Mutterings from the Patio

NOVEMBER MUTTERINGS

THE WHINGER'S SOLUTION

The Patio Mob is now firmly ensconced in their winter location in the Lounge and has announced their presence by passing a local rule banishing the drinking of water during bar opening hours. The logic is three-fold
(a) It tarnishes the ethos of Mob membership
(b) It reduces bar revenue in austere times
(c) There is a fiercely – held conviction that the consumption of copious pints of free water by the tight-fisted Handicap Secretary is enhancing his vicious application of handicap-slashing principles and fuelling his megalomania.

Protestations from the afore-mentioned Slasher that it keeps his arthritis at bay were refuted by the ritual chorus of booing and catcalls.

As golf is not a pre-occupation in the winter months, the obsession with Linford, our resident Rhea, continues apace. His true owner in Harvington is providing a normal diet of specialist seeds, which allied to the natural foraging on the Fladbury links has enabled Linford to develop into a full-sized specimen and capable in depositing ample evidence of residency. The Captain, normally a bird-lover, mainly in the form of freshly butchered pheasants, has complained vociferously that his putting stroke has suffered since Linford’s arrival. Yeah… well.
But it took one of our stalwarts, Whingeing Phil Wheeler, to come up with the most creative recognition token of Linford by asking the following question:
“In 30 years time how will the membership even know that Evesham Golf Club had been the centre of a media frenzy created by a flightless bird?”
Well Phil, although that sounds slightly exaggerated you are to be applauded with your solution – The Linford Trophy ! A cloud-funding site has been opened and early signs are that we can surpass even the magnificent Duc d’Orleans Cup in the trophy cabinet.
Needless to say, The Whinger is not one of the water-quaffing fraternity.
And finally, The Chairman was moved to record his appreciation to the Mens’ Section for controlling their aggression when faced with the substitute guest speaker at the Annual Prize-giving, even though the proffered reason for the non-appearance of the first choice was a closure of the the M6 motorway. Even after several sips of the club Rioja, it still seemed a little thin.

EXTRA MUTTERINGS

LINFORD STROLLS IN

One can only applaud the forward-thinking of the Management Committee when brain-storming the options for promoting the image of the club, but surely it goes beyond the boundaries of credibility to come up with A FLIGHTLESS BIRD!
But stranger things have happened before and now, approaching the end of October the full media storm has descended on the Fladbury links.
Our feathered friend was initially identified as an emu, a relative of the ostrich and having the same characteristics of long legs and neck, unable to fly and able to deliver a hefty peck. But further research clarified it as a rhea, an altogether more genteel variety and certainly much smaller. So how did it manage to end up at EGC and who owns it, since in the wild rheas are inhabitants of South America and even the most befuddled member could rule out immigration by walking!
As always, opinions are not in short supply, so it came of no surprise to see our ex-Senior section Treasurer, Ian Facer, popping up on the BBC local news item being interviewed in the club car-park. Resplendent in a club sweater and bright blue cap, Ian handled the questioning with total aplomb as did one of our resident Brummies, Alan Cross, who added some levity to the chaos.
But the undoubted stars of the show remain as Linford the Rhea and our photogenic pro duo of Rob Roy and Ryan; all traversing the Evesham fairways from dawn to dusk, with one basking in the freedom of a new terrain whilst the others contemplate fiendish schemes to end all that.
The Patio Mob are enthralled and have already opened a book on possible date of capture and are planning to petition our new Treasurer Low Key Chris Jewkes for a turn-style at the road entrance to simplify the collection of visitor daily viewing fees.
And as Linford strolled past, one senior Management Committee member was heard to murmur; “this could get us back to the good old 15 year waiting list days”.
What a marketing God-send for next year’s 125th anniversary programme and it’s not over yet, folks.

