The Goldthorpe Salver
ANDREW SUGDEN WINS GOAT PRIZE
September 12, 2019
Andrew Sugden is the 2019 Goldthorpe Salver goat after a spectacularly inept second round, which undid all the good work of his morning efforts.
Andrew had turned up at the Silloth links the day before competition full of optimism, with relatively new clubs, a spanking brand new Ferrari red trolley, and with renewed confidence following his customary once in a decade lesson.
That optimism appeared reasonably well founded when he amassed 24 points in the morning round. Alas, after lunch his game collapsed, and gradually and inexorably he slipped down the leaderboard until - in a nailbiting finish - he ended up one shot shy of his closest rival, Jonathan Thornton, to claim the coveted Goat Tie.
(Oh....and some bloke called Thomas won the Salver - again.)
You'd have thought that being semi-retired, your Webmeister would have more time to update the Goldthorpe Salver website, wouldn't you? Well, you'd be wrong. He's a very busy man.
However - prompted (indeed, shamed) by the Supremo's latest email ahead of the imminent 2019 competition - he's managed to take time out of his hectic schedule to post the following updates.
The Supremo has decided to take a break from golf. Cue a chorus of "I never realised he'd taken it up in the first place." His decision, which comes after a less than successful Spring trip to the links of East Lothian, will at least give him more time to concentrate on the ever-increasing administrative demands of such a prestigious tournament as the Goldthorpe Salver.
Charlie Kaye will miss this year's event, as he's having a new knee. Some feel that it's a rather extreme way of avoiding playing 36 holes at Silloth on the Friday. Steve Sutcliffe has also pulled out because his son is getting married. And as usual Charles Webb prefers to ponce about with his musical luvvies in Hyde Park.
All the above has resulted in a vacancy, which has been filled by Alan Haigh. Though a Goldthorpe rookie, Alan is no stranger to Silloth, as he's played there annually in a Huddersfield Hockey Club event for the last 93 years. Alan fully qualifies as he knew Philip from their time together at Wrekin.
Kaye - missing 2019
The Supremo's retirement and Charlie Kaye's rebuilding programme threatened to completely derail the annual pre-Silloth warm-up tour, which was already in doubt because Sambo finally managed to divest himself of his timeshare thingy, thus denying us our usual cheap digs at Thurnham Hall near Lancaster. However Alan Haigh has stepped into the breach, along with John Drake, whose wife apparently insisted on it, even if it means that the Austin Healey he's been restoring in his cellar for the last 50 years will remain in bits for the next half century as well. This year the advanced party will play two rounds at Slaley Hall in Northumberland, after Sambo negotiated an extremely competitive rate for golf, dinner, bed and breakfast.
Mike Dyson will make a welcome return to the Salver this year, following his permanent return to Blighty from the sands of the desert. The latter day Lawrence of Arabia has been warming up for Silloth with a round at St Andrews in the company of R&A member Charles Webb, Mike Webb and Chris Durrans. Christ knows what they made of Durrans' swing at the home of golf.
Along with various bouts of dodgy health, the Supremo also suffered a potentially life-changing disfigurement earlier in the summer (see picture) at the hands - or, more accurately, the mandibles - of an unidentified rogue insect. Happily his face is now back to normal.
Not content with just having two replacement knees, Mike Webb has decided that his next step on the path to a complete rebuild will be a new hip. Convinced that stiffness of the joint in question is responsible for his horrid slice of the tee, he's undergoing the operation in October. Goldthorpe rookie Alan Haigh can vouch for the efficacy - or otherwise - of the procedure. As a result of two such operations, he now has a sucker on the end of his putter to pick the ball out of the hole - in the unlikely event it ever gets in there.
Ever mindful of image, Webb - who still fancies himself a proper golfer, despite the fact that his handicap is now higher than your humble correspondent - has announced that whatever happens, he will not be following suit.
As he spends most of his year sunning himself in Menorca, Andrew Sugden is apparently lightly golfed. He has, however, had time for a splendid haircut (see picture), which many believe make him look like a colonel in the USAAF.
Disappointingly the Judge's handicap remains the same.
August 30, 2019 The Supremo has revealed that Mark Wilcox has requested to play at Penrith. And while he has agreed (as there is a bed available for him that night, sharing a room with Butterworth), he has nevertheless issued him with a stern warning about his golf attire. He has also advised fellow golfers to bring their sunglasses.
He has also warned that earplugs might be necessary the following the day, as Jock Whiteley has announced that he'll be joining us - in a non-playing capacity - for both Thursday and Friday at Silloth. We await his thoughts on the current political situation with interest and some trepidation.
SUTCLIFFE PRIZE STUNNER
The golfing world has reacted with astonishment to news that Steve Sutcliffe won a prize at the 2018 Goldthorpe Salver - and it wasn't for coming last!
The veteran accountant hit his tee shot on the 9th at Silloth to within six inches of the cup to win a box of balls at the Presentation Dinner last month.
"When I appeared to fall asleep at the dinner table at the golf club the previous evening," said Sutcliffe, "people assumed I had over indulged. But actually I was taking a moment to mentally prepare for the challenge ahead, by visualising the shot I would play the next day. Needless to say, my meticulous preparations paid dividends."
Sutcliffe comfortably avoided the ignominy of finishing last by scoring an impressive 20+ points in the second round.
However, not everyone is impressed. "What utter bollocks," said Mike Webb, the self-styled Sage of Silloth.
"He only avoided the Goal Prize because Andrew Sugden couldn't hit his hat in the second round, and he only scored the points he did because he was given special dispensation to play off the old gimmers' tees.
"His tee on the 9th was so far forward, he actually took a putter," he added churlishly.
JUDGE IN ASTONISHING VICTORY TIRADE
September 9, 2018
Eminent judge Roger Thomas QC launched a scathing attack on his fellow competitors after winning the Goldthorpe Salver for a third successive year, saying "I only won because the rest of you are crap!"
Abandoning his previous controversial theory which postulated that his success was down to the fact that he is teetotal while everyone else in the field is an alcoholic waster, this year he accused them of being utterly useless.
"Despite mutterings about my handicap, once again I failed to play to it," he said. "The only reason I won is because you lot were even worse."
After a day when the vast majority of the 14 strong field failed to break the 30 point mark in either round, good judges of the game of golf conceded that he may have a point.
