In response to popular demand the author has decided to continue with his weekly article which may help to alleviate the boredom of those long winter nights and provide a very welcome alternative to Strictly Come Dancing.
It's interesting to note that the construction of the new clubhouse in 1953 did not lead to an influx of new members. By the end of 1956 the total membership was 213 which included only 117 full playing gentlemen members, 29 ladies and 22 juniors. The Club existed on an extremely tight budget and the Christmas Draw together with other social functions were introduced in order to improve the income stream. Difficult to comprehend when you consider that our current total membership is about 450 and rising, but at least waiting to tee off must have been less of a waiting game than in 2017. However, matters improved and by 1959 the total membership had grown to 300 and by 1961 had reached 382. There was a spirit of self help with George Frost of JW Titt & Co repairing and maintaining the club's machinery at very little cost. Don Lewis, a Frome farmer, sprayed the fairways and Jim Brindley inspired other members to assist him in painting the clubhouse. Indeed, the club would probably not have survived this difficult period without the voluntary contribution of members to keep the show on the road.
Looking further afield, let's now delve into the origins of the Stableford (not Stapleford as sometimes written in error) scoring system, a subject close to the hearts of all us twilight zone players. In 1898, as a member of Glamorganshire GC, Docter Frank Barney Gordon Stableford, created a scoring system to help golfers who were hindered by matters beyond their control. He served as a surgeon in The Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I and discovered on his return at the cessation of hostilities that his handicap had risen to 8. To counter this decline in performance, he returned to the Stableford scoring system he had devised earlier which stands unchanged to this day. Rather akin to the heavenly intervention experienced by Saint Paul on the road to Damascus, Doctor Stableford remarked, " I was practising at Wallasey GC one day in the latter part of 1931 when the thought occurred to me that many players in competitions got very little fun since they tore up their cards after playing only a few holes and I wondered if anything could be done about it." Speaking on behalf of all high handicappers, I think we owe Doctor Stableford a very real debt of gratitude. Peter Jacobsen (USA Team Player) wrote after losing the Ryder Cup at the Belfry in 1985....... losing the Ryder Cup did not bother me as much as the behaviour of the galleries, all that cheering when we missed shots, I've never seen anything like it before and especially from a British crowd. In similar vein, Sir Michael Bonallack remarked following the USA Ryder Cup win in 1999----I felt embarrassed for golf, it went beyond the decency you associate with the standards of the game, I love the Ryder Cup and I don't want it to degenerate into a mob demonstration every time we play. To finish off, what are you all doing on the evening of Thursday 30th November? If there's a space in the diary you should definitely attend a presentation in the club house entitled "Sea and Sand" from Mark Mortimer, The Headmaster of Warminster School. He will reveal all about his enthralling adventures rowing the Atlantic and crossing the Sahara on foot, the talk starts at 1900 hrs. £5 entrance fee on the door includes sandwiches and chips. Please complete the attendance proforma on club noticeboards, also open to non-members. That's all for now, so it's good night from me, writes author Martin Hicks-Lobbecke.