The Presidents Cup and AGM at Stockport, March 2018

Once again we were at the home course of our long standing President Bill Macbeth. The weather held off for most of the day and everybody was happy to be out playing golf. The passing of Ian Sandels was marked by a one minute silence before commencing the AGM. Ian was stalwart of the Portland who liked to win a lot. Those lucky enough to have played in his captains day at Hazel Grove will know he was prepared to give a lot. He will be remembered. Moving on to pleasanter moments Mr President stood us all the first round. We are fortunate in having Bill as our President not everybody gets to play at Stockport. Below is how the golf panned out.

Nearest the Pins 5. Wayne Atkinson 11. Dave McGovern 16. John Martin *2's Below
Longest Drive Martin Claffy  Andy Southworth*  Pete Derbyshire*  John Martin*


Top 5 Finishers

   Points Handicap  Revised
5. Phil Lancaster 30 No change  
4. Brian Murray 30 No change  
3. Howard Dixon 31 13  12.5
2. Martin Claffy 31 16.8  15.8
1. Andy Southworth 33 24.4  21.4


Dave Baynes was the bookies favourite having won the event for the last two years but the weight of expectation and a lower handicap kept him out of the winner’s enclosure. Interestingly Howard Dixon the proposer of the reset to your lower handicap rule at the start of the season would have 2 extra shots had it not been proposed and could have won on a card play-off. Martin Claffy also appears to have found his old form and was the first winner of the longest drive with the Bertie Basset marker. I am not sure if Martin even likes liquorice. The winner Andy does come along with lots of other toffees. He had a good day. Won, had a two and nobody else had a bet on him, a nice pick up.   


The current captain Kevin Bolton told us it had been an honour for him to be the captain. He then handed over the captaincy to Pete Derbyshire.

The player of the year award was not a close fought thing. Dave Baynes 13 points ahead of the field.

Problems finding the next vice-captain were resolved when Frances volunteered for the post. How 21st century was that “eat your heart out Muirfield”.

It was decided to play all events as 18 holes only next season.

A prop to restrict new players at the pair’s event to 18 shots was rejected.

The prop to play off 90% handicaps in the pair’s was passed.

The mood at the end of the event was good with everybody pulling in the same direction. Next event at Fairfield.






 The Pairs Cup @ Wilmslow GC, Thursday,26th October 2017 Report

 The Pairs goes Posh

A change of venue for the pairs this year Wilmslow no less. We have played here before for the AGM but returned to Stockport out of loyalty to Mr President Bill Macbeth. Who was having surgery on the day of pairs which has to be king of the excuses for not playing.  We were concerned that this season’s weather curse was going to strike again but it would appear the south of Manchester doesn’t get as much rain as the north. The course was very playable with just a few tyre marks off the mowers letting some greens down. Which considering a lot of courses had been closed that week was good going. The chap looking after us for the pre-game bacon butty was on top of his job and enjoying our company. Until he spotted the trousers on Andy Southworth and co he thought they were replacement chefs from the Brutalist school of cookery.

There was a delay on the first tee which allowed a sizeable crowd to build up and witness the first group teeing off. Now this is a tough tee shot over a valley with the 9th and 18th greens and a stream at the bottom of it. It is an even tougher shot when it’s your first one with the Portland which it was for Tony Watson. Tony had the good sense to wear dark glasses and a big woolly hat. A kind of Roy Orbison meets Benny look. He was last to go in the fourball having witnessed the first three reach the other side of the valley with varying degrees of success. Now if you had bought a rocket that took the trajectory that Tony’s tee shot did you would have demanded your money back. It did go up for a short while and hooked left and down. Towards a lady attempting a short chip by the side of the 9th green. The ball  missed her by inches and plugged 3ft behind her. She had obviously  gone to finishing school and had drummed into her that one should never reveal one’s emotions. She looked up to Tony and mouthed something that couldn’t be heard due to the gasps being uttered by the crowd who were thinking they had just witnessed a failed assassination attempt. As a credited lip reader I can tell you what she said. It was “ We do allow guide dogs on the course”. Tony did get better and played some good golf as far as I could see from behind my bag.           

Although a pairs event the usual ancillary prizes were there for individuals. Below is the table of results.

 PM Individual event

Nearest the Pins
6. Arthur Hughes
9. Frances Sinnott
14. John Martin
17. Howard Dickson
Longest Drive
John Martin
No 2's      

 In the Prizes

Posn Name's Score
3rd Dave McGovern Terry Tobin 38
2nd Dave Baynes Brian Murray 40
1st John Martin Mel Garner 42


 A part from the dubious duo from Didsbury the Blackley boys appear to have had a good day out. I guess all those years of playing in mud as stood them in good contention for playing in damp conditions. I am forever grateful to Terry Tobin for returning my sand wedge I almost feel guilty about letting his tyre down. Arthur and Brian would have been the housewife’s choice. Arthur won’t mind being beaten by his chums  if he keeps that form up he’ll be showing them the way home next season at Blackley. Mel has been steady all season and it would appear all the driving John Martin does to his caravan has transposed to his golf.




The Autumn Cup at Davenport 2017

After a succession of wet days we were blessed with good weather. There had been recent heavy rain which ruled out any run on a course with some high yardage holes. The turnout was low but everybody was enjoying themselves. Having an 11 am start made getting there a bit more relaxed. There were reports of traffic problems getting home, but I think they were starting to clear. When we only play 18 holes a 12 noon start might take both morning and night rush hours out of the equation for us. The catering at Davenport was excellent both morning butty and evening meal.

The golf started with Al Saville and Andy Southworth going out in a buggy. They were wearing their best holiday outfits. Bill Harris had volunteered to go out with this colourful crew as he was walking and wearing conventional golf clothing he blended into the background which suited him fine. I am sure there will be photos of the aforementioned pair, If Boot’s passed them for developing?   Below is a table of how the golf panned out.

 PM Individual event

Nearest the Pins
3. Nobody 7. Geoff Haynes
10. Martin Claffy
14. Nobody
  16. Geoff Haynes      
Longest Drive
Howard Dickson
2's Bill Harris      


Posn Name Score Handicap Revised
6th Andy Southworth 28    
5th Geoff Haynes 28    
4th Dave Baynes 31    
3rd Howard Dickson 31 15.8 15.3
2nd Mel Garner 32 20.7 18'7
1st Martin Claffy 35 19.3 16.8


The top of table is littered with big hitters none more so than the winner Martin Claffy who I had the pleasure of sharing my round with along with Howard Dickson. I start a course of therapy to treat the inferiority complex I developed during the round. I only saw their drives on the par 3s having left my telescope at home. The president Bill Macbeth missed the event as he recently had gall stones removed. A pity as an indoor bowling session took place in the main bar of the club. Bill likes his bowls and could have advised the ladies who were constantly asking the question “finger or thumb”.

 That’s the end of the singles events for the year. I am keeping the winner of the player of the year close to my chest. It is the third consecutive year where a different player has won each event. But two winners were also winners last year so it is not a case of win once and get clobbered never to be seen again. With talk on an Indian summer the pair’s event at Wilmslow should be very popular even Terry Tobin has managed to dig up a partner.