Blog and Social Media

The Blog!

The Club Members Committee thought that it might be a good idea to start a blog to keep members and their friends and family, connected during the next few weeks as the country tackles the coronoavirus Covid-19. As Captain in 2020, I have the privilege (and pleasure) of introducing the Blog and I will be ‘guest’ editor for the next blog!

So, what is the aim of the CMC Blog?

As we find ourselves at the point that the Government has felt it necessary to impose significant restrictions on all of us, we are now experiencing to some degree or other what those who went into self-isolation, or found themselves being ‘shielded’, have had to put up with.  Undoubtedly, we will all experience a range of emotions – for example, boredom, frustration, fear, loneliness. The Committee thought that a Blog providing ideas on how we can keep in touch with each other and, probably equally important, some ideas on how we can keep busy during the next few weeks would be useful. A bit like a village magazine, this could be quite fun and an opportunity to find out new ‘stuff’.

Our plan is to issue a new Blog each week and we will aim to cover a whole range of topics. Some ideas to whet the appetite include recommendations on books people might like to read, TV boxsets and films to watch (and where to find them), radio shows and podcasts.

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Spotlight on Ben Hazzledine, Board Member

When did you start playing and how long have you been a member at Newark?

Started playing occasionally in 1984, but at the time cricket was my main sport. Joined Newark GC in 2004.

 

Favourite course played and why?

St Enodoc. Superb links with the best views of any course I’ve played.

 

Best result as a golfer?

I won the Coronation Cup in 2004 with a nett 58. Caused the odd comment at the time ...

 

Biggest tournament you’ve attended or played in?

Not attended any big tournaments, but once played Carnoustie the week before the Dunhill Links. All the scoreboards were in place, so an enterprising local charged us £10 to have our picture taken in front of a scoreboard with our names displayed.

 

Most memorable moment on the golf course?

Winning the Winter League Cup with my brother.

 

Funniest thing you’ve seen on the golf course?

Chris Weaver chipping on the 12th – he’d asked me to video him. He duffed it and his reaction was priceless. I still have the video …

 

Favourite player and why?

No real favourite (many fine players out there). One thing that always sticks in my mind is Darren Clarke and Davis Love sitting by the 18th Green sharing cigars together after halving their singles match in the 2004 Ryder Cup. How golf should be.

 

Away from golf … other hobbies and pastimes?

I claim I’ve retired from playing Cricket … but you never know …

 

Favourite holiday destination and why?

Orlando, for the weather and the Parks.

 

Favourite food?

Steak and Kidney pudding.

 

Castaway on a desert island:

Your piece of music and why?

Graceland by Paul Simon. An album I never tire of listening to.

 

Your chosen book and why?

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. The best of a series that I can read over and over and still makes me laugh out loud.

 

Your luxury item and why?

Sun cream. Lots and lots of sun cream.

 

Something about you that is unusual?

When working for NatWest Bank I was robbed at gunpoint …

 

And, finally … your ideal fourball?

Given the current restrictions, I’d be delighted to have a four ball with anyone! But, given the opportunity, Jack, Tiger and Rory.

Spotlight on Phil Warriner, CMC member

When did you start playing and how long have you been a member at Newark?

Started playing 32 years ago. l have been a member now at Newark for 6 Years.

 

Favourite course played and why?

Hillside, Lancashire. Great back 9. Played with my uncle who was Captain there in 1987 and is now an honorary life member.

Best result as a golfer?

45 points playing off an 11 handicap having blobbed the first hole.

 

Biggest tournament you’ve attended or played in?

The Open twice at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

 

Most memorable moment on the golf course?

Hole in one twice the 5th at Newark and the 12th at Torksey. {Editor’s Note: Very greedy]

 

Funniest thing you’ve seen on the golf course?

Playing at Torksey in a competition with a playing partner l had never met before, who wouldn’t stop talking about himself. On the 7th hole he left his trolley near the pond while we walked to the tee; we turned around to see his trolley in the pond – the only time all day he was lost for words.

 

Favourite player and why?

Seve, always entertaining.

 

Away from golf … other hobbies and pastimes?

Family and watching my son play cricket.

 

Favourite holiday destination and why?

Anywhere with a decent golf course.

 

Favourite food?

English – Steak and chips.

