Club Captain's Page
Captains Drive-Off Their Big Year In Office - Jan 19
Our 4 new Captains & New President
The 2019 Joint Captains' Drive-In took place on Sunday to a packed house following the morning competition which had another great turn-out for mid-winter. Once everyone had made it back to the clubhouse and changed, the Drive-In itself took place with all 4 new captains making a drive.
New Club Captain, Andy Brown rang the bell for the first time to announce the results of the morning competition and then of course, the Drive-In Lunch.
Captain Andy addresses the troops for the first time since in office
New Club Captain, Andy then presented Past Captain, Jim with the ball he teed off with a year earlier, as is tradition - on a plinth, to mark the event.
Captain Andy and Past Captain Jim
Andy and his wife were welcomed into the Biddenham Suite with the traditional slow hand-clap, until the reached their places, after which President Joe said grace. Chef Debbie then served us a tasty three course lunch, after which the Captains' speeches took place.
The first announcements, by President Joe Nellis, were for the 'Guess the Drive Distance' and winners. These are as shown in each of the photos below:
Club Captain, Andy Brown driving 205 yds 1 ft 3 in.
Distance Guess Winner - John Larrett
Ladies Captain, Hilary Denny - 145 yds 2 ft 2 in
Distance Guess Winner - Helen Nellis
Seniors Captain, Phil Rajotte - 171 yds 1 ft 1 in.
Distance Guess Winner - Gary Clarke
Junior Captain, Holly Gordon - 121 yds 2ft 8 in
Captain Andy was full of praise for all those involved in running the Club so successfully and said how proud he was to have been elected to the role for 2019.
Andy in full-flow!
He said how pleased he was to have so many of his family with him at his first event and recognised that the role may put some additional demands on those closest to him, bearing in mind how much time he's likely to be allocating to his role as Captain!
Andy presents a bouquet to his wife Julie, thanking her for all her support
Club Captain's Table
The new Captain & Family
New Ladies Captain, Hilary Denny grasped her moment with a very entertaining speech, thanking all those around her and said how much she was looking forward to playing golf with Andy - honest!
Hilary in command
All smiles as Club Captain presents the Ladies Captain with a bouquet
Finally, the Captain thanked all those involved in making his first event as Captain such a success, including Steve Coppock & John Haines for managing the morning competition, Anne Harris and Sheila Fairey for organising the Guess the Drive Distance competition, John Pepper & Trevor Pasquire for measuring it, Joe Nellis for all his help with the day, and all his family for being there to support him.
We wish Andy, Hilary, Phil and Holly a great year in their respective Captains' years' at Bedfordshire Golf Club.
2019 Vice-Captain Announced - November 2018
We're delighted to announce that Nick Turnbull will become our 2019 Club Vice-Captain.
Having joined the Club as it moved to its new home at Stagsden, Nick quickly became active in a key leadership role as part of the team which set up the BGC Management Board in 2002/03. He then chaired the Board from 2003 to 2005 as, for the first time, it oversaw the commercial running of the Club and future development plans.
In 2010 he again became active in the Club's affairs, this time as a member of the Men’s Seniors Committee, and ultimately becoming Men’s Seniors Captain in 2011.
Nick of course, is very fortunate to have a supportive wife, Sam, who is herself very active in the Club's activities. She was Ladies Captain in 2000 and again in 2014, Ladies Treasurer 2016-18 and is our current Chair of Greens on the Committee.
Nick said "...becoming Vice-Captain and hopefully Club Captain in 2020 will be a great honour and it's really the 'icing on the cake' with all that's gone before".
Current Vice-Captain and Club-Captain Elect, Andy Brown commented, "I am delighted that Nick has agreed to be our Club Vice Captain for 2019 - he brings a great deal of knowledge and experience about the running of our Club from the previous positions he has held. Importantly to me, he will also ensure that the values and standards which help to make our Club what it is, are upheld as we continue to improve and move forward. I look forward to working alongside Nick and all those serving on both The Committee and The Board to progress Bedfordshire Golf Club for the benefit of all our Members and guests”.
