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Rabbits Newsletter


									Warren Times
Volume 1, Issue 4 Christmas & Winter 2009 / 10

OGCRS Affiliated to:  Yorkshire Rabbit Golf Association. (YRGA)

Otley Golf Club — Rabbits’ Section
From Rabbits’ Captain — Rupert
―Can I have a word ?‖ asked Alan Murray, the Rabbits’ Captain. I wondered what I’d done wrong. I was Alan’s Vice-Captain and had tried hard in the first couple of months of his year to support him. However the season had barely started (the Opening Meeting had taken place, and we’d hardly played any matches). Alan had injured his hand and an uncertain medical prognosis had caused him to decide that he didn’t want to be a non-playing Captain. He therefore asked me if I’d take over as Captain for the rest of 2009/10, and he’d resume the position in 2010/11. My immediate reaction was to agree, but I asked for 24 hours to check the practicalities – mainly our domestic diary because I felt that as Captain I should attend every playing fixture. So I went home and spoke to Jean, who immediately said that she’d support me 100% - the first of countless people who were to offer to support me in my new position. Ironically the only occasion which I definitely wouldn’t be able to support was Alan’s Rabbits’ Captain’s Away Day to Shipley Beckfoot – Jean and I were committed to an Austrian holiday that week. So my life stood on its head ! As I’ve said, everyone was brilliant, particularly the members of the fine Rabbits’ Committee. A special mention, however, must go to Alan Murray himself and to Mervyn Frisby. These guys volunteered to make sure that the players for the various matches turned up so we always had a full team, and not once did they let me down. I believe that Rabbits’ golf is about establishing relationships and friendships which will develop and prosper over the years. This applies both to domestic golf at Otley, and our fixtures with other clubs. (We are indeed fortunate to play on some lovely neighbouring courses, and I would urge everyone in The Rabbits to involve themselves with these summer matches) I hope that all you who have been involved in The Rabbits in 2009 have enjoyed yourselves. If you have, tell your friends and suggest that they invest £3 in a year’s membership ! Can I ask you all to come to The Rabbits’ Dinner on 29th January ? We’ve worked hard to keep the price to a competitive £16, and we’ve managed to attract a first class speaker, Neil Hanson. There’s a list in the 19th – put your name down today ! I very much look forward to seeing you on 29th January. Until then —best wishes for a happy Christmas and a good golfing New Year. Rupert Hodges


YRGA Harrogate Area

“Best wishes to all Otley Rabbits for next Season”

Inside this issue:
Pro’s Corner— with Les Shanks Latest on Winter Mats Stop Press! New kid on the block

Message from Alan M Murray (Vice Captain)
Despite the earlier setback at the beginning of the year, I managed to play in the final Friendly Match at Otley against Leeds GC. The finger is back to (almost) normal size and I am able to play again. Mrs Murray is glad for me to get out from under her feet. Before the next year starts, we have the AGM and the Rabbits’ Dinner. I hope some members of the Rabbits’ Section will consider standing for the Committee. The Dinner this year welcomes Neil Hanson as our guest speaker. Neil is an experienced after dinner speaker, more used to Literary Lunches, so we are we are hoping this will be a special success. Now that the finger is mended, I hope to resume my role as Captain and lead the section through all the Friendly matches which are already lined up for next year. The Rabbits’ Open is in the Spring and it would be nice to see members of the Otley Section entered in this. If not able to enter, please consider helping in some way on the day. We are hoping to have a special new prize for Otley members this year.

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From the Treasury 3 Rabbits Open Day Sand Greens
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looking forward to hosting him at Otley. With more than 140 members of the Rabbits’ section this year

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Pro’s Corner with Wharfedale’s own Les Shanks
Les Shanks is one of Wharfedale’s leading teaching professionals, and is much in demand because of his revolutionary approach to imparting the mysteries of the golf swing to newcomers and experienced golfers alike. This reporter was fortunate to catch up with Les who agreed to fit an interview into his very busy teaching programme. Ed: It is often claimed that the secret to the perfect swing is to “keep your head down” Les S: Nonsense—what do we play golf for? - Exercise of course! Keeping your head down only contributes to GOOD shots, LESS strokes and LESS cardiovascular benefits. It is imperative that the head is moved as far as possible during each and EVERY golf shot. Ed: Hmm, Interesting .... What’s your view on a stiff left arm through the swing? (Right for lefties) Les S: Again ridiculous— this can only result in a full follow through and a clean hit. What we are aiming for is MAXIMUM skeletal flexibility to maintain body posture and strength throughout a golfers life. Ed: Most teaching professionals start novices off by making them use the “Varden Grip”. Your approach is fundamentally different. Les S: Of course. The traditional Varden Grip makes it far easier to strike the ball cleanly. I have developed a new grip which when incorporated into a golfers swing guarantees a MAXIMUM number of shots per round, with all the attendant health benefits. I’m flattered that this is now recognised and called “The Shankers Grip” Watch out for more tips from Les Shanks in the next issue of Warren Times.

