Captains Blog #3 - 25th March 2018

Hello All. As we approach the golfing season I thought it time to write the next instalment of my Captains Blog.

Since last time we’ve had quite a bit going on. On the SGC social scene there was our Burns’ Night celebration. A great evening thanks in large part to all those people who generously entered into the spirit of the occasion and took centre stage reciting verses from Burns’ ‘Address to a Haggis’, paying tribute to Burns in the immortal memory and of course the toast to the Lassies and their reply.

The 60s / 70s themed party attracted some outlandish themed costumes which added a touch of colour, sparkle and pizazz to a really fun evening. In contrast the Captains’ lunch Carol & I hosted was a more sedate affair though none the less enjoyable for that. The singer was superb as was the food and based on the feedback received everyone there had a wonderful afternoon.

I’ve also had the honour of representing Sidcup Golf Club at the Cherry Lodge Captains’ Ball and at the Eltham Warren and Bexleyheath Drive Ins. These events have been hugely enjoyable for both Dawn and I and help strengthen the bonds with other local clubs.

There has been some sad news since my last blog with the passing of past Captain Peter Smith, past Ladies Captain Avril Fenwick and past member Geoff Blanchard. On hearing of Avril’s passing a very moving tribute was paid to Avril as pink bows were attached to the club flag. Our thoughts and best wishes are with all the families and friends. Details of funeral arrangements have been posted on notice boards around the club.

Unsurprisingly at this time of year the weather has impacted access to the course. This has played havoc with competitions making rearrangements necessary. Look out for notices. Given the weather it’s astonishing the course is in such good condition. Praise is due to Gary Tait, the greens team and volunteers for completing the winter work programme and presenting us with a course we can be proud of. It was noticeable how little playing time we lost compared to other clubs and unlike many clubs we have regular greens in play.

The men’s golfing season is just starting to get underway with club matches being arranged and the first match played. Congratulations to the North Kent Foursomes team who won away at Sheerness. The first of what will hopefully be many successes. Our first friendly match is just around the corner, a home match against Bexleyheath on Thursday 12th April. These are great fun to play in so put your names up early on the sheets provided in the changing room to avoid disappointment.

As some of you may have seen I’ve been wearing some new club polo shirts made from the dry fit material rather than the more traditional cotton polo shirts. If you’re interested in purchasing one of these please contact the office and look out for the notices for more information. Where possible we would encourage members to wear these at club matches. And speaking of club matches please do give your support to your team Captains and their teams. Good luck to all the teams over the coming months.
The Ladies season has been underway for a while now with 5 rounds of the Pearson trophy already played. The Ladies have got off to a great start winning 4 out of the 5 matches including 3 of them 7-0. I went along to support the team at their last home match and found myself becoming a ball spotter for a partially sighted member of the opposition team. A surprisingly difficult task given the information you are / are not allowed to give.

The seniors have had a good time away at Cray Valley winning their first friendly of the season 4-1 with one half. The first league match is away at Shooters Hill on Tuesday 3rd April. Hopefully the friendly result can be replicated and get the team off to a good start in their quest to win the league.

Easter is fast approaching and as usual there will be a Captains Holiday competition running over Good Friday, Easter weekend and Easter Monday. It’s open to all Men and Ladies with prizes for both the leading Man and Leading Lady. It’s a straight forward 18 hole non-qualifying stableford competition that you can enter as many times as you wish. On Easter Monday we also have the traditional mixed Greensomes competition. Please sign-up in the foyer. It’s a 10:00 meet for 10:30 start.

This Easter I am running a raffle for an Easter hamper. Again it’s one of Karen Foster’s superb creations and well worth winning. Tickets available from behind the bar.

Up and coming there is the Captains charity quiz on Friday 6th April. Teams of 6, sign-up in the foyer. Cost is £10 per person including a fish and chip supper. Money raised from this event will go towards my nominated external charity Bexley Voice.

On Friday 13th April it’s Ladies night. Ladies bring your daughters / friends, gents tell your wives / girl-friends. Enjoy a complimentary drink, chocolate fountain, nibbles and taster pamper sessions plus a singer. £10 a ticket, sign-up in the foyer.

Medieval Knight is fast approaching. We’ve got superb food from our chef Paul and entertainment from the internationally renowned jester Peterkin the Fool. No ordinary jester, Peterkin the Fool was jester to the Queen at her Golden and Diamond jubilees and is the National Heritage court jester. The event is on Saturday 21st April and tickets are just £25. One not to miss! Yes, you’ve got it – sign-up in the foyer.