Castaway on a desert island:

Your piece of music and why?

Led Zeppelin 4 – brings back memories of care-free days.

 

Your chosen book and why?

Stop Thinking Start Living.  It’s all in the title.

 

Your luxury item and why?

Toiletry bag – cannot go a day without a shower.

 

And finally … your ideal fourball?

Colin Hunt who has sadly passed away. He was the person who got me playing golf. Seve. Having followed him around the Oxfordshire golf course in the old Benson & Hedges tournament l am certain it would be entertaining. Ben Hogan. I would like to witness his fantastic swing live.

The CMC Blog 5 dated Friday 24th April 2020

Week 5 and there has been some good news this week with the COVID-19 infection curve flattening and beginning to show signs of the infection rate dropping across Europe. This has meant some easing of restrictions in several of our European neighbours and, perhaps of most interest to golfers, the news that the US PGA Tour is planning for a return to action in June, albeit behind closed doors. But what will it mean for us at a local level? The honest answer has to be that we don’t know yet, but any positive golf news is to be welcomed. 

 

Even if we aren’t free to go to the Course to play, the availability of live golf from America in the evening will be good news for some of us: it also gives all of us hope that we too will be striding the fairways soon. Over the past few months many of us will have read how good golf is for our physical and mental well-being and it is interesting (and a bit worrying) that lobby groups, including the Green Party’s Leader Caroline Lucas, are pushing for golf courses to be opened up to the general public as green spaces for exercise during the lockdown. As in all these debates, there are arguments for and against. As a Club, we may not be subject to the same pressures that clubs like Radcliffe, Sherwood Forest, Wollaton, to name but a few, will face but the prospect of people trampling over private golf courses is challenging. If you haven’t been following the debate, perhaps have a look at www.nationalclubgolfer.com (National Club Golfer) to find out how members of clubs are reacting? It’s also worth having a look at The Golf Business (www.thegolfbusiness.co.uk).

 

I’m not sure how many of you know that I run a business which provides educational and training services. I am currently working on a project to provide an online course for young people in the age range of 15 to 17-years in the Middle East. This fascinating project has become something of a priority to the client because of COVID-19: finding online educational activities for youngsters is high on their wish-list. Humour me, there are a couple of links here to ideas for us to think about to occupy our time until the Club can re-open.

 

The programme is a 10-hour course, which can be accessed from an App on smart devices – phones and tablets – as well as the more traditional browser-based approach on PCs and laptops. In the first module, we ask the students to take on a mini-project, to do something they have never tried – examples include, baking, playing a musical instrument or learning another language. Maybe that it is something we too could try while we are in lockdown? I have over the past two weekends been dabbling with a bit of cookery, preparing and trying some puddings and desserts which we might serve when we can (finally) have friends over again.

 

The second life lesson we cover on the life skills course is about spotting fake news and recognising that our perceptions leave us prone to bias. In this section of the course, we look at photoshopping, the touching up of photos or creation of images that seem plausible but can cause disbelief or horror. Go to https://www.boredpanda.com/reality-behind-photography/ to have a look at some of these, #7 is one that I particularly liked. In looking for an example of celebrity images being photoshopped, we found a great example with ‘before and after’ photos of Kim Kardashian. Unfortunately, in Kim’s past, there was a tape that somehow became a short pornographic movie, making her unsuitable for our target audience … it’s always important to do some due diligence.

 

Anyway, we finally settled on a ‘before and after’ shot of Matthew MacFadyen. MacFadyen is married to Keeley Hawes and both of them first came to my attention when they co-starred in the BBC series Spooks. Spooks, or to give it its correct title MI-5, ran for 10 series (86 episodes) and is available on BBC iPlayer and Sky. We plan to start watching this series again as a result of my research.

 

First, however, we have decided to revisit Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. Both star Philip Glenister as Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt and respectively, Jon Simm as Inspector Sam Tyler and the aforementioned Keeley Hawes as Inspector Alex Drake. The premise for those that have not seen either programmes is that Simm and Hawes are transported back in time from present day policing (2006 and 2009) to, respectively, 1973 and 1983 to work for the irascible, non-politically correct, Glenister, Simm in Greater Manchester and Hawes in London. As is often the case, the acting is great, but it’s the trip down memory lane which really works. If you’ve not seen one or either of the shows, it’s worth a look. For those that have seen it and enjoyed it first time round, it’s just as much fun the second time. All five series are available on BBC iPlayer and Sky (in the boxsets section).

