Men’s Golf Report

I may have played more wet-weather golf in the past three months than the previous ten years combined! At least nowadays most of us are better equipped in terms of wet-weather gear, water-proof bags, umbrellas mounted on golf trollies etc. All of which help to make it bearable, but some cold dry weather would be nice, and allow the course to dry itself out. 

That said, the course is playing remarkably well, and the greens are putting especially well considering the time of year and weather conditions. I was very pleased to have the chance to meet with our Head Greenkeeper, Ashley Allpress and his assistant, Jake Boardman recently and to convey our appreciation for the quality of their work in keeping our golf course in such good condition.

Of course, part of their work has to be done because there are some Members who do not care for the course as they should. I’m referring to the reluctant rakers of bunkers, forgetful excavators of divots, the ‘practice several shots from the same spot off the fairway from 80 yards to the pin’ bandits, and I was trying to think of a suitable collective noun for unrepaired pitchmarks. Disgrace is one possibility! Please, please make sure you equip yourself with a good quality metal pitch repairer and repair your pitchmarks and any others you may see. Expect this plea to be repeated ad nauseum throughout 2020.

Men’s Golf Committee
I’m delighted to have Paul Taylor as my Vice-Captain this year. He’ll look out for new Members looking to get their handicaps, captain a Surrey 5s Team, and join Tristan and I on the Handicap Committee.

Paul joined Roehampton Club in 2012 and the Men’s Golf Committee in autumn 2017. He’s married to Clodagh, who hails from Dublin, and she and their daughter Alisa are both Members of the Club. He lives locally in Mortlake and works for himself as a PR/government affairs consultant, for clients operating in the energy sector.

He started playing golf as a junior member of Banstead Downs, playing there before joining Walton Heath Golf Club, which he left to join Roehampton Club. His late father was Captain of Banstead Downs in 1973 and through that he became an active member of Surrey Captains. He was Captain of West Sussex Golf Club (Pulborough) in 1998.

Paul did get his handicap down to 9 at Walton Heath but it’s steadily crept up to 13. He hasn’t given up on returning to single figures. He’s represented the Club in matches vs Richmond and Royal Mid-Surrey plus Surrey 5s and Kelso Hamilton knockouts.

Away from Roehampton Club, since 1991 he’s played with good friends in a ‘Ryder Cup’ match vs a group of East Coast Americans. Two years ago, the match was played at Pinehurst, this September the match was played at Deal/St Georges/Princes. Paul wrote to Golf Monthly telling the story of the ‘McBurnie Cup’ (named after a sadly deceased original team member) after the latest encounter and made it into print. Nice one!

Back to golf matters. Peter McGovern organised the most recent Club Roll-up on Sunday 17th November last. Originally designated as a qualifying event, it had to played as non-qualifying due several holes being temporarily shortened for H&S reasons with the bunker works in progress. Nonetheless, ten hardy souls joined Peter in playing an individual Stableford with Chris H Jones winning on 39 points, just a point ahead of Chris Lipscomb. Well played chaps!

The next Club Roll-up, a qualifying event, is on Sunday next, 1st December, which is being organised by yours truly, known, of course, for my lack of early morning persona. Please meet me in the Club Café from 7.30am. I’m already yawning at the thought of it … The draw will take place at 7.45am, with the first group teeing off at 8.00am (off the 10th tee). Entry is £5. Remember to enter your scores at the touch-screen terminals after completing your round.

Sign-up is open for the Men’s December Stableford on Saturday 7th December. Currently there are plenty of slots available on the time-sheet so log on to IntelligentGolf and pick a spot.

The Winter Foursomes knockout has progressed to Round Two, with a play-by date of Monday 16th December. Please arrange to play your matches by that date and enter the result into Intelligent Golf.

A further reminder that if you think your present handicap is too high, or too low, and does not reflect your current playing ability please put in a request to the Handicap Committee. Vice-Captain Paul Taylor, Tristan, and I look forward to your submissions. Please email all requests for handicap adjustment considerations by Monday 9th December to Ryan: (

I’ve had another indoor session with Richard Harrison using Trackman, which is ever fascinating. Luckily Richard is very patient, and, I can imagine, quietly realising that he’s dealing with a golfing dunce rather than an untapped natural talent! We saw a small but encouraging improvement in clubhead speed, along with an unexpected (by me at least) improvement in the quality of ball striking (smash factor). Combining the two resulted in an increase in average distance of 10%. Just wait until I really incorporate the swing revisions and the smoother tempo we are working on …

I wish it would just stop raining, but hey … keep enjoying your golf!

Gerry Dennigan | Men’s Golf Captain