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Happy New Year one and all!

Well, that’s another quiet year over!

Hot off the heels of 2021, AKA the craziest year ever, it’s safe to say that we had another pretty lively one.

We can’t control what’s going on in the big wide world out there, but we can work our socks off to make sure that Cainhoe Wood is a fun place with great facilities that you can all come to for some escapism and good cheer. We hope that we’ve been able to achieve that, and thank you all for your custom and warm spirit throughout the year.

Our members and visitors all play a massive part in helping to drive this club forward, and it really is nothing without you, so thank you for helping to give this club a big heart.

It’s been my second full year of running the golf club, so I wanted to take a moment to call out some of the key areas where we’ve pushed on now that we’ve settled in, say a few thank yous, and finally take a look at what we’re planning for 2022 and beyond...

The clubhouse has undergone a reinvention, not just with new decor and furniture, but also with an incredibly warm and buzzing atmosphere. I want to thank all our clubhouse staff, a really settled and happy team, who are working hard for all our visitors. A massive thank you also goes to the kitchen team: Steve, Jack, Mark & Jules, who’ve been serving up delicious seasonal changing menus, Sunday roasts and afternoon teas, all year long.

Our Events offering launched this year, with Laura doing an amazing job on Bonfire Night, the Christmas parties and our first quiz night. Laura has lots planned for next year already, so you’ll see our events calendar filling up fast in the new year.

On the golf side of things, we have tried to continue to offer excellent value for money. Our Head Greenkeeper, Matt Alderton, and his team have done an immense job and both courses have seen gradual, but significant, improvements. Work done in 2020 allowed us to start using better quality materials this year, which combined with extra investment in new machinery, has started to yield some real results.

This year saw the implementation of our new Intelligent Golf set up, something which offers lots of great new opportunities and is already enhancing many of your experiences. For anyone who still needs help using IG, please do ask for help as we are always happy to guide you through things.

Big thanks, as always, go to our General Manager, Duncan Hall, who overlooks everything on a day to day basis. I also want to offer a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us with various tasks at the club, including Ben Henry and his team, who have worked on a lot of electrics and lighting, and Dave Cross, who helped out with various emergencies!

Now on to 2022…

You’ll be seeing the creation of a new short game area (on the existing open practice ground), with a second putting green, bunkers, a chipping area and pitching areas from 100 yards in. New course furniture, including Cainhoe Wood branded tee markers, should also be in place by Spring.

We’ve had some battles with the driving range once again this year, but the war is slowly being won! In 2022 it will have a freshen up, with a new lick of paint, and targets will finally be placed on the outfield.

The Golf Academy is thriving and expanding under the watchful eye of Head Pro, Paul Simpson. We welcome our two new pros, Nick Cunningham and Glen Kemble, who will really help drive things on for us in 2022 with an increased offering.

2021 was an immensely successful year for all club teams, and we hope 2022 will be even bigger and better! Special mention has to go to our Juniors (headed up by Gary Boyle, Mike Lake and Andy Chapman), who had an outstanding year with our two England Youth squad players in their ranks, Ben Loveard and Jake Plumb. Ben will be over in the US from August, taking major strides towards beginning his pro career. Harry Boyle turned pro earlier this year and has got off to a flying start. Next year he'll be on the PGA EuroPro Tour and will also have openings for Challenge Tour and European Tour events. Our new Pro, Nick Cunningham, will also be joining him on these European tour circuits.

I could go on, but there’s a lot to do… so I’d better get cracking!

I hope you all have a happy and healthy New Year and look forward to seeing you in 2022.

Finally, a quick reminder that I’ll be drawing the Christmas prize draw winners in the clubhouse at midday tomorrow (New Year’s Day). Good luck to everyone who has entered!

John O’Leary

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