Monday, 25 October 2010

Annual General Meeting 2010 held at Gullane

The East Vets AGM and annual prizegiving was held at Gullane Golf Club today. 56 ladies were present for the meeting followed by lunch.

Captain Elise Guy welcomed everyone present and without further ado the meeting was opened. After the apologies were announced (69), the prizegiving got underway. Happily most of the prizewinners were present which is always more satisfactory then when vouchers and trophies are placed to the side and hand-delivered later - which was the case in 2009.

The trophy winners were as follows:
Senior Salver - Elsa Todd
Wallace Williamson Aggregate Cup - Anne Brownie (Lothianburn)
Beddowes Trophy (best nett score Summer Meeting) - Katy Gillies (Glencorse)
Rosebowl (best nett score Autumn Meeting)- Ruth Brown (Lothianburn)
Ramsden Cup (Hole & Hole) Karen Ballantyne (Craigmillar Park)
Lady McInnes Shaw Trophy (Championship) - Karen Ballantyne (Craigmillar Park)

Karen (pictured above)had also brought to the meeting the Scroggie Cup (Scottish Vets Championship)which she recently won at Blairgowrie. She is pictured above with all three trophies. (apologies for the background) After the presentation, Karen read out a very nice tribute.

Captain Elise returned to the fore and delivered her captain's speech where she reiterated the list of all prizewinners but also the results of the interdivision matches which have previously been reported on the website - except for the East v Borders match at Swanston which seemed to have been omitted. This was in fact a loss to the East. She drew attention to the Elise Duncan Trophy which is played for in the annual East v West match for scratch and upwards players and which was retained this year. It is a very handsome trophy - still with no details from anyone as to the history of "Elise Duncan". Asp Robertson proclaimed her delight that the "Asp Trophy" was for once on show on the East trophy table - as opposed to decorating one from the West.

Elise asked the Vice-captain, Noreen Fenton, to say a few words on the results of East Vets participation in international events this year.

The minutes were then read out by Katherine, the timing of this deviating slightly from the norm. This is the last time that the minutes will be read out at the AGM, as it has been decided that in future, they will be put on the website prior to the event, when all East Vets can read them at their leisure. The minutes were proposed and seconded by Karen Ballantyne and Carol McLeod respectively.

Next was the turn of the Financial report but before a proposer and seconder were asked for, Katherine felt obliged to mention that the blurred signature at the bottom was in fact due to her printer and not an attempt at forgery. Clare Bowe and Catriona Shedden were kind enough to propose and second the financial report which showed a small return.

Elise announced tht the trial of using an aggregate of two scores to qualify for the championship was to be abandonned, reverting to the use of the Summer Meeting at Haddington only. This was mainly due to the most unfortunate weather conditions enjoyed by the competitors in both spring and summer meetings which reduced the number of entrants radically. Indeed a superstitious person might have deemed the whole venture cursed from the very beginning and doomed to failure. So, summer meeting only. This incidentally was received with more nods from the assembled audience than practically anything else other than the arrival of the meal.

Elise announced that Marjory Lauder would be the next Vice-captain and that Dulcie Barnes would join the committee. She then thanked her committee for their hard work and in particular Katherine, before handing over her badge of office to Noreen.

Noreen then dealt with the AOCB starting off with the Ramsden Cup. Ladies this year had found themselves in the position of being all square after eighteen holes and having to decide themselves in the field so to speak, what they would do since neither knew and had left home without their mobiles. They had at that time opted for best of three. It was agreed that for the remainder of the year this format would continue, until it could be brought up at the AGM. Thrown to the company , a show of hands decided on best of three rather than sudden death. So now all know.

The format for the matchplay stage of the championship would remain as it was this past year, first round on Saturday afternoon, semi-final and final on the Sunday. At present the actual dates for this are not yet known apart from the fact they will be one of week-ends 11/12 June, 18/19 June or 9/10 July to be finalised when the Haddington professional returns from holiday. The Summer Meeting will be on June 7th. The venue for the Autumn Meeting has alternated between Murrayfield and Liberton in the past. However since numbers at Liberton appear to be almost twice those of Murrayfield, it has been decided that Liberton will from now on be the only venue . This will be on September 5th, 2011, with the AGM and prizegiving on 24th October, also at Liberton Golf Club.

As already referred to previously, the East match against Borders was not our finest hour but we were able to admire the extreme smartness of the opposition to the point that the committee wanted to ensure that ladies representing our division in future would be attired similarly - not similar to the Borders but to each other. Although a different and prettier colour of shirt was suggested to the company, the general feeling was to wear yellow and that Katherine would ask for orders of this official East Vets shirt along with the subscriptions at the beginning of the year.

Noreen brought up the issue of using Distance Measuring Devices in East Vets competitions. Two ladies had asked if they could use them at the Autumn meeting but permission was refused at that time, although a short survey later conducted had shown a positive stance for their use. The vast majority of those present today voted for allowing the use of the device, although the general feeling of the meeting was that few would use them, but that there was no objection to those using them, who wanted to. Karen suggested that the view of the SVLGA could be sought which was agreed. In the meantime East Vets will allow their use as a local rule.

There being no further business the meeting was closed and all settled back with great patience to enjoy a really lovely meal when it arrived. The committee, being nearest the kitchen door, were served first and had to endure covetous glances from the rest of the room - but they just ignored them.

