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 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.
PROF FAILS TO WIN SPORTS AWARD
20 December, 2010
A row's erupted after Goldthorpe Salver Champion Charles Webb missed out on winning the BBC's Sports Personality Of The Year Award at Birmingham's NEC.
The Prof (pictured here with winner, the jockey AP McCoy and purple-haired business partner Andrew Roebuck) was one of three top golfers to be overlooked in the vote, with world number one Lee Westwood and US Open Champion Graeme McDowell failing to make the top three as well.
It's led to accusations of bias. "I must say that having been victorious in one of the game's most prestigious competitions, I thought I'd got a pretty good chance," said Webb.
The editor of the Goldthorpe Salver website, John Shires, was less than sympathetic. "I'm fed up of the Professor sending me photograhs of himself with famous people, and then expecting me to write something mildly amusing about them," he said.
WHO'S THAT BLOKE WITH THE PROF?
FANCY DRESS TO BE BANNED AT SILLOTH
September 22, 2010
Goldthorpe Salver officials are to ban fancy dress at the prestigious competition after Mark Wilcox turned up at this year's prize presentation dressed as Mr Whippy.
"The Goldthorpe Salver is a serious event," said a spokesman, "and we will not have it devalued by competitors who think it's a joke to come along dressed as ice-cream salesmen."
An investigation is also planned into claims that a man who attended this year's tournament claiming to be Frank Whiteley was in fact an imposter.
"It's highly suspicious," said an insider. "The Frank we saw last year was a large, rotund - almost bloated - fellow. The bloke who turned up this year was at least three stone lighter, and looked nothing like him. It just can't be the same man - he could even do his shirt collar up."
But one Silloth regular is convinced that it was the real Frank. "I had a long chat with the man in question," said John Shires, "and it's simply impossible that there are two such bigoted and opinionated people in Britain."
SUPREMO IN PRIZE COCK-UP
September 22, 2010
Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson has owned up to a hideous balls-up in allocating prizes at this year's Goldthorpe Salver.
Nicholson has been forced to pen a grovelling e-mail to His Honour, Mr Justice Thomas, asking that he returns a prize wrongly presented to him (pictured here) at the annual presentation ceremony at the Golf Hotel.
He had failed to realise that, under the time honoured rules of the competition, the Judge - as winner of the Tim Sugden Trophy for the best second round AND runner-up in the Salver itself - was disqualified from winning an additional prize.
In his missive to Mr Justice Thomas, he wrote: "It was quite rightly pointed out to me that, as the runner-up in The Goldthorpe Salver (and hence the recipient of a not inconsiderably expensive putter), you are automatically disqualified from receiving the prize for the Best Second Round, notwithstanding that you did, by definition, have the best second round."
The Judge has immediately agreed to hand back the prize, though his response could be described as somewhat less than magnanimous.
"I will gladly relinquish my hold on the jumper in favour of Charlie Kaye," he replied. "After all, lightish blue is not my best colour and in any event the f**king thing's too small."
PROF IS NEW CHAMP
September 18, 2010
As expected, hot favourite Charles Webb returned from his two year exile to win the 2010 Goldthorpe Salver at Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club. It was his fourth, and possibly his most impressive victory in the competition.
Meanwhile Silloth Supremo Mark Nicholson achieved his ambition of avoiding goatdom for a record third year in succession.
Instead the mantle of the tournament's least successful - in other words, worst - player passed unexpectedly to two-time former champion, Chris Broadbent.
WEBB'S ABSENCE: "POPE TO BLAME"
September 9, 2010
Charles Webb can't play the first practice round at this year's Goldthorpe Salver.... because he's afraid of excommunication by the Pope!
In an e-mail to the goldthorpesalver.com, the Prof has revealed that he was offered the chance to work at Hyde Park next week, when 80,000 pilgrims will take part in a prayer vigil celebrating Pope Benedict's visit to the UK.
According to Webb, he told organisers: 'I am not missing another opportunity to win the Goldthorpe Salver merely because there is this religious shindig in Hyde Park, I've missed the last 2 years and that goat Rupert won it last time, so bollocks to the Pope!"
However goldthorpesalver.com can reveal exclusively that this tirade is mere bravado, and on Thursday morning, rather than offering two fingers to the Holy Father by playing at Silloth, Webb will instead be on his knees at church begging for forgiveness for snubbing him.
A vicar writes: "Professor Webb's fears may sound plausible, but I have detected a flaw.
It is impossible for one to be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church if one is not - and never has been - a member of it.
And I would add a word of warning to the Professor: Do not take the name of the Lord in vain!
Did not Moses descend from the summit of Mount Sinai with the 8th Commandment, which read: "Thou shalt not bear false witness"?
Here endeth this article. Amen.
STORM OVER PROF'S NO-SHOW
September 6, 2010
Several Goldthorpe Salver competitors have expressed anger and astonishment after discovering that Professor Charles Webb won't be turning up to Silloth until lunchtime on Thursday - even though the dates of the tournament have been altered specifically to allow him to compete!
"That's gratitude for you," said wire industry magnate Chris Sampson. "He begs organisers to put the event back a week, so we'll all need miners' lamps to finish, and then he doesn't even bother to turn up! I can't be messed around like this; I've got men to sack," he added.
Amongst others who'd made considerable sacrifices to accommodate Webb's request for a change of dates were garden designer Mark Wilcox, who's been forced to cancel a trip to the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, and Andrew Sugden, who'd originally planned to start his annual winter hibernation on September 12.
"If I go to sleep during dinner this year at Silloth, we'll all know who to blame," yawned Sugden.
And reigning champion Rupert Shires, who campaigned vigorously against the date change, was so cross when he heard the news that he stamped his little feet.
So far there's been no explanation for Webb's no-show. "We demand answers," said Silloth Supremo, Mark Nicholson.
"I'M NOT GAY" - BUNTY SPEAKS OUT
September 2, 2010
Foreign resident Chris Broadbent has issued an astonishingly frank personal statement refuting allegations circulating on the internet about his sexuality.
The rumours - disseminated widely in the blogosphere - appear to have been initiated by reports on Goldthorpesalver.com, which revealed that on more than one occasion he had shared a twin room at the Golf Hotel in Silloth with flower enthusiast Mark Wilcox.
A recent photograph showing him sporting wraparound sunglasses and wearing a tight fitting white linen shirt only added fuel to the firestorm of rumour and innuendo.
His statement read: "While it is true that I have shared a twin room with Wilcox in the past, I would categorically refute any allegations of an improper relationship with either him or any other man.
To prove it, I have been married not once, but twice. These rumours are utterly false and deeply distressing. I do not bat for the other side, and even if I did, I would not be doing so with Wilcox."
The affair bears a striking resemblance to the controversy surrounding Foreign Secretary William Hague, who's issued a similar statement following revelations that he'd shared a twin room with one of his personal advisors.
Meanwhile Goldthorpe Salver officials have responded to the situation by booking single rooms at the Golf Hotel at this year's event later this month.
"Our competitors are not only highly tuned athletes, but also well respected members of the community - well, at least some of them are," said Salver supremo Mark Nicholson. "We cannot afford to have their good names besmirched by malicious tittle-tattle."
SUGDEN IN SPOT BETTING SCAM
September 1, 2010
Andrew Sugden has allegedly been implicated in a spot betting scandal ahead of this year's Goldthorpe Salver.
A sting mounted by the News Of The World newspaper has uncovered evidence that illegal bookmakers from the Indian subcontinent were intending to target the prestigious event at Silloth later this month.
Video footage released by the newspaper shows an Asian middleman claiming that upon receipt of large wads of cash, Sugden WA will deliberately hit his drive at the first hole into that little patch of thick grass just 15 yards to the left of the front of the tee.
Salver supremo Mark Nicholson has discounted the allegations. "It just doesn't stack up," he said.
"Anyone expecting large odds on the spot betting market for such an eventuality, thereby hoping to make a killing, clearly doesn't know much about Andrew Sugden's golf.
That's where he's hit every drive off the first tee for the last 19 years - and we have photographic evidence to prove it." (see picture)
And the Goldthorpe Salver's bookmaker, John Liddiment, also questioned the newspaper's claims. "It's such a dead cert, I've even stopped taking bets on it," he said.
COUNTDOWN STARTS HERE!
August 17, 2010
Regulars to the site will have noticed a major hiatus in service, due once again to the abject laziness of your webmeister. But now, with the Goldthorpe Salver almost exactly a month away, he has been stirred into action, and offers apologies, plus the following update.
It's been a momentous summer for C.P.Webb. In his capacity as Visiting Lecturer in Corporate Entertainment Studies at Huddersfield University, Professor Webb was invited to China to give his thoughts to a major hospitality symposium.
We have it on good authority that his paper, "How to drink a gallon and a half of Guinness at the Cheltenham Festival and remain upright" was generally - though not universally - well received (see picture).
Unfortunately his return journey - via a brief sojourn with Mike Dyson in Abu Dhabi - was interrupted by the volcanic ash cloud, which tested his logistical capabilities to the hilt.
After much arm waving Professor Webb finally arrived back in Blighty by train via Turkey, Austria, Germany and Belgium.
The experience clearly did not affect his golf, as he later achieved a liftetime's ambition of being pulled to scratch. Sadly he never played to it. Despite recording the best gross score at Fixby's Captain's Weekend (and helping his scratch team to success in the Huddersfield and Halifax Union Team Championship), the professor is now back off 1.
Big Mick Webb's golf has recently taken a turn for the better. A round of 74 gross in the Rabbits Captain's Day at Huddersfield GC means his handicap has been reduced to 7. This represents a major recovery after a humiliating experience earlier in the summer at Woodsome Hall - a course he regularly belittles as "nothing more than a pitch and putt".
Webb was playing in the Huddersfield Amateurs Annual Golf Competition, and was fully expected - not least by himself - to be a major contender and a likely winner. But this was the day Woodsome took its revenge, as the veteran solicitor managed a paltry total of only 21 Stableford points. Unfortunately no goat prize was on offer.
The event was won by defending Goldthorpe Salver champion Rupert Shires - further evidence, according to Webb, that The Beast is a bandit.
A familiar pose
Little is known of Sudgen W.A's activities this summer, apart from a report that he was seen sleeping on the first tee at Fixby before the Huddersfield Solicitors v Accountants Competition.
According to one witness: "He was sat bolt upright, arms folded, with his head on his chest." Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
John Liddiment has once again been seen having lessons with WHGC pro John Eyre, but given that he's apparently contemplating asking the committee to remove the in-course out-of-bounds between the 8th and 9th fairways, they don't seem to be working.
Bizarrely Mark Wilcox has been playing quite well recently, although it has to be said he hasn't played very much due to the fact that he's always on holiday, spending his ill-gotten gains.
Peter Butler's body is now so decrepit that he's refusing to join the advance party at Penrith. In fact he wants to hire a buggy at Silloth.
John Drake celebrated his 60th birthday in June, with several Salver competitors invited to a 'do' at his mountaintop retreat in Southowram.
Sadly - due to excessive consumption - few can remember much about it, apart from Wilcox making an a*se of himself during Chris Sampson's speech.
Sambo, incidentally, has been showing signs of finding his form on the golf course, with several creditable performances in medals, and second place (with HGC President David Balderstone) in the McGill Bowl on Invitation Day at Woodsome.
Meanwhile Drake is embarking on a new business venture - brewing his own beer!
The six times Goldthorpe Salver champion is converting the business premises from where he's previously ruled his water pump re-conditioning empire, into a micro-brewery (No, he really is! Ed).
Drake - pictured here after tasting one of his own experimental brews - is acknowledged to be something of an expert on real ale, largely as a result of consuming vast quantities of it - and industry analysts believe his entry into the brewing business will send shockwaves throughout the industry.
However others say it's just a cynical attempt to gain free entry to the Silloth Beer Festival (£7 a ticket last year), should it ever again coincide with the Goldthorpe Salver. Rumours that his premium brew is to be called "Drunken Duck" have yet to be confirmed.
