Again I will start with a non golf related topic and a sad one at that. One of our members Dave New recently passed away after a fight against cancer. Dave had been a member of Alton Golf Club for many years but moved away and only recently came back to join us. I am sure all our thoughts, sympathy and best wishes are with Dave’s family and friends. His funeral is on Tuesday 12th September (11:00) at the Basingstoke Crematorium and the club has sent flowers and one of our members and one of his great friends, Graham Bishton, will do the eulogy.

On a happier note we had our first home juniors match for a while against Dummer which we won 2-1. We also had our junior club championship on Monday 21st August with 5 taking part and our new junior club champion is Patrick Harris, well played Patrick and also thanks to Stuart and Nick for organising these events and those who accompanied the juniors during the round.

On the course we are closing the course on Monday 18th September for essential greens work. We will be hollow tining the greens and if you can spare some time please come up on Monday and give us a hand with the work. It is not to heavy work but will exercise a few muscles. I see already we have a number on the list.

You may also notice the 8th tee with its new turf. We are giving it some time to bed in so you need to be patient. I mentioned last month about the new path for buggies on the 4th to get up the hill in wet conditions. It is now in use and works well. I had hoped it would be an easier walk up the hill but having tried it once I will not be doing it again. We have put some sand in the bunkers and contrary to some member’s misinformation it is bunker sand and not builder’s sand.

We hoped to have a new fence out in front of the clubhouse by now but Malcolm Mortara took ill which has delayed things a bit. Posts are now being painted and the fence is due to be erected next Saturday. Thanks to Dave Paterson who has sourced and painted the fence and the team of strong men who are going to install the fence. He did not even invite me as he thought I was too old and weak! You may also notice a pot hole as you drive into the club. Well we have that in hand and one of our members, Simon Davey, who has experience of that sort of thing, and will repair that for us in the next week or so.

As most of you will know there was a proposed golf studio to be built on the overflow car park. This has suffered with many delays and will now not happen. There will be a separate communication on this matter but in summary a suitable lease agreement could not be agreed and it is not financially viable for the proposed occupier.

We are soon to rent out the bungalow to a private tenant. He is a local plasterer and if you see him around then please give him a warm Alton Golf Club welcome. Again, a member is spreading a rumour we have done this illegally. This is not the case and we applied and were granted a change of use of the bungalow. This will be a useful income to the club. We have also rented out the old pro shop to Roger Wolfe of Yumax for a year so again some good income to the club.

Regrettably, we have had to cancel the Phoenix Trophy. We had discussed this event almost 2 years ago whether the work involved was worth the pay back. It is the vice captains job to organise this event and I wanted to give it a try in my vice captains year and worked really hard as I said in my email on this topic. However, the bottom line was one club entered teams due to personal contacts and one past Captain from Worldham took part. There wa, however, good support from the members, with many bringing guests. This year, there were 5 teams entered and one of those cancelled so I decided to cancel the event. A few members have commented on the cancellation but I observe none of them had entered a team. Finally, on these type of events, the club gets lots of these through the post for other clubs and some are put on the notice board but I would be surprised if many took advantage and supported those events. I have observed the successful ones involve Captains and Vice Captains and can only surmise that this is due to it being a one/two year commitment.

On the playing side the seniors cup was won by Andy Trimmer with a great score of 41 points, are you sure you are a senior Andy? Runner up was Rob Keogh with 39 points a great score of a handicap of 6. With a good field for the ladies Stableford in September the winner was Anne Beaumont with 35 points and runners up Karen Regan and Marian Fell with 31. The September medal division A was won by Steve Crooke with a 69 and division B with a great 63 by Dion Mandziej (say it like pansy).

Summer friendly club matches are coming to an end with ladies at The Hampshire, Seniors at Southwood and a mixed match at home to Meon Valley and a couple of matches for the men, Meon Valley at home and Gosport and Stokes Bay away. Please get your names down for these matches they are friendly and good fun. Thank you to all for supporting these matches throughout the summer..

Until next time enjoy your golf.

Alton Golf Club Captain