Brian Minto
Outgoing Captain's Speech

Due to Covid-19 we have been unable to gather for our 2020 Presentation Dinner.  Our Captain has pivoted and instead delivers his speech online for everyone to read.  HHGC congratulates Brian on a fantastic year as Captain, helping to guide us through a most eventful year.

Club Captain 2020 Brian Minto

BRIAN MINTO

2020 CLUB CAPTAIN

Brian is proud to have been asked to take on the captaincy at HHGC for 2020, having been a member for 35 years.

His charity for his year in office is Prostate Cancer UK, which the members are wholeheartedly supporting, at charity events and 50p donations, from landing in the ditch or bunkers, on the 8th hole; as one in eight men are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

A Few Photographs from Brian's Year...

Brian's Speech

Hello fellow members,

Tonight should have been the Gents presentation night, the final act of my year as Captain at HHGC. This is when all the prize winners pick up their trophies and vouchers and I pass on the Captaincy to my VC, Mr. Steve Farrar. And we all have a good dinner and the odd tipple! However, this year it has not been possible to do so due to Covid 19!

All the trophies have been engraved and all the vouchers will be available from behind the bar, very shortly. If any winners would like a photo to be taken with their trophy, then I’m sure we can organise this too.

Obviously Covid 19 impacted substantially on my year as Captain but in the big scheme of things, that’s the least of our worries. Unfortunately one of our members lost his wife to Covid 19 and 3 others contracted it, who I know of. They are now well on the road to recovery, thankfully.

Throughout the year we lost other past or present members – Aidy Scott, Colin Vasey, Brian Judge, David Floyd, Sid Kershaw. Our thoughts go out to their families. And if I have forgotten anybody I sincerely apologise.

My year/weekend as Captain started off with our club pro, Gareth Moore celebrating 20 years at HHGC. And what a weekend he put on with the help from all his family! Big congratulations to you Gareth and here’s to many more!

The highlight for me was standing on the 8th tee and this vision dressed in pink socks and plus fours walked onto the 4th tee, Mr Tim Hetherington! He can do “bollocks” too, he said!! Typical Tim!

Two weekends later I hosted my first charity event, a night with the Rusty Nails blues band and DJ John Wilcock, all in aid of my charity for the year – Prostate Cancer UK. What a night we had, so my heed told me next morning! My sister Judy, who lost her husband Jimmy to Prostate Cancer in May 2019 and her youngest son Michael and partner Nicole and our best friends Jimmy and Joan all came down from Scotland. And along with the rest of my family and approximately 115 other HHGC members, we enjoyed great music, good food, a great auction and raffle. And it was my first chance to wear the green jacket! Albeit with a Charity tee shirt! The support on the night was outstanding and we raised £2020.00, for my nominated charity.  Nothing else to say.

In November we had the Whisky 4 ball weekend, ably hosted by the Rabbits Captain, Mr. Stephen Halloran; the Turkey trot weekend was a bit of a blip from myself – but was made amends for later in December, I hope! The presentation night for these 2 events was very well attended, so a big thanks for all the donations and all who came along. The night before the club held a comedy night, organised by Tim Hetherington and his crew. What a night, hilarious! Many thanks to all involved.

In between the rain gods had arrived and meant that we had partial closure on the course, which ultimately led to urgent remedial drainage work being carried out on the 1st; this then meant we played 16 hole competitions for the winter. This may have to be the way forward in winter ie. shorter rounds, to accommodate everybody who wants to play.

Over Xmas the usual events came around – the brass band night, the Wedy Lads Xmas do, the various golf comps, New Year’s Eve party, various private functions. A huge amount to organise, so a big thanks to the social committee for all that they do, the club steward and staff and the golf and handicap team.

Into January, more rain! More course closures but the Sim was doing well! Another couple of social events were held, the Quiz night and the annual Burns night! The quiz winners donated £25 to my charity, so thanks ladies. And the Burns night, organised by Ken, Archie, Nigel, was well attended again. As Captain, I had to do the address to the lassies – tough task but I just about got away with it, I think! And Gillian, the ladies Captain responded, as well as the ladies always do! A great night had by all.