Chris Durrans was also delayed by the volcanic ash cloud whilst returning from a business trip in China. The Chinese are said to have been mightily relieved when he was finally able to return home.
The Judge recently won the Old Rishworthians Golf Tournament. Modestly he told Golthorpesalver.com: "It was nothing really. The rest of them were pretty hopeless." An accurate assessment, since Wilcox was also playing in the event.
Charles Kaye took time out from masterminding the Tories' General Election campaign to play at Silloth in a Huddersfield Hockey Club competition earlier this summer. No word has reached us about how he performed, so we can only assume the worst.
And finally, John Shires was extremely worried that a nett 67 in a recent medal at WHGC might have jeopardised his chances of another Salver victory. Happily it wasn't quite enough for his handicap to be reduced.
LOAD OF BALLS
August 17, 2010
Competitors in this year's Goldthorpe Salver will have to use a revolutionary new German golf ball.
It's produced by Adidas, the German sportsgear company responsible for the controversial Jabulani ball (pictured) used in this year's football World Cup.
The Adidas Jabulani
Like the Jabulani, which was thought to have given the German national team an advantage in South Africa, the new golf ball has been trialled extensively in domestic competitions in Germany, and its imposition on Goldthorpe Salver entrants is being seen as a thinly veiled attempt to give German competitors an edge at this year's event - which is being held shortly after the UK celebrates the 70th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Britain.
"They're clearly out for revenge," said Squadron Leader Mark "Nicko" Nicholson, Honorary Secretary of the Goldthorpe Salver Golf Society.
"However, their cunning plan is doomed to failure because they've overlooked one simple fact. There are no German competitors at this year's event. A Belgian, perhaps, but no Hun."
"Was ist.....?" said Herr Adolf Hilter, Führer...er...head of the German Golf Association. "Scheiße! Where is that fat fool Goering......?"
ICELAND "STILL A POSSIBILITY"
August 16, 2010
Iceland still hasn't been ruled out as a possible venue for the Goldthorpe Salver's 30th anniversary celebrations, according to sources close to the Icelandic government.
The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano earlier this summer was thought to have put paid to any lingering hopes that the island might host the prestigious tournament in 2011, but tourist chiefs remain optimistic.
"We have taken advice from our country's top vulcanologist, the head of the Seismology Department at Reykjavik University, Dr Mjark Wilcoxsson," said one unnamed source.
"Dr Wilcoxsson (pictured here) assures us that all seismic activity has now ceased, and there's absolutely no reason why golf cannot resume in Iceland."
WILCOX A WINNER IN PORTUGAL
May 26, 2010
Mark Wilcox has returned from a week's golf in Portugal as a winner - but unfortunately NOT on the golf course.
Bizarrely, a snap of him - forwarded by Bunty - was judged to be the winner of the Best Photograph at the Vale do Lobo Open Foursomes, in which Wilcox and wife Suzanne were competing.
Bunty has made no reference to the Kirkheaton Strangler's golf, from which it may be deduced that once again he has returned home a loser.
SUPREMO IN US AIRPORT DRAMA
March 2, 2010
Silloth Supremo Mark Nicholson has narrowly escaped jail in the USA, according information received recently by this website.
On a recent visit to stay with US resident Andy Matheson, El Supremo was apprehended trying to enter America with six packets of Hartleys finest fruit jelly mix in his luggage.
The drama began when, after consulting with his compatriot and fellow traveller Andy Haigh, Nicholson decided to declare the jelly to US Customs and Immigration officials soon after landing at Orlando International Airport in Florida.
According to eye-witnesses, he told them: "I have six packets of jelly in my suitcase."
The admission immediately sparked a major security alert; the airport was closed to incoming and outgoing flights, and ringed by a security cordon manned by Florida State troopers and members of the National Guard armed with machine guns and anti-tank missiles.
Nicholson himself was arrested, handcuffed, pistol-whipped, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and interrogated by an elite CIA anti-terrorist unit, flown down from their HQ at Langley in Virginia.
"The problem seems to have been in my use of the word 'jelly'," said Nicholson. "It appears that to our cousins across the Atlantic 'jelly' is slang for the explosive gelignite. If I'd said 'Jell-O' - which is what jelly's apparently called over there - I might have got away with it.
"Instead I was held in a cell for eight hours, subjected to sensory deprivation, and threatened with extraordinary rendition to a US base in the Czech Republic, where I was to be water-boarded and gang-raped until I told them where Osama Bin Laden is hiding."
"Gee, we sure are sorry," said Capt Hank Studebaker Jr III, the head of the Homeland Security Unit at Orlando International. "It was just an unfortunate misunderstanding."
The experience is not thought to have jeopardised Nicholson's participation in this year's Salver, though he has apparently asked that jelly be taken off the dinner menu at the Golf Hotel.
"It will bring back too many painful memories," he explained.
The incident does leave one question hanging in the air. What was he doing with six packets of Hartley's Finest Fruit Jelly mix in the first place?
WEBB WINS OVER DATE CHANGE
November 10, 2009
The 2010 Goldthorpe Salver has been moved back a week, to allow Tiger Webb to win it again.
Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson has backed down after being bombarded by an e-mail from Webb demanding a change, and the tournament will now be played on Thursday & Friday, September 16 & 17, 2010. Webb has immediately been installed as an odds-on favourite to lift the Salver next year.
Reigning champion Rupert Shires has stamped his feet and reacted angrily to the news, describing it as a spineless decision designed solely to prevent him achieving back to back victories.
"So Little Charlsie has a chat with a fat, bald, bearded, middle aged Swedish musician, and Western civilisation summarily dumps the Gregorian calendar!," he exaggerated wildly.
Meanwhile Nicholson has asked competitors to confirm their availability by e-mailing him as soon as possible so that he can firm up arrangements with the Golf Hotel.
WEBB DEMANDS CHANGE OF DATE
November 2, 2009
Charles "Tiger" Webb is demanding that Silloth 2010 is put back a week - so that he can participate in the event again.
Webb, whose handicap recently plummetted to 1 after an impressive performance for Huddersfield GC in the Yorkshire Team Championships First Division, has complained to the Goldthorpe Salver website that he is being "robbed" of appearing, since on the provisional dates of September 9 & 10, he is once again poncing about at the BBC Proms in the Park.
"I feel this is a cynical attempt to deny me the chance to claim more Salver victories and I see no reason why the tournament should not return to its traditional third week in September slot," he says.
Webb has the backing of some of his luvvie chums - including ex-Abba songster Benny Andersson.
"As an impoverished Corporate Hospitality Impresario I have to take any opportunity whenever it comes along," he said.
"I can be seen here explaining to Benny (see picture) that the once great Salver had degenerated to such an extent that Rupert 'the Beast' Shires had claimed victory this year."
Andersson has now agreed to intercede on Webb's behalf with Salver Supremo Mark Nicholson.
"I am putting out this SOS because I Have A Dream that Charles will be able to play in next year's Salver. I do, I do, I do, I do, I do," he said.
"Charles has to be at next year's Party in the Park to earn some Money, Money Money, but he would far rather be at Silloth where The Winner Takes It All. After all we don't want someone who hits it like a Dancing Queen to win again. Mamma Mia!"
Early indications are that Webb might well get his way. "He has a point about the event being devalued by last year's winner,"said Nicholson. "We are now actively looking at the possibility of moving the Salver to September 16 & 17, 2010."
"Thank You For The Music," said Mr Andersson, somewhat bizarrely.
FRANK IS A JOCK - OFFICIAL!
September 16, 2009
Frank Whiteley has been "outed" as a Scot, following shock revelations about his tightfistedness.
Despite living in the Scottish Borders, Whiteley has long been critical of the tartan nation, but now it's been revealed that he's the only member of this year's Goldthorpe Salver party NOT to leave his name and address at the Golf Hotel in Silloth so that staff there can invoice him for his stay.
Competitors were asked to leave their details when reception staff were unable to calculate the bill because the hotel's computer system had gone down.
Said Salver supremo Mark Nicholson: "Everyone left their names and addresses - apart from Frank.
"I know we Yorkshiremen have something of an undeserved reputation for being careful with money, but this clearly goes further than that. Obviously Frank has been living too long north of the border, and has in fact become a Jock."
When contacted by the Goldthorpe Salver website, Whiteley offered the following comment: "Hoots mon. A'm nae a Scotsman. It's a wee misunderstanding, d'ye ken?"
The Lothian and Borders Procurator Fiscal has been informed.
GOLF HOTEL ALTERATIONS - THE VERDICT
September 16, 2009
Opinion is divided about the recent alterations at the Golf Hotel in Silloth.
Phase one of the multi-million pound renovation scheme - unveiled at the recent Goldthorpe Salver - includes:
A new dining room
A completely refurbished bar area
New wallpaper throughout the ground floor.
Amongst those welcoming the improvements is the bloke who develops and prints photos at Lords Photography shop in Brighouse. "Thank God for that," he said.
"Every September this chap comes in with several rolls of film containing hundreds of pictures all bearing a remarkable similarity to the ones he'd asked me to develop the previous year - in fact every year since 1991.
"I began to think I was either going mad or entering some kind of parallel universe, but now at last, something in the photos has changed, and I'm not a loony after all."
The new dining room
Leading quantum physicists are also delighted with the alterations, since they disprove the widely held theory that the town of Silloth - and the Golf Hotel in particular - has been trapped in a time warp continuum.
But amongst those to condemn the changes is Salver stalwart Andrew Sugden (pictured above left). "There I was, having a quiet nap during dinner," he said, "when all of a sudden I woke up, and didn't know where I was. My surroundings were completely unrecognisable.
"If I hadn't been the extremely clever senior partner at Huddersfield's foremost firm of solictors, I might have been sent spiralling towards insanity. Fortunately, the only thing that suffered was my golf," he added.
BEAST IS NEW CHAMPION!
September 12, 2009
Rupert "The Beast" Shires won the 2009 Goldthorpe Salver at Silloth on Friday, September 11.
He also became the first winner to wear a tie that didn't clash gruesomely with the famous check jacket.
Shires had a four shot lead at half way after amassing 39 points in the morning round, and his 30 points in the afternoon was just enough to hold off a strong challenge from Chris Broadbent, while Charlie Kaye - leading with three holes to play - fell away badly.
TRIO PLEDGE BOYCOTT OVER ROOM SHARING
September 7, 2009
With less than three days until this year's event, three competitors have threatened a boycott after the publication of sleeping arrangements at this year's Goldthorpe Salver.
Chris Broadbent, John Drake and Richard Whiteley are up in arms after being paired with Mark Wilcox, Steven Sutcliffe and Andrew Sugden respectively.
"It's just not on," said Bunty. "I have been dreading the prospect of sharing with Wilcox ever since he was 'outed' as a secret pansy admirer. How can I be expected to get a wink of sleep?"
Drake has also drawn one of the tournament's short straws having been allocated a room with Sutcliffe. "It's the fear of the unexpected," he said, enigmatically.
But most sympathy has been reserved for Frank, who will become the latest in a long line of competitors to endure a night with Andrew Sugden.
"The problem is," said Whiteley, "that Andrew's body clock has gone tits up. Instead of sleeping at night like a normal human being, he sleeps all day (see picture below left), so by the time everyone else is ready for a decent kip, he's still completely wide awake."
Previous roommates have complained of being kept up all night, and then - just when they've dropped off - being awoken again by Sugden's constant gibbering, not to mention his unpleasant bodily functions.
"Thank God I'm only there for one night," added Whiteley
Those room allocations in full:
Webb M & Shires J
Nicholson & Sampson
Broadbent & Wilcox
Thomas & Butler
Durrans & Shires R
Drake & Sutcliffe
Liddiment & Kaye
Sugden & Whiteley
BREAKAWAY THREAT AFTER 'CHEQUE IN THE POST' ROW
September 2, 2009
Threats to exclude multiple Goldthorpe Salver winner John Shires from this year's event at Silloth (see latest post in the Forum) because he has allegedly failed to pay his deposit in time have prompted threats of a breakaway event.
