Another year passed and already into February, the year is 2020! It sounds like something from a science fiction movie, the old films from back in the day used to reference years such as this, who’d have thought we’d be here to live in these times, but time keeps moving it’s the epitome of perpetual motion. 

So it’s 2020, and with the start of another CGS season almost be upon us. The first event the Fix-UP Cup which gets its name from the business title of the man who donated the trophy to the CGS many years ago Mr Neville Rhoden who was once a frequent visitor to CGS events until priorities changed and was no longer in a position to attend. Anyway we are thankful for Neville’s generous donation.  It’s an event which as seen many memorable moments.

Last year saw the event played at Willesley Park Golf Club in Leicestershire, a new venue for the CGS and one that’s made it onto the roster for the 2020 season. The attendance for this event was high a rarity for the first event of the season, however those numbers would be the norm throughout the season. So with 32 members and guests in attendance play started on a course which was in reasonable condition considering the rain that fell the night before. Of the visiting guests Tony Blackwood and Errol Murray would both be familiar faces throughout the season both becoming full members, with Errol also winning two events and contending in the Order of Merit. 

The scoring at Willesley wasn’t the highest with just 11 of the 32 scoring 30 points or more, however the winning score was better than average. Working on his game during the winter break had paid dividends for Paul Ramsey whose solid play rewarded him with the 2019 Fix-Up Trophy after a score of 38 points which was four better than second place and showed practice is essential in this game.  The event also saw the return of Keith Riley after several months out with injury, Keith is one if not the eldest in the CGS so it was great to see him back on the course playing. Keith’s wife Mary was also out recovering from a hip operation but she would make a return a few events down the road.

The 2019 season was the first season that saw some major changes in the CGS organisation, Denny Senior who had been the CGS secretary from its inception had decided to step down, also Roan McLeod who had also been on the committee throughout the CGS 12 years as the Handicap Secretary also stepped back. This paved the way for Chris Powell to take up Denny’s duties and Keith Salmon to take up the job of sorting the handicaps. It’s definitely made an impression, the introduction of WhatsApp as a way to respond to event attendance as significantly made a difference to attendance figures.  Although email is a good medium the CGS WhatsApp group the committee created for event attendance has been a revelation, the immediate response to the call for attendance has worked, no longer is there a need to continually send reminder emails to members, WhatsApp reminder messages get a much quicker response, so a big thumbs up to the committee.

The next event was held at Telford Golf Club for the Captains Trophy, a venue the CGS have been visiting for the last four years.  It was in 2015 the CGS first visited Telford Golf Club where Junior Harris scored 40 points beating the other 35 CGS members in attendance.  On this occasion a field of 30+ CGS members and guests were subjected to the start of a 2019 run of form for Eddie Wedderburn which would see two victories in the season, the first with a winning score of 38 points, was enough for Eddie to lift the Captains Trophy.

The CGS holds an event every year to remember the day when it all started.  It was Good Friday back in 2007 where that first event took place and has since been known as “Founders Day”, that small bunch of guys who got together to play a game we all enjoyed many of which are still members of the CGS.  Back then the venue was Licky Hills municipal golf course and the winner was Junior Harris who shot a gross score of 84 playing off 18 handicap.  Although the event was first played on a municipal (muni) course the CGS have moved on to better venues.  The venue of choice for the 2019 Founders Day event was Harborne Golf Club in Birmingham. In attendance were 23 CGS members and guests.  From inception this event has been played as medal, so a good test for all. The first event back in 2007 saw in attendance Don Carter who for many years played with the CGS.  Don was and is a member of Harborne, so playing at Harborne Don was at home. Playing off 6 handicap he posted a score of 76 gross which was the best gross score on the day.  Winning the event was CGS past Captain Elford Douglas who posted a gross of 86 to win the event with a net score of 70 winning the event on count-back from Don.

Next came May’s event which was held at The Worcestershire Golf Club for the Chairman’s Trophy. There were 34 members and guests in attendance on a warm day in the Malvern Hills. It was a mixed bag of scores which reflected the same attribute attributed to the greens.  The scratch score on the day was set at 30 stableford points which just showed how difficult the members found it.  As we always say about this game you never know what can happen on the day and this day proved that statement to be correct.  Whilst most struggled to score 30 points Emrys Karemo was the only one who didn’t like scoring in the thirties so decided to branch out into the forty point bracket. With the nearest player only managing to score 32 points Emry’s was in another league of his own.

