Seniors' Early Days

Originally it appears that a group of retired members who generally forgathered on a Monday morning in the early 80's to enjoy a leisurely round of golf, to shake off the cobwebs, or to recover from the excesses of the weekend persuaded Jack Sharp to approach the Committee with a view to forming a Seniors' Section.

Although the Club policy has always been not to encourage separate factions within the Club but to promote a unified atmosphere, it was agreed that competitions and matches with other clubs might be organised. The actual date when all this took place is lost in the mists of time and unfortunately the original founders are thin on the ground. However we do have a Committee minute dated June 9th 1982 confirming that Jack Sharp had undertaken responsibility for the organisation.

In the early days Dennis Alvey was an enthusiastic supporter but the administration was in the hands of Jack Sharp, and after his death in 1987, Ted Hall, and especially Sid Soper, played active parts in organising Stableford competitions every fortnight in the winter and eventually the matches against Seniors at Newark, Radcliffe, Chilwell and Beeston Fields.

By 1990 around 60 Senior Members took part in every 14 hole Winter Stableford Competition and by 2000 the fixture list of matches, home and away had risen to 20, including clubs from Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. To play in these matches became a very desirable ambition among Seniors and to qualify it was necessary to brave the winter weather and attend as many as possible of the Stableford competitions. The teams selected were not therefore necessarily the strongest from a golfing viewpoint, but although matches were contended competitively, participation, good will and camaraderie with one's peers from other clubs, provided the satisfaction of being involved.

In the Autumn of 1987 a ballot was held and Bill Harrison was appointed the first Seniors' Captain; the term of office to commence at the Annual Dinner in November; a practice which continues to this day. For a few years from 1987 a small committee of Captain, Vice-Captain, Past Captain and Secretary met two or three times a year to manage Seniors' affairs and minutes of the meetings were formally recorded. Since July 1992 the meetings were discontinued and the Seniors' were "managed" informally by the Secretary and the Captain.

From time to time a "Forum" is held to give senior members an opportunity to express views and comments and to give their captain and secretary guidance on the way senior matters should be conducted.

In January 1991 Sid Soper wrote to the Club Secretary proposing that a Seniors' Eclectic Competition be run each month during the summer using the yellow tees and allowing Seniors to enter as often as they wish, with prizes of golf balls each month for the best medal cards and a final prize-giving at the end of September for the winning Eclectic scores. This has become a popular addition to Seniors' events and keeps certain members supplied with golf balls throughout the year.

As well as the aforementioned, the Seniors have been fortunate to have as secretary Keith Dove, ]im Dealler and Viv Payne, who between them must have devoted innumerable hours of their time on the Seniors' behalf, in organising teams, preparing cards for Stableford competitions, recording results, adjusting handicaps and keeping Seniors informed.

After each 14 hole competition most of the competitors await the result by biding their time in the bar and seeking to restore their health following the exigencies of the morning's activity. On the arrival in the Clubhouse of the last match, the Seniors' Captain announces the results and awards the prizes. After a hasty "Ball Draw" the time sheet for the next fortnight's competition is pinned up, and an orderly queue is formed to enter names.

In a Club like ours with a large number of members, there are few occasions, other than purely social events when members meet and mix in a golfing environment. On these occasions the Senior Members can enjoy the company, the banter and the good fellowship that are inherent in belonging to a club. Incidentally the Club also feels the benefit of their presence on a weekday morning.

These are some of the benefits enjoyed as a result of the efforts of Messrs Sharp, Alvey, Hall and Soper and their associates, for which we remain ever grateful.