Ladies AGM 4th October 2021 @ 3pm

Good afternoon everyone and thank you all for being here.

I have been lady captain now for 348 days and I can honestly say that I have loved every one of those days. The reason for this is becauSse of each and every lady member at Knysna Golf Club. Along with many of you, I know that we are very blessed to have the most amazing group of lady members who always bring joy, fun and wholehearted support to fellow members, myself and the committee. We truly are a family.

I would like to thank you all for your undivided support during my first year of captaincy. I have received many personal messages over the months that have gone a long way to helping me keep my spirits up and reinforcing that the job that myself and the committee are doing is appreciated. Change is never easy, but with your support, perseverance and acceptance, these changes have been well received.

We are still living through COVID and some of the past months have been trying with regards to changes in lockdown levels, however I think we have all taken these in our stride and definitely made golf an important part of getting out of our homes to enjoy a day out. Along with COVID, we have had a few bad weather days which somehow seem to always happen on Thursdays, however in roughly 49 weeks we have held over 33 Thursday competitions with an average of 25 players per competition. The weekly numbers are down however I know these will continue to improve and look forward to the days of over 40 ladies playing again on a Thursday. I know we can do it. Thank you to all of you for your commitment, energy and enthusiasm to Thursday golf.

Some competition results:
• November 2020 saw the Captain vs Vice-Captain which ended in a very friendly draw.
• The Gay Collier Trophy was played in January and was won by Alva Fisher and Gina Nel on 47 points.
• The Valentines competition in February saw a lovely field of 43 players in a choose your 4-ball and was won by Di Tingle, Alvi Barnard, Vanessa Thrower and Sorina Leibich on 84 points.
• The Zoe Marr Trophy was also played in February and was won by Di Tingle on 41 points.
• The Finkelstein Trophy in February was won by Bev McKenna and Kenah Cryer on 42 points.

Thanks must of course be given to our wonderful Thursday competition prize sponsors, these are Food Lovers Market Knysna, Chemdry, Hazel Eksteen & Sotheby’s, Scratch Golf, Hyundai and Hedzup.

Club Champs took place in March, with the following results for the ladies section:
LadiesA-DivisionNettWinner: Sam Bruce (73) (70) 143 Nett
LadiesB-Division NettWinner: Margrit Giger (76) (72) 148 Nett
LadiesC-Division Stableford Winner: LauriolKiebler (37) (32) 69 Points
Ladies B-Division Gross Winner: Bev McKenna (96) (95) 191 Gross
Ladies Champion:Lizzie Lightley (77) (80) 157 Gross
Lizzie Lightley went on the win the Matchplay Silver Division Knockout.

Well done to all the ladies that played.

There is definitely one shot we would all like to master at least once in our lifetime, the elusive hole-in-one. Congratulations to the following ladies on hitting that perfect shot over the past 12 months: Bernie Fredericks on the 8th at Knysna, Gina Nel on the 8th at Knysna, Wendy du Toit on the 8th at Knysna, Jenny Frost on the 14th at Knysna, Tanya Lightley on the 14th at Knysna, Lizzie Lightley on the 5th hole at Royal West Course, Johannesburg, during the SA Amateur Open, Zenda Rautenbach on the 7th hole at St Francis Links and two for Liz Keller, one on the 11th hole at Simola and one on the 11th hole at Goose Valley!

Our biggest ladies event since COVID, and over 30 months since we hosted the last one, was our Knysna Ladies At Home Day on Thursday the 30th of September. We had a wonderful field of 80 players and great fun was had by all. Many thanks go to the sponsors who generously donated prizes, TMBA Architects, Hedzup and Scratch Golf. To Brand Republic and Black Mountain Gin for setting up some thirst quenchers on the course and to Lynn Decker for a fabulous clothing voucher for our raffle. Of course, the day could not have been such a huge success without our presenting sponsor, Food Lovers Market Knysna. Once again, Hermann Kapp and his team went out of their way sponsoring food, flowers, an enormous raffle hamper and of course all of the prize vouchers. We are, as always, truly grateful for their contribution. And of course, massive congratulations to the winners on the day: Bev McKenna and Gina Nel on a fantastic 47 points.

Often those behind the scenes don’t get the thanks that they deserve. To the ground staff, the course is looking truly amazing after some very trying times and a great deal of rain. As always a huge thank you to Simon, Chris and Earl in the Green Fee Office – their jobs are sometimes made a little bit challenging, however they always step up to the plate. Thank you to Ben and Leonard and all the caddies. To Brenda and all of the lovely ladies in the kitchen, thank you for the delicious meals and hard work and dedication. To Gordon and all the bar staff – what would we do without them? There can be no doubt that when lockdowns prohibited alcohol sales the ladies felt a little lost just playing and leaving without being able to chat and drink after the game, however we have definitely already made up for all of those months! Thank you all for your hard work.

I would like to take this opportunity to mention our late Caddymaster, Adam Rhode, who passed away unexpectedly. He was a very big part of many members days and I know we will all remember him fondly.

Thank you to the Club Captain, David McIlvenna and the Executive Committee who have tirelessly all given many hundreds of hours over the past year in dealing with COVID, staff, members and the day-to-day running of our Club. This is definitely a thankless task and each and every committee member has dealt with challenges and everything that has been thrown their way with the utmost professionalism and level headedness. On behalf of the ladies section I’d like to wish the Executive Committee all of the very best for the coming year and the Ladies’ sections unwavering support.

To our General Manager, Meyer du Toit. You have definitely received a baptism by fire since you joined the Knysna Golf Club family this year, but I think we can all say that we have seen a huge change in the day-to-day running of the Club and overall positivity levels. You are extremely approachable, no request is ever too big and your open door policy is refreshing and much needed. Thank you for your dedication and the time and energy that you put into every day at Knysna Golf Club, it is truly appreciated.

And onto the Ladies Committee… Thank you all for taking me under your wing and teaching me so much this year. Each of you has imparted on me your wisdom, kindness and positivity and I am truly grateful to you all.

Two of our committee members are stepping down, Tina Procter, thank you for all of your assistance this year and Marion McIlvenna, thank you for your hard work on meeting minutes and getting all the communication out to the lady members.

Wendy, thank you for your guidance this year and Topsi, you have done a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes, thank you so much. I would like to welcome our new committee members, Vanessa Cloete and Barbara Mills to the team, thank you for stepping up.

I look very forward to heading into the next year with my entire committee who I know will be bringing positivity, fun and a whole lot of energy to make the Knysna Ladies section even better than it already is!

Thank you, this concludes my report.

Samantha Bruce
Lady Captain, Knysna Golf Club