Up next was the Caricom Cup in June at Lingdale Golf Club. With yet another attendance figure in the thirties these numbers were now becoming a standard for the 2019 season. The Lingdale course which is situated in Leicestershire was well received by all in attendance, it’s a very challenging course with many long par fours and difficult par three’s.  The last time CGS played Lingdale Chris Powell won with 37 points and on this occasion 37 points was again the winning total but this time it was new CGS member Errol Murray who won his first CGS Major and in the process collected the Caricom Cup.

The season was now in full flow, the CGS then moved onto an old favourite Swindon Golf Club which is now called The Staffordshire. Once again over thirty attended a venue that was last played by CGS members in 2015.  The weather was great and as it turned out it was good weather and also good for Wedderburn, that’s Eddie Wedderburn who won the second of his two victories this season with 38 points.  The win sent Eddie to the top of the Order of Merit.

Olton Golf Club was the venue in August for the CGS Players Trophy.  Once again attendance was high, 38 members and guests attended the venue in Solihull.  The course wasn’t in great condition, the main gripe were the greens which had been hollow tined but good scores were still available and Chris Powell was the man to produce one.  Chris managed 39 points on the day which could have been much better especially with only a par on the par 5 11th having driven the green.  It’s at this point that the run for the Order of Merit starts to get serious but this year Eddie Wedderburn had amassed such a lead at the top that it was becoming very difficult to topple him.  The few remaining events would give those near the top a small but a mathematical possibility of taking the title, so the next event would go some way towards achieving that.

It was for the TNCM Trophy where those with a shot at the title would be able to give chase to Eddie.  The competition was held at Walsall Golf Club and has been the trend throughout the year attendance was in the thirties 36 to be exact.  The course was in reasonable condition apart from some bad greens but on the whole it was very playable.  The scoring at the top was very close but no one could stop Errol Murray from securing his second win of the season with 37 points.  It had been a very successful season for Errol, two wins in a CGS season is not easy to achieve but also doing it in the same season he became a member.

With Errol’s victory it almost assured Eddie Wedderburn would take home the Order of Merit title, it was only a matter of finishing up the last golfing event of the season.  The “Charlie Sifford Memorial Trophy” was the last event and it was held at the Cotswald Hotel and Spa in Chipping Norton Oxfordshire. Once again over thirty attended and for an event which is held over two days with Hotel stay this was the icing on the cake for what’s been one, if not the best attended seasons.  It was a great weekend of food, drink, banter and of course Golf.  With Eddie so far out front the Order of Merit had already been wrapped up before we even started. It was a very nice venue and with only one course it gave us all a chance to make amends for any poor play on the first day.  With a score of 35 on day 1 and 33 on day 2 Vassel Brown was the man to show the most consistency over the two days and was the man to lift the Charlie Sifford Memorial Trophy.

With all the golf now done for the year the committee got straight onto planning the CGS Annual Presentation Dinner and Dance which was once again held at Sandwell Golf Club in West Bromwich.  It was a great night of food and drink with great entertainment provided by comedian Rem Conway, DJ Deadly (from Stoneheart Family) and CGS very own Eddie Wedderburn who performed under his stage name Eddie K.  He not only tore it up on the course in 2019 but the man can sing and entertain which he did, he was excellent. 

It was all about the entertainment and a chance for guests and members to enjoy themselves.  It’s also a chance to raise money for our chosen charities and for everyone to remember the achievements of the CGS members throughout the year with the trophy presentation for the season’s winners. So amongst all the major events played there is also the Birdie winner’s trophy for the player amassing the most Birdies in the season.  This year the first prize was a joint effort with Ian Higgins and Roan McLeod both scoring 10 birdies in 2019.  There is also the different handicap Category winners, Rodney Dillon won the 3rd Division title, Ludlow Stewart won the 2nd Division title and Roan McLeod was the winner of the 1st Division title.  With all those prizes presented there was only room for one more and that was for the Order of Merit Champion.  As it’s already been mentioned throughout this report Eddie Wedderburn was the man mid-season his consistent golf was the key to him securing the title with one event remaining.  It was not only the two wins but also the two second places which allowed Eddie to take the title.  So congratulations to all the winners and especially to Eddie who not only entertained us on the links but also on the mic.