2019 Club Vice-Captain, Nick Turnbull
Captain’s Day 2018 - a wonderful day's golf - June 2018
Club Captain Jim and his wife Frances provided a fantastic day's golf and hospitality for over 100 members of Bedfordshire Golf Club on Saturday at 2018 Captain's Day.
From personalised ball markers, bacon rolls and coffee on arrival, treats at the half-way hut and drinks and hot food afterwards - he'll be a tough act to follow! Our grateful thanks go to both Jim & Frances.
The Stableford competition results were as follows:
Men's Competition Ladies Competition
1st - John Easam (40 pts) Kate Broughton (41 pts)
2nd - Andy Lay (38 pts-cb) Dot Moroney (34 pts
3rd - Ray Filip (38 pts-cb) Sue Cribb (32 pts)
Mark Lewin On line! Carol Farnworth
J Donnelly 2’3” Sam Turnbull 478cms
Richard Caunt Hilary Denny.
Winners photos can be seen here along with one or two shots from around the course.
Donation made to the Bedford Salvation Army
Following the very successful Christmas lunch and draw, it was agreed to donate surplus proceeds of £400 to the Bedford Branch of the Salvation Army. Past Captains Anne and John therefore visited the Commercial Road Hall and met the Minister, Graham Bailey to hand over the cash.
The Salvation Army plays a very active role in Bedford and provides a huge range of services to those members of our local community in need, including:
a seasonal night shelter accommodating 30 people whenever the weather drop below zero for 3 nights in succession;
a free hot meal every Sunday afternoon for the homeless and lonely;
open house/drop in sessions;
urgent financial support for utility costs;
lunch clubs for the elderly;
youth, children and toddler group sessions
and of course a range of core christian support sessions for their congregation.
Our thanks go to all those who attended the Christmas Lunch and contributed to this donation.
Past Captains Anne & John presenting a cheque
to Graham Bailey from Bedford Salvation Army
Joint Captains' Drive-In & Lunch - Sunday 28th January
A packed lounge awaited the Joint Captains' Drive-In as those who had played in the morning competition mingled with other Members who had just arrived in advance of our new 2018 Captains taking to the 1st tee.
The betting on drive distances for the three adult Captains was intense right up to them walking to the tee. The Ladies teed off first and Roisin Scanlon, our new Juniors' Captain drove an impressive 157 yds 2ft 8in. She was only just out-driven by our new Ladies Captain Judi Monico who sent her ball 157 yds 2ft 11in down the fairway. Peter Gill had the closest guess for this so well done to him.
Then it was over to the men and new Club Captain, Jim Godrey held his nerve to drive an impressive 218yds 1in. Well done skip. He was followed by Seniors' Captain, Tim Bailey whose nerves got the better of him at the vital moment and he didn't quite get his drive away in the way that he would have wanted, ending at 126yds 2ft. Christine Garratt had the closest guess to Tim's distance and amazingly, Judi Monico guessed the closest distance for Jim. This clearly bodes well for the mixed golf matches if they already know each others' game this early in their year!
Our new Captains on the 1st Tee ready for their big moment
Club Captain, Jim drives off
Ladies Captain, Judi's drives
Roisin (great swing!) sends her ball down the fairway
On to the Drive-In Lunch and a the Biddenham Suite tables were beautifully decorated for our new Captains and their guests as they were clapped in to the room in the traditional manner. Following a lovely three course meal, the Captains then took to their feet, in turn, to speak. Seniors' Captain Tim demonstrated how brevity can be of one of the best forms of speechmaking as he simply said how proud he was to have been elected and wished all the other new captains well for their year.
Ladies Captain Judi, in her address said how delighted she was to be Captain again and represent the Ladies at BGC.
