Sandringham Club

SPRING VALLEY GOLF CLUB ALAN TAPPIN CUP 2016

Our first event in The Sandringham Club's 2016 Golfing Calendar was held on Friday 11th March at the SPRING VALLEY GOLF CLUB (SVGC). It was a successful day too.

'Sultry' might best describe the weather and 'downcast' the golfing prowess of many.

The day started with the 23 man field all being welcomed by our own Adam Wilson, now the Food & Beverage Operations Manager at SVGC. Adam looked after us well! The bar was well manned from the first arrival to the last departure, the lunch time spread and the later 'nibbles' after our game were second to none, and our exclusive use of their well appointed lounge area was appreciated by all.

To the game itself. We have a new winner of the prestigious ALAN TAPPIN CUP, the "best golfer" at the Sandringham Club, an event based on straight strokes taken. PAUL RIMMER, on 91. Compared to previous events the scores were high. Much of this was due to us playing off the back markers with many tricky pin positions. Paul's round didn't start as he might have liked; a lost ball off the 10th tee where he commenced his round. He came home strong on his back nine, with the highlight being a near hole in one on the par 3, 150 metre 3rd hole. He even waited for the statutory 10 seconds to see if the ball would fall into the cup.

Coming in second was Greg Cullen on 92. He particularly rues the '8' he shot on the difficult par 4 18th. This pales into insignificance however when compared to third placed Nick Tunbridge on 93. We are eager to talk to him about his horrendous '10' on the short par 5 12th hole where the early group of SVGC member Christian Bell and playing partners Joe Joyce, Alan Carrick and Bill Watkins managed a combined score of 20!

Three time previous winner Euan Evans always likes a mention in game reports. Well Euan shot 42 on the first nine and 34 on the back nine for a combined 76. The only problem he failed to complete the 11th hole, and again the 18th! You've got to be in it to win it Euan.

Our host on the day, SVGC Member Christian Bell, hits a really long ball. On the 7th hole, our nominated LONG DRIVE hole, he creamed one right down the middle to take out the prize. The nearest to the pin winner on the difficult par 3, 5th hole was Geoff Tempest. Christian and Geoff were recipients of prizes kindly donated by SVGC.

SANDRINGHAM CLUB COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP 2016

Looking at the Sorrento Golf Club website you will see the following quote: "Days of golf at Sorrento are high on the list of sporting pleasures. I would rather be there than at Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Pebble Beach or Pinehurst". Peter Thomson.

Well, last Friday 28 golfers from the Sandringham Club, both official handicap and non-handicap players alike, travelled to Sorrento to compete for the 2016 Sandringham Club, Golf, Country Championship. This event was first played for in 1995, so this year was the 22nd play for the ALAN TAPPIN MUG. At the end of the day I believe all would put their names next to that of Peter Thompson.

What a fabulous day. The weather was picture perfect, the course in immaculate condition, and the clubhouse most inviting.

Scores on the day were testament to all of this with some fabulous golf being displayed. Winner on the day and the 2016 Country Championship was Paul Haworth with 40 stableford points. His playing partners suggested that if he could only get his putting and short game together he would be quite some golfer! Still, his trusty 4 iron, whilst wearing out a bit, obviously worked beautifully during his round. There was a three-way tie for second place, all on 38 points, being: Bill de Vos, Kevin Wareing and Russell Eason. Greg Cullen with 22 points won the prize for the best first nine holes with 22 points; he however did a "Jordan Spieth" and collapsed on the back nine. The nearest the pin winner was Garth Jacoby, with Nick (Bubba) Tunbridge once again winning the long drive hole. Mention must be made of new(ish) member Mark Creelman, currently on a 2 handicap, who scorched around the first nine in 35 which is one under the card, before finishing with 72 for the round, for 36 stableford points. A feature was a tap in birdie 3 on the 414 metres par 4, 8th hole, rated the second hardest hole on the course. Mention should also be made of the 36 points of Martin Bade.

Ball winners only went down to 33 points because of the excellent scoring.

Special mention must also be made of dinner. 20 of us availed ourselves of an excellent 3 course dinner in our own private Veranda Room. When I emailed the House Manager with our thanks for the day he replied: "Thank you Joe, pleasure as always. Look forward to seeing you all very soon". We will be back!

Finally mention should be made of our hosts for the day, Sorrento GC Members Peter Wilson and Ken Oliver. And a big thank you to our bus driver extraordinaire Larry Hill who saw us safely back home late in the evening.

