Somerset Golf Captains Annual Dinner 2019 – “The Best Yet”

The Dinner was sold out for the first time in our history, to the 175 capacity of our venue Taunton Rugby Football Club.  The comment the “Best Yet” was heard from many at the end of the evening

This year the Committee had to face up to rising costs and increase the ticket price, but decided to dip into the main funds  to help provide the truly outstanding guest speaker, Billy Foster, who has caddied for anyone who is anyone in the professional game of golf.

Our  guests were there again in strength, and we were pleased to welcome

Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands – Shane Dickson, Captain and Brian Homersham, Vice Captain

Sussex – Peter Ward, Captain and Mark Terry, Secretary

Surrey – Alan Tickner, Committee and Eddie Wheeler , Secretary

Dorset – Bill Kent, Captain and Nigel Mobbs, Secretary

South Wales Coast – Jeff Price, Secretary and Graham Bartley, Fixtures Secretary

Somerset Golf Union – Paul Middleton, President

Although the snowy weather was troublesome they all made it through as did our guest Speaker, Billy Foster.

Billy has caddied for among others,

Lee Westwood

Darren Clarke

Tiger Woods

Severiano Ballesteros

He has been involved in more Ryder cups than any one else ever -14; and been in the company of more golfing greats than most people can imagine.

After friendships were renewed in the bar before dinner, Chris Hocking, our traditional Toastmaster, organised the top two tables and each person was warmly clapped to their seat.

Immediate SGC past Skipper, Jim Scott said grace and proceedings were under way.

The food was excellent and the first speech was SGC President, Mike Usher-Clark.

He welcomed everyone and expressed regret at  the absence of the Captains living up on the Mendips who had not been able to attend through road closures.

He thanked all the current Committee for their efforts during the past year with special mention of Stephen Butterfield, the Dinner Committee chair.

He announced that the potential to which the new website had been designed would as of the next day, 2nd February be open to all Captains who had registered, to submit their request for team places. The work to facilitate this had been project managed by the Captain elect, John Beer, to whom there was a special vote of thanks.

He welcomed all the new Captains present, and the role of honour was

Burnham and Berrow – Neil Folland

Cannington – Justine Ison

Cricket St Thomas – Steve Barry

Isle of Wedmore – Kevin Osman

Long Sutton – Paul Wills

The Mendip – John Shakesby

Mendip Spring – Martin Yeats

Minehead – Douglas Hayhoe

Oake Manor – Mike How

Stockwood Vale – Mark Tidcombe

Taunton and Pickeridge – John Godley

Weston super Mare – Steve Dowden

Worlebury – Paul McAdams

Before calling for the toast to Her Majesty, he asked all to join him in wishing Happy Birthday to Wally Hartree of Worlebury Golf Club who had just turned 90 years of age.


The next toast was from Shane Dickson of Hampshire who wittily and sincerely proposed the toast to Somerset Golf Captains.


This was responded to by the retiring SGC Skipper Andy Carter. Andy regaled the Captains with his experiences in the year. His speech was highly humorous and and he received a great round of applause recognising his character and the commitment he had made to SGC.

The floor was now clear for Billy Foster.

Billy was simply superb.

He shared unique stories about all his “bags” and his absolute love for Seve shone through all.

There were so many fascinating details, he had met so many golfing greats and his memories of Ryder cups and the locker room were amazing. There were other details – like his view of Donald Trump on the golf course and other great people playing the wonderful game of golf.

Billy received a huge and well deserved round of applause after his question and answer session, and we were lucky to hear so much about the game that brings us together.

The next dinner is booked for Friday 7th February 2020 at Taunton Rugby Football Club- please put the date in your diaries.

2019 Annual Dinner