Men's Competition Winners
January Medal - Les and Chris Star with Stunning Mid-Winter Performances
A very satisfied Les Sharman after his victory.
Over 90 Members felt brave enough to take on the white tees in the January Medal and for some, their decision was rewarded with impressive performances and indeed a handicap cut!
In Division 1, Richard Caunt and John Donnelly both achieved Net 69, but even these weren't enough for victory as an in-form Les Sharman showed everyone just how it's done by scoring Net 67 (Gross 75).
In Division 2, Thomas Miles recorded a really good Net 67 for the runner's up spot, but a rejuvenated Chris Clarke put the years behind him to deliver an amazing Net 65 for overall victory.
Well done to both our winners.
Chris Clarke with an impressive Net 65!
Men's Scratch Team Maintain Winning Form
The Bedfordshire Golf Club Men's Scratch Team maintained their current run of good form by defeating The Millbrook Golf Club in their own back yard!
A 3 matches to 2 victory was secured by wins from Andy Brown, John Haines and Team Captain Barry (Bazza) Sullivan. Simon Hollands couldn't quite manage a win in his match and Vito Di Sapia retired hurt after 10 holes, but the victory was already secured. It bodes well for the next couple of years to have the Vice-Captain Elect, Chair of Competitions and a member of The Management Board in such good form in these matches!
So who were the last men standing in the Whisky Shotgun?
Over 80 members turned out for the annual Whisky Shotgun on Sunday and the temporary arrival of winter didn't seem to put everyone off their game. Indeed, the alcoholic nature of the prizes offered, seemed to spur some on in the chilly conditions!
Many good scores were recorded, but it took something very impressive to win the prizes. We can scotch any rumours that the in-form Steve Gilder (and his partner for the day Jas Matharu) won another competition as their 43 points didn't even make the podium. Distilling the key results down however, the top three pairings included:
In 3rd place on count-back with 44 points were Kevin Medhurst and Barry Sullivan
in 2nd place on count-back, also with 44 points were Nigel Fordham & Tony Scanlon
but the winners with 44 points were Neil Fish and Adrian Wareing.
We have it on good authority that the winners celebrated with the hard stuff well into the night! Probably enough puns for one report...
Bedfordshire Golf Club defeat Wyboston Lakes in Scratch Match
BGC defeated Wyboston 4-0 in the Foursomes Scratch League last Saturday, the winning margin was a huge 28 holes up which may help when it comes to the final reckoning for promotion.
Our team was Seb Lovell and Colin Beard, John Owen and John Haines, Simon Hollands and Ian MacFarlane and Conor Kavanagh and Liam Greenwood.
Unfortunately team captain Richard Stevenson was unable to play as he is recovering from an operation, we all wish Richard a speedy recovery and hopefully the win will have helped.
Centenary Salvers - Sunday 15th October
The Centenary Salvers celebrates Bedfordshire Golf Club's 100 year anniversary in 1991 and has been played for every year since. A Betterball Stableford with a Shotgun start, it was preceded this year with the entire field enjoying one of Chef's excellent Full English breakfasts, when the draw for partners was made. This threw up (no pun intended) some very interesting pairings, which made for a lively atmosphere and a fun morning. Indeed, no-one was more surprised by their victory, than this year's winners themselves!
The course was presented as beautifully as ever by John and the team, and with just a light breeze to start off, some good scores were expected. We weren't disappointed and nearly 20 pairings scored 37 points and above. To win however, you needed quite a few more than this and just missing out on a victory with 41 points each were:
in 4th - Iain Malcolm and Graham Jeffery
in 3rd - Richard Caunt and Kevin Medhurst
in 2nd - Seb Lovell and Simon Hollands
the overall winners who came in with a tremendous 44 points were Gary Clarke and Pat Moriarty. Well done to them and all the above.
NB: Your news editor overheard a rather despondent Gary Clarke in the car park beforehand commenting to his playing partner; "I nearly packed up the game last month, because I couldn't hit a golf ball in a straight line." Not perhaps the greatest motivational line before teeing off! Well in the event and having marked the winning pair's card, I can say nothing was further from the truth and along with partner Pat Moriarty, some very impressive golf was played to win the competition and coveted Salvers (see photo). We hope this is the start of Gary's golfing comeback...
The winning team of
Gary Clarke and Pat Moriarty
Anderson Trophy - Sunday 8th October
The Anderson Trophy is competed for each year by the winners of all the Men's Club Competitions (with over 20 players), so it's seen as bit of a 'Champions League' amongst those taking part.
