Comments from the Chair

Golf : Comments from the Chair

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Chairmans Blog July 2015

Summer is in full swing and the weather has been fantastic. The club is seeing a great deal of footfall right now, with many visitors taking advantage of the long days and beautiful conditions. It is what we want to bring in as much revenue as possible before autumn creeps back upon us oh too quickly. If you get a chance to look at the diary you will see some very large "Captains Trips" where it seems that we have become the course of choice!  Many of these are booking up immediately for further visits to the club. Great news!

The 4th is back to its former glory (almost). There is still plenty to keep us on our toes, with puffs of smoke still rising from the clay! This of course is especially noticeable when it rains and the water turns to steam.  Hopefully this will eventually burn itself out. We have tried the hole from both tee boxes and the jury is out at present as to which is the best/safest. More "market research" is required!  It is my opinion that keeping it as a par 4 is essential. How we protect the public from stray drives is the most important issue here.  We will have to build some sort of permanent structure, be it a fence or netting or shrubbery, or a combination of these. We continue to look at the many options.

The shop is looking good. As you may (or may not) know we are trialling various different ideas to see which suits. We have severed ties with Ciaron Glyde as the "sole supplier" and have spread our wings to look at purchasing stock ourselves and selling at a much better price.  Presently the effort seems to be working and stock is moving again. We sold over £300 of stock in one day last week which is how it needs to regularly be to make it worthwhile.  I personally always look to see what is new and spend my winnings (which has not been great of late) in there.  I urge others to do the same. It's good to see that many of the comps are paid in vouchers for either the bar or the shop which of course gives something back to the club.

I have to say that I am very pleased with the way the course is shaping up.  It is marvellous to be able to see my ball fly down the 15th and 16th fairways (when I get it straight).  I hope that many of you feel the same.  I certainly feel that we have some difficult decisions to come with regards trees.  They do cost the club a huge amount of money to maintain every year and obviously when they are cut back (as they were last year) they simply grow back again! This emotive issue will never go away!

I am looking forward to completing "The Longest Day" for Macmillan Cancer Support on 23rd July. 4 rounds of golf at Bedlingtonshire GC commencing at 4.50! We (4 golfers) hope to raise a great deal of money for this marvellous charity.

Please click on the link below to see further details of the challenge:-

I thank all of you who have already bought raffle tickets from behind the bar and for those who have donated online. If you haven't as yet please note that we have a website open for donations and the details are as follows:-  

The reference number on the McMillan Longest Day Challenge site is:-


Thank you all very much for your support.

Created: 06-Jul-15 22:49

Chairmans Blog June 2015

Well, the fire is .......???? Difficult to say really! It's not out but it seems to be "under control".... ish!  We are in a position where we have to wait and see before we decide on any future works in the area. As you will have no doubt seen the new path has been completed by the Council on the course side of the 4th out of bounds, parallel to the fairway. The reasons for its situation here are long and complicated but, in simple terms we had no choice! It had to go there! This will mean that the 5th can come back into play as a par 5 with no issues. The 4th however is a different kettle of fish! We are going to put our thinking caps on, do some "tests", have some meetings, talk with some people, and finally come to a conclusion on what is the best and most cost effective method of getting the hole fully functional. Watch this space. We have a Board Meeting on Monday next week which will probably help us to decide the future for our wonderful 4th hole.

I am quite proud to say that we worked very well as a team at RGC to "solve" the problem to the best of our ability. They say adversity draws people together and in general this has been the case. The members have been very patient and understanding and the Board has been extremely involved, hard working and co-ordinated in their approach to the burn. My sincere thanks go to Gill Beauchamp, Mick Moffitt and Don Smithson for the work that they have put in and continue to do so. I have to say that Gateshead Council has been extraordinarily helpful and supportive throughout the process. It has taken only 5/6 weeks to get to where we are now from the commencement of digging. It may take a little time for the course to heal but, except for the "gouge" out of the 15th fairway (where only the really big boys can drive to) there seems to be little damage of note that will affect us golfers. If you do have any feedback on the process then please feel free to contact me on

The course improvements have caused consternation amongst a few of you but in the main they have been generally well received. I personally love to see my ball landing on the 16th fairway after my drive, a luxury which I have never had at RGC. Now the trees are reaching their peak size we have more of an idea of what tree work is required down the line. We know there is still plenty to do.

