Captains Corner

April 2016

Hi Gents at last back to normality after all the doubts in our minds at the end of March and early April about the dates given for the course and club house being remady in time for our Presentation night on the 27th APRIL.

We were promised we would we have 18 holes open for the 25th and that we would be in the Club house for our Annual Dinner and Presentation Night on the 27th April. I am not sure how they did it but amazingly they did !! THANKS must go to all concerned,not just to the contractors but to Alister and Julie,the Geenkeeping staff and Club house staff for all the work put in to get us in on time.

We had a wonderful turnout for the night with 49 Mallards and guests enjoying a wonderful meal followed by the Presentations to the worthy winners of all competitions thoughout the Year. A good night was enjoyed by all.

We had 6 competitions in April with a totalof 223 Mallards playing and 11 two’s recorded plus a good share of winners across the month,so keep on turning out .

We have a new trophy for the first time to the winner of the most Two’s for the year and will be presented at next years Presentation night. This has been kindly offered by David Langley and is a very handsome Presentation Putter.

To End with Paddy and Mick on the course. Paddy say’s to Mick .Do You Think i Can Get There with a 5 Iron Paddy ? . Mick Replies EVENTUALLY !!!!!



March 2016

Welcome to a New Golfing Year and back to some form of normality with the improving conditions on our Golf Course. As you are no doubt awarethere has been a remarkable amount of work involved with getting the Eden course cleared of an amazing amount of flood debrie and the improvements can be clearly seen. The changes to the 3RD HOLE AND THE 9TH has altered these holes considerably and look quiet a challange for us when they come into play again

I would like to thank you all who turned out for my Captains Drive IN. The weather conditions were perfect and made it a day out of the blue after what had gone befoe.It was great to see such a large turnout,48 Mallards played and enjoyed a good 4BBB competition,kindly allowing the Captains team to win by one match.Please gentlemen keep turning up in soch numbers and i will do my upmost to keep providing great conditions with appealsto the Big Golfer in the Sky.

Remember our Annual Dinner and Presentation Night on Weds 27th April is coming,the Invitations willbe out in the next few days now the the evening has been given the go ahead in the Club House.This will be a good night out and the more the merrier,please enter your your meal choice on the sheet when put on Notice board.

Thank you all for your encouragment to me since becoming your captainand also to Guy and a great commitee I hope we all have a good years golf and maintain the high standards that the Mallards are known for .




December 2015

Little did I realise when I wrote in last month’s Captain’s Corner "winter’s arrived with a vengeance" that it would turn out to be so bad. It’s hard to believe that Thursday 3rd December was the last competition we were able to play. What as turnout though – 42 players!

The latest update from Alistair and Julie (29/12/15) seems quite promising so hopefully we’ll will at least be able to get together for a few holes and a coffee.

I’d like to offer a huge thanks to all those who turned out to help with the clearing. These evolved into a bit of a social lunch break. Watch out for sales of used golf balls – you might well be buying your own back; going by the number washed up on to the course.

Thanks to Sandy for updating on the website. As soon as we have more positive news about when things are starting up we can look to have some informal competitions. Watch this space.

It only remains for me to wish you all a very happy new year and for those affected by the floods a swift return to normality.

And finally, knowing that you will all be out diligently practising your golf swings ready for the return to playing: there are two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands 1, how many hands you have and 2, which one is wearing the glove.



November 2015

Well – winter’s arrived with a vengeance. After weeks of good autumn golfing weather the later November games have been quite badly affected. However going by recent turnouts for the competitions no-one is being put off. There will always be a fine day soon.

The month started with the ladies/mallards mixed event, delayed from October. This was again a success with encouraging support from everyone.

Despite the cancelled and postponed games the Mallards have had a number of successful results around the region. Peter Hudson and John Roberson won the Pairs Open at Carus Green on Sat 7th Nov with a score of 42 points. This qualifies them for the final next April. In the Cumbria Alliance seniors, Brian Richardson and Bill Anson came 3rd with 40 points at Eden on 4th November and 2nd at Carus Green with 48!!! points on a freezing 23rd November. This only qualifies them for a shed load of prize money. Congratulations to you all for flying the flag for Eden Mallards.

