Sue Bilgri dazzles through the drizzle.

1st Sue Bilgri 24 points

2nd Doug Myers 24 points [Countback]

3rd Brad Steel 20 points [Countback]

What a fantastic turn out with forty four people showing support for what has become a popular winter competition which this time around featured 66 rounds. Twenty two people played twice and by coincidence twenty two people played once. The weather may have played its part with a heavy drizzle on the course for part of Sunday morning but that didn’t stop some folk recording good scores and that included our winner. Sunday also saw the improvised comp within a comp for eight players who played 18 holes but included their front nines in the Natterjacks. Thanks guys. Well done Joe Shaw.

It doesn’t matter what your handicap is, to win you’ve got to play well by your own standards and Sue Bilgri did just that on Sunday with four 4 pointers including one on the last. With limited range on her shots and a net total of just 32 strokes this had to be a victory for accuracy. In discussion with our handicap secretary afterwards he was keen to point out that for the ladies Silecroft is a very tough course off the red tees, making Sue’s Sunday effort all the more admirable. So, on a tough links, in the cold and drizzle Sue produced her best ever golf and proved a worthy winner. But only just, because also out on the course was one Doug Myers, ex- rugby star, ex-veteran fly fishing world champion who also chose this day to bring his best golf. Doug’s was a story of consistency with six 3 pointers and three 2 pointers, no blobs, no 1 pointers, just good golf the whole way. So many of us have stood on the eighth tee with a good score only to blow up, and there were some yesterday but Doug took seven points from his last three holes and five of those were from 8 & 9. But successive pars on 4,5 & 6 were at the heart of his round where all the effort Doug’s put into his golf finally paid off. His score also catapults him up the Order of Merit charts.

At this point it’s as well to mention the Natterjack 9’s bonus scheme for high scorers  – nobody gets cut – because changes to the course conditions and rules means your handicap remains unaffected. Do I hear a collective groan from the rest of us?

Third place was also won on countback, with Brad Steel squeezing past Richard Roberts by virtue of his better last six holes. Both had 20 points. Pars on 1,3,4,6 & 7 and no blobs made for a consistent run of points and rescuing a point on the eighth helped too. Richard [aka Joey] Roberts had the best start of anyone with 4,4,2 providing 10 points off the first three holes. He too rescued himself, with 1 pointers on the fifth and eighth and can consider himself unlucky to have missed out on the prizes. Both have added considerably to their Order of Merit scores.

A host of players carded 19 points, including Gary Turner, who is now down to a handicap of just 13 but managed pars on 3, 4, 6 and 9 in his Saturday round. Geoff Freeman had 19 on Saturday and was in danger of a really good score until the last two holes. “I lost a ball and made a real mess of it!” He told me. The pleasure of his beloved Hatters taking three points off Bournemouth might have redeemed his weekend. Martin George’s 19 included a 4 pointer on the seventh while Paul Goodrick was another to have a birdie on the 3rd. Peter Clark’s round of 19 on Sunday, playing off a handicap of 10, contained the most extraordinary run of 4 strokes per hole from 1 through to 7. Fives on 8 & 9 completed his round in just 38 gross shots. George van Boyd’s 19 on Sunday almost mirrored that; playing off 10, recording a gross score of 38. Dave Warren was also steady away, carding eight two pointers and one three in his 19. Very consistent guys! Sue Driver’s highlight in her excellent 19 was a par for 3 points on the sixth and with playing partner Chris Lloyd-Rogers carding 18, with a par of her own on the sixth among her 18 points, it was a quite a day for the three ladies playing together. It was a brilliant weekend for Joe Shaw, with a birdie on the 4th in his 19 on Saturday but his 37 points over 18 holes on the Sunday made him the winner of the impromptu eight man comp.

