The Annual Subscription was increased to £2.50 (from £2) and this was the first increase since 1982!!!!!
The entry fees for events with just a one-course meal were set at £17 per head.
The first DMVGA Website using a template supplied by Moonfruit, was set up by our Treasurer – David Bromage.
Exminster joined the DMVGA pushing us up to 40 Clubs with nearly 1600 members.
Following very slow play in the Millennium Trophy in 2009, which was still a Medal competition in those days, in albeit very difficult conditions a request had been made at the AGM in 2009 that it become a Stableford event. This was approved by the Committee by a majority vote of 8-2.
We increased our annual donation to the County Juniors to £150 – it had remained at £100 since 1988.
The Western Morning News rules were changed to allow Clubs to enter a maximum of three teams (was two) of three players and this improved the numbers playing.
It was agreed at the AGM to re-schedule the Emerton-Court Final to the first week in October so that early rounds could be played in late April/May rather than March/early April given the very wet Spring conditions in recent years.
A proposal at the AGM that the first two rounds of the Emerton-Court be drawn on a regional basis failed to find a seconder.
There were yet more changes to the Emerton-Court Rules concerning practise on the day of a match (currently not allowed) as follows: “Practise is permitted on the day of a match but only on the Club’s designated practise area”. This debate had arisen since a few Clubs had their practise area as a part of their course, i.e. Tiverton.
At the 2010 AGM the Committee had been asked to “reconsider the venue for the Emerton-Court Final and any alternative should the Club chosen themselves reach the Final.” This request had followed a complaint about the selection of Dainton Park as the venue in 2010 when Churston reached the Final.
The Committee “unanimously agreed that the Final should remain at Churston (it was Gordon Emerton-Court’s Club) and that Dainton Park and Saunton be considered as the alternative venues should Churston reach the Final.” This would of course depend on their being able to offer acceptable financial terms.
The Western Morning news rules were changed again to have all three Club members playing together (a la President’s Salver). This was an experiment to see if it would increase numbers entering and was a great success.
38 out of our 40 Clubs entered the Emerton-Court competition.
Entry fees for our competitions went up to £18 and there was a distinct improvement in numbers playing with all our events being oversubscribed.
Sadly, we lost Hele Park as one of our member Clubs when they decided to no longer have a members Club at the course. However, we welcomed Boringdon Park to membership and thus retained our 40 Clubs.
When Harry Keen – our first Secretary – was made the Associations first Life Member at the 1975 AGM he was also presented with an engraved Salver and it was reported that the Keen family wished to re-present it to the DMVGA. We gratefully accepted and decided to make it the Trophy for the best individual Stableford score in the President’s Salver and had the reverse suitably engraved for that purpose.
We increased our annual donation to the County Juniors to £200 and as usual it was presented by our Captain at the Dinner following the match against them.
Our Captain – Ian Drawbridge – took over responsibility for maintaining the DMVGA Website.
Much to our Treasurer’s delight numbers applying to play in our events were significantly higher and in the President’s Salver we got additional tee times enabling a field of 180 to play – certainly the highest number for many years. However, there was not the same support for the matches against the County Juniors and Kent and we were forced to take a reduced team of only 11 players to Kent.
We again had an entry of 38 Clubs in the Emerton-Court competition.
History was created at Saunton on Wednesday 31st July when our Captain – Roy Hancocks – led us to our first ever win in the annual match against the County Juniors by 4 ½ to 3 ½. Clearly Roy’s name will never be forgotten!!! He was even more delighted than normal therefore to present them with our donation of £200 and a further personal donation.
Following a proposal at the 2012 AGM we introduced “ONE4ALL” Vouchers for our cash prizes (replacing M&S Vouchers).
The continuation of the annual match against Kent was discussed when they came to Devon for the match at Churston. We both wish to see this match continue (remember that Gordon Emerton-Court had proposed it after he had created the AKVG) and it was decided to look to book a hotel for all our players for the visit to Kent in 2014 and to sound out members well in advance to ensure we could field a team of 16.
A suggestion that we consider matches against Somerset and Dorset Veterans was turned down since it was felt our current schedule was more than adequate.
