Portland cup at Hart Common or Arthurs back on the throne, Friday May 26th 2017

The day started with chaos on the roads. Luckily for us captain Kev had a very neat traffic app on his phone and we got to Hart Common in good time. We were not the first there though Bill Harris was sorting the money side of things with club secretary. It was an insight into Bill’s input to the society he had travelled up from south Manchester and must have set off at seven o’clock. The club secretary probably out gunned Bill in the input stakes as she was also doing the catering. And good it was with perm any 2 from 3 Bacon, egg and sausage muffins. Being such a hot day I decided to put the roof up on my Pope mobile to keep it cool in there. On opening the sliding door one of Kev’s suicidal bottles of wine attempted to top itself. Miraculously it landed on the top and no wine was split. Kev is going to ask his priest for some holy water to splash on the van. I think he might splash some on his putter as well. With the teams rearranged into 6 three balls the need for ghosts was exorcized. The course proved to be as good as reported.   

Below is a table of how the morning team event panned out.

 Results of morning team event

Mention 23 points Martin Scott Brian Murray Alan Saville
2nd place 23 points Mel Garner Arthur Hughes Stephen Payne
Winners 23 points Martin Claffy Joe Boyd Chris Murphy


Denis Holyland was there to greet us at lunch he has not changed a bit. Unfortunately Arthur who had started the morning striding the fairways like Ghandi was struck down by Delhi belly. We had to leave him curled up on the couch groaning and trotting off at regular intervals. No taxi driver was going to risk taking him home Arthur had to pass the time away in the clubhouse. I dropped back in to see how he was before playing the back nine. The noises coming out of that toilet are going to haunt me for the rest of my life. He was mumbling something it took some time but I eventually worked it out he was saying “I’ve got a towel in my mouth”. There followed a scream and a huge whooshing sound. Arthur said he felt better and thanked me for popping back. He told me to get back out there and win it. I was a man on a mission I needed fresh air. News of Dave Baynes’s  amazing scoring on the front nine had trickled through the field people thought there was only second spot up for grabs. But low and behold his wheels wobbled rather than came off and I pipped him on a card play-off. My luck did not end there I won the draw. I had had a bet on myself which I don’t always do. I was on a high and wanted to drive home with roof up in the pope mobile parading the cup. But it would have ruined my MPG and Kev was talking broken biscuits. I have only 2 regrets on the day.1. I didn’t buy a lottery ticket. 2. I didn’t wash my hands after shaking Arthur’s  ooh got to go.     


 PM Individual event

Nearest the Pins
2. Dave Baynes 11. Ian Ringwood 14. Martin Claffy
Longest Drive
Andy Minshull  No 2's


Top 5 finishers

  Points Handicap Revised
5. Mel Garner 32
4. Brian Murray 32
3. Howard Dickson 33 16 15.5
2. Dave Baynes 38 19.6 15.9
1. Steve Payne 38 20.3 16.3








Spring Plate at Stand GC, April 2017

Spring Plate. Fast greens and faster tables

The event was held at Stand chosen as it has a reputation for good drainage throughout the year. It did not disappoint. The greens were being ironed on the day and the speed of them was a revelation for this time of year. The layout was quite hilly and there were no buggies so everybody was walking. There were quite a few weary legs making their way up the steep hill to the last green. Not everyone was tired playing the last in the morning event. Joe Boyd managed to hit is approach over the green onto the clubhouse roof. It bounced off that through the car park and was last seen going down the road in the direction of Radcliffe.  Below are the results from the morning event.

 Mention 25 pts  Bill Harris  Martin Claffy  Paul Sinnot
 Mention 26 pts  Pete Derbyshire  Howard Dickson  Kieran Dunn
 2nd place 26 pts  Kev Bolton  Ian Hopkins  Dave Baynes
 Winners 30 pts  Joe Boyd  Steve Payne  Ian Ringwood
Nearest the Pins 6. Nobody   13. Pete Derbyshire No 2's
Longest Drive Martin Claffy      


Top 7 Finishers

   Points Handicap  Revised
7. Andy Southworth 28 21.5 21.7
6. John Martin 28 21 21.2
5. Geoff Haynes 28 8  8.2
4. Ian Hopkins 28 19.6  19.8
3. Mike Hill 30 19  18
2. Dave Baynes


