Winter OOM – 2nd Round

EcelecticThis winter we are running the Order of Merit over the 5 Single Stableford events we contest.  Run the same as the Summer OOM with the top 32 places receiving points the first two events have now been contested and the table is taking shape.  Leading the way is Geoff Maher with 170 points thanks to his first and third place showings. Chris Molyneuxs excellent 2nd and 9th finishes leave him as the closet chaser on 110 points with Dave Peters in 3rd on 104 points thanks to his November win.  Next round is to be contested on Saturday 14th January.

The current table can be viewed Here


Christmas Golf

santa-golf-ball-970x727Well what a Winter so far blessed with little rain and some fantastic sunny days.  As always we have contested competitions on full greens.  The work carried out in previous years and the addition of the iron is clearly paying off as the condition and roll of the surfaces for Winter golf has been out of this world and scores are clearly matching this.

Happily or sadly the Christmas period has now past us by and we are now playing catchup with results, so lets begin.

Turkey Trot

Starting off with the Turkey Trot on Saturday 3rd December, a lovely crisp Winters day and scores to match.  As usual contested over 16 holes stableford, over half the field completed level handicap or better, even bettering your handicap by 4 sees you well of the pace.  Adam Griffiths claimed 3rd ahead of Alan Paynter on a CPO but lost out on 2nd to Mike Warr via the same method.  No one on the day could better Geoff Mahers brilliant 39 points constructed with opening birdies on both the front and back nine.


1,2,3 1,2,3 like dancing for golfers, the Cha-Cha-Cha is a Helsby institution and a welcome break from the monotony of single stableford golf.  64 is Par for the competition and once again anyone shooting this was a long way from the top of the tree.  3rd place belonged to the team of Tim Carter, Harry Tilston, and Simon Begley with a commanding 72 points.  They would be edged out by Jeff Hughes, Denver Brazier and Brian McNamara who pipped them by 1 and returned a 9 better than par 73 points.  The day belonged to Simon Pay, Jordan Pay and Dave Sanders who combined superbly to post a 10 better than par 74 points.  On a side note the ball pool gave out £34 per two due to just 3 being recorded.

Christmas Eve 4BBB

In a format change from the originally advertised Gruesome competitors prepared for the coming days of eating, drinking and numerous golf based Christmas presents with a stable 4BBB.  3rd on a CPO were Phil Jones and Billy Jones (no relation) with a magnificent 43 points, meaning 2nd were Father and Son Roger and Lee Horton.  Both teams were pipped on the post by a remarkable 45 points by the Father and Son of Graham and John Cheesbrough.  The 45 was amazing and even better thanks to Grahams brilliant Hole in One on the 8th, an early Christmas present and a double share of the ball pool.  Only 3 teams in fact managed 2s on the day, remarkably the Cheesbroughs  managed 3 with Alan Rigby and Jaime Hodgkinsons also claiming 3 and 1 more recorded by Frank Whitfield and Peter Fenwick.

New Years Eve 2 Ball Scramble

The last competition of 2016 was played in 2 ball scramble format, 7 drives each with at least one to be taken on a Par 3 and a Par 5.  Again placing, this time 3rd, were Simon Pay and Jordan Pay with their 54 Gross equating to a 51.6 Nett.  Claiming 2nd were Martin Wood and Joe Gleave with a mighty 57 Gross, 51.3 Nett.  Both were pipped by Paul Saxon and Paul Bladens 59 Gross, 50 Nett return.  Again the ballpool surprised with just 12 twos equating to £8 each.

So onto 2017, more Winter competition madness, the completion of the Winter League and roll on the Summer 2017 season.

End of the Light

clockSadly the clocks go back on Sunday 30th October at 2am apparently for those pesky farmers to enjoy an extra hour of morning light.  For us Golfers the loss of the hour means that the latest reasonable time to tee off to complete a round is 12:40 pm.  This change limits the amount of afternoon tee times which in times gone by was not on issue as all competitions were contested using a two tee start model.  The two tee model worked well in the winter but was disproportionate to the club as a whole in the Summer and so the current one tee model was taken up initially as a trial than fully applied due to its success.