John Simpson’s good run of form continued, following his success at last week’s Winter Alliance at Furness. His 18 points here included four for three on the first and last. Our Order of Merit leader Tony Waugh carded 18 on Saturday with a four for three on the fifth being the feature, Ian Swarbrick birdied the 4th for four points in his Saturday round of 18 points. Joe Burch played both days and had 18 points of his own on Sunday, with 3 pointers on 2,4 & 7. If it was a battle of the elders between Joe and Dave Maclardie then it was match drawn as Dave also posted 18 points on Sunday, including four three pointers and a blob on the second. Joe sounded full of surprise after his round,“It’s really caught on, this Natterjacks ‘asn’t it?” He asked. Which was easy to answer. On his way back to form following his operations John French matched theirs with an 18 of his own and recorded five pars along the way. It’s ‘old v young bull’ for father and son James and Finn Mallon, 18 each means matters are even for the moment. “He played some cracking golf.” James tells me. “He just missed a six footer on the third for birdie, then hit a great shot into the fourth green which just rolled through.” Yvonne Goodrick added 18 points to her Order of Merit score and could challenge in the ladies division if she takes more opportunities. John Phillips scorched through holes 2, 3 & 4 with three pointers on each in his 17 points.  Helen Holmes boosted her Order of Merit tally adding 17 points with three pointers on the first and sixth. “I couldn’t putt.” She told me. Neil Robertson [aka Gunga] birdied the 5th & the 7th but a misfortune on the third held his score back. It was points on every hole for Pete Warren and pars on 4 and 7 in his 17 points and it was the same story for Alan Holmes who also had pars on 4 & 7 for his 17. Son AJ found it tough off his handicap of 9 but still managed 16 points and Diane Clark scored the same, with three three pointers in her 16. Dave Clark played both days and recorded 16 points on each with the highlight being a birdie on the third on Sunday which brought four points. Vernon Edmonson posted 15 points with two blobs but remains on a handy mark. The 4th & 7th provided good scoring chances all weekend and Jon Holmes was another to seize the opportunities with pars on both in his 16 points. Men’s Captain Davey Boyce had pars on the 1st and the 9th but an indifferent middle section left him struggling with 14 points. Alan Eastwood couldn’t carry his form from the Christmas comp into this but had the consolation of a par on the seventh in his 14. Joan Myers carries the lowest handicap of all the women, just 17. As mentioned before this is a tough course for ladies and Joan struggled over both days here, her best being 14 points on Saturday which included two blanks. Pars for 3 points on the sixth and seventh showed what she’s really capable of. It was a rare appearance in the Natterjacks for George Farquar whose consolation was the company of good pals, a par on the third and a point for Utd.

Anyone thinking they’ve had a bad day might take solace from Ged McGrath’s weekend, which he has given me permission to write about. Saturday was particularly bad, bringing just 6 points after scoring on only four holes. What is worth remarking on here is that he came back on Sunday and tried again. Things got a little better but not much, 11 points and four blanks. We’ve all known bad days on the course but as we all know and Ged was keen to point out, you put it behind you and move on.

Order of Merit

Thanks to your support we’re able to extend the prizes for the men’s event to include 1st 2nd & 3rd and fund a separate prize and trophy for the winner of the women’s. We will also be adding prizes of balls for 2s as of the next round. Just to clarify; it is all one comp on the weekends but two comps, men’s and women’s for the Order of Merit.

1st Sue Bilgri 24 points

2nd Doug Myers 24 points [Countback]

3rd Brad Steel 20 points [Countback]

Halfway through the Natterjacks and the Order of Merit is still wide open.

The story so far……

With half the season played and half still to come here’s a summary of who’s in contention and some of the likely outsiders. In fact, with the last round abandoned there are more chances to come than gone and anybody with a good run can still win! Just to remind everyone; the winner will be the player with the best six scores after the final day on 27th March. Some players are regulars in the Winter Alliance and might have missed out so far but could stage a late rally for the Natterjack title and with each of the six remaining weekends offering two chances to play and score there’s every chance for them to do so. But some players have already posted three good scores and might take some catching. So let’s get started with who’s done what and when so far and in no particular order.

