START DATE 3rd January 2017

03 Jan 2017

Posted by: Gavin Sargent

Subjects: Captains blog

So with an audible sigh of relief, the membership of Eaton Golf Club can almost go back to normal, ladies and gentlemen it's been emotional. My final Blog begins back at our staff Christmas party, where silly hats, antlers and trees were worn in abundance. No food was thrown (far too good quality for that), everyone was disappointingly well behaved, but from the looks of the picture our Pro Shop team certainly had a good time.

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Sarah was seated opposite husband, which in no way explains why she has her head in her hands. I'll miss all this next year when I'll be found instead at the far end of the car park, friendless, all alone and searching for meaning in my life.

On to Thursday 22nd December and a second jaunt of the year down to Stowmarket, this time to meet the gauntlet thrown down by Jane Darling – friend to our Lady Vice and Judi Walker. Now I never knew this, but the long Par 3 4th for men plays as a Par 4 for ladies there, and though we both took 4 shots Jane claimed the hole as she'd parred it. This threw me off what little stride I possess as I'd assumed two 4s would mean a halved hole, and even though this was very much a friendly my next drive clattered into trees on the left. Worse still was to follow as whilst marking my ball on the 15th green I heard a slight ripping noise, and looked down to discover my trousers had developed a breezy aperture somewhere in the inside leg department. It being far too warm to don the waterproofs, and acutely wary of exposing myself which would be very un-Captainly, I walked the rest of the round with thighs firmly together at all times. Curiously this seemed to improve my swing, and a decent putt on the last allowed me to forget all about losing to the same nett score back on the 4th. Another good away day this year, thank you to Jane and Pearl the Dog for their company.

Stowmarket GC was in pretty good nick as was Bungay the following day, where I found life easier in a different pair of trousers accompanying my good pals Gerald Powell and Dave Axe Man Wheeldon to the team prize on the day. The Captain's Curse has almost lifted, I'm thoroughly enjoying golf again (when my back works) but it's going to be very strange not being “Skipper” any more after the AGM. I'm really looking forward to John's year and seeing how he goes about things, and I apologise unreservedly in advance if I absent-mindedly go and park in his space after January 21st. Boxing Day turned out to be another glorious sunny winter day, and although you might think at first glance this is Ali G endorsing our new tee furniture, look more closely and you can see it's my banana-brained friend Jayson goofing around as usual.

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I can't remember falling out with him for a considerable while now which suggests we might actually be maturing in our respective dotages.

Although my Captaincy year continues for a few more days yet, I think we should conclude these blogs with our Club New Year's Eve Party, as it seems suitable to leave 2017 to Mr John Butler Esq. And so it was that a full house of us gathered in our clubhouse on Saturday to wave goodbye to this most curious of years.

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There was booze, there was laughter aplenty, there was great food and there really ought to have been a caption competition.

The dance floor was consistently full and Dad dancing seemed to be the order of the day. We enjoyed Sarah's excellent room quiz and then let our food slowly digest during the 3-hour hiatus whilst she read out the answers. Our year finished with an impressive firework display courtesy of Steve, and the whole evening sums up where we are at the moment in the clubhouse – warm, friendly and well-run. Thank you again to Steve and Karen and their team for putting together another first-class evening for all of us.

And so my friends I raise a glass to 2017, and time for us to genuflect before John Butler and Monica Dorrington. May I wish them both every bit as much fun and fortune as I've been lucky enough to enjoy this past twelve months. The changes to the 11th and 14th holes will present serious tests of our golfing ability, there'll be some great times to look forward to with the entertainment programme, and I trust we will continue to see our Club thriving and moving in the right direction.

This has been your Captain speaking, thank you for all your kind words and support, over and out.