The season is now in full swing and many of the board comps are being competed for and it is good to see the level of interest in the comps. We certainly are seeing large numbers at the club at the moment. The gents are still in the Mail on Sunday and have a home fixture with Carlisle GC in the next round. Fingers crossed! The gents league teams are up and down at present. They have a great many fixtures due to playing in two leagues and it is wonderful to see the commitment from the lads at the club. Well done Captain Geordie and his side kick Matt Turton (50 shades of Beige) for keeping the players informed and their spirits high!

Big congratualtions should go to Ben Lloyd who carded a "Hole in One" in Saturdays comp. Thanks for the scotch! It was the good stuff too!!!

The ladies section comps seem to be going well at present with the spoils being shared around quite nicely! The Sivewright and Anderson league teams seem to be holding their own. Since I was captain in 2011 I have always been very proud of the ladies section at the club. Keep up the great work ladies!

The Visiting Parties seem to be passing through quite smoothly and the "Meet and Greet" policy has helped to ensure that our guest are treated as VIPs (as possible future members!). The snack buggy has gone down extremely well and is raising some revenue for the club.

We continue to improve things at the club and now the fire is, to a large extent, behind us then we can get on with the business of strengthening the finances and improving still further our wonderful facility. I have to say that once again we have the best greens that I have seen. In my role as CDO for Northumberland I get to see enough greens to know this fact. Many of the team members comment also that we are fortunate with what we have.

Well that's me for now. I look forward to just playing some golf without my mind on other things!

Created: 02-Jun-15 13:47

Chairmans Blog May 2015 - +Fire Update

Whatever happened to April? It simply was gone in a heart beat. I am sorry I did not get chance to write a blog but I've got a fire on my mind. I am sure you will understand.

I will use this space as a chance to give you all an update.

The good news is that the Eastern and Western trenches at the extremities of the fire have been dug. This means that the fire is not going to spread any further. Phew!

The bad news is that the fire is not out and our course is looking worst for wear. We now have to deal with the aftermath of very heavy rain and very heavy machinery across our hallowed turf and the simple matter (not) of putting the fire out. We also have to deal with the thorny issue of the Keelman Way. It has to be reinstated ASAP so that the golf can get back to normal.

I would like to thank all of the people at the club who have done so much including Gill Beauchamp, Don Smithson and Michael Moffitt. Although the job is not yet done there has been a huge amount of effort made behind the scenes to get to this point.

As soon as I have any further information  for you about our next move I will let you know.

Now a little matter of golf! After all that is what we are there for isn't it! The teams have done really rather well so far this year (Except for a mauling at Matfen during the week) under the guidance of Captain Geordie, Vice Michael and the team Manager Matt Turton. So far they have progressed in the Mail on Sunday despite an intensely difficult away draw to old enemies Prudhoe. Well done all! In the North Durham league it has been good news all the way so far. Lets hope the boys can keep it going (no pressure).

Other that the damage caused by the works, the course is looking magnificent. The weather is starting to perk up a little. Sun and rain = growth. Growth = work and work = improvement. I feel that this year the course will be simply superb. I have played a great many other courses this year and there are none to touch our greens.

I am very much looking forward to the rest of the season and hope you are too. Lets just relax now and have a good one.

