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Stapleford Park Golf Club

UGAGB Summer Classic

24 June 2018


Today the UGAGB travelled to Leicestershire, famous for its Stilton and Red Leicester cheeses, a county where the remains of King Richard III were found under a Leicester car park in 2012 and where travel firm Thomas Cook was founded in 1841. Stapleford Park Golf Club was our venue, an enchanting place where some of our members were hoping to make a little history themselves, especially Mick Melnyk who when entering the locality of Melton Mowbray, was convinced that having the same initials in his name "MM" was a sign that he would be in prize contention, later in the day.

The impressive entrance to Stapleford Park Golf Club and grounds was delightful, it gave a good first impression and provided everyone with a feeling of great expectation. The Pavilion club house had a magnificent thatched roof and was built in the style of the old cottages on the Stapleford estate. The non-descript entrance to the Club House was hidden away from the small wooded car park by surrounding parkland and whilst having a beautiful exterior and an interior decorated to the highest level, there was a definite lack of golfing memorabilia and history to help give the club house any distinct identity.

Due to several reported injuries, the UGAGB also found itself lacking in members for this event, regretfully the following members all failed late fitness tests and sadly had to withdraw from the event:

Mick Rewilak - Bursitis aka tennis elbow

Pete Wolociuha - Swollen ankle

Jaroslaw Bdzola - Swollen feet

Mick Gillies - Recovering from hip replacement

Zenon Sydor - Supporting wife who had a suspected fractured arm

We wish them and family members a speedy recovery and hope they will soon regain full health and fitness. On a happier note President Skalsky, who himself was suffering from a frozen shoulder, declared himself fit to play and whilst at times, clearly suffering, he soldiered on in true Ukrainian spirit.

And so, after the ceremony of the traditional bacon baps, we all withdrew from the dining area to gather at the first tee. Unbelievably, with the exception of a couple of four balls and a bloke with his dog, we had the whole course to ourselves. In fact it felt like UGAGB had more members on the day than our hosts. For the record we had 5 teams of 3, which consisted of 14 competing members and 1 guest. Earlier that morning course cards had been completed for 13 members and 1 guest but to everyone's pleasant surprise, non-more than Bazz, Andy Bendzak appeared for his first event of the season. Apparently Bazz had forwarded his usual email inviting everyone to the event but for some unknown reason, Bazz hadn't receive back Andy's acceptance nor as a result, had he recorded him to play.

At 11am team Aces, formed by committee members Skalsky, Bdzola and Meggitt, took their places on the first tee. One by one the remaining groups followed, each tackling the relatively short but undulating 273 yards par 4 which was scattered with tricky and strategically positions fairway bunkers.

Remarkably free from intrusion, the 5 teams worked their way around the relatively open course which was reminiscent to a links course. Spacious and peaceful, it offered no shelter from the mid-day sun and soring temperature.

Geoff Gillies made easy work of the par 3 hole 5, which measured 175 yards. His perfectly guided iron tee shot was good enough to clinch nearest the pin, his second shot making birdie, job done. Moving on to hole 12, Boom-Boom Bendzak made his mark, outdriving the whole field to take longest drive. At the 14th, Stef Boris produced a fine tee shot to secure NP but unlike Geoff earlier, Stef let his birdie opportunity fly away, only to make par. The last of the minor prizes went to Mike Bartkiw who finished his round in style. With the final put of the day, he made par on last hole and in the process, won NP in 2.

Team of the day was the Aces, they led from start to finish and claimed a cash prize with a modest 77 points. Well done to Messrs B. Bdzola, Skalsky and Meggitt.

Back in the club house, which incidentally was opened in the Autumn of 2000 by Justin Rose, one of England's highest world-ranked golfers, everyone gathered for some post-round analysis and drinks. Later in the relaxed setting of the oak beamed dining area the society was served a very nice 3 course meal and midway through President Skalsky announced the major prize winners and the overall Summer Classic Champion.

Similarly to the team winners, scores were fairly modest and on reflection most members went home believing they could and perhaps should have won prizes, if only they hadn't dropped 2 or 3 shots caused by basic errors, things could have been so different. However on the day Division One winner was John Pasicznyk 33 points, 2nd Graham Meggitt 32 points and 3rd Mike Bartkiw 30 points. In Division Two 3rd place went to Bazz 29 points, 2nd Roman Skalsky 32 points. Division Two winner and overall champion was Geoff Gillies who recorded 36 points, this with a couple of blobs on his card.

Unfortunately, last year's winner Mick Gillies wasn't there to present his brother with the trophy but nevertheless Geoff was happy to accept it from President Skalsky and for another year, this silverware was safely returned to the family trophy cabinet.

