newFAIRWAY NEWS … IGC’s periodic journal
(Issue 4: May 22-June 10, 2019)
The crown jewel of our spring calendar is most certainly the IGC Spring Stay&Play … such has been the case for the last 29 years in a row … and for half of those years, we have driven the relatively short distance to the Côte d’Opâle. As in previous years, here we found the likes of the Dunes course at Hardelot, the revered Sea course of Le Touquet, the towering dune of Belle Dune (there are in fact more than one!), and the incomparable Wimereux … a coastal treasure where you feel your golf equipment is just not complete without a bucket and spade.
Initially I thought my Stay&Play write-up would focus on the “deeds of daring do” of another wonderfully international IGC gathering … with long-distance travellers from as far afield as Singapore and south Surrey! But, true to the full title of our great little club, the International Golf Club of Belgium, it was three Belgians who stole the show … Suzanne, Monique and Rodolphe. You can read more about their “daring deeds” and IGC’s wonderfully successful seaside trip to the Côte d’Opâle in the “afterword” (rather than foreward) to this newsletter. WORTHY WINNERS: of recent IGC competitions:
- Fri May 24 (Royal Sart Tilman): Winner: Richard Ginder (+7 vs par), on countback from Mark Adams; third was André Husheer (+10) on countback from Paul Meersman … a competitive start to this year’s Royal Trophy, followed by an excellent dinner on RST’s terrace.
- Sat May 25 (Rigenée): First: Barry McAlpine (39 pts); runner-up Per Aidemark (33 pts); third was Rodolphe Matossian (32 pts) … Barry conquered the elements; most others in the multitudinous turnout of 21 players, didn’t!
- Sun May 26 (La Bawette): First: Alvaro Lopez Garcia (37 pts); runner-up Colton Bangs (32 pts); third was Andy Sisk (25 pts) … well done Alvaro!
- Thur May 30 (Hardelot-Les Dunes): First: Monique Govaerts (36 pts); runner-up Rodolphe Matossian (35 pts); third was Lars-Ove Roos (34 pts) … on a dry and sunny start to this year’s Stay&Play in France.
- Fri May 31 (Belle Dune): First: Suzanne Butler (39 pts) on countback from Monique Govaerts; third Paul Meersman (34 pts) … continued Belgian domination on the second round of Stay&Play, with the barometer rising!
- Sat June 1 (Le Touquet-La Mer) (“IGC President’s Day”):First: Ged Boydell (38 pts); runner-up Barry McAlpine (37 pts); third was Suzanne Butler (36 pts) on countback from Andy Willson. Following this wonderfully sunny round on La Mer, we rolled-up for the …
- Stay&Play “President’s Putter” competition…the team of Mark Adams & Mark St Amour (37 putts), narrowly prevailed over the teams of Barry McAlpine & Lars-Ove Roos and Nigel Butler & Alastair Fyfe (38 putts) … a great little event, cunningly devised by our President, Rodolphe.
- Sun June 2 (Wimereux): First: Barry McAlpine (34 pts) on countback from Kees van de Jeugd; third was Mark Adams (32 pts) on countback from Nigel Butler … Barry not only won the day’s competition, but also ruthlessly knocked Mark St Amour out of this year’s match play competition by a margin of 6 and 4.
- Stay&Play 54-hole aggregate competition: an 18-hole playoff at Wimereux was needed to decide which of two Belgian ladies would win top honours at this year’s Stay&Play … both Suzanne Butler and Monique Govaerts finished their regulation three rounds with scores of 39, 36 and 33 points for a grand total of 108 points apiece. Accompanied around the course by their nail-biting spouses, Suzanne won the playoff (30 pts to 25) to become the overall 2019 Stay&Play winner, with Monique a very well-deserved runner-up. Completing a Belgian clean-sweep, Rodolphe Matossian was third in the 54-hole competition with 95 pts … but as sponsor, handed the third place honours to Alastair Fyfe (93 pts), who edged Paul Meersman on countback
- Sat June 1 (Empereur): First: Ronnie O’Connell (40 pts); runner-up Jed Royal (35 pts); third was Adrian O’Sullivan (32 pts) on countback from Thierry Ducarme … great round by Ronnie, and also by Ryan Romito who racked-up 53 pts in his handicap establishment round.
- Sun June 9 (Pierpont): First: Bill Purdue (net 74); runner-up Alessio Turli (net 77) on countback from Andy Sisk, on countback from Barry McAlpine. With Bill and Barry already qualified for the Monthly Medal final, Carlo Presenti (net 79) and Nigel Butler (net 80) were able to bag the two “spare” qualifying slots in this third of our six Monthly Medals.
UPCOMING EVENTS for your diary: …. plenty more fixtures in addition to these:
- Sat June 15: Rinkven … this long-standing IGC event is generously sponsored by Richard & Sandy Ginder. Our GF, based on a turnout of 20+, for this excellent European Tour course has been set at €60 (versus the regular rate of €100) … so please doesn’t hesitate to sign-up! [PS: happy 50th to Nick Compton on this day!].
- Sun June 30: Royal Hainaut … originally scheduled to be President’s Day, two impending hip operations will see Rodolphe out of golfing action for the rest of this year. “President’s Day” was therefore moved forward to the Saturday of the Spring Stay&Play in France, where it was combined with the “President’s Putter” competition. For those who missed out on the Stay&Play (and indeed for those who went) other big events for your diaries are just around the corner …
- Sat July 13: Empereur … is the venue for the Secretary’s Farewell Scramble and the chance to acknowledge Mark Adams’ huge contribution during his tenure in this key IGC role.
