Lady Captain’s Blog: Update 21 May 2017

Welcome Carolyn!
I must start by welcoming Carolyn Tierney. Carolyn started at Hindley some while ago on our six-month starter offer and, after a break, has now joined with her husband and son. I know everyone will make you welcome Carolyn – great to have you as a member at Hindley!

Presentation Evening
First presentation evening of the year and it was great to see Barbara Lawson picking up the President’s Prize from Mr President Dennis Shawcross. Barbara is very modest and far more capable on the golf course than she gives herself credit for, and I look forward to seeing her handicap drop during the year as she takes more honours.

The team prizes from March were swiftly awarded, though we couldn’t “prize” a speech out of Cath Burgess. Cath, you’re another lady who will win far more over the year (especially when you get your new clubs) and you won’t get away without a speech then! (Probably have trouble getting you to sit down, actually!)

It was good to see Leah Butler picking up Margaret Burrows’ prize – thanks for attending Leah, it’s always good to watch young talent blossom.
We also now have the first four Hewlett Rosebowl Qualifiers from the first Medal of the season, with Lady Captain, Leah Butler, Sue Barnsley and Ann Atherton qualifying. 16 ladies qualify for the Rosebowl, which alternates between matchplay one year and 36-hole strokeplay the next. This year is the turn of the matchplay, and we’ll see the draw made live on Sky during the June presentation. Well, maybe not actually on Sky….

There was some discussion with our highly respected photo-less Past Lady Captains over plans to have their pictures displayed alongside the Past Captains who have photographs. The sooner this can be sorted the better – it will be great to have the Lady Captains’ pictures on the wall in the ladies’ locker room – we should be proud of our history.

After the formalities of the presentation, we had a three-round picture quiz: a mixture of people and herbs. I’m not sure which was trickier, but the Lady Captain of Captains…. (Val – ink’s just run out!) led the winning team – well done girls! We followed this by some rules testers and discussion, just to try to help understanding of one or two key rules. You can see the solicitors who wrote the rules having a field day debating the intricacies we are faced with and it will be interesting to see how radical the changes are that are planned for 2019.  Dorothy has kindly agreed to copy the rules questions we went through into her next newsletter – thanks Dorothy. We all look forward immensely to your regular publishings!!

Today’s competition was the second Monthly Medal, played in tough conditions with the wind swirling menacingly. There was a three-way tie for the lead, with 72 a great score on the day. Joyce Hutchinson led the field from Sue Barnsley and Michelle Sampson. Obviously Joyce’s recent trip down under with calming influence Ros Taylor has done just the trick for her game. Must have been all that laughter Joyce!!  Not that I mean you’d have been laughing at Ros – naturally I wouldn’t dare get myself into so much trouble by suggesting such a thing. I never laugh at Ros…. much! Good thing is, Ros doesn’t laugh at me… much…. either!!!!  Good to have you back girls!! (Oh, I’m going to be in sooooo much trouble!!)

A Few Match and Competition Updates
Bronze had their first league match against Westhoughton, taking a well-earned half, with Karen Eckersley notably fighting back from 4-down to halve her match. That’s what I call fighting spirit Karen! It just shows that you should never give up in matchplay, because you just never know…..  Handicap Team are finding the South East region and a reduction in team size from seven players to five a tough adjustment to make, but will settle in, I’m sure. Results that would have gone our way with a team of seven are just slipping out of our grasp in a team of five, but we’re a strong club when it comes to matchplay and we’ll get used to the new style of welcome we are finding. I guess each region will be a little different. Results will come.