Our next event takes us to the region of Towcester in Northamptonshire for our much anticipated annual weekend away, this year to be held at Whittlebury Hall Golf Club and Country Hotel - Fri 27th to Sun 29th July, look forward to seeing you there.



Click here to see photographs from Stapleford Park Golf Club

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Leeds Golf Centre

UGAGB Spring Cup

20 May 2018


"Ey Up", the moment had finally arrived, it was a date on the calendar which everyone had been eagerly awaiting. England's finest County had already played host to two major sporting events in May, The "Tour De Yorkshire" and the World Snooker Championships. To complete this prestigious sporting hat-trick our very own Spring Cup Golf Tournament was heading to West Yorkshire. Yes the UGAGB had arrived in God's own Country and the weather and Yorkshire folk gave them, a "reet" grand old welcome.

Today's event, organized solely by new committee member Mick Rewilak was held at the Leeds Golf Centre, the home of modern golf, as stated on the entrance signage. Although a relatively new complex, it had already won the much coveted title "Club of the Year 2018" at the England Golf Awards.

Early arrivals had gathered outside, capturing the early morning sunshine. With the tantalizing smell of bacon sarnies in the air, it wasn't long before everyone was entering the club house which was light and contemporary, each like crazed carnivores, awaiting the entry of the mountain of butties. With brown and red sauces at the ready, the boys quickly demolished the stack.

Although the turnout was moderate, with only fifteen members making the journey, it did enable us to select five teams of three and for the first time this season a team event was included. Ten division two and five division one members each made their way to the first tee including Slawko Bdzola who following illness and a long road to recovery was making his first playing appearance since our weekend away in 2017. After a few group photos and some course management instructions from Mark the starter, team Aces took their places and drove their shots down the first fairway of the par 72, 5936 yard, Wike Ridge course.

The afternoon temperature was set to reach 22 degrees and soon our members were scattered around the neatly manicured course, recognizable in their red shirts, all but Mick Bartkiw, a staunch Manchester City supporter who having already reluctantly worn the red shirt earlier this season, decided he would revert back to his preferred colour of blue. This proved lucky for Mick who went onto win a treble of minor prizes.

The first of Mick Bartkiw prizes came on the 2nd hole. An impressive and extremely long 559 yard hole. Due to its length, Mick Rewilak had the unique idea to include a nearest the pin in three and thought this would offer and exhilarating challenge for our members. It certainly did and with three magnificent strikes, Mick Bartkiw's golf ball found its way to the green and pole position.

As well hosting one of the longest holes in the north, this championship golf course offered a further seventeen dramatic holes, all set within acres of stunning woodland scenery.

When score cards are handed out, one of the first things our members look for is the longest drive hole. With a few big hitters missing from today's field, everyone felt they were in with a chance. Hole 12 was the nominated hole which came with its own dangers. Hookers in our group had to be aware, water down the left would gather any shot propelled in that direction. The narrowly cut fairway ensured accuracy was order of the day. A few members managed to skillfully guide their shots down the center, recording their names on the marker and positioning it where their ball had laid to rest. Zenon Sydor was the eventual LD winner, Zenon executed a cannon like blast which rocketed past the marker, landing some 50 yards beyond the previous leader, Dave Brown.

With bunkers galore and breath-taking water hazards including a lake and fountain guarding the 18th green, Wike Ridge unquestionably gave our members a wonderful golfing experience and is definitely a course which most would like to revisit.

Team tens were the last group to finish and having signed their score cards, which incidentally were marked with pencils earlier gifted to each member by Paul Killoran, they handed their cards in to President Skalsky. At this point it was noted that there had been a slight blip when initially highlighting the stroke index on the scorecards. This caused a little extra work for the committee and a slight delay for the meal but the problem was soon fixed and the final positioning approved.

Food was served in the 19th bar and grill restaurant and whilst it was very tasty, it was noticeable that portions were a tad "nouvelle cuisine" style, both courses being rather delicate with an increased emphasis on presentation. Maybe not to everyone's preference, particularly after an energy zapping round of golf....?

With score cards in hand, President Skalsky was eager to announce the final positions but first Geoff Gilles was finally presented with the Challenge Trophy he won at last month's event.

Mick Bartkiw picked up his nearest pin in three prize (Hole 2) along with the nearest in two (hole 18). He also was one of four players who made birdie each collecting 6 per birdie for their achievement. Other birdie winners were Dave Brown, John Pasicznyk and a couple for Mick Rewilak. Other minor prizes went to Graham Meggitt, nearest pin (hole 5) and Geoff Gillies, nearest pin (hole 7).