Created: 09-May-15 17:03

Chairmans Blog March 2015

The weather is perking up nicely and the nights are getting lighter. I can already smell the cut grass and see the immaculately manicured greens. What a fantastic thing to look forward to. I feel it in my bones that its going to be a good year. In another month the course furniture will be out in all its glory, but for now we have the "Mail on Sunday" to look forward to and guess what...... the "old bandit chairman whitts" has been selected to represent "lil olde Royal Ryton" v Garesfield next sunday (15th March) at 11.15. Thanks Captain Geordie for the vote of confidence! The team is G Ross (Board Member and Club Champion) Steve Lee (Member of the great Lee dinisty of golfers!) G Smith (off "12" are you kidding me?) P Whittaker (fine chap!) and Dave McRoberts (one of the best matchplay records in the club). I will certainly be doing my best! I can still remember the days out in El Romp with the girls. It was fab and we would all like to repeat the experience!

I am "looking forward to" another board meeting on Monday night! I hope things will go smoothly with the Sec/Man away in Portugal savouring the sun and the golf! I think he deserves it for all the work he has done at the club.

It's always sad to report yet another funeral will take place on Thursday this week (5th March). Ken Hutchinson RIP was one of the true gents at Ryton Golf Club. I have to say I never had a cross word with him. In fact, one of my first doubles comps when I arrived at RGC in 2002 was with Ken Hutchinson and Bill Askew (I was on 2 cards) and we finished 1st and 2nd with a 61 and a 62! Good memories! Heaven just stole yet another wonderful member! Rest well Ken, gone but never forgotten.

Myself and Steve Irving have recently completed and both passed the PGA Level 1 Coaches Qualification. This means we are able to coach under the supervision of a Level 3 Pro. Tim Cockill at Close House GC has agreed to be our mentor and hopefully I will get some experience and perhaps progress to level 2 all being well. Watch this space.

I will finish this months missive by reminding you that Subs are due at the end of the month. £499 this year which, I feel, is fantastic value for money! I look forward to reporting to you our membership figures by the end of next month and here's hoping that we have enough in the bank to keep us in the black throughout the year. C'mon

Created: 03-Mar-15 22:31

Chairmans Blog Febuary 2015

February is with us and of course that means a whole new set of fresh faces around the table at Board Meetings with a whole bunch of fresh/new ideas for the club. You will have by now seen them posted on the website.

"Happy week" "Members Guest Weekend" "Car wash" "Members Draw" to name but a few. We are hoping to get involved with the "Morrison's Gift Voucher Scheme" (watch this space) as a lot of other golf clubs are doing presently which will hopefully be another valuable service. We have decided as a board that "Members Incentives" is so important that it will remain a standing item at board meetings from now on. We listened to what you said at the AGM Q&A session and we want to make all of our members feel valued and more importantly feel that they get value for their money.

I would like to thank all of the board members who have taken on jobs, some of them thankless tasks but they are in the name of pleasing people at the club. I would thank Steve Wilson (and his team of 3) for taking on the closing down of Saturday Comps in readiness for Sunday comps. Terrific.

I would thank Geoff Ross for taking on Handicaps and Competitions. This very onerous task we all know requires broad shoulders and dedication! Marvellous.

Michael Thompson is putting together a "New members pack" and will be looking after our new members to ensure they feel at home at Ryton and stay with us for years to come. Splendid!

Bev and Lucy are working hard on the stair lift project which is taking up some time (finding funding strands and writing bids is never easy). Wonderful!

KP continues to focus on "125"! The year 2016 hopefully will be full of interesting events and remind us of how well we have done as a club! Fabulous!

Michael Moffitt continues to work with the finances and this Monday was even seen with a smile on his face when reporting where we are at present financially. Still a long way to go but ....... getting there! Splendiforous!

Everybody on the board is contributing and working hard to make RGC a better place to be. Its gonna be a great season and I am personally looking forward to seeing the course in all its glory come April. We have worked very hard over the winter to protect it and it will pay dividends of that I am sure.

What we need now is for all our members to rejoin (where else would you go???????) and life at the club will be fantastic! C'mon

Created: 11-Feb-15 08:31
Showing 16 - 20 of 53 Items (Page 4 of 11)

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