Tuesday, 27 October 2009

East Vets AGM

The Annual General Meeting and Presentation of Prizes of the East Vets Division took place yesterday at Murrayfield Golf Club. It was attended by 59 ladies including the committee.

While the ladies were gathering and enjoying coffee or other refreshments, the financial statement was circulated prior to the opening of the meeting.

The lady captain Elise Guy opened the meeting by announcing the death of Aileen Kelly.

Katherine Thomson then reported that 64 apologies had been received.
The meeting proceeded with the presentation when those who were present came up to receive their prizes.

Spring meeting
Scratch Winner Karen Ballantyne 74
1st Handicap Caroline Kinnaird nett 64
2nd Handicap Elizabeth Simpson nett 68
3rd Handicap Barbara Halliday nett 68
4th Handicap Dulcie Barnes nett 69

Bronze Handicap Winners
1st Handicap Patricia Rose nett 71
2nd Handicap Jean Dawson nett 72

Summer Meeting
Scratch Winner Rita Dee 78 (BIH)
1st Handicap Pam Townsend nett 67
2nd Handicap Libby Campbell nett 69
3rd Handicap Carol Halliday nett 71 (BIH)
4th Handicap Phyl Early nett 71

Bronze Handicap winners
1st handicap Anne McIntosh nett 74
2nd handicap Margaret Dalrymple nett 77 (BIH)

Autumn Meeting
Scratch Winner Caroline Johnstone 77
1st Handicap Kate Johnston nett 71
2nd Handicap Anne Hanna nett 73
3rd Handicap Sandra Ashurst nett 74

Bronze Handicap Winners
1st handicap Anne McIntosh nett 74
2nd Handicap Catriona Shedden nett 81

Next on the agenda would have been the presentation of trophies but as the majority of trophy winners had sent their apologies and were not present , Katherine simply read out the list and requested that a round of applause be accorded at the end. The Senior Salver was won by Elizabeth Simpson, the Wallace Williamson Aggregate Cup won by Pam Townsend, Beddows Trophy won by Pam Townsend and the Rose Bowl won (for the second year running) by Kate Johnston.
The only trophy winner present was Gilly Glen (pictured left having received the Ramsden Cup from the Captain). The East Vets Championship (MacInnes Shaw Trophy) had been won by Moira Thomson with Ruth Brown the runner-up. Ruth elected to say a few words on behalf of Moira who had sent her apologies. She said how much she had enjoyed the game, that it had been well-fought - a great match with great golf. She also mentioned that it would have been a most enjoyable event for supporters had they been there to watch. Perhaps next year we will persuade a few people to come and spectate!

These being all the prizes, Katherine read out the very detailed minutes for 2008, which were duly proposed and seconded. Next on the list was the Financial Report which had been circulated earlier, examined critically by a few but possibly read with glazed eyes by others whilst drinking their coffee and catching up with friends' chat. A question was asked that since there had been a sizeable surplus from the meetings, could the value of the prizes be reviewed. Katherine promised to look into this. Ethel Jack and Isobel McDonald kindly proposed and seconded the financial report.

The captain then gave her report in which she reported on the healthy state of the membership - 154. Results of the matches throughout the year were notified - some good and some not so good. The annual match at Elie against the Senior Men (a very generous opposition) and also the scratch game for the Elise Duncan Trophy against the West, this year at Gullane, were victories for the East Vets. The foursomes match against the West at Troon Portland was a draw but seeing as this was such a welcome move in the right direction, it felt almost like a win! Unfortunately, the game against the Borders was neither a win nor even anything like a draw - but was enjoyed nonetheless. Next year it will be at home.

Elise then mentioned that the Spring Meeting at Gullane 3 had an entry of 93, the Summer meeting at Haddington, 66 but the Autumn Meeting at Murrayfield had only 36 entrants rather a disappointing downturn .

