DMVGA History 2021- present
The history for this year is not available due to Covid.
The 2022 year got under way with the continuing Winter Series where Portmore ran out as worthy winners. A full list of winners of all trophies can be seen on this website under the heading of Fixtures’. The format of the Millennium Trophy was changed this year on a trial basis. This was mainly due to the fact that the event had not been particularly well supported of late; the format of 3 players per club in 3 differing handicap divisions and having to qualify in a nominated event at their club all was proving a disincentive. During President Bob Small’s visits to varying clubs in 2021 and this year there had been regular requests for a standalone competition for the over 75’s. It was, thus, decided to make the Millennium Trophy an over 75 competition with no differing handicap divisions with no need to qualify for the event. This was not however an altogether successful venture with support not being as high as hoped. Another format will be introduced next year, again on a trial basis.
Although the first meeting of the year, the President’s Salver at Tavistock, was full to bursting with 180 competitors, numbers at some of the meetings were well down on the usual high level of attendances where waiting lists have not been unusual. It’s uncertain why some of these events are experiencing relatively low attendances whilst other events are still full; possibly increasing entry fees; possibly increasing fuel costs; possibly people being more choosy on their selection of events/venues they attend; possibly post Covid uncertainty - or maybe a combination of all of the above. A summary of numbers attending events will be made with an effort to see if there is a pattern emerging. Your author is also involved in athletics within the county and, in particular, the organisation of road and cross country races and it is noticeable that attendance at such events are also reduced; so much so that, in some cases, very well established races have had to be cancelled and lost for ever. It is evident that many things have changed since the Covid 19 pandemic; again there does not seem to be any particular reason but there is no doubt that these changes are taking place. More careful planning of our own DMVGA events will be required taking account of reduced numbers.
Captain Tim Douglas-Riley from Yelverton enjoyed a successful season in general but the match results did not necessarily mirror his general enjoyment; losses to Cornwall, albeit narrow, Kent and the Devon County Ladies Veterans were all taken in good heart and may have stiffened his resolve as we approached the match against the Devon Juniors. This match was won, handsomely, and the Trophy was retained by the DMVGA for the very first time in the matches’ history.
The blue riband DMVGA Emerton-Court Trophy was won by Downes Crediton for the first time with Portmore making it to the final for the very first time. The match was hard fought and played in an excellent competitive spirit. The final has been hosted by Churston since its inception – Gordon Emerton-Court having been a member at Churston; however this year Tiverton hosted the final for the first time as Gordon was also a member at that club. The final will return to Churston next year. Another departure was that the draw for next year’s Emerton-Court Trophy was made before the AGM giving Reps and Captains more time to organise their fixtures.
The bi-annual visit to Kent in July was much enjoyed by all who travelled to that Garden County; our colleagues in Kent, both the Kent team and the Weald of Kent Club, afforded us a very warm welcome. The warmth of their welcome did not, however, extend to the golf matches themselves where we were beaten on both counts despite putting up brave resistance. The relationships we have with our friends in Kent are very heart-warming and we look forward to welcoming them to Churston in July next year.
Following the successful Reps meeting last year, another such meeting was held in November. There is no doubt that the Reps find the meeting a useful forum; not just for the specific discussion points but as a place where general information can be exchanged and friendships formed. New Reps find these meetings particularly useful.
At the AGM Les Hartley stood down as Secretary. Les had been in post for 4 years and saw the Association through some of the biggest changes in its history and the Association should be grateful for all that he has done and overseen in the past 4 years. His place will be taken by Malcolm Tester from Teignmouth; Malcolm is already quite well known throughout the county for his involvement in our game at varying levels and brings a wealth of experience. We wish him well.
Chris Henderson also stood down from the Committee. Chris was the Association’s Captain in 2017 had been on the Committee since 2014 and has been very supportive in so many ways. It is perhaps, though, for the Winter Series that he is best known; with no events on the calendar from October through to April, Chris saw the opportunity to increase golfing events for the Association. Staging a test event at his home club of Tavistock in 2016 the event has gone from strength to strength and there are now 32 teams competing at 4 events throughout the winter. Chris’s main aim has been, and remains, to increase golfing opportunities for our membership. Chris will though continue to organise this 2022/23 Winter Series.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine brought about much sympathy from the country in general and so far this year the DMVGA has raised in excess of £930.00 to date plus Gift Aid at 20%, so a round total of about £1116.00.
This year saw the continued development of the administration behind the Association. A brand new, more friendly, website was developed by Pete Rogers from Teignmouth; specifically, the website was developed with the use of mobile ‘phones very much in mind. This work would have cost a substantial amount, but Pete Rogers’ work was done just as part of his role as IT officer for which we are all most grateful. This also brings about a reduction in the Association’s overheads of approximately £1,000.00 pa for the management of the previous website. The organisation of the competitions was undertaken by Tim Douglas-Riley from Yelverton in a most professional manner; with use of the new website and embracing the WHS brought about a smooth transition which should now enable most committee members to take their turn at manning the check in desk on competition days. Our Secretary, Malcolm Tester from Teignmouth, continues to administer the affairs of the Association in a most orderly manner and, with his contacts in and knowledge of Devon golf, is very well placed to advise the Committee on matters of state.
Captain David Bromage had mixed success in our matches. Against Cornwall at Trethorne we won
3-5, but then at Stover we lost 3-5; thus the overall match was tied and so the Salver remains with Cornwall. Our very good friends from Kent visited us in July when we played them at Churston and we were badly beaten 2-6 but we all look forward to our trip to Kent in July ’24. The match against the Devon Juniors at Sidmouth was, however, a great 5-3 win – and we’ve now won the trophy for 3 years on the trot! It should be noted however that the date of the match coincided with A level results, so the Junior’s team was made up of the younger lads. Despite not winning, they did their side proud; very good players, all very polite and good company. The future of Devon Golf is in good hands and the date for the 2024 match has been arranged to avoid A level and GCSE results. The match against the Devon Lady Veteran Golfers Association was held at Exminster with the Ladies running out winners 4.5-3.5.
The DMVGA Emerton-Court Trophy was won by Gt. Torrington at Churston when they beat Exeter on the first extra hole. This was the first time that Gt. Torrington had appeared in the final and indeed it’s the very first time that the Trophy has been won by a 9-hole club – well done Gt. Torrington!
Attendance at the varying competitions throughout the year was varied; the Winter Series continues to be very popular and is full. However, the same cannot be said for all the summer competitions; since Covid there has been a change in peoples’ attitudes and they appear to be much more selective in which competitions, or venues, to attend. Clubs are now charging far more than in the past and so our new system of charging for events now means that, despite lower numbers, every event breaks even at worst but mostly make a small profit.
A new trophy, the Coronation Trophy, was presented by President Bob Small to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles iii – the first Coronation to take place since the inception of the Association. The Trophy to be awarded to the highest individual Stableford score in the Anniversary Trophy event. Details of all trophy winners may be found elsewhere on this website.
It was with surprise, and no little sadness, we learned that Wrangaton GC was up for sale and that, if no successful bids were submitted, the course would close in September. For a while it appeared as if a buyer had been found but the negotiations foundered at the very last hurdle and the course closed. A sad loss to the county.
During the year Stover GC underwent substantial work as the road widening scheme of the A382, from Drumbridges Roundabout to Newton Abbot, is taking part of the eastern side of the course. The result, however, is the addition of 5 glorious new holes. The first Winter Series event in October meant that members were able to sample a part of the new layout even if it was on an extremely rainy day. The completely new course should be open for use from June 2024. Stover GC must surely become one of the ‘must-play’ courses in Devon.