Andy Smith's Captain's Page 2004
As the elected Captain for this current golfing year, it my aim to
attempt to raise around £750.00 for charity. This will be done by
various fund raising activities throughout the year. At present the
only ideas that have been approved by the committee are for Captains
bunkers and blackout cards at society golf days but other ideas are
currently in the pipeline.
This years nominated Captains Charity is to be
The County AIR Ambulance
Service. Further information can be seen at the bottom of the page
and by following the appropriate hyperlinks.
Andy Smith, BUNGS Captain 2004
County AIR Ambulance
covers an area of 8,000 square miles with a population of 7.8 million
people. Three helicopters, each carrying two paramedics, cover West
Midlands, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester,
Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, parts of Powys and Derbyshire and
Leicestershire.Casualties are conveyed direct to the most appropriate
hospital for the injury sustained which is critical in life threatening
situation with each helicopter operating in the heart of the region, an
AIR ambulance can reach its furthest point in under 19 minutes to
provide advanced life saving equipment.
The service relies upon voluntary donations to ensure its continued
operation and survival.
County AIR Ambulance is the operational name of the West Midlands
Air Ambulance Appeal Fund and is a Registered Charity Number 1001064.
The initial conception of the idea for an
Air Ambulance service
was conceived in April 1989 and by October of the following the charity
had been registered and fund raising activities began. Operating for
only five days per week from Halfpenny Green Airport to begin with, the
first Air Ambulance took to the skies in May 1991. Hundreds of lives
have been saved since
County Air Ambulance operation began over 13 years ago.
Sutton Coldfield Golf Day – 2nd April 2004
The first golf day of the calendar year saw us visit Sutton
Coldfield. Although the weather forecasters had predicted showers
throughout the day, we were fortunate enough not to have to drag the
waterproofs out of the golf bag, and enjoyed a rather pleasant day.
This was the first time I had personally played this course and
really enjoyed the layout. The greens weren’t in top condition, but
considering it was the beginning of April and at the start of the
golfing season, there were no complaints to be had from the record turn
out of 43 B.U.N.G.S members, who turned out for this golf day.
I must ensure that Steve Lloyd gets a mention at this point for
arranging the Captains Drive-In in the morning. For those who didn’t
manage to witness this ‘special’ event in my Captains year, I would love
to report that I hit a splendid drive splitting the fairway with the
ball coming to rest a mere 280 yards away from the tee. However the
reality is that the only thing I split with this opening tee shot was a
cloud, as I proceeded to sky the shot with it coming to rest about 80
yards away, adjacent to the tenth green. Thanks to everyone who joined
in with the howls of derision that then came my way – I’m pleased not to
have disappointed you.
Congratulations go to the Blue Scum (aka Adam Thompson) for winning
the days event, Paul Herman (2nd green), James Shipman (9th green) and
John Shaw (15th & 17th greens) for winning the Nearest-the-pin prizes,
Jamie Moore & Mike Fox for winning the mornings ‘money round’ (both
collecting a reasonable £21.50 for their efforts), and Jamie Moore and
Des White for winning a crisp £10 note each for their two’s on the
second green. It was interesting to note that all the guys who took the
Nearest-the-pin prizes the failed to convert the chance and collect a
two, with Paul Hermann deserving a special mention taking a further
three puts to get down!
From my perspective, the day was also a great success in starting the
collection for my charity,
The County AIR Ambulance Service.
Twenty-eight donations were made to the Captains Bunker – this
equates to 65% of the field visiting a bunker on a par three, although
Gordon Sullivan did manage to make three contributions – thanks Gordon.
In total we raised a fantastic £81.83, a great start to the year and
thanks to everyone who contributed (a running total of the money raised
is at the bottom of the page).
I look forward to seeing you all again on Friday 30th April at Market
Drayton Golf Club – surely my tee shot there will be less pressurised!
Market Drayton Golf Day – 30th April 2004
The latest outing of B.U.N.G.S had us visit the excellent Market
Drayton Golf Club. After taking a rather tortuous route to the course
after Steve had claimed ‘take this lane and I’ll navigate the rest of
the way’, we arrived surprisingly on time.