"It's ridiculous," said Shires. "Yet again I am the victim of the vagaries of the UK postal system, and if the Supremo fails to realise this, I will simply organise a rival event along the lines of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket to bring him to his knees.
"It's clear that this is just an attempt to get rid of one of the Salver's more likely winners," he added (somewhat arrogantly - Ed).
BEAST TO UNDERGO GENDER TEST
August 20, 2009
Sport has been rocked by a second case of "Gendergate".
Hours after the International Athletics Association announced they are to perform gender tests on South African female athlete Caster Semenya, British golfing authorities have revealed they're to conduct similar tests on Rupert "The Beast" Shires.
Recent photographs of Semenya, the runaway winner of the Women's 800 metres title at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, suggest that she might have detachable gonads, but while the South African is under suspicion of being a bloke, Shires is to be investigated following suggestions that he's really a lass.
Despite winning the longest drive prize at the
Goldthorpe Salver last September, there's evidence that since then, Shires hasn't hit a golf shot further than 160 yards.
Said the Salver's medical adviser Dr Mark Wilcox: "Notwithstanding his success at Silloth last year, and the fact that he's fathered two children, we want to make absolutely sure that Rupert is indeed a chap. After all, it beggars belief that for almost 12 months a fully grown man has been unable to propel a golf ball more than 200 yards."
The tests will involve him being asked to remove his trousers before a team of gender recognition specialists, who will shine a torch on his private parts while poking about with a long spoon.
"It's essential that we get to the truth," said Silloth Supremo Mark Nicholson. "The Goldthorpe Salver is a men's competition, and we can't have women taking part. Besides, it would throw our sleeping arrangements into disarray - although I suppose he or she could always share a room with Wilcox, our new garden design expert."
NEWS IN BRIEF
August 19, 2009
The Supremo wants £110 to cover green fees and prizes, and it's looking like six at Penrith on Wednesday, September 9 - Webb M, Shires J, Sampson, Nicholson, Butler & Kaye.
Meanwhile Andrew Sugden has been honing his swing in Menorca (Swing? What Swing?..Ed), and Frank has confirmed his attendance on Friday at Silloth.
Other news.... Mark "Rabbit" Wilcox's fondness for accumulating huge mountains of money has resulted him missing one of the more remarkable sporting events in Huddersfield in recent years. Wilcox took on extra patients at his Kirkheaton torture chamber on Tuesday night rather than accompanying the Supremo to watch Huddersfield Town AFC play Brighton. Result? Town 7, Brighton 1. "Serves him right, the greeder bugger," said Nicholson.
Oh, and just in case we forgot to mention it before, Wilcox is a rabbit.
SUTCLIFFE'S PREPARATION "SPOT ON"
August 18, 2009
Accusations that Stephen Sutcliffe's preparations for this year's Goldthorpe Salver have been less than perfect have been rubbished by a top sports analyst.
Sooty has revealed that he has had "a long lay off", and he has been "brillo padding his battling irons ready for golf by the seaside."
"It could work wonders - you never know," he told goldthorpesalver.com.
His unique training methods have been questioned by some of his fellow competitors. Said Mike "Tiger" Webb: "I rarely play less than six times a week, my body is a temple, and I maintain my equipment assiduously. If Sooty really believes he can win the Salver with the sort of regime he's been following, I'll eat my toenails."
But according to leading sports analyst John "Butch" Shires, Sutcliffe (pictured here in training) could be stealing a march on his rivals.
"Tiger has missed the point completely," he said. "The question is, which prize is Sooty is aiming for? Admittedly the Salver itself might be out of reach, but given his fondness for the Goat Tie, I reckon he might have just got it absolutely spot on."
WILCOX OPTS FOR PANSIES
July 27, 2009
Questions are being asked about Mark Wilcox's sexual orientation after he cancelled a game of golf....to attend a flower show!
Wilcox had arranged to play in a Texas Scramble competition at Woodsome Hall Golf Club on Saturday, but left his playing partners John Shires and Chris Sampson high and dry.
Instead he went to the Royal Horticultural Society's Tatton Park Flower Show in Cheshire.
"It came totally out of the blue," said Shires.
"We were looking forward to a convivial pint or two before an afternoon of competitive golf, when Wilcox rings me to say that he wanted to explore his more sensitive side.
"To be fair his decision might have been prompted by the realisation that he's utterly useless at golf, and it probably wouldn't have made much difference if he'd played, but all the same, it came as a bit of a shock to find out that
your playing partner would rather be off sniffing roses and pansies and exchanging banter with limp-wristed garden designers."
Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson says Wilcox's extraordinary behaviour could have implications for the forthcoming Goldthorpe Salver. "Who's going to want to share a room with him now?," he asked.
LATEST FORM GUIDE
July 27, 2009
To give punters - and bookmaker John Liddiment (motto: Don't be silly, bet with Liddy) - a helping hand, here's the latest on some of the runners and riders for this year's Salver. Wilcox is now officially a rabbit again - his handicap has risen to 16!
Drake & Shires J finished 2nd in Lightcliffe GC Invitation Day played recently at Bomb Alley. Shires also came second in the July Medal at Woodsome.
Butler & Webb M performed creditably at the Woodsome Invitation Day, finishing just outside the prizes. They then got horribly drunk. Webb tells us he also qualified for the second round of Captain's Weekend at Fixby (along with several hundred others).
Nicholson has apparently put his driver back in his bag, and Liddiment has been taking lessons from Woodsome pro John Eyre.
Sambo is back on the course after an exploratory knee operation that revealed damage not to his cartilage, but to his anterior cruciate ligament. It seems to have made little difference to his golf.
The Judge has been playing more regularly and will have an official handicap in time for Silloth, while Durrans - when he's played - has been as wayward as ever.
The Beast is now regularly thrashing his drives 190 yards down the middle.
Bunty has probably been hoovering up prizes down on the Algarve, but that doesn't really count.
Kaye was spotted on the course recently at Woodsome and tells us he's already played ar Silloth this year, but little can be gleaned about the form of either Sugden WA or Sooty - it's conceivable that neither has wielded a bat in anger since the New Year.
Apologies for omissions/innacuracies/misrepresentations etc
El Supremo - back to the drawing board
The Judge - handicap this year?
WAS - last outing?
JUST OVER TWO MONTHS TO GO!
July 6, 2009
Observant visitors to the site will have noticed a good deal of inactivity in recent months (if indeed inactivity can be noticed).
This is due to extreme laziness on the part of your webmeister.
In fact much has happened since the last posting. Andrew Sugden has turned 60, Mark Wilcox has been on eight holidays, and El Supremo is back at work.
Mike Webb and John Shires have also been to Cumbria on a weekend break with their spouses, and took the opportunity to recconoitre alternative venues for Wednesday afternoon golf (see picture) and an evening meal on the way to Silloth.
Update on entrants for 2009: Sheikh Mike-al-Dyson is unavailable - he's counting his money in the Gulf - and Charles Webb is apparently still intent on hobnobbing with the luvvies in Hyde Park.
We are still trying to persuade Butler to play on Wednesday and Thursday, before heading off to his two weddings on September 11.
SUPREMO WANTS YOUR BRASS
March 30, 2009
The time has come for Goldthorpe Salver members to dip into their pockets and part with some of their hard earned cash, according to Silloth Supremo Mark Nicholson.
He has finally managed to contact staff at the Golf Hotel, which has been undergoing extensive renovations, and in a departure from tradition, they are asking for a deposit.
"As this is beyond the means of an impoverished banker (or should that be civil servant?)," says Nicholson, "I should be grateful if you could confirm your attendance by sending a cheque for £25, made payable to me."
Members might be surprised to learn that Charlie Kaye is the first man to send his money. "As we all know, this by no means guarantees his attendance, " said Nicholson. "I have been doing this job long enough to take it simply as a preliminary expression of intent."
However one regular has already ruled himself out of this year's event. Peter Butler (seen in a rather unfortunate pose, right) has been invited to TWO weddings on Friday, September 11. "To paraphrase Wilde," said Nicholson, " to be invited to one wedding might be seen as unfortunate; to be invited to two smacks of carelessness."
ANDREW SUGDEN TO SUE HIMSELF
February 6, 2009
Top solicitor Andrew Sugden is to sue himself after a fall at work. Sugden WA tripped over his feet while ascending the stairs at Eaton Smith's offices in Huddersfield.
"Because of the inclement weather, I was wearing large boots which slipped on the steps," he explained.
Sugden suffered a large gash to his head, and worried staff called an ambulance.
"When I arrived on the scene," said fellow Eaton Smith partner Michael Webb, "Andrew was lying on the stairs, surrounded by staff, being tended to by paramedics, with a mobile phone clamped to his ear, talking to a client. In these troubled financial times, that's dedication.
"The paramedics wanted to cart him off to hospital, but after performing cognitive tests, they allowed him to stay at his office.
"Quite frankly," added Webb, "I was surprised, since under normal circumstances the tests were the sort Andrew could easily have failed. You know - who are you? What's your job? etc."
As he recovered from his ordeal, Sugden revealed that he is to take the unusual step of suing himself. "I am an accomplished personal injury lawyer," he said, "and I am willing to represent myself against myself on a 'no win no fee' basis. Never mind 'no win no fee', this is a no brainer. I can't lose. In fact I might sue my boots as well."
"The silly bugger can do what he likes," said Webb.
A lawyer writes: I am all in favour of legal action, since it makes me a lot of money. However the concept of suing oneself - though interesting from a legal viewpoint - is flawed. If one represents oneself against oneself, one is clearly not utilising the services of someone like me, thereby denying me the chance of trousering large wads of readies.
XMAS MESSAGE FROM THE GULF
December 16, 2008
Mike Dyson has sent the following missive to the website, and - although R.Shires might not agree - your editor believes it would be a pity if it did not get the wider readership it deserves. Incidentally, the picture here shows what the 5th fairway at Silloth will be like in 25 years time because of global warming.
"Hello all, just thought I'd report in from the Middle East where I have today been watching the Dubai Ladies Masters.
Copies of The Beast's DVDs 'How to hit it like a lass' and 'How to be a big nobber' were selling briskly.
However The Beast's latest DVD 'Nobbers & Knockers I have played a round with' was
flying off the shelves faster than a Topflite lakeball flies off the face of his Hippo driver.
Unfortunately the DVD title got mistranslated as 'Knobs & Knockers I have played around with' which I understand has quite a different subject matter and not one that The Beast is associated with.
Not at all. Not in any way. Obviously.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all, Mike"
NICHOLSON'S SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST QUITS
Nicholson knobs one off the 1st tee
September 15, 2008
The top sports shrink who's been advising Mark Nicholson has walked away from the job after the Silloth Supremo's dismal showing in this year's Goldthorpe Salver.
Nicholson finished a miserable last to take the Goat Prize, prompting sports psychologist Bob Rotella - the man behind Padraig Harrington's rise to glory - to pack his bags after less than 12 months working with Team Nicholson. "What's the f***ing point?" he was overheard saying.
During the course of this year's Salver meeting, there was plenty of evidence that Nicholson simply wasn't heeding Rotella's advice to think positively.
The prospect of a short pitch and run at Keswick prompted the comment: "Not my favourite shot, this." He was right. He scuffed it a couple of yards.
Facing a 9 inch putt on the 10th at Silloth, he correctly forecast: "I can miss from here."
Repeatedly muttering "This isn't my distance," whenever faced with a shot over 75 yards.
50 yards from the hill short of the 7th with the group in front still on the green…"I'll go first. There's no way I'm going to reach from here."
Said Rotella: "I thought my biggest challenge would be to persuade him to use a metal wood off the tee, but I now realise that was the least of my problems. The reality is that's he's utterly useless."
BEAST IN DOPING SHOCK
September 15, 2008
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been urged to investigate after Rupert Shires won a longest drive competition at Silloth on Solway Golf Club.
