1st January 2020
Dear Fellow Lucifer,
This is my annual letter to welcome you to the new Lucifer season.
Charlie Jamieson retired as Captain at midnight on New Year’s Eve after a very successful two years’ stewardship and we welcome Nigel Turner as the new Captain for 2020/2021.
Charlie has led us as Captain for 2018/2019 by fine example. Apart from chairing the Committee with good humour and persuasive efficiency, he can take credit for a number of notable innovations during his tenure. These include his quarterly Newsletter; a change in our constitution such that a Captain Elect is appointed to serve on the Committee a year before taking office to help him to hit the ground running on installation; and his reducing the bureaucratic and more time-consuming roles of the Scribes by facilitating better use of the website.
To assist the process for introduction and induction of new members, Charlie prompted the paper entitled: “ Lucifer New Member Guidelines” now on the website. Under his aegis we have introduced 12 new members of younger vintage and with lower handicaps than most, as we continue our drive to ensure the membership’s average age and overall golfing ability is maintained at a reasonable equilibrium. Finally, on top of hosting as Captain two successful Commonwealth tournaments and heading up two separate tours of Eastern Canada in 2018 and 2019, he has initiated a review of our fixture list (which had more than doubled in length over the past 25 years) to ensure the matches attract the necessary support. Coupled with this has been a drive to include our ladies in fixtures where possible, building on the success of the Autumn meetings.
Thank you, Charlie, for all this and for being a ubiquitous presence at Lucifer events over your two years of captaincy.
Other Committee changes
As Charlie mentioned in his November newsletter, Nicholas Hayes has retired as Hon. Commonwealth Relations Scribe & Press Relations Officer, having held the first-named office since 2014- a very creditable 6 year term and Mark Dumas, having given us sterling service for 3 years as Hon. Commonwealth Scribe, steps into Nicholas’ shoes. Mark’s role as Hon. Commonwealth Scribe has been assumed by Chris Bonsall. We congratulate and thank Nicholas and Mark for their fine work and welcome their successors to their offices.
We also welcome the following new members whose home course membership is stated after their respective names: Robert Boddington (Ashridge); Jeremy Cary (Hankley Common); Kevin Eakin (Royal Ashdown); Peter Hale (Sunningdale); Matt Mockridge (Royal Ashdown) and Stephen Yorke (New Zealand). Their details for incorporation in the List of Members and updates in contact data for continuing members are contained on the attached sheet. We also have two additional Canadian Overseas Lucifers: Paul Summerville (Vancouver Island) firstname.lastname@example.org and Andy Reddyhoff (Royal Quebec) email@example.com.
Very sadly towards the end of last year we lost a long-standing member, Christopher Bourne, who had been a regular attender of overseas tours with his wife, Juliet. Just before going to press with this letter we heard the sad news, after a short illness, of the death of Rosanne Corben, widow of Richard, who was Captain of the Society in 2010/11 and mother of our member, Simon, to whom and to whose wider family we extend our great sympathy.
By reason of advancing age or ill-health, two members have resigned: Stuart Rangeley-Wilson and Richard Bonsor. We wish them both well and in the case of Stuart, he has indicated that he would be happy to remain involved in the fixtures arranged at Brancaster.
We now have 145 members in totol, of which 124 are playing members (i.e. not being Seniors, Senior Playing Members or Life Members) and 29 are playing members over 77 years of age. This means there are 96 Ordinary Members and by the end of 2020 we will have room for 5 new members. (see final comment)
Results for 2019
Attached is a sheet showing the results of all our matches in 2019 and the winners and runners-up of trophies and tournaments. Our results show a distinct improvement on those for 2018, where our form declined in the second half of the season. For 2019, the reverse was the case, as the longer the season lasted the stronger we became. As part of this we recorded good wins against Aldeburgh, Walton Heath, the Seniors and the XL Club, reversing the results of the previous year.