DOC RANKIN CUP 2016

The Doc Rankin Cup is an annual teams event between the Sandringham Club and the Kingswood Golf Club, established in 2010 (by convenor at that time, Richard Alderson) in recognition of Doc John Rankin's long association with both Clubs. Thus this is the 7th year the cup was contested. Under the guidance of Richard Alderson our record stood at one win, one draw and four losses. Joe Joyce, as recently anointed golf convenor sought to address this imbalance. Even without the presence of notable golfer Euan Evans (and, may I say, Stuart Fergusson) a richly talented team of 21 players (to include Peter Child and Peter Crilly) travelled to Dingley Village Friday 13th May to help win the cup back for Sandringham.

Ex manager Heath Wilson was our host. We were well looked after all day. A lovely lunch time spread, prime tee time slots after lunch, and a most satisfying spread of nibbles after the game. The weather was magnificent, and the golf course, as always, in tip top condition. All made for a fabulous day of golf.

We were told that due to the sale of Kingswood GC to developers, the golf course would close in April 2018. Members would relocate to Frankston and the newly formed Peninsula - Kingswood Country Golf Club, a 36 hole layout. Thus on Friday we were to play perhaps our penultimate game at Kingswood, but in the knowledge that the tradition would continue down at Peninsula - Kingswood Country Golf Club thereafter.

The team competition is decided on the total of the best 10 stableford scores. Things looked bright for Sandringham after the first nine. Paul Rimmer blitzed early with 20 points on the first eight holes (no need to mention his 9th hole) and solid scores were recorded elsewhere. Some golfers became exasperated by the tricky, hard to read greens, and this was reflected in their scores (e.g. Greg Cullen) but others prevailed. We were confident of a total well above 300. Best players for Sandringham were Richard Alderson (winning a golf shirt, on a countback) and Alan Carrick (who won nothing.... perhaps the golf convenor can award him with a couple of golf balls) on 35 points, closely followed by Ken Watson on 34 and Paul Rimmer on 33.

Doc Rankin, during the announcement of the results stated that: "I don't care who wins", having one foot in either camp. And the scores: KINGSWOOD 307 points......SANDRINGHAM 315 points. Victory! The Doc Rankin Cup will sit proudly in the Sandringham Club in 2016-2017.

SANDRINGHAM - MT. EIZA COUNTRY CLUB GOLF CUP

On Friday 5th August, Sandringham Club golfers drove down to the Sandhurst Club, near Carrum, to contest the SANDY-MECC GOLF CUP with our friends from the Mt Eliza Country Club. We were the host club this year in what was the seventh playing of this annual challenge match. In the first six events the host club had won each time, so the score prior to play was 3 matches each! The winning club is based on the aggregate of the best stableford scores. For the first 6 challenges the progressive scores have been Sandringham 1,602 points against Mt Eliza's 1,592. Each year this is a close contest, as the results testify. (Much like the recent General Election. But we don't have any Independents, although we did have a few member's guests playing with us)

We played the Peter Thomson designed North Course: " The open styled North Course features large sprawling greens, where getting to the putting surface is just the start of the challenge! Borrowing from the traditions of Scotland where Peter Thomson enjoyed his greatest success the course has several distinct features such as the Wall surrounding the 3rd green and the Burn (reminiscent of St Andrews) which dissects the 9th fairway." With a slope rating of 137 off the white tees this was to be no walkover.

The pressure was thus on the Sandringham Club to continue with tradition, and, as the host club, once again hold the trophy aloft at the end of the day. On a glorious, sunny, warm and wind free mid winter's day all players enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of golf. We had two long drive holes and two nearest the pin holes. The Sandringham team was 20 strong, and included golfers with official handicaps and unofficial ones alike. For the Sandringham Club Mark Creelman won the long drive contest whilst Richard Alderson won the nearest to the pin prize. From both teams, scores were generally excellent (discounting that of Larry Hill). Best for Sandringham was new player David Thomson and Mark Creelman on 39 points, with David winning the count back to officially be Sandy's best player. Of note is Mark Creelman's 35 shots off the stick on the second nine, which is one under par! Fabulous effort, and he still didn't win the count back! Third best was Russell Smith on 35 points and then three on 34 points being: Peter Wilson, Barry Francis and Greg Cullen. The Mt Eliza scores were similarly excellent. This again was to be a close contest. The aggregate scores were eagerly anticipated. Mt Eliza with 275 points (average of 34.38 points per player), and wait for it, Sandringham on 279 points (average of 34.88 points per player) Sandringham had sneaked home by the barest of margins. Those putts that just fell into the hole via the 'side door' would have provided the difference.

