Westerham Vets

If you enjoy the game of golf and are 55 or over then you will be most welcome to join Westerham Golf Club’s thriving Veterans’ section.

We play roll-ups every Tuesday and Thursday and benefit from inter-group competitions and friendly matches with 20+ great clubs .

If all this appeals then please contact our captain, Ian Hartopp (ian.hartopp@icloud.com), to get started.


Friendly Games

On most Tuesdays and Thursdays, we play a non-qualifying game (e.g. Stableford, Texas Scramble, 1-2-3, Yellow Ball etc.) and usually £2 in the kitty will enable you to play in the day’s scheduled event generally off the yellow tees. The kitty is used to fund prizes, trophies and Vets events. The prize if you win, is often a share of the money, it will not change your life and if you don’t, you will hopefully have enjoyed the company.

Note: Your score in a non-qualifier will not result in an official handicap adjustment but may be noted and considered for active/competition /handicap review in the light of your general play. Further, the winner of any cash prize non-qualifying event must play off 2 shots less than their official handicap for the next two non-qualifying individual events that they play in. Players who come second must play off one shot less than their official handicap for the next two non-qualifying individual events that they play in. A record is kept but it is the responsibility of each player to play from the correct handicap in these non-qualifying individual events.

In addition to these friendly games there are numerous different competitions and matches which are arranged throughout the year that you may wish to enter. These add variety and interest and are always enjoyed by those who join in. Qualifying competitions are played on both Tuesdays and Thursdays to allow everyone the chance to keep their active/competition/handicap. The fixture list is posted on the notice board near the changing room and issued to everyone with an email address on a monthly basis by the secretary, showing a rolling two-month schedule.

The very small fees charged to enter some competitions go towards the cost of the trophies, engraving etc. Following are some of the competitions that we run and that you would be welcome to enter:

1Qualifying Monthly Medal
A qualifying Medal round is played each month from March through October and played off the white tees. There is a trophy for each monthly winner which is presented at the Annual Dinner and Presentation evening.
2Qualifying Stableford
Two qualifying Stableford games are played each month from March through October and played off the white tees. From November through February there is only one qualifier played off the yellow tees.
3Vets Club Championship
This is a 36-hole stroke play qualifying competition played over two days (Tues/Thurs of the same week) in July. The player with the lowest gross score after two rounds is declared the Vets Champion and his name is added to the ‘Vets Club Champion’ Board. There is also a prize for the player with the best net score. NOTE: Entrants must hold an active handicap at the commencement and throughout the event to be eligible to take part in this event.

Note: Players active/competition handicaps at the commencement of the first day of play will be maintained for the duration of this competition regardless of any score achieved on the first day. Each separate round following completion of the event will then be subject to the normal CONGU adjustment system.

General notes on qualifying competitions:

1. Players MUST ALWAYS PUTT OUT. On no account may anyone be “given” a putt in any qualifying competition

2. Your score in a qualifying competition may result in an immediate adjustment to your handicap.

3. If you are a new member and haven’t yet been given a handicap, you are welcome to take part but will not be eligible for prizes until your handicap is active.
4Annual Singles and Pairs Competitions
These are knock-out competitions that run throughout the summer months and all matches must be played off the WHITE TEES. Pairs competition partners are drawn from Home club members at random by the competition secretary. The players then arrange their own matches at a time to suit themselves though each team or player must complete each round within the time limit posted on the competition notice. Strict rules have been introduced in order that the competition is run to schedule, please read the document on the notice board (and at the end of this document) carefully if you intend to take part.

