020 8391 4666

Club News - Winter 2018

Issue 101 published by GolfClubNewsletters

Dear Member,

Welcome to the latest edition of our Newsletter.  Winter now has us all well and truly in its grip although I have managed to play through all the cold and wet weather as my home club rarely has to close, snow being the only reason and have just had two days with a light flurry when I wasn’t due to play anyway! 

We have had one or two problems with the members’ area of the website but I have been assured it is now all working as it should and you can log into your own page to check your handicap online.  If you have not registered yet, simply click on the “Just Joined” button and create your own login and password of your choice.  You can then check your current handicap and see all cards you have entered on the handicap checker.

Please make sure when you email cards for handicapping that your write your membership number on the card before scanning and that every card includes the following:

Your Name and Membership number
Date Played
Course Name
Total gross score added up

Stay warm and enjoy your golf, even if it cold, wet, snowy and muddy!!

SOUTH AFRICA TRIP – November 2017From our Vice Captain, Simon Grigor

14 intrepid GCGB members, and one guest, assembled by the Indian Ocean in early November for this year’s International Competition.  In a departure from previous years, the group were not heading to the USA, but instead to the Zimbali Resort, a 5-star development to the north of Durban, South Africa. 
Kate had got together with Golf Escapes and Gilt Edge Travel to do us proud with luxury accommodation, and after sleeping off the long journeys from the UK, the group assembled on Day One for the Team Competition at the Zimbali course.  There were some very challenging holes, with most of the men struggling with the carries, over bushland, from the white tees.   But when the cards were totted up, it was a male team that won, namely Hugh Sear, John Sear, Richard Whitehead and Peter Hickson with 71 points.  Runners-up, just a point back, were the ladies’ team of Kate Brown, Anne Colbourn, Helen Street and Sue Emeny.

A trip into nearby Ballito that evening found a good Italian restaurant , and over a good few bottles of wine it was decided that those weedy men would be allowed to play off the ‘senior’, blue tees in future.  But before the group were back on the Zimbali course there was an outing to the Durban Country Club for Round One of the Individual Competition.  This was another very tough course, used for 17 South African Opens, and most of the scores reflected the severity.  But there was one outstanding round: Peter Hickson scored 38 points to take the day’s prize.  Second was Kate’s guest Richard Whitehead with 30 points.

The next day was a rest day from golf, but for 10 of the group it was up early for a trip to the Hluhluwe game reserve.  Three of the ‘big five’ were seen (the two cat species hiding away for the day, alas) including elephants, water buffalo, white rhino as well giraffe and zebras.  It was a long day but worth the early rise and 3 hour drive with our wonderful  guide “Cyril” who enlightened us all with his knowledge of the Zulu battles, (we passed Rorke’s Drift where the famous Zulu defeat took place), South African politics and the local farming of sugar cane and eucalyptus.

It was back to Zimbali the next day for Day Two of the Individual event.  Peter’s form wasn’t so good today, and it was Miles Williams who shot himself up the leaderboard with a fine 34 points to take the day’s honours.  Runner-up was Ken Mock with 32 points.

Next up was a trip north to Prince’s Grant Golf Club.  We’d seen little of the sun all week, unfortunately, but today (or more specifically late today) the weather turned very foul.  Lightning was seen, thunder was heard, and though the Club did not force golfers to leave the course, some felt they were making a wise choice in doing so.  But one of those who stayed out was John Sear, who plotted his way through the rain (for the heavens had now opened too) to 33 points, the winning score.  He was followed by Richard Corke with 30 points.  This was a stunning course with some amazing views of the Indian Ocean although the greens in poor condition – again very testing for the big hitters but more forgiving for the ladies.

The fourth and final round of the Individual contest was back at Zimbali.  With competitors able to drop the worst of their three rounds, it got some (though not all!) back in serious contention for the big prize.  Although it remained windy, the sun was now seen and it was probably the most pleasant round of the week.  Richard Whitehead won the day with a 34, with Hugh Sear second with 32.  Today we also had some ‘spot’ prizes.  Men’s longest drive was Simon Grigor, Linda Rich winning the same for the ladies.  Alas no lady won their nearest-the-pin, but Hugh Sear won the men’s prize.

So, to a superb buffet dinner that evening at the Zimbali Resort, and presentation of the honours.  Fourth place was Ken Mock, beaten on countback to third by captain Nigel Smith with 84 points.  Second was Richard Whitehead  with 89 points but coming in first was Miles Williams with a best three rounds score of 95.  Miles reflected that only a year ago in Arizona he had been close to bringing up the rear of the group, so a lesson to all  that ‘your day will come’.  And, on a personal note, it was 19 years previously that Miles’s partner, Linda Rich, a stalwart of the overseas trips, had won the same trophy.

A couple of the group had found that all that golfing wasn’t enough to quench their thirst for exercise.  The Zimbali tennis courts saw Alan Strickley beat Simon Grigor 6-2, 6-1 on the Thursday evening, repeating the process (by exactly the same score) on the hot Sunday morning.  And Simon took the hotel’s BMW limousine to the Ballito 5km park run first thing on Saturday morning, and astounded himself by finishing ninth out of 259 runners!

