This year’s Captain’s Day was held on Friday, 20th October 2017. On a beautiful autumn morning not long after sunrise, members enjoyed a bacon roll and coffee before our Captain, Steve Cullen, and President, Ray Norris, performed the traditional “drive-in” ceremony in front of a packed clubhouse terrace.
Steve reckons his drive this year was not quite as long as last year but confessed that spending the previous week lying in a hospital bed had given him very different expectations for this year’s drive-in. “I would have loved to have beaten last year’s record longest drive-in but, to be honest, in the circumstances I was quite relieved to get the ball off the tee, in the air and travelling a reasonable distance” Steve said later. “Can you imagine the torment a Captain would suffer here if he duffed his drive-in? I can think of a few members who would never let it be forgotten. I won’t name any of them but I think most of us know who they are!” “In any case…” Steve continued…”I think I already have created another legend for my second year of Captaincy. I will have to check this, but I believe I am the first Captain not to see his handicap go up during his term!”
At 9.20 am, the marshals launched the rocket to start play with Steve and his wife, Anita, standing on the 1st tee box ready to watch the first groups tee-off. Steve was, sadly, not fit to join the competition and later he and Anita were seen touring the course meeting up with the players and offering them a dram of whisky. Everyone could see that Steve was itching to play.
Perfect golfing conditions made for some good scoring. In the men’s competition, last year’s winner, Tom Richardson, put up an excellent defence of his title, finishing in 3rd place with 38 points just behind two players tied on 40 points. The Winner, decided by count-back, was Ben Nelmes with Graham Hughes in 2nd place. “Congratulations to Ben” said Steve “especially for keeping it going all the way round. I think he benefitted from taking a pretty generous shot of whisky towards the end of his round. Graham was ‘gutted’ at missing out so narrowly, especially after a fantastic front 9 of 1 over par gross.”
In the Ladies’ section Liz Britton won the trophy with Bernie McDonald in 2nd place. Steve commented: “Well done Liz, winning this trophy in her first appearance. Bernie was 2nd last year too but, again, she has consolation of bragging rights (and winning a 2 euro bet, I believe!) in the McDonald household by beating husband Brendan’s score.
Andrea Myers, a frequent visitor to the club, won the Guest Prize.
The ‘nearest the pin’ winners were Liz Britton and Norman Cameron. Norman must have been very excited to see his beautiful shot into the 9th finish close to the pin, so much so that he misplaced the 5 iron and hasn’t seen it since.
After the golf, everyone enjoyed a 3-course dinner with brilliant entertainment from Ben Nelmes.
Steve expressed his thanks to the many people behind the scenes who helped make this Captain’s Day a great occasion: our GM, Mike Munden; Club Professional, Monty Bordelon, the tournament scorer; Director of Golf, Satu Kääriäinen along with Beatriz Jimenez and the caddie master staff for the administration and procurement services; Heather Munden and all the Bar/Restaurant Staff for preparing and serving an excellent dinner; the course Marshalls and Green-staff for helping with the course set-up and presentation. Last but not least, Mrs. Anita Cullen for putting up with the Captain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – through sickness and in health!
We hope to see you all participating in the tournament next year too!