OCTOBER MUTTERINGS

A FREE LAGER AND A FEATHERED FRIEND

As the nights slowly draw in, the Mob are receding from the patio into the warmth of the lounge and the conversation ratchets up from semi-factual to Trumpesque fake news. The leading protagonist is EGC’s own prodigal son, Six-Pack Parker, who even without the stimulus of a deliciously cool Czech lager, is able to endlessly pontificate on a wide range of topics. The latest rant centres on the allegedly historic EGC custom of trophy winners buying presentation attendees a drink in celebration of their achievement, but one has to wonder if this is purely selfish ploy to enjoy another pint of the amber nectar by merely applauding from the back of the room.
Never let it be said that Evesham members are not wild- life lovers as instanced by the numerous bird boxes hidden around the course. But it certainly stretches the imagination when the latest sighting on the links was … wait for it… an EMU! The Mob were in raptures over the appearance of the statuesque ornithological specimen, savouring thoughts of extended debate on it’s ancestry, ownership and most importantly reward value. But the task of clearing the fairways of the errant bird fell to our multi- talented pro, Rob Roy, who never in his wildest dreams could have imagined the occurrences of his first six months at EGC and as we go to press, the flightless visitor continues to evade capture as dusk descends.
And that, dear readers, is where we came in.

SEPTEMBER MUTTERINGS

OUR VERY OWN TOAD

September not only brings the gradual evolution from summer heat into days of misty mornings and gentle warmth, but also a noticeable change in the demeanour of some senior Evesham members. Those of us who play regularly in the weekday fiddles have long accepted that the lovely “Diddy” Dave Carsberg is a special character and we make allowances for his buggy driving and slightly impaired hearing. Always immaculately turned out, wearing his trademark Burberry scarf on colder days, there are some very strong resemblances to the Wind in the Willows character Toad, but recent events have generated comments on the Patio with reports that Diddy has a quickest buggy round target. The usual ‘ keep up, it will be dark by the time we get in’ insults to playing partners are expected, but not the total ignoring of tee sequence etiquette allied to racing off into the mid distance. Playing partners are irked and line up their tee shots on the buggy and, inevitably, it has been struck. Diddy, or should we say Toad, refuted all remonstrations by claiming that his pattern of play has been sanctioned by the R&A in the edict covering Ready Play. However, it is interesting to note that Toad’s scoring has improved to the extent of reducing his handicap and perhaps more importantly, gaining the recognition that the Patio Mob dish out to prize –winners in the form of a hearty chorus of booing. Our very own Toad remains unfazed and defiant.
And finally, one of the more genteel Mobsters has requested a reduction in handicap as he feels his game is much better than his current scores suggest. Well done, Gerry, your wish is likely to be granted, but why not wait until the major trophies have been completed?

AUGUST MUTTERINGS

SENIORS BEHAVING BADLY .... SURELY NOT!

No, dear reader, the later timing of this month’s Mutterings is not due to slothfulness or writer’s block, but the looming possibility of The Kewley Chop. However, with permission still forthcoming, WebSpy will continue the slightly edgy style of the epistle and hopes that the factual account below meets with approval from the majority of our readers.

It was announcement time of the Seniors Championship results in front of a healthy number of participants and interested watchers, with the nett prize of the Wilson Jug going to Gerry Ricketts and the Diffin Trophy for this year’s Seniors Champion being won for the fourth time by a very worthy Tony Fawcett. Despite cat-calls from the floor querying his meeting the competition’s qualifying rules, Tone’s address was all-embracing, including the offer of drinks to all present, but as it was early afternoon and probably time for most seniors to prepare for their home siesta, the uptake was minimal, so Tone corralled Gerry, Mike Gage and Skroyd Askew into a very refreshing bottle of chilled white.
All was progressing smoothly until Yosser Hughes was spotted on the third fairway and ex-Chairman Tone felt he had to alert his friend to the competition outcome, as he was keenly aware that Yosser had recently displayed his three recently-won trophies on the Hughes mantlepiece. The patio door slid open, a trademark Fawcett shriek rent the air and Yosser was visibly moved, in spite of his hearing aid. It was later reported by playing partner Diddy Dave Carlsberg that Yosser muttered it would be impossible to live this down for the rest of the year, but visually the smiles and salutations were apparent for all to see. Another normal day at Evesham Golf Club.
It is sincerely hoped that the two day style of these championships is maintained for the future as it does represent the highlight of the Seniors calendar and the reduction to a single round due to inclement weather two years ago, definitely diminished the occasion.

Good to see that Professor David Tarry’s form has culminated in achieving his long-held dream of returning to single figure status, albeit for two weeks at least. The Prof’s excellent 44 points in the Thursday Fiddle resulted in a system reduction from 14.5 to 12.7 and with a vindictive general play cut of 1.3 by the irrational handicap secretary, the final 11.4 was further slashed by the mandatory 2 shot Fiddle penalty for the next two weeks. How to go from 14.5 to 9.4 in one afternoon….. only at Evesham GC methinks.

