Welcome to the 2021 golfing season! As at the time of writing, much of the UK is under a covering of snow and Covid-19 lockdown is still in force. However, with the days getting longer and warmer and anti-virus measures (seemingly) starting to take effect, we can start to make plans for a year that will probably be a bit different from ‘normal’ but hopefully better than 2020.

The season has now been officially launched by a missive from our Chairman, Paul W Symes CBE (Members Mtg21c ). In this document you can find further details about our first event of the season – the Members Meeting – and all the other items summarised below.

Our season opening Members’ Meeting is booked for Tuesday 13 April 2021 at Beaconsfield Golf Club.

The meeting, which is being organised by Derek Messenger, will commence at 0930, when coffee and a bacon roll will be available.  Starting from the 1st tee at 1030, we will then play in threes to compete in an 18-hole Handicap Stableford for The Chairman’s Cup.  This will be followed by a 3-Course Meal and, hopefully, some form of Prize-giving.  This is described as the Members’ Meeting but guests will be welcome.  Obviously, non-members will not be able to compete for The Chairman’s Cup but there will be other prizes.  We currently have no main sponsor for this event but costs will be subsidised from Golf Society funds.  As a result, we have been able to reduce the cost of this £100 package to £55 for entitled GS members, including the coffee and bacon roll on arrival, 18 holes of golf, a 3 course meal with wine, and the competition prizes.  Non-entitled members of the Society and guests are required to pay a partly subsidised price of £70 per person.  Please return your Meeting Entry Form (MM Entry Form 2021) and payment by 4 April 2021 to Derek – Tel: 01494-875998; Mob: 07765-900722; e-mail: derek.d.messenger@btopenworld.com Derek will send out a note drawing attention to Beaconsfield Golf Club rules, timings and directions.

Early discussions with the Club indicate that, if Covid-19 restrictions are eased to the extent that we can go ahead with this event, we will probably be returning to a tier system with BGC being in Tier 2 to 4.  They hope to be able to offer golf and catering but with restrictions on mixing and social distancing.  As we did at our last Autumn Meeting, this means that we may have to assemble, play and eat in our playing groups but would not be able to get together for a prize-giving or for an AGM. A decision will be taken nearer the time on whether prevailing restrictions are too onerous to make the event worthwhile.

This HS Colt designed parkland course set in well-wooded land with its traditional style clubhouse is an attractive and popular venue and we look forward to our day there

Here is a brief summary of other items of interest covered in Paul Symes’ recent circular to members (see above):-

Membership and WHI

The Golf Society’s communication, finance and event management systems rely on up-to-date information provided by its members. This year, event management will be further complicated by incorporation of the new World Handicap Index (WHI). Consequentially it is vital that all existing and new members complete a Membership Application/Renewal Form (Member Application_Renewal Form 21) and return it to Lauren Elliot (Lauren.elliott@ciltuk.org.uk) at Corby. DO NOT WORRY if you do not have an official WHI but please provide a ‘fair’ assessment of your last known or current handicap for event management purposes.

Online AGM

Because of Covid restrictions and rearranged events, we were unable to hold our Golf Society Annual General Meeting in 2020 – and it still might be difficult in 2021.  Some items of business, including the adoption of our accounts, the election of a vice captain and the change to our handicap rule, need to be agreed.  Arrangements have therefore been made to hold an on-line Zoom AGM at 1700 on 11 Mar 21 and an agenda is attached (ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2021).  Could all members who are able to join this on-line meeting let Paul Symes know (Paul@paulwsymes.plus.com) so that details of the link can be passed to you nearer the date.

Knock-Out Trophy

It was not possible to run the season-long Singles Match-Play Knock-Out Competition in 2020, but we will be reviving it for the coming season.   Depending on responses and Covid restrictions, we plan to start the matches after Easter 2021 and complete the final before the Autumn Meeting in October 2021 – when the winner will be announced and prize presented.

If you would like to enter send an email to Paul Butterworth at: pkbutter@aol.com 

Rules Note.   The competition rules were amended to bring them into line with the World Handicapping System (WHS) whereby the difference in handicaps must be used between players for match play competitions.   Please also note that these competition rules allow players with WHS and GS equivalent handicaps to compete although, for future years, this rule may be reviewed at an AGM.

Annual Tour – Yorkshire Again!

Even under Covid restrictions last year’s tour to Yorkshire was such a success (as ever) that the organiser, John Winter, has booked to return in 2021. While we will be repeating our stay at the excellent Hilton Hotel in the centre of York, once again sample the delicious fare at Castlegate restaurant and return to tackle the superb Ganton GC, the party will also be able to enjoy the delights of golf at Moortown GC and Kirbymoorside GC (home of past captain, Gus Whyte).

This is a popular and usually well-attended tour and you are advised to get your name down as early as possible. John Winter recently sent out a letter to members giving full details of the tour, so please send your entries with a non-refundable deposit by 1 Mar 2021 to:  john.winter@redacre.co.uk