I look forward to seeing you over the coming weeks. Happy golfing !


Captain, Sidcup Golf Club

Captains Blog #2 2nd January 2018

Hello everyone and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all,

Doesn’t time fly, another year gone and another month into the Captaincy.
Carol and I trust you’ve had an enjoyable Christmas and, for all those party animals, have recovered from your New Year celebrations.

Since my last blog the club has seen a lot of social activity, what with the Ladies Christmas meal, various swindle dinners, Senior’s dinner & dance, our first Christmas Carol event, the New Year’s Eve party and much more besides.

Carol and I along with Dawn and John would particularly like to extend our thanks to Tony Gardner and the seniors for their kind invitation. We enjoyed the meal, company and entertainment you provided for us.

At the senior’s dinner & dance I was fortunate enough to meet Ron Rowe and his wife Mary. A few days later it was saddening to hear of his passing. Ron was a long standing and popular member of Sidcup until his move to Ashford. Our thoughts are with his family.

This year witnessed Sidcup’s first Christmas carol with meal event. As ever with anything new there’s always a bit of apprehension though based on the feedback I’ve received I believe it was a success. I would like to thank the choir singers from The Parish Church of Holy Trinity and particularly Penny Brayshaw for all her hard work.

As ever Sidcup saw the New Year in with a party. In keeping with this year’s theme I hope the fun people had will be something replicated throughout the whole of 2018 and beyond.

This year Carol and I placed a joint Captain’s charity Christmas card in the foyer for people to sign and make a charitable donation. Carol and I are delighted to announce that the generosity of Sidcup’s member’s has raised £165. This will be split equally between our chosen charities. THANK YOU!

Our next social event is the Burns night supper. Burns night is a celebration of the life and poetry of Scots poet Robert (Rabbie) Burns. For those unfamiliar with the evening it is steeped in tradition and great fun. See some of Sidcup’s finest pipe in the haggis with the Dagenham girl pipers, recite (in their best Scottish accents) the address to the Haggis and enjoy a five course meal the centre point of which (I’m reliably informed – by chef Paul) is a superior cut of Scottish rib beef (or salmon alternative). Details & sign-up sheet in foyer.

The Ladies and Men’s Christmas Hampers prizes were presented at the Christmas Carol and meal event. Carol and I would like to thank Karen Foster for the much admired and superbly prepared hampers.

The lucky recipients were:

Ladies winner Judith Houghton.
Men’s Division 1: winner Paul Clemens, second Chris Foster.
Men’s Division 2: winner Steve Monaghan, second Trevor Skinner with a consolation prize to Tony Orme who came third on countback.

Also congratulations to the Men’s and Ladies winners of the Christmas Holiday competitions.

9 Hole Winners: Men’s joint winners Lloyd Kirby and Martin Lewis
Leading lady Ali O’Neill

18 Hole Winners: Men’s joint winners Joe Evans and Lloyd Kirby, third Michael Smith, Leading lady Ali O’Neill.

Staying on the golfing theme, one of the surprises for me so far has been the number of different people from across the club who’ve approached me about the men’s teams. All have very passionately extolled the virtues of their ideas on what should be done to help bring competitive success to the men’s teams. On the one hand this is difficult since there are a lot of different ideas, many of which conflict, but overall is a huge positive since it shows there is a great desire within the club to be successful. I’ve given considerable thought as to what to do this year and in conclusion I’ve decided to keep things largely unchanged as regards team captains and will be working with them in the New Year on how to build a greater sense of ‘team Sidcup’ and commitment from members to enable us to field the strongest possible teams. More on the latter over the next couple of months. The list of team captains is up on the men’s notice board. Good luck to all the teams!

Just a quick reminder that eligible seniors are welcome to join the seniors roll-up every Tuesday. The competition is open all day, sign-in via the psi terminal. Costs just £1 to enter.

Finally I am repeating the membership prize draw that took place a couple of years back. Tickets are now on sale at the cost of £10 each or 6 for £50. There’s one prize – full membership to Sidcup Golf Club for a year including extras (bar card, locker etc.). The draw will be made on 21st April during the Medieval Banquet.

Good luck in the prize draw and here’s to a peaceful, prosperous and Happy New Year.