Winner’s names appear on the Club Competition Boards. There is normally an entry fee of £3.00 for the singles and £2.00 per person for the pair’s competition.
5Eclectic Competition
Format: Every score achieved during all medal rounds played by participating players will count towards the Eclectic prize. Individually the best score on each hole is then transferred on to their eclectic score card. The competition ends after the last medal competition in October of each year and the player with the overall best eclectic score card following the relevant handicap adjustment wins. There is no fee to enter this competition but to be eligible, players must add their name to the sign-up sheet prior to the event commencement.
6Friendly Matches and Competitions
During the season there are many friendly matches both home and away against other clubs, all of which are followed by lunch. Dress code for lunch is determined by the home club (our policy is Jacket & Tie). When playing home matches (which includes lunch) the cost is £15 per match. Away matches, including lunch are £20 per match (£15 for 1 course). Teams are chosen by the Captain and comprise of up to sixteen players all of whom are expected to stay for lunch. Everyone who plays with the Vet’s section irrespective of their handicap is eligible providing it is active. If you wish to play in any of these matches, then all you need to do is enter your name on the list when the match sheets are placed on the Vet’s notice board.

The Captain will then select the team to play and if you’re selected you will be notified. It is important to note that if selected we rely on you to turn up for the match. If due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances you find yourself unable to play, you must notify the match manager (details on the notification sheet you are sent) as soon as possible so that a replacement can be found.

Note: To be eligible to play in matches for the club either home or away, members must have an active/competition handicap. Apart from the singles and pairs knockout competitions, those with inactive handicaps will be allowed to take part in all other internal competitions but will not be able to win any event until their handicaps are active.
7The Chris Hathway Trophy – Currently Suspended.
This is a competition between all the Altonwood Clubs except The Addington. Meetings take place at Surrey National, The Addington, (although The Addington does not field a team, we still play one of the matches there), Woldingham and Westerham. Sixteen players represent each club and teams of three players (one from each club) compete on the day – the winning team being the one with the most Stableford points gained. At the end of each meeting the Stableford points accumulated by the players of each club are recorded and when all four matches have been played the Chris Hathway Trophy is won by the club that has accumulated the most Stableford points over all matches. All players play off their full handicap. Players are expected to stay for lunch and dress code is determined by the home club. The cost may vary between clubs but £16 is the average.
8The Derry Cup
An anagram of “Ryder” (because it is played in the same format as the Ryder Cup), it is a winter competition generally played in January and/or early February between the younger (The Moderns) and the more senior members (The Ancients) of the section. The matches comprise Foursomes, Four-ball better ball and Singles, with the winning team being the one accumulating most points over the three games. Stroke allowance is normally in line with CONGU stroke allowance but can vary at the discretion of the organiser. A ‘one course’ lunch at a nominal charge follows the Singles at which the Derry Cup is presented. Dress code for this event is smart casual. (The age of the Ancients is determined by calculating the average of the players’ ages within the whole section. If you have reached or are above this average age you represent the Ancients.)
9The Earl Spencer Trophy
Introduced in 2011, this is a three-leg home and away friendly against the seniors of The Addington Golf Club. Teams comprise of twelve players chosen from the Vet's Committee members and a selection of players who have made a significant contribution to the Vet's Section during the year. The first leg format is Foursomes the second leg is four-ball better ball and the third leg is Singles. “Shot entitlement” is three quarters of the handicap difference from the lowest handicapper. The team with the most points after the three meetings wins the Trophy. A ‘one-course’ Lunch at a nominal charge follows each meeting and dress code is smart casual.
10Captain’s Charity Day
This day organised by the Captain for his chosen charity, has no particular format. The idea is to raise money for his charity with the help of the section members by making up teams from either inside or outside Westerham membership. Individuals/Groups/Companies can sponsor holes, offer up prizes for the auction, the raffle or simply donate/gift money for the charity. We have a proud record in raising money for many deserving bodies including; Valence School, Help for Heroes, Hospice in the Weald and The Children’s Trust. Dress code for the meal which follows the game is determined by the Captain.
11Matches against the Ladies Section
There are two friendly competitions with the Ladies Section usually held in the spring and autumn. The format is a three-ball comprising two Vets and one lady and the best two Stableford points scores to count on each hole and totalled after 18 holes. Lunch is provided at a nominal charge and the presentation of modest prizes follows the competition. Dress code is casual.
12Annual Two Day Away Golf Event
The venue for this will be a hotel usually within a two-hour drive of Westerham. It will comprise a night’s stay and include dinner, bed and breakfast and two rounds of golf. It is organised by the Captain and a small number of volunteers. Following two rounds of golf the player with the highest number of Stableford points wins the magnificent Ron Hughes Trophy. The cost is circa £170 but the organising group always comes up with a ‘good deal’ and the event is always well supported.
13The Annual Away Day
Organised by the Vice-Captain, this is a Stableford individual and team competition which will take place at a not too distant course. It is followed by a meal and presentation of prizes. The dress code is smart casual. The cost varies subject to the choice of venue.
14Annual Seniors Open Competition
The Competition secretary and Captain aides the club management in organising an Annual Seniors Open Team Event at Westerham. This is played in September and teams of three players from all around the area are invited to enter a team or teams who are then hosted on the day by a Westerham Vet. The format is a team Stableford competition based on the best two scores to count. There is a meal afterwards which may be a ‘running buffet’ or a set meal is followed by the prize giving. The cost to Westerham members is around £15 and in addition they are asked to bring a bottle of wine for the Vet’s raffle. The takings for the raffle are put into the Vet’s account.
15Senior Open Competitions
We encourage our section members to compete in Senior Open Competitions at other clubs, especially those that support our own Open Day. Costs vary but are usually around £35 per player. Someone is nominated by the committee to act as a link between the office at Westerham which receives the invitations and the Vets members. As and when we are notified of the Open events you will be emailed with details so that you can decide whether to make up a team and enter.
16Association of Kent Veteran Golfers
In addition, we have a strong link with the Association of Kent Veteran Golfers (www.akvg.co.uk) and typically 100+ of its 1000 members play in meetings organised by the Association each year at selected Kent clubs. Cost including lunch is normally around £40. Nigel Courtney is the Westerham representative. Membership of the Association is £3pa. Monies raised by the Association during the year are donated to the Kent Air Ambulance Trust.
17The Christmas ‘Sponsored Hole Competition’
Held in mid-November, members are asked to donate a small prize (approx. value of £10) which is allocated to a selected hole on the sign-up sheet. This is a very well supported competition and normally results in everyone winning something.
18Annual Dinner and Presentation evening
This takes place in early/mid-December and is always one of the highlights of the year. Members are encouraged to bring guests as well as their partner to this very well supported and enjoyable evening.
19The AGM
This meeting provides the opportunity to air all your good ideas and discuss them in open forum and is another date for your diary. It will help you familiarise yourself with the activities and help shape the future of the section.