"Apart from me," said veteran broadcaster John Shires. "As usual I was just desperately unlucky."
WILCOX LAUNCHES NEW CAREER
The former Kirkheaton Strangler, Mark Wilcox, is preparing for retirement by reinventing himself.....as a fashion designer!
Wilcox - now relocated in leafy Almondbury - will retire next year from his current post as Head of Osteopathy at his own multi-million pound bone-crunching empire.
"I clearly need a new career," he told the Salver Website, "not only to give myself something to do in retirement, but also to supplement my already vast fortune.
"Those who know me well will recognise that I've always had an eye for fashionable clothes, so it's a natural progression."
However Wilcox's first commission - designing suits for the Nigerian World Cup squad at Russia 2018 (pictured) - hasn't met with universal critical acclaim.
"Forcing footballers to wear such dreadful gear shows the man is clearly deluded, or maybe even insane," said well respected fashion journalist John Shires.
"What's more, if he thinks dressing as an ice cream salesman or a Guantanamo Bay inmate makes him some sort of fashion guru, he's ever madder than we thought he was."
Fellow Salver competitor Mike Webb was equally scathing: "There's only one job for which he's more ill-suited," he said. "That of a professional golfer."
LAZARUS WINS AGAIN!
Reigning champion Roger Thomas recovered from a seemingly life-threatening back injury to retain the Goldthorpe Salver - his third win in five years.
After failing to finish virtually every medal round for months because of his ailment (is there some connection here - ed?), the Judge came back from the very brink of paralysis to record a comfortable victory over two rainswept days at Silloth-on-Solway.
His second round also won him the Tim Sugden Trophy.
WEBB "READY TO SERVE" AFTER CLAIMING SHOCK VICTORY
Charles Webb has declared himself the 2016 Goldthorpe Salver champion - despite finishing well behind the actual winner, Roger Thomas.
"If Jeremy Corbyn can claim to have won the recent General Election, after garnering 56 fewer seats than the Conservatives," said Webb, "I don't think it unreasonable to suggest that I should be considered the victor. Even though I didn't actually score as many points, it's obvious that my overall campaign on the Silloth links was far superior to the Judge's.
"I am ready to serve as your Champion," he added.
Webb has also revealed that, in a bid to make absolutely sure he wins this year's event, he has engaged Diane Abbott as his caddy.
"With her supreme grasp of figures, not to mention her unrivalled ability to make things up, I will never lose again," he said.
However, in a further twist, reigning Goat Mark Nicholson has claimed that he is, in fact, the true winner. "In the words of Bob Dylan," he said, "The order is rapidly fadin'. And the first one now / will later be last / For the times they are a-changin'."
They are indeed. Ed.
A disturbing story from Cape Town - only those with strong stomachs should read on.....
According to Mike Webb, Sugden WA has just returned from South Africa, where apparently he ate very well and put on some weight. As a consequence, while trekking up Table Mountain, he found that his shorts were prohibitively tight. The solution? He took them off, and completed the journey in his underpants. As Webb commented: "The more you think about it, the worse it gets."
Meanwhile Charles Webb might be available for this year's Salver after all. The change of date means that it clashes once again with his hospitality commitments at the Party in the Park. However it appears that at last the BBC, who organise the event, have seen through him at last, and are on the verge of dispensing with his services.
Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club has received three more accolades.
Recently it was placed 46th in Golf Monthly magazine's top 100 courses in the UK, while not only did the National Club Golfer rate the 9th - The Manx (pictured) - amongst the top 100 holes in the country, it also gave it the ultimate accolade of numbering it amongst their 18 dream holes of golf in Britain.
Some - including Mark Nicholson and Andrew Sugden - beg to differ.
JUDGE ISSUES CONTEMPT OF COURT WARNING
December 5, 2016
Rupert Shires could face being banged up on a Contempt of Court charge, after taking the p*ss out of His Honour Judge Roger Thomas QC.
In an exchange of emails concerning their intention to participate in next September's Seniors' Open at Penrith GC, the Recorder of Bradford questioned Mr Shires' eligibility, on the grounds that he looks "nobbut a lad".
Mr Shires' reply to the judge, whose teetotalism has been the subject of several previous articles on the Goldthorpe Salver website, is reproduced in full.
He wrote: "I attribute my youthful good looks to a lifetime of drinking, on a daily basis, some of the finest wines, spirits and beers that mankind can muster."
"Perhaps you should try it…." he added.
"ABOLISH ALL ROUGH & FLATTEN BUNKERS" - SUPREMO
October 1, 2016
After watching the USA triumph against Europe in the Ryder Cup on a Hazeltine course totally emasculated by an absence of rough and proper bunkers, Mark Nicholson has suggested that greenkeepers at Silloth should follow suit.
"It was fantastic," said the Supremo. "None of this hitting in straight nonsense off the tee. It makes golf what it should be - a putting contest.
"While they're about it, they should get rid of the gorse and heather too. I might have a chance of winning the Goldthorpe Salver."
But webmeister John Shires remains sceptical. "I've spotted a fatal flaw in Nicholson's plan. If he thinks it'll even help him avoid the Goat Trophy, he is sadly deluded, since he can't putt either."
Sugden offers congratulations
2016 absentee Andrew Sugden has offered his congratulations to Salver winner Roger Thomas.
"Very sorry to have missed such a prestigious event," he writes. "I have now returned, albeit briefly, and intend to resume my impeccable golf career.
This entails a little chat with the pro and explaining that my swing needs a little tweaking before I will be in line for the next Ryder Cup selection. Congratulations to the Judge; he must like the jacket."
The editor replies: It will take a bit more than a little chat.
2016 REPORT IS AVAILABLE 10 MONTHS EARLY!
September 30, 2016
A mere two weeks since the conclusion of the 2016 Goldthorpe Salver, the official report on the event has now been published.
"After taking so much abuse over the late publication of the previous two reports," said webmeister John Shires, "I made it my goal to complete it by the end of the year. However I have surpassed myself, and after many, many late nights, I believe I have produced a piece of work worthy of the occasion.
"This is not hastily conceived, slapdash journalism; it is a well-considered, beautifully crafted opus to rank alongside the best works of the likes of Peter Dobereiner, Hugh McIlvanney and Ian Wooldridge," he added modestly.