Captain, Sidcup Golf Club

Captains Blog - Chris Hill

Blog One - 06/12/17

Hello Everyone,

One month in to the captaincy and I thought it time I let you know what’s on my mind. This is something I’ll do periodically throughout the year to help keep you informed.

It’s been a busy time starting with the drive in. I know I speak for Carol as well when I say that we had a great day. Thank you for all the good wishes, those able to attend on the day and all those people who helped make it the day that it was. A special thank you to Carol for being such a good sport and entering into the idiocy of it all and of course my wife Dawn for her immense support.

My first event was the Roast & Boiled, an Only Fools and Horses comedy dinner. This was a change to the usual format and based on the feedback I’ve had was well received. Thank you to all those who attended and made it an enjoyable evening.

This was closely followed by the Dartford Ball and Shortlands drive in. Dawn and I enjoyed both these events and are looking forward to those that follow.

The men’s and ladies hampers competitions have been played, albeit having to be partly rescheduled due to adverse weather closing the course. Congratulations to the prize winners! The ladies receive their hampers this Thursday at the ladies Christmas dinner, whilst the men will be presented theirs before the Christmas Carols and meal on Sunday 17th December. A BIG THANK YOU to Karen Foster for preparing the hampers.

Some weeks back was a sad day for me personally with the passing of John Smedley (Snr). John was one of those people who made me feel really welcome when I joined Sidcup and I enjoyed many a good game with John over the 13 years that followed. I felt the funeral service was a fitting and moving tribute and the support shown by members of Sidcup a testament to the esteem in which John was held by all members of, in the words used during the service, “his beloved Sidcup”. Our thoughts and best wishes go to John W. Smedley and his family.

On the 7th November 2017 Derrick Aughterlony achieved a memorable milestone. 50 years as a member of Sidcup Golf Club. Over the years we have a lot to thank Derrick for, not least of which his time as Captain and President of our club. Congratulations Derrick !

This past week has been particularly busy first with attending the very successful ladies bazaar. It was great to see the clubhouse packed out at 10am on a Monday morning. I was honoured to be invited to draw the raffle and even managed to draw a few men’s names out.

The clubs first full social was on Saturday where we had Frankies Guys – a tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The event was terrific, especially the 5th member of the band. I guess the contract is still in the post (you needed to be there). This was followed on Sunday by the Children’s Christmas Party. The kids appeared to have a great time. Mine and Dawn’s thanks to all the ladies that helped out preparing the lunch boxes and sweet stall. A special mention to Wendy and Karen Foster for Santa’s grotto and not forgetting Andy Kirk as Father Christmas, now officially “the best Santa ever”.

It was flattering to receive an invite to the Seniors Christmas Dinner Dance and the Juniors Christmas meal, both of which I’m looking forward to. What with these, the various swindle dinners, club events etc. I fear the comments about expanding waistlines may prove to be correct.

The Christmas decorations are up and look fabulous. The lights outside and the use of the lights in the clubhouse are particularly effective. Well done Julie and Lesley – Great job !
Before I started writing this I thought it’d be a quick note. I had no idea so much had happened in such a short space of time. But before I finish a quick reminder that we have the Christmas Carols and dinner on Sunday 17th. There is one table available so if you haven’t already done so there is still an opportunity to put your name down.

Then to finish 2017 there’s the New Year Eve Party. Just a few spaces left so get your names down fast. With all these events, a plea to make payment promptly as it makes life much easier, especially for Kieron and John.

Carol and I have placed a joint Captains charity Christmas card in the foyer and invite members to wish each other season’s greetings and place a charitable donation in the men’s competition box. The proceeds will be split equally between our chosen charities.

Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gary Tait and the Greens staff for all their work over the year, presenting the course in such good condition. To Paul and his team for the fantastic food we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy. To Kieron and the bar staff for their service and range of different beers that have been made available. To John for his organisation, professionalism and ensuring the smooth running of the club. To the board of directors for all their work throughout the year, much of it unseen but nonetheless vital to the running of the club. To all those volunteers who work out on the course, in and around the clubhouse or in the office in whatever capacity, this makes a huge difference to the pleasure and enjoyment each and every one of us takes out of being a member of Sidcup Golf Club.

Wishing everyone associated with Sidcup Golf Club a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Chris HIll
Captain, Sidcup Golf Club

p.s. I might even get a chance to talk about golf next time !
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