Magazine - Winter 2019
Inside... Mens, Ladies, Seniors, Juniors, Wildlife & more
wwwJo.hjon hOn’Goaugnat uGnoltf gColulbfcMlaugbaz.icneo.uk 1
Mr Golf remains an inspiration to all of us
WELCOME to the 2019 Winter edition of the Club Magazine, with thanks for the overwhelming
attendance at our Open Budget Meeting in October.
The message from our Treasurer, Peter Wade, was clear in was
clear in terms of our ability to fund projects. The
message from our working groups was also clear, with
‘affordability’ the watchword in both the clubhouse and
water management presentations.
There will be much more from Gordon MacLeod on
this in time as we continue to move projects forward
and develop our strategy for the future.
We have a new Captain of the Ladies Section!
Congratulations Anita, we’ve heard that this year is
all about having fun? We’re with you all the way, and
best wishes from everybody for a great year ahead.
Enjoy your well-earned break Dawn, and thanks again
for hosting a truly memorable finale. Definitely one to
As we eagerly await the Sutton Cup in March, our club hunkers down to a relaxed and enjoyable
time of year, where social golf and festive evenings in the clubhouse are the order of the day.
It’s time to reflect on the summer knockout finals which were slotted in between some pretty torrential,
if well overdue, October rain. Congratulations to everybody who battled through the summer months
to compete for silverware on the day.
Our courses are in good shape to take into the winter, and lessons learned from protecting the first
fairway last year on the John O’Gaunt Course have been rolled out to great effect. Having waxed lyrical
about the drought in previous editions, it’s now clear that the hardy grasses used in last year’s over-
seeding are paying dividends. There are always learnings for us to take forward, and this year is no
We wish Nigel Broadwith and his team all the best for their ongoing winter work. In the flower borders,
our gardener, David Smith, has lovingly secreted over 2000 spring bulbs. It’s going to be a good show,
We share fond memories of our friends and fellow members, Joe White, John Cherry, Jack Stock
and Barry Gaynor, who sadly passed away in recent weeks. The eulogies have been
been heart-warming and the significance of John O’Gaunt in their respective lives is
lives is ever apparent. It’s time to reflect on our memories and share thoughts with
with their families.
We called Barry Gaynor ‘Mr Golf’ out of respect for his passionate service to the..
club over 51 years of membership. Barry (pictured right) chaired the Course and..
Golf committee for six consecutive terms from 2006 and nurtured the development
of both courses as if they were his own. Alongside a prodigious number of..
honours board victories, Barry’s legacy will surely be his enthusiasm and..
positive attitude towards the club, and life in general. Our thoughts are with...
his wife Jean and their family.
A big thank you to all our staff and the army of helpers for bringing festive..
cheer to our club, with all the trimmings! I look forward to being inspired by
all the New Year resolutions… With best wishes to you and yours for an.
enjoyable and peaceful Christmas break.
Phil Haddow - 2019 Club Captain
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Tap-Ins THE Christmas Carvery Sunday Luncheons
on December 8th, 15th and 22nd are filling up
quickly, so to avoid missing out on a delicious
ANYONE coming to the Clubhouse on meal you need to book now.
Saturday, December 7th should expect to see SPACES are also filling up fast for all the other
lots and lots of smiling happy faces as the sold festive lunches at John O’Gaunt, including
out Children’s Christmas Party takes place. the Wednesday Christmas Specials, and the
SIMON Albone was the standout performer on Christmas Conservatory Lunches on December
Medal Finals Day as the seven-handicapper, who 6th, 11th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 19th and 20th.
also won the October Medal, posted a brilliant SEVEN net birdies and a gross birdie on
net 69 to finish five ahead of Ian Riches, Joshua Carthagena’s 15th hole were on the winning
Pearson and Alex Stoeri-Smith.
scorecard of David Crosby in the Seniors
PAST Ladies Captain Dawn French and current Arthur Lucas Cup as the high-handicapper
Ladies Captain Anita Isaacson were amongst clinched victory with 41 points.
those to enter the winners circle in recent COUNTBACK was needed in the October Mid-
ladies competitions as the top prizes were week Stableford after three players came in with
shared amongst a host of different members the leading score of 36 points on John O’Gaunt.
in late season.