You will all be aware now that we are experimenting with signing-in for matches in the clubhouse. It will be reviewed next year to see if it is working for all concerned.

Christmas Cracker Monday 14th December- This looks to be one of our largest competition turnouts of the season. If you want to play make sure you get your name on the list and choose your meal (£12 for the lot – excellent value). As usual loads of prizes.

This will be my last Captain’s corner before 2016 (where has the year gone??) So I want to wish all the Mallards and their families and very Happy Christmas and New Year.

And Finally –
Don’t even think about playing golf on Christmas Day.
With your new white driver unwrapped, the thought of an empty golf course on Christmas Day may be a tempting one. On the list of "things you should never, ever do", playing golf on Christmas Day is not that far behind planning a golf trip on your wedding anniversary.
Banish the thought immediately, put the driver in the bag and focus on carving up the turkey. You, your family and your future will be better for it.



October 2015

So that’s the busy summer season over – how quickly the time went.

Hearty congratulations to the Finals winners; Medal – Bill Anson and Stableford – Peter Hudson. The order of merit was a close run thing but finally won by Brian Richardson, well done Brian.

The End of Season competition was well supported, thank you to all who entered, with the Past Captain’s team carrying the day.

The Winter fixtures are now fully underway with the entry sheet filled for most competitions. Seriously good scores are being recorded especially considering we’re not on the shortened winter course yet.

The end of season away day to Brancepeth Castle seemed to go down well. Players’ recovery rate appeared to be quite swift. Scores were low but spirits were high.

Poppy Appeal Honour Walk – most of you will have seen the note on the board, but I would just like to pass on Isobel’s thanks to those of you who supported her with sponsorship. The fine sum of £800 was raised.

Mallards/Ladies mixed event – team sheets and start times will be posted on the notice board on Monday 2 November.

During the Autumn leaf fall, without preaching to the converted, may I suggest that when a ball goes into or near the woods a provisional ball is played. It will save a lot of time.

And Finally It’s a simple matter to keep your ball in the fairway if you’re not too choosy about which fairway. However, the harder you try to keep your ball from landing in a particular place, the more certain it is that it will go there.!



September 2015

May the excellent weather continue, having given us such great conditions for golf this month.

Matches – Three good results this month with wins against Powfoot and Maryport away and Kirkcudbright at home. A successful season of matches all round this year having won 8 and only lost 3. Well done to all those who represented Eden Mallards in the teams.

Semi-circular Competition – The final round of this competition was played when we were away for the match at Powfoot. Although no prize money was collected (big confusion created at the start) results were handed in and we have an overall winner for the Order of Merit – namely Ted Coles with 26 points. Well played Ted!

End of Season Competition Thursday 8th October – Team lists are up and looks to be a great turnout. Please pay your £6.00 when you sign in on the day. Make sure you order your meal on the sheet on the notice board.

Brancepeth Castle Away Day – The list is up with all those entered to play. May I remind all to get their payment to me by Friday 9th October – £29.
Will players please arrange their own transport to arrive in good time for coffee and bacon roll. The first tee off is 11:00hrs. Playing groups will be available on arrival.
The competition will be an individual stableford with a mystery team. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and a pot for 2’s. This is part of the entry fee of £29.

Mallards/Ladies Mixed Event – Please note that this has been rearranged for Tuesday 3rd November. An entry form will be posted nearer the date.

Sunday 25th October – The Club presentation day will be on this Sunday comprising a shotgun start texas scramble competition followed by prize giving and meal. Mallards will be presenting a number of our trophies at this event (winners will be notified who they are). Please see the Gents section notice board for the entry form for this event. All are welcome to enter, including 5-day members. NOTE – this will not replace our Annual dinner and presentation night which is on 6th April 2016.

Winter League – The draw for the winter league will be posted by Monday 5th October ready for the first round. Good luck to all who have entered.

Mallards ties – There are still ties available if you haven’t already been "collared" by Jim Cruddas.

And Finally – The most difficult lie in golf is a ball sitting up in the dead centre of a fairway 150 yards from the hole!



August 2015

Autumn must be arriving with the heavy dew on the course for the early starters; a god test for judging the pace of the greens as they dry out.