JUDGE WINS 2016 SALVER
September 17, 2016
Judge Roger Thomas QC won the 2016 Goldthorpe Salver - and then launched an extraordinary attack on his fellow competitors, sensationally alleging that they are a bunch of p*ssheads.
The teetotal Recorder of Bradford (pictured in mid-tirade) extolled the virtues of abstinence, claiming that no one will be able to prevent him winning year after year, since they are too drunk to stand upright on the tee.
"These are quite outrageous comments," said Salver Supremo Mark Nicholson, before falling down and slumping into an alcoholic coma. .
SUGDEN PULLS OUT
July 28, 2016
Andrew Sugden will miss the 2016 Goldthorpe Salver because he has to attend a meeting of property owners on the Mediterranean island of Menorca.
The newly-retired legal eagle apparently owns some sort of residence there, and his presence is deemed essential - though in view of his track record as the former Senior Partner at Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith, no one is quite sure why.
The Supremo's participation in the Salver is also in doubt because of a seemingly never-ending catalogue of injuries and illnesses. Since Silloth in 2015, when he was unable to play because of a badly swollen arm, he has suffered the following ailments: pulled groin muscle, pulled calf muscle, pulled hamstring, knee ligament damage, bad back, man flu, chicken pox, smallpox, AIDS, microcephaly.
A slight exaggeration, but you get the picture.
WAS - missing in action
Charles Webb writes:
Preparations for Silloth gained momentum recently when I teamed up with Rupert Shires to capture the prestigious Holliday Shield, a foursomes medal 'major', staged at Fixby. Our success was down to teamwork, allied to Rupert's enormous hitting (see archive 2008 'Hit it like a Lass').
We both feel in reasonable fettle for the Goldthorpe Salver, particularly in my case, now that the Supremo has changed the dates (back to the proper ones), allowing me to play.
Obviously the quality of the competition has considerably diminished in my absence as I see that Liddy has won back to back Salvers.
The Editor writes:
No one likes a clever bugger, especially an arrogant clever bugger.
YES! AT LAST!!
July 27, 2016
There has been much speculation over why it has taken so long for the Goldthorpe Salver website to be updated.
Your webmeister has been too busy (sitting on his backside reading the news)
He was temporarily rendered speechless and wordless by the fact that John Liddiment had successfully defended his crown as Champion Golfer
He simply couldn't be arsed.
For the avoidance of doubt, 3) is nearest to the truth.
However, he is pleased to announce that the 2015 report is now complete. More to follow (if he can get his arse in gear again).
LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE
September 13, 2015
The golfing world has been stunned with the news emerging from Silloth that John Liddiment has retained the Goldthorpe Salver.
In a field reduced by injury and illness - not to mention the wedding of the year - Liddiment, who also lifted the Tim Sugden Tankard for the best second round, finished four shots clear of the Judge, with John Drake beating John Shires for third place on countback.
"It just proves that the world has gone completely mad," said Mike Webb, who was only spared the ignominy of finishing last by the fact that Peter Butler's handicap had been reduced by two shots following his success in the September Medal at Woodsome the previous weekend.
Instead it was Butler who was declared Goat for 2015.
WEBSITE FINALLY UPDATED !
July 4, 2015
Almost ten months after the conclusion of the 2014 Goldthorpe Salver, the website - match report, statistics, photographs etc - has finally been updated.
Unlike in previous years, webmeister John Shires has on this occasion offered no apology for the delay.
"It's not a question of being too busy, or even laziness on my part," he said. "This time I deliberately delayed publication as I wanted to heighten the expectation and anticipation of this year's event. It will really whet the appetite for September 2015."
His excuse has not been entirely taken at face value by all Salver competitors. "What a load of bollocks! He's just a lazy tw*t," said the normally mild-mannered Peter Butler.
LIDDIMENT WINS 2014 SALVER!
September 13, 2014
In a result described as the biggest sporting upset since Foinavon's Grand National victory in 1967, John Liddiment has won the 2014 Goldthorpe Salver at Silloth GC, taking the trophy by a single point from Bill Butterworth, with pre-tournament favourite Roger Thomas in third place.
While the identity of this year's winner had seasoned Silloth-watchers scratching their heads in disbelief, no one was surprised that Steve Sutcliffe comfortably retained the Goat Prize.
STOP PRESS: WILCOX FIRES DEBUT ACE
September 7, 2014
Kirkheaton billionaire Mark Wilcox spent some of his ill-gotten gains on a new set of clubs last week - and promptly notched his first hole in one!
It happened in an Old Rishworthian competition at Ryburn Golf Club near Sowerby Bridge on September 3rd.
Said Wilcox, who has been recovering from a recent hernia operation: "I have made so much money this year treating the likes of Butler, Shires, Nicholson and Sampson, that I decided to treat myself to my 27th set of new clubs. Amazingly, first time out, I drilled a 5 iron straight into the hole for my first ever ace.
"It cost me £92 to buy everyone a drink in the bar afterwards, but fortunately I am insured," he added, thus demonstrating that he's either the sort of careful bloke who likes to have every eventuality covered, or he's a supreme optimist.
Sadly his new clubs won't be getting an outing in this year's Salver, as he flies to Canada on September 10th with his wife, Suzanne.
"It's just as well," said Salver Supremo Mark Nicholson. "Within 5 seconds of arriving in the bar at Woodsome on Saturday, he was boasting about it to anyone who would listen, and plenty of others who were trying to ignore him.
"Besides, no one likes a clever c***."
SALVER 2014 UPDATE......
September 4, 2014
With only a week to go before the 2014 Goldthorpe Salver, your correspondent has finally remembered the password to the website, thus allowing him to update members with the latest news.
So here it is...
There will be 14 competitors on the banks of the Solway Firth this year. Absentees include Wilcox, who's in Canada, and Charles Webb, who's poncing about in London with his luvvies again.
The Supremo, Shires J, Sambo and Charlie Kaye will again form an advance party, playing at Fairhaven in Lytham St Annes on Monday, and Windermere on Tuesday.
Mike Webb will join them at Penrith on Wednesday, when a fourball has been entered in a Seniors Open competition.
Notwithstanding the fact that he's the most qualified for a Seniors competition, Kaye will have to sit this one out, as he's unable to provide a handicap certificate because he is now clubless.