She thanked Jim for an excellent event on Sunday and congratulated her fellow Drive-ees, especially Roisin for her excellent drive. She thanked Roisin's parents along with Fidelma Gordon for revitalising the junior section with a very ambitious programme and asked everyone to give them their full support.
Judi's charity this year is a small nursery school in Ghana championed previously by Joe and Helen Nellis. Judi was actually born in Accra, Ghana so it provides the perfect opportunity to "give a little back” to her place of birth and the country which inspired her father. The nursery school will serve 6 villages and will ensure these little ones are able to move on into primary and then secondary school. The school is not quite finished but will have 4 class rooms and sanitation. It is close to the upper schools and replaces the mud hut they currently use. As Judi commented "there cannot be a greater gift than education and all that it brings. The money we raise will go towards the fixtures and fittings the school will need".
Finally, Judi looked to the year ahead and wished her fellow Captains well. There will she said be many a tale to tell, but ahead of everything, for us all to remember that "Girls just wanna have fun." Here, here!
Judi in full flow
Club Captain, Jim with his inaugural speech
New Club Captain, Jim Godrey then got to his feet and made his inaugural speech.
He said that he was honoured to serve the club this year and delighted to have been elected to the role of Club Captain.
Jim commented "Our aim is to make it an enjoyable/fun year for all our members, by working with our excellent committees and staff".
On a personal note he said that he would really like to win his first individual competition in 20 years. Well, with all the responsibilities involved in a Captain's year to take your mind off golf, he may have set himself one of his biggest challenges!
Jim's charity fundraising for 2018 will go toward the fight against the onset of Alzheimer's and Dementia. He said that it's a charity close to his heart. Slightly 'tongue-in-cheek' we hope, he suggested that his family think he's future proofing!
Finally, Jim said how much he was looking forward to a great year and to meeting as many members as possible over the next twelve months.
Rounding off the summary of the Drive-In Lunch, below are some photos of our new Captains, their guests and families, enjoying themselves at an excellent event.
Frances receives a bouquet from Jim
Captain Jim and guests
Ladies Captain, Judi's table
Seniors' Captain, Tim and party
An interview with outgoing Club Captain, John Simpson
At the AGM on Sunday, Jim Godfrey was formally elected as Captain for 2018 and John Simpson joined the “rogues gallery” of Past Captains. Before the sun sets completely on his Captaincy, your news editor asked John to share some thoughts on his year………….
So John, your Captain’s year is at an end, how do you feel now that's all over?
Let me start by saying that it has been an honour and privilege for me to have served as Captain for the last year. It’s been great fun, hugely rewarding and never a chore. With so many memories that I’ll cherish for a very long time, there’s no doubt that I’m going to miss it a lot.
Which memories stand out for you in particular?
Well, firstly, my Captain’s Day last June – the weather was simply fantastic and Sue and I had a ball. Then the Charity Golf Day in September which contributed the vast majority of the £8,000 that members have helped raise for Bedford Samaritans this year – a cause very close to my heart.
Also Sue and I enjoyed a number of very enjoyable social events through the year, including:
Celtic Night – who will forget the Welsh Choir. We’ll definitely be there this year on 10th March.
Soul Man – a huge success, he’s been booked again for Festival Weekend 2018. Do come along.
Xmas Lunch, New Years Eve and many others
Captain's Day winners with John
John and Sue Dancing to Soul Man!
End of Season Mixed Golf Winners
And on the golf course?
Yes, that’s been great fun too and despite warnings to the contrary, I’ve managed to end the year with my handicap ever so slightly lower than I started and played some OK golf along the way, so that’s been a real bonus. But far more importantly than that, I’ve enjoyed the company of so many different members on the course during the year.
Also, I started my year having never played mixed golf, but now I’m a convert. Anne Harris and I played pretty well together in competitions and matches and it’s been great fun. I fully intend to continue playing it in years to come.
Did you set any objectives for the year and if so, how did you do?