So the Sandringham Club once again held the trophy aloft. We have thus won the two teams events on offer for 2016, being the Doc Rankin Cup and now The Sandy - MECC Golf Cup. Next year Mt Eliza will choose the venue and host the event. Let us break with tradition and win against the odds.

One last comment. The Sandhurst Club looked after us marvellously during the day to include a light sandwich (liquid) lunch and after game nibbles, all in our own private function room. It is a wonderful venue.

SANDRINGHAM CLUB CITY CHAMPIONSHIPS. VICTORIA GOLF CLUB

The golf convenor was away, gaining brownie points, in the South Island of New Zealand on the day in question, Friday 28th October. And being a Friday, for dinner I naturally had "fush and chups". I don't know how the weather was on the day (I now know how a desk editor feels, with a newspaper deadline approaching, trying to find a News Headline for the next edition) However, looking at the photo I received from the day I saw that Cuddles looks rather sunburnt ( although, of course, there could be some red wine to take into account), so I believe it was an "untypical' warm, sunny and wind free Spring Day in Melbourne.

A field of 21 starters lined up to play. New faces to golf at the Sandringham Club included Andrew Judd and Rick Kennedy (there have now been 47 Sandringham Club Members, and 8 various guests, participating in our 2016 golf programme). First time starters in 2016 were Jason Faulkner and Peter Hickey.

It was a tight and keenly fought contest, especially as Club Manager John Hudson had previously announced: " It should be a fantastic day as Greg Cullen attempts a three-peat. Any golfer (with an official handicap) who happens to beat Cuddles on the day will receive a complimentary bottle of wine." Kill Bill Watkins started off badly. He birdied the 1st to score 4 stableford points. Anyone at Victoria GC knows that if you birdie the 1st you will suffer on later in the round. And so it turned out to be. After a superb first 9 score of 20 points Bill faded on the back 9, only scoring 15 points. Jason Faulkner meanwhile had been steady on the front 9 and amassed 17 points. However a birdie on the 10th for 4 stableford points heralded the start of something special on the back 9. Or so Jason thought. A '7' on the 11th and an 'out' on the 12th brought him back into the pack. However a strong finish over the last 6 holes saw Jason scoring 18 points for a combined total of 35 points. So it was a count back between Kill Bill and Jason. At Victoria GC the better score on the back 9 wins out, so Jason Faulkner was declared the winner of the 2016 Sandringham Club City Championship.

In third place, again on a count back, was Euan Evans (welcome back Euan) over Cuddles. Now Cuddles, after his three-peat, started off par / par / birdie on his first three holes, for 10 stableford points. He thought he had it in the bag. Sadly he only managed 6 points on the following 6 holes. Rumour has it, however, that Jason, Bill and Euan have been camping outside the Manager's Office of late, waiting for their bottles of wine.

Other notables included Rick Kennedy (off a handicap for the day of 6, a true golfer) who won the long drive contest on the 8th, and Paul Haworth and Doug Thompson who won prizes for the two best 'Nines".

The NAGA award winner was clouded in controversy. The 'winner' on the day, and I use this term loosely, was declared as Peter Crilly. No surprise to anyone (as he often gets the NAGA award), but the scorers on the day, without the expert assistance of the Golf Convenor, wrongly scored 27 against Peter Hickey, as opposed to his true stableford score on the day. Now 27 was Peter's handicap! Let me tell you that Mr Hickey's score was WELL BELOW 27. Enough said, but you can count it on the one hand. Meanwhile Mr Crilly is seeking damages for him being portrayed (yet again) as the NAGA award winner.

So another wonderful day of golf at Victoria. I asked Cuddles how the evening dinner went. He said: "I don't remember too much, but my wallet was a lot emptier the next day". It must have been a good night.

SANDRINGHAM CLUB FOURBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

As most of you are aware, over the last few years the GOLF SECTION has annually played 5 tournaments. These include: Country Championship (at Sorrento GC); Doc Rankin Cup (Kingswood); Sandy - Eliza Golf Cup Annual Challenge; Alan Tappin Cup; and the City Championships (Victoria GC). As the new golf convenor for the Sandringham Club, with a request from the Sandringham Club Committee (SCC) to grow the game, I began canvassing opinion for a sixth event, namely a FOURBALL CHAMPIONSHIP. ("Fourball" is a game where each member of a two man team plays their own ball. The higher (stableford) score of the two counts towards the team total) This, I proposed, would be an annual trophy event. I received a unanimous response from the 'golfers' amongst us which then gave me confidence to approach the SCC.