JULY MUTTERINGS

THE HALCYON DAYS OF SUMMER


The unrelenting heat has finally sapped the resolve of the Patio Mob and added to the close proximity of the Club Championship, something had to give. The Four Musketeers had worked themselves into a frenzy of speculation on whether Ollie would enter and his almost illegible scrawl on the starting sheet only added to the tension. The plan was to practice on the Friday and having secured their favourite Saturday morning slots, our boys were ready. But wait, Sharpy and Mark H have created a slot at 9.52; result – indignant outrage along the lines of ….. we’re not having this – no controls, what about the rules, I’m off to Broadway, I’ve had enough etc. and the toys were strewn about the patio. In the event, the weekend was a disaster, the stocky Porthos took 11 at the 3rd and had a relaxing Sunday at home; the languid Aramis quickly NR’d; our Athos scraped into the second round with a net 80 and only the moody D’Artagnan, leaving a trail of e-cig vapour, scored a creditable net 71. Meanwhile the Cardinal’s men, Will Duke of Rochefort was in the mix with 72 and Captain Russ de Treville hanging on with 76.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny, but our heroes were fading fast; Duke Will NR’d; Athos followed suit and drove his taxi home very carefully; Captain Russ slumped to a gross 91, matched by the lovely D’Artagnan. The fallout was predictable – Facebook had rants about slow play, why don’t they water the fairways, the greens were variable and bizarrely, I like the food at Broadway! The old adage of not blaming your tools came to mind, but we are certain that this generation of social media craving millennials will eventually let their undoubted golfing talent come to fruition….. and of course, that will be another story.
Finally, with Ollie cruising to a record 9th championship, it was a pleasure to see Cat- Weasel (formerly Scatter-Gun) Saggers returning from the cloisters of Bath, where, we are informed, there may be developments on the house relocation front. We miss the lanky, slightly worn look of the Bazzer as he represents the only competition to the Scruffy Skroyd in the 1980’s fashion stakes.

THROUGH THE EYE OF WEB SPY JUNE MUTTERINGS

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH

The continuation of the fine weather has enabled competitions and knockout rounds to be completed on schedule, so it is inevitable that the Patio Mob would slowly turn to more contentious non-golfing issues.

• The Management Committee have reluctantly agreed to a BIN – IN or BIN – OUT referendum for all members, including the country category, although quite what Benji and Sandra Piovesana sitting in sunny Treviso, will make of it remains to be seen. The issue has stirred several normally placid, keep your head down type members to agitate over their mid-week shared pot of tea, although to be fair, no violence or seizing of lapels has been reported to the Secretary. The pre-emptive strike was first made by Surfer Jim, our Head Green-keeper, who decided enough was enough and surreptitiously removed several small rubbish bins, only to be instructed to replace them forthwith by Fiesty Mike on the grounds that the required CHANGE REQUEST AND PROCEED (CRAP) form had not been submitted. Suitably miffed, Wily Jim retaliated by announcing that the reason for the ball-washers being continually bereft of liquid, hopefully water, was that the rubber seals had perished and could not be replaced. The resulting laughter was allegedly heard in Pershore, where our resident technical expert or know-all, Six Pack Parker, declared that if Screwfix did not stock the required size, then W L Brown, who celebrated 100 years of ironmongery in August 2013, most certainly would. Such knowledge only comes from countless years of staring into the bottom of an empty lager glass. Lobbying of the Ladies and Senior sections produced low levels of interest, but the Mob fiercely admonished Feisty Mike, our Chair of Greens, who, living up to his sobriquet’s definition of “typically someone relatively small, touchy and aggressive”, told them the exact new location to place the removed receptacles.
The only slight side issue with this topic is the receipt of an email from Plano, Texas requesting a required price and provenance for 2 ball-washers and stating that under no circumstances would they be used for golf-related use. Interesting.

