As I set out to review my captaincy year of 2018 the first things that comes to mind is how fast the season passed by, what a great year it was for the amazing weather we received everywhere and the quality of the venues that we played. However, it is true an accurate to say our first meeting at Beaconsfield was actually called off due to snow (possibly a unique instance) but regardless on the actual re-arranged date we had glorious sunshine and warm temperatures.

For me the society year started at the annual committee meeting in November 2017 where I took on as my main Captaincy task the challenge of raising our society presence and profile with the CILT Head Office at Corby. Based on meetings, new connections and regular contact this objective has been fairly successful during 2018. Firstly we achieved the significant confirmation as an official CILT Forum which afforded us a brand new Forum page on the CILT website, all our fixtures and events added to the CILT online events listings and published in the monthly Focus magazine, plus the regular email circulars.

Needless to say, this area of the society remains an on-going task so much so that a new committee position has been created for CILT HQ Liaison to which I have accepted that role following the transfer of the captaincy role to Gus White. I’m looking for even more progress with CILT HQ in 2019 including a significant article in Focus and online that highlights our 25th anniversary, a significantly improved Forum page, and more regular reports of all our events. Of course one of the main objectives of the push for higher profile is to attract new members to the society and to that end 2018 was a good start with new interest coming through, not least Chris Bramall who join us for the first time at the Spring event at Hankley Common GC and then played all of the remaining meetings. We’re hoping to continue this trend for new enthusiastic golfing blood to the society during 2019 and beyond.

As a brief summary of the golfing year;

Our rearranged Members meeting at Beaconsfield in April was won by Colin Reardon with 40 points, on count-back. I wouldn’t have normally noticed that but since it was me that was soundly beaten into second place I thought it was worth a mention! Well done Colin, (ungritting my teeth now).

Another beautiful day for our Spring meeting at Hankley in May where I firstly had the pleasure of playing with our first 2 new members of the year, and secondly won the day with 35 points. I may be a man who is hard to ignore – but well worth the effort!

Then to July for the Summer meeting at Copt Heath which didn’t relent on always being pretty much the hottest day of the year again, and at the height of Football World Cup fever. Peter Wood won the day with an excellent 37 points to beat club member and past captain Martin Elliot into second place. I also recall the event for my guest Joe Armada forgetting his suit and tie and to his embarrassment being allowed to come to the dinner in shorts and a t-shirt, of course we didn’t mention it over dinner….much!

To August for the inter-societies match against the Transport Golf Society and the Royal Logistics Corp at the Army course in Aldershot, this one slipped through our fingers. 6 players out of out 8 all scored in the 30’s and we had our man, Bob Harper, top score on the day with 38 points but alas over dinner in the iconic Officers Mess at Deep Cut we learned with the reading of the very last match results we had been pipped to the trophy by only 2 points. Well done to the TGS with 212 point overall.

September and the most popular annual event of the Golf Tour arrived in Cornwall staying at the excellent venue of Trevose GC and although it seemed like business as usual when multi-tour winner Peter Taylor won the opening day at Trevose, the remaining venues were won by Paul Beaver at St Enodoc and Newquay to take the overall prize for the 3 days, with Phil Reeves walking away with the guest prize.

Sadly after having just enjoying his wonderful company on the tour we lost our great friend Brian Allen, a society regular and a smashing guy to be around, he will be much missed and his absence will be felt right through the 2019 season and beyond, rest in peace Brian.

And so to the final Autumn meeting once again held at the Northamptonshire County GC and fittingly won by our new hand-over captain on the day, Mr Gus Whyte, with a lovely evening dinner where I gave my last prize-giving speech and then passed the captaincy to Gus whom I hope has as much fun in 2019 as I did during my season, and also enjoys his golf too.

Finally a mention of the other events. The Singles Matchplay Knockout Cup was won by Bob Harper – very well deserved, the match against the Liberal Circle was lost by 167 to 148, the match against the Oil Industry GS was won by the CILT GS for the 7th year in a row (woe betide the next CILT captain to lose that match!), and The John Swanson-Smith Trophy for the year went to some bandit-ringer called Cameron Grant, (same chap that checks the scorecards – say no more).

Overall, it has been my honour and my pleasure to be the CILT Golf Society Captain for 2018 and my thanks go out to everyone who has helped make that the excellent and fun golfing year that it was. On behalf of the society I thank our ever present sponsors that are a big part of making it all possible, our guests for each event, the committee for all their hard work, all of the individual event organisers, Mr John Winter for the continually amazing Tours (and the website), and of course our Chairman Paul Symes for his continual efforts, hard work and guidance that keeps the society going as we know it. My personal thanks to you all.

Therefore the captaincy baton has now been passed on to Gus Whyte for 2019 and I look forward to enjoying another wonderful year of comradery, social networking, fun and a bit of golf.

Cameron Grant – Immediate Past Captain