Mens

Ian Swarbrick has played just three times but they total 55 points, including his 20 pts back in round 1. Peter Warren had a 20 back in November and has 53 from his best three rounds. Alan and Antony Holmes are among those playing Winter Alliance and while only having 33 points each could be among those who represent a late threat. Last year’s winner Geoff Freeman got off to a slow start of his defence but had an exceptional November playing four times and accumulating 57 from his best three attempts. Geoff’s regular playing partner [and brother-in-law]Dave Clark may become his biggest rival having posted 59 points from just three rounds. Men’s Captain Davey Boyce came close to winning twice, in rounds 4 & 5 and has 60 points on the board. Ken Noakes and Robert Bell have only managed two rounds each and have work to do off 32 points each. Dave Warren seems an unlikely contender but is due a good round and is playing off a useful handicap. Doug Myers is another to have only played three times but has posted 53 points from those. He is also playing in a four-ball which has produced consistently good scores. Martin George looked to be running in midfield until posting a winning score [on count-back] of 22 in round five and has 55 from his three best rounds. Playing partner Vernon Edmonson could be another dark horse. With a useful handicap and 53 points banked he is well capable of adding a significant score. Joe Shaw and Ryan Carter have only played once each and are level on 17. With lots of potential, great handicaps and age on their side the future could be theirs. Peter Clark’s three rounds may have only produced 52 but Peter is a proven winner, though off his lowest ever handicap! Paul Goodrick has spent a lot of time away and only played once but with 19 to his name could be a contender if more available in 2022. Tony Waugh must be the current favourite, with 63 points banked, another 19 pointer that could count and the most consistent score so far. With his highest handicap to date and with talent to burn his tilt at the title may depend on his travel plans to Australia. His broken ribs are healing and he’s hoping to be back for round 7 this month. Brad Steel has 52 and is another dark horse, having yet to play to his full potential in this competition. Stephen Lloyd had 20 points and a podium finish to his name in round 1 but will he get the opportunities? James Mallon has 50, all from early rounds but sons Finn and Todd have struggled so far. They too have time and talent on their side. Scott Steele featured for a long way in last season’s Natterjacks but shift-work commitments have reduced his appearances so far this time around. He has 35 from two rounds. Pete Fry had 20 in round 2 and is definitely not out of this, counting 56 from his best three rounds and has the ability to be consistent. Conqueror of the Xmas Comp Alan Eastwood has too many family commitments to play many Natterjacks but don’t be surprised if he walks away a winner of a round in 2022. The Celtic Trio: Dave Maclardie [46pts], John Phillips [44pts] and Ged McGrath [58pts] all have the ability and the handicaps to produce an exceptional score as Ged proved in winning round 3 with a massive 24 points. Any repeat of that would make him a serious contender but can he? John Simpson produced 21 points and nearly won round 4. Another with an ascending handicap and bags of ability! Club champion Ed Robertson may only have 51 points so far from three rounds but this could all change should he turn his attention to winning this year’s edition. Fresh from his operation it was good to see John French returning to the fray and recent practice has gone well. He has a lot of ground to make up but off his handicap of 18 he could feature soon. Life on the Links is proving tough for Jon Holmes off his handicap of just 11. Yet he did post 21points in round 3 and has 51 in total. George van Boyd only has 31 from his two rounds to date but is another proven winner who we may see more of. Was it 3 or 4 years ago that Gary Turner cleaned up in comps? He was off a handicap in the 20’s back then and is now off 13.9. Yet to feature in this year’s Natterjack’s but could be a winner at any time. Neil Robertson has 52 points from the best of his rounds and is another who will play Winter Alliance. We all know how good he is but could he be a late contender? Joe Burch [32pts] and Richard Roberts [38pts] also play Winter Alliance and have only managed two rounds each so far but Richard’s includes a 21 pointer from round 3 and is another who could win at any time.

Ladies

With a separate prize for the ladies it could well be that the Ladies Winner and the overall winner turns out to be the same player. We have had two outright winners from among the ladies so far and there are probably more to come. Joan Myers has commitments at other clubs but has still managed to play three times for a total of 48 points while Diane Clark has also struggled with her winter form compared to her summer exploits, posting 41 from 3. Yvonne Goodrick won round 1 with 22 points but has been away for long periods, restricting her to just one round. Will travelling plans intervene again? Chris Lloyd-Rogers won with 24 points in her single appearance but has moved to Kendal now and might not want to travel during these troubled times. Another with a useful handicap, Sue Bilgri has only appeared once herself for 17 points and if the French authorities are kind we might not see Sue Driver for a while, after posting a total of 32 from 2. So we have a definite favourite for this race too, with Helen Holmes dominating. Her 60 points from 3 rounds have her way out in front and a major threat for the overall Order of Merit.

Round 7 is January 15th & 16th

The Magic of Match-play

Antony Holmes and Iain Maclardie take us on their journey through the Titleist Match-play 2021.

Making their way through the match-play maze has always brought success for Iain Maclardie and Antony Holmes, in fact, both having fathers who play and encourage them, you could say it’s built into their DNA; so when Antony saw a competition being launched by Titleist on Howdidido early last year it was only natural that he would ring golfing partner and best mate Iain and mention it to him. Iain and AJ go back a long way, all the way to school in fact but it wasn’t until AJ started playing in his twenties that the two became golf partners and very soon found they played well together. Iain had already followed in dad Dave’s footsteps and, as we all know, playing with good players is like free lessons. “Me and dad won the Grouse Foursomes one year,” Iain tells me,” I had the long game, and he had the short game.” And it wasn’t long before AJ got to grips with the game by playing with his dad Alan. Match-play turned out to be natural to them, each winning while playing with their respective dads and things went well for Iain playing with AJ almost from the start. “Playing with your best mate is good,” Iain says, “because we have a laugh. The golf is serious though.” On one particular weekend they won the Famous Grouse Foursomes on the Saturday and The Silecroft Open on the Sunday. The foursomes must have been a magic fit, with them going on to win it four times on the trot. “I like foursomes,” Iain jokes, “You don’t lose as many balls.” Obviously, they were a match made in golfing heaven and a win at The Inshore Rescue at Dunnerholme was soon to follow.