• With Pete Lawrance’s formal request to remove the marquee from the patio being studiously ignored, our new occupant of THE FLAT has been alerted to possible skulduggery during the twilight hours. Ryan has equipped himself with a Ping G700 driver in preparation.
• Following the publicity from the Right Royal Day, Richard Saville has been approached by the Model 1, the foremost modelling agency in Europe with a proposition. The vision of Richard in red, white and blue allied to his weathered look, is apparently in current vogue, but his representative (wife Pat) said that they would draw the line any disrobing sessions unless the fee was significantly increased. Basking in his new-found celebrity status, “Ricardo” refused to comment.
• And finally, relatively new member “Big Keith” Gater is getting to grips with the course and is now well known for the depth of his divots, reminiscent of Raymond Gray, our much loved past professional in his hey-day. Such is the size of the average Gater divot that extra seed has had to be ordered to maintain the excellence of our fairways. And recently watching Big Keith strike a powerful iron from the tee prompted an anonymous lady member to murmur “well, it certainly moved for me”. Really, whatever is Evesham golf coming to.

MAY MUTTERINGS

PLAYING TODAY? WHY NOT

* Open Weekend was a veritable success with almost hordes of visitors arriving in search of golf instruction and free cakes. All sections turned out to assist and the platoon of cart drivers, mothering reception girls and golf escorts were a sight to behold. A jet-lagged Skipper woozily made the rounds, blessed all and sundry and promptly fell asleep on the patio. The sign-up trap was located in the lounge and our worthy Sec. morphed into his fauning posture and extracted bank details, standing order instructions and inside leg measurements at an impressive rate of knots.

* In these financially-straightened times, it is good to see that some of the membership are taking every opportunity to extract full value from their subscription. Being occasionally linked to the building trade when not playing golf, Musketeer Monty has been following the progress of the refurbishment of the club flat and has formally tendered an offer of occupancy based on the fact that he is always at the club and is finding the locker room too restrictive for his sleepovers. We suspect that his newish partner has had some input and our gallant hero is therefore responding to his mid-life resposibilities.

* The saying “keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer” truly applies when it comes to handicap opinions. The recent away round of 42 points at Weston by the smooth-swinging Roberto Wylie resulted in a snap of the card being emailed to Slasher Skroyd with an impassioned plea for retribution. Could it be that the wagers on away days are greatly increased?

* House catering continues to gain plaudits from members and visitors alike; the snack menu is really taking off, although the much-revered cheese on toast is now priced at £2.50 and some of us well remember Tess’s version at £1.35. At least the Lea & Perrins is still available.

* May must be the month of the Musketeers since Rock Hard foregoes his corset, flexes his torso and promptly wins the Golf Club Bowl shooting an impressive 76, whilst Gav and Rob score 80s to take fifth and sixth. And, not to be outdone, Monty wins the Sunday stableford the following day. Has Brand New and Gentle Jack really spiced up the Doom Bar?

* And finally, great to see that age is no deterrent to good golf with Derek Jackson celebrating his recent 87th by winning the Seniors flag competition. Still it did not stop Seniors’ handicap supremo, Opinionated Ian, adopting his usual contrarian postion and pushing through a two shot reduction. Enjoy your moment of fame, Derek!

APRIL MUTTERINGS

SPRING AT LAST

What a difference the sun makes to the behaviour of some of our young guns, but not necessarily to the more (or less) revered stalwarts.

• Moody Monty has been partially transformed by the warmth, even having lessons from the Man of Steele and with his newly-found romantic harmony in Cheltenham has become a pleasure to play with. But the cloudy conditions recently brought a quick return to normality : a duffed shot on the 12th followed by an even quicker snap of the five iron shaft ; a long draw at the 13th just short of the road surface with an immediate storming of the Pro shop reveal that our boy still has some way to go.

• Shaft snapping is becoming an art at Evesham with Yosser Hughes contributing to the demolition of a tee marker with his driver; but he forgot there is no contest when any shaft is matched against the ancient markers of the 1894 founded EGC. The Steeleman is updating his income projections to make shaft replacement a major feature.

• The Thursday fiddle is seeing record turnouts with happy banter back in it’s true location on the patio. As we all know, virgins are rare at EGC, but the recent appearance of Ex-Chairman Tone resulted in a debut win and a substantial reward. The announcement to the assembled mob rapidly quelled the chatter and the stoney silence was only broken by the infamous Fawcett shriek, which allied to his annotation in the Fiddlers’ log of “didn’t think it would be this easy”, will only serve to augment his reputation.

• Open Weekend approaches apace and who knows what tasty titbits await ……….

THROUGH THE EYE OF WEBSPY : MARCH MUTTERINGS

THE WINKS AND NODS RE-START

Inevitably there has been feedback to the re-emergence of Mutterings and at least some of it has been supportive, so Web Spy will take on board the need to encompass all sections of the club with neither fear nor favour, but sometimes it is necessary to be wary of what you wish for.....

