“The Hardy Nucleus” of RSGS was low in numbers but high in spirits at this year’s Spring Meeting. Only 14 golfers were able to attend at the Thorpeness and Aldeburgh golf courses during the last weekend of April. Normally the weather plays a major role in the outcome of our excursions to this part of the world but to our relief, it was relatively benign with what for some (=our President!) was just a gentle breeze off the sea. Some long hitters, like Douglas Nurse, who hits the ball higher and longer than anyone else, might disagree as his ball was spinning off course on more than a few occasions. The sun’s appearance was modest the first day but blessed us all greatly with its presence on Sunday at Aldeburgh.
Our Captain, Ulf Brodd, had returned especially from his holiday in Portugal to oversee the competitions and make sure that they ran in accordance with his usual high standards. To encourage the speed of play he had ruled that the max. allowable time gap between one ball and the following out on the course would be 16 minutes with a 2 shot penalty for all players in a ball that lost more than 16 minutes to the preceding ball. Even in a society with players of as varying standards as we have, this would seem a generous enough margin and the worst reaction would, as expected, be when the rule was initially applied. One 3 ball was thus penalised at Thorpeness which inevitably caused some upset as the rule strikes innocent and guilty individuals with equal force. The result was, however, that play on the following day at Aldeburgh proceeded at quite an acceptable speed.
Overnight stay was arranged at what was for us a new venue, the Satis House Hotel, some 20 minutes drive from both courses. After pre-dinner drinks in our own bar and dinner in a separately laid out dining room, the noise level was soon up to decibel values which 15 people have rarely been known to achieve. Paul Williams, our President, was in his usual great form and entertained us in his witty way whilst also arranging the “President’s Swindle” for the following day’s competition. Another end-of-dinner competition was to guess the total number of balls lost during the day’s play at Thorpeness – how many balls can 14 players loose during one round? Well, today the answer was 39 – so much for the President’s gentle breeze!
After a night’s restless sleep, more than one person was heard muttering at breakfast that there would be no need for wine to be drunk in their household for some time to come.
However, with sunny weather and playing on a lovely course like Aldeburgh, all bodily aches were soon forgotten by all but one; Cathy Mons had taken some fatal footsteps earlier in the week and damaged her back badly enough that after 9 holes she had to abandon play – we hope she recovers quickly. Whilst the Thorpeness course is interesting to play, the Aldeburgh course holds a very special place in all RSGS members’ heart and it did not disappoint this time either.
After a sumptuous carvery lunch in the club’s dining room, Vice-Captain Cecilia Block officiated elegantly and handed out the prizes for what had been another very well organised Spring Meeting and we all set off home full of plans on how to prepare for the next RSGS meeting and hoping that the number of participants would increase considerably.
Princess Birgitta Trophy
What can we do about the weather? Several players wished to switch on the sun and turn off the heavenly water tap. However we bravely battled it out over 9 holes. Some players with good water-proofs and a water proof swing actually played another 9 holes, as if they were not wet and cold enough. No questions that we are Vikings. All the greens had surface water and sometimes the ball stopped half way to the hole. Thanks to my playing partners we kept a good spirit, which certainly helped to get a reasonable score.
If you hadn’t been drowned on the course you could have further watering in the bar before the AGM. This event was efficiently and masterfully handled by the outgoing President, Pax Andersson. The incoming and most welcome new President, Paul Williams, handed over an engraved decanter as a token of appreciation from all the members. Pax nicely filled it up with port for general consumption. Ulla Hising left the committee after 7 years of hard work and was gracefully thanked with an orchid. The Committee got full marks for the handling of the successful Centenary Year. The auditor’s agreed to stay on another year if the Helene Öberg continued as Honorary Treasurer and of course everyone welcomed the news that Christina stayed on as Honorary Secretary.
The soup was a good start of the dinner after the cold day. The food was excellent and the wine was generously served. Ending the day the Captain, Ulf Brodd, handed out the prices from last year’s cups. We noted that Pax was given a new nickname “Frostbite” having lost the final in President’s Cup to Jan Persson, suntanned after his training camp in South Europe.
So we have started the next 100 years!
The bad news is that the winner of the completion has to prepare a writ-up.
(for more photos from the Princess Birgitta Trophy and AGM 2013, please go to Gallery)
Synnove Brasen Memorial Cup Final played
Charlotta Lyckeus and I played the first leg of our final in October on a nice sunny day. In very cold and
frosty conditions we played the second round in December. As we are both members of Roehampton, it was all played there. It was very amicable and I was fortunate to be up after the first round and
could continue my good golf in the second leg to become the lucky winner.
This is a lovely competition and a very good way of meeting up, playing nice courses and finishing off with a
Secretary's Cup Final played
The Final of Secretary's Cup was played today, Sunday 9th December. Nils Rutlin and Folmer Amtoft were 3 up after the first 18 holes and thoroughly thrashed their opponents Kalle Kenton and Pax
Andersson in the second 18 and won the "match" convincingly with 9/8!
Great play throughout the competition by messieurs Rutlin and Amtoft paved the way for this victory. A first for Folmer in Secretary's Cup and a first in a decade for Nils. Great achievements.
Tough weekend for Pax Andersson. Lost the Presidents Cup on the Saturday with 7/5 and the Secretary's Cup on the Sunday with 9/8. Will he ever recover?
