Firstly on writing this newsletter I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year albeit a bit late, I hope you all had a splendid New Years Eve and celebrated with loved ones.
Secondly this newsletter is being produced to give you an insight into the best bits of Woodham Golf and Country Clubs 2015/16 season and my first season involved within golf and what a fabulous time I’ve had, if not at times completely challenging and exhausting!
• After Closure in 2013 Woodham was awarded Golf Mark Status but were only presented with it this season.
• The Claret Jug visited us on 18th June with our Juniors’ featuring in the Golf Roots magazine with it!
• Winning the HSBC Golf Roots of the year award 2015
• Record attendance and a beautiful day for our Captains Day & our 1st Anniversary 1st August
• Ladies section won the Anderson Division 6 afternoon League
• James King aged 8 was a runner up in the American Junior Championship which featured on Sky Sports
• Clubhouse refurbishment
We may have had a rocky start but what a fantastic end we’ve had this season (besides the heavy rain), without the support of our local community and our very committed golfers and foodies I’m not entirely sure we would have made it to today, as you can see our main highlights have been really monumental moments.
Before I go into detail regarding our golfing season I’d like to thank you all for your support throughout our planning application up to now. As it stands we are currently pushing forward with another application since the original document expired in November 2015. We will keep you informed of any changes as we have done throughout the season however we do not foresee any immediate planning related works commencing until at least 2017.
We’ve had great achievements from each area of the golf and country club; since reopening we have
gained 96 juniors who we intend to nurture and help grow within the golfing community through the
help of The Golf Foundation and Durham Golf Partnership. Our Professional Ernie Wilson and our Junior Liaison Officer Chris Lawson have volunteered their own time to help these juniors learn the sport and they both have likeminded motivation when it comes to making this sport as accessible as possible to juniors of all ages. The Get into Golf Campaign that was run during the summer by England Golf was almost the biggest testament to our growing group of encouraging juniors. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the parents for supporting us and choosing our golfclub. Without the support
from everyone involved we wouldn’t have won The Golf Roots Project of the Year Award 2015 so thank you!
The 2015-16 season has seen Woodham and Oakleaf combine Juniors and enter a team into the County League and although they finished last it gave them an experience they wouldn’t have had the
opportunity to exercise had it not been for the coming together of both clubs. The Juniors have also seen some amazing personal achievements which I think should be recognised; Matthew Goad represented Durham in the final of the Srixon tour final in Cumbria and James King competed in the final of the American Golf Junior finals which was shown on Sky!
With the success the Junior development has already brought we have continuing plans to introduce blue tees on the first 9 holes with a junior scorecard and competitions, free of charge memberships to include age 14 and we’ve completely realigned the pricing structure to comfortably compete with other local golf clubs and help encourage younger generations into this sport.
Following on from the success our Juniors have brought to the club our Ladies have also been very busy this season! The 2016/17 season welcomes Linda Luke as their new captain taking over from Margaret Russell, congratulations and thank you to both! Tracey Hahn did incredibly well to win the Ladies Club Championship which was topped off with a hole in one on the 17th hole on the first round of the competition. In the National Daily Mail Foursomes competition Pat Usher and Anita Maxwell proudly represented Woodham playing some well yet challenging golf and battled their way to the 5th round of the competition. We had two of our ladies selected to play for the county in a competition against Northumberland due to their fantastic win in the Foggett Spoons for getting the best gross score at the DCLGA Open 4BBB competition at Houghton le Spring, Congratulations to Margaret Nisbet and Anita Maxwell. Cheryl McOwan entered a varierty of Durham County Ladies’ Golf Association events and won the Greener Cup and not forgetting the massive achievement of being promoted to Division 5 of the Anderson Daytime League, congratulations to every single one of our ladies!
The Mens’ section brought even more to the golfing table in that their Captains Day was one of the most organised and enjoyable events I’ve ever attended. Not only was it well supported throughout both the day and night, collectively we raised approximately £4000 for The Multiple Sclerosis Society North Durham Branch. I thought I was busy until I looked at their competitions list this time last year! They’ve had some great results come from it including; Tommy Scott as the Club Champion, Danny McPhee won the Hall Construction Trophy. As well as the formidable Knock out winners; Herbert Greensmith Trophy was won by John Banks, Blades Singles Trophy by Carl Robinson, Sheila Bowes Singles Trophy by Trevor Burn and the Gordon Parks Doubles Trophy was shared by Jeff Masson and Paul Hopwood, well done to every single person that took part you’ve had a really successful season!
Unfortunately Peter Hogan has stepped down as Handicap secretary for the 2016/17 season and Tommy Scott has taken over this position, Congratulations to Tommy and thank you for your extremely hard work last season Peter, I know I’ve appreciated it just as much as the members.
The Seniors have pretty much moved in to the golf club this season, there’s not a day gone by (besides the whole of December due to wet weather) where I haven’t seen members of our senior section taking full advantage of the facilities! With 80+ members in this section they’ve definitely made their mark and we’re very glad to have each and every one of them back. This season has also been very successful for the seniors, winning 10 out of 15 games and 3 additional matches to look forward to in the new season against Crook, Houghton le Spring and Ramside. They saw the introduction of an Order of Merit Trophy which was awarded to Paul Longmire, Congratulations!
Alongside the golf we’ve had a fantastic year inside and out the clubhouse with John, Mandy and the rest of the staff! Countless events have taken place following on from a refurbishment of the restaurant, weddings, christenings, private functions the list really could go on. A couple of highlights have been the Halloween Party with a tremendous turnout where everyone really got into the spirit of things as well as the Christmas Shopping Extravaganza! The weather really decided to help us out on that one! We hope you enjoy the food as much as our staff enjoy making it and we’re really thankful that you like to shout about us as much as you have done, we wouldn’t be half as successful as we have been this season without you, thank you!
The course has also had a slight overhaul with 30 tonnes of sand injections on all greens throughout the summer which at first was rather daunting but as regular players you will now understand how much we’ve benefitted from doing something that seemed so drastic. We’ve invested in 6 new buggies, a Kuboda Tractor and 5 new fairway gangmowers. A bunker on the 9th has been an experimental bunker for new sand which has been helpful in deciding what works will be carried out this year, copses were thinned out as part of ongoing woodland management and all fairways were treated with weedkiller under instructions from an Agronomist we’ve been working with heavily.
I have been introduced to a close knit family that I didn’t know existed, had it not been for committee members, other members and staff for helping me and guiding me through everything golf I do not know how I would be confident enough to be at this stage exactly a year later starting the cycle again. In January 2015 I didn’t know my tee times from a divot, my fairway grass length to birdies and now I think I could talk about golf all day long (just not play it because I may turn into one of those golfers that complain about everything!). So I’d like to thank each and every one of you for taking myself and other members of management under your wing and showing us how much you love your golfclub.
Here’s to a new season! See you in the clubhouse!