Scratch is a new venture for us for some years, and the baptism of fire away at St Annes Old Links was followed by another toughie at Clitheroe. Mention must be given to Karen Buckels who won her match at St Annes, and Annie who made a classy half at Clitheroe. (I don’t think their yellow-Porsche-driving-seven handicap-lady was too impressed at the half, but hey ho!!) We’ve just made an honourable half away at Nelson – and weren’t the after-game cakes yummy!! The message seems to be that the chance to play a wider range of courses and meet some great ladies is what it’s about.
Nelson was interesting because Ashton-in-Makerfield ladies’ and gents’ committees were playing their annual match against Nelson that day, so I spent half my game waving at Ashton members on the course. In fact I think my opponent wondered what was going on, especially when I started exchanging hugs on the course too. “You know more people here than I do!” she cried. I gave in and explained!!

Quite a few of the losses we’ve suffered would have been wins on a handicap basis, so it does show how our respective games are being pulled on from playing with (often) lower players. When it comes to the likes of Royal Birkdale, West Lancs, etc, their superstars are generally away on Lancs or wider duty, so aren’t always available for a mere scratch match, so there’s hope for us yet! I must say the experience has been quite pleasurable so far, though it will be nice to see what results we may be able to turn around on our home turf.

A few competition updates: Great to see Angela Shawcross winning Lady President’s Prize – on a card playoff from no less than daughter Andrea Shawcross!! I must congratulate Lady President on her choice of prize – absolutely gorgeous!! Sadly I couldn’t play due to attending a pal’s funeral, but I was envious of all who had the chance to play for such a tasteful bracelet – well picked Lady P!!

Pretty much up to date now with the Wendy Cordner Vase. We always have the delight of having a prize by Wendy’s close friend Karen Buckels. Karen’s artistic talents are legendary, and the chance to win a Buckels Original is a real honour. Marjorie Dickinson took the podium today – well done Marjorie – great to see you in the winner’s enclosure!

We played in the LLCGA (Lancashire Ladies’ County Golf Association) Handicap Interclub at Dean Wood on 12 May, the ‘we’ comprising Anne Lumsden, Lynne Fagan, Linda Bailey and Sue Barnsley. The format is singles medal, with the best three of the four scores being aggregated to produce the ‘club’ result. The girls came third, with Dean Wood winning, and Wigan sneaking ahead of us by just one measly itsy bitsy tiddly little shot. The top two clubs qualify for the finals, so that was a bitter blow. Great effort though girls – we’ll try again next year!!

We host the Bronze Interclub at Hindley on Monday 3rd July and it’s great to see so many ladies wanting to play this year when we have struggled to raise a team in past years, Hopefully this trend will continue for future years – these are great events to be part of and it’s always a shame when we’re having to scratch round for a team. Do please get involved!!

We will need volunteers for the District Championship, which we host on Saturday 17th June, and the Interclub a few weeks later. Spotters, help in the dining room, runners for the chief scorer, there are all sorts of roles we need covering. Volunteer support is absolutely crucial to making these events a success, and in showing the fantastic support we have across the ladies section, so please add your name to the list in the locker room if you can spare any time at all. It is truly greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Bell Cup – having survived Blackley visiting Hindley, our next round is away at Pike Fold, on Saturday 27th May. Keep an eye on the noticeboard for the result. No caddies required this time as Pike Fold are not having any themselves, but keep your fingers crossed for the team. For anyone not familiar with the Bell Cup, it is basically a Manchester and District Ladies Golf Association Team Knockout (team of seven), where each club must play the lowest-handicapped players they have available on the agreed date. So, if you’re wondering why higher in-form handicappers don’t get a look in, that’s why – those are the rules of the competition.

Daily Mail Foursomes – Barbara and I sneaked a 5+4 win away at Horwich, as did our guys Steve Hampson and Andy Tickle (2+1) in the men’s comp, so Hindley are probably not too popular at Horwich right now! We play Stand at home in the next round on 31st May, and the guys are away at Grange Park. As always, we’ll let you know the result via the noticeboard in the locker room. Thanks to all who have proffered their best wishes. Fingers crossed for this next hurdle!!