The warm late spring weather also brought with it some hot scores. In flight two Paul Killoran finished third with 35 points. He was unlucky not to finish higher but a couple of blobs on the back nine proved costly. Paul's team partner Graham Meggitt benefited from his misfortune, this allowed Graham to squeeze into second place with 36 points. However Division Two winner on the day was Mike Bdzola (Bazz) with a magnificent 39 points.

The top flight scoring was very similar. In third place with 34 points was today's big hitter Zenon Sydor, second place was claimed by "Mr Consistent" John Pasicznyk, 35 points. The top spot in Division one went to one of the season's newcomers, Dave Brown, who produced a solid performance and 38 points.

Winner of the team prize were the Jacks (Dave Brown, Paul Killoran and Graham Meggitt). All three team members picked up divisional prizes, therefore it was inevitable that their team score of 87 would prove hard to beat.

Having already been named Divisional winner in flight two, Mike Bdzola (Bazz) was duly crowned Spring Cup Champion 2018. Last year's winner John Pasicznyk, presented Bazz with the trophy.

Finally everyone showed their appreciation and congratulated Mick Rewilak for organizing a great event and a tired Slawko Bdzola personally thanked his playing partners for their help and assistance around the course.

Our next event is in Leicester at Stapleford Park Golf Club 24th June 2018.



Click here to see photographs from Leeds Golf Centre

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Belton Park Golf Club

UGAGB Challenge

22 April 2018


The second event of the golf season took us to the wonderful setting of Belton Park Golf Club. This club was recently included in the Golf Monthly top 100 Hidden Gems and was said to be "A hidden Gem a golf course that embodies fun from start to finish; one where the scenery, the atmosphere and the feel-good factor count for more than the severity of the test." This statement was certainly true and whilst being demanding in parts, the course played fair and was enjoyable.

We had nineteen playing members, one more than last month, all were very warmly welcomed by our host Christine who was extremely hospitable and went out of her way to ensure that we were looked after with supplies of tea, coffee and bacon baps. She even offered our early arrivals a sample taste of a new beer which had just arrived on the market, Carlsberg 1883. Everyone who tasted it appeared to appreciate its unique well balanced aftertaste including Mick Melnyk who compared it to "mother's milk'. A fine start to the day and yes in true Carlsberg style, this was "Probably" going to be one of our best golfing days ever..!

Having each paid President Skalsky two pounds for entry into the birdie pool and playing cards chosen, four, four balls and one, three ball group were formed. All smartly dressed in new red UGAGB shirts, Mick Rewilak requested everyone to gather outside the small but neatly presented clubhouse for our first group member photo shoot of the season. The weather was perfect for golf and for taking pictures, although slightly less than perfect was the host who had kindly agreed to take the pictures. Bless him, he had trouble focusing on the camera viewfinder and the resulting photos were in definite need of some photo shopping!

From the practice green onto the first tee. Belton Park GC had a total of 27 challenging and attractive holes, all set in beautiful parkland in the heart of Lincolnshire. Today we were to play the 18 hole, par 71, Brownlow course, with 6490 yards of stunning landscape overlooking the grade one listed mansion 'Belton House'. The course was in good shape and was about to offer a challenging test of golf, regardless of handicap.

One by one our members took their initial tee shots, generally producing some admirable drives down the dog leg left fairway. The only non-playing member was Mick Gillies, he had recently undergone hip replacement surgery and arrived to the event on crutches. Looking well after his operation, he was here to offer support to his brother Geoff. Mick chauffeured Geoff around the course in a buggy they shared, offering his knowledge, advice along with his repertoire of jokes along the way.

There were a couple of nearest the pin prizes (holes 6 and 14). Paul Killoran applied tremendous skill to win NP on hole 6, similarly Trevor Johnson pipped the rest of the field with NP on hole 14. Ever consistent Mick Borys once again showed why he is a low handicapper by firing in with an impressive second shot to comfortably take the prize for NP in two on hole, 3. Surprisingly big hitters Mick Borys nor his son Stef Borys were in contention for the longest drive. Mick Rewilak lead the way but Zenon Sydor who formed part of the final grouping, hit a screamer which whizzed past Mick's earlier attempt to win longest drive on hole 18. All in all the course provided a good test of golf, the attractive golf course setting with its herd of fallow deer and roaming Canadian geese provided a marvellous backdrop which was a joy to play.

Back in the clubhouse everyone was ready for the meal of the day which consisted of steak pie dinner and a very substantial portion of apple crumble with custard. Service was a little on the slow side, perhaps respectfully delayed due to the presentations which were all awarded immediately after the first course.

