It’s been a few months or since our last Newsletter in August, halfway through our golfing season.  At the time, I said we were looking to present a minimum of 31 Coaches this year.  Well, I’m pleased to say we’ve done better than that and, by the end of 2023, we will have raised more than last year in money terms, in fact, enough to have purchased 37 Coaches!

We knew it was going to prove another difficult year with the cost of Sunshine Coaches increasing by the best part of 30%.  But, hey, the last four years have all been difficult for one reason or another whether due to Covid, the economy and, currently, a shortage of parts in the motor trade.  Still, to quote the old saying, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and thanks to the extraordinary support and generosity of our members, Variety Golf has forged ahead through all these difficult times.

All of you deserve thanks.  As our immediate past Captain, Steve, said wisely at Walton Heath “You all have money, there are lots of things you could do with it, but you choose to give it to us”

That says it all, really.  Yes, I know we all love playing golf and relish the unique camaraderie we enjoy, but, beyond all that, is what we do for the children.  We’ve had some lovely speeches lately from the schools who have received a Sunshine Coach, not least from the young man at the New Zealand Club who – lest we should be in any doubt – reminded us just how important our Coaches are to the schools we support.  This really matters.  And there are fewer charities doing it.

On the golfing front, we have had some fun playing on great courses, mainly in excellent weather.  From Captain’s Day at Sandy Lodge, the Sunshine Classic at Woburn, the Bruce Forsyth Trophy at Wentworth, a fantastic two days on the Kent coast, the famous Rugby Legends at Loch Lomond (another big record raising a huge £500,000 on it own), Steve’s memorable Footballers Classic at Walton Heath, and many others in between, it’s been a fabulous year with record attendances – who else regularly turns out 88 players for a society day?  Oh, and the forthcoming Christmas Lunch for which we have already sold more tickets than last year but can still sell a few more!

I would particularly like to thank our Captain, John Conteh, who has excelled in the role for a second time (the last being twenty years ago)!  John, you are a real ‘gent’ – it’s been a real pleasure working with you and we have all enjoyed your excellent company.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Hilton and, in the meantime, do enjoy Christmas and the New Year.