Many congratulations to the winners!! Nils and Folmer.
President's Cup decided
The final of President's Cup 2012 has been played between Jan Persson and Pax Andersson. 36 holes with first 18 at Hampton Court GC and second 18 at Castle Royle GC. It was never a real contest. Mr Persson had made the clever move to first go to the Canaries for a fourtnight sharpening his game. It paid off. Big time. After 2 up at his home course he simply put in another gear at the away course and pocketed a very comfortable 7/5 victory. Just outside the "dog-licence". Congratulations to great play.
Gentlemens' Meeting at Swinley Forest
Swinley Forest Golf Club is a place I hope to come back to again, and again and again, and I have already put the next meeting in my 2013 diary! This classical Heathland course, designed by Harry S Colt, is not a long course but is indeed challenging the way the greens been strategically positioned and shaped with challenging undulations. It is also fascinating that the club does not have a website, no road signs showing the direction to the club, except for a small well camouflaged green sign hidden away in the bushes 100 yards away from the gated entrance. Also there are no obligatory handicaps and members choose what they play off. It is not easy to get a tee time, but as members of the RSGS we are very privileged to be able to play the course once a year.
Having checked the weather forecast throughout the week before the meeting, I was expecting Scottish weather with horizontal rain, but to our big surprise we had a very comfortable and sunny day out there! As the three Österdahl brothers were not attending this year, I am sure that many of us had hopes of perhaps winning a little prize.
The bacon baps served in the club house before tee off were as usual very nice and tasty, and gave us lots of energy to cope with the sometimes stressful situations out on the undulated greens. I was in great company with Douglas Nurse, a 4th generation Barbados citizen, and we both experienced many crazy situations out on the greens this day. After an adventurous and rather quick round we were both very happy to finish in style on the 18th green with only one putt each!
The traditional English lunch served at the restaurant was as usual excellent, generous and as good as in previous years. It was difficult to stay awake after all this wonderful food, but as the fortunate winner of the Prince Bertil Cup and the Paul Williams Scratch prize, I had to try to stay focused for the price giving. Claes Andreasson won the Berntsson Cup, Paul Williams won closest to the pin competition and Douglas Nurse the longest drive. Finally, I would like to thank all the organisers for the very well organised and enjoyable gentlemen’s meeting at Swinley Forest this year.
See you at Swinley Forest in 2013.
Centenary Meeting in style at St Georges Hill
RSGS’ Centenary celebrations continued in style on September the
21st with 49 lucky RSGS members and distinguished guests playing the beautiful St George’s Hill Golf Course.
The members all played a Stableford competition for the Princess Birgitta Trophy and it was indeed a special occasion since we had our patron Princess Birgitta attending the day, both playing the course and joining the festivities afterwards. The ladies also had a new second trophy to play for, in stroke play, The Queen's Cup, a beautiful crystal vase donated by Goteborgs Golf Club. The happy winner was Gunilla Huldt. Runner up Cecilia Block.
Playing conditions were good. Only the last few groups out playing encountered some rain and deteriorating light. I was fortunate to go out early and found it enough hardship to fend with the long heather carries and the fast undulating greens.
The evening festivities commenced with a glass of champagne, followed by a scrumptious dinner. During dinner we were entertained by a variety of speeches held by both members and guests. The traditional prize giving was in two parts. All the honorary guests were given RSGS engraved tumblers, while the winning and runner up golfers were also lavished with beautiful prizes. The winner of the guest prize was Sten Olsson from Gothenburg. Runner up Rod Armstrong from Hadley Wood GC.
It was obviously a very special moment for me to be presented with the Princess Birgitta Trophy – and by the Princess herself! To add to this honour, I was also presented with a beautiful Champagne Ice bucket. This was mine to keep, and it will always remind me of this joyous day! But the special celebrations were not over yet – when we came downstairs after dinner we were greeted by a 18 man brass band playing wonderful dance music for us!
Once again a big THANK YOU to our committee for all work put in for this occasion! It was a truly great day and evening! Happy Birthday to RSGS! May the next 100 years be equally enjoyable, with many more happy gatherings! By a very happy winner of the Princess Birgitta Trophy;
Måndagen den 8 oktober spelade vi om Cutting Prize på Castle Royle i Berkshire. Vi - tio glada golferskor – anlände i absolut hällande regn. Det såg inte alls lockande ut och entusiasmen var något avslagen. När kaffet var urdrucket och danish pasteries uppätna blev vi faktiskt bönhörda och kunde starta i lite lätt duggregn. Värre än så blev det aldrig så länge som vi var ute - en så’n otrolig tur vi hade! Det var till och med ganska milt och behagligt. Banan var förstås lite våt på sina ställen, men inte värre än förväntat.
!8 hål senare var vi inne och började festligheterna med ett glas champagne. Äkta vara – vi firar ju hundra år och då duger bara det bästa! Maten smakade utmärkt och sedan var det dags för prisutdelning.
Gunnel Forslund var nearest the pin, Eva-Karin Brodd hade the longest drive, Christina Andersson fick tredje pris med 28p, Anita Mortensen fick andra pris med 31p och själv vann jag den vackra vasen med 33p.
Tack Cecilia , som organiserade, och tack alla ni andra som kom och gjorde det till en jättetrevlig dag.