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DMVGA History 1981-1990


The Spring Meeting at Honiton was called off because of snow!! – it was subsequently re-arranged at Okehampton.
The accounting year was not changed due to “the disruption of the competitions caused by the postponement of the Spring Meeting”.
It was decided that the Runners-up in the Emerton-Court Final should also receive individual awards (the winners had been since 1978).
A match was played against Worcester for the first time at Saunton and sadly we lost by 3-2. This appears to have been a one-off.
The Honorary Secretary/Treasurer resigned his secretarial role at the AGM thus reverting to separate Secretary and Treasurer posts from the beginning of 1982 and it was decided that the Assistant Secretary role was therefore no longer required and that post lapsed (introduced again in 2014!).
It was agreed that from 1982 the Secretary should receive an Honorarium of £100 and the Treasurer £50.
A donation of £25 was made to the County Juniors.
Numbers of members seeking to play in competitions were extremely high – 260 for Exeter, 290 for Honiton and 300 for Warren and the Honorary Secretary described the situation as “unmanageable”. It was agreed to maintain the block on new members, increase the age for entry to 65 and increase the annual subscription.


Annual subscription was raised to £2 (this was to be the last change until 2010!!).
The President opened the AGM at 8.20pm (took place after the golf and Dinner at the Autumn Meeting in those days with golf in the afternoon) and referred to the passing of Harry Keen our first Secretary and first Life Member.
The AGM also heard that the entry age was not to be raised to 65 but to remain at 60.
Secretary reported his major problem was in “finding suitable venues for our competitions since not all Clubs welcomed us and green fees are rising”. He also asked Club Representatives to forward lists of their members wishing to play in matches to assist the Captain in the selection of teams.
It was confirmed that teams playing in the Emerton-Court Competition should play in order of handicap.
The new President – Mr C Luxton of Teignmouth announced that he would “present the Association with a putter to be played for at an annual putting competition and he would provide a prize each year for the holder.” This is known as the Presidents Putter and is currently (2000’s) awarded to the best individual Stableford score in the Western Morning News Competition.


Our Secretary – Mr F Perkins of Wrangaton had been involved in a “bad accident” and was unable to continue the duties for some time and Major Hawkins (then just the Treasurer) stepped into the breach and in fact performed the job for the major part of 1983 and into 1984 until Mr Perkins fully recovered.
The President reported at the AGM that a “difference of opinion” arose between two Clubs drawn together in the Semi-Final Round of the Emerton-Court competition and although members could speak on the subject later he felt the Committee should deal with the problem at its next meeting. The Clubs are not named in the AGM Minutes.
The Captain proposed that with the new CONGU Handicapping Rules coming into being from 1984 the time had come to play off full handicap and not 7/8 as now. The Executive Committee would consider this issue.
A Club had given a bye at the Quarter-Final stage of the Emerton-Court competition and a member raised the issue at the AGM and an explanation of the reason was given but led to suggestions that should this be repeated the losing team from the previous match should take the place of the team dropping out. It was decided that the Committee should consider all aspects of the Emerton-Court Competition at its first meeting in 1984.
It was agreed to present Captains/Presidents with a suitable memento of their year.


The membership stood at 542 and the embargo on new members remained in place with a number on the waiting list.
The format of the Western Morning News competition was changed from the best three scores of the team of four to the best ball from a team of three.
There was also a change in the format for the Captain’s Day (Summer Meeting in those days) to provide prizes over three divisions based on age and this change was “well received”
It was agreed to donate £50 to the County Juniors for this year and for 1985.
The Secretary thanked all those members who had sent him cards/best wishes whilst he was in hospital and agreed to continue for the following year. It was also confirmed that he would continue to control numbers playing in competitions.


The Secretary reported that unfortunately the Minutes of the Executive Committee meetings from 1981 to 1984 had been lost due to a “binding fault” in the current Minute Book – a new one was on order.
We had successfully applied for affiliation to the English Golf Union. This was a short term association without any apparent benefit to the DMVGA.
It was decided to open membership again but review the position at the beginning of 1986 (the never ending concern about numbers still in evidence). As a result membership was now up to 588.
At the AGM it was agreed that future Presidents would serve a one year term – until now it had been for three years.
It was proposed that the Rule Book be updated and 600 copies were to be ordered at a total cost of £45!!!
There was considerable discussion about the format of the match against the County Juniors where the DMVGA wished to play the matches as four ball better ball but the Juniors Secretary wanted them to be singles or foursomes. Although there were concerns about the future of the match thankfully it has continued on an annual basis.