The course is in superb condition and has been greatly appreciated by the visiting teams for the two home matches we had this month. Both of which we won against Maryport and Penrith.
Many thanks, yet again, to the Greenstaff.
The fixture list shows just two more matches this year – Kirkcudbright at home and Powfoot away. However we have an additional away fixture against Maryport on Wednesday 9th September. They were very keen for us to make the return visit, so let’s see how it goes.

It is good to see Ian Castle back in the swing of things after his knee job, welcome back to golf.

The Ralph Ramsden trophy was won by one of our new members, Peter Milnes – well done Peter.
The Nations trophy was one by the Celts. However, as you will have seen in the report, it was a tie at the end of the competition and there had to be a play off. This took the form of each captain, David Wrightson for the English and Gilmour McKellar for the Celts, chipping and putting from the drop zone at the 18th hole, between the path and the pond. It was an extremely close run thing as Gilmour won with a "birdie 4". After all it is a par 5 – someone needs to tell them that’s from the tee. Well done the Celts!

We’re pleased to welcome two new members to the Mallards this month. Although long standing members of the club, after much arm twisting James Murrell and Dennis Pearson have joined us with James nearly getting in the prizes on his first competition.

WINTER LEAGUE – as mentioned last month the dates for the winter fixtures are now on the notice board with the Winter League days highlighted in green. The entry sheet with the rules will be put up in good time for everyone to enter. We understand it might be that some people cannot play every match. However by posting the dates entrants can plan their diaries better.

Please look out later in the month when the entry form for the end of season Captain v Vice Capt v Past Capt competition on the 8th October will be posted.

End of Season Away day at Brancepeth Castle on 14th October – do not be put off by the numbers having gone over 20. I expect to get extra places, so if you still want to go please put your name on the list. I’ll close entries on Thursday 24th September.

An finally – The score a player reports on any hole should always be regarded as his opening offer!



July 2015

Where are the month’s going!!? Clearly the more golf is played, quicker time flies. Just a pity that the medal on the 13th was rained off, even though those who waited got a game.

I was able to feature the Captain’s day in last month’s "corner". However there was the Big One on the 15th July, namely the Seniors Open. Congratulations to David Wrightson on a fantastic turnout of 97 teams and well organised event for his first go at running it. Thanks to David Slater in supporting him through the handover and all those who helped out on the day. Margaret certainly made everyone aware when next year’s comp was being held. I’m sure Sandy enjoyed being on traffic duty with the starter’s clipboard, must have seemed like old times. When I wrote last month
"Good luck to all who enter. Lets try and beat some of the visiting bandits."; little did I expect the actual outcome. Three Eden teams in the prizes, I’ll say no more about the victors!!

Match results against other clubs have been going well. The exact turnaround result against Workington rectifying our loss away. We now have a run of Home matches.

There seems to be plenty of participation in the 9-hole comps. Steve Harrison has managed to set the computer up for the the front nine of the Eden course to score accurate handicap calculations/adjustments.

Winter League – George Bullamore is in the process of setting this up; watch out for the entry forms on the board. The dates for the games will be published at the same time. I would encourage players to ensure they can make the dates to play before entering so we don’t have the problems of previous years when only one player turns up. It is a pairs comp after all.

!8th Hole – may I ask your cooperation in an experiment to see if we can speed up play on to the 18th green. Would players leave the 18th from behind the green and return in front of the clubhouse. Hopefully this will avoid people waiting for players to walk back to the path before playing shots into the green. I know some already do this and it is actually a quicker route.

Mallards Ties – these have now arrived. Jim Cruddas has ties for those who said they would be interested buying. GOOD News; they will be £10 each, not the £12.50 originally mentioned. Hurry while stocks last!!!

Finally – Hazards attract; fairways repel. The harder you try to keep your ball from landing in a particular place, the more certain it is that it will land there.



June 2015

As I write this month I am couple of days behind and we have just played the Captain’s Day Competition. My impression is that everyone had a good time and enjoyed the day. Particularly as there were plenty of individual prizes on hand. Congratulations go to Brian Richardson as the individual stableford winner, and recipient of the "Slippery Frog". He also was the only person to get a 2. Thanks to all for supporting the 2’s prize which raised £41 to Eden Valley Hospice.