 So, the Titleist Match-play looked right up their street; pairs playing match-play against pairs? Could have been designed for them! But would they get in? The advent of Covid meant fewer numbers being able to enter and they very soon found themselves representing Silecroft in round 1, against two blokes from Brampton, at their place. Iain would be playing off 13 and AJ 7.

“We got away really well and were five up after six, but they fought their way back and it all came down to the last where Iain had a strong par to edge them out. The most memorable thing that happened was on the 200-yard par three. One of their blokes landed on the green and the three of us were nowhere near. I was stuck behind a bunker in some thick stuff, but I was fortunate enough to hit a good chip to within three feet. Their bloke on the green let it get to him and three putted while I sank the putt, and we won the hole. That’s match play. You’ve got to keep your head together. Round two we were drawn at home against a pair from Workington. It was a typical Silecroft day with a strong breeze, which brings out the best in us.” Iain takes up the story: “On the fourth I was nowhere in the running, but Antony was through the back in two. I watched him practice methodically in his routine for the chip. The ball left the face on a true line, bounced, then rolls toward the hole before dropping in! I said, ‘Get in there, fantastic shot.’ Yes, I was relieved because he’d done it again.” “And we were reasonably comfortable winners 3 & 2.” Antony sums up.

 “Round 3 we were home again to a very good couple from Silloth. The wind was up again, and we started well, going two up and never falling behind after that. Then Iain birdied the 16th to seal the deal 3 & 2.” Covid was playing havoc and the organizers decided to go straight from Round 3 to the final, which was eventually played at Bromborough GC on the Wirral in 2021. “It was cancelled a few times,” Antony continues, “and then re-arranged for July this year, the week before the Blackpool trip. It was a scorching hot day of 29 degrees and was won by two local lads, one off + 3 and the other off 20 ‘but should have been lower’, as some folk told us. Four pairs progressed to the National Final and 43 points won it, we were joint fifth with 38 points.” A near miss then but it all served to give them a thirst for more and this year they entered again. “You meet some great blokes, play some good courses and we really are suited to match-play, so we were always going to go again.”

For round one this time around, they were drawn away at Kendal and when they met their opponents they were in for a surprise. Gary [Rambo] Billington “Does actually look like Rambo!” Antony says. “A big burly bloke and a larger-than-life character, Gary took driver out of the rough at one point and he chipped one handed! Playing partner Simeon Barsby’s handicap had only recently gone up from 3 to 5 and he hit a very, very long ball, more than 300 yards off the tee, so we were up against it a lot of the time.” But the Silecroft pair stepped on to the 18th tee one hole up and AJ would par the last for a half and the match. “So, it was back to the jungle for Rambo!” He quips.

 “Round two turned out to be a repeat of the year before as we were drawn at home against a couple of lads from Workington but not the same lads, Simon Frazer was off 15 and Philip Sorfleet off 5. It was a windy day, and they couldn’t handle it or the long grass.” AJ tells me. “But we went one down on the first and we weren’t used to that, we’d always got off to a strong start before, so this was a test of our metal. We got it back on the fourth and it was a tight game from there, but we kept our noses in front all the way and ran out winners by 2 & 1.”

The next round saw them drawn away to a pair from Furness. “The day dawned clear and sunny but with a howling wind,” AJ says. “One of those days when keeping your head together will win it for you. We were matched against a bloke I knew from the yard called Kev Turner who was playing off 11 and his mate Jan Elliott who was off 8. We halved the first; then Kev messed up his chip to the green from the rough into more rough but chipped in from there for a half. So, you never know.” But after taking the lead by winning the third it was time for another memorable moment, or rather several glorious moments from Iain Maclardie. “Iain put the match away with three birdies on the trot on 4,5 & 6. The one on the 6th – a long par four that runs near to the beach – was especially brilliant. The heavy wind was straight into our faces and after a good drive Iain hit a spectacular 4 iron to within eight feet and then sank the putt! We were always well in front after that and by the time we won on the 13th [6 & 5] we were three under par and at the finish were just +1! On their turf too!” And for the second year running they faced just one more hurdle if they were to reach the final.

Standing in their way were two older players from Lancaster, Michael Gornall playing off 5 and Dave Rimmer who was off 9. But it was to be played at Silecroft. “It was a calm beautiful day for a change and all the way round both of them raved about the views and they were astounded to learn that a course this good was maintained by volunteers. We found ourselves one down after the first, but we managed to get back to level on the fourth and from then on it was up and down the whole way. They were telling us about this new football craze they played in ‘Walking Football’ which is for seniors and how clubs like Everton were starting their own. Those lads had played it at Wembley!” Maybe engaging in conversation was part of their tactical plan? I ask. “Well, it is easy to get distracted but we kept our heads again and went on to win by 3 & 2 after a ding-dong battle.” It was off to the Regional Final yet again which would be played at Sand Moor GC near Leeds. This time around they were able to get a practice round in and traveled with Clive Mathie and Neil Robertson the week before. “It’s close to Roundhay Manor where there’s a lot of Red Kites flying and we got to see them, which is quite a sight.”

