Friday, 8 April 2011

Seniors' Open

Open days are good for most clubs; they bring in visitors; if the day goes well it increases the club’s reputation; the participants may come back during the year; and most importantly the days are usually profitable. The downsides are that they require a lot of organising beforehand and on the day and the course is not available for members for most of the day (unless they join in). We have six in a year at the moment (as well as the pro-am) and yesterday saw the first of the year, the first of two Seniors’ opens. Somewhat depressingly a “Senior” includes people of my age (I thought I was barely middle aged) but I didn’t play, I turned up to help.

In fact there wasn’t much to do: Mike Robinson and Keith Whitfield have the process down to a fine art. Mike is polite and helpful; Keith provides the insults and the players think he is joking. We noticed a surprising degree of similarity in the scores of the two teams in each group – over a quarter were within two points. We discussed the reasons for people being influenced by each other; by example; a competitive urge; by following a similar rhythm; and even chemically. This was before discussing where the apostrophe should go in "seniors open" (and then checking the posters for other Northumbrian clubs to see who had got it right). You can tell we didn’t have too much to do.

The weather was good inside the clubhouse although it continued to be a bit windy outside - the players came in looking pretty battered, although most said they had enjoyed it and praised the course. And more importantly booked next year.
There was an exciting conclusion to the day: the clubhouse leaders on 43 points had been there for most of the day, had been joined by two others with 43 (but lower back 9s) during the afternoon but then the last team also came in with 43 and a higher back 9 score. That meant that unusually I could present the prize to the winners (who have normally gone home by the end of the day). Congratulations to Messrs (P) O'Hara and Graham.

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