Shires - the man behind the best-selling DVD 'How To Hit Like A Lass' - took the award at the 18th hole during the second round of this year's Goldthorpe Salver.
"It's a joke. There has to be an explanation, and drugs is the only logical answer," fumed Mike Webb, who'd been highly fancied to grab the prize until he was out-muscled by Shires - now re-christened 'The Beast'.
A delighted Shires - who also won the Tim Sugden Trophy - rubbished suggestions that the reason he won was because he was the only competitor to find the fairway. "I won it fair and square," he said. "I now intend to publish a new DVD entitled 'How To Be A Big Nobber'."
Meanwhile firemen have been called in to rescue Charles Webb - a former multiple winner of the longest drive at Silloth - from the foot of his stairs. Webb C was absent from this year's event, but when his brother Mike sent him a text informing him of Shires' unlikely triumph, he replied "I'll go to the foot of my stairs," and he's been trapped there ever since.
Police are also investigating the mystery appearance of several bare arses in shop windows around West Yorkshire.
DRAKE IS NEW CHAMPION !
September 13, 2008
John Drake has won the Goldthorpe Salver for a record sixth time - and as you can see from the photograph, he's very happy about it.
Full details will appear on the website soon.
Meanwhile news items from earlier this year have been moved to the News Archive page.
SILLOTH GOLFERS CRAP AT CRICKET
September 10, 2008
A handful of Goldthorpe Salver competitors took part in a six a side cricket tournament played at Armitage Bridge at the weekend in memory of Tim Sugden.
Peter Butler donned whites for the first time in around two decades; Silloth newcomer Roger Thomas also made a comeback (though he appeared to have lost his long trousers); Mark Wilcox wore a silly hat and did daft things when photographs were taken; and Mike Webb tried to look cool.
As for the cricket, Webb wasn't as good as he thinks he is ( in fact he was quite a lot worse); Thomas baled out early because he said his knees were cold; Butler appeared to have forgotten the basic rudiments of the game he once bestrode like a Colussus, and kept falling over; and Wilcox hit a six and also took two wickets in one over (though one of his victims was only nine years old).
The Silloth team - completed by Peter's son Kurt, Denton Guest, and a bloke in fawn trousers - didn't win, but the tournament was a huge success (despite the weather) and plans are already afoot to make it an annual event.
BUNTY TO HIRE FEMALE CADDY?
September 9, 2008
In a new twist to the row over female interference with the Goldthorpe Trophy, Chris Broadbent is said to have hired a female caddy for this year's tournament.
Speaking from his luxury villa in Portugal, Bunty said: "If that idiot Wilcox can't provide a battery that will propel my trolley round 36 holes, I shall have to make alternative arrangements."
He has apparently lined up the services of his sister-in-law, Kerry (seen relaxing, right), who put in a brief appearance at the 2006 event (see 2006 photographs).
"This is despicable and not within the spirit of the competition," said Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson. "We all remember the mayhem that ensued after she turned up at lunchtime two years ago. It certainly put me off my stroke."
A further row has erupted over Bunty's alleged handicap. "His Buntyship claims to be playing off eight," spluttered Nicholson. "How can this be, when he spends all his time on the golf course?"
WOMEN FOIL WINDERMERE WARM-UP
Durrans - mysoginist
September 5, 2008
Mark Nicholson is refusing to take responsibility for the confusion surrounding the traditional pre-Silloth warm-up at Windermere Golf Club next Wednesday.
"It's women who are to blame," said the supremo. "Our visit clashes with a Ladies Open competition, and we would be unable to get a tee time before 4.30 pm. We're just going to have to look elsewhere."
Alternative suggestions include Kendal and Keswick - with the latter favoured by at least one of the participants as it offers the same scenic views as Windermere.
However the situation hasn't pleased other Goldthorpe Salver regulars. "What's the world coming to when a venerable institution like this is mucked about by a bunch of tarts," said Chris Durrans, the mysoginistic head of the Durrans blacking empire.
Editor's note: We would like to point out that Mr Durrans does not actually play in the pre-Silloth warm-up, and would also like to disassociate ourselves from his disgraceful remarks. We are of course an equal opportunities society, and would welcome lady members - provided they pass our stringent membership qualifications. ie: being willing to share a bedroom with Andrew Sugden.
WEBB'S WEDDING TURMOIL
August 28, 2008
Mike Webb is desperate to find out the dates of NEXT year's Goldthorpe Salver - so he can attend his own daughter's wedding.
Sarah has recently become engaged to her long term boyfriend, Nick, and she's expressed an interest in getting hitched some time in mid-September 2009.
"I've got a problem if it clashes with Silloth," said the selfish solicitor. "She might be the fruit of my loins, but if it comes to a choice between sinking a 20 foot putt on the 18th on the banks of the Solway to win the Salver, and chomping on wedding cake while drinking overpriced champagne at Fixby..... well, there's only one answer."
His no-nonsense attitude has met with a mixed reaction from his fellow Goldthorpe competitors.
"What a nasty man," said nice Peter Butler, while Mark Wilcox - interrupted as he was about to book his latest golf trip to Iceland - suggested that the happy couple should get married in Silloth instead.
SILLOTH FORM GUIDE
August 18, 2008
Mike Webb and John Shires have thrown down a marker ahead of this year's Goldthorpe Salver by finishing third in the Huddersfield GC Invitation Day at Fixby.
Big Mick and Shires came in with 42 points - four more than their playing partners, reigning Silloth Champion Charles Webb and his guest, Chris Durrans.
As regular visitors to the website will know, Little Charlsie will not be defending his title this year because he's "working" at the 'Proms in the Park' concert in Hyde Park (see below).
"It's probably for the best," said his elder brother, forgetting that he'd finished third not first. "I am so good at this game that no one else need bother turning up."
A scene that won't be repeated this year
Shires was - surprisingly - rather more modest. "All things considered, it wasn't a bad performance," he said. "But after all, it was only at Fixby."
All were agreed, however, that Durrans will have to raise his game considerably to have any chance of returning from Silloth wearing the famous Check Jacket. "If Durrans wins, I'll eat my trousers," said Webb C.
KAYE'S CLUBS STILL UNDER WRAPS
August 8, 2008
Goldthorpe Salver competitors may be denied the opportunity to inspect Charlie Kaye's new clubs at this year's event. The retired industrialist is not as retired as he thought, and is likely to be in China that week working as a consultant.
It's a disappointing turn of events for Kaye. Not only is his game likely to have been revolutionised by his new Callaway equipment, but he's also the only Salver regular to have had an outing at Silloth this year, having successfully represented the Hockey Club there in May.
However Kaye's probable absence is offset by the likely re-appearance of Steve Sutcliffe (pictured right) - providing he can obtain transport to and from the Cumbrian coast.
Locals who augment their meagre wages by searching for lost balls on the Silloth links and selling them back to golfers are said to be delighted by the news; however the town's womenfolk have been put on red alert.
WEBB QUITS TO HOBNOB IN HYDE PARK
August 4, 2008
Charles Webb has revealed that the reason he won't be defending his Goldthorpe Salver title this year is because he's hobnobbing with toffs at a posh 'do' in Hyde Park.
Upset by suggestions that he's lost his bottle and wants to preserve his position at the top of the Order of Merit, Webb has written to the goldthorpesalver.com website to explain his absence (see below). Rather than bestriding the fairways of Silloth like a Colussus, partaking of the delicious gourmet fare offered by top chef Fausto Privatali, and enjoying hours of banter with friends in the convivial atmosphere of the Golf Hotel, Webb has decided to attend the BBC Proms in the Park in central London instead.
The event - hosted by Sir Terry Wogan - features tenor Jose Carreras and soprano Lesley Garrett, as well as Aled Jones, Abba tribute band Bjorn Again, and all-male vocal group Teatro.
"Fair enough," said Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson. "If he wants to spend his time listening to some slim-hipped dago and a fat bint screaming their heads off along with 50,000 other ponces, that's up to him. But it's sad to see a once proud competitor give up his crown for the promise of a handshake with a has-been Irish disc jockey."
Webb's letter in full: "I was very upset by the comments made recently which appeared on the website suggesting I would be missing from this year's Salver 'for no apparent reason'.
The suggestion that I haven't any bottle and am likely to do an 'Ian Baker-Finch' are ridiculous as I was expecting to defend my Championsy with much ease. Unfortunately I am at the BBC Proms in the Park.
An attached picture shows me with one of the stars likely to attend this glittering event - the lovely, surgically enhanced Claire Sweeney and her not so lovely mother.
I would reiterate that I am not purposefully keeping my 'order of merit' position secure and have nothing to fear by the assembled field even with the new addition of the judge!"
DYSON MISSES OUT AGAIN
July 28, 2008
Mike Dyson will miss Silloth again this year to concentrate on his quest to overtake Bunty and Wilcox in the Sunday Times Rich List.
After 29 years Mike has recently left Barclays Bank, and has just embarked on a new career with a start-up finance company in the UAE. In an e-mail to Mark Nick he says he'll be joined by the family at the end of August, and with Ben starting university in the UK in October, there's too much going on for him to be able to get away in September.
Despite his no-show, he's agreed to put some of his new-found wealth to good use, by contributing to the new Tim Sugden Trophy.
In a late bid to gain automatic qualification for Nick Faldo's European Ryder Cup team in September, Colin Montgomerie has enlisted the help of golf coaching guru Andrew Sugden, who has kindly allowed us to reproduce his tuition manual here on the goldthorpesalver.com website. Follow this link for Andrew's Top Golf Tips
JUDGE JOINS SILLOTH ELITE
July 24, 2008
The Goldthorpe Salver will welcome a new competitor this year. His Honour Judge Roger Thomas QC will fill in the place created by the as yet unexplained absence of 2007 champion Charles Webb.
Thomas - who knew Phil in the 1970s - is a member of Woodsome, whose main claim to golfing fame is being a witness to John Shires' hole-in-one at Warkworth Golf Club in Northumberland more than a decade ago.
Rumours that the 53 year old North West Circuit Judge, who lives in Almondbury, is to convene a special court sitting at the Golf Hotel to deal with misdemeanours committed by fellow competitors, are so far unconfirmed.
WEBB WON'T DEFEND TITLE
July 22, 2008
2007 Goldthorpe Salver champion Charles "Tiger" Webb isn't defending his title later this year.
The news has clearly angered tournament organisers, who are trying to contact him to find out exactly why he's pulled out.
"Has he lost his bottle? Is he doing an Ian Baker-Finch? We demand answers," raged Silloth Supremo Mark Nicholson.
There's also speculation that, despite overcoming high winds and driving rain at Silloth last September, Webb might be following the example of several leading Americans who chose not to compete in this year's Open at Royal Birkdale because they didn't fancy the conditions.
"I know he was upset last year because the weather meant he had to wear waterproofs instead of his favourite Rupert Bear plus fours, and that could well have had a bearing on his decision," said his fashion advisor Andrew Sugden.
Nicholson rejected suggestions that the absence of the three-time Silloth winner and current leader of the Order of Merit might devalue this year's event. "The Goldthorpe Salver is bigger than any single competitor," he said.
Nevertheless it throws the competition wide open, with Webb's elder brother Mike and John Drake - another low-handicapper - amongst those fancied to do well, along with Chris Sampson, who appears to be running into the sort of form that landed him the Salver in 2005.
SUPREMO IN STREAM DRAMA
June 1, 2008
Silloth Supremo Mark Nicholson has suffered a double blow to his dignity
Soon after it was revealed that he's taken to wearing a corset - allegedly for medical reasons - Nicholson fell into the stream crossing the 8th fairway at Woodsome Hall, while attempting a tricky shot to the green.
The 22 handicapper had misjudged his lay-up short of the water on the long par 4, and his ball had stopped on the downslope within 15 inches of the stream. After several attempts to gain a favourable stance, he achieved what he believed was an adequate footing, and began his pre-shot preparation - only to topple slowly, but inexorably, into the water.
His playing companions - Shires and Sampson - were unable to help him clamber out because they were incapacitated by laughter.