The remaining 9 members will arrive at Silloth on Thursday lunchtime, by which time we still won't have sorted out a format for the afternoon competition.
Dinner on Thursday night be will held at the Golf Club.
After last year's enforced change, the Salver will once again be staged over two rounds on Friday.
A number of combatants have suffered injuries this year. Butler is recovering from knee surgery, the Supremo injured his knee slipping off the 17th tee at Woodsome, and Shires J was suffering so badly from a frozen shoulder that he was forced to seek treatment from the Kirkheaton Strangler. Amazingly he lived to tell the tale, and all three will line up on the tee as usual.
Despite his injury the Supremo has been showing signs of form that would suggest that he won't be in line for Goatdom this year. Word has it that he won some sort of Old Worksopian trophy earlier in the summer.
However the Judge will be favourite to retain the Salver, not least because somehow he's managed to balls things up every time he's had a medal card in his hand, thereby remaining on the totally ridiculous handicap of 19. Shires and Webb can vouch for its absurdity, having been put to the sword by the Champeen at Whitby GC within the last fortnight.
Elsewhere, highlights have been few and far between, though your humble correspondent did win a nearest the hole prize at last week's Woodsome Quad Am (admittedly with a mishit).
JUDGE GETS PASS OUT
September 4, 2014
Reigning Champion Roger Thomas will be staying at the Golf Hotel on the Friday night after this year's Salver, it has been revealed.
Normally the teetotal Judge drives straight back to Huddersfield after the prize presentation, but he's decided to extend his stay in his luxury room at the Golf Hotel.
"It's come to my attention that after I left the hotel last year, having won the Salver, there were several derogatory remarks made about my handicap and my victory speech," he said. "This year when I've won it again I want to be there to defend myself."
SUGDEN: "I DID IT FOR HIS OWN GOOD."
February 13, 2014
Exactly five months after the "mysterious case of the the missing keys" at Silloth, Andrew Sugden has claimed that he's not as daft as he looks, and the whole incident was a carefully evaluated and meticulously planned operation to prevent Michael Webb losing his driving license.
Webb's car keys disappeared after dinner at Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club on the Thursday night of the 2013 Goldthorpe Salver meeting, and despite an exhaustive finger-tip search of the clubhouse, weren't seen again until they were discovered in Sugden's jacket pocket the following lunchtime.
In the meantime Webb had been forced to ring his wife to find a spare set of car keys at home, and engage the services of a courier to drive them to Silloth - at a potential cost of £180. Since his golf clubs were locked in his car, he also had to borrow his brother's bats to play on the Friday morning.
When the keys finally came to light in Sugden's pocket, it was widely assumed that it had been an innocent, but wholly predictable, mistake. Now, though Sugden claims there was method in his apparent madness.
"As a fellow partner of Webb's at eminent Huddersfield solicitors Eaton Smith - indeed as the Senior Partner - I felt that I had a responsibility for his welfare," he said.
"I realised that despite the fact that he was obviously over the legal alcohol limit, he was planning to make the potentially dangerous 125 yard journey from the Golf Club back to the hotel by car, so while feigning sleep to avoid attracting attention, I cunningly picked them off the dinner table and trousered them.
"Webb was therefore forced to walk home. Mission accomplished!" he added.
However his version of events has been questioned by John "Sherlock" Shires, a private detective brought in to investigate the incident.
"There are several holes in Sugden's version of events," he said. "If - as he claims - his sole purpose was to prevent Webb from driving that night, why didn't he simply return the keys the following morning?
"Why has it taken him five months before coming up with what is obviously a farrago of lies? If indeed he was acting as some kind of Good Samaritan, why did he not say so at the time, instead of casting himself as a half witted imbecile?
"Also, what were the realistic chances of Webb being apprehended by the local constabulary? After all, remember their spectacular failure to breathalyse Steven Sutcliffe, even when he was conveniently lying in a hospital bed in Carlisle General Infirmary.
"What's more, my investigations have revealed that the notion of Sugden "feigning sleep" is utterly ludicrous. Especially at 1130pm at a dinner table."
Webb himself, who at the time was forced to take medication to reduce his blood pressure, was equally dismissive when informed of Sugden's claims. "Silly little bugger," he said.
THE JUDGE IS CHAMPION!
Roger Thomas won the 2013 Goldthorpe Salver with two impressive rounds at Silloth on Solway - the second of which also landed him the Tim Sugden Trophy.
This year's competition - played for the first time over two days - was pretty much a two man show, with Charles Webb finishing runner-up, and taking three other awards as well.
August 11, 2013
With the 2013 Salver just over a month away, your webmeister has finally stirred from his slumbers to bring competitors the latest snippets of news, the most significant of which is a change to to the competition format.
As you may be aware, the Supremo insists this is due to matters entirely beyond his control.
The bald facts are as follows:
Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club have a new secretary.
He has changed to an online booking system.
The Supremo was unaware of this fact, and is any case a technophobe.
Some of our normal morning tee times were already taken.
The new secretary was deaf to the Supremo's entreaties and/or bribes.
The Salver will still be played over two rounds, the first on Thursday afternoon, with the second round and Tim Sugden Trophy played 24 hours later on Friday afternoon.
The Supremo is naturally full of remorse, but all is not doom and gloom. Indeed some competitors may actually welcome the new format, since they are getting on a bit (see picture), and find it difficult to drag their ageing bodies around 36 holes in one day.
However, the change does have other ramifications, not the least of which is that the draw for pairings and sweepstakes etc, will have to be made in the golf club bar on Thursday lunchtime, which means that certain competitors might have to forego their traditional lunch at the Pheasant at Bassenthwaite.
Nevertheless every cloud has a silver lining, as it also means we will have longer in the bar, and we won't be finishing our Salver rounds in the dark.
Other notable announcements:
We will again have dinner on Thursday evening at the Golf Club.
The Supremo has booked a number of tee times for both Thursday and Friday mornings, which will allow up to 12 to play a few holes.
For those who don't want to play, he has offered to organise a putting or bowls competition.
And those who don't want to putt or bowl can of course explore the manyfold delights of Silloth.
Meanwhile Nicholson, Sampson and Shires J will once again be starting their preparations earlier in the week. In fact, they are so determined to be in tip-top form for the Salver that will play their first practice round on the Monday.