On the day there were 24 pairs participating and only the first four would go through to the National Final. “It was Stableford 4BB again and we were up against two local players who really made it a test for us. We started well with three pointers on 1,2,3 & 4 but then blobbed 5 before another three pointer on 6. But they kept pace with us the whole way until it came to the last where they had a par and we missed out altogether. So, they beat us by two points, 40 to 38. The winners had an exceptional 48 points and 4th place was 43 so we hadn’t disgraced ourselves – but those blank holes cost us dear!” “We’ve come a long way,” Iain adds, “But we must improve on the Stableford rounds.”

We fall into a discussion about match-play. I’m curious as to how a match-play partnership works during the match. There’s a Native American saying: ‘When two men row a canoe one must sit in the front.’ I mention it. “I don’t think we have a leader,” AJ tells me,” We share ideas and thoughts throughout the match.” I’m also curious about those moments when they fluff something easy, as it seems a key psychological moment in the game.” When we miss a relatively easy shot we just move on and don’t dwell on it.” Another piece of good advice comes from Iain when he tells me: “We haven’t changed the way we play, I always tee off first. Antony has a great short game, which is reflected in his handicap.” It seems one or both of any successful partnership must have a short game. Another piece of good advice comes from Iain when he tells me: “The whole match-play feels intense for me, as you’re not performing just for yourself. There’s pressure every shot and if you hit a good one it relaxes your partner. Antony thrives on pressure!” Expect pressure then. “Me and Antony gel well together too.” So, finding a partner who you get along with sounds crucial!

But what about playing individual match-play? Iain doesn’t play the Marshall Tyson at Silecroft very often, so I ask AJ how he fared in this year’s edition. “I was going well,” he tells me, “Until I met Ian Swarbrick in the semi.” “What went wrong?” I ask. “Nothing went wrong.” he replies and then takes a moment to think before answering. “Ian played out of his skin.” He finally says. “Wasn’t he getting shots?” I ask. “That too and every time he faced a long putt, he either sank it or lagged it. I was gross four over for the round and got comfortably beat, fair play to him. Sometimes you’ve got to recognize that you’ve been beaten fair and square and there was nothing more you could have done about it, so you shake hands, say ‘well played’ and head for the bar.” And perhaps that’s another thing that Iain and Antony are renowned for, they take the notion of fair play seriously. To them sportsmanship is important. It’s that and their achievements that make all of us at Silecroft proud of them.

The Brockbank Cup Final 2020 – Saturday 5th September – Brian Dawson starts turning talent into trophies.

‘The Brocky’ as it’s affectionately known is Silecroft golf club’s premier competition of the season with six qualifying rounds guaranteed to produce a very strong field. And this year was no different. First played in 1903 the cup itself is thought to have its origins in the old Spring Bank Brewery but achieved elevated status when it became forever linked with local legend Tom Mayson. Tom received the VC in WW1 for outstanding bravery in the face of enemy fire; went on to win the cup three times and captained the club throughout the difficult WW2 years of 1939-45. The honour of having your name inscribed alongside his has never dimmed.

This year’s renewal was played in the ‘usual for Silecroft’ conditions of a strong wind and threatening skies but with the exception of one brief shower ‘God was good’! No less than six previous champions were attempting to win it again and this year’s competition once again had more than its share of drama. The ladies also play their version and the victor in 2020, by the narrowest of margins, after several ‘recounts’, was Helen Holmes, with Diane Clark a very close second and Lady Captain Chris Lloyd-Rogers an honourable third.

Following behind them was a field of 24 men, including three time winner and defending champ Ed Robertson. Having won just about everything this season Ed started as a strong favourite but found it difficult to get into his rhythm, until the back 9 when service was resumed. However, out on the course dramatic events were happening, none more so than to eventual winner Brian Dawson. With putts such as his forty footer from off the green on the 5th and two great up and downs on the 9th and 17th his return of net 63 made him untouchable. Everyone knew the talent was there and this day proved it. There will be many more trophies to come, for sure. There was more drama on the 13th where Anthony [AJ] Holmes put his three wood off the tee by the front bunkers and then went with a three quarters 8 iron only to see his ball disappear on the green. A brief search revealed that his ball was nestling in the cup giving him an eagle 2 and a place in club folklore. There were prizes for 2’s and the only other one of the day came from Dave Warren who brought home a good score of 70. Glory for Dave came on the 15th where his hybrid off the tee went close and he was able to putt out for his share of the 2’s prizes.