Shirley’s Ladies’ Evening
Shirley’s annual event is always popular and well supported, raising funds for the club – this year’s event looks to have raised about £700, which is a great achievement – thanks Shirley!  The room looked great, as it always does when kitted out for a function like this, and thanks to Shirley, Lady Vice Linda Bailey and helpers for making the room look so special. Our Neil Diamond look-alike entertainer had the dance floor full and indeed bouncing at times!  The ladies were greeted on entrance by a couple of dashing gentlemen – no other than Alan Whalley and Mike Topping. Thank you chaps – you are very sporting getting involved in this event, especially as you were so outnumbered by ladies!!

Everyone was so generous with raffle prizes it took some while to get through everything, but well worth it, even though Sue Barnsley’s table seemed to win half the prizes between them, and also took home the vodka and champagne as prizes of the ‘Heads and Tails’ game!  Joking apart, it was great to see you all enjoying yourselves girls – well done – hope you enjoy all your goodies!!  Couldn’t resist including a pic of Sue displaying some shapes. (I think that’s the modern terminology!) Whatever, it’s great to see everyone letting their hair down – and I do believe Lady President thoroughly enjoyed celebrating her birthday at this evening’s event!

I must also give a special mention to Michelle Sampson.  As the evening drew to a close, Hindley ladies joined in a circle for the last few numbers, which basically included Michelle trying – and very nearly succeeding – in kicking out the lighting on the ceiling!  At least that’s how far it felt as though Michelle was performing her high kicks – I swear I’d do myself an injury if I even tried that!! Wait for the Pilates session – I shall expect great things of you Michelle!! There’s a rumour Shirley may make this her last ‘Ladies Evening’ but I can’t believe that…..surely you can’t disappoint your audience Shirley!!

A Few Extra Bits…
No laminator-gate this time, but I must mention towels.  Probably the toughest challenge I’ve had yet (and bear in mind I’ve found myself nominated to do a zip-wire challenge in September and I really don’t like heights!). As we have the District Championship fast approaching, we’re refreshing our hand and bath (shower) towel supply.  Apparently my face was a picture in committee recently when it was revealed that the colour of the new towels is my choice as Lady Captain. Oh joy! Well, I was immediately under strict orders: “Definitely not pink!” came the first cry. “And not dark blue either!”. This is narrowing down options nicely, I thought. “We don’t want anything too pale.” Okay, that’s reasonable. “And not too dark either.” I reckon that leaves me with vivid orange or day-glow yellow, so watch this space!!

Fridge defrosting.
This is something that has to be done every now and again, and is always one of my favourite tasks. There is truly an art to the defrost, the balancing act of keeping stuff frozen against a speed-defrost. A pal of mine gets her hairdryer out for this task!  Anyway, I thought I’d try maximising my time by tackling about eight loads of washing whilst monitoring the great defrost, so that it didn’t turn into the great flood. Wasn’t that a joy. Dashing between kitchen (fridge freezer) and garage (washer dryer) to keep all parts moving. It is truly a wonder I didn’t spin dry the trout and freeze my undies though, come to think of it, I am a few socks missing….

My Lady Captain’s Diary for the Lady Golfer magazine has been drafted and submitted, so it’s just a case of waiting to see how much it is edited before print. If all goes according to plan, the piece should run in the June edition.  A few pics have been sent along too, including the Capt v Secretary Ryder Cup match and a few other bits and bobs. It will, however, just be great to see Hindley Hall in print!!

And now onto our Ladies’ Charity Open, which is approaching very very fast! The event is almost fully subscribed at the time of writing, and I can’t thank ladies enough for their generosity of prizes and items for the raffle.  Look out for Boot Out Breast Cancer Charity Day highlights in the next update – but, in the meantime, you can be a part of the blog and also perhaps an item in the Lady Golfer magazine…  Can I just ask that if you take any pics during the Boot out Breast Cancer Charity Day, you share them with me – printed or electronically, or both!!  I will send a follow-up to Lady Golfer magazine, and will also update this blog after the event, so any help with pics would be greatly appreciated.
We’ve had about 100 bras donated to decorate the course and clubhouse!
Thank you – and do have a great day if you’re playing!