Mr President announced that generally the overall scoring was better than the previous month's. There was a total of nine birdies recorded with three going to Stef Borys who for his fine performance collected 12. Not far behind was father Mick Borys who sunk two birdies, 8 for Mick. Single birdies were also secured by Geoff Gillies, Ray Gregory, Paul Killoran and Zenon Sydor, each collecting 4 for their achievement.

Now to the main awards. The two divisions were made up eleven participants in Division Two and eight in Division One with final places being announced, again by President Skalsky. Flight two produced some very good scoring. In third place was Ray Gregory with a score of 36pts, second with 38pts was Mick Rewilak but with some valuable coaching from his brother Mick, Geoff Gillies took pole position with a terrific 39pts. The top trio in flight one also came in with credible scores. In third spot was Zenon Sydor with 29pts, a close second was Mick Melnyk, 32pts but winner of Division one with a solid 33pts was Stef Borys. Unfortunately for Stef 33 pts wasn't quite good enough to take the overall trophy.

Although Jon Iwanejko was unsuccessful in his fight to retain the trophy he won last year, he did manage to keep his hands on it for one more month, having that morning, left it at home. Graceful in defeat, he along with all other participants congratulated the overall winner, Geoff Gillies who with 39pts was duly crowned Challenge Trophy champion 2018.

Bringing closure to the formalities, Mick Rewilak announced the venue for next month's event, he will be sending out in due course, notification emails to all members. In the meantime and for your diaries, the next event will take place in Gods own country at:- Leeds Golf Centre, Wikeridge Road, Shadwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 9JW on 20th May 2018



Click here to see photographs from Belton Park Golf Club

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College Pines Golf Club, Worksop

UGAGB Presidents Trophy

25 March 2018


They say that springtime is a time for new beginnings, well that was certainly true for UGAGB. The new season brought with it a new President and committee, new members, new shirts and a new editor of the monthly newsletter.

At last our golfing season had arrived and the first event was to be held at College Pines GC. A well established, heathland course set amid idyllic surroundings of Clumber Park and Worksop College.

Eighteen playing members who had registered for this event, were present. All happy to see one another and especially ex-President, Jaroslaw Bdzola, who joined the group on the day.

Whilst everyone was gathered in the bunker bar, following bacon sandwiches, tea and coffee our new President, Roman Skalsky gave a warm opening welcome, particularly to our two new recruits, Mike Bartkiw and Dave Brown, both representing our contingency from Lancashire. Playing cards at the ready and onto the draw. Three playing groups of four and two groups of three were formed and the time had come for the 2018 season opener to begin.

Outside we had been blessed with some dry weather, sunny conditions with a little warmth thrown in. Very lucky as the previous week the UK had received a real beating from the beast from the east. Getting some last minute practice on the driving range was Zenon Sydor, Stephen Holmes along with Paul and Sara Allen. Jon Iwanejko, Mick Borys and John Pasicznyk were all ironing out some putting issues and Mick Melnyk sunk his first pint.

Remarkably the Par 73, 6330 yard course was in fairly good shape considering what the beast had thrown at it, in previous weeks. The fairways were dry allowing balls to scuttle on freely, however the greens were a tad fluffy which made for some tricky putting decisions with many points being lost in and around this area. With five par 5's and some lengthy par 3's, the course proved challenging, this reflected in the scores with some low scoring cards being handed in.

Some five hours later and the game over, players had returned to the club house each with a story to tell and most feeling the after effects of their first outing of the season. Later we were called into the champion's room for our meal and together we all filed out of the bunker bar leaving behind its unique collection of golfing memorabilia. The meal was plentiful and well received, home-made steak pie with chips followed by some customary, crumble and custard.

President Skalsky made his inaugural presentation of prizes, which saw Mick Borys claiming the lions share. Minor prizes went to Mick Borys, nearest pin and nearest pin in 2, Sara Allen nearest pin and Mick Bartkiw longest drive. Mick Borys also shared the birdie pool pot of 36 with Bazz Bdzola and Graham Meggitt.

Division Two was made up of eight players. Bazz Bdzola came third and Mick Rewilak second both with 31 points, Mick winning this duel on countback. However, Sara Allan once again showed her class, taking first prize for this Division with a creditable score of 33 points.

Division one was made up of ten players. Debutant Dave Brown came third with 31 points, 2 points behind Zenon Sydor who claimed second spot. Winner of division one and overall winner of the Presidents Trophy with a score of 34 points was Mick Borys. The Presidents Trophy was presented to Mick by Graham Meggitt, last year's winner.

Finally new red and black UGAGB golfing shirts were handed out to all members which are to be worn at future events this season.

Our next event is in Lincolnshire at Belton Park Golf Club on 22nd April 2018.



Click here to see photographs from College Pines Golf Club

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