They plan to play twice in County Durham at either Seaton Carew, Eaglescliffe & District or Hartlepool, staying the Monday and Tuesday nights at Redworth Hall Hotel, a Jacobean manor house near Durham built in 1693.
And news hot off the press is that they will be joined by the reigning Champeen, Charles Kaye. This means that they will be able to monitor his form, and report back to the Handicap Committee which will hopefully bugger up his chances of winning the Salver for a third successive year.
On Wednesday morning, while the advance party tours Cumbria in a fruitless search for somewhere to have dinner later in the day, several others - including Wilcox, Webb M, Butterworth (?) and for the first time Sugden WA - will drive to Penrith to join them for the traditional afternoon round.
Supremo Mark Nicholson has had his handicap cut after winning one of Woodsome Hall GC's most prestigious trophies - the A.C. Ramsden Cup - with a quite astonishing nett 66.
This extraordinary feat was accomplished with a new set of clubs that he had purchased just 24 hours earlier, and resulted in a handicap reduction to 22.
Subsequently he has suffered a severe bout of tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis as we doctors prefer to call it), a condition exacerbated by his inexplicable decision to seek treatment from Wilcox. Though he remains optimistic, his participation at Silloth must therefore be in doubt.
Meanwhile the Kirkheaton Strangler himself has played his way onto the Woodsome honours board, winning the Hirst Claret Jug with an equally astounding Stableford total of 44 points (75 gross). His handicap was cut from 13 to 11, and he followed that with a nett 69 in the August medal leading to a further handicap reduction to 10.2. So he's got no chance at Silloth then.
Two of these splendid achievements by Nicholson and Wilcox were witnessed first-hand by your correspondent, who is too modest to suggest that his selfless encouragement of their efforts might have played its part in their triumphs. Incidentally he too has been a recent winner, taking the Huddersfield Amateur AFC's D.S.C. Brierly Trophy for a second time in three years.
After sacking virtually the entire workforce at his employers, Sambo's work is done and he has retired.
WEBB CAN'T WALK ON WATER - OFFICIAL!
August 11, 2013
Documentary proof that Michael Webb is not the Messiah has come to light.
While on on his traditional early summer holiday to a luxury Mallorcan villa, the eminent Huddersfield solicitor was tempted to join a number of young ladies from Huddersfield in the bars of Pollensa.
In a predictable effort to impress the bevy of beauties, Webb drank more than was good for him, and returned to his villa much the worse for wear.
Believing that a cup of strong cup of coffee was the answer, he switched on the kettle - and all the lights went out.
In his befuddled state, Webb was unsure whether he'd fused the lights or whether there had simply been a power cut in the area, so he went outside to see if nearby villas had also been plunged into darkness.
Whereupon he walked fully clothed straight into the swimming pool.
NO NEW CLUBS FOR SUGDEN
August 11, 2013
Despite evidence that a new set of bats CAN work wonders (see item on Nicholson above), Andrew Sugden has decided not to take the plunge.
Recently he was given £200 worth of Direct Golf gift vouchers by his son David, who quite justifiably perceived that his father's equipment was not quite of the top drawer.
However Andrew has decided not to invest, lest his game suffers a McIlroy-like slump. For similar reasons he will be staying with his existing management company, but is hopeful of acquiring a blonde Danish tennis-playing girlfriend.
WEBB FACES REPRIMAND
November 23, 2012
Double artificial knee recipient Mike Webb faces a reprimand from Huddersfield Golf Club after driving his golf buggy onto a green while recovering from his recent operation (see picture).
"I don't care whether he's a former captain or not," said his brother, the club's Director of Golf, Charles Webb.
"He should know better. Everyone knows you should always remove the pin before putting."
"NO REGRETS" SAYS SHIRES
November 23, 2012
Goldthorpe Salver absentee John Shires is unrepentant about missing the 2012 competition.
Shires left after 12 holes of the first round to catch a flight from Manchester to Corfu, where he was holidaying with friends in a luxury villa (pictured).
"Non, je ne regrette rien," he said. "Beautiful though Silloth-on-Solway is, it can't really compare with sipping a delicate glass of Chablis on the terrace of a multi-million pound villa high on a verdant hillside overlooking the azure blue seas of the Straits of Corfu, with the hills of Albania shimmering in the distance.
"And anyway, I was playing abysmally," he added.
"He's got that right," said playing partner and Salver Supremo Mark Nicholson, before issuing a stern warning to the self-proclaimed media megastar.
"Any repeat of this behaviour will lead to the strongest of sanctions.
In other words, he'll be forced to share a triple room at the Golf Hotel with Steve Sutcliffe and Andrew Sugden."
UNSTOPPABLE KAYE WINS AGAIN
September 14, 2012
Charlie Kaye has retained the Goldthorpe Salver, after mastering some of the worst conditions ever experienced at the event.
Statistics are now updated, and full report is now completed.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2012
August 27, 2012
Momentous changes to the format of this year's Goldthorpe Salver have been agreed.
For the first time we will be eating on the Thursday night at Silloth Golf Club instead of the Golf Hotel, and also for the first time, some competitors will be indulging in a pre-warm-up warm-up on the Tuesday. The Supremo, Sambo and Shires J are playing at Hexham Golf Club in Northumberland, and will be staying at the Crown at Wetheral near Carlisle - a convenient 20 miles from Penrith GC, where they'll be joined by Wilcox, Butterworth, Kaye and Webb M on Wednesday lunchtime.
Wilcox turned down the trip to Hexham on the grounds that it would cost him a day's income (around £10,000); Webb M has declined because he says his knees aren't up to it (though they can apparently manage 90 holes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday); and Butterworth is under the thumb. Kaye hasn't even come up with an excuse.
Meanwhile Nicholson says he's looking forward to it immensely. "It's only a matter of time before I become a full-time professional," he added (somewhat optimistically - Ed).
Meanwhile, following recommendations from Huddersfield Hockey Club, the Supremo has agreed a menu in the dining room at Silloth Golf Club on Thursday night at a cost of £22 per head.
Room allocations for the Golf Hotel have been published. Rookie Bill Butterworth has the dubious privilege of sharing with Wilcox, while - as a result of Sutcliffe asking for a single room - Kaye has drawn the shortest remaining straw, and will room with Sugden WA. That - and a revised handicap - should effectively stuff his chances of repeating his 2011 Salver triumph.