James Edwards secured the verdict from Carl
JUST 0.3 shots was the difference between first Scholfield and in-form Ian Riches.
and second in the Autumn Texas Scramble as THERE are plenty of opportunities to advertise
Shaun Comerford, Neil Harrison, Mark Plunkett in the John O’Gaunt Golf Club Magazine over
and Andrew Wellings (net 54.7) took the plaudits the coming months. Please contact the Club
from Andrew Florence, David Hailey, Stuart Office to get your message across to the
Hutchison and Michael Thompson.
members, guests and visitors.
John O’Gaunt Golf Club Magazine 3
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Competition changes to note for 2020 at John O’Gaunt
THROUGHOUT the year we have a number of men’s and mixed matches with other clubs. This is
a great opportunity to play other clubs and meet new people from John O’Gaunt. We have usually
posted lists to which members can sign-up, but this has caused some confusion in the past, especially
where there are two or three lists around the clubhouse. Therefore, from the New Year, posters will
be on notice boards and sign-up will be via Intelligent Golf. We hope you will take the chance to play
in these matches.
As we go through the year, we review how our competitions are running, and as a result we have
made some changes. These are as follows:-
Sir Malcolm Stewart: This is a mixed drawn competition which has sometimes resulted in players
having to be balloted out if there are an uneven number of entries. The rules stated that if someone
withdrew from the competition then a replacement was not allowed. This has been reviewed and
following a proposal from Course & Golf, General Committee have agreed that in future replacements
can be made and will be taken strictly in order from the list of players balloted out.
Letchworth Salver: This competition has divided opinion in the past few years and, in some cases,
we have struggled to get members to enter the qualifier. As a result, for 2020 the club entries for this
competition will be from the winners of Presidents Cup, Sir Malcolm Stewart and Fletcher Cup.
Leaderboards: Following a decision by General Committee, I am pleased to confirm that leaderboards
will go live once the last group in a competition have teed off.
Winter Mixed: This is a great way to play some mixed golf during the winter months and I am sure that
many of you have played in this competition in the past - this is managed by members Chris and Ian
Billington. There is a sign-up sheet in the downstairs foyer. If you have any questions either Chris or
Ian will be pleased to answer them. Just a quick reminder that this is a Greensomes competition and
should be played on the two ball course of the day.
Rewards are there for taking care of your own courses
General Manager Gordon McLeod is giving us regular updates on our courses in his weekly
round-up, which I am sure you are finding very informative.
The staff work very hard to maintain our courses, including re-construction and new irrigation
work on the 16th tee on the Carthagena (pictured), and we would ask some very simple things
from our members.
• Do not take trolleys or buggies into the roped off areas of the fairways.
• Follow the signs on the course which directs you around greens - in the case of the sixth
green on JOG, around the back of the green to access the seventh tee. Not only will this
protect the area between the sixth green and the bottom of the seventh tee, but it will also
keep you safe from players approaching the sixth green.
• Replace divots - even those of the other players, if they haven’t!
• Rake bunkers.
• Repair pitch marks. Gordon mentioned in his recent report about repairing your own pitch
mark and others that you see. If we all adopt this practice our greens will remain in good repair.
Looking at the construction of some of our paths has been on our agenda for some time. I am
pleased to confirm that work has started on the foundations for a new path by the 10th tee on
JOG. In fact, by the time you read this article the new path may already have been completed!
This project is in the very capable hands of Chris Collin and over the past few weeks we have
met with experts in this field to discuss our requirements. A lot of work is going on behind the
scenes, so when we are able to let you have updates on this project, we will. Watch this space.
Pauline Aubigne - Chair, Course and Golf Committee
John O’Gaunt Golf Club Magazine 5
Stocks are rising for World Championship-bound James
JUNIOR Captain Caitlin Thomas said: “Our juniors had a lot of
success in club, county and nationally run competitions
throughout the summer, and that has continued during the
autumn, with several dropping their handicaps and playing
some really great golf in various competitions.