Earlier it had been revealed that Nicholson has been wearing a corset - supposedly on the advice of osteopath Mark Wilcox - after cracking a rib in a bathroom accident.
However recently obtained photographs of the garment in question (see photographs) has raised doubts about the veracity of this excuse.
IT'S OFFICIAL......KAYE HAS NEW CLUBS
May 14, 2008
Yet another great British institution has finally fallen victim to the remorseless march of time. Charlie Kaye has abandoned his ancient and venerable golf clubs for a new set of Callaways.
The bombshell was broken last month by Kaye himself on the rarely viewed Forum page of the Goldthorpe Salver website, which explains why it escaped public attention for so long.
But now that the news is out, it's provoked astonishment and outrage.
"I am appalled," said Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson. "This is dreadful news on a par with decimalisation and the axeing of Mrs Dale's Diary. What's more, in view of the fact that this could give Kaye an unfair advantage when competing in this year's Salver, we shall have to make sure that it's not against the spirit of the game, as defined by Section 1 of the R&A's Rules of Golf.
"He's been a no-hoper for years, and to be frank, if these new clubs give him a competitive edge, it's simply not on.
"At the very least, a review of his handicap is warranted," he added.
It's also likely that the authorities will want to investigate the method by which the high specification clubs arrived in the UK. Kaye himself has admitted that the Callaways were purchased in the USA, and then transported direct to China, where they were given to him as a present following his recent retirement from Holset Engineering.
According to leading Huddersfield solicitor Michael Webb, there could be serious ramifications. "It looks like an open and shut case to me," he said. "There appears to be prima facie evidence of the extraordinary lengths to which Mr Kaye has gone to avoid paying the relevant tax on these items. He's banged to rights; res ipsa loquitur," he added pretentiously, without knowing what it means.
There's been further disquiet at Kaye's revelation that he's now considering engaging a golf coach to show him how to use his new weapons.
"I don't mind someone getting new equipment - after all I recently purchased a set of Honma Twin Marks MG-R18 5-Star Amazing Spec irons made from 24-carat gold with platinum detailing, costing more than £20,000," said billionaire osteopath Mark Wilcox. "But they don't make much difference if - like me - you don't know how to use them. However if he's getting a coach, there's absolutely no chance of me avoiding the Goat Prize at Silloth ever again."
WOODSOME DUO'S SILLOTH TRIP IN DOUBT
April 17, 2008
Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson and former champion Chris Sampson are both injury doubts for this year's Goldthorpe Salver.
Nicholson has suffered a broken rib after allegedly falling out of his bath, while Sampson's problem is self-inflicted - he foolishly sought a consultation with Kirkheaton osteopath Mark "The Nobbler" Wilcox. So far Sambo has reported no ill-effects, but historical precedent suggests that he may yet suffer a delayed reaction to his treatment.
"I have only myself to blame; I don't know what I was thinking about," said Sampson, clearly embarrassed by his lapse of judgement. "There was absolutely nothing the matter with me, but after four and a half pints of Timothy Taylor's Golden Best in the bar at Woodsome, I found myself coming irresistibly under Wilcox's evil spell.
"The next thing I know, I'm strapped to Dr Death's operating table having my joints manically manipulated. At the moment I seem to be OK, but it's like living under a death sentence - there's simply no way of knowing when the effects might kick in."
Meanwhile Nicholson has remained tight-lipped about the circumstances of his fall, though there have been cruel suggestions that the taking of drink was involved.
DUCK SLAYING IS HIGHLIGHT OF PORTUGUESE WEEKEND
Goldthorpe Salver stalwarts Mike Webb, Mark Wilcox and John Shires have returned empty-handed from a weekend of top competitive golf (!) on the Algarve.
The trio - along with Fixby member and fellow St Davidian Martin Roberts - were invited to participate in the Vagrants Golf Society Captain's Day at Quinta do Lago, by captain-elect and former Goldthorpe Salver Champion Chris Broadbent.
After nearly missing the early morning EasyJet flight to Faro from Liverpool's John Lennon International Airport, thanks to Wilcox's incompetent female taxi driver, the quartet had to endure the noisiest flight in the history of aviation, courtesy of members of the Shaven Headed and Heavily Tattooed Nightclub Doormen's Golf Society (Manchester Branch).
Unfortunately a deep depression had descended on the Algarve - more on Wilcox's golf later - but within 90 minutes of landing the intrepid Yorkshiremen stunned locals by braving consistent rain to embark on an exploratory round at Pinheiros Altos.
With quality golf in short supply, the undoubted highlight of the round was the sad demise of a duck on the par 3 14th , where Roberts' thinned tee shot bounced across the lake in front of the green and scored a direct hit on the unfortunate bird as it was minding its own business on the far bank.
Using his rudimentary medical training, Wilcox confidently declared life extinct, and with every intention of eating it later, he unceremoniously dumped the poor creature in the back of a buggy.
Much to the horror of Bunty's wife Amanda, the bird was hung outside their luxury villa for the rest of the weekend, though thankfully Wilcox and Roberts never got round to fulfilling their threat to pluck, draw and cook it.
Mercifully the drizzle held off for much of the Vagrants Captains Day round at Quinta, but none of the Yorkshire visitors came to terms with a brisk wind and a tricky course that was playing longer than normal because of the recent rain.
Wilcox in particular struggled, especially off the tee; having sliced his drive into someone's garden on the right, he regularly hooked his next effort into another garden on the left.
On several occasions the distance between his two tee shots was almost greater than the length of the entire hole. Having said that, Shires was scarcely any better, while Roberts and Webb had little to be proud of either, and a wager with the only other group of guests - led by Woodsome member John Campbell - was comfortably lost.
The next morning - following the Presentation Dinner, at which Bunty officially took over the Captaincy of the Vagrants - Shires, Roberts and Webb were relieved when Wilcox elected to play in Campbell's fourball on Vale do Lobo's impressive Royal Course.
Roberts played a majestic round, scoring well in excess of 40 stableford points, to lead the team to a handsome revenge victory that enabled them to recoup their losses of the previous day (apart from Wilcox, who lost twice.)
After another entertaining meal, the quartet returned to Blighty on a Jet2 flight to Leeds Bradford - thankful that the Manchester Bouncers hadn't chosen the same route.
Many thanks to the Vagrants - a motley collection of British ex-pats - and of course, to Chris and Amanda, whose hospitality was boundless.
SHARIA LAW - SUPREMO SPEAKS OUT
February 9, 2008
The leader of an obscure religious order has criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Mark Rowan Wilcox, for suggesting that Sharia Law may have a part to play in the British legal system.
If the Archbishop's ideas are taken up, there are fears that gambling and alcohol would be banned, with transgressors being harshly treated by the Sharia courts.
"I find it incomprehensible that this mad cleric should involve himself in an issue which strikes at the very heart of our culture and tradition," said Rev Mark Nicholson, the spiritual leader of the Goldthorpe Salver Brethren, a bizarre sect which worships once a year at Silloth-on-Solway - a wild outpost on the remote Cumbrian coast.
"The partaking of soothing quantities of alcohol and the laying of modest wagers on the outcome of our annual pilgrimage are central to our philosophy," he said.
Rev Nicholson fears that Sharia courts could order the amputation of limbs of any sect member caught breaking the strict tenets of Sharia Law.
"It's clear to me that this is simply another example of Rowan Wilcox trying to whittle away at our numbers, thereby giving him more chance of becoming the Supreme Being - or Champeen, as we have come to describe Him."
Archbishop Rowan Wilcox, who once tried to exile the Goldthorpe Brethren to Iceland, has rejected Rev Nicholson's accusations. "Yet again I have been cruelly misrepresented. It was just another example of me saying the first thing that came into my head without really thinking about it," he said.
NHS DENTISTRY CRISIS DEEPENS
February 8, 2008
Further evidence has emerged of the depth of the NHS dentistry crisis.
A photograph, taken at the Goldthorpe Salver at Silloth, indicates that some patients - unable to find an NHS dentist - have become so desperate that they have resorted to pulling out their own teeth.
According to dental expert John Drake - son of the legendary Huddersfield dental practitioner Neville "Driller" Drake - it's an illustration of the problems confronting dentistry in 21st century Britain.
"What's even worse," he said ,"is that the pain is obviously so excruciating that the poor sufferer has had no choice but to perform the self-extraction at the dinner table. Look at his face - agony is etched all over it!"
The photo will put further pressure on a Labour Government already reeling because of a rise in hospital contracted infections like MRSA and C-Difficile, not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan, falling share prices and imminent recession.
"What has Brown's Britain come to," said hardline opposition spokesman Frank Whiteley, "when hardworking folk - denied their inalienable right to an NHS dentist - are forced to pull out their own molars."
IS YOUR DRIVER LEGAL?
January 10, 2008
Competitors in the Goldthorpe Salver have been advised to make sure that their drivers conform to the new regulations that came into force on January the 1st this year.
Drivers with a spring-like face which helps to catapult the ball off the club head - the so-called "trampoline effect" - are now outlawed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the body that oversees golf's rules, and golfers won't be allowed to use them in any form of competition.
"As one of the country's premier events, we have a responsibility to uphold the rules," said Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson. "All competitors have a duty to make sure that their equipment conforms to the new regulations."
Amongst those affected is five time Salver winner John Shires, who has discovered his TaylorMade R540 XD falls foul of the new rule. "I suppose I should have realised there was something dodgy about it when I picked it up for £9.99 in the Direct Golf sale last year," he said.
"Having said that, I can't see what difference it makes. OK, so it might go a little further, but in my case that just means it goes further into the rough on the left. However I now look forward to purchasing a patented Rupert Shires Ladies' Special, which will ensure I just knob it 120 yards down the middle of the fairway," he added.
Those unaffected by the rule change include Nicholson himself, Charlie Kaye, and the Sugden brothers.
The equipment used by Kaye and the Sugdens is so old that, according to the R&A, it's exempt, while Nicholson doesn't even possess a driver. "I've never had the bottle to stand on the tee and reach for the big furniture," he said smugly.
Andrew Sugden's woods
SUGDEN WA ARRESTED FOR VAGRANCY
January 3, 2008
Silloth stalwart Andrew Sugden has been arrested on a charge of vagrancy in a Manchester department store.
Sugden was discovered by store staff sleeping on a sofa in the furnishing department at House of Fraser on Deansgate on Boxing Day.
"As you can see by pictures taken by our security staff, it was an extraordinary sight," said store manager Albert Arkwright. "There he was, an old tramp dressed in ill fitting and tatty clothes, stinking of alcohol, and clutching a box of Christmas decorations that he'd clearly shoplifted in the hope of exchanging for a bottle or two of cheap cider. We had little option but to call for the police."
Sugden was awoken, arrested, and taken to nearby Bootle Street police station where he was questioned for several hours before being released.
"It appears that it was an unfortunate misunderstanding," said Inspector Gene Hunt of Greater Manchester Police.
"After lengthy investigations we established that Mr Sugden had been hauled against his will from his bed by his wife early on Boxing Day morning and ordered to accompany her to the sales.
While she roamed the House of Fraser store in search of bargains, Mr Sugden took the opportunity afforded by a large leather corner sofa in the furnishing department (price £899, reduced from £1,095) to snatch forty winks.
"Let this be a lesson to all wives," he added. "A man's place on Boxing Day is on the golf course, not in a department store."
NICHOLSON AN EARLY INJURY DOUBT
November 7, 2007
Silloth Supremo Mark Nicholson is an early injury doubt for the 2008 Goldthorpe Salver. In a message to the website he says he's suffering from tennis elbow.
"Can I be the first to declare my probable unavailability, due to injury, for next year's competition," he writes. "Following an injury sustained at a golf day recently in the company of Mark Wilcox, I am now subject to his ministrations for what he terms 'tennis elbow' (although how this can be as I haven't played tennis for 15 years - some would say at all - remains a mystery to me).
"Given Wilcox's tendency to nobble the opposition, things aren't looking good, although I do think that he should try to crock someone higher up the Order of Merit. Is anyone else being targetted? ," he asks.