Those room allocations in full:
Nicholson & Sampson
Shires J (until he quits) & Webb M
Butterworth & Wilcox
Butler & Liddiment
Drake & Sugden WA
Shires R & Webb C
Kaye & Whiteley (whenever he arrives)
Single rooms for Sutcliffe & Thomas (at their own requests)
Plans for a Youth v Gimmers match on Thursday afternoon have been thrown into confusion by news that Sugden and Webb C are unlikely to arrive until later in the evening. Although on reflection, perhaps they haven't, since Sugden is clearly a Gimmer and Little Charlsie is a Youth.
Perhaps Butler doesn't intend staying overnight at all this year, as instead of the £160 requested by the Supremo to cover green fees and the deposit for the Golf Hotel, he forwarded a cheque for only £97 - enough to cover only the green fees.
Or maybe he has other plans? Nicholson surmises that Fausto and Christine (or that bird who now runs the chip shop opposite) might have made him a better offer.
SALVER WEBSITE LIVES AGAIN!
August 15, 2012
Just when Salver competitors and website afficionados were beginning to think that www.goldthorpesalver.com had joined the likes of Punch and The Illustrated London News in the annals of literary history, it has risen again, phoenix-like, from the ashes.
According to the Webmeister, the long period of inactivity has been due to a number of factors.
He's been very busy.
The impending wedding of his daughter means that he's now so poor he hasn't been able to afford the electricity to turn his computer on.
He couldn't be bothered.
Whatever the reason, he says he's very sorry and promises it won't happen again.
Now read on.....
GOLDTHORPE WELCOMES NEW FACE
August 15, 2012
Fifteen golfers will battle it out on the links at Silloth for the 2012 Goldthorpe Salver - including one rookie.
Bill Butterworth, who has previously been unable to make it to the banks of the Solway Firth because of work commitments, has now retired from his job as a sports centre janitor, and therefore has plenty of time on his hands. He qualifies on the basis that he's a useful golfer (what else would you expect from a Woodsome Hall member?) and he knew Phil well (which is more than can be said of Durrans).
The vacancy has arisen because of several shameful no-shows this year. The aforementioned Durrans says he's to busy because he has men to sack; Mike Dyson, who earlier indicated that he would be able to attend, has now decided to stay in the Gulf counting his Arab gold; and Bunty prefers eating paella.
In addition work commitments mean that Prof Webb won't arrive at Silloth until Thursday evening, and it's also been confirmed that Shires J. will miss the final round of the Salver itself, because he's jetting off on his holidays. Supremo Mark Nicholson has already pencilled in a lunchtime presentation of the Goat tie.
Shires, incidentally, has hit back at accusations that he's demeaning the reputation of the Goldthorpe Salver by leaving early. "When you've a choice between one of the most luxurious villas in the Mediterranean (pictured) and an extra night at the Golf Hotel - even in a special executive room - I really think there's only one winner," he said.
Meanwhile Steve Sutcliffe has confirmed that not only will he be attending, he'll be driving to Silloth as well. The Cumbrian Constabulary, Cumbrian Fire & Rescue, Carlisle General Infirmary, the Coastguard, the Lakes Mountain Rescue Service, the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Medicines Sans Frontiers, the Armed Forces, The AA, RAC, and all road users have been informed.
GOLF HOTEL RAISES ITS GAME
August 15, 2012
The Golf Hotel has gone upmarket in a bid to cash in on the booming economy in the bustling North Cumbrian business hub of Silloth-on-Solway.
The latest refurbishments include the provision of "Executive" rooms, to cater for the ever-increasing number of businessmen travelling to what's becoming known as the Eldorado of the Cumbrian coastline.
"Silloth used to be a sleepy seaside hideaway." said fat cat RBS banker Mark Nicholson, a regular visitor to the town. "Now clearly it's a thriving cosmopolitan business centre. They'll be serving their potted shrimps with brioche next."
Other regulars who intend to make the most of the new "Executive" rooms at the Golf Hotel include the world's richest man, Mark Wilcox, and the head of the Law Society (Eaton Smith branch), Michael Webb. Both will be attending an important networking convention in the town next month.
Just what's provoked the business boom is unclear, though it's thought that the opening of the new dock in 1924 (pictured) might have had something to do with it.
SHIRES MAY MISS 2012 SALVER
October 28, 2011
Goldthorpe Salver ever-present John Shires may be forced to miss the competition next year - because he's on holiday.
This extraordinary state of affairs has arisen because Shires and his wife, Shirley, have been invited to join friends at a luxury villa in Corfu. "I find myself on the horns of a huge dilemma," he told GoldthorpeSalver.com, "not least because the villa is perhaps the most luxurious in the Mediterranean, and - apart from the cost of the flights, it's free!
The problem is, we have been asked to arrive on Friday the 14th of September 2012 - the day of the Salver itself. That would mean leaving Silloth very early on Friday morning to catch a flight to the Greek island."
Shires (pictured after taming the Hogsback in 2010) revealed that they also received a similar invitation this year, but in view of the fact that it clashed with all three days of the Goldthorpe festivities, he told his missus where to get off.
"However this year," he said, "I have been threatened with the surgical removal of my testicles if I don't accompany her - which does rather complicate matters. Help! What do I do?"
WILCOX FACES DISCIPLINARY ACTION
September 17, 2011
Mark Wilcox faces disciplinary action for wilfully flouting a ban on fancy dress at this year's Goldthorpe Salver. The Kirkheaton-based osteopath was warned about his future conduct after appearing at the 2010 Presentation Dinner dressed as Mr Whippy, but this year he
turned up at Penrith dressed as one of the Krankies in a pair of tartan plus-twos.
appeared at Silloth on Thursday in a lurid pair of day-glo orange trousers, looking like a cross between a Guantanamo Bay inmate and a council binman.
Goldthorpe Salver supremo Mark Nicholson hasn't yet revealed what sanctions may be imposed, but explained: "The orange trousers were the final straw - his playing partners were forced to wear sunglasses to reduce the glare."
Wilcox was unrepentant, and revealed that his plans to wear another hideous outfit on Friday - believed to be the army camouflage fatigues ensemble that he wore recently to general opprobrium at Woodsome - were only scuppered by the weather, which forced him to cover up with waterproofs.
