2022 Season Review – Eddie does the double!
As we embark on a new season a look back at our 2022 season will get those golfing juices flowing.
The 2022 season was yet another successful one for the CGS, with average attendance up from the previous season with new members coming on board throughout. The usual Fix-UP Cup was the opening event of the year and it was held at Kilworth Springs Golf Club with 34 CGS members and five guests attending. There was a cold breeze sweeping through the air that greeted everyone, however a cold breeze wasn’t going to dampen the enthusiasm for all those itching to play some golf after the winter break. With the Fix-UP trophy on the line, play commenced and it was clear to see who had been practising during the winter. With the greens not being up to par their condition didn’t have a major impact on the scores. It was Noel Wright who proved good scoring was possible with an amazing 42 points, four clear of his nearest rival Tony Blackwood who’s improved play rewarded him with an excellent 2nd place. The good scoring did not stop there with Lloyd Thomas posting 36 points. It was a very high scoring first event setting the bar high for events to follow.
That event was Founders Day which took place at The Staffordshire, formerly known as Swindon Golf Club. This is an event that celebrates the CGS inaugural event which was held on Good Friday back in 2007. This event celebrated CGS 16th anniversary and was held on a CGS favourite over the years. It was however the end of an era as the course would be closing meaning it would be the last time CGS would play one of our staples over the years. With news of the course closure many were in attendance for a Good Friday, with some 32 members and guests in the field. The Staffordshire or better known as Swindon isn’t an easy course, tree lined with uneven lies on most shots. As a one-off due to the course closure it was agreed with the Pro that CGS could play from the back tees which made a difficult course that little bit more difficult. The CGS played the course the year before with Eldridge Cunningham winning with 39 points, however from the back tees the scores didn’t reach the heights of the previous year with only the winner Landis Brooks posting the only score in the thirties with 30 points exactly.
The Founders Day result traditionally doesn’t go towards the overall order of merit, those events that do are classed as Majors. With the first Major at Kilworth Springs decided it was Noel Wright leading the standing as we headed to the second major held at Gaudet Luce for the Memorial Trophy. This was a special event as the CGS had arranged for England Golf to attend in order to help promote diversity in golf. This was driven by CGS member Julia Regis who had been instrumental in trying to bring more black Women into golf with the help of the CGS. Her efforts involved putting on several taster events which were a huge success with each event being fully booked out. With England Golf in attendance the CGS members came out in force with the biggest field of the season totaling 48 golfers supporting Julia’s drive for diversity in the game. The Gaudet Luce course is one of those where mistakes are punished, any missed fairway could be on another fairway, in trees or water, its no easy track to score well on. The results however showed that many played well on the day with three of the top four players posting 35 points and having had to be separated on count-back to decide the 3rd and 2nd places. However out in front with 38 points, it was a fitting result for the person who was instrumental in seeing the large attendance, Julia Regis was the the out and out winner on the day both on and off the course. In 2nd spot on count-back was Harvey Lawrence with Keith Salmon taking the final podium place, watch out for the man in 4th also on 35 points Mr Eddie Wedderburn.
After a successful event at Gaudet Luce the next major event would be held at the new venue on the itinerary and a venue that was well received by everyone. Ross-On-Wye was the location of the 3rd major for the Captains Trophy. With a great looking course in great condition attendance was in the high thirties, although matching those numbers at Gaudet Luce would be some achievement two events in a row the numbers at Ross was starting to be the norm for the season. In attendance was 38 CGS members and a sole guest. Taking full advantage of the great playing conditions was Dale Bromfield who was the overall winner on count-back from Elford Douglas both posting 36 points with a new name on the podium the name of George Branch. In 4th spot again was Mr Eddie Wedderburn.
The season was now at the halfway point and into the summer months as CGS visited yet another first, Lilleshall Golf Club, a venue once used as the PFA’s football academy. It was a big surprise as we arrived at the course to find a cloudy and rainy reception as the weather wasn’t looking too good, however things changed and the sun came out to frame what turned out to be a lovely day. This course obviously has a reputation as attendance went into the 40s for the second time with 41 CGS members and a single guest. This prize on offer was the Caricom Cup and the winner posting 38 points was Carl Douglas who won by two from Lloyd Thomas on 36 points and Eldridge Cunningham in 3rd with 35 points. In 4th spot again was Mr Eddie Wedderburn, starting to see a trend!
Now into late July and into a very warm spell with record temperatures scorching golf courses around the country. The CGS once again attended yet another new venue and one many were waiting for having heard it was on the roster. The Secretary Shield was the prize on offer to the winner as the CGS reached Maxstoke Park, the home course of CGS chairman Junior Harris and Landis Brooks. With several having already played Maxstoke during milder climes players were chomping at the bit to experience this excellent course in summer months. The weather however had different ideas, it wasn’t rain it was heat, the scorching summer we were all experiencing pretty much scorched the fairways and posed a challenge for the green staff on the hottest day of the year. With fairways running like links and greens very firm it was a challenge to not only battle the heat but also the course conditions. Amongst the 40 members and guests a special mention for returning CGS stalwart Denny Senior, the CGS secretary from its inception came out after a long lay-off for a one-off appearance to test his skills and see if he still had the game to compete at a CGS event. It would however prove a very challenging day for Denny who couldn’t have picked a worse day to make an appearance with the extreme heat experienced by everyone. Denny did however present the Secretary Shield to the most consistent golfer of the season so far, the man who finally dropped that 4th spot for the top step of the podium was Eddie Wedderburn. In spite of those 4th place finishes there would no doubt that his consistency would result in him leading the Order of Merit. Hoping to be the first in CGS history to win multiple Order of Merit tittles Eddie was now in pole position with three Majors remaining. With 35 points winning on count-back from Eldridge Cunningham Eddie showed that consistent golf throughout the season can pay dividends. CGS chairman Junior Harris took advantage of playing his home course with the final podium place.