In the most beautiful weather conditions possible for October, 38 players took part and the trophy was fiercely contested and some great golf played. No fewer than 12 players (or nearly 1/3 of the field) achieved the Net Competition Scratch Score of 71 - almost unheard of at Stagsden!
It all came down to count-back for the minor placings with four players on Net 70, but the top three were:
Liam Greenwood - 3rd place on Net 69
Robert Donnelly - 2nd with Net 67
Mark Hallum - Overall winner with Net 66
Well done to all the above
Anderson Trophy winner Mark Hallum
Vice-Captain Elect Celebrates his nomination with a fantastic win in Sunday's Monthly Medal competition.
Andy Brown, the newly appointed Vice-Captain 2018, who joined the club way back in 1991, clearly enjoyed his weekend as having just been announced in his new role by Captain Elect Jim Godfrey, he won the October monthly medal with a Gross 74 (Net 68), beating Tim Davis and Colin Beard who both scored Net 70.
Andy has an impressive record of competition wins over the last 26 years with no fewer than:
3 x Deacon Cups, 5 x Judges Cup, 4 Constable Cups (when it was a scratch knock out)
3 x Foursomes Cup, 3 x Fourball Tankards, 1 x Peter Morgan Trophy and 1 x Calcutta Cup
in 2008 he managed to get on 10 honours boards in 1 year and his name is on the boards more than 30 times!
a long term Scratch Team member (20 years), he Captained the winning County Scratch competition team in 1998
Aside from his golf, Andy has been Chair of Greens for the last 3 years and was previously
a General Committee member in the 1990's looking after Comps
a PLC Board member mid 2000s
General Committee 2009/10 as Juniors Organiser.
So, he seems to tick every box available and we all look forward to his indomitable style during his period of office. Well done to Andy for his Medal Win, the inevitable handicap cut (to 5) and his appointment.
As you can see from the recent photo here, he was seen celebrating in appropriate fashion - although no-one could accuse him of being a bandit, with a handicap that low!
Vice-'El Capitan' Elect in Celebration Mode!
Stagsden Trophy - Sat 23rd/Sun 24th September
The Stagsden Trophy (which celebrates The Club's move from Biddenham to Stagsden in September 2000) was played for at the weekend by a massive field of nearly 150 players from all sections of the club.
The competition probably also set a new record in the age range for a BGC open competition with over 70 years between the youngest and oldest players in the field! The youngest player at just 10 years of age was Roisin Scanlon - however we couldn't possibly provide the identity of the oldest one show this weekend!
The course was, as ever these days, in magnificent condition, but it clearly now provides a real test of golf, as although some good scores were achieved, surprisingly few players managed to beat Net Par.
Just three of the 150 strong field scored 37 points, and these were only just outside the top three placings, as:
in 3rd place Seb Lovell scored 38 points (and a very impressive Gross 69!)
in 2nd, also with 38 points was Tim Davis
but the overall winner with a tremendous 42 points was Kevin Greene, who commented that it's taken him 14 years to win a board trophy. It must be all the sweeter for it!
Well done to all the above and everyone who took part in making the Stagsden Trophy weekend such a special event, demonstrating once again what great shape the club is in.
Overall Winner - Kevin Greene.
Youngest player in the field at 10, Roisin Scanlon
Bob Dunbar Trophy - Sunday 10th September
The Bob Dunbar Trophy was played for on Sunday and a large field had to contend with some tricky weather conditions. This did not stop some excellent scoring on the day.
The trophy itself was first proposed and played for in 2000 by the then Captain Ian Cole, as a mark of respect to Bob, who was a major champion in motivating members to sign up for the new club in Stagsden. He was also, for those that knew him, quite a character with his own style and wit, in addition to being a very competitive golfer.
Back to the 2017 competition and it was a pleasure to see many of the newer members of the club taking part and on this occasion, victorious in what is a coveted trophy event.
The top scores were:
In 4th place on 41 points - Barry Sullivan and Graham Crawford
In 3rd place on 41 points - Mike and Seb Lovell
Runners-Up, also on 41 points - Martin Allen and John Simpson
But the overall winners on 43 points were David Dyson and Peter Milner
Winners David Dyson & Peter Milner with Kevin Dunbar who presented the trophy.
Men's Texas Scramble - Sunday 3rd September
In a fun team competition, a 4 Man Texas Scramble format with a Shotgun start, was combined with teeing off from the White, Yellow and Red tees in sequence. All sounds a bit complicated? Well, great fun was had by all in this entertaining format.
Unsurprisingly, there were many, many birdies and several teams had Gross scores in the low 60's. For the best scores however, you needed to go even lower!
