Chairman - And so I close

At the end of my last article I reported on Gordon Child's hospital stay, well regrettably Gordon is still waiting for a decision as to when the operation will take place. The frustration of not knowing when must be worse than that of a committee decision at the Golf Club but I am sure if you were still there at Christmas you must have made a great Santa Claus Gordon!

I also reported on a forthcoming trip to the States and the John Deere World Team Championships. Well a few days after writing the last article I made my way to Heathrow Airport and met with the English winning team Brockenhurst Manor prior to making the 10 and a half hour flight to Phoenix, Arizona. Once over there we were not disappointed, the temperature was in the mid 80s, the accommodation out of this world and the organisation similar to that of a Pro Tournament.

As for Grayhawk Golf Club where the tournament was played, it was equally impressive as it was situated in the desert. All aspects of the course were excellent in particular the greens which were lightening fast and very undulating. With regard to the tournament, well the team practiced Thursday, Friday with the competition held over the weekend. Unfortunately they only finished mid-table despite being 21 under par but nevertheless represented the Association impeccably.

As for John Deere a big thank you to all who made it such a memorable event and to everyone else who made it in the qualifiers, it is definitely worth having another go next year.

So, to the year that has passed so quickly. Well despite it being a difficult year economically for all businesses the Association has kept its head well and truly above water. It is true that advertising revenue is down but contrary to belief the magazine is still making a healthy profit and the Association is in the black. Membership has stabilised but we are still looking at new ways of recruiting members and BTME is alive and kicking so much so that we have been able to purchase the ClubHouse exhibition which will now run alongside BTME. The year also saw the formation of the Futures Sub Committee.  To conclude, I wish George Brown all the best next year and hope you will give him the same support that you have given me.

And finally I must thank Ian Needham and Robert Jelley, of Beedles Lake Golf Club, and the lads, Tim, Paul and Wayne; without your support I would have been unable to have enjoyed the year so much. Thank you all.

Richard Barker
National Chairman