The putting comp winner was Sandy Thorburn scoring, unusually, on each hole – albeit there were only nine. A different set-up which I think all thought was a bit of fun. The team winners with a magnificent 90 points were Jim Fihelebon, Cyril Hankey, Douglas Pringle and Brian McLauchlan. As Captain I have to say I had great fun organising the event.

Lastly a special thanks to my wife, Isobel, and Margaret Wrightson for laying on a scrumptious half-way house.

Eden seems to have been well represented at club senior Opens this month. At last count I believe there were 11 of as at Carus Green on 30th June. Meanwhile Malcolm Pearson (Mallard) and his playing partner John Glendinning (Eden member) won the Senior Open at Newcastle United Golf Club recently with 46 points. Great result.

A bit of news on members. Good to see Ian Castle up and about following his knee job. John Hughes kindly dragged himself in today, with his recovering knee, to referee the putting competition – was he needed!! Jim Samuel has finallygot to Newcastle for his heart operation, we all wish him well and finally the surprise news that Ian Melrose had to go into hospital on Wednesday. Again we hope he gets back to full health soon.

After the feedback from players in the Captain’s comp I must mention what good condition the course is in. It was really well presented. I wouldn’t mind having a go on one of the "green irons" Racing around sideways on one of those seems great fun.

Next big event is the Eden Seniors Open on Wednesday 15th July. Good luck to all who enter. Lets try and beat some of the visiting bandits.

And finally – If you want to hit a 7-iron as far as John Daly does, simply play to lay up just short of a water hazard. (Or ask your Captain to look behind Brain Richardson’s car in the car park)!!



May 2015

May seems to have flown by, maybe because I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. All I can say is that I much prefer the Swans of Eden looking on, while I play my shots, than the alligators we had to deal with at Myrtle Beach.

There has been some tremendous scoring in the competitions during the month with handicaps suitably adjusted. Net 62 indeed Mr Ruddick – great golf.

Thanks to Jim Cruddas for standing in whilst I was away.

The results for the team matches have turned round with a resounding 8-0 victory over Powfoot at home and a 6-2 win against Penrith away. Well done to all who played. As I mentioned on the sheet a few weeks ago we are getting oversubscribed with entries for these matches so I might need to ask people to be reserves to give others a chance to play.

Congratulations to George Bullamore for taking 1st place in Division 1 of the Dumfries and Galloway seniors Open on 14th May.

June is set to be a busy month with the Away Day to Bedlingtonshire golf club on the 3rd and 3 matches one home a two away, besides the Alec McPhee trophy over two rounds.

I’d just like to put an early word in about the captain’s day on 2nd July. There might be some surprises. It will be great to have as many of you enter as possible.

And finally – When you look up and cause an awful shot, you will look down again at exactly the moment you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.



April 2015

Well April’s been busy month, in more ways than one.

All competitions were played with excellent numbers turning out – thank you weather. We also had our first 9-hole competition on the 9th April with 24 entries, while the away match at Kirkcudbright was being played. A really good start for this new competition.

April saw the start of Mallards representing us at various Open competitions around and about. Congratulations to George Bullamore and Sandy Thorburn on taking 2nd place in the Powfoot Gents 4BBB Open on the 11th April. Please let me know when you’re playing these comps and your results. It’s nice to let everyone know of our/your successes.

Thanks to everyone for supporting the table-top equipment sale on the 11/12th April. There was a splendid response. From all the sales the money was divided between the nominated charities. I was pleased to present a cheque to the Eden Valley Hospice last Wednesday for £84 on behalf of the Mallards. Special thanks to Jim Cruddas and David Wrightson for helping to “man that stand”. Beware of Jim’s sales technique – it’s formidable.

We were all taken back at the news of Allan Benson’s passing. As a long standing member of Eden Golf Club and the Mallards he became a friend to many of us. Certainly all who met him couldn’t fail to have respect for him and what he has done for the Club. He will be sadly missed.

Just as George has got back from his op, he goes and has a turn on the 18th last week. We all wish him a speedy recovery and return to golf. When I spoke to him I did say it was good to hear he was out of the woods – but it wouldn’t count as a “Bullamore”

Looking forward, the Away Day will soon be upon us. Please will everyone playing make payment by Friday 29th May at the very latest. This is a change from the previous date I gave of Wed 27th as there is an away match that day. Last entries will also be on May 29th. I am on holiday from 9th May returning 25th May so I’m sure Jim Cruddas or David Wrightson will be happy to take your money.

