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Captains Newsletter: April

April has seen the continued relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and with it a slow return to a new normal. We have been blessed with some recent good weather that has allowed the green keepers to make good progress with their planned course maintenance work on the greens. Importantly for our stomachs, Hayley is back doing outside catering. Typically, my first bacon bap and coffee were consumed sat under an umbrella in the rain!

With the return of fourballs, we are able to re-start qualifying competitions under the new World Handicap System (WHS). I’m looking forward to seeing how the new system works in practice. Early indications, from my own experience, is that handicaps move quickly, not necessarily in the right direction!

Our first qualifying competition for the men, off white tees, was the Welsh Golfing Union (WGU) Handicap Team Qualifier. Thanks to all those who participated. You will be pleased to learn that more than 40 members played in this competition, as a consequence, we are able to enter two teams of four into the regional final. The top two teams from the regional final qualify for the national final to be held at Celtic Manor. I do not have details of the venue and date of the regional final at this time. Therefore, subject to availability, the two teams are as follows:

Team 1: Gareth Roberts, Kevin Jones, Daniel Goodall, Terance Bull
Team 2: Richard Collier, Jonathan Falcus, Stephen Jones, Justin Bull

A polite request from our Hon. Treasurer & Lady Captain Christine. When making an electronic payment into the members bank account, please ensure you use the payment reference to indicate the purpose of the payment. If the space provided for the reference is too small to make a clear abbreviation of the payment purpose, then please email Christine with an explanation (

All members should have received a message from management about membership fees being due for payment. Similarly, membership levies for those who wish to hold an official handicap are also due from 1st May. However, Covid-19 has complicated matters. Wales Golf have delayed payment and the DGU are not collecting levies this year. What this means is that those members who held a club handicap for the 2020 season will only need to pay the £15 club levy. Those members who are new to the club, or existing members who did not have a handicap in the 2020 season but now wish to obtain one, will need to pay £30. All payments should be made into the members bank account, preferably via bank transfer. For those members who do not have online banking facilities please leave a cheque for the appropriate amount in an envelope, marked for the attention of Christine Evans, at golf reception.

Banking details as follows:
Account name: Clays Golf Club
Sort code: 40-47-26
Account No.42557584
Ref: Levies

I am pleased to announce the election of a new Hon. Secretary Shan Shapley. Shan will join the Club Council at the end of this month. Also, congratulations to Shan for winning the Ladies Challenge Bowl for the second year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our previous Hon. Secretary, Dave Riley for his contribution to the club over many years. Dave has held a number of positions on the Club Council including Club Captain. Unfortunately for us, Dave has decided to take a break from golf and focus on other hobbies. Hopefully, we will see Dave back at our club in the not-too-distant future.

Finally, it is nearly time for the Captains Drive In. Normally, this is the first event of the season, but we are not living in normal times. Therefore, the competition will take place on Saturday 22nd May. There will be a get together of some description on the first tee at 9.30am followed by a shotgun start at 10.00. A sign-up sheet has been placed on the notice board in the foyer of the clubhouse. Final arrangement for the day will be sent out a few days prior to the competition.

Enjoy your golf and stay safe.

Dave Palferman
Captain 2021