Monday, 18 October 2010

East Vets Annual General Meeting Monday 25th October

The Annual General Meeting and Prizegiving of the East Vets will take place in the clubhouse at Gullane next Monday at 11am. Hopefully any questions which have to be raised have long been in Katherine's possession. Last year there was unfortunately a shortage of prizewinners there to receive their trophies but early reports indicate this will not be the case this year. Please bring your smiles as well in case there are some cameras at the ready. The meeting will be followed by lunch.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Looking Back on Sheringham

It seems like a far distant memory now - pre-Ryder Cup certainly - but it was only a few days ago. It seems so much more.

Not Scotland's most illustrious hour certainly and a huge disappointment after their recent victory in Germany. Like all golf matches, just a tweak here, a touch there, a putt going in rather than sitting looking into the depths, would have made the most enormous difference to the result. A game of "if only".

Take for instance the game against Wales, which was a drawn match. Such was the closeness that one putt could have made Scotland all-over second as opposed to last. How cruel is golf. Very possibly everyone in the team can look back at a certain shot that influenced the outcome of their game, whether it was a shot that won a hole or more than likely, a shot that lost one. A sudden gust of wind taking the ball into a bunker, a putt not hit just that touch hard enough, an understandable desperation for the perfect shot that the swing was just that fraction too quick - then disaster. There's generally something that turns a match round and players can only "look back in anger" at themselves because it's easy to think what one might or should have done - afterwards. There's no stress and anxiety when it's all over. It's quite normal to try and shoulder the blame when one recalls poor shots. But no one player should ever take that responsibility. Each player went out there and did her absolute best, she should recall all the great shots and be proud.

Everyone or most everyone will have been watching the Ryder Cup over the weekend, seen the emotion and the passion with which both sides played. You might think if this is what they do all the time, they ought to be good at it, perfect at it even, but it didn't work out like that. It never does. There was so much to gasp at, wonderful wood shots soaring over trees and water and landing feet from this tiniest of flags, there were bunker shots peppering the hole, coming out of the sand like a pin-ball machine but with the precision of a bullet, there were putts, so many putts speeding their way twenty,thirty,yards over greens and finding a safe haven in the hole. Fantastic. Wonderful. There were also some pretty weird shots from these wizards of the golf course and there could have been cries of derision from the audience (and the living room) with the expectation of perfection - but more than likely not. More than likely sympathy and genuine understanding of their disappointment. To see players bouncing along, confident in their game, happy with their "holes-up status", smiling and chatting to their caddies, to see them lose one hole possibly against a birdie, no fault there, then maybe a slack or unlucky shot loses another and suddenly it seems as if the gates are open, allowing holes to run away and doubt and tension to slip in. Comfortable leads become monstrous deficits and it gets harder and harder to get that ball to do what you know you can do. And that's the other side of golf. We've all been there. We all understand.

Is that what happened at Sheringham? The team that came back from Berlin, buoyant with the gold medal under their belts and to all intents and purposes playing the same game, they just could not find that extra something to let them do it again and make a successful defence of the Senior Home International Trophy. Many of the games were initially even. As the Irish captain relayed on hearing results coming through her radio, "First game one up, second one down with the third all square on the first tee - well you could say it was anyone's game"!

Sadly it wasn't Scotland's on this occasion but there's always next year!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Third day at the Senior Home Interntionals

Scotland unfortunately were unable to take a point from Ireland on the third and final day of the Senior Home Internationals. In an effort to promote the Second Coming into her team, Captain Pamela Williamson completely altered the pairings but to no avail. At number one position, she joined together an old winning partnership of Fiona de Vries and Lorna Bennett, who took on new Irish cap Mairead MacNamara and very long-hitting Niamh Giblin. They lost 4 and 3. The second pairing was the combination of the two sisters from Tain, Mary Smith and Anne Ryan. They won against Pat Doran and Helen Jones on the eighteenth. The third couple were Heather Anderson and Noreen Fenton who were not tight enough initially against Sheena McElroy and Phil O'Gorman and then failed to counter the rush of birdies and good pars from both, whose putters were red hot. At the short eighth, the Scots tee-shot was six inches from the hole and surely could not be blamed for thinking they would get a hole back especially as the opposition's tee-shot was about forty feet away. Their hopes were dashed when the ball fell into the hole for a half in two.

In the afternoon singles, knowing that four out of five of the games had to come Scotland's way to make a likely second place, things started quite well. This however did not last, although Fiona de Vries, who had played in all six games, was too much for Violet McBride and brought in an early point. Mary Smith did likewise against Mairead MacNamara. But that was to be it. Moira Thomson (pictured left against the backdrop of the North Sea) held on to her usual steady game till the ninth where she missed an unlikely putt for her but this then allowed her opponent, Pat Doran, a foot in the door. As Moira began to appear a little less purposeful, Pat's game conversely looked increasingly more secure. It's a fact of life or golf than when that happens, there is very little luck to be had. The two remaining games with Lorna Bennett (playing Helen Jones) and Anne Ryan (playing Sheena mcElroy) were hard fought to the last but both finished on the seventeenth with points to Ireland.

Having recently come home from Berlin as worthy champions, Scotland were relegated to fourth place in the Home Internationals. England had won all their games with a healthy margin and indeed were very worthy winners.

England 3 points
Ireland 1 1/2 points
Wales 1 point
Scotland 1/2 point