Well yes, a few. The first was to have a lot of fun which it turns out I excelled at. Slightly more seriously, I also set myself the objective of investing a lot of my available time supporting all aspects of Club life and I’ve certainly been here a lot as Sue will confirm. Whether that’s been time used effectively is better judged by others! I really feel that we now have such strength in our Ladies and Seniors sections and the less formal roll-up groups which all do such a great job of engaging members and particularly helping new members to settle in and feel welcome. This goes a long way to explain the very positive culture that exists throughout our Club.
Also, I saw an opportunity to enhance the regular communications to members and I’m hugely proud of the quality of the new regular weekly newsletter with links to our excellent website which is doing such a great job of keeping members informed across all aspects of club life. I am grateful to so many people who have contributed articles and photos and in particular to you Mr Editor (Clive) for all that you do every week to get the publication out. I have had such a lot of positive feedback and I know that our members really value the regularity and consistently excellent content of this publication.
Past Captains' & Committee Dinner.
The Pro-Shop Team
Greens' Team hard at work
Ladies Captain Anne on her big day
Thanks, John that’s much appreciated. Presumably there are some other people that you’d like to acknowledge as your year comes to an end?
Indeed yes, so many and if you’ll allow me to name but a few….:
Richard, Steve, Richard and all the other staff that Geraint employs in the pro-shop who do so much to support our members and visitors enjoy their golfing experience.
John Gubb and his course management team who have rightly spent the year being showered in compliments from all quarters about the quality of our courses. They are a dedicated and highly skilled team who do so much to make the golfing experience here what it is.
And then into the Clubhouse, I’d like to thank Geraint for all his support this year and acknowledge the hard working teams that he leads:
Chef Peter and the catering team who do such a consistently good job.
Ruth who has helped me in so many ways through the year and makes sure that members and visitors are looked after so well, supported by an excellent team.
Lynne and Mags in the Office. In every respect, Lynne has been unfailingly supportive of me throughout my captaincy and as I’ve spent so much time in and around the Club I’ve come to understand just what a huge asset Lynne is to the Club.
And there are so many colleagues on both the Management Board and General Committee who I need to thank for their continuing hard work on everyone’s behalf and for all the support they have given me throughout my year. I won’t name them all individually, they and you know who they are, but I would like to say a very personal thank you to Immediate Past Ladies Captain Anne Harris - I have been so fortunate to have shared my year with Anne. I think we’ve made for a pretty decent team and we’ve certainly had a lot of fun together.
And what about the future?
Well, I am excited about the future, because whilst our Club is in such good shape at the moment, I can see so many ways in which it can be even better. We have tremendous strengths in our courses, our facilities, our staff and our friendly and welcoming members and we have momentum, all of which gives us a such a strong platform from which we can continue to flourish and prosper………I look forward to seeing how we realise the opportunities in the years ahead.
Club Captain 2018 Jim Godfrey
And as you hand the captaincy on to Jim Godfrey, do you have any words of advice that you’d like to share?
Enjoy it - it really is great fun and my one piece of advice would be “the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it”. With Frances by your side and your best mate Roger to guide you I’m sure you’ll be a great success.
May I say thank you John, on behalf of the entire membership at Bedfordshire Golf Club. We are very grateful for all the hard work you’ve carried out over the last 12 months. It has indeed been a very good year for the Club. We hope you get a little more time in 2018 to enjoy life, and possibly to see Sue more often!
Past Captains' & Committee Dinner - January 12th
Past Captains, Past Presidents, Committee and Board Members gathered for dinner with their partners to celebrate the end of another Club Captain's year at Bedfordshire Golf Club.
An excellent (and very satisfying) dinner was served by Chef and the team and then we moved on the speeches. Before the Captain's performance, we were 'treated' to Vic McDonald's citation for Steve Monico who deservedly received this year's Exceptional Service Award for his many years of service to the Club and Limited Company - especially during the rather challenging financial waters of the pre-2010 period. Vic then presented the award to Steve.