“First off the mark was Jess Sporle in the Russell Hayes Cup
on September 22nd with a great medal round of net 64 on the
Carthagena. This was the start of Jess’s handicap reduction
.over the next month from nine to six.
...“James Stocks (pictured left) has qualified to play in the IMG
Junior World Championships in San Diego next summer
by scoring an amazing gross two-over-par round in the
British Junior Golf Tour at South Herts GC, playing off
12. That would have been a hefty handicap cut, but the
..result was non-qualifying!
..“Nathan Church has also done really well this year
...representing his school in the Bedfordshire Schools
....Championships. Nathan came runner-up out of
....31 in his age group with an impressive 42 points
...as.Bedfordshire came second playing against Essex,
..Hertfordshire and the winners, Middlesex.
“The list of individual achievements to read out at the
Junior AGM in January will be long, and all well deserved.
“During half term we had two pairs competitions, but unfortunately both had very few entrants as the
neighbouring counties didn’t share Bedfordshire’s holiday week.
“Our annual better ball match against the Seniors section was keenly contested and also a fun event,
as always. Our five pairs fought well but could only halve the match so the TSB Trophy remains with
the Seniors until next year.
“The other fixture was the Anniversary Cup, which was a Greensomes Pairs Stableford. The juniors
played on the Carthagena and the winners, scoring 39
points, and beating runners-up Joe Clark and Rachel
George by just a single point were Archie Black and
“Joe was also successful in the Owen Watkin knockout,
which ran through the summer, as James Stocks
“Our last qualifying competition of 2019 was the
Champion of Champions played on November 24th.
“Although 15 juniors qualified, three were unavailable
while two withdrew through illness, so the remaining 10
players competed for the final trophy of the year.
“From a real mixture of scores, the top two finished tied
on net 68 as Joe Clark once again came out on top as
he beat vice-captain Bradley Williams on countback.
“In his last competition as a junior, Joe collected the
trophy from Club Captain Phil Haddow (pictured right),
so it was a great finale - well done Joe.”
Festive season is the start of a packed diary for the Ladies
LADIES Captain Anita Isaacson said: “Just a few weeks into my Club Captaincy and I have
become the ‘post it note’ queen. It’s quite satisfying when there are less than two on my desk.
“The diary for next season is almost finalised - it has been quite an arduous task to marry together
all the different sections of our Club, whilst not forgetting the societies and many visitors to
John O’Gaunt. There are not many ‘windows’ available now.
“Seventeen of our Past Ladies Captains played our Annual
Match against the Ladies and I was up against it in my match.
“With my predecessor Dawn (pictured left) in top form, hitting
almost every green in regulation and never missing a putt, it
was a joy to behold, but not necessarily in opposition.
“I had to bow to her prowess and defeat was graciously
accepted, although (no thanks to me) the Ladies were the
victors again and a well-deserved lunch was enjoyed by all.
“Another popular annual team contest is the Roy Davies
Memorial Shield, when the Gentlemen take on the Ladies.
“The Greensomes Matchplay format always speeds up
the game and we were heading back to the clubhouse for
light refreshments in record time, and managed to get in
before the rain and darkness set in. The trophy was retained
by the Gentlemen scoring 5½ points to the Ladies 3½.
“John O’Gaunt Club Captain Phil Haddow graciously accepted
the Shield from me and I am looking forward to sharing the next six months of our Captaincies.
“Ghosts and ghoulies have disappeared into the ether for another year, Bonfire Night seemed to last
forever but the festive season is well and truly upon us now!
“We have to cope with Christmas adverts encouraging us to spend, spend, spend, but putting aside
the Bah, Humbug… The Clubhouse has been decorated royally (pictured below) by our Ladies
Section with the help of one or two Gentlemen who were willing to scale ladders and provide endless
metres of wiring.
“Christmas is always an enjoyable season at John O’Gaunt and we have lots to look forward to,
like the Children’s Party, Christmas Hampers, Captains’ Christmas Fayre and our Carol Evening.
“It’s a busy time of year, but I can be rest assured knowing that everything will run like clockwork.”