Next the captain reported on the successes of the lower handicap players who had played in events such as the Scottish Women's Championship at Southerness, the Scottish Senior Championship at Kinross and the British Senior Open Championship at Pyle and Kenfig in Wales. She also congratulated Moira Thomson and Fiona Hunter who had done particularly well, Moira being runner-up twice, the first in the Scottish Seniors and the other in the Scroggie Cup at Blairgowrie, and also Fiona, for being the Scottish Senior Strokeplay Champion. Fiona was selected to play for the Scottish Vets against an Irish Select team, both Fiona and Moira were selected in the Vets Jamboree and the European Team Championship and then accompanied by Noreen Fenton all three played in the victorious Scottish Senior team in the Home Internationals , a team captained yet again by Pamela Williamson.

This completed Elise's report and she finished by thanking Murrayfield for the room to hold the AGM.

The company was quick to agree to the committee serving for a further year. AOCB initially continued in the same gentle vein with a recommendation by the committee to admit all those on the waiting list in an effort to push numbers up at the declining Autumn meeting. This passed without demur.

And then everyone woke up. Elise told the meeting that it had been decided by committee that qualifying for the championship would in future be decided over two rounds, one from the Spring Meeting and the other, as before, from the Summer Meeting. And that the matchplay would take place over the weekend following the summer meeting! Well if anyone thought the meeting was dozing quietly in a corner, they were soon put right. That weekend was no use for Lothianburn members as it was their club championship. No one else thankfully claimed club championship clashing. A request for a return to the old days and have a hole 'n hole was disputed by the vice-captain who pointed out that most of the other Divisions had changed to a matchplay format over two days and that this was in keeping with what the East Vet Champion (and all the other regional champions) would be required to do at Blairgowrie. It was also to help those working ladies who could not take more time off during the week.

The wisdom of two qualifying rounds instead of one was also challenged. What if people could not play in both competitions? The committee stated that entries from both Spring and Summer Meetings had been examined and only two ladies of low handicap had not played in both. What if it was bad weather in Spring but a bemused snort from the front row silenced that. The rationale for suggesting two scores was explained by referring to last year when finding eight people for the matchplay stages had been an administrative nightmare involving a great deal of work and persuasion by the committee. With two rounds from which to take the eight best aggregates of those actually wishing to play in the match-play stage, it was most likely to produce eight people all of whom would make good champions worthy to carry the East's flag to Blairgowrie - that freak good scores or similarly bad scores influencing qualifying, could be limited.

Pamela Williamson suggested trying to find a weekend in July which was a change from previous practice and this seemed to find favour although objection was made to the word "try" and what would would happen if a date could not be achieved. It was decided by the committee that such a date would be investigated and in the event of no such date being found, a "one-off " return to the hole 'n'hole would be set up, but the matter would definitely be looked at again the following year.

The meeting closed there being no further business and a very delicious meal enjoyed thereafter by the company - although the salmon did look a little as if it was being divided to grace one or two more plates than originally planned for.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Annual AGM

The annual AGM and presentation of prizes will be held at Murrayfield Golf Club on Monday 26th October at 11am followed by lunch. There may still be the chance of attending and having lunch should anyone now be able who previously was not. Please contact Katherine Thomson.

A full report of the AGM will be available on the website for those who cannot attend.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Slideshow of Newport

Each country puts on a party piece. Scotland attempted to do a skit on "The Apprentices" with Ethel starring as Lady Alana MacSugar. The black bin liners were an essential part of this show and only truly committed team members would have taken part with the same enthusiasm shown on the golfing field - although committed is possibly exactly what they should have been! It is fair to say the participants probably enjoyed this more than their previous golfing opponents. What stars!

Friday, 2 October 2009

History is Made

Scotland won the Senior Ladies' Home Internationals yesterday at Newport Golf Club in Wales for the first time ever, since it was inaugurated in 2003. Until last year, when Wales unexpectedly snatched victory, England had had a vice-like grip on the Sue Johnson Trophy and now it was Scotland's turn.