Steve receiving his Exceptional Service Award
Captain John then made an excellent speech thanking all those in the Club who have worked so tirelessly over the last twelve months to make everything run so smoothly, whether they be staff, Members of other volunteers. He left his warmest thanks until last, thanking Ladies Captain Anne and his wife Sue for their patience and support through the year.
Flowers for Sue and Anne from John
Captain John in Full Flow
John was followed by Captain-Elect, Jim Godfrey who thanks John for all his hard work. He also ensured the room that he will not try to emulate the hands-on style of his predecessor and plans to run things with a slightly lighter-touch in 2018. We took to mean, he'll be delegating a lot more!! Look out team...
Captain-Elect Jim Godfrey responds...
Following the speeches the guests enjoyed the rest of the evening - here are a few photos of some of them.
The Captain's Table
Some well known faces and their ladies
And a few more familiar faces
The entire party of guests
Captain's Charity Day - Friday 15th September
The Captain's Charity Day took place in very changeable weather conditions, where most of the seasons were experienced by the players during their round of golf.
Nearly 100 golfers took part in the mixed four-person team event and the shot-gun start format worked well with all but a couple groups back in the clubhouse in good time. The weather had its say on the scores as this year we saw no three figure winners, but there was still a lot of competition for the prizes with no fewer than six teams within two points of overall victory. The winners and runner's up were as follows:
Overall team competition:
3rd - 95 points (count-back) - Physics & Fellows (Nick Willis/Chris Johnson and guests)
2nd - 96 points - Look On The Bright Side (Joe & Helen Nellis and guests)
1st - 96 points (count-back) - SIG (Jimmy Cunningham & Guests)
Bedford Blues Ball Competition (total points with blue ball rotated amongst team)
2nd - 38 points - SNITS (Wilf Mannion, Laurie Barratt, Dave Cockings, Stuart Kenny)
(apparently SNITS stands for Still Not In The Seniors!)
1st - 39 Points - The Chuckle Brothers (Simon Cavill, Clive Haywood, Mike Stockford & Neil Tabraham)
6th - NP Ladies - Rebecca Kier
6th - NP Men - Alan Jones
8th - Nearest the Line - Anne Harris
12th - LD ladies - Sue Cribb
12th - LD Men - Tom Hitching
This year's event was in aid of Bedford Samaritans and we're pleased to announce a record in fund raising from a golf day at Stagsden for Samaritans with nearly £7000 raised. The many routes to fund raising on the day included:
• The Raffle which raised over £1000
• Beat the pro - unlike previous years where we had a beat the pro challenge at the 6th, our Head Professional Geraint Dixon was out and about on the course, setting everyone a challenge as he met them and raising money in the process
• An Auction - The event finished with an auction managed by Russell Beard. A wide range of auction lots had been generously donated to the cause and in the process raised several thousand pounds.
Thanks to all the members from Bedfordshire Golf Club who either took part or organised teams. Also, a big thank-you to all those who generously donated raffle and auction lots, which enabled Samaritans to raise so much money.
Overall Team Winners
The 'Blue Ball' Winners
And when it rained, it really rained!
Our Auctioneer Russell
Biddenham Baffie Captain's Team 4 - Vice-Captain's Team 5
On a sunny Saturday in late June, the traditional match took place between the Captain's Team and the Vice-Captain's Team for the privilege of winning the magnificent Biddenham Baffie and the long history that goes with it.
Our Captain this year, being an avid rugby fan, decided to make the most of the opportunity afforded by the British & Irish Lions test again the All-Blacks, by starting the Baffie event with a 'Full-English' following by a few early pints whilst watching the match itself. Unfortunately, the result wasn't quite what the increasingly agitated audience had hoped for, as the day started with a 30 points to 15 defeat.
