The year of a major outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease which had a devastating effect on all rural Britain and the West Country was no exception.
From our point of view five of our Courses were closed which meant that the Spring Meeting, due to be held at Tavistock, was cancelled as was the match against Cornwall scheduled for Tavistock and the Western Morning News was switched from Yelverton to Staddon Heights.
The closure of five courses presented severe problems in completing the Emerton-Court matches but thanks to the courtesy of a number of our Clubs who allowed those affected to play matches at their courses the competition finished as scheduled. Clubs had the choice of playing just one match at a mutually agreed venue or a home/away tie at unaffected courses again by mutual consent. The Captain reported at the AGM that “The arrangements worked extremely well partly due to the individual Clubs and also to those Clubs who generously offered their facilities free of charge.” Typical, I feel, of the spirit in which our game is played.
The President, Paddy Arnold of Ilfracombe, donated the President’s Salver and this new event was played at Ilfracombe in May with Saunton being the inaugural winners.
With the “2000 Meeting” continuing there were now 14 events on the DMVGA Calendar and membership was now up to 1250.
The Manor Golf Club (now Bovey Castle) were admitted to membership and as a result we now had 36 Clubs and 1371 members. 35 Clubs entered the Emerton-Court Competition.
It was agreed that individual Fixture Cards should be distributed to all members.
The rules of the Millennium Trophy were changed to make it a three man team with handicaps of 0-12, 13-19 and 20-28 but still all three medal scores to count. It was won by Stover with a combined medal score of 208 and was played at Honiton and this was the first visit of the DMVGA to Honiton (and not the last!!!).
The 2000 meeting was this year termed the “2002 Meeting” and was held at Stover and it was the final time this event was played – no specific reason appears in any Minutes but I would conjecture that it was a meeting too many.
The turnout for the President’s Salver at Ilfracombe was very low (a long journey for many of our Clubs?) and Paddy Arnold who had donated the Salver and originally wanted it to be played at Ilfracombe permanently graciously agreed that it be played at the Presidents own Club each year.
Gordon Emerton-Court died on 1st January at the age of 96 and a wreath was sent on behalf of the DMVGA.
It was decided that the entry fee for competitions be raised from £10 to £15 and that a meal would now be included as well.
Further tinkering with the handicap categories for the Millennium Trophy with the handicap ranges now being 0-14, 15-19 and 20-28.
Minor changes to the Emerton-Court Rules to include “handicap certificates should be available on the day of a match and that members had to be registered by 28th February in order to be able to play that year.”
It was stressed that courtesy practise rounds were for a maximum of 12 players only.
We continued to donate the sum of £100 to the County Juniors at the Dinner following our annual match against them.
Over recent years the DMVGA Bank Balance had reached unacceptably high levels (circa £10,000) far higher than required and efforts were being made to decrease that by increasing the number and value of prizes and by “subsidising” matches and competitions.
A sub-committee had been appointed to look at the Emerton-Court Rules yet again and have suggested that the words …”in the spirit in which Gordon Emerton-Court started this competition, it is hoped that all players selected by competing Clubs will be active members of their Veterans Sections.” This change was approved at the AGM.
DMVGA Caps were added to our range of merchandise.
Barbara Dance, whose husband Frank was our Secretary at the end of the 90’s and also Captain in 1996 and President in 2000, had presented a pair of salvers called the Frank Dance Salvers and they have been used ever since as the Trophy for the golf competition at the Captain’s Invitation Meeting.
Churston Golf Club kindly agreed to display an Honours Board for Past Captains of the DMVGA.
Tom Slater and Niel Pierce – both past Captains/Presidents – were made Life Members of the DMVGA.
The Western Morning News competition at Staddon Heights had to be abandoned when fog closed the course (it was in July!!) and it was not possible to re-arrange the event.
The match against the Ladies was reduced to 8 pairs per team (original 10 pairs I believe).
The Treasurer reported that our bank balance was now just under £4,000 which was now an acceptable level.
At the AGM a proposal that the playing reserves in the Emerton-Court Final should also receive the same prize as the actual team was approved. They received nothing up to this point.
The Secretary expressed his disappointment at the small attendance at prizegiving after each event (certainly through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s attendance was a requirement although for much of those years the meal was taken after play with everybody sitting down together) and proposed that all Trophies be formally presented ahead of the AGM with trophy winners being invited to play in the Captain’s Invitation golf competition. This was adopted from 2006.
The Emerton-Court Rules were changed again at the AGM regarding Rule 2 (which had been changed in the previous year) where the wording would now read “all players selected for the Emerton-Court competition must be active members of the Veterans/Seniors section of the Golf Club as endorsed by the DMVGA Representative of that Club.”
Clarification that buggies could be used in Emerton-Court matches was provided after a number of queries – they may only be used with a medical certificate and only for the player concerned.
A complaint was made about the latest change in the Emerton-Court Rules (see final paragraph in 2005) and the Club involved were reminded that this is a DMVGA event run by the DMVGA!!
Lin Ashman a Past Captain/President/Secretary was made a Life Member of the DMVGA.