 

The CMC have started holding meetings remotely using video-conferencing as we start to look forward to a point in time when the government eases restrictions and we will be allowed back onto the golf course. We should have something to share with members the week after next, probably with the CMC Blog #7. However, in the meantime, if you want to find out how golf is being played at La Moye in Jersey, which is still open, go to National Club Golfer. This may be the social-distancing model we have to adopt when we return.

 

We have decided to extend the entry for the guess the hole quiz, as so far it is proving too difficult. So if you fancy having a go please see last week's blog and submit entries into Rob on info@newarkgolfclub.co.uk. The new deadline for entries is now Thursday 30th April.

 

Alex and his team have upgraded the 1st Tee with some new planters (image below), we have planted a few plants from our gardens and borders, but we could do with some Perennials. If anyone has any that they are willing to donate then please email Rob on info@newarkgolfclub.co.uk and we can arrange a collection from your front door.

We decided to change the way we shared news with you this week by putting out Baggy’s Tip of the Week on Monday, the Spotlights on Wednesday – The Captain and Ladies Captain were featured this week – and The Blog on Friday. Hopefully, you will approve!

 

Finally, a charity update: Captain Tom Moore had a good week last week. He has now raised over £28m for the NHS, has opened by video-link the Nightingale Hospital established at the Harrogate Conference Centre and released a single with the singer Michael Ball., which is up there fighting for number one spot. Strange times! 

 

Stay safe one and all.

 

Best wishes.

Spotlight on Keith Whitfield Club Captain

Spotlight on … Keith Whitfield, Club Captain

 

When did you start playing and how long have you been a member at Newark?

I started playing in 1974, when I was 15, at Whittington Barracks Golf Club, Lichfield. My Dad had recently taken the game up and, after walking round in the evenings with our dogs, I thought ‘how difficult can it be?’ … and soon found out. I joined Newark Golf Club in the summer of 1990, when I was serving at RAF Cottesmore (near Oakham) and I've been a member, on and off (when posted away), ever since.

 

Favourite course played and why?

I have been fortunate enough to play several Open venues and a couple of US PGA courses over the years and my favourite ’top course’ has to be Royal Birkdale. Hard but fair, it sets so many different golfing challenges but the course I would go back to play, time and time again, would be Ashridge Golf Club. Set in the heart of the old Ashridge Estate, Henry Cotton was resident club professional here when he won the British Open three times in the 1930s.

 

The course is a fair test of golf and great fun too. Shortish par 5s offer chances for birdies which can easily end with double bogeys or more if you get out of position. Play what is in front of you and you should score reasonably well. The main challenge though is on the greens which are very undulating and, in the summer months, like grease lightening. Not quite Augusta, although often as pretty, leave your ball on the wrong side of the hole and three putts can be very good, if you don’t putt the ball off the green that is … Also, a fourball rarely takes more than three hours, 15 minutes to get round. I think it’s something to do with the layout: there are two par 5s in the first five holes and three par 5s on the back nine.

 

Best result as a golfer?

I have had reasonable success in matchplay competitions over the years, both at Newark and elsewhere but my best result would have to be shooting a gross 73 to win a Monthly Medal at Newark to qualify for a national competition run by Lombard Finance. I finished birdie, birdie, knowing that was what was required to qualify. Things have never been the same since!

 

Biggest tournament you’ve attended or played in?

I've attended the Open Championship for many years and several Ryder Cups. The rain-delayed last day of the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010 was incredible as Europe, who had led by three points going into the singles, were reeled in by the Americans. It came down to the anchor match between Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan. McDowell somehow managed to get his nose in front and the match ended on the par-3 17th when Mahan duffed a chip. We were stood on the hill overlooking the green when Europe won the match and McDowell and Captain Montgomerie were engulfed by fans on the green.   

 

Most memorable moment on the golf course?

I've never had a one hole-in-one, although I have managed a hole in 3 acing with my provisional ball. My most memorable moment was in an RAF inter-station match at Tewkesbury Park when the chap I was playing holed-in-one twice on two consecutive par 3s (on the 5th and the 7th for those who have played there). In between the two hole-in-ones, I eagled the 6th that day, chipping in from just short of the green: so, three eagles on consecutive holes.

