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I hope, like me, you are looking forward to getting back onto the course and enjoying the challenges that both Hawkshill & Swailend offer.

I didn’t venture out too often during the winter months, but well done to all who did. The Winter League drew to a conclusion and it’s still one of the “toughest” trophies to get your hands on. I say that because no matter your golfing capability, over the different months you will be battling almost every weather condition the season can throw at you.

Hopefully this year the focus can be on the course and not off it. I know that the greens staff have been working hard to get the course ready for the start of the season. With new equipment arriving imminently I’m sure there will be improvements both functionally and aesthetically. We just need to hope that similar downpours like last year are few and far between.

Our season kicks off on the 25th March with the annual Captain v Vice Captain Challenge match & our Junior Convener, Gordon Forbes, will be stepping into the breach to assist me throughout the year in in the role of Vice Captain.
For the first time in years our Junior section is looking healthy and numbers are increasing again. I urge all our members to welcome the new blood into the club; it's refreshing to see the enthusiasm building within their ranks. We have added a new date into the calendar for the 26th March where again I will be taking on Gordon in the first an Adult / Junior Greensomes season opener over 9 holes. The sign up sheets for both are up in the hallway of the clubhouse and I look forward to a healthy turnout for both.

One disappointment with regard to the courses has been the regular comments about the number of unrepaired divots and pitch marks on greens. Can I remind members that it only takes a few seconds to repair them and it is our responsibility to repair own pitch marks.

Another disappointment on Medal days is the speed of play at times. I would welcome all members to promote ‘Ready Golf’ when playing. I see from the new R&A proposal that searching times for balls could be reduced to 3 minutes - hopefully, a consideration point when looking at the levels of rough on the course.

Please also remember that nobody wants to play slowly, so again please show courtesy, as hounding the group in front to speed up or get past will only cause animosity.
Our Pro shop staff - Andrew, Greg & Calvin - are replenishing stock for the new season. These guys are the forward face of the club for members & guests, are a very important part of the golfing experience and are always happy to pass on their knowledge and tips.

I am looking forward to working on both the Management and Golf committees this year. Hopefully together we can renew the positive drive & energy that the club has desperately needed.

May I take this opportunity to wish all of the members, old and new, and all of the teams that will represent the club, every success in competition this year. I hope that it again proves to be a successful year for all involved with the club. I hope that you all manage to play to your full potential and that you enjoy not just your golf but also meeting and playing with old and new faces alike.

Finally, I hope you all have set yourself a golfing challenge for this season and wish you all the best for 2017.
Ian Grimmer
Club Captain
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Ian Grimmer, Newmachar Golf Club captain


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