The home match against Penrith (postponed from the 27th April) has been rearranged for Wednesday 5th August. An entry form will be posted in the usual way nearer the date.

If you haven’t been on Hadrian’s now it’s open I would recommend it. Whilst there is still work-in-progress it is looking good and plays well.

And finally – If you seem to be hitting your shots straight on the driving range, it’s probably because you’re not aiming at anything!!



March 2015

Well here we go, new captain and a new golfing year. I should start by saying that I feel privileged to be Captain of the Mallards and will do my best to live up to the reputation of my predecessors. As you will all be aware the section is very well organised and that is down to our well established committee. My thanks to them for their help in these early days. In particular to David Wrightson as outgoing Captain. We wish him well for a speedy recovery. I’m still not sure about the cause of his back problem but I do know he put a heck of an effort into his 50 point win in January followed by his win in the final competition of the season.

Many thanks to all those who turned out for my drive-in. I’m definitely going to have to consider getting a hickory shaft driver for the first tee. One of my best drives all winter!

Although the weather has been a bit touch-and-go we’ve been able to play all the March games with excellent numbers participating. Long may it continue.

It’s good to see so many new members. Welcome to you all and enjoy your golfing with the Mallards.

Whilst I don’t plan on reporting results in the “Corner”, as this is so ably done after each competition by Sandy, I must congratulate Jim Cruddas on winning the Winter Snowball. Well done Jim!

Hopefully George Bullamore will be back with us fully recovered. Talking of Bullamore’s – there have only been a few recorded so far this season. Don’t forget to mark them on the card for individual comps.

There is a good response to invites for the Annual Dinner and Presentation night on Wednesday 8th April. If you haven’t already replied please let me or David Slater know asap. It will be great to see as many of you there as possible.

Finally – A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent’s luck.



February 2015

Well another wet month, but we have been able to see some games played and the Greensome competition concluded. We offer our congratulations to George Bullamore and John Ross who were victors in the Greensome. Commiserations to Brian Richardson and Alan Nixon who had to settle for 2nd place.

The Winter Snowball in being keenly fought over and is still up for grabs, so those in contention keep trying all is not yet lost. As for the rest of us enjoy the rest of the winter seasons games.

One of the satisfactions of the year has been tackling the garden area near the 5th tee.

This involved a lot of heavy work and I must give a huge thanks to all who helped with the digging and planting, also to those who contributed plants. I hope you will all enjoy seeing the fruits of our labours and watching the garden bloom over the year.

The time has come to say cheerio as captain. Thank you for your support over the year and I know you will give our new captain the same commitment you gave me. I hope you all have a wonderful summer season.

Before I finish I must remind you all that our AGM is on Tuesday 10th March at 7 pm, so please make an effort to attend as it is your opportunity to have a say about any aspect of the section.

I found this poem which I think you will like.



In my hand I hold a ball,                                                        But my desires the ball refuses

white and dimpled and rather small.                                    And does exactly as it chooses.

Oh how bland it does appear,                                                It hooks and slices, dribbles and dies,

this harmless looking little sphere.                         And disappears before my eyes.

By it’s size I could not guess                                                Often it will have a whim

the awesome strength it does possess.                                To hit a tree or take a swim.

But since I fell beneath it’s spell                                          With miles of grass on which to land

I’ve wandered through the fires of hell.                               It finds a tiny patch of sand.

My life has not been quite the same,                                   Then has me offering up my soul,

since I chose to play this stupid game.                                If only it would find the hole.

It rules my mind for hours on end,                          It’s made me whimper like a pup,

a fortune it has made me spend.                                           And swear that I will give it up.

It has made me curse and made me cry,                              And take to drink to ease my sorrow

and hate myself and want to die.                                          But that tiny ball knows

It promises me a thing called par,                                        I’LL BE BACK TOMORROW.

If I hit it straight and far.

To master such a tiny ball,

should not be very hard at all.


Thank you all once again for this opportunity to be your captain, it has been a wonderful experience and one I will not forget. Best wishes to all.