John O’Gaunt Golf Club Magazine 7
Results Seniors Autumn Stableford Trophy - JOG (Oct 15th):
Junior Champion of Champions - CAR (Nov 24th): 1 Vernon Toms (39 points), 2 Sam Standen (38),
1 Joe Clark (net 68), 2 Bradley Williams (68), 3 3 Peter Imray (35).
Aesopians Medal - CAR (Oct 14th):
Thomas Sennett (73). 1 David Lincoln (net 65), 2 Christopher Hoad (69),
3 Richard Westergreen-Thorne (71).
Autumn Texas Scramble - CAR (Nov 17th):
1 Shaun Comerford, Neil Harrison, Mark Plunkett
& Andrew Wellings (net 54.7), 2 Andrew Florence, Auction Cup - JOG (Oct 13th):
David Hailey, Stuart Hutchison & Michael 1 Gavin Armitage (net 71), 2 Richard Wood (72),
Thompson (55), 3 Peter Cohen, Steven Ford, 3 Mark Wright (73).
Gerald Keegan & John Mullen (55.9). Ladies Stableford - JOG (Oct 10th):
1 Caroline Lewis (31 points), 2 Katie Ford (31), 3
Seniors Arthur Lucas Cup - CAR (Nov 12th):
1 David Crosby (41 points), 2 Bill Conway (39), 3 Claire Ryding (30).
Michael Newstead (38). Seniors 2 Clubs & Putter - CAR (Oct 8th):
Morning After Cup - JOG (Nov 3rd): 1 David Wood (37 points), 2 Paul Jeeves (36),
1 Christopher Collin (net 73), 2 Christine Phipps 3 Geoffrey Elcome (34).
(74), 3 Martin Stackemann (75). Midweek Stableford - CAR (Oct 7th):
1 Kevin Donnelly (41 points), 2 Richard Young
Midweek Stableford - JOG (Oct 30th):
1 James Edwards (36 points), 2 Carl Scholfield (38), 3 Scott Armitage (38).
(36), 3 Ian Riches (36). October Medal - CAR (Oct 5th):
Ladies & Seniors Scramble - JOG (Oct 29th): Division 1: Winner: Simon Albone (net 64).
Winners: Jean Cobb, Malcolm Falconer, David Wood Division 2: Winner: Tony Newman (66). Division
& Lorna Jerome (net 65.1), runners-up: Bill Conway, 3: Winner: Oliver Grist (66).
Marion Cooper, Val Day & Colin Newbury (66.5). Senior Gordon Percival Trophy - JOG (Oct 1st):
1 Vernon Toms (36 points), 2 Colin Newbury (36),
Medals Finals - JOG (Oct 27th):
1 Simon Albone (net 69), 2 Ian Riches (74), 3 3 Rafe Bateson (36).
Joshua Pearson (74). Midweek Stableford - JOG (Sept 30th):
Junior Anniversary Cup - CAR (Oct 25th): 1 Scott Armitage (36 points), 2 Paul Jeeves (33),
1 Archie Black & Caitlin Thomas (39 points), 2 Joe 3 Steve Kuhne (32).
Clark & Rachel George (38), 3 Holly Gordon & Ladies Norman Trophy - CAR (Sept 29th):
Paul Smith (32). 1 Tracie Allan (33 points), 2 Christine Darts (29),
3 Diane Oliver (28).
Ladies Par Competition - JOG (Oct 24th):
1 Marie Bayes (2 holes down), 2 Dawn French (3 Ladies Medal Final - CAR (Sept 29th):
down), 3 Tanya Willmott (4 down). 1 Victoria Collin (net 70), 2 Sandra Gardner (72),
Midweek Medal - CAR (Oct 23rd): 3 Dawn French (76).
1 Alan Bradford (net 65), 2 Dan Pillinger (67), Ladies Stableford - JOG (Sept 26th):
3 Tom McEvoy (68). 1 Dawn French (34 points), 2 Catherine
Greenstein (35), 3 Adrienne Massey (29).
Ladies Captain’s Finale - JOG (Oct 19th):
1 George Billings & Laura Collin (43 points), Seniors Bailiff Shield - JOG (Sept 25th):
2 Janice Murphy & Martin Stackemann (41), 3 1 Vernon Toms (36 points), 2 Ian Simpson (35),
Dawn French & Philip Haddow (40). 3 Stephen Cooper (35).