Carden Park was the venue to host the annual weekender. A two day event with two major trophies up for grabs. The first days scores go to decide the winner of the Chairman’s Plate whilst the combined 1st and 2nd days scores go towards the winner of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Trophy. Now almost at the end of the season the scorching conditions experienced at Maxstoke continued into August for Carden Park. The Carden Park venue as a whole was well received with some CGS members bringing wives and partners to take advantage of the spa facilities on offer. The first round however was played on the Nicklaus course where the greens were suffering from disease which meant there were bumps and humps which did not provide an adequate putting surface. The combination of poor greens and the heat did not deter Clyde Pile from posting 42 points. This was a great knock from Clyde considering all factors. The day one event was a high scoring game, obviously some of the guys got some good breaks on those greens. Carl Cunningham was runner up with 40 points and in 3rd was Ian Higgins with 39.
It was back to the hotel to freshen up for the evenings presentation of the Chairman’s Plate to Clyde and some food and drinks after a challenging days golf. The following day was now the final day for the Charlie Sifford Memorial Trophy with the 1st days scores for the Chairman’s Plate going towards the total points for the two day Charlie Sifford event. The second round was played on a much better Cheshire course which provided a much better putting surface. With 34 points on the 1st day was Roan McLeod who was no doubt thinking the 42 points posted by Clyde would be a huge number to catch on day two especially if Clyde simply had an okay day. With posting the best score on day two with 36 points Roan was able to win the Trophy with a combined score of 70 points winning his first event in years. In 2nd with a combined score of 68 points was Eldridge Cunningham pipping Ronald Ross on count-back.
With two remaining events for the Order of Merit was it was looking like a tall order preventing Eddie Wedderburn from claiming his second title. Our penultimate event was held at Cleobury Mortimer for the TNCM trophy. The day was overcast and very different to the scorching conditions experienced at the last two majors. With 38 members and guests playing it was yet another well attended event, keeping up with the average for the year which was now around the 40 mark. The scores were very good with all the top ten scoring in the thirties but it was Vassel Brown who stood out and elevated his game into the 40s with a score of 42 points basically playing three over par gross for his round playing off a 9 handicap. In second with the highest score in the 30s was Dave Brown with 39 points followed by Carl Douglas with 35. Lingering in 6th spot was Mr Eddie Wedderburn who’s chase for a second CGS Order of Merit title was now all but sown up.
The final major of the 2022 season was held at Lingdale Golf Club, 40 members and two guests came out to watch the procession for the crowning of the two time Order of Merit winner. Before that could happen a certain matter of playing for the Players Trophy was in order. It had been a long season however the competition was still hot even though the Order of Merit was already decided. Winning a major isn’t an easy task with the amount of good golfers in the society and one bad shot here or there can decide a result. After winning the Founders Day trophy Landis Brooks elevated his game to take his first major of the year by winning the Players Trophy with 36 points from Al Beckford and Chris Powell who’s position with 2nd and 3rd was decided on count-back with Al taking the runner up spot.
Throughout the seasons players aren’t only playing for the overall Order of Merit title, players are rewarded for consistent play depending on their handicap category, this gives everyone a chance to win their division and be classed as the best of their division for the season. With Eddie Winning the Order of Merit title there was still the 1st 2nd and 3rd division titles to be claimed.
Winning the 1st Division title was Eldridge Cunningham. Winning the 2nd Division title was Al Beckford and taking the Division 3 title was George Branch.
There is also a prize for the player who makes the most birdies throughout the major events and that title went to Ian Higgins.
Its been another great season for the CGS the committee have arranged some great fixtures and with the good weather which at times was unplayable attendance as been the highest we’ve had and those numbers will continue to grow with the continued interest we are seeing.
All that was left was for the CGS first Presentation Dinner and Dance since lock-down. The event was held at The Pavilion in Birmingham with 181 people it was well attended by friends and family. The entertainment was provided by DJ’s Stone Heart and Crew, along with guest performers Tenna Star and Kezia. Throughout the evening guests were very generous in purchasing raffle tickets which amounted to £1000 raised for CGS designated charity for 2022 West Midlands Caribbean Parents and Friends Association. With representatives from the WMCPFA in attendance the funds raised was well received. The evening was also about presenting all the major winners their winners trophy and also to crown the seasons Order of Merit champion which went to Eddie Wedderburn. It was a great evening which was rounded off with everyone hitting the dance floor to burn of those calories from the meal consumed earlier. The event was a great success and one of if not the best the CGS has held over the years.
We are now in 2023 and about to start the first event at The Welcome and with 42 of 48 places already filled its looking like an already successful start to a new season.