Finally, a golfing wildlife note.  The vervet monkeys were in abundance, and though they looked very sweet and innocent, they were very clever at raiding golf buggies while their golfers were on the greens.   Peter Hickson lost a (unopened – not for long!) packet of nuts at Durban; but the monkey there who took a new sleeve of Callaway balls from Nigel Smith probably got more than he or she bargained for!  And as for the one at Zimbali who took, and ate, one of Helen Street’s paracetamol – do monkeys get headaches?
Thank you, Kate, for all your hard work in organising a super week, and thank you fellow golfers for your friendship and good company.

Simon Grigor




As reported in the last Newsletter, Nigel Smith was top of the leader board with 229 points followed by Kate Brown, Simon Grigor, Rob McCanna, Gary Cavill and Karen Duncan all in with a chance of winning although Nigel and Kate had to drop two scores and Simon and Gary one.  I am now pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 Order of Merit was in fact Nigel Smith with a total of 177 points.   Runner up was Rob McCanna with 168 points. Nigel has played consistently well this year, apparently down to a new driver!  He has now been cut to 18

The table is as follows:
Nigel Smith                 177
Rob McCanna             168
Simon Grigor              163
Karen Duncan             161
Mike Betteridge           155
Kate Brown                  150
Gary Cavill                   145
Neil Burton                   144
Jim Pitman                   138
Ogy John                      129

Nigel and Rob were presented with their prizes at the Christmas scramble which was held at Silvermere Golf Club, a report further on in the Newsletter.

This year’s Order Merit will commence in March when our first fixture of the year is on 7th March at Hever Castle.    I am now taking bookings for the day, the cost is £55 to include coffee and bacon rolls on arrival, 18 holes golf and 2 course lunch.  You can book in by simply calling the office on 020 8391 4666 or email katebrown@golfclubgb.co.uk



Our annual Christmas scramble was held at Silvermere Golf Club and miraculously we had a sunny dry day!  Christmas Jumpers were order of the day and we were treated to a team of Santa’s Elves aka Ken Mock, Anne Colbourn and Helen Street who played the whole round in their outfits.  Unfortunately there were no prizes for the best outfits…

Kate, Mike Betteridge and Peter Hickson were hoping to make it a hat trick and take home the trophy for the third year running but despite putting up a good fight they were beaten into 2nd place on countback!   Results were as follows:

1st place    Rob McCanna, Karen Duncan and Simon Grigor  68.5 on countback
2nd place   Kate Brown, Peter Hickson and Mike Betteridge   68.5 on countback
3rd place    Ken Hall, Pauline Ronson and Nigel Smith           77

Ken Hall also won the NP on the 12th and to keep it in the family Pauline Ronson won NP on the 17th.



Having had many years of long haul destinations to the US and latterly to South Africa I have decided to stay a little closer to home for this year’s Autumn trip.  Costs have rocketed in the last couple of years and the journeys don’t get any easier as the years go by!

I am therefore delighted to announce that the 2018 Overseas Championship will be held at the luxurious La Manga resort, Murcia Spain.  La Manga has long been the leading European golfing destination and has undergone much refurbishment in recent years.

La Manga Club is an exclusive holiday, sports and leisure resort located in a privileged setting bordered by natural parks and unspoilt beaches, offering luxury, leisure and sport with wonderful weather all year round.  

Covering an area of 1400 acres, the resort offers luxurious accommodation, first-class professional sports facilities and fine dining, ideal for those seeking exceptional tranquillity, security and privacy, coupled with superlative service.  There is a tennis centre, Wellness centre and football pitches as well as the three golf courses on the resort.

The resort boasts more than 15 bars and restaurants, all of differing styles: from traditional Mediterranean cuisine to the more unusual. The more classical tastes can be found in a variety of restaurants such as Amapola, La Bodega or La Cala.

The trip includes:

  • Twin sharing accommodation in the 5* luxury Principe Felipe  Hotel 
  • Half Board to include breakfast and evening dinner
  • 5 rounds of golf including the South, West and North course at La Manga and also Roda Golf Club
  • All transfers from airport to golf courses
  • Cost for this fantastic trip is £900
  • Cost for non golfer is £700 and single room supplement is £280                                                                                                       

Flights are excluded and details will be available when flight prices are released in the Spring

Places are limited so all you need to do to secure your booking is contact the office and pay a deposit of £150.

The Golf Club Great Britain & The International Golfers Club provide membership and a recognised handicapping scheme to thousands of golfers both in the UK and around the world.
The Golf Club Great Britain & The International Golfers Club provide membership and a recognised handicapping scheme to thousands of golfers both in the UK and around the world. 

Golf Club Great Britain 
338 Hook Rd, Chessington, Surrey KT9 1NU, 
United Kingdom.
Phone & Fax: 020 8391 4666,  Email : info@golfclubgb.co.uk