It was decided to return to awarding “glassware” as the individual prizes to both teams in the Emerton-Court Final (we had been issuing medals in recent years).
Numbers applying to play in our events were again sufficient to require balloting at all bar the final meeting. A sign of the continuing strength and popularity of our Association.
Our Treasurer extended our range of DMVGA merchandise with the addition of DMVGA logo Umbrellas and Golf Bag Towels.
Bob Keating retiring Secretary and past Captain/President was made a Life Member of the DMVGA and was presented with an engraved Salver.
The role of Assistant Secretary was reintroduced as an Officer and therefore a member of the Executive Committee. We returned to M&S Vouchers for our cash prizes.
The calendar year began as usual with the President’s Trophy at Bigbury where Peter Lawrence, our President, made sure his Club gave us their usual welcome and hospitality. This was followed our two Matches against Cornwall. Sadly we lost both home and away with an overall deficit of 13-9. Both games were played in an excellent spirit and we look forward to hopefully bring back the Trophy to Devon next year. A point to note here is that Cornwall seem to have fallen out with Launceston and next year intend to take us further into the County to play at the The Point G.C. at Polzeath. We await the new challenge but hope that it does not deter those from north of our County from requesting to play. The Spring meeting, held at Dainton Park, was a very successful day with a full field heavily oversubscribed.
The Western Morning News Trophy at Sidmouth came next at the beginning of July. Although numbers were down on those anticipated, Sidmouth G.C. were excellent hosts and a most enjoyable day was had by all those who tried to beat the Course par 3s.
Due to the good foresight of our Secretary, Bob Small, a decision was made to circulate all Clubs early in the year to find out what sort of interest there was to travel to Kent for our bi-annual visit. This action paid dividends because this time we were oversubscribed and were able to take a full complement of 16 players. Our friendly Match against Tudor Park was lost 31/2- 41/2 and our Match against Kent Vets 3-5. Redlibbets G.C. was considered by most of us to be in poor condition for this Match and it is proposed to request an alternative venue in two years time when we next visit them. We are also looking to switch the two fixtures around to avoid the rush to leave our Kent colleagues
and not be able to socialise with them. Nevertheless a great time was had by all those who travelled despite the nightmare return journey caused by long delays on the M25.
Our Summer Meeting was held at the Captain’s Club, Exeter G & CC, where a full field of 162 players took part and which we had sufficient requests for us to field nearly 200 players. A great day where the participants obviously enjoyed themselves as Exeter Seniors Section were able to fill the last 15 places in their Open Invitation at the beginning of September by people wishing to return and play the course as soon as possible.
I am delighted to report that our Match against the Juniors was oversubscribed. A great day and it was a pleasure to play against them and watch their youthful skills. Even though Handicap Allowances and Tee differentials once again into play we sadly lost the Match 51/2-21/2. It is a delight to challenge our future Devon Champions. The venue for the Millennium Trophy was Holsworthy and I am pleased that they have overcome their recent difficulties. They made us most welcome and again a great day was had by all. Our final Open meeting was the Autumn Meeting, this year held at Yelverton. A very different challenge but a full field applied to play and once again enjoyed their usual hospitality.
The Emerton Court Final this year was on Monday 6th October between Padbrook Park and Staddon Heights, who were finally the winners.
This year saw excellent turn outs in all competitions; the first meeting of the year, the prestigious President’s Salver held at Churston, was won by Honiton whilst the Millennium Trophy held at Elfordleigh was won by Teign Valley; the Western Morning News Trophy, at Tavistock, was won by Wrangaton. The Spring Meeting at Libbaton was marred by very poor weather, a relatively unusual occurrence, but all other meetings were held in good weather with excellent attendance levels.
Captain Peter Stuckey from Tiverton took the DMVGA team to play Cornwall at the Point at Polzeath, (previously known as Roserrow) and came away with a victory which was followed by further victory at Tavistock, the Salver returning to Devon after 5 years. It remains to be seen if the Cornish match will remain at The Point or return to Launceston. The Captain’s good fortune continued in the match against Kent at Churston with a 3 point victory; a great day’s golf against our amiable colleagues from Kent. The Captain’s luck did not extend to the match against the Devon County Junior squad where we were well beaten by 7 – 1. The final match against Devon Lady Veterans was won for the first time in 3 years.