Second place overall went to John Young with a fine round of net 68. John began by birdying the 1st & 2nd, was two under after six and made the turn at level par, but a run of three fives on the back nine and three putting the eighteenth put victory beyond him. 2020 has been a frustrating season for John with yet another runners up spot here but as he was gracious enough to point out, had all those things gone to plan on this day, he might have posted a 64 and still lost! Geoff Freeman continued his fine season, a score of 69 here adding third place to the victories he’s claimed home and away. Elsewhere there was still more drama and great golf. Scott Steele managed to play the same ball throughout his round, no mean achievement in that wind while on the 17th Ank Robinson was sinking an outstanding long putt. And while Dave Clark was busy birdying the 4th Captain Davey Boyce was seen chasing his hat across the rough on the left of the sixteenth. The 1987 Brockbank Champion John Holmes described his round as “a catalogue of mediocrity” and Malcolm Haworth had the frustration of No Return before having a fine par on the long and tricky 17th. John Simpson was only one over after 6, sank a monster on 13 and is looking forward to an easing in his handicap while Brad Steele’s handicap had dropped down one before today and he had an excellent return of just 70. Brad also took the same ball all the way round and sank a long putt on the third but five 5’s on the back nine cost him dear. A drive and an iron into the 10th green left George van Boyd with a 20ft+ putt which he duly sank for a birdie, helping him to a round of 72. Barry French parred 1 and 10 before declaring it a practice round for Monday’s Senior event! The highlight of 2014 Champion Bill Hoyle’s round was a birdie on the 4th and Pete Clark was another to sink a mammoth putt, his coming from way back on the eighth green. Big putts were going in everywhere, John French sinking a huge one from off the 13th green. Gary Turner holed out from 35 yards, went Non Return only to then hit a sequence of pars after that. John Armstrong is another previous winner, having been Champion in 1995 and he was another who made a great start; only 1 over after 6 but things never really happened for John after that. The high point for Pete Fry came with his birdie on the 16th and a fine score of 70 while 2002 Champion Roy Harrison described his highlight as rescuing a par on the 3rd.

And the winner of the longest drive went to 2011 Brockbank winner Ron Lester who made the effort of driving from Birmingham to Silecroft before playing his round and then driving all the way back down. Runners up were Malcolm Haworth and Bill Hoyle for their drive from Accrington. Another fine speech was made at the presentation by Men’s Captain Davey Boyce, who thanked all the volunteers for their efforts on the course and behind the scenes and all ran smoothly on the day thanks to Comps Secretary Peter Clark. Ken [Mr Silecroft] Leece was also thanked for all his hard work.

Winner Brian Dawson receives the Mens Brockbank Cup Trophy

Clark & Carter star in Brockwood Trophy.