In 2nd place were Mark Johnson, Richard Stevenson, Jason & Mitchell Young with Gross 59/Net 55.7
But outright winners (pictured) were Ben & Tim Davis, Gary Glover and John Owen with Gross 58/Net 53.9. This including a remarkable run of 10 consecutive gross birdies starting at the 12th and finishing at the 3rd!
In the 2s competition, there were 18 2s involving no fewer than 72 individual players, which suggests a very modest payout. Whilst true, the figure was inflated slightly by the decision of Phil Burley, Chris & Gary Clarke and Mick Keens to not enter the 2s and then proceed to birdie the 6th, 9th and 15th holes. That’ll teach them………….
Congratulations also to David & John Donnelly, Tristan Enderby and Mike Lacey who had a eagle 2 on the 3rd hole.
Notably, the field was held up for while by the 4 ball of Graham Crawford, Phil Burley, Karl Green and Kevin Medhurst when on the 1st hole. Graham hit his drive to the middle of the fairway, where he left his ball and clubs to go and help one of his team mates look for their ball in the plantation to the right. On returning to the ball, his Clubs were nowhere to be seen and after much head scratching, a search ensued which lasted up to 10 minutes during which the 4 ball behind were invited to play through! Eventually, Graham’s clubs were found in long grass near the 2nd tee, fully 200 yards from where he had left them! R&A Rules were checked but appear not to stipulate a maximum time limit for looking for lost clubs!
Veteran's Plate - August 20th
Retirement clearly suits long standing member Steve Gilder, as having finally said good-bye to the Corporate world and joined the Seniors', he has just won his first club 'board' competition. With more time to enjoy himself, the odd Saturday morning round of golf has recently been replaced with numerous mid-week games with the Seniors' and the TAT's and the extra practice has clearly had a profound effect on his golf!
Steve's impressive round of Net 66, just beat Tony Williams and Philip Anderson on count-back, whilst Robert O'Connor was 4th on net 67. Tony and Robert both benefited from the age related extra shots.
With Steve and his playing partner Nick Willis already into the semi-finals of the Four-ball Tankards, we suggest their next opponents look out...
Photo: Steve can be seen here, proudly receiving his trophy from Captain John.
Sharman Cup - Sunday 13th August
The Sharman Cup was played for on a pleasant summer morning with the course, as usual, excellently presented. With a big field also entered, this all combined to ensure a really tough competition for the eventual trophy winner. Some good scores were expected and we weren't disappointed with no fewer than 8 players under par - a rarity for a medal competition at Stagsden.
Count-back came into play for the placings with no than 5 players finishing on Net 69. The top three, which includes some very in-form players, in reverse order were:
In 3rd place on Net 67 - Bernie Bone
In 2nd place on Net 67 - Daniel Green
Overall Winner on Net 66 - Tony Ciampa. This was also his best round in 2017!
Well done to all those in the placings and indeed all the others who either equalled or bettered their handicap on the day.
Photo: Tony Ciampa receiving the trophy from the unmistakable Les Sharman, from whose family, of course, the Sharman Cup was donated.
President's Day - July 23rd.
President's day took place on Sunday July 23rd, hosted by President Roger Willis. Three Stableford competitions ran simultaneously for Men, Ladies and Over 70's. Results were as follows:
Jason Hannon - 43 pts
David Rainbow - 38 pts
Edward Hayes - 37 pts
Below: Jason Hannon being congratulated by President Roger Willis for his tremendous performance with 43 pts in winning the Men's Competition.
President's Day - Over 70's Stableford Scores;
Richard Suthers - 36 pts
Wilf Mannion - 34 pts
Harold Beard - 33 pts
Above: Richard Suthers, winner of the Over 70's competition
Festival Weekend - 14th - 17th July
A big thank you to Sam and Nick Turnbull for organising another successful Festival Weekend with competitions taking place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Impressive turn-outs in the weekend events, good weather and the course looking as splendid as ever, did the club proud.
Our thanks also go to all the generous sponsors for individual hole prizes in the Festival Fours competition. The full results and 'Spot Prize' winners are below.
Above: Festival Trophy winner, Barry Sullivan
Below: Festival Fours, Ladies Pairs winners Brenda Beard & Carol Farnworth
Above: Festival Fours team winners, Clive Haywood, Peter Wilson & Neil Tabraham
Below: KVP Salvers winner, Simon Fardell
2017 Club Championship
The Club Championship took place over 36 holes on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd July. Conditions were near perfect, with warm days and light winds ensuring the best performers would put in some good scores over the two days.
Day one didn't disappoint, with 4 players under Net Par - and two of these stood out in particular. Club Captain John Simpson had his best ever Medal score with a Gross 75 to produce a Net 67. As if that wasn't enough however, John Owen a recent new member to the club scored a Gross 70 and Net 63 - amazing!