The course had been selected following a recommendation by Karl
Hughes, and fortunately for him, not one of the 39 B.U.N.G.S members who
turned up for the day had any complaints. The course layout and quality
of the greens was superb. Even the weather on the day was in our
Although my opening tee shot was a lot easier than last month’s, and
despite finishing with a miserable 23 points, I still managed to enjoy a
great day away from work. I’m not sure that my playing partners, Darren
Weston and John Lander, were expecting to experience the B.U.N.G.S
Captain in a club throwing, tantrum and bag abuse incident that occurred
on the third hole after duffing my third shot into one of the bunkers
protecting the front of the green. Fortunately, I’ve managed to
straighten the leg on my bag and the wedge doesn’t appear to bear any
Congratulations go to the Craig Vale on his debut B.U.N.G.S victory.
This was despite his lunchtime suggestion of giving the miserable
stewards wife/sidekick “a good licking” in an attempt to cheer her up.
Other members who had a successful day were Chris Craddy (4th green),
Bobby Ho (12th green) and Graham Bilsland (7th & 15th greens) for
winning the Nearest-the-pin prizes, and James Shipman who scooped the
cash in the mornings ‘money round’ with an excellent 22 points (a shame
he only scored 4 more points in the afternoons main competition).
For the second event running, you all did
The County AIR Ambulance
Service charity collection proud, although the accuracy at avoiding
the bunkers on the par three’s was a lot better than the last event.
Only a “miserable” 19 donations were made to the Captains Bunker –
come on boys, let’s try harder next time please! Nick Collins’s four
contributions also deserve a special mention.
In total we raised £47.77 on the day, and thanks go to all who
We have also circulated details on the Captains Charity Ball and
Presentation Evening, to be held on Saturday 13th November at The Newton
Park Hotel. I hope you and your partners will be able to attend this
year’s inaugural event.
I look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday 25th May at Fulford
Heath Golf Club, where the team selections for the B.U.N.G.S Golf
Weekend will be distributed.
Hopefully, I will be able to defend my title form last year with more
conviction than I have shown on the previous B.U.N.G.S events of the
year. Well, we all live in hope don’t we!
Captains Charity Ball & Presentation Evening
Saturday 13th November 2004 - Newton Park Hotel, Burton on
This years Captains Charity Ball & Presentation Evening is to be held
at the Newton Park Hotel on the evening of Saturday 13th November 2004.
Situated in the heart of the country on the outskirts of Burton on
Trent, The Newton Park Ramada Jarvis is surrounded by 4 acres of
This evening is open to all members of the society and their partners
and the dress code for the evening will be lounge suit or black tie.
The format for the evening will be a three course meal followed by
the official presentation of the relevant trophies to the year’s
successful golfers and the handing over of a cheque to a representative
of this year’s charity, The County Air Ambulance. A Fun-Casino,
recreating the thrill of gambling without the risk of losing your own
personal fortune, will then be available until the small hours of the
night. Further details on the Fun-Casino can be found by visiting
A raffle will also be held, with all the prizes being donated from
local organisations, to start the fund raising year for the incoming
The entire evening will be held in the 200 year-old buildings oak
panelled events room, with the Fun-Casino being staged in the adjoining
If required, the Newton Park Hotel has accommodation available at a
reduced rate for our event. Further details can be supplied by Andy
Smith upon request. Other accommodation is also available in and around
Burton on Trent.
The cost for the evening will be £30.00 per ticket. If you wish to
reserve tickets for this event, please send a deposit of £5.00 per
ticket by Friday 28th May 2004. A total of 80 tickets are available. Any
tickets remaining after 28th May will then be made available to any
other guests of society members wishing to attend the evening.
Fulford Heath Golf Day – 25th May 2004
Another B.U.N.G.S golf day, another excellent turn out and glorious
sunshine – what a way to spend a day of work. The only downside was
this day was on a Tuesday, not the usual Friday, so we all had work to
return to the following day (unless you are in the Dental Surgery
business like my opposing Weekend Tour Captain Karl Hughes, who was off
on another golf day, while his money making empire continued to bring in
the cash. It’s no wonder the youth of today’s teeth are in such bad
As the current holder of the B.U.N.G.S Summer Shield, I was
determined to end the poor run of form that I had shown in the previous
outings as B.U.N.G.S Captain. Finishing with 40 points, I was pleased
with my performance and even managed to avoid further damage to my
already battle-scarred golf bag.
