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Archive for Dec, 2012

Review of 2012

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Well, another year gone and the society continues to grow – more members, more competitions, more fun.

January saw the introduction of our first ever diary/fixture book, which was provided free of charge to every member. Many local businesses supported us by inserting advertisements which practically covered the cost of publication, which was organised by Dave Lloyd. We put on sale the canary yellow society logo’d golf shirts and caps, which proved to be very popular. Membership hit the 800 mark, and we negotiated benefits for our members with the new management company, Global Golf.

February was a beautiful month with all the almond trees covered in pink blossom, and it saw the first major of the year, the Anniversary trophy which commemorates the week the society was formed in 2010. I was fortunate to win with Robin Wilson on a day blighted by strong winds which kept the scoring low in the pairs betterball. There was actually ice on the puddles around the course!

February is a pretty month........

February is a pretty month……..

March saw us move our home from the Condado Club back to the Clover. The difference to the previous time we were at the Clover was that we were finally recognised as being an assset to the business, and Neil, Lynne, Paul and Rachel have given us fantastic support and made us welcome. We were given our own corner of the bar to display all our trophies. There were 2 competitions in the month – a fairly informal challenge match between the Captain’s and President’s teams (won by the Captain), and the annual St Patricks Day’s trophy (provided by Fred Twomey). Ian Gibson won the day, and a great night was had by all in the Clover.

Fred organised the Irish knees up.......

Fred organised the Irish knees up…….

April was really the start of spring, and unfortunately we had to endure the twice yearly hollow tining. But this led to one of our best awaydays at Aguilon golf. We were given a great deal with the golf only 25 euros which included buggies, free beer and food. Thanks to JJ for making us so welcome. We also had the challenge match against Mar Menor. A halved score meant that we retained the trophy as holders. The main competition of the month was the Graham White pairs Strokeplay major. This was won by Jane Hutchinson and Owen Moore. April also saw work finally start on the temporary clubhouse which had been long awaited.

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May signalled the start of summer, and we had a new captain – Kevin Smith. He took over at a very busy time with the Seve trophy taking place early in the month. Many people put in a lot of hours and effort into making the day a fantastic success. Lots of events were organised around the day and the result was a 4,500 euro donation to Seve’s charity Cancer Research UK. The winner of the Seve Trophy was Fred Twomey.

A great effort for a great cause.......

A great effort for a great cause…….

In June we had a famous visitor to our course……… Miguel Angel Jiminez made surprise appearance playing a friendly 4 ball with some of his friends. He had nice things to say about the course and was very accomodating to fans who wanted an autograph or photo. The Presidents Day competition was the highlight of the month with Fran Hobson coming out on top.

Miguel Angel loved the course.......

Miguel Angel loved the course…….

Another busy month followed in July, With the Barry Barker Strokeplay cup and Paul Harrington Scratch trophy taking top billing –
Rune Wingsternes won the strokeplay event and Stuart McColm took the scratch prize. Also the evening presentation around the pool at the Amopola hotel in Bol Neuvo was one of the best nights out of the year. Finally the clubhouse opened for business (without a bar) and eveyone was pleasantly surprised with the result. Barry Answer celebrated his 65th birthday by donating a trophy which was won by Paul Sullivan.

A great setting for a top competition.......

A great setting for a top competition…….

Captains Day was the top event for August, with Sissel Hagen becoming the 3rd female winner of a major during the year. There was a record entry of 74 players, and shortly after close of play we had the memorable sandstorm (with heatwave). Global Golf provided golfers with the services of a professional (Javier Garralon) who is now available to give tuition. The bar finally opened to complete the clubhouse offer. We also negotiated discounts on drinks for members on Mondays and Fridays.

Sissel beat all the guys..........

Sissel beat all the guys……….

The Catherine Emmett-Smith Ladies Day took place in September with Alicia Saunders triumphing. There was also a nice touch with a competition for the non-golfing ladies who thouroughly enjoyed the day. September was also memorable for the Gota Fria which caused devastation and death along the south-east coast of Spain. The course was flooded, but the damage was not as bad as in 2010 – repairs were completed within a couple of weeks. We had a nice awayday at El Valle as a result of the 2nd hollow-tining exercise of the year. Also we tried out the new course at Lorca and were pleasantly surprised with its layout and condition. The summer had been long and hot, with unfortunately empty lakes on the course being a result.

the non-golfers loved it......

the non-golfers loved it……

October brought the annual challenge between Norway & Scandinavia against UK & Ireland. The former just managed to hold out to retain the trophy. The Seniors Trophy took place a few days later and Arne Schmidt was the winner.

the winning vikings........

the winning vikings……..

November saw the Kevin Smith Texas Scramble challenge take place. This 1st 4 person trophy was won by the team of Kevin Smith, Phil Tann, Jim Alwell and John Killeen. IRM donated a cup for an inter society competition. This was won by the team from the Clover. We also took on Mar Menor again and this time ran out convincing winners to retain the trophy. Two players managed a hole in one on the same day at the same hole – Paul Harrington and Fred Twomey acheived the feat at the 11th hole. The annual Benidorm trip was again a great day, with Dave Lloyd becoming champion.

