Fellow niblick knurdlers and putter pushers, thank you for your support during my year as Captain. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and set out below my report on the 2017 season.

A couple of themes ran through our golf days this year:

With many thanks to the golfing gods, the weather was generally kind – we were neither been soaked, nor blown off any of the courses – although we came close at Royal Porthcawl.

Despite the welcome return of past regulars like: Paul Butterworth, Steve Allen and Richard Herbage and new members such as Malcolm Maycock and Nick Willis, attendances were generally in decline. I am unsure what connection this had with my captaincy, but it is a trend that I know your Committee is working hard to address.

Nevertheless, I hereby report on the year’s events in chronological order:

The Members’ Meeting at Gerrards Cross in April gave rise to an unsurprising winner in the form of today’s organiser, Brian Childs. This resulted in the painful decision to move away from GX for next year’s Members’ Meeting – in an attempt to stop Brian winning for the 4th time in 5 years!

Thanks to the continuing excellent support of John Maguire and Narrow Aisle, we were, once again, able to hold the Spring Meeting in May at the wonderful Hankley Common. Old friend of the CILT Golf Society, but new member, Nick Willis won the day.

A new event was introduced this year – an eight-a-side 4BBB match against the National Liberal Club Golfing Circle, played in June at Dunstable Downs GC.

Although the matches ended 2:2, CILT won comfortable by 153 points to 151. A good day was had by all and this looks like becoming an annual event.

On a sunny July day at Copt Heath, Peter Wood’s performance matched the great weather and he amassed 40 points (do I hear calls for investigation by the handicap committee?) to take 1st place.

In August we took on the cream of the RLC GS and Transport GS in the annual triangular match, played at the Army Club in Aldershot and followed by an always memorable dinner in the Officers’ Mess at, soon-to-be-no-more, Deepcut. Despite some enforced late changes in personnel, the team battled through to a valiant 2nd place – behind a strong RLC team.

This year’s tour saw 36 intrepid souls visit South Wales in September to try and emulate members of the Seniors Tour by playing the Seniors Open venue, Royal Porthcawl, as well as qualifier courses at Machynys Peninsula and Pyle & Kenfig. Day-by-day winners were: Day 1 – Gus Whyte; Day 2 – Your Captain (!); Day 3 – Richard Burgess.

Although generally considered another resounding success, this year’s tour gave rise to a number of issues regarding how it should be formatted to make the golf and socialising equally enjoyable for all. [I did hear that a contingent from Scotland & Yorkshire complained about the number of expensive lost balls.] But, once again, the Committee is on the case!

Finally, I am happy to report that CILT retained the Challenge Trophy by defeating the Oil Industry GS 3:1 (2 won, 2 halved) at Denham GC in mid-Sept.

So my Captain’s match record is Played 3, Won 2, came 2nd once. Highly satisfactory!

I now hand over the Captaincy for 2018 to Cameron Grant.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped make my Captain’s year so enjoyable. Of course I thank you, the members & guests, for supporting our events and matches. But specifically I would like to thank: members of the Committee; our loyal sponsors; the various meeting (and tour) organisers; Gus Whyte and Peter Wood for saving various audiences from having to hear me try to tell a joke; and last, but never least, our Chairman, Paul Symes, who continues to be rock around whom the CILT GS season flows.

Over to you Cameron. I know that you have some good ideas to take the Society forward. Good luck and enjoy it as much as I have.