A very warm welcome to The New Golf Club, St Andrews - My ‘Local’ Club
Firstly let me say what a privilege and honour it is to be elected Captain of this great club. When I look back over the 12 years that I have been a member, I can honestly say, I still feel a buzz when I drive to St Andrews and step on to the sacred turf that is the Links. Living 50 miles away is not really ideal, when you consider there are many clubs around my home in Linlithgow providing good golfing facilities, however, as I learned to play the game on links courses, the attraction of the ‘Home of Golf’ was too strong to ignore. The solution was to follow in the footsteps of a group of Linlithgow residents, who were already members at The New Golf Club, playing 12 months a year. The Club advertises a ‘Warm Welcome’ and when I joined I can honestly say that’s what I got, and believe that to be the case to this day. So this is my ‘local’ club
St Andrews Connection, Home & Family
Although not a resident of the town, I have had a long association with the area in my working life as a Civil Engineer working at RAF Leuchars on many occasions and in a support role in procurement on several University projects in the town some dating back to the early ‘80’s. Although not a golfer, my wife Margaret, finds St Andrews an ideal location to spend an afternoon, as it mirrors so many aspects of our home town of Linlithgow. My son Mark is a fellow member, so the passion runs in the family although we do not brag about our ability! My daughter Colette is fully occupied as a taxi service to two footballing sons. None of my four grandchildren have taken to golf as a hobby yet, but there’s still time.
When approached to take on this role, by immediate past Captain John Mitchell, I had only just given an affirmative when the Club was rocked by the October ’15 fire. Since that fateful day much has been achieved under John’s leadership along with Secretary Mark Richardson the staff & fellow committee members to present a fully refreshed and partially upgraded clubhouse for us all to be proud of. In the coming year the Club will continue with the programme of improvements including the conversion of the former caterers flat to provide further quality accommodation for members and guests from the mid-year point. There will be some disruption during this time to which I’m sure our members will demonstrate the same tolerance evidenced during the recent refurbishment. The Club is of course most appreciative of the members loan pledges received to date and are still open to further offers should anyone else be in a position to assist as we have fallen short of the target.
Committee of Management
On the committee front I am delighted to have the support of my Vice Captain, Dale Caton, as well as a welcome return of Barry Millar to the Committee of Management along with new members Stewart Kennedy, Adam Preedy and Alan Stewart. Graham Clelland-Finance, Willie Wright-House and Nick Randerson-Match & Handicap will fulfil the convenors roles. This I believe gives us a good cross-section of disciplines for progression coupled with a more ‘youthful’ look. All will welcome engagement with members should they have any suggestions, comments, issues that might not be on the action list.
There are many items on the agenda for the coming years including the provision of Links Tickets for our members. To maintain membership at the required level links tickets are essential & I will personally seek to achieve the best possible outcome during my term of office through the appropriate channels.
In 2017 I look forward to participating in all the golf we provide for our members in both fun and club competitions, local and visiting interclub matches as well as our annual overseas fellowship week in July. In addition I will endeavour to support & encourage all in our scratch teams and underage section of the club in all that they aspire to achieve.
With such a large membership it is very difficult to know everyone especially non locals so needless to say I rely heavily on our front of house team of Mark, Claire & Julia who provide an excellent service. I am also appreciative of our dedicated bar and catering personnel, who endeavour to meet the varying demands of our members and guests. The staff and I will continue to engage with as many of you as possible to increase our knowledge of who you are and what you want from membership going forward.
Let’s keep the cup half full as we pass through another year which I hope will be Healthy Happy & Prosperous for you all.
Colin Wells - Captain