Graham with the Mar Menor challenge trophy.......

Graham with the Mar Menor challenge trophy…….

Finally to December – we had a great awayday to Desert Springs in Almeria with 20 players taking advantage of the great deal. A very good course, fantastic clubhouse and very hospitable hosts. Unfortunately we said goodbye to our head greenkeeper Alejandro who has landed a wonderful job at the El Golf National course near Paris, the venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup.

A golf club with everything.........

A golf club with everything………

We now have the new green society shirts for 2013, also the 2013 diary/fixture book is now available (free of charge) to all members.

Stats – since March 2010 the blog has had 120000 viewings with the peak in July this year with 8,700 in July alone. Views in 2010 were 20000 – 2012 has reached 60000. I hope you will all continue to look at the site and keep up to date with the news.

Looking back, a fantastic year, with even more members than last year. The aim this year was to consolidate the framework we have for the society with just a few tweaks to improve things – I think that has been acheived. We hope that everyone has enjoyed their golf in the last 12 months and will come back for more!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Barry

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Everyone won a bottle..........

Everyone won a bottle……….

The final competition of 2012 saw 44 players take part in glorious sunshine. Many members have arrived from Norway to join us for the New Year celebrations. There were some fantastic scores with 46 points not good enough for a prize.

1st…….48pts
Dave Cooke & Kjartan Hiksdal

2nd ….47pts

Phil Tann & Neil Simpson

Paul and Kevin with the winners...........

Paul and Kevin with the winners………..

Everyone brought a wrapped bottle to be redistributed in the Clover after the presentation.

Next week is the Apollo Air individual stableford for January.

Wishing all our readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Barry

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Just some of the players with mulled wine........

Just some of the players with mulled wine……..

This week we had only 24 players with the xmas visitors not yet arrived, and residents going back home to spend xmas with family and friends. Nevertheless, everyone got into the party mood with all players wearing the santa hats provided. On the 1st tee Lynne and Neil provided mulled wine and mince pies. The competition was sponsored by the Clover and they looked after us well back in the bar also. Santa collected all the gifts on the 1st tee to be redistributed later in the Clover. Peter (3 hats) Reeves made a clown of himself this week (literally!) – he looked fantastic in his costume. Not sure if the shoes were legal (soft spikes?).

Peter needs a new button for his pants.......

Peter needs a new button for his pants…….

The weather was again good, but a tricky cross wind made good scores difficult. The winners were:

1st Brian Yeldon………..40pts
2nd Jim Chapman………36pts
3rd Neil Simpson……….32pts

Well done Brian – Soon off that 28 handicap with promise of further improvement.

Brian with the trophy and momento............

Brian with the trophy and momento…………

Paul Harrington is back for the festive period, and he was presented with his trophy for his hole in one on the 11th.

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Santa gave out a gifts to all the players (who were all there at the presentation). Also a shot was provided for everyone as the collected their present. There was a real party atmosphere in the bar.

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Next week is the new year competition (team event) where players should bring a bottle to be given out as this week (no entry fee again).

Thanks Neil and Lynne for all your help over the past year.

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the sun sets over the course..........

the sun sets over the course……….

This week saw the final Apollo Air trophy of the year. 32 players took part in good conditions – the recent cold spell has passed, but it didn’t seem like Peter Reeves noticed. He wore 4 layers of clothing and 3 hats – number one was a woolly hat, covered with a baseball cap, and topped off with a flat cap. All he needed was a sherpa caddying for him. I know he comes from sea level at Bolneuvo, but Condado is not exactly the Pyrenees!

Jan Jakobsen signed off the year with a convincing win before returning to his native Denmark for christmas, but there were a whole host of contenders fighting for the divisional prizes. There were 8 players on 35/36 points.

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Winner of the December Apollo Air stableford

Jan Jakobsen……….40pts

Division 1

1st Jan Jakobsen………40pts
2nd Colin Lloyd……….37pts

Division 2

1st Stuart Legg……….37pts
2nd Barry Barker………36pts (on countback)

There are some notable news items this week. Firstly, it is very sad to see our head greenkeeper Alejandro leave Condado. This is very bad news for us as he has done such a magnificent job over the last 4 years preparing and maintaining our course to such a high standard. If we had had a permanent clubhouse over that time I am sure we would have had many major events played here as it is recognised far and wide as one of the best courses in Spain. While it is bad news for us, it is a fantastic move for Alejandro. He has been appointed as the head greenkeeper at the Le Golf National complex at Versailles near Paris. The course has hosted 18 of the last 20 French Open championships. This is the venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup between Europe and the USA, and he has 6 years to prepare the course for this iconic challenge match, and it will be seen by millions on worldwide television. I am sure all our members wish him every success and thank him for what he has done for us.