An Osteopath writes: Tennis Elbow - or Lateral Epicondylitis, as we osteopaths prefer to call it when we're trying to be clever - is a condition of the elbow for which the usual treatment is the purchase from me of various expensive devices designed to support and compress the affected area.
It is not necessarily the result of playing too much tennis; other regular and strenuous exercise involving the forearm, wrist and hand can also be responsible.
Amputation is a last resort, but is not to be advised since the patient would no longer need to visit my consulting rooms on a regular basis, thus denying me a lucrative source of income.
CHRISTMAS STOCKING FILLER IN THE SHOPS
Rupert Shires has produced a tuition DVD which reveals the secret of his short hitting.
"How To Hit Like a Lass" is a must for those tired of booming the ball 270 yards off the tee. "What's the point of belting it miles and miles into heather and gorse when with a few tips from me, you can take the same swing but only knob it 90 yards straight down the middle every time," he asked at the plush launch for the venture in the ladies locker room at Fixby.
The new DVD - produced in association with Andrew Wormald, of Worm Productions Ltd, and shamelessly aimed at the Christmas market - hasn't met with universal acclaim.
"It's bad enough being related to someone who hits it like a tart, never mind someone who dresses up as one. It isn't my idea of upholding the family honour," said his distant cousin, the media megastar John Shires.
MILLIONAIRE BUYS GOLF HOTEL AFTER SMOKING ROW
The letter that began the row
October 11, 2007
One of the world's richest men has bought the Golf Hotel in Silloth - all because of a feud with the former proprietor.
Mark Wilcox, whose vast fortune now encompasses a clothing empire and a rare car dealership, has purchased the property so that he can flout government anti-smoking legislation with impunity.
The row started during the recent Goldthorpe Salver when hotel boss Fausto Previtali presented Wilcox and roommate Mark Nicholson with a £55 bill for deep cleaning the soft furnishings, after housekeepers realised that the pair had been breaking recently introduced no-smoking laws.
When he received the letter - reproduced in full here - Wilcox had to be physically restrained from coming to blows with the diminutive Italian restauranteur.
Later he refused to accept assurances that it had all been a practical joke dreamt up by Portuguese tax exile Bunty Broadbent.
"Bunty has never said or done anything remotely amusing before, so why should he start now," he raved (somewhat uncharitably - ed).
"I intend to turn the top floor of the hotel into my own penthouse suite so that on my infrequent visits to the town I can smoke as many fags and drink as much whisky as I like without being slapped with a ridiculous bill for cleaning the room," he said.
"I will also install new wardrobes which will be able to accommodate my ever growing collection of trousers and shoes," he added.
R & A BID FOR KAYE'S CLUBS
September 25, 2007
The R & A is keen to display Charlie Kaye's clubs in its museum at St Andrew's.
"We've only just discovered there's someone out there still playing with pre-war bats, and we feel they'd make a splendid addition to our collection of veteran implements," said a spokesman for golf's governing body. "They may not be Royal, but they're certainly very Ancient, so they'd fit perfectly in our museum," he added.
Kaye's venerable equipment drew gasps of amazement from spectators and fellow competitors alike at the recent Goldthorpe Salver at Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club.
"I've never seen their like before - well, not since Tim Sugden retired his old Tom Morris spoon a couple of years ago," said Charles Webb, winner of this year's Salver.
Sadly the veteran implements couldn't help Kaye to a top ten finish. In fact the newly-retired industrialist could only claim 13th place - just one point ahead of new Goat Peter Butler.
Unfortunately Kaye's hopes of finding immediate replacements have been dashed. He'd been expecting to be given a new set as a retirement present from his former work colleagues in China, but it's understood they misunderstood his request for "a set of Ping bats", and have presented him with table tennis equipment instead.
BLOCKED DRAINS - RIDDLE SOLVED
September 25, 2007
Competitors in last week's Goldthorpe Salver tournament at Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club have unwittingly solved the mystery of the town's blocked sewers.
The centre of the bustling market town was brought to a standstill on Saturday morning by a foul stench emanating from manholes close to the renowned Golf Hotel on Criffel Street.
Residents living nearby were evacuated as clouds of noxious gases cloaked the town centre.
At first experts brought in to investigate were mystified, until a local man - who refused to be identified - recalled overhearing a bizarre conversation between Goldthorpe Salver golfers outside the hotel where they'd been staying.
He recalled: "I distinctly remember hearing one of them - a chap with big ears and a huge nose - saying that he'd just had a remarkable experience in trap one of the downstairs loos at the Golf Hotel.
"He said he was sitting comfortably when all of a sudden there was a commotion in the next door cubicle. He said it sounded like someone removing all their clothes, followed by a great deal of grunting and panting like some sort of wild animal.
"I remember he said the whole performance concluded with some appalling noises, the like of which he'd never heard before."
Quizzed further, the witness added: "The only other thing I recall is a name. I think the chap said something like…'yes, you've guessed it. It was Andrew Sugden.' At which point everyone listening burst into hideous laughter."
Armed with those vital clues, investigators from Cumbria County Council were soon able to locate the source of the blockage, and thankful residents could return to their homes - for at least the next 12 months.
September 25, 2007
Mark "Bonecrusher" Wilcox has been included in the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time, following drunken revelations of his vast fortune at the recent Goldthorpe Salver tournament at Silloth.
Wilcox, whose recent extravagant purchase of a unique and almost priceless "XYZ" Class Mercedes raised eyebrows, admitted that he was paying £6 million pounds a month for the vehicle. "But I can afford it, so why not?" he added with a smug grin.
The osteopath, whose fortune comes not so much from the manipulation of his clients, but rather the subsequent manipulation of their bills, also revealed that he has 17,000 pairs of shoes in his wardrobe, as well as 12,000 pairs of trousers.
"I'm lucky because I'm so wealthy I can afford anything I fancy," he explained.
WILCOX JOINS SUNDAY TIMES RICH LIST
CHARLES WEBB IS NEW CHAMPION!
September 22, 2007
Charles Webb has won the 2007 Goldthorpe Salver at Silloth.
Full details are posted on the 2007 Report page of the website.
The Statistics page is now fully updated, and all the photographs are now in the Photos section.
If anyone has any photos of their own, can they forward them to John Shires on a disc, rather than by e-mail.
SUGDEN W.A. IN CLOTHES RIDDLE
August 14, 2007
Close examination of the Goldthorpe Salver's photographic records have prompted claims that Andrew Sugden might not have changed his clothes for a whole year between 1999 and 2000.
"It's extraordinary," says official archivist Professor John Shires MA (Oxon).
"Look at the evidence in the photographic section of the goldthorpesalver.com website. One of the final photographs of the 1999 event shows him wearing a check sports jacket and brightly coloured bow tie, and there he is - bold as brass - on the first picture taken the following year, wearing exactly the same items. I can assure you that there's no mistake, so I can only assume he didn't change his attire in the intervening 12 months."
However, other possibilities have also been advanced:
Andrew possesses an extremely limited wardrobe.
He's an idiot.
It's a coincidence.
All three of the above.
Prof Shires has poured scorn on the coincidence theory. "It's simply not possible for a normal, sane human being to pick out - at random - the same extraordinary outfit on two separate occasions 12 months apart," he said.
Bizarrely, after eschewing it for the 2001 trip to the Isle of Man, Sugden W.A. paraded exactly the same ensemble again back at Silloth in 2002, prompting speculation that it might be some sort of uniform.
Said French fashion guru Jean Drake: "As everyone knows, I have long championed ze bow tie, but if Monsieur Sugden believes his apparel is ze height of fashion, he has clearly lost his meubles."
ARABS FORCE DYSON OUT OF SALVER
Dyson - heavily disguised
August 14, 2007
Mike Dyson has been forced to withdraw from this year's Goldthorpe Salver - because he's a Christian.
Dyson, who's now resident in Dubai, says he's bitterly disappointed to miss out on the chance of winning the trophy for a second time, but the Gulf state's refusal to recognise Christmas is to blame.
"Unfortunately I am running out of holidays," he said, "and as Christmas is not celebrated here as a public holiday, I need to keep some time back over the festive period for when the family come out."
The news has been greeted with dismay by Church leaders.
"I'm appalled that a person's religion should count against him," said a spokesman for the Scottish Presbyterian Church, the Reverend Frank Whiteley.
"Christmas is a time when the whole of mankind should be getting pis..... er, should be celebrating. Surely for such a prestigious sporting event as the Goldthorpe Salver, an exception could be made."
Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson has admitted that recent anti-discrimination legislation here in the UK might force him to change the date of next year's tournament. "We are an equal opportunities organisation, and if the Muslims say it's Christmas, I start singing carols," he said somewhat confusingly.
However it's thought that Nicholson is privately delighted at Dyson's withdrawal, since it means that the entry for this year's Salver is now back down to 16, and he won't have to walk the course.
GOLF HOTEL SOLD!
July 18, 2007
Silloth's famous Golf Hotel - venue for the Goldthorpe Salver presentation dinner - has been sold. (No really, it has!...Ed)
Details of the sale are sketchy, but one theory is that the buyer is a Private Equity Group headed by Huddersfield property billionaire Pyotr Butlamovich.
The tycoon, who made his fortune selling low cost housing to immigrant communities in Birkby, Fartown and Longroyd Bridge, has been keen to extend his property portfolio, and Silloth could be the perfect fit.
The Golf Hotel
"It's run-down, out of date and decrepit - just the sort of place Butlamovich specialises in," said a property industry analyst.
There is apparently no truth in the rumours that former proprietors Fausto & Christine Privatetelly have been engaged as the new husband and wife team in charge of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados.
In fact the new owners have asked them to stay on to manage the Golf in the short term, so it's thought they will still be in Silloth in September.
SILLOTH SUPREMO CHANGES NAME
May 30, 2007
Speculation is rife after the revelation that Silloth Supremo Mark Nicholson has apparently changed his name.
In a recent message, Nicholson informed Silloth regulars of his new e-mail address - ROGER NICHOLSON [email@example.com]. Not surprisingly, it's prompted many rumours as to why he would want to change his identity.
Amongst suggestions received so far:
He's on the run after failing to pay his account with Shat Taxis
He wants to avoid more boring e-mail correspondence with Bunty
He wants nothing more to do with the useless bugger who always finishes well down the field in the Goldthorpe Salver
An alternative explanation - ie: that Roger is actually his name - has also been put forward, but has already been rejected on the grounds that it's too far-fetched.
WEBB IMPOSTER SHOCK
Claims that top solicitor Mike Webb may be the victim of an imposter scam, appear to have been confirmed.
Following a patient vigil at Huddersfield Golf Club, local snapper Andrew Wormald was rewarded with an exclusive photograph of what appears to be a Proboscis monkey (sporting a pair of Comic Relief ears) taking afternoon tea by the little tree just in front of the 18th tee.
Proboscis monkey wearing comedy ears
BUNTY V SUPREMO: THOSE BORING E-MAILS IN FULL
At the risk of boring visitors to the goldthorpesalver.com website, the increasingly acrimonious and boring exchange of e-mails between Salver supremo Mark Nicholson and ailing defending champeen Chris "Leadswinger" Broadbent is reproduced not quite in full (as it's getting a bit boring.)
From Bunty to Silloth Supremo
April 25, 2007
Book the Penthouse suite
Bunty being cut by 1.5 - without hitting a ball!
Organizer accepts he'll "walk" the course
Bunty's pre-event odds at 50-1
RBS rumoured as possible backer of pre-event book
I went, very unfortunately, to see "top" shoulder guy in Algarve and he managed to diagnose the problem incorrectly after various consultations) - so thought I needed a second opinion - especially after his 6 pills a day for 3 weeks!
Therefore met THE top guy in UK last week and am now in surgery next week in London. Need 1.5cm taken off (no not off that!) a couple of bones in my left shoulder which, (I am promised, but regretfully no written guarantees' or warranties'!!), will mean 4 incisions - 2 weeks in sling... by 5 weeks 12 balls with 9 iron on practice range AND by mid September I should be playing [easily] to my handicap --- He reckons!!!! - trophy is mine again for another year!!