On Saturday the 18th January the course reopened, having been closed all week – rain!! Unfortunately, on that day Scott Colquhoun slipped on the back of the 7th green, breaking his good ankle in several places! Many months of pain and frustration were to follow but thankfully, in the end, he has recovered as well as could be expected and is back hitting his daisy cutter drives for miles!!

In to February and guess what, more rain! Not just rain but storms Cara, Dennis and Jorge, one after each other! The country and the course were awash with water!! More course closures! Even Bill Hunter couldn’t argue this time! But the Sim did very well and that’s one of the reasons why we decided to have It installed.

In February the Captains Valentine’s bash went ahead, albeit with poor ticket sales – maybe too many events over December/January? However, we had a great night and raised £550 for charity – £200 for the junior section, to buy 2 sets of clubs; and the rest divided between the Centenary fund and my charity Prostate Cancer Uk. Big thanks to my wife Sue and friend Sue2 for all their work with the table decorations – fantastic.

As we enter March, looking forward to the start of the summer golfing season, Covid 19 started to raise its ugly head around the world, especially in China! Little did we know then what was about to happen! Then on Friday 20 March, the country was put into LOCKDOWN! We all now know what that entailed! As golfers, we were all frustrated even more, as we were encouraged to go walking in the fresh air, for limited times, to start, but we couldn’t play golf??

Eventually, after 2 months, the LOCKDOWN was eased and the course re-opened on the 13th May; but you could only play in 2s and by booking on BRS, which appears to be the way forward now. And it was only social golf, no competitions of any kind. And the bar and locker rooms were still closed. However, due to a membership deal put out earlier in the year by the club, put together by Daz Mc and Gareth and agreed by committee, we gained 36 new members, which helped the coffers enormously at this trying time; a big welcome to all these new members, some of whom have already got their names on the honours board! I have met many of you – but due to Covid 19 we were unable to have full meeting with you all. I hope you are enjoying your golf and social side here at HHGC.

In to June and from the 1st we were allowed to play in 3/4 balls but still social golf only. However, some good news – on Wednesday 17th June, the Wedy Lads restarted! This was due to the hard work of my VC Steve Farrar, also the Wedy Lads Captain and his Wedy Lads VC, Honest Nige! They have kept this going since then and without their voluntary hard work, this section would not carry on. And the Wots app Wedy Lads site has certainly amused in recent months!

In June Gemma returned from maternity leave – great to have you back and Scott and Gemma were appointed joint stewards. Congratulations to you both on your appointment but also on the birth of that fantastic wee lad, RTC. A credit to you both. Also, welcome back to Mark Hemingway, the caterer – he had left in October to pursue other interests but with Covid 19, Nigel had resigned. Unfortunately, as it turned out, Mark then resigned in September, due to the extra local LOCKDOWN! So now the catering operation is run by the club, supervised by Gemma, with Sonia back in the kitchen.

In to July and the start of our summer season of golf! And the pubs and clubs reopened too, hurrah!! July 4th we started with the traditional opener the Charity Shield – this was won by DJ John Wilcock and Bob Smith. The summer comps had to be reduced in numbers, as we did not have enough time to fit them all in; so, going forward, the KO’s were reduced to top 16, from 2 qualifying comps. In the singles final, the HHGC cup, Danny Scott staged a great fightback to defeat Raty 2 and 1. He then went on to win the Malcolm Waring trophy, for player of the year. Well deserved Danny.  And in the pairs final, the Len Wright trophy, Tom Hill and Tom Fletcher, played some great golf to beat Danny Stott and Chris Smith 5 and 3. In the Captains trophy Lucas Bardon romped home to win by 5 shots from the ever so quiet man of HHGC,  Sidey! In the Scratch trophy, Scot Minto won for the 3rd year running. He has had a bad year, his words! But he still managed to shoot a course record 67, at Ogden, off the blue tees! Well done son! And well done to you all and all the other prize winners, throughout the year.

The Captain’s trip to Rudding Park, was planned for Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd of August – 64 very expectant golfers! And then on Thursday night, 30th July at 10 pm, I got the news, Kirklees on local LOCKDOWN!! Aaarrrggghhh! So the trip had to be cancelled. Talk about gutted!! But that’s the way the year has gone! Lots of refunding had to be done!