Winter Mats—latest update
The experiment continues! Differing views have been expressed ranging from wild enthusiasm to downright hostility. Members seem to be polarising into two camps: nail their allegiance to one of the warring factions. The Matheads have complained about a “dirty tricks” campaign being waged by the militant guerrilla wing of FROG. A Mathead spokesman told this reporter that the ball of string used for fixing the mats to trolleys, had gone missing on several occasions. “This cannot be a coincidence” he stated. “we will do everything in our power to ensure that the mandate given for this experiment is allowed to continue”. A FROG spokesperson (who wished to remain anonymous) challenged the validity of the mandate and vowed to continue the struggle against oppression. Meanwhile, Rabbit inventor, Chris Moxon continues to develop his designs for usable mats. (see article in Autumn issue of Warren Times). Photograph shows his prototype “High Lift” model, suitable for use with a 460cc driver.

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The Moxon prototype “High Lift” 460cc driver mat, pictured at his secret test site.

The pro-mat Mathead’s The anti-mat “Front for the Restoration of Grass Lies” (FROG)

Moderates are increasingly coming under pressure from activists in either camp, to

Season 2009 Rabbits Honours
King Rabbit Trophy Winner: A Harm Runner-up: A Ryan Brunel Cup Winner: A Breese Runner up: P Allen John Wood Putter Winner: B Wilkinson Runner-up: T Driver Millennium Plate Winners: A Ryan & D Wilkinson Runners-up: M Woodhead & M Fisher Rabbits’ Championship Winner : D Normington Runner-up: G Siddons Third: P Hardaker Rabbits’ Opening Meeting D Smith Committee Cup R Toft Rabbits’ Chairman’s Prize N Roberts Rabbits’ Captain’s Prize B Wilkinson

Stop press—
It is rumoured that following the successful introduction of on-course winter mats, a similar imposition / implementation is to be applied to the snooker table. It is claimed that this is necessary in order to protect the hallowed green baize against cue abuse during the winter months because of surface moisture resulting from the leaking roof. It is intended to adapt the golf rules format, and a preview is given here. mitted to play a stroke directly off the baize.



If the cue ball comes to rest within these areas, it shall be lifted and marked and a suitable mat shall be placed within six inches (15cm), and the cue ball placed on the mat not nearer the object ball. Alternatively if the player elects NOT to use a mat, the cue ball may be lifted and replaced OUTSIDE the exclusion zone—not nearer the object ball—but adjacent to the nearest side cushion.

Areas of the table outside the baulk ends (including the “D” ) shall be designated as voluntary zones, and it shall be the players choice use the mat or not. Mats will be issued by the committee and will be found hanging on a screw placed on the end of the bar. The composition of the mat material will be 25 denier Yorkshire worsted cut from a standard bolt of cloth held by the club. (Choice of colours powder blue or maroon).




The baulk areas will be designated as “exclusion zones” within which it is NOT per-

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New “Kid on the Block” - reflections of a new member
Having played very competitive golf on “the other side of the hill” at Lymm Golf Club for over 27 years, I was really looking forward to seeing how it is done in Yorkshire when I commenced a new golfing career at Otley Golf Club, just over 2 years ago. The Booklet provided by Peter Clarke was very informative and encouraged me to attend the Bandits meetings on either a Monday or Wednesday each week. My welcome was tremendous especially from the late and much respected Jim Fairbrother who made sure my disc was made immediately after I lost my first match, probably to make sure I came back for more punishment!! With my handicap, the Rabbits Section was also available and at the first opportunity I put my membership fee in the box and innocently sat back and waited to be contacted, not aware that I was the one that needed to be pro-active and get my name down on the many Team and Competition lists offered. Unfortunately by the time I realised my mistake the lists were either full, or the events completed, so my first year with the Rabbits past by with very little activity. ferent kind but usually very enjoyable as the meetings are generally quite short as more often than not they clash with a Liverpool Champions League match and a fellow committee member is a big Supporter!!
Editors Note: Not any more! Also—less of the big!

Overall have I enjoyed my first two years at Otley Golf Club - very much. Are Red Rose Golfers more competitive and better than Yorkshire Golfers— about the same although I have found it very difficult to get my head round an “Honourable Draw”—a favourite saying in Rabbits matches, sometimes even on the first tee before the match has started !!! And the future - God willing I look forward to enjoying many more years of competitive Golf at Otley Golf Club. Patrick Booker.