Ladies Medal - CAR (Oct 17th): Junior Russell Hayes Cup - CAR (Sept 22nd):
1 Kathleen Price (net 73), 2 Hilary Pearmain (77), 1 Jessica Sporle (net 64), 2 William Gilbert (66),
3 Tanya Willmott (79). 3 James Stocks (68).
Ladies Team Stableford - CAR (Oct 17th): Bogey Trophy - CAR (Sept 22nd):
Winners: Christine Darts, Katie Ford & Anita 1 Mark Plunkett (+5), 2 Nigel Tarn (+5), 3 Brett
Isaacson (73 points), runners-up: Pat Court, Gilbert (+3).
Susan Bryan & Susan Hankins (73). Ladies Fourball Betterball - JOG (Sept 21st):
Midweek Medal - JOG (Oct 16th): 1 Amy Strange & Joanna Coker (39 points),
1 Philip Haddow (net 69), 2 Anthony Thurgood 2 Kay Daniels & Tineke Smith (38), 3 Penelope
(71), 3 Jason Slender (71). Staveley-Smith & Susan Lee (37).
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John O’Gaunt Golf Club Magazine 9
Who says you get less active as you get older?
SENIORS Captain Dave Gauge said: “As winter approaches and the gaps between competitions
becomes larger, it is time for reflection on the past season.
“With only two official engagements before the Senior Section Annual General Meeting in February,
when I hand over the reins to Bill Walker, I am reminded of what every Captain says towards the end
of their year, that the time really has flown by.
“It hardly seems nine or ten weeks, let alone nine or ten months, that I was given the privileged position
of Seniors Captain and had the opportunity to work with the Seniors Committee (pictured below).
“Since that day in February, the Seniors have played 26 matches against other clubs, two joint
competitions with the Ladies Section, a match against the Junior Section, and 15 senior competitions.
“In amongst that are the large attendances at the Tuesday and Thursday roll ups, which although
administered by the seniors is open to all club members. That gives 44 matches or competitions in
approximately 32 weeks. Who says you get less active as you get older?
“The Seniors section remains strong, with about 165 members, but still welcomes anybody over the
age of 60, who is clutching a shiny ten pound note, to join.
“Inevitably with the age group we lose a few retirees each year, so there is always a constant need for
new members. If interested, please speak to myself or vice-captain Bill Walker.
“But that’s enough about the past - what have we all got to look forward to at John O’Gaunt Golf Club?
“Firstly the Seniors Annual Dinner and Presentation Evening, where we present, not only the
competition winners with their trophies but also a cheque for £3,750 to my chosen charity which this
year is MS-UK - a charity close to my heart.
“After that, we have the Seniors Captain’s Christmas Fayre where, in true tradition, everybody who
plays will get a prize. I just think it’s lucky I like sausages as that’s all I’m likely to win!
“All that is left for me now is to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and
continue enjoying your golf out of our wonderful club.”
Willow Emerald Damselfry is a new first for Club
CONSERVATION Greenkeeper of the Year Steve “The Badger Watches ran from the end of August
Thompson said: “We have more new species at to the end of September.
John O’Gaunt, starting with a Willow Emerald “Unfortunately, the first watch drew a blank for
Damselfly seen by the brook on October 9th.
the first time, but they gradually started to come
“This is a species that was only new to East Anglia out and they showed every other week up to a
in 2007 and has been slowly spreading, although maximum of four.
it is still uncommon in Bedfordshire. “Birds and other wildlife seen recently include lots
“It is an excellent record - it now makes 17 species of Kingfisher activity along the brook and near
of Dragonfly at the Golf Club. the pond with two birds
“Another new species was often seen together.
discovered on the fungi foray “One of our first
two weeks later - it was a returning winter migrants
small bright Red Oysterling (Redwing) was spotted
(type of fungi) called by a member when eight
Crepidotus Cinnabarinus flew over Carthagena on
only new to the UK in 1995 October 7th.