21.4  19.4
1. Pete Derbyshire 33 22  19


Having recovered from the fast greens of the morning we were introduced to the fast tables when having our soup and sandwiches. Great care had to be taken when placing anything on tables. It was like the placed object had a piece of dry ice underneath it and it was likely to slide off. A few people who were playing 18 holes only turned up at lunch. We were all pleased to see Andy Minshull had managed to turnout having heard of his medical problems at the AGM. It was touching to hear Ian Ringwood say he was using a strap-on. I think the Portland is more of a family than a society and Ian had made this statement not out of some obscene boast but to put Andy at ease. Captain Kevin was keen to make amends for his moment of remiss at the AGM. He announced he had really put the boat out and then delved into his baggage and pulled out 2 of the smallest bottles of wine I have seen in my life. I have researched wine bottle sizes and they were the smallest, known as a split. Of course Kevin was having a laugh and had 2 normal sized bottles which he has decided to distribute via the draw. They are just called a bottle. I could be guessing here but I think one was Australian stored in a barrel made of wood normally reserved for making boomerangs. The lucky winner of that bottle was Howard Dickson. That was where Howard’s luck ended. He placed the bottle on the table. The bottles homing instincts kicked in and head back to Kevin via the hard dance floor. Very messy I shall be contacting the wine bottlers association with the suggestion of the name ‘A Spilt’ for normal sized bottle. 

Back to the golf most people thought the course was challenging but good. Martin Claffy was not a fan of it but he was off colour. This was not helped by his electric trolley packing up before he had reached the first tee. His expansive game was not suited to the course and it was amazing that he didn’t lose a ball and still had enough energy to win the longest drive. With only 2 par 3’s there were no 2’s so it will be a rollover to the next event.

This event was won by Pete Derbyshire. Quite an achievement considering he had had 5 shots docked off his normal playing handicap due to the prop past at the AGM whereby you play of your lowest handicap for the first event which then is developed as your Portland handicap for the season. It was the first anniversary of Pete’s Gran’s death and so he dedicated his win to her. Everyone was pleased for Pete he’ll see one trophy this year



The Presidents Cup and AGM at Stockport, March 2017

Once again we were at the home course of our long standing President Bill Macbeth. The weather was better than predicted with only a short shower. The course was wet but playable. The greens were in need of a cut but recent rain prevented this. The catering staff were meticulous as usual. It is always a pleasure to be at Stockport

Nearest the Pins 5. Mike Hill 8. Phil Lancaster* 11. Bill Harris* 16. Martin Claffy
Longest Drive Terry Tobin      


Top 5 Finishers

   Points Handicap  Revised
5. Bob Chadwick 32 No change  
4. Pete Derbyshire 32 No change  
3. Brian Murray 33 26.7  25.7
2. Mike Hill 34 23  21
1. Dave Baynes 38 26.4  21.4


There was a touch of de ja vu with Dave Baynes winning again but he should find future events a little stiffer his new handicap excluding him from the two shots a hole club. With the average score for the day being 26 there will be a few people getting several shots back. It will be interesting to see what happens at Stand the next event.


The current captain Martin Claffy told us it had been an honour for him to be the captain. He then handed over the captaincy to Kevin Bolton. Kevin’s first action was to apologise for forgetting the captain’s prizes. He promised to double up next time. There will be Screwfix pencils and Ikea pencils. His choice to be his vice-captain was revealed to be Martin Scott. Kevin then proposed a toast to Neil Doggett who sadly passed away in the closed season.

The player of the year award was once again a close fought thing. With a different winner at each event again the 2 fighting for the top spot had shown consistency through the season. Martin Scott had won an event but it was the lowest scoring event of the season which he won on a card play-off. Which meant he was docked a shot more than 2nd place but had the same score to add to his race player of the year. Bill Harris the other contender made life hard for himself by racking up a high score at the 1st event of the season resulting in a low handicap which he maintained through the season. With a best 5 result total of 166 Martin pipped Bill on 163.

There were 4 proposals made. 3 pertaining handicapping and 1 regarding a knockout competition. The latter was dismissed as not proper to the Portland. The handicapping was discussed at length and voted on. What follows is a summary of the methodology the Portland current system.

At the start of the season members would play off their lowest handicap whether Portland or club. This would then be maintained through the season by the Portland and be their Portland handicap.

This Portland handicap can exceed their club handicap through the Portland season to a max of 28.

New members will be held to the old 24 maximum initially.

Following an event the average score will be obtained.

Scores above this but below 30 will get 0.2 back.

Scores 30 and above will get nothing back.

Scores 34 and above will be cut for each point above 33. These cuts will be dependent on their immediate handicap.

0-9 would be of a ratio 0.2.

10-18 would be of a ratio 0.5.

Above 18 would be of a ratio 1.

1st place will always be docked by at least 3, 2nd by 2 and 3rd by 1.

Scores below the average would get 0.5 back for every point below average. This would be capped at 28.

These shots would be awarded in the ratios of:

 0-9 would be of a ratio 0.2.

10-18 would be of a ratio 0.5.

Above 18 would be of a ratio 1.

Bill closed the meeting with news of Andy Minshull. You may recall he missed last year’s AGM because of wedding commitments. Andy missed this year as well. Bill had a doctor’s note. Obviously it would be wrong to divulge the contents. I do feel obliged to relay the devastating affect the contents of the note had on all there. There was not a dry eye in the room. I fear for his marriage and his swing.