However since that slow beginning I am now up to speed and have played in most of this year’s matches, various competitions and even joined the Committee where I was encouraged to take on the job of Scribe to the Secretary—punishment of a dif-

Musings of our Rabbits Treasurer—Ron Beer
Looking back over almost 40 years in the Rabbits’ Cash Book it is surprising how things change. In 1971 Rabbits’ subscriptions were 25p—but we had 202 members. The Rabbits ran dances at the Club in January, February and March and Race Meetings in April and November each year. The January Dance tickets were 37½ p each but were increased in February and March to 40p. Around 100 members attended and profits of around £20 per dance were made (after paying the band). Donations of around £100 per year were made to the Golf Club in those days towards various projects including the purchase of stacking chairs, course shelters and practice nets. The only annual trophies in 1971 seem to have been the Brunel and King Rabbit—but there were no entry fees for the competitions. As today there were usually small losses on the Dinner, Annual trip and the Chairman’s and Captain’s days. Incidentally it appears that although there was ALWAYS a Chairman’s Day, Captain’s Day did not start until 1982. The big change in Rabbits’ finances came in 1988 with the first Rabbits’ Open Day. In the first two years this event raised around £800, but since then profits have always been over £1,000. It was usually fully subscribed (i.e. 100 pairs) until 2002, but entries have been around 80 pairs in recent years. The Open Days have enabled the Rabbits Section to make sizable contributions to the Golf Club, and since 1993 a total of over £18,000 has been given towards bridges, paths, ball washers, the Club House Clock and a starters hut. We hope to reach 100 pairs again in 2010 and it is worth reminding Otley Rabbits that they are more than welcome to enter, preferably with a guest from another club. Ron Beer

Long serving Rabbit’s Treasurer Ron in his natural habitat

Frost over Otley Golf Club

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Christmas— Winter 2009 / 10

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A golfer teed off on the 10th hole but the ball disappeared over some trees and was never to be seen again. Some time later, he saw a policeman coming towards him on the 12th hole. "When you were on the 10th, did your ball disappear over that clump of trees? asked the policeman. "Yes, it did. Why?" asked the puzzled golfer. "Oh the other side of those trees is a road. The ball bounced in front of a car causing it to swerve and run over a cat. It then smashed through a window of the house opposite, shocking a man into a fatal heart attack and frightening his wife into dropping her tea and badly burning her leg." "Oh hell," said the golfer, who had gone a deathly pale. "Is there anything I can do?" "Yes, I think so," replied the policeman. "In future, before you tee off, stand with your legs a little further apart and keep your head still when you swing the club.

Did you know ......
..... that you can view back issues of The Warren Times on the Otley Golf Club web site.  Simply enter the OGC website  Click on “Members”  Enter user name: OGCmember  Enter password: ogc4578  Select OK  Click on “Rabbits Teams”  Click on “Warren Times”

Lately we seem to have spent many days watching the rain fall on the 18th Green, watching the drops turn into puddles and the puddles into lakes. The thought then is "It's not going to drain, that's it for the day, we may as well go home". All is not lost — rip up our traditional grass greens and convert to sand. So what is a sand green and what are the local rules. Well, the construction is quite complicated. We won't go into it here but suffice to say it involves a lot of sand and oil - which may be used sump oil, diesel oil, vegetable oil or pretty much any other type. 1. The putting surface may be smoothed or scraped prior to all shots made from the putting surface or from within 10 feet of the edge of the putting surface. 2. When smoothing the putting surface, the scraper must be directed from the ball to the hole and the "scrape" must extend a minimum of four feet beyond the hole. 3. A player making a shot from the putting surface, or from within 10 feet of the edge of the putting surface, which is deflected or assisted INTO the hole by touching the edge of the "scrape" made for his shot shall count AN ADDITIONAL STROKE. 4. The rack which holds the scraper shall be treated as an immovable obstruction (Rules of Golf 24-2) and ball may be dropped within two club lengths not nearer the hole. 5. A ball lying on the putting surface and within 12 inches of the raised edge, which limits the backstroke of the putter , may be lifted and placed twelve inches inside the edge of the putting surface in the same line to the hole. 6. To speed play putting must be continuous until the ball is holed out. Penalty: Stroke play - 2 strokes; Match Play - loss of hole. Now we know the rules, but what do sand greens look like: After the golfer's ball reaches the sand green, the rake is used to smooth a path from the ball to the hole. Bruce then admires the smooth pathway which he has just raked and hopes he will be able

to sink the putt.

........ Enjoy

Does anyone still want to complain about winter mats!

If you have an item of interest, or an issue relating to the Rabbits’ Section Captain: Rupert Hodges Secretary: Kevin Reid Editor: Les Roberts.

that you would like to raise, email your comments to one of the following: ( ( (

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