PRESENTATION NIGHT 2017

Below is a copy of our Acting Lady Captain Liz's speech from the Belton Woods Presentation Night 2017

Captain Harry, Past Captains, Honoured Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I feel very honoured and privileged to welcome you all to this year’s Presentation Night and I hope that you will all have a wonderful evening and enjoy the food and entertainment that we have put together for you.

I am very proud to stand before you as Captain of an outstanding section of Ladies. Our section has gone from strength to strength this year, and our achievements are many and various. But, most of all, we pride ourselves on our friendship and camaraderie, hopefully proved by the number of new players who have joined us and enjoyed playing with us this year.

Our A and B league teams, ably captained by Trudi Galloway and Steph Lee, have done well this year, maintaining their respective positions in Divisions 1 and 3 (South), and indeed our A team came extremely close to coming top of their division, just missing out to Toft. Let’s hope you make it next year, Ladies! My thanks, as ever, go to Trudi and Steph for arranging all the fixtures, and cajoling or coercing ladies to give up their time to play for the Belton Woods Teams. We are all looking forward to the challenges of next year, when the A team take on Toft, Lincoln and Canwick Park, whilst the B team will meet Woodhall Spa, Belton Park and Boston.

I have personally enjoyed leading the ladies in all our friendly matches this year. We have travelled far and wide, enjoying all our fixtures. Our match against Greetham Valley fell victim to a major accident on the A1, which prevented anyone arriving here in time to play. However, we achieved wins against the Nottinghamshire, Boston West and Rutland County; draws with Belton Park and Melton Mowbray, and our only loss was to Stoke Rochford. This year the interclub challenge was held at Melton Mowbray and we finished first, beating Spalding, Greetham and Melton Mowbray. Our mixed friendly fixtures resulted in 2 home wins, 1 away win and 2 away losses.

In August we played The Match against the Seniors, the Men and the Juniors. This year the men fielded a very strong team and were unassailable. Congratulations Harry. For once you hit all those fairways….! However, it was lovely to see the juniors participating, and particularly good that Captain Ted had managed to bring out youngsters and even a girl to join us! It’s lovely to see young talent being fostered and nurtured by the enthusiasm of Ken Claxon and Iain Fulton, and the juniors, under the leadership of Junior Captain Ted Morris, have gone from strength to strength.

 

I also felt privileged to play in the annual Q Captains competition at Forest Pines in October alongside Captain Harry, when the juniors were represented by young Daniel Agapito. This boy is only seven or eight years old, and his driver is almost as big as he is. But was he fazed by the experience- not at all! In fact he was full of confidence and acquitted himself extremely well, although I did take exception when he turned to me and told me not to use my 7 wood as it wouldn’t reach the green!  

 

The Ladies also played our annual match against the men in early September. Sadly it ended in the dark and in defeat but we all enjoyed the experience. However, we redeemed ourselves when we took on the seniors beating them 31/2 to 21/2.

Our Ladies have also taken part in nationwide competitions right this year. Elaine Lilley and Jacqui Francis went to the regional finals of the Australian Spoons, which was held at Newcastle-under-Lyme. Despite awful weather and the odd hang-over they won through and played the finals at Woodhall Spa in August, coming third overall.

 

Several of our previous Lady Captains took part in the annual Past Captains competition at Laceby Manor in July, which Gaynor Daykin won!

 

In June Chris Reynolds had the tremendous honour of representing Great Britain in the World Transplant Games, held this year in Malaga. For anyone who doesn’t know Chris, she had a kidney transplant a few years ago and has since then taken part in the transplant games in the UK. She was chosen to represent Great Britain this year and went on to win a Silver medal in her category, which was a magnificent achievement.

