On the 29th of September, following a day of heavy showers, we woke to glorious sunshine for our last event of this year: in fact, of Rosalie’s presidency and my captaincy. And suddenly from feeling through 18 months of the pandemic that it seemed to be going on forever, the golfing calendar for the year was completed!
80 ladies signed in to support Rosalie on her day and there was a great atmosphere all the way through from registration at 8.30 to prizegiving after our lovely dinner. The course looked absolutely beautiful and certainly was challenging too. (I had the privilege of being able to take part myself, as Rosalie, with the help of Bernie and Rita from the committee, and a gang of helpers from her friends at Winter Hill, took care of the day.)

In line with most of my reports, I find myself unable to give you a riveting account of any sporting details but feel that the glittering Thames gently meandering past us in the distance and the deep blue sky punctuated with puffs of (for once) benign cloud deserve a mention. In this beautiful setting on Winter Hill, the mood of the day was positively joyous, and full of good humour and camaraderie. At long last, just a “normal” ladies’ golfing day out!!
And now for the inevitable personal anecdote … While my playing partners, County President, Margaret Berriman, my Vice Mary Lush & Lovely Player, Judy Crawley managed some very tidy (and at times exhibition) golf, mine was pretty much defined by two events at either end of the game. Waiting to tee off on the 1st, I realised that my little bag of essentials: tees, markers, pencil, pitchmark repairer etc hadn’t made it, and so ensued a panic run back to the car only to find it was not there either. Luckily my back-up team rallied with replacements for me and off we went, just on time. (Now gloss over the next 16 holes) On the 18th, having gone slightly left with my drive, I thought I’d have another go with my unused mulligan and though aiming squarely at the centre of the fairway, managed somehow to lose my ball in the gorse copse (even further left ), so had to abandon it completely AND pick up my perfectly playable first attempt.

Clearly, most of the ladies were far more competent than me as some good scores came in to pick up quite an array of 18 prizes, all beautifully presented by Rosalie. Talking of presentation, how fabulous were the flower arrangements and table decorations, expertly crafted by Sherry Smith. A very big thank you to everyone who made the day happen – especially Rosalie who made all the arrangements with Winter Hill and the Committee who coped so well with the huge field and the complications of getting the prize-winners right. I can understand that the competitors might have felt it was a long day but, believe me, the ‘workers’ started much earlier and then finished later!
The winners of the Wenham Salvers were: Div. 1: Judith Castle from Castle Royle with 34 points and Div. 2: Ruth Cassidy from Hennerton with 37 points.
Runners up were: Div. 1 Nikki Ochtman also with 34 points (on CB from Debbie Webb, both from Castle Royle), and Div. 2: Cilla Osgood from Newbury & Crookham with 35 points.
Judy Jones from Castle Royle won the Dorothy Gunnersen Trophy, which goes to the highest score from a Captain of the Society. We were delighted that Dorothy was able to attend to present her trophy, especially as she had been involved in a minor car accident along the way which considerably delayed her arrival. What a lady – over 90 and remarkably unperturbed by it all, just happy that she hadn’t missed her meal!

Rosalie, for her President’s Day, decided to ‘spread the love’ by awarding prizes drawn at random for three players who had not already received a prize. The lucky recipients were Maggie Pearce, Glynis Ormsby and Barbara Salisbury. She also presented a personal gift to her good friend, Barbara Langdale in recognition of her support and also her service to the Society over the years.
Finally, I’d like to reiterate my thanks to all you lovely ladies for supporting our events and matches this year and I hope that I’ll see you again at our final bash at the AGM on the 16th of March next year at Sand Martins.

Babs Shanks