 

Funniest thing you’ve seen on the golf course?

Alex and I played at a course called Mystic Dunes in Orlando. We were paired with two other visitors, one of whom proceeded to tell us that he was back from Iraq, where he was working for a certain US company that made a lot of money out of the post-Gulf War reconstruction. Alex had decided he was going to play off the back tees – he often does this when we play in America – while I had picked a tee where the course yardage was about 6,200 yards.

 

Alex teed off and this guy – his name was Darby – went to the back tee with him: eight shots later he had still not reached our tee. On the second hole, a par 3 over water, Darby proceeded to put three balls in the water. We suggested he go forward to the dropping zone but no, he wanted another go. Having hit his fourth in the water, he went down to the edge of the lake to see if he could retrieve one of the balls, oblivious to the sign warning of alligators and snakes. By hole 5, nearly two hours later, he had run out of golf balls and decided to go in. Before he left he said that this was only his third game of golf ever, that he had really enjoyed it, and that he had booked in to play at Bay Hill the next day … 

 

Favourite player and why?

Like most people, I have admired several golfers over the years. While Seve was my first golfing hero, my favourite golfer is Phil Mickelson, who, like Seve, is a wizard of the short game and a fantastic entertainer. His sportsmanship too, exemplified both at Medinah when he lost to Justin Rose in the Ryder Cuo singles and at Troon when an inspired Henrik Stenson won the Open, is second to none.

 

Away from golf … other hobbies and pastimes?

I've always been a keen follower of sport. I played football, rugby union and cricket both in the RAF and at private clubs. In more recent times, I thoroughly enjoyed keeping horses as my daughter went through her school years show-jumping here, there and everywhere. My other pastime is hill-walking: we love the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales and having an active dog to walk – we have a Springer Spaniel – is a great excuse to get out into the hills. I also have been known to follow Nottingham Forest and held a season ticket for over 15 years until this season … when they have been doing rather well without my support!

 

Favourite holiday destination and why?

Windermere in the Lake District: great walking, spectacular countryside and some fantastic restaurants and bars in the Town. My current favourite place to eat is the Crafty Baa, which is an old terraced house converted into a two-storey bar – ‘compact and bijou’ would accurately describe it – serving craft beers, lagers and ciders to wash down a great ‘slate’ of artisan bread, charcuterie meats and cheeses (including a Le Rustique Camembert if you like).

 

Favourite food?

Always difficult to choose one, but it would have to be Beef Wellington, served with mustard mash and vegetables, including red cabbage, with a red wine, either a Malbec or an Italian Salice Salento.

Castaway on a desert island:

Your piece of music and why?

My musical tastes are quite eclectic. However, I’ll go for “Stay Free” by the Clash because it reminds me of the first concert I ever attended while still at School in the late 1970s. Probably still my favourite band of all-time, the lyrics to pretty much all of their tracks are memorable and whenever I feel like rebelling, there’s a Clash song for the occasion.

 

Your chosen book and why?

I read a lot and enjoy both fiction and non-fiction. Picking up The Best of Henry Longhurst recently led to me back to PG Wodehouse and the Jeeves and Wooster stories. While from a very different time, the scrapes young Bertie Wooster gets into, only for the inestimable Jeeves to rescue him, entertain and amuse on so many levels. The writing too is a joy: I could read these stories time and time again.

 

Your luxury item and why?

English breakfast tea. I can’t get by without a cup of tea too start the day!

 

Something about you that is unusual?

I have been held up at gunpoint, twice … both times when I was working for Williams and Glyn’s bank in the early 1980s. The first time was in Exeter branch on a Friday afternoon, when someone decided to rob the branch, while the second was when I was required to visit a farmer who had fallen behind on his commercial loan repayments. Which was more frightening?

 

Difficult to say but the second time was probably funnier looking back. I had tried to call the farmer several times and he kept hanging up – perhaps there was a clue there – and so I went out to see him. The gates were locked. I climbed over and started walking towards the farmhouse when he came out pointing his shotgun at me. After a few moments of brief discussion, we agreed that I was in the wrong place and I left. The reaction of my branch manager when I rang him to ask whether I should report the incident was both nonchalant and surprising: ‘no’ he said, ‘… he does that all the time, go back and talk to him again’.