Last Saturday saw the renewal of The Brockwood Trophy, now converted to a 3 club challenge and deemed a roaring success by all those who played. With scoring counted under Stableford rules each player was invited to select, in advance, one hole on the front nine and another from their back nine, at which they could play a ‘joker’ doubling their points tally for those holes. This year’s renewal also featured sponsorship in the form of a fine selection of South African wines for prizes, supplied by Barry Van der Vyver, who, after a recent fire at The King Billy, has moved his restaurant business to Brockwood Hall.
In the build up to the day the format generated a lot of discussion, with nobody certain as to which three clubs would suit all circumstances on the course and there were a variety of options evident on the day. Conditions were far from ideal with a strong gusting wind and the occasional heavy shower, which led those going out in the afternoon to wonder if those playing in the morning had had the best of the weather. But when the results were announced those doubts were proven unfounded.
Five lady players joined in the fun in the afternoon too, braving the weather and each finding success during their round. Club Secretary Diane Clark took the honours among the ladies and showed a fine understanding of the format by nominating the 3rd as her joker before having an outstanding par for a total of eight points. An excellent 5 on the fifth brought another three points and by the end of her round she had accumulated 30 points; a terrific effort in extreme conditions. Helen Holmes turned a meager front nine around with an admirable tally of 17 on the back nine to claim second overall with a total of 22 points and this year’s Lady Captain Chris Lloyd-Rogers took third, partly as a result of a 5 on the 16th for three points. Chris was also the only lady to select her driver to use. For Isobel Wilson success came on the tricky 13th where an excellent 5 brought her three points and another 5 on the somewhat easier 16th gained her another three. Playing alongside Isobel was local NHS heroine Yvonne Goodrick who won Joker Queen of the day by taking four points from her 6 on the 7th and a further four from the par three 15th.
Paul Carter has been among the prizes in earlier comps and continued his extraordinary form here, as your correspondent was lucky enough to witness. Paul was a formidable junior golfer before going off to join the army and then becoming a stand out player for Millom Amateur Rugby League Club. Having finally swapped the oval ball for a little white one Paul is rapidly developing into a fine prospect and with time on his side seems destined to join Silecroft’s top golfers. With brand new clubs to hand Paul opted to go with a fairway wood, pitching wedge and 7 iron; putting extremely well throughout with the wood. A fabulous birdie on the fifth, the only one on the day, brought four points among a front nine total of 20 and a par on the 13th whilst playing his joker added six more for 17 points on the back, bringing a winning total of 37 points. Great golf! In a round which included three blanks, off a handicap of 21 and by virtue of hitting the ball a long, long way Paul obviously has the talent to win a lot more this season. His one mistake on this occasion may have been playing alongside the handicap secretary! Lol In second place, on countback, and playing off the lowest handicap of the day [8]was John Young with 33. Eight was also the number of pars on his card, which, in those conditions, was outstanding golf. John’s well earned 2nd in the recent club championship and 2nd here makes him Mr Consistent and one of the club’s top, top players. Tied on 33 but losing out on countback, was Gary Turner. Nobody works harder at his golf than Gary, who also fits the same profile as Paul Carter in several ways. Successful at his first sport Gary has recently retired from cricket to turn his attention to golf. He hits the ball a long way, as his win in the recent longest drive comp proves, has a handicap of 18 and descending and with raw talent to burn Gary also seems destined to join Silecroft’s elite golfers. Gary’s highlight of the day was a par on the 3rd, which combined with his joker to produce six points. ‘Unlucky’ 4th was Dave Warren with 32 points. Dave must have thought he was in for a nightmare after blanking the 1st and 2nd and only 1 point accumulated after the 3rd. But Dave became the comeback king of the day by not letting this affect him and going on to add 31 more over 15 holes. He was another to gain from judicious use of the joker, netting him eight points and was one of only two men to use driver. Dave Clark took 5th place with 31 points, getting four points from his joker on the third and managing the conditions well throughout. Out in the morning and playing together were Peter Clark and Anthony [AJ] Holmes. Peter’s choice of putter seemed to be paying off as he led AJ 15 – 12 at the turn but it was Anthony’s consistent finish over 16,17 & 18 which allowed him to level the match, each returning 29 points. Jon Holmes went into this as possible favourite, for consistency and his superb mastery of the psychology of the game. His 29 points included pars on the 5th for three points and the tough 12th for another three. Alan Holmes came home with 28 total; courtesy of great pars on the 4th and the 11th. Geoff Freeman was the other man to go with driver and also scored 28, six of those coming from a par on the arduous 15th. Andrew Elvey was another to do well from his jokers, also claiming six points from a par at the 4th, on his way to 27 points. Four players returned 26 points. Ian McLardie went out in the morning and had a tremendous birdie 3 on 14, unique on the day. Neil Robertson had a superb birdie on the 13th, Brad Steel got both his jokers correct to double up on holes 4 and 15, while John French was crowned Joker King of the day, with 10 joker points, by virtue of scoring six points on the 4th and four more on the 16th. Ank Robinson was one of only two players to go with a four iron and posted a very creditable 25 point total, playing off just 11, with his highlight being four points virtue of a 6 on the long 17th. Club Captain Davey Boyce also scored 25 points, playing off 10. With several birdie opportunities going to pars luck wasn’t on his side but his work around the club has been far more fruitful. Paul Goodrick played solid golf tee to green but found putting with an iron difficult until the back nine when things began to fall into place. But he also used his jokers to advantage doubling his points on the 4th & 13th. George Farquhar favoured a 7 wood and was another to turn around a sparse front nine with a big improvement on the back and must have been especially pleased at playing his joker on the 12th where an outstanding par grabbed him six points. Dave Ward must have thought the future was bright when he opened with a par on the first but that was as good as it got as he came home with just 20 points.
Thanks were given at the presentation by our club captain, to Ken ‘Mr Silecroft’ Leece for all his endeavors for the club. All club volunteers were also commended for their efforts both around the club and on the course.

FOOTGOLF Opening up, COVID-19 guidelines for safe play

Silecroft Footgolf to Re-open.

Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th July 1pm.

When we went into lockdown we promised that when the virus was gone we would be having a week-end party of free to play Footgolf to celebrate. And we stand by that. Plans are afoot. Unfortunately for everyone the Covid virus has not gone yet, so that must wait.

In the meantime, we have been looking at how footgolf can re-open within current guidelines and after consulting with officials at the golf club we now believe we can, under certain conditions. We will therefore be open for play this coming week-end, Saturday18th & Sunday 19th July from 1pm to 6pm but we will be making our decision on staying open beyond then based on how well the temporary changes are stuck to.