Sorry this means (unless we have two 4 balls and a 3 x 3's), you will have to, as you have already put in writing, just walk the course...perhaps you could be the official photographer this year!
Will keep you posted.
From the Silloth Supremo to Bunty
May 5, 2007
This is, of course, excellent news. I'm sure that I speak for all Goldthorpe Salver competitors when I say that I am delighted that you will be fit and available to defend your trophy. However, having already ruled you out of the tournament, this will mean that there will need to be a ballot of all competitors to determine which one of the 17 cannot play, as, under R&A (Rough & Airshot) rules, it is clearly stated that the "field" is limited to a maximum of 16. If I was you, I would steer clear of Webb M if he is the one who is ballotted out following your "miraculous" recovery.
I think that you should take the honourable course of action and stick by your original decision not to play. (In any case, I'm a crap photographer and have booked the Penthouse suite for myself).
With regard to your handicap being increased from 8 to 15, it was obvious from last year's performance that you were at least 9 shots better than you declared, so, if you are successful in the ballot, you will be playing off plus 1.
I have sent your request for RBS to underwrite the Goldthorpe Salver book this year to the bank's chairman, Sir Fred Goodwin, who sent me the following response: "What do you mean, you're taking time off work to play golf. Consider yourself the subject of disciplinary action, boy". I take it from this that funds won't be forthcoming.
I trust that you will now seriously reconsider your position, do the honourable thing, and withdraw. I await your immediate confirmation.
From His Buntyship to the Silloth Supremo
May 11, 2007
After receiving, this evening, advice from my specialist on postoperative-surgery (Marco Wilcoxinho), I am formally giving you notice that I will be in a fit (and proper state) to defend my title in September 2007.
Mr. Wilcoxinho has informed me that the recent major operation to my left shoulder will undoubtedly create a possibility of me driving the ball a further 50 meters later this year.
So I hereby offer, for the final 18 in 2007 only, that the hole known the Hogs Back is treated, for the purposes of my scoring only, as a par three - perhaps I can par it again this year!
To those of you, and in particular Andrew Sugden, who want their arms/shoulders "mended" as soon as possible, I attach herewith a few photographs of it after the event - just to put you off - note the arrow to make sure he got the "right" shoulder! My surgeon, Mr Frank Richard Sinnerton-Whiteley is looking forward to experimenting on the rest of you in the very near future.
I am still waiting, with anticipation, the call/email from our bookie to give me my odds this year.
With the very best of wishes and huge regards.
PS Latest rumours from the Pro Shop at Silloth - afternoon round "no problems" - morning round - could squeeze 5 T times in if you shorten Tee off intervals.......
From the Silloth Supremo to Bunty
May 19, 2007
How touching that you think that you can complete Hog's Back in three shots. If, as you claim, you took only three shots there last year, you were obviously cheating, and therefore your status as Champeen for the current year is null and void. (Except that this would mean that Durrans is now Champeen, which is unacceptable).
It seems that, despite repeated requests, you will not do the honourable thing and withdraw from this year's tournament. Very well. I will make the appropriate arrangements, which will be to arrange a further tee-time. You will, of course, have to play on your own, as nobody will want to play with somebody who has caused so much disruption and who is already bragging that this year's competition is "in the bag", so I shall arrange for a marker for you. See how you like that!
Must go. Off to see Mr Sinnerton-Whiteley.
Mark (Goat in waiting)
POPE INVESTIGATES MIRACLE CURE
April 25, 2007
The Pope has called for further details of Chris Broadbent's miraculous recovery from the apparently serious shoulder injury that had threatened the reigning champion's defence of his Goldthorpe Salver title.
"On the face of it, this seems a miracle," said Papal spokesman Cardinal Giovanni Di Liddimentio. "We need to establish the exact circumstances to determine whether or not there has been divine intervention in this case."
If the Roman Catholic Church decides that what's now been dubbed "The Recovery of Bunty's Shoulder" is indeed a miracle, not only would the shoulder itself be considered a Holy relic, but Silloth on Solway might become a place of pilgrimage to rival Lourdes in Southern France.
"We would simply need proof of two further miracles taking place there before we could consider officially sanctioning pilgrimages," said Cardinal Di Liddimentio.
Various extraordinary occurrences in the sleepy seaside town could fit the bill.
Andrew Sugden winning the Goldthorpe Salver in 1997.
Mark Wilcox's triumph in 1995.
John Shires' recovery from deep rough to the 7th green in 1997.
The ability of the gobby waitress at the Golf Hotel to recite verbatim all 683 verses of the dessert menu.
Plans to turn Silloth into a Holy Shrine haven't met with universal approval. "I'll have no Papists here!" exclaimed Frank Whiteley, leader of the Scottish Borders' Branch of the DUB (Democratic Union of Bigots).
BUNTY TO GO UNDER KNIFE
April 24, 2007
Chris Broadbent is to undergo surgery on his injured shoulder in a bid to be fit for Silloth. The reigning champion flew to London last week from his luxury villa in Portugal to see the top world's top shoulder specialist, who confirmed that it will be possible to rebuild him.
"He's told me he will have to make four incisions, and take off 1.5 cm of useless bone from my left shoulder," said Bunty, who will then have to spend two weeks with his arm in a sling before - hopefully - returning to the practice ground in around five weeks.
"By mid-September he reckons I should easily be playing to my handicap again, so the Salver is mine for another year," he arrogantly boasted.
So confident is Broadbent of re-capturing the title he won last year that he's to contact bookmaker Tim Sugden to place an early bet on himself.
There's been mixed reaction to Bunty's imminent recovery. Andrew Sugden has immediately booked an appointment with the same Harley Street specialist. "I've asked him to take my entire arm off, as the whole thing is completely useless, and he's assured me I should be playing off single figures by July," he said.
But top sports injury specialist John Shires cast doubt on Bunty's recovery. "I've never had an injury of this sort, so obviously it simply doesn't exist. His so-called specialist is clearly a charlatan making money from extremely gullible and very rich people," he said.
BUNTY BACK FOR SILLOTH DEFENCE?
April 23, 2007
Latest reports from Portugal suggest that reigning Silloth champion Chris Broadbent may be able to defend his title in 2007 after all. At this stage the facts are unclear, but there's speculation Bunty has been courting the sympathy vote by feigning a serious shoulder injury.
Early in March he declared himself unfit for the tournament claiming he was suffering from Clavicula Monoskibilis. Now it's thought that following a second opinion from top Portuguese shoulder specialist Marco Wilcoxinho, he's been given the all-clear to participate.
Further news will be posted on the website as details emerge, but in the meantime Silloth supremo Mark Nicholson reacted angrily to the news. "This shilly-shallying about has got to stop," he fumed. "There's a clear case for disciplinary action."
Nicholson's reaction could well stem from the fact that he has only booked 16 starting times for September's event, and may now have to sit the competition out.
Bunty's U-turn has also caused confusion for leading bookmaker Tim Sugden. "I wish he'd make his sodding mind up," he said as he contemplated another long night re-assessing the ante-post odds.
More on Charles Webb's Scottish escapades...
April 23, 2007
Seen in the Edinburgh Bugle earlier this month by an anonymous correspondent.
Webb says sorry
April 12, 2007
Charles Webb has issued a spineless apology to Tim Sugden for his personal attack on him on the Goldthorpe Salver website in February.
The exact words of Little Charlsie's abject and crawling e-mail are reproduced in full:
"I would like to apologise unreservedly to Tim Sugden for the scurrilous remarks about his golf equipment. I know the regard to which TCS is held on the Salver particularly with his efforts in running the 'book' and now appreciate the pain and suffering he and his family must have felt given these thoughtless and untrue comments. I now know my observations had no basis in fact especially after he has recently had his ball retriever re-gripped."
Meanwhile investigations are being carried out into a mysterious e-mail concerning Webb C, received from another Goldthorpe Salver competitor, Chris Durrans, and again reproduced in full:
"Rumour has it that the Goldthorpe Salver top golfer, Charles Webb has taken up the trampoline. On a recent rugby trip to Edinburgh he was spotted practising early one morning! Not sure it can help an already perfect golfer but the reasons for such actions are hard to explain. I can also report he took part last year in a swimming Gala and came last."
If anyone can shed light on the events surrounding Little Charlsie's trampolining exploits, they should contact the website immediately, so that further fun may be had at his expense.
ORIGINAL PHOTO FOUND
April 11, 2007
The original photograph of Tim & Andrew Sugden (see Caption Competition below) has been discovered by former St Davidian and Huddersfield Amateur Andrew Wormald.
"I was shocked to find such a blatantly doctored photograph of former Amateurs midfield general Sugden T (plus sibling) on the internet," said Worm.
"I have therefore unearthed a copy of the original photograph, which captured the rather touching family reunion back in 1972."
The original photograph
The doctored photograph
DUCK DINNER THROWS BETTING INTO CONFUSION
March 22, 2007
The news that perennial Silloth frontrunner John Drake will only be playing 36 holes at this year's event has thrown the ante-post betting market into confusion.
Drake has had to withdraw from playing - and staying - on Thursday. "Sadly the 20th September coincides with the Lightcliffe Centenary Dinner which I will have to attend," he told Salver supremo Mark Nicholson.
Nicholson immediately e-mailed Tim "The Book" Sugden to place £10 on Duck to win this year, but other punters may take a different stance.
While Nicholson believes Duck will be a more likely winner because he won't be overgolfed, Sugden thinks there are other factors to be taken into consideration.
"What condition will he be in after a Centenary Dinner, and a 200 mile drive early on Friday morning?" he asked. "Not to mention missing a hearty breakfast at the Golf Hotel. Besides we should take into account that my own chances of winning have drastically improved with the purchase of a 1953 three wood to replace my previous implement - a pre-war model."
Elsewhere there's been a mixed reaction. "At least we'll get up from the dinner table on Thursday night before midnight," said Webb.
CAPTION COMPETITION March 2007
The first in an occasional series. Suggest a caption by emailing the Webmeister.
Suggestions so far:
"Stop messing about Tim, we're nearly at the next pie shop."
"I too have the legs of a scratch golfer"
...both from Steve Sutcliffe.
Revealed - Sugden TC joins Masons
"I say Andrew, I'm going to wear my plus 3's at Silloth this year"
...from Andy Matheson - ex St David's.
GOAT ULTIMATUM FOR CHAMPION
March 1, 2007
Salver supremo Mark "No Nonsense" Nicholson has issued an ultimatum to reigning Champion Chris Broadbent: "Defend your title, or you're the Goat!"
Bunty has pulled out of the 2007 event this September suffering from a severe shoulder injury. He claims he's been told that he might not be able to play golf for 18 months as a result of the ligament damage suffered while water-skiing on a Greek island holiday last year.
But in a forthright exchange of e-mails, Nicholson has told Bunty: "I've heard of some excuses in my time, but I think this takes the biscuit! Your are NOT allowed to retire as Champeen without having the opportunity to go from Champeen to Goat, a la Wilcox.
"You will, therefore, be deemed to be Goat unless you turn up to play."
What's more, he's told the Portugal-based tax exile that if he's only turning up for the Friday night dinner, he won't be able to stay in his usual penthouse at the Golf Hotel, but will have to double up with Frank Whiteley.
RECORD-EQUALLING ENTRY FOR '07?
March 1, 2007
The 2007 Goldthorpe Salver could be heading for a record-equalling entry. In fact Salver supremo Mark Nicholson has admitted that Chris Broadbent's withdrawal has averted yet another major balls-up.
"This has got me out of a hole," he said. "There were 17 due to play, and I'd only booked 16 slots, so I was going to have to walk the course."
Photographic evidence (right) proves that last year's entry of 16 set a new record for the event since its move to Silloth.