Away from the course, a sub-committee was set up to look at all areas relating to the future – this included items such as handicapping; use of consistent logo across all items – clothing; headed paper, ties etc.; golf for all – including competitions for higher age groups – above 75 and/or 80. Also competitions for lower handicappers.
The new website, built by Adrian Granville-Smith, progresses and it is hoped that, in the future, a full service will be offered by this medium with all event details and application forms being available. This year we adopted the updated Logo and also the new tie, both being designed and produced by Adrian.
The Hon. Treasurer kept the accounts in good order with little change from the 2014 costs and income.
Finally, and sadly, there was no DMVGA Emerton-Court final this year, with Elfordleigh winning by default. This was due to Yelverton being disqualified from playing in the final by fielding an ineligible player in their side when playing, and beating, Tiverton in the semi-final.
It was with sadness we learned of the death of Bryan Blaber; + Bryan was DMVGA Captain in 2007 and President in 2010 and was on the Executive Committee at the time of his passing.
Once again there were excellent numbers applying to compete in all competitions. The problem of ‘balloting out’ was once again to the fore with criticism of the way in which this was done; a review of this procedure was to be carried out. Earlier tee off times, from 07.40, and later ones to 15.40 have helped to manage the larger fields, although this can only be true of the earlier meetings in the season where day-light hours permit.
President Peter Anglis hosted the first event of the year, The President’s Salver, at Tavistock; an excellent day was had by all with Bovey Castle being the winners. Other team events were won by:
Western Morning News – Exminster
Millennium Trophy – Portmore
The prestigious DMVGA Emerton-Court Trophy was won by Staddon Heights for the second occasion in 3 years.
A new competition for the over 75’s was introduced at the Spring Meeting for the Arthur Dymond Trophy. Arthur Dymond was DMVGA Captain in 1977.
Captain Stuart MacKerrell from Dainton Park was successful in defending the Salver against Cornwall, albeit with a tie, but none the less the Salver remains with us. The venue in Cornwall, the Point, led to a strong reaction from the DMVGA team who are now requesting a return to Launceston or another venue nearer the county border. The trip to Kent was unsuccessful in terms of silverware but was enjoyed by all with the match against Kent being played at Bearsted and the match versus Weald of Kent at their course; this was also where the hotel was located and was most suitable. Such was the enjoyment that provisional arrangements were put in hand for a similar itinerary in 2018. The Captain led the DMVGA team to an unexpected victory against the Devon Juniors and a very good day was experienced watching some very good youngsters; this was only the second time in 28 years that victory has been claimed! The final match of the season against the Devon Lady Vets at Woodbury Park was won by the Ladies.
2016 was memorable as being the year when the Spring, Summer and Autumn Meetings became Qualifying competitions; this in no way seemed to affect the numbers of players applying to compete. With the help of DCGU the necessary administration was completed via England Golf; the host clubs, Saunton, Dainton Park and Honiton were very supportive and helpful in providing the necessary computer back up which is required for dissemination of results around the county. Looking to the future it is clear that the Association will have to have its own computer facilities.
The sub-committee spent a good deal of time working on a number new projects including revising the Association’s logo in order that it can be applied to all paperwork, clothing and equipment. A new tie is also being designed. A Rep’s ‘Job Description’ was constructed to help new Reps into their posts. It was agreed that Churston, already the DMVGA official home, would also allow all trophies won by the Association to be kept in the trophy cabinet there. For the first time a Committee Christmas Lunch was organised at Stover – with great success; a lunch that it is hoped will become a regular event in the calendar. With Bryan Blaber’s passing a new Member was elected onto the Committee – David Grieve from Tiverton. David’s particular interest and skill is in the Rules of the Game and he is a most welcome addition to the Committee. The DMVGA Emerton-Court rules were subject to a complete ‘overhaul’; this was not to introduce new rules but to clarify and simplify existing rules.
Sadly another club had to close down – Willingcott Valley in North Devon; it is always a loss when such an occurrence happens. Happily most members at Wilingcott have found new homes at other local clubs. Whilst we may have lost one club another has joined our ranks – Sparkwell. We welcome them to our fold and hope they enjoy their time with us.