 

And finally … your ideal fourball? My three partners in my fantasy fourball would be Phil Mickelson (my partner obviously) and we would take on Joe Strummer (from the Clash) and, an unusual choice perhaps, Lech Walesa (pronounced Vowensa), a Polish shipyard worker and trade unionist, who later became President of Poland, who is credited with bringing democracy to Poland in 1988, an event which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall a year later. The conversation would not be dull!

Spotlight on Sue Burgin Ladies Captain

Spotlight on … Sue Bergin, Ladies Captain

 

When did you start playing and how long have you been a member at Newark?

I started playing golf in 1993, a few months after meeting my then future husband Alan. I would walk the course with him and our friends Marion and Owen when they played each week on the picturesque Darenth Valley course in Kent. It was a pay and play parkland course and beautifully maintained.

 

As pleasant as the walk and company were, I realised that I wanted to "have a go at this game" and I became hooked. We frequented that and other pay and play courses over the next few years.  We eventually became members of Gillingham Golf Club in 1999 after our friends retired and moved to Devon. It was shortly after this that I got my first handicap.

 

I joined Newark golf club in early 2016 and was invited on to the Ladies' Committee in November 2017.

 

Favourite course played and why?

My favourite course has to be the nine hole course on the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles. It was while playing on this course in 2010, after my Captaincy at Gillingham had ended, that Alan and I decided we wanted to live there. We made the move in May 2011.

 

The views from the course are stunning. It is bordered to the West by the beautiful blue/ green/turquoise waters of the Sound of Harris which eventually merge into the Atlantic Ocean.  To the North lie the beautiful beaches of West Harris and the magnificent Harris Hills and to the South is the crisp white beach of Scarista Beg and Scarista Mor behind which rises the imposing hill of Ceapabhal. 

 

It is certainly a challenging course with some seriously hilly fairways. (No place for buggies!!)

 

Best result as a golfer?

My best result ever was perhaps winning the Lady Captain's Prize in 2006. I can't remember the score. I was just so delighted to win. I was presented with a replica of the trophy and a Worcestershire figurine which still sits in pride of place.

 

Funniest thing you’ve seen on the golf course?

Perhaps the funniest thing that happened to me on a golf course was on one afternoon while we were just having a casual game at Gillingham. Alan hit a great shot straight down the middle of the 5th fairway. 

 

To the right of the fairway was a thickly wooded copse from which emerged a fox. Without hesitation, it trotted up to the ball picked it up in its mouth and disappeared back into the copse. I was left with a very bemused husband and I suspect, a very disappointed fox.

 

Favourite player and why?

I don't really have one. I just enjoy watching good players.

 

 

Away from golf … other hobbies and pastimes?

I love to sing. I am currently a member of Southwell Choral Society and since I was at school have been involved with choirs either as a member or running school choirs during my years as a teacher. I also enjoy music, theatre, travelling, reading and my garden.

 

Favourite holiday destination and why?

Oh, there are so many but probably Venice. Alan and I had such magical times there. It is so totally unique.

 

Favourite food?

 

You can't beat a thick fillet steak marinated over-night in red wine with chopped garlic and ground pepper. It has to be introduced to a very hot pan, flash fried and served VERY rare with mushrooms, onions, roast potatoes and a cream sauce made from the marinade.

 

Castaway on a desert island:

Your piece of music and why?

My piece of music would have to be " In Paradisum" which is the final movement from Gabreil Faure's Requiem. A hauntingly beautiful piece which I have sung many times.

      

Your chosen book and why?

My chosen book is difficult. I just love reading. I will choose the trilogy "Crowdie and Cream and other stories by Finlay J Macdonald. It is his true account of growing up on Harris. It is both funny and fascinating and beautifully written.

 

Your luxury item and why?

My luxury item has to be a nail file. I hate ragged nails

 

Something about you that is unusual?

Something about me that's unusual? I'm very ordinary and like every other person on the planet I'm totally unique.

 

And finally … your ideal fourball?

My ideal fourball would be Pavarotti to serenade me with that fabulous voice, Morecombe and Wise to make me laugh and Dame Laura Davies to show me how the game should be played.

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