- Sun July 14: Royal Waterloo … after defeat in the inaugural match last year, we’ll need a strong team to take on the formidable resources of this very impressive “Royal”.
- Sun July 21: Pierpont … a week after Mark Adams’ Farewell Scramble we will turn our attention to Captain’s Day … one of the most popular and best attended events in our calendar.
PARISH NOTICES: what the world’s press is talking about:
- Combining match-play within IGC strokeplay events: many matches in the season-long IGC Match Play competition take place during regular scheduled IGC events. In the past, the “combatants” played their match play, but did not take part in the IGC “competition of the day” (typically a stableford event). Our captains, Barry and Alastair, have decided to allow match players ( … if both so choose) to also submit their cards on a strokeplay/stableford basis for inclusion in the regular IGC “competition of the day”. If such is the case, both players must remember to do three things:
– advise the ringmaster before they start, that their match play round will also qualify for the regular strokeplay/stableford event.
– putt out each hole, as required by the strokeplay/stableford competition … “no gimmees”.
– apply the rules of strokeplay competition regarding any penalties that may be incurred.
- AFG 2019 Snr Spring Challenge: Tommy Smith’s IGC/MUGS team recorded an excellent quarter-final win against Liège-Bernalmont on May 27 at Mont Garni, to progress into the semi-final of this prestigious Federation-sponsored competition.
- GDPR in IGC: as many will be aware, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation places obligations on organisations in the protection of personal data. Just to reiterate our previous assurances on this matter (and especially for the benefit of our new members), the personal data you have passed to IGC as a member of the club, will only be used for purely internal purposes, and will not be shared with any outside organisations. If you enter a Belgian Golf Federation competition, or interclub competition, only your name and golf handicap will be shared with the Federation or other club.
Perhaps for the first time in IGC Stay&Play history an 18-hole playoff was employed (rather than a 2011 style “putt-off”, or countback as in 2016) to decide the overall 54-hole Stay&Play winner .. and that playoff was contested by two Belgian ladies. After tieing on a very respectable 108 points apiece, Suzanne Butlerand Monique Govaerts battled it out on the fourth and final day at wonderful Wimereux. Suzanne emerged the winner.
Not to let the ladies take all the plaudits, it would be unpardonable not to mention their country fellow, Rodolphe Matossian, who came third overall in the 54-hole competition. Our esteemed President (who celebrated his nth birthday at Wimereux) also sponsored all the prizes for the weekend, and devised a thoroughly enjoyable putting competition (the “President’s Putter?”). This mischievously conceived competition required a lottery to establish the two-person teams, then a second lottery to determine whose putter you played with. In the competition itself, it was a case of top marksto the team of Messrs Adams and St Amour.
Turning (briefly) to matters medical ( … I know this bulletin could run to several pages if it included all IGC members’ afflictions and ailments), we wish our President every success with his upcoming hip operation(s). Forcing his “heart and nerve and sinew to serve his swing long after mine was gone”, Rodolphe produced a thoroughly deserved third place finish in the main event … but as sponsor, graciously bestowed the respective prizes on Alastair Fyfe.
And what of those “daring deeds of do?” Well, we discovered that Alastair Fyfe is something of a “nearest the pin-in-three” specialist, while Sarah James has a penchant for “nearest-in-two” prizes. We also learnt that Colton Bangs and Nick Compton enjoyed “misspent youths” … as the saying goes for those demonstrating prowess on the green baize. However, Alastair beat all comers … “the sign of a well-rounded education?”
When in Le Touquet they say, do as Les Touquet-onians do (or should that be -onions!). So, many thanks to Lars-Ove Roos for leading us seaward to platefuls of oysters … great choice. However, where did Mark St Amour pick-up his liking for whelks we all asked … only Colton was also tempted to give these snail-backed lumps of rubber a try … a coincidence that the next day we didn’t see too much of Colton?
Ever-able to facilitate reunions, this year’s IGC Stay&Play brought together some of the top players and former top players from the British & Commonwealth Women’s Golf Club of Brussels, namely Lynette Boydell, Debbie Wright and Sarah James.
Also contributing to the weekend’s camaraderie and joie de vivre we must not forget Kees van de Jeugd and his wife Kosei (whose game is being honed for a debut Stay&Play appearance next year?), Ged Boydell, Andrew Budd, “hopalong” Nigel Butler, and the unwaveringly youthful Mark James, Paul Meersman and Syd Wright. Also putting in a brief cameo appearance was Nick Compton… a quick visit on Saturday, but without time to retell his famed joke about a Golf Club Committee booking its next Stay&Play! More on that later … !
We shouldn’t forget that at the heart of this wonderfully enjoyable Stay&Play was a perfectly-paced itinerary … and that doesn’t happen by accident. The “one volunteer” (versus ten-pressed men) who picked-up the task of coordinating this year’s trip was Peter Mountain. Although not able to attend the S&P in person, Peter must be commended for tackling one or two glitches from our booking company (which cost Bill Purdue his place on the trip) … and which necessitated arranging some last minute Airbnb accommodation, which Andy Willson and Bernard Donck thought was none too shabby. It should also be noted that the accommodation, food and service at Le Manoir Hotel was as good as we’ve ever known it!
The final word ( … as is often the case!) must go to our esteemed Captain, Barry McAlpine, who kept the whole show on the road, jollied us along when needed, and even had time to bag a few prizes to boot!