The accounts still remain in rude health, thanks mainly due to the Hon Treasurer, David Bromage.
The DMVGA is moving into new territory; IT is undoubtedly going to be tomorrow’s salvation – or will it be tomorrow’s problem?! Time will tell.
As the 2017 season gathered momentum, membership of the Association hovered between 1,500 and 1,600; this is now a fairly regular number and continues to confirm the huge success that the DMVGA engenders throughout the County.
Mike Kirkham, the Association’s President, hosted the President’s Salver at Exeter Golf & Country Club where a huge field of 61 teams – 183 players – took part; all enjoyed a superb day in sunny conditions and where Exeter themselves ran out the winners with an excellent 113 points.
The Western Morning News at Holsworthy was very well supported by 50 teams. Unfortunately, the road almost directly out-side the club was being dug up for the emergency repair of varying services there-under; this caused substantial difficulties with many, if not most, players having to find alternative approaches to the course via country lanes which caused many to be late. However, all was well, with everybody understanding the vagaries of emergency services. Exeter, again, took the honours on count back from Stover.
The Millennium Trophy at Boringdon Park suffered no such difficulties and saw Portmore triumph on count back from Downes Crediton. This was the first occasion that Boringdon Park had hosted an event and the staff and the club itself were most helpful to ensure a very satisfactory day.
The DMVGA Emerton-Court Trophy was won by Dartmouth over Royal North Devon in an excellent final played in the very best traditions of the game and which was not decided until the last putt of the last game on the 18th green.
The Spring, Summer and Autumn Meetings, being Qualifiers, were all successful with very large fields. The Spring Meeting at Thurlestone was, in fact, postponed from its original date because of extreme weather conditions and was played in October. The Association, through the good offices of Adrian Granville-Smith, now has its own computer and touch screen and these were in good use – some members finding the touch-screen a bit of a trial!
In terms of matches, Captain Chris Henderson from Tavistock did not have a particularly successful year with losses to Cornwall, Kent at Churston and the County Juniors. The match versus the Juniors was postponed till October because of poor weather but at least Captain Chris had the satisfaction of being in one of only two pairings who won their games; Hon. Secretary Bob Small being in the other winning pair. Following this defeat Chris Henderson suggested that in future years the DMVGA team might be filled with many more lower handicap players – thus giving the County Juniors a better match. The match against the Devon Lady Vets at Okehampton at last provided a much needed victory.
Captain Chris Henderson tried to visit and play at as many member clubs during the year as time would permit. Being very keen to promote more golfing opportunities, he suggested the concept of a Winter Series – there having never been any DMVGA winter golf prior to this point. A trial event was held at Tavistock in March which was successful and so, with Bob Small, a full series was planned for the 2017/18 winter with events at Holsworthy and Tavistock before Christmas, and Thurlestone and Honiton in early spring. With day-light hours being a factor the size of the fields were kept down to a maximum of 30 teams of 3; in fact 28 clubs entered with 2 clubs, East Devon and Yelverton, putting in 2 teams. Clubs decide which of their members play in which event; the series is a Stableford competition with 2 scores of the 3 to count and played off yellow tees. There are prizes, M&S vouchers, for the first three teams in each of the 4 events and one overall prize for the club which amasses the most Stableford points over the whole series. The venture was declared to be very successful by all who competed over the winter months – particularly Boringdon Park who were the first winners of the Winter Series. Such is their support for the event that they presented a trophy for perpetual competition.
Away from the course it became very clear that a post of Hon. IT Officer should be created, such is the importance of IT – Adrian Granville-Smith from Saunton being voted into that post.
The work of the Executive Committee and the Sub-Committee continued apace; David Bromage, the Hon. Treasurer, again reported a satisfactory year but, ever mindful of increasing costs, recommended an increase in the membership fee from £2.50 to £3.00 which was adopted for 2018. Match fees were increased from £12.00 to £15.00 increasing to a maximum of £20.00 in 2023.
Bob Small, the Hon. Secretary since 2014, was due to stand down at the AGM this year but, circumstances happening immediately before the AGM, meant that he would remain in post for another year; Chris Henderson volunteered to help with the running of the major competitions during 2018.