Playing with Adam Thompson and Jamie Moore, it was laughs all the way
round for the whole day, especially on the tee of the short 16th hole in
the afternoon. Faced with the elevated green and the small lake that
spanned from directly in front of the tee to the bottom of the bank at
the front of the green, Jamie managed to hit his tee shot into the
water. Jamie’s observational powers then came to the fore when he
proudly proclaimed “I’ll play another one from here”, with no other real
alternative available, only for Adam to quickly respond “Not unless your
Jesus f***ing Christ”.
Congratulations go to Brian Keates for taking the top honours of the
day, scoring 46 points accumulatively over the 36 holes played.
Unfortunately Brian wasn’t able to hang around long enough for the
presentation, and his willing slave / employee Ian Talboys was ever
willing to collect the prize on his behalf (it’s not often Ian collects
trophies on a B.U.N.G.S day).
A special mention also goes to the Society Secretary Steve Lloyd for
his impressive 29 points and 34th placing (out of 36 members). Steve
and I always play for a fiver on a golf day, and Steve was playing so
badly (although he’ll argue that he played well but didn’t score well
enough?????) that he handed over the crisp blue note over the lunchtime
sandwiches, with 18 holes still left to play!
A total of 23 donations were made to the Captains Bunker on this day,
not a great deal considering the par three’s were counting morning and
afternoon – B.U.N.G.S members are suddenly becoming more accurate with
their tee shots on the par threes now they know 50p is at stake. Graeme
Black topped the chart for the most contributions with three.
In total we raised £38.00 on the day for
The County AIR Ambulance
Service, and again thanks go to all who contributed.
With the teams for the
B.U.N.G.S Golf Weekend now distributed, it was good to hear the
friendly rivalry starting to kick-in. The Red Team have already 1 moral
point on the board, knowing that the Blue Team has a few members facing
handicap reductions after their good performances at this golf day.
Never mind Karl, you always were going to get stuffed!
I look forward to
seeing you all in the bar at the Trimstone Manor Hotel on Thursday 1st
July, where my Vice Captain for the weekend, Graham Adams, will happily
buy all the members of the Red Team a beer!
COME ON THE REDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
West Country Tour - July 2004 Friday 2nd July 2004
Royal North Devon Golf Club Saturday 3rd July 2004
Club Sunday 4th July 2004
Minehead & East Sussex Golf Club
After much hype and waiting the 2004 golf weekend was finally upon
us. Along with the Captains Trophy Golf Day (Wednesday 22nd September
2004) and the Captain Charity Ball & Presentation Evening (Saturday 13th
November 2004), this was the event I had been eagerly awaiting since my
appointment as the B.U.N.G.S Captain. Having my wits pitted against
Karl Hughes only helped to add to the anticipation – yet another chance
for the Red half of Merseyside to put one over the Blue Scum!
A group of seven of us broke the journey down to the West Country
with a round of golf at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club, just south of
Bristol. Standing adjacent to the first tee waiting for the two
doctors, James and John, to tee off the heavens opened. Not a good omen
for the forthcoming weekend. However, by the time myself, Steve and Ian
had completed our tee shots, the blue skies had returned and the rain
was nowhere to be seen. This, fortunately, turned out to be a pattern
for the weekend, although there was no sign of the winds that we were to
endure on Friday and Saturday.
Playing a blind skins match, no one had any idea of how they were
fairing, but summarising the cards in the bar afterwards, I was
pleasantly surprised to pick up 9 of the skins on offer, mainly thanks
to my 3 on the 17th green which was worth 8 skins! Was this a sign of
winning ways to come for the following weekend? After enjoying a good
evenings entertainment at the Trimstone Hotel, Friday saw the start of
the real competition. Upon arrival at Royal North Devon Golf Club, the
flags in the practice ground were almost lying horizontal, so severe was
the wind. Unfortunately, R.N.D.G.C is totally exposed, no dunes to
protect it and we all endured a day fighting with the wind and a very
exposed golf course.
This typified itself by two of the par three holes played in the
afternoon. The 5th is a 136-yard hole, playing into the wind and
uphill. I won the nearest the pin prize hitting a full 5 iron. The 8th
is a 184-yard hole and was playing down wind. I was through the back of
the green with a 9 iron – links golf at it’s best (or possibly worst!).