Changes and conditions.                                                             

1 Payments:

You can now pay via your smartphone straight into our Starling Bank account – details for doing so will be posted on the door of the signing in room. But you can also still pay with cash as usual, into a brown envelope [which has been provided] with your name marked on it and then placed into the metal box to the left of the signing in book. We cannot at this time provide change but if you have overpaid please note this on the envelope and you can subtract this from the cost of your next game. Charges remain the same: £4 for an adult, £2 for a junior [under 16] £5 for any adult with 1 junior.

2 Signing in:

Face coverings are mandatory in the clubhouse, toilets and changing room buildings.

We must comply with government guidelines for track and trace for all our sakes and have a point of contact for every player and those accompanying them. The easiest way to accomplish this is by writing your phone number in the correct column of the signing in page. You may leave your address and postcode as an alternative. This is a make or break condition. Scorecards and pencils are available behind the signing in book.

3 Footballs, Cards & Pencils:

Wherever possible please bring your own ball or borrow one from someone in your bubble to bring along. You will still be able to borrow one for free from us but under the following guidelines. When you leave the course you will see a large bag {donated by the good guys at PGM building supplies} and you must place our used ball into it. These can then be sanitized by us and returned to use. There is a nearby box for returning cards and pencils if you wish to do so. If you want to have your round reviewed then please be aware that these will have to sit in the box for 3 days before being taken out and written up on Silecroft Footgolf Facebook page later that week.

4 Social distancing:

Government guidance and legislation must be adhered to at all times – ‘Rule of 6’ is a legal requirement at the current time.

If you are with a family member or someone else from within your bubble you may enter the signing room together. All others must maintain a distance of two metres [2m]. Please be prepared to wait outside if needs be. We have painted red arrows on the path to point the way from the signing in room to the course and from the course back to the car park. These form part of a one way system for footgolfers and golfers exiting their course and are there to ensure nobody crosses your path or comes too close.

5 On the course:

Government guidance and legislation must be adhered to at all times – ‘Rule of 6’ is a legal requirement at the current time.

To avoid confusion, the course lay-out is the same as last season. Please always keep social distance [2m] between yourself and other parties outside of your bubble. If you find golf balls on the course please leave them where they lay.

We are very proud of the amount of pleasure and healthy competition that the course provides for all ages and both genders. We are hoping that we can soon return to the honour system we have always used in the past but for the moment we are waiting to see how it goes before deciding on that. This coming week-end there will be volunteers to help if you should need any. Please respect them. To all those who have visited us before: thank you and welcome back. To those visiting for the first time: welcome and have a great game.

Seldom Seen Lane has been resurfaced

3 month membership available to all – young and old

Silecroft Golf Course

Have you been a member in the past?

Have you never been a member?

Would you like to be a member now?

We have a 3 month membership available to come and try your hand at golf and July through to October is the perfect time to give it a try,  you are never too young or too old to take up this game. Silecroft is a gentle 9 hole walk and don’t believe what the famous writer Mark Twain said, golf certainly doesn’t spoil that walk. A recent reviewer of our course wrote;

“Those opening holes are of exceptional quality, beautiful to look at and a delight to play with the sea just below you and the majesty of the Lakeland fells towering on the other side it is just so impressive.”

 

So if you fancy trying your hand or returning to the game of golf, get in touch via the contacts page, or email either of the following;

 

secretary@silecroftgolfclub.co.uk

membership@silecroftgolfclub.co.uk

View towards Kirksanton with Lowscales in the background

 

Silecroft Golf Club raises £736 for Cancer Research UK

Silecroft Golf Club raises £736 for Cancer Research UK

For a small club Silecroft raises a lot of money each year for worthy causes, and the members showed their generosity on 1st October once again.

After a very rainy week we were lucky enough to see sunshine and a full afternoon turnout.

Balloons, banners, raffle prizes, sunshine, willing helpers – the scene was set for a most enjoyable day, with 13 teams of 3, two gents, one lady, playing a Scramble. Winners were Neil Robertson, John French and Yvonne Goodrick with a magnificent score of 62.8. Thank you everyone for your support.

Photos of prize table and raffle ladies supplied by young Adam from the caravan site who couldn’t do enough to help that morning!

1st    Neil Robertson / John French / Yvonne Goodrick    62.8 points

2nd    Roy Goodrick / Clint Houlahan / Joan Myers        64.7

3rd    Andrew Leece / Ken Leece / Dottie Williams        66.5

4th    Alan Sharpe / Charlie Blezzard / Dave Ward        66.6

5th    George Van Boyd / Richard Roberts / Maureen Goodrick    67.5

prize-table               the-helpers

Dot Williams (Lady Captain)