Alan Dunstan of Elfordleigh had been elected to the recreated post of Secretary/Treasurer at the 1985 AGM and began the most remarkable service to the Association by holding that position for 12 years until the end of 1997 (the author was Secretary for 5 years and is in awe of such dedication!!).
From various minutes and presentation of vouchers at subsequent AGM’s it is clear that Alan’s wife – Betty – and Mrs Irene Setter made a major contribution at each of the meetings in checking-in, card checking etc. etc. but that should not detract from our admiration for his service to the DMVGA.
Matches against Cornwall at Tavistock and the County Juniors were lost to bad weather – rain at Tavistock and gales at Bigbury!!
It was agreed to increase the entry fee for our meetings to £1 and the entry fee for the Emerton-Court Competition to remain at £7.50 (15 players at 50p per player).


A proposal to give the away team a “one hole advantage” in the Emerton-Court Competition was defeated (remember at this time the matches were over 18 holes only and could be at the first named Clubs own course). It was deemed to be against the Rules of Golf.
There were currently 23 Clubs in the Association and it was assumed that all would enter the Emerton-Court Competition.
The Western Morning News Competition reverted to its original format of the best three scores from the team of four but was changed to a Stableford event – until this year it had been a Medal competition. This mean that the Presidents Putter (see 1982 above) could now be awarded to the best individual score as the donor now preferred.
£1000 had been transferred to the Halifax Building Society “in order to obtain interest” and a new typewriter had been purchased.
Slow play was raised again at the AGM!!
A major revision of the DMVGA Rules was completed and approved at the AGM.
A new team match of the Presidents team v Captains team was mooted but would be “further considered in the future”.


From this year the Captain would now chair the Executive Committee and the President would chair the AGM – until now the President had chaired all meetings.
The first two rounds of the Emerton-Court Competition were now to be played on a home and away basis with the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final played on neutral courses. The entry fee was raised to £10 per Club.
Membership was now over 600.
It was agreed to donate £100 to the County Juniors.
It was agreed that the Captain be awarded £100 per year “to assist towards his expenses” (in those days the Captain personally provided the Captain’s Prizes which were played for at the Summer Meeting). It was also agreed to increase the Honorarium of the Secretary/Treasurer to £200 per year.
The Devon Veteran Captain’s Golf Society was founded (the inaugural meeting to set it up took place at Exeter in October 1987) and it was decided that its affairs should be managed by a Committee of three and that the Secretary/Treasurer would be Alan Dunstan!! Their initial Spring Meeting took place at Bigbury in May.


Harold Lee of Sidmouth, who had been our Captain in 1985, passed away in 1988 and left a bequest of £250 in his Will to the DMVGA to be used “towards the cost of a party in recognition of the enjoyment I have had from their company.” It was agreed that it be used each year at the Captain’s Invitation Meeting & Dinner to purchase drinks until the amount was expended. Harold had in fact introduced the Captain’s Invitation Meeting in 1985.
In his memory, the Committee decided to purchase a Silver Salver named the Harold Lee Memorial Trophy and that this be awarded to the runners-up in the Emerton-Court Competition. It was initially awarded to the runners-up for 1988 – Exeter.
In addition to his role as Secretary/Treasurer Alan Dunstan was elected as our Vice-Captain.
In view of the problems of finding neutral courses it was agreed that all Emerton-Court matches up to and including the Semi-Finals be played on a home and away basis.
At the AGM the Captain’s Address contains wonderfully worded notes about the results of the matches where “we won against the Cornish Seniors, we overcame the challenge from the Lady Veterans and we showed mature tolerance when losing to the excellent Devon Juniors.”
Due to the very dry summer Churston, like several other courses had suffered badly, resulting in the Final of the Emerton-Court Competition being postponed until the course was reopened.
Alex Bryson, a former Captain and President was elected to Life Membership of the DMVGA.


In addition to his role as Secretary/Treasurer Alan Dunstan was this years Captain.
Insignia for the President and Captain – in the form of sashes were purchased.
A major revision of the Emerton-Court Rules was introduced – significant changes were that 5 day members were now allowed to play, each match would now finish at the 18 hole (previously each match had to be played to a result) and if the overall match was tied after the second leg then the first pair from each side would play a sudden death decider.
The Final was played at Churston between Saunton and Staddon Heights and the deciding match went to the 26th hole!!!!!
There were now over 700 members.
The Secretary/Treasurer was authorised to purchase a photocopier up to a maximum cost of £1000.
The donation to the County Juniors to remain at £100.
A suggestion that the name be changed to the Devon Seniors………. was put forward at the AGM but not pursued.

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