So, onto the golf itself, and 36 players (18 per team) competed for the pairs match-play competition in excellent conditions. As the results came in, it was all 'nip and tuck' as the scores swayed the overall total from one side to the other. With just one result still to come in, the total stood at 4 matches each, so both Captain and Vice-Captain eagerly awaited their final pairing to hear how they'd got on. As fortune would have it, the expected winners in this match were outshone by the underdogs so the Vice-Captain managed a 5-4 victory.
Above: The Captain presenting the 'Biddenham Baffie' to the victorious Vice-Captain
Below: The two teams celebrating after the match - and is that SKY reporting the result?
Captain's Day 2017 - Saturday 17th June
Captain's Day took place on a warm sunny Saturday in June with the course looking an absolute picture and in fabulous condition. For his big day, Captain John had organised a Singles Stableford Competition during the morning, which included players from all sections of the club. He was delighted that no fewer than 111 members filled the course!
Captain's wife Sue worked behind the scenes to support John with refreshments. A very welcome hospitality point had been set up on the 6th tee where Prosecco, beers and soft drinks were all on offer, together with home baked goodies - courtesy of Sue herself. As you can see below, our illustrious immediate past Ladies Captain was happy to take light refreshment in the form of a cup of tea! Whether she also enjoyed the delicious looking cookies, we'll never know...
Ultimately, the competition provided 2 winners and these were:
• Ladies - Jane Andersen with 35 points
• Men - Andrew Jones with 39 points
They are pictured below with Captain John at the presentation receiving their prizes.
There were also a number of spot prizes as follows:
Ladies nearest the pin - Sam Turnbull (below left)
Men's nearest the pin - Ian Clayton
Ladies longest drive - Barbara Talboys (below right)
Men's longest drive - Brian Lewin
There were no fewer than eleven 2's, including notably Sheila Fairey and Sam Turnbull at the 13th and Graham Crawford at the 17th! Well done to all of them.
Following the presentations, everyone joined The Captain and his wife Sue for a delicious lunch in the Clubhouse afterwards. As you might imagine, the place was heaving!
All in all, it was a excellent day for our Captain, the members and of course the club.
Packed house for Gale Salvers 2017 Qualifier
Sunday 23rd April saw the qualifying competition for the 2017 Gale Salvers with 100 golfers gathering at 7.00am for a hearty cooked breakfast (thank you chef & team) followed by a shotgun start.
Winners for the last 2 years, Matt Lea and Rob Sparks were presented with the 2016 Salvers at the breakfast (below with Captain, John Simpson), but unfortunately they failed to qualify in 2017, so the way is open to fresh winners this year.
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.
Captain's Drive-In Lunch - Sunday 29th January
The Captain's Drive-In Lunch took place in a packed Biddenham Suite on Sunday 29th January. Members, families and friends enjoyed a lovely meal and a speech from New Club Captain John Simpson in which he outlined his plans for the year ahead. He thanked all those who have supported him to this point and of course, those who will be providing an endless supply of it during the year ahead - especially Ladies Captain Anne and of course his lovely wife Sue!
Above (top) - Captain John, family and friends - and (below) Ladies Captain Anne, family and friends.
2017 Joint Captains' Drive-In
2017 Captain John Simpson, Vice Captain Jim Godfrey and Ladies Captain Anne Harris on a rather damp 1st tee for their Drive-In. You'll be pleased to know that both of them managed to handle the pressure well, overcoming the inevitable nerves and hitting excellent drives. Looking at her outfit, Anne is clearly planning on brightening things up during her captain's year!
2017 AGM and Captain's handover
The club AGM took place on Sunday 22nd January.
Past Captain, Kevin Dunbar bowed out after a very successful year and handed over to new Club Captain, John Simpson (above). John said "It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to captain Bedfordshire Golf Club - especially at such a good time for the club. I am looking forward to meeting, and playing golf with, as many members as possible during his year and to doing all I can to ensure the club continues on its current successful journey."