Captains Report

 

Captain’s report for the annual meeting of the DMVGA
at Tiverton on Thursday, October 8, 2015.

WITH five open competitions, two invitational events and five matches, the playing year has been a busy and, generally, satisfactory year for the organisation.

The one hiccup occurred in the Emerton Court knock-out – and I’ll come to that later.

When taking on the captaincy I was told by our president Ian to enjoy the job to the utmost as the experience will be over in the blink of an eye: I have and it has.

I can only say thank you to the committee for the opportunity to represent this fine organisation and its 1600 members in 2015.

The season opened with the President’s Salver at Churston at the end of April. Other meetings were held at Libbaton (Spring), Tavistock (Western Morning News), Tiverton (Summer) and Woodbury Park (Autumn).
All the meetings were successful and well supported which meant, unfortunately, thatin most cases entries had to be restricted.

The two invitational events were the Millennium Trophy at Elfordleigh and today’s Captain’s Invitation for competition winners and club representatives.

Of the five matches played four were won and the other – against the strong and talented under-18 county juniors – was lost 7-1.

The most pleasing of the wins came in the matches against Cornwall. Despite some of the team having to drive two hours to The Point at Polzeath for the away match, the 22-man team was superb in winning by two points to set up the return fixture at Tavistock where we won 7-4 and, after five years, brought the cup back to where it rightly belongs!

The visit of Kent to Churston was, as always, very enjoyable and I’m glad that we have been able to maintain this bi-annual home and away meeting. The day was also made more pleasing by our three point victory and the excellent spirit in which the match was played. Next year we visit Kent and secretary Bob is already collecting names for the trip.

As usual, the final match was against the Devon County Veteran Ladies Golf Association – and when you hear that title you know you have to be on your best behaviour. Well we were and I hope the ladies enjoyed the occasion at Sauntonas they lost for the first time in three years.

My team were complete gentlemen in overcoming the comments about shots, handicaps and other matters that golfers of the opposite sex discuss on the course. My partner Stuart and I were even subjected to a “double or quits” attempt after our win. It didn’t work.

It was a great day for all concerned and I hope that the expression “Thumbs up” will be a lasting memory of the occasion for all who played!!!

I was fortunate to be invited to represent the DMVGA at the Bigbury Seniors’ Open and at Tavistock as part of their 125th celebration events. Congratulations to them and Churston for reaching such a milestone during 2016.

My final official duty before today was the presentation of the Emerton-Court trophy to Elfordleigh last Monday. DMVGA officials and home club members were at the celebration lunch when the tankard and individual trophies were handed out. Well done to Elfordleigh for winning the event for the first time.

This neatly brings me back to the Emerton Court issue. As a Tiverton player I could not be involved in the final decision by executive committee members. However, I believe the disqualification of Yelverton it was the right one.

The Emerton Court knock out competition is the Flag Ship event of the DMVGA and provides some of the best competitive team golf for over-60s in Devon

My one plea as retiring captain is that some clubs stop treating it like a football to be kicked about when the whim occurs.

The rules of the competition, available for all to see on the website, should be observed and enforced and it is the job of the committee to do this with the help of the club representatives on whom we depend so much.

And, when it comes to arranging fixtures for each round, most clubs have problems fixing dates: but goodwill on behalf of everyone to find an hour’s starting time is surely not too demanding.

Each year, it seems, we tinker with this and that as the DMVGA tries to meet everyone’s needs. No matter what we decide, however, the basics remain. To enter the competition a team needs the support of its clubmanagement to find the time to play the matches. Is it too much to ask? The DMVGA has no control over clubs and what they do: this has to be agreed between the club and its players.

I must not end without thanking everyone on the executive committee, in particular president Ian Drawbridge and secretary Bob Small, without whom the DMVGA would not function in the way it does. Also to retiring committee members Brian Harris and Moss Pearson.Then there’s treasurer David Bromage and assistant secretary Chris Henderson who do great work.

I’d especially like to promote our website to all members. This week it passed 20,000 hits since it was re-designed by Adrian Granville-Smith of Saunton earlier in the year. Keep an eye on it and I’m sure you’ll see more innovations to enjoy in the next 12 months. This and other reports from this meeting will appear there soon.

My final thanks must go to vice-captain Stuart MacKerrell from Dainton Park, a great support to me andan excellent press officer. I wish him all the success and enjoyment that goes with this office as he takes on the captaincy for 2016.

And I mustn’t end without thanking all of you and your colleagues for the support you have given the DMVGA this year.

It’s been a privilege being your captain in the fleeting time I’ve had

Peter Stuckey, Captain, DMVGA, 2015