On August 20th I hosted my charity open golf day in aid of my nominated charity – 96 players took part, with many visitors and thankfully we had good weather. Again the half way house was run by my wife Sue, our family friend Sue2, Michelle and Suzanne. The support for the drives was brill and brought out many chuckles from the golfers, especially when they clattered the trees! Another superb day raised £1400.00! Thank you all who took part.

Throughout the year, many people help and advise the Captain, so I have to give my thanks to them – the committee – they are all volunteers and give up a huge amount of their own time to help run the club. Yes, we don’t always get it right, or as members want / expect, but without them, there would be no club, especially in these extenuating times. A big thank you to you all for your support throughout the year, especially Johnny, Ken, Alan, Brian, John, Gillian, Nigel, Judi, Kevin, Stephen, Dave and Faz.

A special thanks to my VC Steve Farrar – best mask in the club Faz! He has been a pillar of support to me and has done and is still doing a huge amount of voluntary work, for the club, namely the Wedy Lads, the Thurs night bonus ball, the container project etc etc. I can’t thank you enough and wish you and Suzanne and the family all the best for your year in office.

Our pro Gareth, has also been a big help and advisor to myself. He is an important lynch pin to HHGC, as he is often the first point of contact for the new members and green fee payers, as well as operating the ever popular Sim and also being a very good teacher for the new members. As I am writing this he will be on a well deserved holiday in Rhodes. Enjoy.

The bar, catering and cleaning staff have kept things going, in Gemma’s abscence. But a special thanks to Sonia, who has gone above and beyond to help out in these trying times.

Paul Titman’s lotto bonus ball has done great for the coffers at HHGC. A great idea Paul and thanks so much.

It was a very tough year for the greens team and the greens Chairman. The floods, then the extreme heat and then LOCKDOWN weren’t good for a consistent year of green keeping and planning! But in the end the course was in good nick for our summer season. Cheers lads.

A huge thanks to all you members who have supported the club, myself and my charity Prostate Cancer U.K. in my year as Captain. I thought I might raise £3K. So considering LOCKDOWN, the amount I guesstimate we have raised is just short of £6K – this is unbelievable – I can’t thank you all enough. In November, last year, PC U.K. said that any money banked then, would be doubled by Jacamo, up to £25K – so I banked £2020.00. from my band night, so if that’s the case it will be £8K!! I will email you all a final total.

But more importantly I hope it has raised awareness amongst ourselves. Our age demographic at the club means that many of us are of an age who are susceptible to PC, so my hope is that you will now talk about it and do something about it, if you have any concerns. The sooner it is detected, the sooner the treatment will work and survival rates will improve. I have had many chats with Gents at the club who have had said treatment and many are long term survivors, which shows early detection is best. So Gents get checked now!

The biggest thanks, after my year as Captain, is to my wife Sue and my family Scot, Sandy and Angela. You all know Scot, the genteel natured guy on the golf course! Sandy was there at the first charity event with his fiancée Emily and had a ball, as he always does. Angela, my daughter lives in Holland with hubby Justin – but was with us in spirit. After the call from Chris, it took me a couple of days to say yes, to the Captaincy – Sue, then Scot were the first people I asked! Scot was up for it straight away but Sue was a bit hesitant. Eventually I got the the thumbs up! Without all their support and advice I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Plus we had help from a regular team of helpers -Scot, Sue2, Chris and Michelle, Faz and Suzanne, Alistair, DJ John, Gemma and Scott. Sorry if I’ve forgotten anyone else!  

The year did not pan out, as expected due to Covid 19. I certainly missed Captaining the HW team; missed the Lawrence Batley games and the Vets comps and visiting other clubs and meeting different players from different clubs. 

My final wishes are to Steve, in his year as Captain and his VC, Stuart Wailes, who will be our club Captain in our centenary year, along side his wife Jennifer, who will be the Ladies Captain.

So that’s it from me. I have been honoured to be your Captain at this fantastic, friendly club. Yes, there have been issues – but also, I believe we have done a good job in keeping the club going, with all the hard work from the committee, the staff and the support from the members.

Best wishes to you all,

Captain Covid, Captain Flood, Captain Invisible, Captain Brian Minto.

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