Currently at the Sandringham Club both bowls and tennis have various teams events. Squash in its early days (1960 to 1980) also had a doubles Championship, played for the V. N. HUNT Trophy. As required, I sought authorisation from the Sandringham Club Committee (SCC) for this sixth event, namely a FOURBALL CHAMPIONSHIP, and wrote: " I would be grateful if you can approve my request". The Committee subsequently met and considered my request to commence a new trophy event called Fourball Championship. They replied: "The Committee approves the creation of the event. Should the event prove popular a trophy should be purchased to record the winning pairs." Further, I requested that the event be granted Honour Board status.

Records of golf starting at the Sandringham Club are as per the 18th March 1948 Committee Minutes which, under a heading of GOLF, state: "Arrangements to be left in the hands of Messrs V. Coutie and A. Meare". If approved, it is my intention to name the FOURBALL TROPHY the COUTIE MEARE CUP after these first two enlightened gentlemen and former Sandringham Club members who initiated golf at our Club.

Ken Watson, currently Vic President at Riversdale Golf Club (RGC) offered to host us at Riversdale, which I gladly accepted. RGC is rated in the top 100 of Australian Golf Courses. (Australian Golf Digest) It is the second oldest golf club in Victoria, after Royal Melbourne. The club moved to its present location in 1927. Noted golf course designer Alex Russell helped prepare the new layout, which was officially opened in 1930. The land was at that time a country estate known as St John’s Wood and owned by Sir Redmond Barry, the judge who famously sentenced bushranger Ned Kelly to be hanged. The clubhouse although altered several times over the years, remains on its original site and still contains considerable portions of the original homestead purchased with the property in 1927, serving as a tangible part of the continuing history of Riversdale GC. One external, eastward facing wall dates back to 1870, nearly 150 years ago! (Remember that Coggeshall was built in 1877)

So, after somewhat of a false start, when our initially scheduled game at Riversdale GC was called off in September due to torrential rain, re-scheduling saw us play at a sunny Riversdale last Friday 25th November. Overall consensus was that the field should be divided into low handicapper golfers, and high handicappers. Thus the low handicappers on the day each picked out of the hat their high handicapper partner.

Riversdale is no 'Sandbelt' Golf Course. For us Baysiders it is quite hilly, and a test of one's stamina. It is a true 'Parkland' golf course (A parkland course is usually in a treed landscape, fairways often tree-lined). It certainly provides a real test of golf. A feature in the round of golf are holes that cross Damper Creek, some with reasonable 'carries' necessitating extra care with one's tee shot. Partners Paul Haworth and Joe Joyce had ringside seats watching Larry Hill concentrating over one particularly difficult tee shot on the 15th. Larry looked frozen in time. The good news; when he hit it, his ball did not go into the water. The bad news, he hit it, to mid off, straight into the neighbouring MCC tennis club. Fifteen - love?? In contrast, on one downhill hole, Stefan Delyster hit his ball to within 78 metres of the flag. Now considering the hole was a par five and 470m long, that makes it a 392 metre drive. Not bad! You'd think he would win the long drive hole (11th) but no, this was won by Richard Alderson. Stefan did however take out the prize for the nearest the pin on the short 3rd hole.

Being the inaugural fourball event we had no clue as to what winning score would be required. Individual scores weren't too high, so it was a matter of whom teamed the best. Terry Corrigan partnered David Nield into third place. Three holes where they failed to score meant they finished with a better ball score of 33. Just pipping them was the team of Stefan Delyster and Gary Young with 34 points. They avoided any 'wipes' but five single pointers spoilt their day. In comparison the team of Paul Haworth and Joe Joyce had a very solid 21 points on their first nine holes, followed by 19 on the back nine. A combination of nerves, physical exhaustion and Paul not listening to his captain's instructions (I said favour the right hand side of the fairway, not the left) caused a bit of a nightmare on the uphill 18th hole that we thought might have ruined our chances. But no, a final combined score of 40 points saw Paul and Joe emerge as the inaugural Fourball Champions of the Sandringham Club. The first, in fact, in 68 years of golf at the Sandringham Club.

Now who was it that said there was any doubt that a perpetual trophy be purchased, and the event be designated Honour Board status? It's a done deal. Surely.

View the Golf scores and news from 2015