By Dave Bruce
OF course, in lockdown, most of us are just waiting for Boris to fire the “Shotgun” and let us get back on our beautiful course again.
All we can do, at the moment, is clean our irons and woods for the battles to come. However, three of us have been very busy in preparing for the year ahead. I refer, of course, to our three new captains for 2021 so I thought it would be a good idea to introduce them to our readers.
Ladies Section – Anne Jarvis
“I first played golf in 1999 while on holiday on the Island of Arran with an older friend who was a keen golfer. I was familiar with playing sports, which involved a moving ball and found it surprisingly difficult to hit a stationary one. And that was it until 2014.
“My main interest in visiting Scotland since 1986 has been to participate in the obsession of ‘Munro Bagging’. To date I have ticked off 252 peaks over 3,000 feet, but still have more to complete. Visits to Scotland have been less frequent since moving from Wetherby in Yorkshire to Colyford in 2011 following my marriage to a long-time friend unexpectedly widowed.
“My husband, whose main sport has been cricket, had also played golf as a member at Okehampton and suggested I took up golf so we could play together. And so in 2014 we joined Axe Cliff. The Lady Members at Axe Cliff were very welcoming and very patient, and with the help of now retired professional coach Andrew Thompson, my game has gradually improved.
“I was honoured to be nominated as Lady Captain for this year. We have a small, but very committed Ladies Section and COVID permitting will take part in county competitions as well as our weekly programme.
“My hope for the future of our club is that more ladies will join our friendly group to play our interesting and scenic course. Having taken up golf on retirement, I would encourage younger people to consider having golf lessons as an investment for the future. A good swing at an early age is never forgotten and would help enjoyment of this challenging and technique sensitive sport, which, if dropped, can be taken up again and continued well into advancing years. A social pastime that has been proven to contribute to good health and general well-being.
Men’s Section – Andy Jeffery
Dave Bruce writes: I am delighted to introduce Andy Jeffrey as our young new Men’s Captain. He and Phil Hellier are, in my opinion, the mainstay of our club staff with numerous duties of looking after, the bar, the course and helping the Seniors sign in for their competitions on our new computer and taking green fees from the many visitors that we are pleased to have. They both also help with the Pro Shop which offers a wide choice of clothes, shoes and golf accessories.
Andy has earned everyone’s respect and thanks for his friendliness and helpful attitude to all. Nothing appears too much trouble for him and he can turn his hand to cooking when required and makes a mean beef burger I can tell you, washed down with a perfect coffee, what I have enjoyed over the past few years.
He has lived in Seaton all his life and took up golf in his early teens at Axe Cliff. I am told that after taking a few years out to go to University he ended up working in Plymouth where he met his lovely wife Beth. They wanted to return to Seaton and, thank goodness, Phil recommended him to our manager, Simon Wellington, who was delighted and smart enough to offer him his present role and welcome him to his small team at Axe Cliff.
He is very much looking forward to his captaincy and with young Harvey Gibbons, as his Vice, they are going to make a formidable team. Judging by his photo, standing up to make a speech should be a doddle for him.
His highlight at playing at Axe was when he captianed our B team which won the East Devon Shield and he hopes they will be allowed to defend that this year. He does, however, have to put up with Phil reminding him, in good humour, that he lost his second round Handicap knock-out match to Phil last year by an amazing 10 and 8. However, Phil I am certain that was because he felt sorry for you with your awful foot injury that we won’t mention.
Andy is very much looking forward to his undoubted challenge this year and is well equipped to handle it. Good luck Andy.
Seniors – John Hanna
We were all delighted that John Hanna had agreed to be our new Ccaptain this year. In his own words :
“I joined Axe Cliff Golf Club just after we moved from Buckinghamshire 12 years ago, on January6th, in deep snow. Having just retired, I had only started to play golf a few weeks before moving. That thing called work was always in the way!
“Dave Sammons and I put many courses to the test and then came Axe Cliff.Having been turned down by a couple of clubs, due to not having a handicap, Dave Quinn, Axe Cliff’s manager at the time, said: ‘Come and play, that way, we’ll get you a handicap.’ It was Seniors’ Roll-Up Day and I was given thewarmest welcome. Concerned that my standard of play was not good enough, I kept apologising but was told by all, to stop worrying and just enjoy the game.“Appreciating the course and then the views, I was completely smitten. I
looked down the valley from the fourth tee, gazed across the course from the seventh tee, stared from the sixteenth – I could go on…
“The camaraderie of the quiz nights! How will we get through winter without them? The Variety Show, Burns’ Night and being part of the choir. What fun we had at rehearsals, with our leader, Rob Grove, keeping us in harmony. I loved taking part and feeling the buzz when the audience joined in with us.
“I am hoping that Dominic The Italian Christmas Donkey may be asked back sometime. Then there was ‘Stars in Their Eyes’. Another great evening, arranged by Rob and Barbara who encouraged us all to have a go.The golf improved a little and I enjoyed being part of the teams for the Friendly Matches and Emerton Court Games, where we encouraged each other todo our best.
“Being asked by Rob Grove to be his vice-captain last year, I decided that having gained so much from the Seniors’ Group and the club, I hoped I would be able to offer something to the group. What a shame last year was as it was but with Rob’s guidance, we came through.
“Now, as I step up to be Seniors’ Captain, it is with a great deal of trepidation but it is what it is. The most important thing is that we all stay fit and well. That way we will be able to continue playing golf.
I look forward to being Captain and with a great committee behind me, we will do our best.
“My most important aim is, that during my year, the Seniors will enjoy their golf ”
I am sure that I speak for all the members in wishing Anne, Andy and John every success and happiness and good health throughout 2021 and we will, as always, give them our full support. We very much look forward to welcoming them on our traditional Captains’ Drive-In planned, hopefully, for Sunday, April 10th.