 

Lesley Perrin and Val Williams paired up together at the beginning of the year to take part in the Daily Mail Foursomes. Having won the club competition they went on to beat Sleaford, Belton Park, Canwick, Seacroft, Luffenham Heath and Cleethorpes, before progressing to the last 16 at the Marriott St Pierre Chepstow, where they won their first match, before being knocked out by the eventual winners, Duddingston, from Scotland. Over 2000 ladies took part in this competition, so it was a tremendous achievement for Val and Lesley to get so far. I’m sure you will all join me in congratulating them, and thanking Belton Woods for their generous sponsorship. Special mention must also go to those who went to Chepstow to caddie and support the ladies, Bruce and Becky Foster, and of course to husbands Ian and Paul.

In July Captain Harry and I held our captains Charity Day. We decided that it would be a good idea to raise money for just one charity this year, thereby maximising our resources and hopefully making as much money as we could for our chosen charity, the Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough. The Rainbows hospice is a home from home for many terminally ill children and young people up to the age of 30, and is the only hospice so specialising in the whole of the East Midlands. They are not government funded and must make at least £5 million a year to keep going. Harry and I travelled to Loughborough to see the hospice in February and were so impressed by the set-up there. As you know we have been raising money throughout the year, including raffles, auction and fines for entering various lakes and bunkers! If you haven’t paid up- shame on you! We will be holding an auction during the evening tonight, so please give as generously as you can.

Another highlight of the year was the ladies away weekend in July to the Cambridgeshire. Although there were some issues with the rooms and evening meal, we all had a wonderful time, perhaps helped by the free wine given to us by the hotel management to compensate us for their mistakes. Many thanks go to Pat Hawcroft for all her hard work in organising yet another brilliant trip.

I cannot finish without thanking all the ladies who took part in my Lady Captain’s Day in October. Everyone rose to the occasion and followed my request to dress in pink, although I was somewhat disappointed that from the Men’s section only Seamus was man enough to display his feminine side, and that was quite covered up! We were accompanied by winds from Storm Brian but thankfully no rain, which was a huge relief, not least because I don’t think my wig would have lasted five minutes in a downpour!

So much has happened this year that I could go on and on- but I won’t! But I must just mention that several ladies have achieved Holes in One on the courses this year, namely Jan Machin, Jackie Wilson, Lorraine Robertson and Trudi Galloway. Well done Ladies.

So- have I enjoyed my 13 months at the helm? In a word-YES! It has been at times a bit of a roller-coaster, and more than once I felt only marginally in control, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the responsibility , and even more having a car parking space! Harry- you have been a joy to work with, when I can keep up with you! I’ve enjoyed playing golf alongside you, although I have to say that you’ve transported me to areas on the course where I’ve never been before and hope to never visit again- I think 12 feet up a tree on the first probably takes the biscuit! But hopefully together we have upheld the best traditions of Belton Woods and taken our sections forward. Thank you for all your help over the last year.

I couldn’t have done the job without the great support of the ladies section and in particular the ladies committee and my Vice-Captain Lesley Perrin. You have all supported me every inch of the way this year, and I know I can rely on you at any time. Becky, you have done an amazing job as Handicap and Competition Secretary. Thank you for all your hard work behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Ben, Brad, Josh- all your team in the pro-shop: you are always there, always helpful, pouring oil on troubled waters and generally making things run smoothly, which can’t be easy when you have to balance the different requirements of club, hotel and guests. And unfailingly polite no matter how rude people are to you. Andy, you and your green keepers do an amazing job. All our visitors have been so complementary about the course this year, and it’s all down to your hard work which we really appreciate. Iain- well done for bringing on so many new ladies and encouraging them to join us. We really appreciate your support. Thanks also to everyone in the Claret Jug and Stantons for looking after us so well and sorting out all. Seamus- you have a great team here, and thanks must also go to you. As General Manager you walk a tightrope, trying to satisfy everyone, and although I might complain about things on behalf of the ladies section, we really do appreciate all that you do to help us.

And finally, I must say thank you to Hilton, who has been so understanding of my many absences this year, even if he does refer to me as the lodger when I eventually arrive home after yet another meeting or match! I promise you that my extended year is nearly over, and we might actually be able to take a holiday in 2018! Thank you for all your love and support.