KAYE WINS SILLOTH 2011
September 17, 2011
Charlie Kaye tethered his horse in the Silloth Golf Club car park, removed his mask in the locker room, and went out to win the 2011 Goldthorpe Salver by a country mile.
Not since Dick Turpin stalked the highways and byways of England has there been such a display of banditry. Kaye's total of 84 stableford points was a competition record, as was his margin of victory.
Even Charles Webb was left floundering in his wake. Charlie's majestic second round performance meant that he also took home the Tim Sugden Trophy, while other highlights of another successful trip to the banks of the Solway Firth predictably included the conferment of Goatdom upon Steve Sutcliffe.
STOP PRESS: LAST MINUTE NEWS
Steve Sutcliffe has confirmed his participation in the 2011 Salver, but has yet to be allocated a roommate. Chris Durrans, who was originally earmarked as Sutty's minder, has turned down the job.
Mike Webb (pictured) has been sacked as Nicholson's accomplice in the buying of prizes. "Quite frankly," said the Supremo, "his choices have been crap." Alternatively, it could have something to do with the fact that he's been on a drug fuelled binge with his wife on the holiday island of Ibiza. Whatever, Sambo has stepped into the breach - so expect all sweaters, golf shirts and waterproofs to be of the XXL variety.
Perhaps the most bizarre news in the run-up to this year's event is that not only has John Shires paid up front, he's actually paid too much! "No, I haven't just won the lottery; it was simply a hideous mistake," he said.
And one piece of news that should have been posted on the website earlier (apologies!) ...Butler's getting married! First round in the clubhouse is on him, then.
NICHOLSON INJURED AGAIN
September 11, 2011
Mark Nicholson's full participation in this year's Goldthorpe Salver is again in doubt.
The Supremo is apparently suffering from an "inflamed meniscus" - that's a knee cartilage in layman's terms - though since the diagnosis was made by the Kirkheaton Strangler, it's probably worth a second opinion.
"There's a distincint possibility that I might not be able to play 36 holes on the Friday," said Nicholson, "so The Goldthorpe Salver will be won on the putting green in front of the clubhouse at 3 pm Friday 16th September." (Oh, no it won't - ed.)
Silloth regulars believe the Supremo may have other motives. "It's a blatant attempt to avoid Goatdom," said Peter Butler, who's amongst those tipped to struggle in this week's competition.
Meanwhile the theory that it's a desperate grab for the crown of the Goldthorpe Salver's Most Injured Golfer has been ridiculed by current holder John Shires. "Meniscus?" he said. "He's lucky to have one - mine were all removed years ago."
There's still a slim chance that Nicholson might still be able to play a full part in the tournament - though considering Wilcox's involvement, don't put money on it.
"He's prescribed me all sorts of drugs, creams and potions in an effort to get me fit to play," said the Supremo, who also revealed that the millionaire osteopath has recommended insoles for his golf shoes at the knockdown price of £3,000 per pair.
BUNTY PULLS OUT
September 1, 2011
Chris Broadbent will not be defending the Goat Trophy, after withdrawing from this year's Salver.
In an e-mail to supremo Mark Nicholson, Bunty blames "weddings, holidays, just having gained my captain's licence to skipper 60-feet boats, the vast amounts of money that can be made in Thailand, and the fact that I'm conducting 10 viewings a day of our house in Portugal."
Other Salver competitors have questioned the validity of these excuses. "First of all, he's already married, and secondly he's permanently on holiday," said Mike Webb.
"As for the bit about 60 foot boats - that's just boasting. And clearly the people looking round his luxury villa aren't serious buyers; they just want to see how rich people live."
Steve Sutcliffe has now been installed as odds-on favourite for Goatdom. Sutty says he WILL be there - providing he can get a lift to Silloth.
Andrew Sugden has been nominated as his driver - though he doesn't know about it yet.
He does now.
The Golf Hotel has refused our request to pay corkage on our own wines. "We stock a wide selection of wines from around the world from which to choose," said their outraged sommelier. He attached a list of their wide selection - four reds and four whites.... and a couple of rosés. Looks like it's the Rioja then.
A party of six playing at Penrith on Wednesday, September 14. Wilcox, Nicholson, Webb M, Shires J, Sampson and Kaye have all gone for the full 90 hole option. After the golf Sambo has suggested going to the pub in Cockermouth that we went to last year. If he does, he'll be on his own. It was in Maryport.
To commemorate the Salver's 30th anniversary, the Supremo has ordered a new batch of embroidered shirts, and he's asking those who want XL sizes to contact him. Slimmer of the Year Andrew Sugden has apparently already ordered a child's size.
Charles Webb's latest flirtation with scratch golf is over. The Professor is back to 1, and is apparently so concerned by his lack of form that he's been spotted having a lesson with Woodsome Hall professional John "Fresh" Eyre.
RBS WANTS YOUR CASH!
August 5, 2011
In a thinly veiled attempt to replenish its depleted funds, the Royal Bank of Scotland - 83% owned by UK taxpayers - has demanded £130 from hard-up Goldthorpe Salver competitors.
Hours before the RBS posted half yearly losses of £1.4bn, shock e-mails dropped into the in-boxes of Silloth regulars asking for immediate downpayment ahead of this year's event in September.
The messages - promising a meagre £1 cashback reward - were sent by fat-cat banker Mark Nicholson (pictured), often referred to as "The Bonus King" by colleagues at the beleaguered institution.
"What a cheek," said Silloth stalwart Chris Broadbent. "I'm already doing my best to resolve Portugal's debt crisis, without having to give handouts to an impoverished British bank as well."
A banker writes: No it's not for me, or the RBS. Honest. I need the £130 to pay the green fees at the Golf Club. The remainder will go on prizes. Really, it will! I
promise. Notwithstanding that, please make cheques payable to me - RMB Nicholson - or pay direct into my account at the RBS in Huddersfield
Nothing to be smug about
DYSON ADMITS: "I'M USELESS."
August 5, 2011
Once again 16 competitors will fight it out for the Goldthorpe Salver in September, following news that while one foreign tax exile has withdrawn, another has insisted he will be taking part.