Although the one tee model will carry on throughout the Summer it is felt that a two tee start model is better applied following the end of British summertime throughout the Winter.  The first competition to change to the two tee start will be the 3 man Scramble on Saturday 5th November.  This will initially be run over a trial period to factor in the current rise in competition entry and the extra 70 members we have welcomed this Year.  The up take and validity will be assessed over time and a final decision will be taken whether or not to make this a permanent fixture.

Autumn Stableford – 151016

golfA day of two halves on the course with true rolling greens playing 11 on the stimp meter.  While the morning groups experienced a chill in the air and frequent heavy showers the afternoon groups welcomed bright skies and sweltering heat.  Despite finding himself in the morning groups, Glen Makin was one player who excelled in the difficult condition.  Makins 16 point front nine struggles were dramatically reversed as he returned in 22 points and a third place finish on CPO over Dave Langley and Tony Fernandez.  Another who enjoyed the tricky morning was Peter Glennie, a staggering 40 point total good enough for second place.  Glennie turned in 20 points thanks to an excellent birdie on 7, before a level par triangle setup Glennie to push on and gain another 3 points on 14.  The early groundwork meant that the only blob on Gleenies card at 17 didn’t completely derail his day, although even with a score on 17 Glennie would have struggled to stop today’s runaway winner.  Arriving with a fresh set of clubs Mal Aird started out with two standard pars before acceptable bogeys on 3 and 4.  A further bogey on 7 was to be cancelled out on 9 with a terrific birdie followed immediately after a pie with another at 10.  A bogey at 11 threatend to derail Airds round but a solid run of 5 pars meant that he had already amassed 37 points for 15 holes.  The bogeys at 16 and 17 were probably par for the day considering the conditions before Aird landed the final blow on 18 with a par, a 43 point total and todays 1st place.

Full results can be viewed Here

Winter League 2016/17

golf-club-throneThe worst of the four seasons as a golfer is finally here but fear not as the Winter League begins in Ernest.  This year we are running 6 leagues, 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, run over consecutive Sundays.  Both the winner and runner-up in each league will progress to the knockout stages along with the best two 3rd placed teams from all the morning leagues and the best two 3rd placed teams from all the afternoon leagues.

Each league consists of 8 or 9 pairs, with each team playing every other team in the league.  Matches are contested via matchplay over the blue course with 90% stroke allowance received from the lowest player in the match.  All matches are contested only on the fixture date as presented in the league tables.  Each league is constructed of players who have indicated their preference to play in the mornings or afternoons with similar combined handicaps.

League 1 gets underway on Sunday 23rd October with lowest combined handicappers Mark Poland & Antonie Lightfoot taking on Jon Sharpe & Simon Knight.  The league sees some new partnerships entering this year, one being Sean Hogarty & Keith Murray who will contest their first league match against the ever strong partnership of Martin Edmunds and Neil Brow.

League 2 beings on Sunday 16th October with last Years beaten finalists Mark Kieberd & Alistair McCarey taking on steady Eddie Cottrell & Kel Hoose.

League 3 gets underway on Sunday 23rd October headlined by Challenge Plate winners Dean Letford & Nathan Kennedy facing up to the ever strong paring of Stuart Cranfield and Dave Pilkington.

League 4 begins on Sunday 16th October with current holder Tom Rowland welcoming new partner Simon Pay to replace Charlie Fletcher who turned pro last week.  The young guns face off first against Club Champion Alan Rigby & Jaime Hodgkinson followed by the much fancied pairing of Jeff Hughes & Denver Brazier taking on the new dream team of Steve Roberts & Scott Butler.

League 5 gets underway on Sunday 16th October with another new pairing in Brian Stott & Roger Horton taking on the might of Tim Carter and Chris Ward.  A drinking partners grudge match takes place in the second game with Paul Collins & Paul Johnson challenging Ralph Walker & Bill Loukes.