• The Winter League semi-finals and final matches were played in one day with a break between rounds for breakfast. Despite The Skipper proclaiming his total satisfaction with the success of his idea, some of the participants required full massage treatment and one, a quick sniff of oxygen, although it was suggested that this was his normal Sunday morning recovery routine. However, we can report that the club defibrillator was not required. In the event, Richings the Younger paired with Rangy Phil Batchelor saw off a spirited assault from Angelic Attwood and Purple Pete Moore by triumphing on the 18th hole before staggering back to the Clubhouse for much-needed resuscitation. This column is also pleased to publish a rebuttal of scurrilous rumours concerning Purple Pete, who stated that as a formidable player for Evesham RFC in his younger days, his personal delectations had never been called into question. He accepted that the adjacent photogragh could be slightly misconstrued, but that his current modelling and fashion preferences were entirely his own concern. Mmmm... we really do understand Pete.

• The campaign to progress in the Kidderminster Cup by skulduggery finally caught up with the Evesham Boys, when even the use of their secret weapon, the ebullient Boz Harris failed to talk their Gaudet Luce opponents to death, although to be fair, it was very close. It transpired that Gaudet Luce had a Boz of their own and as they had played cricket together, the sledging could be heard several fairways away. Good try though Boz!

• It is with deep regret that we announce the news that Six Pack Parker will not be resuming full playing membership in 2018, however he is petitioning the Club for an additional new membership category of Imbibing and Facility Member, whereby this category of member IS allowed to carry drinks onto the course whilst in support of a favoured playing friend. Our understanding is that the Committee will respond by dedicating a permanent place on the patio solely for Six Pack’s use. A chair, suitably inscribed “The Lager Lounger” will be funded by the 100 Club.

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THROUGH THE EYE OF WEBSPY

MUTTERINGS EMERGE FROM HIBERNATION

It would be pleasing to report that Mutterings are back by popular demand, but that is far from reality and much closer to coersion, threats and physical intimidation. In these fluid times, WebSpy has decided to adopt a grovelling, fauning persona to gain favour in the short term, whilst assessing the level of ascerbic commentary appropriate to the current club hierarchy.
The
scene has certainly changed and with some new characters in play, the 2018 season offers interesting possibilities:

  • It’s handover time again and as Roger the Dodger gratefully reaches the end of his three tortuous years in office, we welcome Doc Kewley into the hot seat.
  • So it’s farewell to terrier-like verbal barbs, standing on the putting line or just wandering off in front of an intended shot and embrace a more genteel, scholarly personality reminiscent of doctor Finlay – or so would appear.
  • It is somewhat similar in the Men’s section where ‘Evening All’ Osbourne is succeeded by Peakus Beakus Tyrrell, who combines a Bertie Wooster persona with a tenacious organising side and that bodes for an interesting year ahead. It takes elan to wear a 1930’s Gatsby cap at your drive-in and even more when knowing that photographic evidence would be appearing in The Journal.
  • The fiasco enveloping the House function appears to be showing light at the end of the tunnel and in Mark Brand New we have someone who seems prepared to live up to his surname. The move to slash the tariff on the coffee vending machine brought delight to the Senior section and will hopefully eliminate the risk of traffic accidents caused by crossing the road in search of refreshment. What effect it will have on the profitability of the Craycombe Cafe remains to be seen.
  • The club is still reeling from the news that our lovely ‘Little Dan’ Clee has succumbed to the late call of fatherhood and taken the extreme step of trading in clubs and shoes for the dubious pleasure of changing nappies and feeding gooey mush to newish arrival George. How long can that last one wonders? Webspy gives it less than 12 months before smoothing-swinging Dan re-appears somewhere in the vicinity,so watch this space!
  • And finally for this rant, the appointment of SSS (Scruffy Slasher Skroyd) Askew as handicap supremo has been met with mixed reaction from the male membership, most of whom recognize a meglomaniac when they see one. Eyes are rolling from the perceived objective of Evesham having the largest number of Category 1 players in the county and the fact that each handicap adjustment carries with it a personalized email announcing the deed, cuts no ice with the muttering mob. Interesting to see reactions when the knife is wielded on the Bruiser Bunch of Grumpy Gav, Moody Monty and Rockhard- salivating times ahead folks!


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