Day two inevitably saw some improve and others fall back, but in the end our Club Champion was again Seb Lovell who went round in 3 over Gross 143 for the two rounds. Congratulations to him for a splendid tournament win. Another new (country) member to the club, Jeremy Binch came 2nd, only four shots behind him, with 147 - a very impressive debut. The aforementioned John Owen came 3rd with 151 and I'm sure after his first round, it was a case 'what might have been'!
1. Seb Lovell - 73/70 = 143
2. Jeremy Binch - 74/73 = 147
3. John Owen - 70/81 = 151
The Biddenham Cup is of course for the best Net score and in this two of our longer standing members came in the runner's up positions with Liam Greenwood just one behind Dave Hurley who finished with a 1 over Net Par on 141.
The winner though was John Owen, who's first round of 7 under effectively ensured him his victory, as he finished overall 3 under par for the two rounds. Congratulations to him.
1. John Owen - 63/74 = 137
2. Dave Hurley - 70/71 = 141
3. Liam Greenwood - 71/71 = 142
Photo: The two winners on the 18th green after their victories.
Lord Lieutenant's Trophy
The annual Lord Lieutenant's Trophy competition took place on Sunday 25th June and in addition to have around 90 members contesting it, we were also honoured to have Helen Nellis, The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire herself on hand to light the blue touchpaper and stand well back for the shotgun to start the competition - see below.
The competition itself was a very closely fought affair and most of the placings were decided on count-back:
In 5th on 37 was Simon Cavill
In 4th, also on 37 was Mark Johnson
In 3rd on 38 was Steve Cuddeford
In 2nd also on 38 was Steve Coppock
but the overall winner with 39 points was Mark Lewin - congratulations to him
Above: Mark apparently being 'knighted'!
Below: Mark receiving his trophy from Lord Lieutenant, Helen
Men's Texas Scramble - Sunday 4th June
In Sunday's Men's Texas Scramble competition the winners (with an amazing Net 55.5) were Ray Farman, Karl Green, Kevin Medhurst and Barry Sullivan. Their score of Gross 60 included a staggering 10 birdies in their 18 hole round! Congratulations to them for a tremendous performance.
Photo: Barry, Karl, Kevin and Ray celebrating after their performance with a pint or two!
The Deacon Dinner & Cup
The Deacon Dinner took place on Saturday 27th May in The Biddenham Suite. One of the Club's most prestigious men's events, which has taken place almost every year since the 1920's, it was a very enjoyable if somewhat alcoholically fuelled evening. Following an excellent meal, and Captain John's own amusing golfing 'tales', he introduced this year's guest speaker who was none other than BGC member Nick Willis. Nick, in his own inimitable style, provided a very entertaining speech for the 60+ guests, with some hilarious anecdotes and golfing tales. He received warm and well deserved applause.
Sunday morning arrived and many of those on the putting green members were complaining of sore heads! Perhaps this explained some of the scores, as very, very few managed to play to their handicap. A small number did though, and things were so tight at the top after 18 holes that a play-off was called for between new member Rob Donnelly and Chris Johnson who were tied on Net 69.
Above: The Play-off competitors Rob Donnelly and Chris Johnson with Captain John before their three hole play-off on 10, 6 and 18.
Above: The final green of the Play-off - down to the very last putts - with officials and caddies!
The ultimate victor after 21 holes and Deacon Cup Winner for 2017 was Rob Donnelly - yet another Major's Board with the family name on it! Well done to Rob (below with Club Captain John) and of course, Chris for his excellent and sporting performance.
Also played for in this competition is of course, The Judges Cup for the lowest gross score over 18 holes. This year, the trophy was deservedly won by Colin Beard with a 75.
Above: Colin Beard receiving his trophy from Club Captain, John
President's Putter - 2017 winner.
President Roger Willis, presenting Raj Matu the President's Putter for his victory in this year's competition
Texas Scramble Winners - April 2017
Conor Kavanagh, Richard Stevenson, Jason Young & Mitchell Young with Captain John Simpson
Gale Salvers 2017 Qualifying Competition
12 pairs qualified for the round robin phase of matches against Geraint Dixon and one of the Captain, the President or the Vice-Captain. Leading the way in qualification were Club Chairman, Steve Coppock and Chair of Golf, John Haines (below) with a very impressive better-ball score of 43 points. Good luck everyone in the next round.
Gale Salvers 2015 & 2016 Winners
Matt Lea and Rob Sparks were presented with the 2016 Salvers by Captain, John Simpson