Playing Foursomes in the morning, some considerable thought had
previously gone into the morning’s pairings. Coming out a massive 6 – 1
ahead at lunchtime and I was already starting to right my acceptance
speech for Sunday evening. However at the end of the day, Karl had
managed to have an equally successful afternoon and we ended the day
all-square. The look on Karl’s face was a picture in the locker room
afterwards and he certainly enjoyed reminding me of all the comments I
had to him and Tim Thacker at lunchtime.
My tactics for the afternoon Better-ball pairings were completely
wrong, not least the pairing of Anthony Jackson and myself. Although
this is nothing against Anthony, the fact that he carried me for the
majority of the middle third of the round eventually took it’s toll, and
although we hit the turn 4 up against Graeme Black and Mike Fox, they
hit a fantastic run of holes that saw them win the match 2 & 1. How we
never managed to play the 18th will haunt me at night for years to come!
Friday evening saw myself and my vice captain, Graham Adams, have a
rethink over our thoughts for the Saturday pairings. Playing
Foursome-Greensomes in the morning turned our thoughts back to the
previous Friday morning selections and the principles that had served us
so well then, so with some minor tweaking the pairings were revealed to
all over dinner on Friday evening.
This led to what became the main talking point of the weekend, and
although the situation is now sorted between almost all the involved
parties, it did ensure that for myself, the weekend would not be
remembered for the quality golf courses we played, but for other
However Saturday morning saw us arrive at Saunton Golf Club, one of
the best courses we have played on our weekend tours, in my opinion on
beaten by The Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa. As on Friday, the
weather was good with the wind blowing, but the dunes outlining the
course certainly gave us some relief.
Playing with James Shipman against Brian Keates and Chris Craddy as
the opening group, we had previously explained to Brian the format that
all players hit there tee shots and then each team chose the best drive
and played alternate shots from there. After Chris had hit a slight
hook and Brian a little short on down the left side, James hit an
absolute screamer down the centre of the fairway (yes, he does hit the
fairway occasionally) and I was not that far behind him, both balls
along way ahead of the Blue Teams tee shots. Leaving the tee, Brian
turns to James and enquires “Can we choose one of your drives?” –
As the groups returned into the clubhouse for an excellent selection
of lunchtime food, the Red Team had again gained the advantage by
winning the seven matches 5 – 2 to take a 12 – 9 overall score into the
My vice-captain, Graham Adams, also had a good day, holing the put on
the 18th green to halve his match with Anthony Jackson against Ian
Talboys and Richard Stevens. Seeing Tally stomp around wondering why
nobody had seen his second shot from the edge of the fairway was
priceless. Also the win by Gordon Sullivan and John Bayliss against a
strong Blue pairing of Steve Lloyd and Paul Weston is worth mentioning.
Having made serious errors for the Friday afternoon pairings, we
couldn’t afford to let things slip again and allow Karl and his boys of
the hook again. Fortunately we again the majority of the seven
afternoon matches, this time by a score of 4½ – 2½ to take an overall
lead of 5 points into the Sunday singles matches.
After a fantastic drive around the coastline up to Minehead, it was
down to the singles matches to ensure that we kept up our momentum and
the five-point lead we had worked so hard to gain on the Saturday.
There were numerous matches that stood out after the draw had been read
out on Saturday evening, Graham Bilsland v Steve Lloyd, John Shaw v
Howard Holiday, Darren Weston v Bobby Ho, James Shipman v Ian Talboys
being just some. At the other end of the scale, Anthony Jackson v
Graeme Black was one where it was likely that he who lost the least
amount of golf balls would probably end up victorious.
Myself against Karl Hughes was the only ‘rigged’ match of the
weekend, and one that both of us had looked forward to for along time –
Karl finally had the chance to play me without giving any shots. We
were playing with Graham and Steve and good afternoon’s golf looked in
Despite some friendly banter and recommendations about changing my
grip, hitting with a hooded club head, resembling Millhouse from the
Simpsons, John Shaw (a member of my own team) finally stopped the
barracking and left the tee box and allowed us to hit our tee shots.