Historically Lucifers -especially those whose games are primarily of foursomes- have, one suspects, rather unrepresentative handicaps. More often than not, our handicaps are maintained at historic lows when they need to be adjusted to a level consistent with our increasing age and realistic playing ability. Our attitudes will need to change following the tightening of rules for handicaps being laid down by the English Golf Union and to be brought into operation later this year. If you wish to ensure your handicap is in the right ballpark in readiness for the 2020 season, why not have a word with your Club Secretary about your need for an adjustment? The Committee has determined that all Lucifer Meetings will be “handicap qualifying”.
Commonwealth Tournament and Dinner 2020
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for your contribution towards making the 2019 tournament the success it was. We hope that as many as possible of you can participate in the 2020 Commonwealth Tournament and in as many official and informal matches as you can manage. The Commonwealth Tournament is the very essence and life-blood of our Society; a showcase of all for which we stand. If you are able to help hosting an event or informal fixture at, or connected with, your golf club during the period of the Commonwealth Tournament, please make contact with Chris Bonsall, at his LCT email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As was announced in the Hon. Match Scribe’s emailed letter of 22nd December, applications for Matches and bookings for Meetings (including Dinners) should now be made via the website. The same is true for the Commonwealth Tournament and Dinner and the two official games against the Australian Golfers and the Commonwealth Golfers. Payment for the Meetings should be made via the website. However, in the case of the Commonwealth Tournament and those two official games, a separate invoice will be levied by the Hon. Treasurer nearer the time. Payment of match fees will be organised separately by the Match Managers concerned.
As you will see from the attached Fixture List (also posted on our website) the Commonwealth Tournament takes place on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th July with the Savoy Dinner fixed for Wednesday, 8th July. It is our hope that all members will, health permitting, participate in at least one day of the Tournament, officiate at one of the venues and/or attend the Dinner.
Members are encouraged to communicate at an early stage their interest in playing in particular matches via the website, to help Match Managers to gauge the potential uptake. Correspondingly, Match Managers are being requested to let those who have put their names down for Matches know whether or not they are selected to play or are recorded as a reserve, at least 6 weeks prior to the Match taking place to enable people to make alternative arrangements if not picked. There are some Lucifers who regularly (and most helpfully) record themselves as being willing to be called up at the last moment for matches. If any last moment reserves for 2020 could identify themselves to me, I would be most grateful.
A separate sheet attached to this letter describes various of our Meetings, the Edward Brice Trophy (being held at Royal Cinque Ports this year), Captain’s Day (to be held at Royal St. George’s the venue for the 2020 Open Championship), the Carlton Trophy and the Lucifer Family and Guest Day.
The successful innovation of last year at Aldeburgh, involving ladies playing against wives and partners of our opponents immediately following after our own matches on both days, is being extended this year to the two consecutive fixtures at Royal Worlington and Royal West Norfolk. If you are putting your name down to play in any of these fixtures: Aldeburgh (3rd/4th April), Royal Worlington and Royal West Norfolk (16th/17th June) will you please communicate with the relevant Match Manager whether your wife or partner is accompanying you and whether or not wishing to play golf?
Lucifer Long Socks
The batch of 36 pairs I ordered this time last year have all been sold and if you have any interest buying a pair they will retail at £25 or £45 for two pairs. They are self-elasticated and bear the Lucifer colours. In the absence of hearing any adverse comments on their durability and if there is sufficient demand, I will order another batch of 24 pairs. Please email me if you would like to buy one or more pairs. I know there have been an enquiry from at least two members.
Please note that the Members Only Dinner is being held at Brooks’s Club on Thursday 26th March, and the Members & Guests’ Dinner on Tuesday 10th November at the Caledonian Club.
May I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year and good health coupled with good golfing with the Lucifers in the year ahead,
Michael Webster – Hon. Scribe
Postscript (formulated in early March 2020):
Sadly, two more of our members died between the dispatch of this letter and early March. Nicholas Hayes on 19th February and David Micklem on 1st March. This means that if there are no further members departing from the Society between now and 31.12.20 there will be space for 7 more Lucifers.