A message from our Thrash Captain, Mark Clement
The Thrash is unique to Willingdon Golf Club. Other clubs have their 'Roll Up' where a few members turn up and enjoy each other's company for a round and go off home quietly.
Started over 20 years ago in a similar way, its popularity with like-minded members who enjoy our great game followed by a friendly drink and a bit of banter, has grown to what we have now.
It is the largest non-official members’ driven competition in the club. For a £2 stake players compete for a £60 prize fund and for 2's which accumulate throughout the year with a payout at the Christmas Thrash, held in 'October'! There's a Captain, me this year, who takes the monies, checks the winning cards and announces the winner. There's also a treasurer who handles the money and a statistician who keeps all the players’ scores on a computer and calculates the players’ scores over the year.
In October we have our Christmas Thrash where all players who have played in more than 16 Thrashes throughout the year, qualify to compete in a special match where we have nearest the pins on all par 3's, nearest the pin in 2 on many holes and longest drive. This is also the time you collect your 2's money and the new Thrash Captain takes over. There are also non-qualifying prizes for members that have not been able to compete in 16 Thrashes in the year.
The pinnacle of the day is when we announce the winner of the 'Green Jacket'. This is the member who has accumulated the highest aggregate score played over his best 16 games from the year. We all have our own idea who we think has won, and I'm pleased to report that Ian Frampton took the honours. Ian now gets to put his name on the lapel with all the other great players from past years. The rest of us can check the stats and find out our own aggregate score, and see how close we came to winning what has come to be regarded as an extremely respected club title.
Every Saturday morning around 10 o'clock the 'Thrashers' start to gather in the bar, most enjoy a hearty breakfast and some even an early beer!
By 11 o'clock the first four balls start from both the first and the ninth tees. This goes on for the next couple of hours until all are out there. There are side bets in all directions, and generally a friendly match play in each group, which helps concentrate the mind.
Returning to the club house, each player makes their way to the Captain where £2 is discharged along with their Stapleford score and their success at obtaining a two is advised. The Captain writes this information down for the Stats man, John, to enter into his machine later.
A few light beverages are consumed before the Captain has the honour of taking the microphone and announcing the number of players, the number of 2's achieved and their value, and, of course, the winner that day.
Most players are teamed in pairs, and a diary kept behind the bar is used by all for arranging the four balls - tee times for which are booked on the club computer system. For those new members, or for members just looking for a game, just turn up at about 10 o'clock on a Saturday, and you will always get a game. There is always someone looking for a spare player, and then that's it - you’re in!
Each week there are spare funds which the treasurer banks, and over the years this has amounted to a fair sum. These funds are put to great uses.
We have a Thrash Dinner dance, a Black Tie affair organized by the Thrash Captain, and subsidised by the fund.
Over the years the club has had various improvements paid for by the Thrash Fund. The Defibrillator, the flat screen TV in the bar, and the new radio microphones in both bars, to name but a few items that the Thrash Fund has provided for the entire club.
In my first week as Thrash Captain we had 67 members playing, so we must be getting something right. Come and join us and have some fun.
Mark Clement, Thrash Captain