Also the course has received another accolade. One of our holes (the par 3 3rd) has been chosen for the 2013 Jack Nicklaus golf calendar. It features as the choice for March, and considering all the thousands of great holes Jack has constructed, it is a great honour to have one of our holes publicised worldwide. (goto http://www.jacknicklauscalendar.com/images2.php)

a similar view to the calendar shot.......

a similar view to the calendar shot…….

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Next week is the Clover Xmas Competition sponsored by Neil Simpson. There is no entry fee, just bring a wrapped present up to the value of 5 euros and everyone will get a prize. Also all players will be issued with a santa hat – please play in it and get into the sprit of xmas golf!

The following week I hope to produce a look back at the year – lots has happened in 2012 and I am sure I will be able to dig some good photographic memories out of the archives. Watch this space!

Barry

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As Neil says.....it's not just about winning..........

As Neil says…..it’s not just about winning……….

The forecast was for cloud – maybe a chance of rain – in the event we experienced brilliant warm sunshine, a sudden chill and 10 minutes of rain. The change in temperatures was extreme with layers of clothing going on, off, on off……….The rain wasn’t really a problem, but it interfered with the planned xmas picnic on the 12th tee for Neil and his team (Kev, Phil And Les). It rained as soon as they got there, and stopped when they left! The plan was to have gin and blue tonics with ice supplied by Sue. Also warm pies and sausage rolls (courtesy of Lesley). Our 4 ball was waved through as they didn’t want to interupt the party, and their score up to then didn’t warrant rushing along. It seems their golf improved from thereon with the help of a little alcohol. Dave Storey’s team also were supplied with bacon and egg butties by Carol after the 9th.

However, it was about golf on the day and there were some good scores.

1st…………..90pts

Dave Lloyd, Kim Lloyd, Peter Mitchell, Barry Barker

2nd…………..89pts

Jan Jakobsen, Lis Jakobsen, Ken Saunders, Alicia Saunders

3rd…………..83pts

Dave Storey, Jamie Storey, Terry Burgess, Wally Firth

Next week is the Apollo Air monthly stableford competition.

Barry

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With a fantastic offer of only 30 euros (including buggy) 20 players set off for the desert style course in Almeria. The 75 minute trip was well worth it, with the course being in excellent condition. Great greens, lush fairways and short rough made it fun. However the fairways were narrow and each hole was surrounded by cactii and typical Arizona like scenery.

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Buggies were not allowed on fairways or sanded areas though, which meant that we did a considerable amount of walking. The reception from staff was superb, making us feel welcome and special. The clubhouse was sumptuous with a roaring log fire surrounded by comfortable settees. It was interesting to look at the honours boards in the foyer – honorary members included Sir Ian Botham, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Henry Cooper, Sir Steve Redgrave. Quite a roll call!

The practice facilities were excellent with chipping green, putting green and driving range all in front of the impressive maquee (which is used in summer months).

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The format of texas scramble made it enjoyable for all – all teams were under par, but if we had played singles many of our scores would have been very disappointing. For example, in our team we managed to birdie the 1st hole (a par 5). After every shot from tee to green we only had one ball in play, and each of us contributed one shot each! The 2nd hole was an uphill par 3 into the wind. Jeffs’ tee shot hit a boundary wall and disappeared into the valley below (see photo) with no chance to recover it. I lost 4 balls in the first 3 holes! Fortunately we dovetailed perfectly to complete the round with 7 birdies and no bogies. Our 2 highest handicappers (Jeff and Dave) putted out of their skins, holing birdie putts and sometimes saving lost causes.

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All the holes had interesting titles – for example the 3rd was ‘Crazy Horse’ named for the impressive statue by the side of the green and impressively welcoming visitors to the resort on the road in.

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The 13th is named ‘lago de tiburon’ Lake of sharks). In the photo at the top of page – the cactus has got in the way of players tee shots at par 3 hole 13 over the lake. Notice in the background the ominous fin of Jaws! There were large fish all around the course in the crystal clear waters, and big coy carp in the lagoons around the clubhouse.

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Result

!st………….59.3

Chris King, Barry Barker, Jeff Ruellen, Dave Crosland

2nd………….60.2

Dave Lloyd, Neil Simpson, Jim Alwell, Eddie Fry

3rd…………63.6

Dave Storey, Ove Enger, Bernie Twomey, Jan Holdhus

A very succesful awayday.

Barry

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Winter has set in now, with a chilling breeze forcing players to dig out their winter attire. The strokeplay format again proved difficult for most players, with only 2 of them managing to better par.

1st division

1st Dave Storey…………….70
2nd Fred Twomey………….72
3rd Chris King……………….73

2nd division

1st Les Hurren……………69
2nd Tony Watkins……….75 (on countback)
3rd Kevin Smith………….75

Ladies

1st Kim Lloyd…………76
2nd Julia Gibson…….78

On Wednesday 20 players are going to Desert Springs to take advantage of their amazing offer of 18 holes with buggy for only 30 euros. We will play a texas scramble, with teams all being selected in handicap order, so each team has a mixture of good (and not so good!) players. We only just managed to get 5 tee slots so there are no spaces left for any latecomers.

Next Friday is a 4 person team event with 2 to count on each hole.

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