Held usually mid/late-January, it is where the principal officers of the committee are elected (they are; the Match, Competition and Section Secretary, Treasurer, Liaison Officer, Handicap Secretary and Auditor) the Captain and Vice-Captain are appointed by the committee). In addition to the above the Past Captain along with one other member is/can be co-opted by those officers. All members of the committee work closely with the Club’s main committee and Handicap Secretary.
20Club Professional
Frazer Amy, our Club Professional provides individual lessons to all members of the club and at a modest cost and group lessons to our section members. He also provides us with rules advice. Newcomers will find his coaching and advice very helpful.

E-mail: proshop@westerhamgc.co.uk or tel. no. 01959 567100
21Hole in One “help fund”
In the event that a Vet achieves a Hole-in-One when they have paid their £2 on the day, or in any event where the committee had decided to waive the entry fee and in any of the friendly or other matches, expenditure on celebratory ‘drinks all round’ will be covered, up to £75, by a benefit set up by the committee.
22Saints Day Events
Matches are played to celebrate the UK’s four Saint’s Days: The Celtic Cup, each March: St Patrick’s team v- St David’s team St George’s Day, each April: England v- Rest of the World St Andrew’s Day, each November: Royals v- Ancients.

In Conclusion

Whether you want to play regularly or just turn up when you fancy, you will always be made welcome by a decent bunch of people and you can put in and/or take out of the experience whatever you wish. We can’t always guarantee you a low score, but we can
guarantee you an enjoyable game of golf played in beautiful surroundings.

Start Planning Your Visit

01959 567 100     info@westerhamgc.co.uk