Cumbria Union of Golf Clubs

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Message from Jeff Blair, President 2017

It was a privilege and an honour to be asked to be the President of the CUGC by the Past Presidents, not only for myself but also for my home golf club Seascale, a club steeped in history and tradition. A club that has provided outstanding golfers for the County and Country.

I was a late starter to golf, like many before me progressing from other sports, football, cricket and squash to the links of Seascale in 1992, not withstanding this I caught the ‘bug’ like millions before me.

In 2007 I was asked to Captain the club, an honour which still fills me with immense pride, and the following year I joined the County Executive and have served ‘Team Cumbria’ in a variety of roles since. Latterly as Voting Member, attending England Golf AGM’s and General meetings to represent the Counties interests at National level.

 I have no vision or personal goals for my tenure as President, the county is in good hands, served by dedicated volunteers, we are a forward looking Executive striving to provide guidance, advice and support to all affiliated golfers and their clubs in the County. We work closely with England Golf on their talent pathway producing quality golfers from an early age who will hopefully go on to achieve honours in the amateur ranks at higher levels. As for myself, if the County is on a sound financial footing with a strong Executive when I come to the end of my Presidency I will be very happy.

Like all Counties, Cumbria rely upon affiliation fees and sponsorship to help finance the County teams. Budgets are set and adhered to, with Team Captains accountable for all expenditure, Sponsorship is becoming increasingly difficult in the current climate, however we have an active team constantly looking for new sponsors throughout the year. Once again we have secured Carus Green as our main sponsor this year, for which we are very grateful, and winter training will start at the Gary Wolstenholme Carus Golf Academy with all our teams using their fantastic facilities, which hopefully will provide a good starting point to the season.

As you may be aware, funding was made available to produce a new Mobile phone App for Cumbira golf, Alan Shaw our outgoing President has worked on the App from concept to launch and will be visiting all the clubs in the county in the coming months to offer advice on how each club could utilise the App for their own use. Please check the App out, it’s free to all Affiliated Cumbrian golfers.

This year sees the return of the ‘Big 6’ to Cumbria, and I’m proud to announce the competition will take place at Seascale on 9th August, make a note of this date in your diaries and try to attend to support Cumbria as we try to win on home ground.

The Northern Counties League will no doubt continue to be a hotbed of fiecely contested competitive golf with Cumbria hopefully challenging for the title, although we are one of the smallest counties, we regulary punch above our weight, producing outstanding individual golfers, and my best wishes go to AJ Edwards and his team for the forthcoming season. Please visit our website to view all this years fixtures, and if possible, try to attend one or two to support our teams.

Our Junior team continues to improve year on year and we look forward to another exciting season for them. I must make a special thanks to John Smith the junior team manager, who does a remarkable job, and also to the parents of our boys who turn up week after week providing transport, moral support and unwaiving enthusiasm without asking for anything in return.

Our Seniors are now becoming a force to be reckoned with in the new Senior league, my best wishes to Harry Horridge and his team for this year.

Cumbria is not just a Union of male Golfers, we also have a Ladies Association, who I hope will continue to work with the Union and England Golf, particulary at grass roots level.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Ladies Teams all the best for this season

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the work of the County Executives who give up their time and at their own cost to help ensure ‘Team Cumbria’ function as one unit, and I cannot miss out on this opportunity to thank our County Secretary Tom Stout and his wife Kate for all their work in making sure that the county functions and maintains the high standards expected from you, and our sponsors.

So, in closing, could I send a plea to all the golfers in the County? The Executive is always looking for new blood, there’s no CV required, you don’t have to have any special talents, just a desire to help this great County to maintain and sustain the Union for future years for the benefit of all our golfers.

I look forward to seeing you around the county over the next 12 months and wish you all a good years golf.

Jeff Blair

President CUGC

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