With Karl teeing of first and driving the green of the short par 4 1st
hole, Karl had immediately put the pressure on myself. How I managed to
hit the ball, never mind hit it through the back of the green, I’ll
never know. This tee shot was almost as pressurised as the Captains
Drive-in, and we all know what happened there! At this point I must
thank Karl for four the putting the 1st green and allowing me a half in
five. The match was underway with some terrible golf being played and
both Karl and myself handing holes to each other, rather than winning
the holes.This w
as nothing compared to our Society Secretary, who was fighting his
own demons in the adjacent game against Graham Bilsland. Despite having
problems with his driver on the early holes, Steve finally managed to
get the swing speed, launch angle and trajectory right on the 6th tee as
he finally completely lost his temper, and despatched his ERC2 over the
first water filled ditch and batch of weeds and into the second ditch.
Unfortunately, Steve was not aware of the layout of the land before this
act of desperation and despite two separate attempts, the driver is
still lying there as you read this (thanks to insurance policies and
some exaggeration of the truth, Steve has only lost some pride from this
issue – I just hope Sharon doesn’t read this!)
Although neither Karl of myself ‘enjoyed’ our game, there was always
only one hole in it and was up and down more often that the roller
coaster at the nearby Butlins. With Karl winning the 18th, the
individual match finished all square, although Karl can only dream that
the overall match was this close, with the days results coming in at 6½
- 7½ to the Blue Team, Karl men had not closed the gap sufficiently end
ended up on the wrong end of a 23 – 19 battering.
Congratulations also go to James Shipman for becoming possibly the
first player in B.U.N.G.S Weekend Tour history to have consecutive 100%
records. It a shame last years was for losing all five of his matches!
Thanks to everyone who came along and helped contribute to yet
another great B.U.N.G.S golf weekend. We also managed to raise another
£16.60 for the County Air Ambulance, pushing the total amount raised to
date up to £184.20.
See you all at South Staffordshire Golf Club on Friday 30th July, and
roll on Llandudno 2005.
South Staffs Golf Day – 30th July 2004
Our latest outing saw us visit South Staffs Golf Club to compete for
the B.U.N.G.S Championship trophy. Following the previous evenings
weather forecast and on seeing the early morning sun peering through the
bedroom curtains at home, I confidently arrived at the course suitably
dressed in shorts and a BUNGS shirt. However, upon arriving at the
course and cold, overcast conditions that greeted us, I was pleased to
have packed an additional pair of trousers.
Although the relative cool conditions stayed with us for the morning
round, we were treated to an afternoon’s golf played in glorious
sunshine, the perfect compliment to an excellently presented golf
The members ‘privileged’ with my company were Ivan Heathcote and
Brian Dodwell, although Brian’s mind must have been elsewhere for the
morning nine, after narrowly avoiding having his son’s jet-ski stolen
from the trailer on the back of his car.
Yet again, I had another enjoyable day out playing crap golf –
although even this poor standard was still sufficient to take another
fiver from Steve Lloyd (the second inside a week!). I also received a
special request form Karl to mention his holed bunker shot on the 10th
green, although I’m not sure exactly why unless Karl is after some
complementary comments on the web site following his teams crushing
defeat in the recent weekend away.
Congratulations go to John O’Brien for another success in a B.U.N.G.S
event. This was partly thanks to an excellent gross birdie / nett eagle
on the 18th green that was celebrated in a similar style to Phil
Mickleson when he finally won his first major.
The contributions to the Captains Bunker fund was the lowest since we
started this type of charity collection, with only 11 donations being
made. Either you boys are trying especially hard to avoid the bunkers
on the par three’s or a forgetting to let me know!
In total we raised £46.06 on the day, and with the blackout money and
donations generously added to the collection tin, we have managed to
push the overall total up to £230.26.
Due to a family holiday I can’t attend the next event on Friday 27th
August at Cavendish Golf Club, so I wish you all good luck and hope the
weather is good. Having played there a couple of years ago, I’m quite
disappointed to be missing this one, but sometimes the missus has to
have her own way.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Golf Day – 22nd September 2004
Despite the rain that was falling, our latest outing saw us visit
Newcastle under Lyme Golf Club to compete for the first ever B.U.N.G.S
Captains trophy. After having the previous golf day at Cavendish Golf
Club cancelled at the very last moment, our Secretary Steve Lloyd must
have been a little nervous on the drive down the A50, if it wasn’t for
his bad back causing him a little trouble. After having the additional
trip to Aberdovey cancelled earlier in the year, he didn’t want to make
it a third event in the same calendar year.