and very few records since. “But there were a few
“It was on fallen poplar summer stragglers
trees on the edge of Pegnut hanging on, a Chiffchaff
Wood. This was just one of was heard calling by the
45 species of fungi seen on first tee on John O’Gaunt
the walk, which had proved and a single very late
to be very popular this year. House Martin was
“Sunday, November 10th seen on Carthagena on
saw the bird ringing October 10th.
demonstration at the club “Red Kites have been
with volunteers from the seen on both sides
BTO. It was very popular recently, also Kestrel,
with lots of people coming Sparrowhawk and
over to look at the birds and Common Buzzard.
find out more about them “The odd single Red
and bird ringing. Admiral Butterfly was
“A total of 62 birds were seen on several
caught and safely released, including four occasions in October and the last two records
Nuthatches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, of butterflies were a Large White and a Small
Blackbirds and Long Tailed Tits (some pictured). Tortoiseshell on John O’Gaunt on October 16th,
“Even the kitchen/bar staff were getting involved, while a few Common Darter Dragonflies were
as Jo, Hayley and Jodie all helped to release the around a couple of days later.
birds. Jo was especially pleased as she got to “Otter and Mink have been seen recently in the
hold her favourite bird - a Robin. brook, both caught on camera.
“I did some bird ringing out on the course the “What to look out for during the winter? Fieldfares,
previous day, with some colleagues with the Redwings, large groups of birds particularly
intention of trying to catch a Kingfisher and... thrushes feeding on the berry laden trees such
“...mission accomplished! We caught and safely as Mountain Ash, Waxwings, Jays, Woodpeckers,
released two of these beautiful birds, a young Kingfishers and Red Kites.
female and an adult female. It’s such a privilege to “If anyone would like a list of the fungi that we saw
be so close - one of my favourite nature moments. please email [email protected]”
John O’Gaunt Golf Club Magazine 11
John O’Gaunt Clubhouse Hours (otherwise normal)
Christmas Eve: 7.30am-4.00pm.
www.johnogauntgolfclub.co.uk Christmas Day: Closed.
Boxing Day: 8.00am-3.30pm.
Address: New Year’s Eve: 7.30am-1.30am.
Sutton Park, Sutton, New Year’s Day: 10.00am-4.30pm.
Bedfordshire, G9 2LY
Bar Hours (otherwise normal)
01767 260360 Christmas Eve: 9.30am-4.00pm.
Membership & General Enquiries Christmas Day: Closed.
- option 2
Boxing Day: 9.30am-3.00pm.
Handicaps, Competitions, Reservations
- option 3 New Year’s Eve: 9.30am-1.00am.
General Manager: New Year’s Day: 11.00am-4.00pm.
01767 260360 - option 8
Members and Bar: 01767 263429 Catering Hours (otherwise normal)
Restaurant: 01767 261469
Professional Shop: 01767 260094 Christmas Eve: 9.30am-2.00pm.
Fax: 01767 262834 Christmas Day: Closed.
Email: [email protected]
Boxing Day: Closed.
New Year’s Eve 9.30am-4.00pm.
Dec 2019 Event (Course)
Thurs 5th Ladies Christmas Hamper (JOG) New Year’s Day: Closed.
Sun 8th Ladies Christmas Hamper (CAR) Pro Shop Hours (otherwise normal)
Sat 14th Captains Christmas Fayre (Both) Christmas Eve: 7.30am-1pm.
Tues 17th Seniors Christmas Fayre (JOG) Christmas Day: Closed.
Wed 18th WAGS Scramble (CAR) Boxing Day: 9.00am-1.00pm.
Thurs 19th Ladies 9 Hole Competition (JOG) New Year’s Eve: 7.30am-1.00pm.
Fri 20th Bar Flies Xmas Fayre (CAR) New Year’s Day: 9.00am-1.00pm.
Sun 22nd Ladies Winter Competition (CAR)
Sun 5th New Year Texas Scramble (CAR)
Sun 12th Ladies Winter Competition (CAR)
Thurs 23rd Ladies Winter Competition (CAR)
Sat 25th Ladies Winter Competition (CAR)
Sun 15th Winter Mixed Competition (JOG)
Tues 24th Seniors home v Saffron Walden