Gulf resident Mike Dyson has decided his golf is simply not up to scratch. " I did manage to play some golf at Dornoch recently with Haigh, Durrans & Webb C," he said. "But to be honest it was very hit & miss (mostly miss), so I think Silloth would have been a real challenge this year."
Meanwhile Portuguese resident Chris Broadbent has scotched rumours that he'd given up the game by confirming his participation.
However as punishment for keeping fellow competitors in suspense, he will be forced to share a room with Frank Whiteley.
More News in Brief
On Friday June 17, more than 40 people attended a dinner at Fixby marking the 30th anniversary of Phil Goldthorpe's death in 1981. Guests included Lisa and her mother, members of Phil's family, and an almost full cast list of his friends who've subsequently played in the Salver. Photographs have now been posted on the site, including some previously unseen pictures taken by Wilcox.
Professor Charles Webb's golf continues to amaze. He's now back to scratch again, after posting the best gross score in Captain's weekend at Huddersfield GC.
Mark Wilcox threw away a glorious chance to win the July Medal at Woodsome Hall GC. Standing on the 18th tee, the Kirkheaton Strangler needed a four for a nett 62 - but then proceeded to fire two drives out of bounds onto the practice ground. He recovered sufficiently to hole a long putt for an 8 and a final score of 66 - amidst accusations that he was throwing off to protect his handicap. If that was his intention, it didn't work. He's now been pulled from 15 to 13.
One unexpected beneficiary of Wilcox's incompetence was your humble and modest correspondent, who also shot 66 to win his division, and has subsequently been pulled from 12 to 11. It was his second win at Woodsome in 8 days, having earlier triumphed in the Huddersfield Amateurs Golf Competition, beating his cousin The Beast on a countback. Other Salver competitors who did their best but just weren't quite good enough on the night included Webb MF and Butler.
WHO IS THIS IMPOSTER?
Those attending the recent 30th Anniversary Dinner at Huddersfield Golf Club are thought to have been the unwitting victims of a cruel hoaxer, who turned up posing as Andrew Sugden (see photograph).
"There is absolutely no way this man is the Andrew we know and love," said Goldthorpe Supremo Mark Nicholson. "He's at least three stone lighter, and what's more, he didn't fall asleep at the table. We demand answers."
Other diners weren't quite so sure. "If he is an imposter, it's a pretty good effort," said Mike Webb. "He's got that silly grin spot on."
BUNTY TO MOVE TO THAILAND?
Recent reports suggest that Chris Broadbent - the Goldthorpe Salver's answer to Warren Buffet - is contemplating moving his investment empire from Portugal to Thailand.
The rumours have prompted all manner of scurrilous inuendo and dirty schoolboy humour (see picture, right) amongst his fellow Salver competitors, but friends insist that the truth is somewhat more mundane.
"Bunty is simply tired of the luxury lifestyle on the Algarve," said one confidant, "and wants to sample the luxury lifestyle somewhere else instead.
"There is absolutely no truth in speculation that he's to open a ladyboy lapdancing bar in Bangkok's red light district.
"What's more, he likes the sound of getting 49.519 Thai Bhat to the pound, as it will make him feel even richer."
It's thought his Buntyship is already negotiating the purchase of his very own archipeligo (see picture, left).
News in Brief
Andrew Sugden has apparently lost two stone since Christmas. There are now fears that he will have been so weakened that he won't be able to reach that little bit of rough just off the end of the first tee at Silloth.
John Shires and Mark Wilcox recently won the Davison Vase - the Winter Foursomes Knock-Out competition at Woodsome Hall. "Since winning this prestigious trophy I have been my usual modest self," said Shires, "but Wilcox's boasting has become quite frankly unbearable."
After a recent visit to the Kirkheaton Strangler, Woodsome professional John Eyre has been seen wearing a surgical collar. Draw your own conclusions.
NICHOLSON'S FUTURE IN DOUBT
Salver supremo Mark Nicholson's golfing career lies in tatters after a crashing fall down the stairs of his new apartment at Woodsome Hall.
The tumble left him with damage to his rotator cuff - in other words, an injured shoulder - and he's been told it will be several months before he will be able to swing a club in anger.
There are conflicting reports over the cause of the fall. One extremely plausible theory is that the taking of drink was involved.
However Nicholson insists that the accident happened in the morning when he was entirely sober: "I was not drunk, m'lud," he said. "Having recently moved into the flat, I was unfamiliar with the stairs, and I simply tripped on the top step."
Goldthorpe Salver competitors have already questioned the accuracy of this report.
"I have no quibble whatsoever with the description or validity of the injury,"said top Huddersfield solicitor Michael Webb. "But to say that Nicholson's golfing career 'lies in tatters' is simply not true, since it implies that he had a golfing career in the first place."
A Doctor writes: The rotator cuff is the layman's term for the group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilise the shoulder. The four muscles of the rotator cuff, along with the teres major and the deltoid, make up the six scapulohumeral muscles of the human body (ie. those that connect to the humerus and scapula and act on the glenohumeral joint). So there.
An Osteopath replies: I'm sorry, I haven't a clue what you're talking about.
LIDDIMENT LANDS CAPTAINCY
27 January, 2011
Goldthorpe Salver bookmaker John Liddiment is poised to become Captain of Huddersfield's foremost golf Club, Woodsome Hall, in 2012/2013.
The mild mannered Chartered Surveyor has accepted an invitation to become the club's next Vice-Captain, and is due to succeed James Haigh as the big cheese in April next year.
The news has been universally welcomed - apart from a churlish comment from fellow Salver competitor Michael Webb.
"I don't know how they choose their captains at Woodsome," said Webb, "but clearly the process has nothing to do with golfing ability."
"Quite right, " said Mark Wilcox, "otherwise how would I ever have got the job?"
SUPREMO MOVES IN TO WOODSOME
26 January, 2011
In a desperate attempt to improve his golf, Goldthorpe Salver organiser Mark Nicholson has taken permanent residence at Woodsome Hall.
The Supremo, who previously lived in a luxurious penthouse in the holiday village of Shat, moved into a flat overlooking the 10th tee just after Christmas.
"I intend to practise morning, noon and night," said Nicholson. "Never again will I go into the afternoon round at Silloth with my nerves in shreds at the prospect of another Goat prize."
However others have detected a flaw in his plan. "It's the proximity of the bar downstairs that I worry about," said John Drake, who knows a thing or two about beer.