Our bank balance was £4,399.
There was continued debate about the Emerton-Court Rules and specifically the requirement that players be active members of their Veterans/Seniors Section. A proposal was put before the AGM that “Any senior over 60 years and a member of the DMVGA should be eligible to play in the Emerton-Court matches. This was defeated by 37 votes to 13.
The Secretary reported that numbers attending our events this year were low and felt that contributing factors were expense, travel distance and course selection. For those reasons he sought to increase numbers by excluding meals form our events in 2008 (thus reducing the entry fees) with obviously catering available at Clubs on demand and at cost and members indicating on their entry form if they planned to have a meal or bar snack so that we could provide Clubs with an indication of the catering demand. Sadly (as will be seen under 2009) this was not a great success!!!
The rules of the Millennium Trophy were again changed, for the 2008 event, at the AGM so that players had to qualify in the three handicap categories but on the day of the competition they would play under their current handicap even if that was outside the range under which they had qualified. Previously if someone qualified in the 0-14 category but then rose to 15 before the competition day they became ineligible to play in the event.
Gordon Moore of Staddon Heights retired after nine years as our Treasurer during which time he was also our Captain and President and Ted Holmes of Tavistock retired after five years as our Secretary and he too was also a Captain and President in that time.
A difficult year from the administration point of view with a change of Secretary in the middle of the year resulting in the Captain and Vice-Captain taking over the role for the remainder of the season.
There was also a significant problem concerning player eligibility with an Emerton-Court match which resulted in both Clubs being disqualified and also resulted in further changes to the Emerton-Court Rules to introduce a formal disputes procedure under Rule 7 which was proposed and adopted at the AGM. As Vice-Captain the author was heavily involved with the problem and suffice to say that no one came out of it with any great credit (Executive and Clubs) with common sense being in short supply but lessons were well learnt!!
A new trophy in honour of Gordon Moore was introduced at the Summer Meeting and is awarded to the best score by a player over 70.
We began using Christian names on all documentation – Start Sheets, Fixture Cards etc. etc. rather than just initials as more fitting for the friendly ethos of the DMVGA.
We introduced DMVGA Logo golf balls for our 2’s sweep and set a standard issue of 6 balls per two so that they could be given to players on the day.
A proposal that players belonging to more than one Club could select which Club they represented in the Emerton-Court competition was heavily defeated at the AGM. The rule which stated they must represent their home Club (Club which held their handicap) was therefore unchanged.
A proposal at the AGM that in three man team events all three players from each Club be allowed to play as one group so that they could give advice to their other team members was defeated on the casting vote of the President.
Ted Holmes was elected as a Life Member of the DMVGA.
The decision to run our events without a set meal (see 2007) went disastrously wrong at the Spring meeting at Wrangaton with a significant number of members who had indicated that they would be having a meal then not doing so. The DMVGA, quite rightly, had to compensate Wrangaton in view of their loss. From that point in the year “meal tickets” had to be purchased for those members who had indicated they would have a meal (for those having bar snacks each Club was advised of numbers).
At the AGM the President explained that “Clubs were in general offering us an excellent deal on course fees and should expect to obtain a reasonable income from bar and catering at our events.” The intention was to include a one-course meal with choices. It was unanimously agreed that we would revert to having a meal for all players and the Secretary was asked to ensure that the entry fee (covering golf, meal, prizes and 2’s sweep) did not exceed £20 per head.
Secretary reported that, in conjunction with the Treasurer, he had introduced budgets for each of our meetings.
He had also set up standardised documentation and had begun creating a “Secretarial Year Bible” for future secretarial changes.
It was proposed that we should consider setting up a DMVGA Website and a Committee member agreed to investigate the procedure.
The Annual Subscription was increased to £2.50 (from £2) and this was the first increase since 1982!!!!!
The entry fees for events with just a one-course meal were set at £17 per head.
The first DMVGA Website using a template supplied by Moonfruit, was set up by our Treasurer – David Bromage.
Exminster joined the DMVGA pushing us up to 40 Clubs with nearly 1600 members.
Following very slow play in the Millennium Trophy in 2009, which was still a Medal competition in those days, in albeit very difficult conditions a request had been made at the AGM in 2009 that it become a Stableford event. This was approved by the Committee by a majority vote of 8-2.
We increased our annual donation to the County Juniors to £150 – it had remained at £100 since 1988.
The Western Morning News rules were changed to allow Clubs to enter a maximum of three teams (was two) of three players and this improved the numbers playing.
It was agreed at the AGM to re-schedule the Emerton-Court Final to the first week in October so that early rounds could be played in late April/May rather than March/early April given the very wet Spring conditions in recent years.
A proposal at the AGM that the first two rounds of the Emerton-Court be drawn on a regional basis failed to find a seconder.
There were yet more changes to the Emerton-Court Rules concerning practise on the day of a match (currently not allowed) as follows: “Practise is permitted on the day of a match but only on the Club’s designated practise area”. This debate had arisen since a few Clubs had their practise area as a part of their course, i.e. Tiverton.