League 8? for the OCD folk this should be League 6 but as a long standing tradition it is always known as League 8.  The first round is to be contested on Sunday 23rd October with Father and Son Bal & Andrew Matu teeing up against John Moss and Bill Higgin.

Some really tasty encounters are a plenty throughout the Winter, followed by the knockouts in early March.  The full list of leagues are available below, let battle commence.

League 1 click Here

League 2 click Here

League 3 click Here

League 4 click Here

League 5 click Here

League 8 click Here



Roy Fozard 2016

trophyThe Roy Fozard Trophy was presented to the club in 2007 by the Helsby Golf Club Powered Wheelchair Appeal in memory of Roy.  Fozzy, as he was affectionately known, was an active member of the wheelchair committee as well as being a popular social and golfing member of the club.  Roy was the Chair of Match & Handicap for many years which he ruthlessly ruled with an iron fist docking many a members handicap who performed well in competitions, although always done with his trademark smile.  Roy loved the social side of Helsby and was an active social attender with his wife Karen, who is still carrying on the Fozard fun at many a social.  Roy was first to introduce and welcome new members to the Club and always helped these members get into the Helsby ways and feel part of everything Helsby.  A big traditionalist, Roy would always ensure that all winners, be it first timers, multiple winners or long time members opened their speech correctly and first thanked their playing partners.  Roy was a big driver in integration and was always striving to bring Ladies and Gents together as one. In mark of this the memorial day is contested (one of the sadly few times) by ladies and gents members in the same competition.

The competition is a 4BBB contested on the White Course over 18 holes with a handicap allowance of 90%.  And the sun again shone down on the beautiful century old turf that will soon make way for Winter.  Quick out the blocks cam Mike Branigan and Jim Lynskey  to post an early target of 42, a target that looked get able with true receptive greens and running fairways.  Past captain Colin Ford and partner Dave Faulkner would fall one short with a tantalizing 41 points that captain elect Neil Johnson and Peter Duffy would equal in the afternoon.  It was a great day for past, present and future Captains all round with Captain Elect Elect Graham Poland and partner Tommy Briscoe taking 3rd spot with a fine 42 point return.  It wasn’t a great day for everyone, the day after taking the Challenge Plate Dean Letford and new partner Jack Carroll had a day and a score to forget ending up propping up the field, a real shock considering the great Year they have both.  Captains winner Simon Begley battled on after his partner had scrubbed to produce a fine solo 32 points.  The Last out Last in pairing of David Perry and Brian Kennerley were pipped at the top of the leaderboard after fading on the back nine but still managed to knock the Captain and Dave Langley into 10th spot.  The day however belonged to Roger Horton and Lee Horton who rounded off a solid front nine with a belting back nine to post a grand old 43 points and claim this years title.

The full leaderboard can be viewed Here

Challenge Plate 2016

trophyA beautiful autumn day welcomed the final of 2016 last knockout competition, the Challenge Plate.  Brian McNamara & Joe Gleave took on Dean Letford & Nathan Kennedy with both teams steam rolling all that stood before them on their way to the final.

Both teams started thoughtfully tentative with a 3 hole rush which lasted an hour before Letford and Kennedy eventually broke clear to claim the 3rd, then the 4th and 5th to open up a three hole advantage.  A still shellshocked McNamara followed up a cuffed tee on the 6th with a sublime second to two feet to earn a much needed win and reduce the deficit to 2.  A rejuvenated McNamara and Gleave looked to then be in the driving seat to reduce the deficit to 1 on the 7th after holing out for par before Letford burst the bubble and rolled in a 12 footer for a half, a feat that he then repeated on eight.  Further halves were contested on the 9th and 10th before McNamara produced another magical chip from back of eleven to reduce their score to 1 down.  Like on seven McNamara & Gleave looked like they were going to tie the score once again on 12 before Letford slotted another six footer to claim the half and keep his team one up.  With shots Letford and Kennedy took thirteen and fourteen to go three up before Kennedy landed the final blow on fifteen with a six foot par putt that saw him and Letford claim the title with a win 4 and 3 victory.
Congratulations to both pairs for a great effort to getting to final and providing an exciting match.