So you would be drawn against a Nomad from Natal for example and each of your scores would be entered onto the system. The winner of that match would be the player who has fared better against the average of the field at his game on the day. For example, the field average for Gauteng is 27 for the day and I score 28 it’s +1. The Natal player scores 28 with a field average of 28 it’s 0 and I go through to the next round. If you would like to see whether you are still in the competition log onto the national website, click the sponsors tab and then under Tempest you will see the knockout spreadsheet. There are great prizes on offer and the final will be played at Gold Cup. The entry fee is only R20 and will open again at the March and April games for the next year’s competition.
On the Andrew Mentis charity side, I have received the letter of thanks below from St Laurence’s Children’s Haven. Many thanks to all of you who contributed during the year. Thank you letter – St Laurence’s – Jan 2015