Our Annual General Meeting was conducted and office bearers elected. Allan Arkins stepped down as President and Malcolm Sheldon was elected. Susan Eastway was elected to a Director’s position and David Fletcher was returned to his position on the board. I congratulate all those persons and look forward to working with you all. I also thank all those persons who put their name up for board positions as this always equates to a healthy club.

In my last report I thanked Allan Arkins for his tireless work as President and this month I thank Bruce Cummins for his work on the board. Upon my first ever board meeting I was immediately impressed by Bruce’s engineering and waterflow knowledge and this extended to knowledge of acoustics which greatly influenced our clubhouse renovations to a point where acoustic problems are no longer an issue. He has served the board with a passionate and tireless attitude and we all know you can’t keep a good man down, so no doubt you will see Bruce continuing as a volunteer around the course.

Also at the AGM it was announced Kim Burke was made a Gold member for golfing achievements and furthering the game of golf at our club. Max Williams was announced as our latest platinum life member for longevity of membership. Both awards were very well deserved.

I also thank the membership for voting in the new constitution. Not only is the constitution up to date and relevant, some changes allow the board to effectively go about business in a streamlined manner without certain procedural unnecessary speed humps. Of course, none of these changes threaten member’s rights.

Our Top Gun event was conducted and won by last years Runner Up Brad Spurway, with Allan “Milko” Wilson coming Runner Up. Under the revised format, the event took just over 5 hours which is a welcome relief from some previous 9-10 hour marathons. I thank Ken Ryan of Coast and Country Insurance once again for his long term sponsorship of this event.

This year we hosted the CCDGA District Championships incorporating the CCDGA Champion of Champions in all grades. We had success with Ron Carpenter who was the nett winner in the Master Division, Wayne Doherty came runner up in the Masters Scratch, and Zach Camilleri won the Junior nett event. The big news came from the main event. James Swanson won the 2018 CCDGA singles with a score of -3, 68 beating Lloyd Ratcliffe of Kooindah Waters by a single shot.

The CCDGA Order of Merit award is still up in the air, but one thing we know for sure, the title will come to Shelly Beach. The question is, who will it go to? With only the final of The Tony Lamaro matchplay to play, the Order of Merit will be decided between James Swanson and SBGC Club Champion Jamie Stephen. If Jamie wins the matchplay final, he gets awarded 500 order of merit points which will leapfrog him ahead of James. If he comes runner up, he gets awarded 300 points which is not enough points to leap frog James Swanson. I will keep you posted of final results.

Recently I attended a ‘New rules seminar’ with board members Susan Eastway and Dave Fletcher. The overriding sentiment from the night, is that golf is a game and in some cases, rules are too harsh or time delaying. Both of these factors equate to less enjoyment and less participation. A great example of rules being too harsh is our 14th hole. You hit a great approach shot to the green, your ball lands next to the flag and skips through the green against the boundary fence. The ball is unplayable.

Under the rules you have three options. The first option is under the penalty of one stroke, take 2 club lengths relief not nearer the hole. This is not an option because if you are against the boundary fence, 2 club lengths relief no nearer the hole does not clear you from the obstruction. Your second option is to keep the ball between your intended placement and the flag. This means jumping the fence and playing your next from the caravan park which is against the rules. So the only option is to go back to where you played your last shot under a shot penalty. In some cases for our bigger hitters, this may be 230 metres back in the fairway causing frustration and time delay.

Under the new rules, the match committee can declare this area behind the green as a penalty area. If you enter this area, you can drop the ball in a designated drop zone near the rear of the green under a one shot penalty. There are many areas around the course which this rule can apply. Your match committee will be working hard during the next month in preparation of the 1st January 2019, and keep an eye out for rules sessions we will be hosting.

And finally, the game of golf truly is a game for life. Walter Stafford who practices religiously has gone out in Tuesday’s comp shooting 72 off the stick at the age of 78! What a great achievement!

Good golfing for the month.

Peter Sliwinski