Ladies’ Golf Blog

I must start this piece with a vote of gratitude to everyone who helped make the Ladies’ Christmas Lunch such a huge success.  Tristan and Louis were extraordinary in their support, both in the planning stages, lunch sign-up and raffle ticket sales, and in helping on the day with the raffle table organisation.

I had tried very hard to keep the cost of the day reasonable, but with the rising cost of food, this meant there was little left in the budget for decorations. Imagine my surprise and joy, when I walked into the Roehampton Room in the morning to find gorgeous centrepieces on every table (pictured).  Peter Bradburn, our amazing Course and Grounds Manager, had undertaken a 5am visit to Covent Garden Flower Market and sourced it all for me, out of his own budget. I cannot thank any of these three amazing men enough.

The weather was mild, if a little overcast and damp underfoot, making it an enjoyable morning for the 104 golfers who played in the fun competition.  The format was fourball better ball, with the score of each pair being added together for a team total.  The prize winners were:

  1. Helen Maguire, Naomi Laundy, Margot Corbin, Catherine Cooper – 40 Points
  2. Katy Preston, Liz Collins, Caroline Fairnie, Elise Gordon – 37 Points
  3. Kathleen Bacon, Inga Kempton, Nicola Pearson, Anna Tingle – 36 Points

While not everyone felt comfortable joining upstairs for lunch, there were still almost 100 of us who took our seats.  Aside from lady Members, we were joined by Nikki Rossner and Andy Smith from my chosen charity, Regenerate, as well as by their chairwoman Lisa Jones who is also a Roehampton Club Member. From the Club, we had Louis Laville, Tristan McIllroy, Ricky Pharo and Peter Bradburn, as well as Men’s Captain Paul Taylor.

The raffle table was well stocked with gift donated by members, as well as a large selection of items which Roehampton Club CEO, Marc Newey kindly brought back from this summer’s Curtis Cup, where our own Annabell Fuller represented GB&I.  Finally, Nikki and Lisa from Regenerate, as well as Inga Kempton who is also involved with the charity, sourced some amazing prizes from local shops. Thank you to everyone, as in all, the sale of tickets raised over £1,000 for Regenerate.

The fundraising drive continued on Saturday, when a full field of men and women played in a fun, if testing, format where teams of four had to record their three best scores on the par 4s and 5s, and all four scores on the par 3s. Afterwards, everyone reconvened on the terrace for drinks and prize giving, with many of us staying on to socialize late into the afternoon.  An absolutely amazing sum of over £2,000 was raised for Regenerate, so once again a huge thank you to all the very generous members who participated.  We also held the draw for the Carnoustie Flag signed by Annabell after her debut at The Open.  Lynda Dawson was the lucky winner!  The prizes for golf went to:

Winners: Scott Bannerman, Craig Wallace, Mark Gradwell and Shaun Erasmus – 142 Points
Runners-Up: Katy Preston, Sian Bayliss, George Palmer and Craig de Silva – 137 Points – Countback
Third Place: Suresh Vara, Kenneth Ukoko, Tim Frosdick and Prachaya Jumpasut – 137 Points

The Derry Cup team played their final group stage match at Walton Heath last Sunday.  It was all to play for, as the victorious team would be crowned winner of the group.  I am so pleased to report that the star players Hyun-Ji Kim, Jo Thesiger and Lorna Robey brought the win home for Roehampton and the squad will progress to the knockout stage early next year.

This past Monday, Ricky, Tristan and Louis organised a Christmas get together for a group of New Lady Golfers.  The ladies participated in a fun short game clinic, where the boys were assisted by Caroline Dewar, Therese Swanson, and myself.  Afterwards, we all went upstairs for a mince pie and glass of bubbly.  It was a great opportunity for the new ladies to have a little practice as well as meet other players of a similar ability.  We all look forward to watching them progress and soon join us on Tuesdays when they earn their handicaps!

A fox has got my ball …

I have heard two stories this past month of crows and foxes making off with golf balls, and I personally have been a victim at least twice that I can remember.  It’s all quite funny, until it happens to you in the middle of a competition. But there’s no need to panic, or chase after the offending wild animal, as the Rules of Golf are on your side for once!  The relevant rule is 9.6 – Ball Lifted or Moved by Outside Influence – which provides:

If it is known or virtually certain that an outside influence (including another player in stroke play or another ball) lifted or moved a player’s ball…There is no penalty, and the ball must be placed on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated)

The definition of ‘outside influence’ includes ‘any animal’. The rule does not require you to recover the ball, which is a good thing as the seagull who took my ball in Scotland years ago proceeded to drop it in the water! The only word of caution is that you cannot assume that because you can’t find your ball it has been snaffled up by a mysterious creature.  You must know or be virtually certain that an outside influence has lifted or moved your ball, which usually means someone has witnessed it.

As this is my final Roehampton Club Recorder piece of 2021, may I wish you all a joyous holiday season, and offer best wishes for a happy, healthy new year.

Patricia Morgan, Ladies’ Golf Captain