There was no question that losing Lorna Bennett (Ladybank) from the team just days before departure was a heavy blow. Everyone knew that they would have to find that extra little something from somewhere, that one loose putt per match or a drop in focus, could totally affect the final result and had to be avoided at all costs. So that's exactly what they did. Day One against Ireland, victory by 5½ to 2½. Day Two against England, victory by 4½ to 3½ - so long-awaited, so very sweet. Day Three against Wales, the holders, victory by 5½ to 2½. (An easy calculation had demonstrated that a loss to Wales was a likely win yet again for England, on goal difference)

Captain Pam Williamson of Baberton was a skipper with a mission. Her energy and purpose was unquenchable and she inspired her team which included three East Vets, Moira Thomson (Gullane Ladies), Fiona Hunter (Baberton) and Noreen Fenton (Dunbar) together with Heather Anderson (Alyth), Fiona de Vries (St Rule), Mary Smith (Tain) and Kathleen Sutherland (Royal Montrose) who replaced Lorna Bennett. Pamela padded round and round the whole course morning and afternoon, wired up, not to Classic FM but a succession of communicated hole by hole results of all her players, relayed by volunteer scorers with each match. These scorers were excessively keen but just occasionally, at the height of the backswing on the following tee, one could hear syncopated reports being relayed back to base with a crisp "over and out" at the finish which was often quite off-putting. Also from the East Vets were two other supporters, Ethel Jack (president SLGA) and Janet Wake of Merchants who was team manager and whose duffel bag was stuffed with goodies - fruit and nuts, kitkats and jaffa-cakes which have been clinically proven to fit the necessary nutritional bill. With this kind of preparation, how could we fail!

The team had been hard at it from Saturday but the worst bit was definitely getting up between five o'clock and six o'clock every morning to get to the golf course via the bus driven by Janet, get kitted out with clubs and caddy-cars, fit in some pre-match practice and other necessary visits before eight o'clock when it all began. For some obscure reason, Scotland had drawn the short straw and was out early on all three days so there was never any let-up and no chance of slightly longer lies. On the practice ground, it was just light enough to see the ball flight and the early morning mist so enshrouded the players that from a distance, only their top halves could be seen. That quickly burnt off.

The next major problem for the captain was organising the organisers of the caddycar allocations and the caddies themselves. These caddies were all volunteer members (and all claiming some percentage however small of Scottish blood). Some of the caddies were quite senior even compared to the Ladies themselves and they travelled at their own speed which was often slightly slower than the LGU speed guidelines. One or two of them introduced themselves to their player, slowly deposited all their own requisites - clothes, drinks etc - in the players' already crammed bag only to discover they were in fact the caddies of the opposition and the process had to start all over again. There were many hiccups and this was indeed a major operation requiring tact and diplomacy. But everything was always ready by eight o'clock.

The weather every day was wonderful - almost an unblemished sky which on day three, more than once was sporting a celestial saltire - an auspicious omen indeed. The course and greens were in wonderful condition and it was a joy to play or walk on. For the supporters watching there were closely fought matches or - should the inclination be more geared toward Nature - there were squirrels, croaking toads, screeching buzzards, tapping woodpeckers, jays, robins, long-tailed tits, quite the inexhaustable supply of ornithological specimens.

And throughout there was the very best atmosphere between the players, many of whom had been friends for years but whose matches were played out in the most highly competitive manner. The on-line scoring which was provided for supporters at home showed just how many birdies, even eagles, that were scored, all proving the superior quality of senior ladies' golf, something which is often overlooked.

Scotland should be proud that their Senior Ladies Team - unlike its women's team and its girls team - actually managed to do just what it set out to do - win the Home Internationals. Congratulations to them. A wonderful achievement.

All the results day by day were reported in great detail on Kirkwoodgolf. A slideshow will follow.