As mentioned earlier, it was raining when arrived in the car park and
that set the tone for the day. On the bright side, the greens were
Due to being unable to walk large distances following a “wife
induced” operation a couple of weeks earlier (fortunately the bruising
and swelling is now subsiding), I had previously arranged to be paired
with Derek Pells to ensure that I had the benefit of a ride in a buggy
all day. John Mansell was the unfortunate member who had the privilege
of walking along side us.
For the first time in my years reign as Captain I actually played
quite well, although some would suggest my handicap of 16 had more to do
with it! Despite walking the course on his own, John Mansell managed to
score a healthy 22 points in the morning round to take a share of the
£26.00 on offer with Bobby Ho.
The afternoon wasn’t quite so successful for John, and talking to
himself all day eventually took its toll. After being chauffeured
around all by Derek, I managed to put together a score of 36 points,
despite having a blob on both the front and back nine. This was only
good enough for second place and congratulations go to Ian Talboys for
his second victory of the season with 37 points.
With all the bunkers on the course contributing to the Captains
Bunker fund, we managed to snare 39 contributions, although the penalty
was reduced to 25p per bunker for the day. Foxy managed to put himself
into the Bunker Hall of Fame with five contributions.
In total we raised £41.30 on the day, and with the blackout money and
donations generously added to the collection tin, we have managed to
push the overall total up to a massive £2,392.61.
The next event is scheduled for Friday 22nd October at The
Leicestershire Golf Club, and I hope to see you all there.
Captain's Charity Ball & Presentation Evening
Saturday 13th November 2004
After a lot of organization, heartache and worry the Captains Ball
turned out, for me at least, to be an excellent evening out. To ensure
we arrived on time and early enough to see that the room was laid out
correctly, Deborah and myself had a room booked for the night. This
turned out to be an excellent idea, as the five-minute journey to the
hotel in the afternoon sunshine was a nightmare!
After setting up the prizes and trophies ready for the evening’s
winners, we settled in the bar for a relaxing drink or two, or three,
with the other members who had indulged their partners with a night out
in the classic surroundings of the Newton Park Hotel.
Despite the surroundings, Gordon Sullivan was obviously intent on
making his intentions clear to his partner Marion, and shortly after
checking in was back at the reception desk to secure a room upgrade.
Being the kind of guy Gordon is, only the best would suffice and he soon
had the concierge moving his luggage into the Bridal Suite for the rest
of his stay – you smooth bugger Gordon!
Despite the small bar and the extremely slow service, everyone was in
good humour as we congregated prior to the start of the meal. It was
good to see so many make the effort and turn out in black ties and
DJ’s. Maybe next year even John Mansell will make an effort and join in
with a smart appearance, even wearing a tie is not too much to ask these
days. It was also fairly clear to see that the majority of the partners
and wives had used the evening as an excuse to extract their husband’s
credit cards on a shopping spree.
As the evening progressed and the wine flowed, the relaxed atmosphere
made it a very enjoyable evening for all who attended and it was good
that the evening’s conversation topics were not solely about golf,
despite that being the reason we were all gathered there.
The ‘Fun-Casino’ at the end of the night appeared to go down well,
with the ‘intelligent’ men crowding around the blackjack table, whilst
the majority of the women had plenty of fun at the roulette wheel.
Gambling so much more fun when you’re not playing with next months
As so often happens, the evening seemed to fly by and before I knew
it the majority had left to travel home, with us residents and Greame
Black left to drink into the small hours.
Throughout the evening we managed to raise a further £340.20 for the
County Air Ambulance, and I thank all who attended for contributing so
Hopefully this will be the first of what will hopefully become
another ‘not-to-be-missed’ event on the B.U.N.G.S calendar.
Final fund raising total from the 2004 season
A letter and certificate has been received from the County Air
Ambulance regarding last year's fund raising effort. Once again, thanks
to everyone who helped raise the £2859.06 total.
BUNGS Captain 2004