INJURY RULES BUNTY OUT OF TITLE DEFENCE
Feb 28, 2007
Reigning Goldthorpe Champeen Chris Broadbent has been ruled out of the 2007 event because of a serious shoulder injury.
Bunty has torn the ligaments in his left shoulder, and has been advised that it could take up to 18 months to heal completely.
"I am seeing a specialist surgeon soon who may be able to speed up the process - but I won't know for another month at least," he told the website.
"It's therefore highly unlikely that I'll be playing golf this September, and regretfully won't be able to defend the Salver and beat my best ever score at Silloth," he added.
Confirming the news, Goldthorpe supreme Mark Nicholson said: "At first I thought it was part of Mark Wilcox's master plan to nobble the opposition by mis-diagnosing their injuries. I only realised that it was true when it was confirmed that Bunty was seeing a reputable practitioner."
Bunty said the injury first occurred before last year's event, while he was water-skiing in Crete. "Some f*****g stupid Greek gave me a medium mono ski rather than an adult size, and I just hung on for dear life (for three attempts) trying to get up. Then I aggravated the situation in December when I built a loft in the garden shed."
There's been mixed reaction to the news from fellow Silloth competitors.
"Oh dear, that's a shame," said nice Peter Butler.
"What's the silly sod doing water skiing at his age?" asked Sampson.
"Hang on, I'm the one who gets injured round here," said Shires.
"You can have 7-1 on Little Charlsie, eights on Webby, nines on Duck, and it's 10-1 bar," said Sugden TC.
"zzzzzzzzzzzzz……" said Sugden WA and Sutcliffe.
"What's he doing building a loft?" asked Durrans. "He should have got a man in."
"I know a good lawyer in Athens," said Webb.
"That's another one out of the way," said Wilcox.
Despite his injury Bunty may still travel to Silloth. "It's too early for me to say whether I may come over just for the Friday bash and the snooker," he said. Just in case he's asked Mark Nick to book his usual penthouse at the Golf Hotel.
A Doctor writes: Clavicula Monoskibilis - or Silly Bugger's Shoulder, as we doctors prefer to call it - is a condition frequently associated with middle aged men taking fancy foreign holidays, and indulging in strenuous activity in an attempt to impress younger women. As far as treatment is concerned, in my experience I find a little gentle exhortation along the lines of "Pull yourself together, and don't be a namby pamby", combined with four brisk rounds at Silloth on Solway Golf Club, usually does the trick.
An Osteopath writes: I couldn't disagree more strongly. Clavicula Monoskibilis is an extremely serious complaint, the only treatment for which is an extensive course of manipulation at my exclusive consulting rooms in Kirkheaton (£239.76 + VAT per session). In addition I would strongly recommend the patient refrains from playing golf for at least 26 years.
SUGDEN DOWN UNDER: THE FACTS
Feb 25 2007
Tim Sugden has denied rumours that he's emigrated to Australia to escape widespread ridicule following Charles Webb's comments on this website about both his golfing equipment and ability.
Sugden flew Down Under at the end of the week, prompting speculation that he'd left for good. "It's true I was deeply hurt and offended by Little Charlsie's remarks," he told Goldthorpesalver.com from his luxury penthouse overlooking Sydney harbour.
"But the truth is I was needed here in my capacity as Captain of Industry. They've been having a bit of a rough time down here recently, so I answered the call to take over as temporary skipper."
Sugden isn't the only Salver competitor to take to foreign climes. Currently Mike Dyson is holed up in Dubai, escaping the rigours of the UK banking code; Chris Broadbent is relocated in Portugal escaping the taxman; Mark Wilcox is in South Africa, escaping several angry clients who want their mobility back; and Mike Webb is in Lanzarote escaping justice.
Meanwhile Dyson has made an offer to relocate the Goldthorpe Salver to the Gulf. He says that accomodation would be available at the famous Burge Al Agolf Hotel (prop: Mr Abdul Bin Preevat Ali.)
Sugden enjoying some R&R
IT'S OFFICIAL: IT'S SEPTEMBER 20/21 2007
Feb 17, 2007
After a week of public consultation, Goldthorpe supremo Mark Nicholson has confirmed that the dates of this year's Goldthorpe Salver will now be Thursday & Friday, September 20 & 21. The news has provoked huge sighs of relief across West Yorkshire.
The Goldthorpe has been saved from financial ruin, since TC Sugden will be able to return from his duties as captain of industry to take charge of the book on the Thursday night. He will jet in from the continent, landing at Silloth International Airport some time around Thursday lunchtime.
Shires' marriage has been saved, since the change in dates has enabled him to shelve emergency plans to return home early from holiday on his own.
Mark Nick's life has been saved. He would have been murdered had the dates not been changed.
STATISTICS PAGE NOW UPDATED
The statistics page is now updated, and provides evidence to counter the widely held belief that "there are lies, damned lies and statistics". For example they prove what everyone has known for years - Wilcox is a crap golfer, though not quite as crap as Sugden WA.
EXCLUSIVE: GOLF HOTEL WALLPAPER SHOCK
Feb 16, 2007
Detailed forensic examination has revealed that the wallpaper in the Golf Hotel HAS been changed since the Goldthorpe Salver moved there in 1991.
Senior members had always believed that the wallpaper had always been exactly the same, but we have irrefutable proof that the redecoration took place some time in late 1994 or early 1995.
"I can understand how the confusion has arisen," said proprietor Fausto Privatetelly.
"Late in 1994 we engaged the services of Mr B.Pugh, a seemingly reputable interior decorator with impeccable credentials. Imagine our surprise when we returned from our winter break to re-open the hotel.
"Since the difference between the two wallpapers is so miniscule, we thought he simply hadn't turned up, so we didn't pay him.
"Thank you for clearing it all up for us; we'll send him a cheque straight away." Mr Privatetelly also revealed that the hotel is to be redecorated again in 2024. "We change the wallpaper every 30 years, whether it needs it or not," he said.
And next time, he won't be re-engaging the services of Mr B.Pugh. "No," said Mr Privatetelly, "I shall go right to the top, to that interior style guru Mr T.C.Sugden."
MESSAGE FROM CHARLES WEBB
Feb 15 2007 Received from Little Charlsie, and reproduced in full:
"I feel the members of the Goldthorpe ought to be told that Sugden TC is presently receiving tuition from Alex at Huddersfield GC.
Whilst initially this doesn't seem to have paid any dividends, this effort may in some way be hindered by the equipment he plays with which owes little to the 'revolution in golf technology' that many of us are enjoying.
Whilst Sugden's bag includes the requisite 14 number of clubs, he has 2 nine irons and 3 drivers as well as a motley selection of other ancient implements which would be better employed in his garden.
In total Tim's bag has selections from 6 different manufacturers including clubs bearing the endorsement of such modern day players such as Vardon, Cotton and James Braid.
His 'ammunition' is similarly archaic preferring the 'Warwick, Spitfire and Commando' over the ProVs of today.
WEBSITE: RIGHT OF REPLY
Feb 15, 2007
The website has been indundated with complaints (well, there's been one) that all the photographs posted so far look the same. We would like to point out that this is because:
1. All the photographs feature the same people.
2. They're all taken by the same person.
3. They're all taken in the same place.
4. They are all the same.
Nevertheless the photograph section of the website does offer incontrovertible evidence of several universal truths:
1. Andrew Sugden has a crap swing.
2. Charles Webb goes red when he's pissed.
3. Mike Webb has a crap swing.
4. Andrew Sugden and Steve Sutcliffe sleep a lot.
5. Everyone's fatter than they used to be (apart from Duck).
MESSAGE FROM THE COMMITTEE
Feb 14, 2007
The following message has been received from the Organising Committee (ie: Mark Nick), and in the interests of accuracy, is reproduced in its entirety.
"The Organising Committe of the 2007 Goldthorpe Salver strenuously deny the scurrilous rumours abounding that there has been a complete cock-up by the Secretary regarding the dates of this year's Championship.
Similarly, there is no truth in the outrageous suggestion that choosing the date of 14th September was a Mike Webb/Mark Wilcox plot, for the former to be able to regain his place at the top of the Order of Merit in the absence of his brother Charles, who currently occupies that position, and for the latter to orchestrate, in the absence of Tim Sugden, total bankruptcy of the Society by running the book for this year's Championship at a devastating loss, and then organising a phoenix Tour to Iceland in 2008.
The facts of the matter are that the minutes of the discussion held after the 2006 Championship as to this year's dates were unclear. The Committee certainly recall that the two available dates were 14th and 21st September; the former was chosen mainly because there would be more light at the end of the day to accommodate the slow play of John Drake, who will inevitably be in the last match out, as well as the fact that a clairvoyant has confidently predicted that Huddersfield Town will be away at Carlisle United on 15th September, so the Secretary could kill two birds with one stone.In true Society fashion, however, the Committee have instigated a vote amongst Tour members for their preferred date for this year's Championship.
The deadline for votes to be cast is 5 p.m. on Friday, 16th February. A further communication will be forthcoming with the result of the vote."
SUPREMO IN MASSIVE SILLOTH DATES BALLS-UP!
Feb 13 2007
Goldthorpe Salver supremo Mark Nicholson has admitted he's made a major cock-up over the dates for Silloth 2007.
Despite agreeing to book the same dates as last year, he somehow managed to book the previous week, resulting in several top players declaring their unavailability due to work commitments.
If everyone's OK with the change, the date of the 2007 Goldthorpe Salver will be Friday, September 21. Mark has contacted the club and the hotel, and can re-book for the Thursday and Friday, September 20/21. He's asking for early confirmation from all concerned.
Already Little Charlsie, one of those who'd withdrawn, has confirmed he WILL be able to make the new dates, although there's still a question mark over Tim "The Book" Sugden, whose captaincy of industry might still prevent his participation. (See news story below: Goldthorpe Faces Financial Ruin)
GOLDTHORPE FACES FINANCIAL RUIN
Feb 12, 2007
There are fears of financial meltdown after unconfirmed reports that Tim "The Book" Sugden will be unable to tour in September - even after the change of dates.
It's rumoured that Sugden (Motto: Don't be Dim; Bet with Tim) is unavailable because he's elsewhere captaining industry.
Regular tourists won't need reminding of the last time Sugden failed to make it to Silloth. Chris Broadbent took over the book, with disastrous consequences.
"It was the only time the book has failed to break even, and the Society had to bail Bunty out with an injection of funds from its own account," said a source.
Two other regulars with an accountancy background - Chris Sampson and Steve Sutcliffe - have already been discounted as replacements for obvious reasons. "Both would be crap at it," said the source.
Sugden won't be missed as much on the course, as he would have been one of the favourites for the Goat prize. Said our source: "He might be a very fine mathematician, but he's an absolute earwig of a golfer."
BUNTY IN INJURY SCARE
Feb 8, 2007
Reigning Champion Chris Broadbent has been forced to take a five week lay-off because of an injured shoulder. Reports from the holiday island of Mauritius, where Bunty is currently enjoying a sunshine break, indicate that he's confident of regaining full fitness in time to defend his title in September.
The only factor that could hinder his rehab is a proposed visit to Portugal by Wilcox in June. If Bunty's not fit by then and is forced to undergo treatment from the Kirkheaton Strangler, he admits his chances of making it to Silloth will be dramatically reduced.
WEBB IN "IMPOSTER" CLAIM
Feb 8, 2007
Top solicitor Mike Webb believes he's the victim of an imposter scam. He made the dramatic claim after seeing the photograph (left) on the Competitors page of the goldthorpesalver.com website.
"Why are there photos of an obviously shit golfer wearing my clothes?" he asked.
A spokesman for the site insisted the photo is genuine and added: "The camera never lies."
CHARLIE KAYE CONFIRMS ENTRY
Feb 6, 2007 Prospects of a record entry for 2007 have been boosted by Charlie Kaye's early confirmation of his participation. And as further evidence of his enthusiasm, he's booked in for three nights! Other early confirmations received from Mike Webb, Chris Broadbent (both 3 nights) and Andrew Sugden (2 nights).