In 1997 several members of Mayfield Cricket Club shared a pint or two and bemoaned the lack of golfing facilities in the area. The conversation was repeated and developed, and the concept of the Mayfield Golfing Society was born. From small beginnings, which uncannily mirrored the cricket calendar, a more formal arrangement developed in 1998 when the first Captain, Freddie Jones put up the fabulous Freddie Jones foundation cup a tradition that continues to this day. Friendly competition with an element of fun was the remit for the early members. This proud tradition has been successfully upheld from year to year. Committees, including Captain and Vice Captain, remain dedicated to the preservation of the Society's founding principals.
Amongst those founder members were Pat Layen, Mike Hegarty(dec), Malcolm Staplehurst, Paul Hillman and inaugural Honorary Secretary and heartbeat of MGS Alan Draper.
Word spread and membership flourished. At the end of 2003 membership exceeded 60 golfers, a testament to the balance of sport and good humour, and not least to the incomparable stewardship of Alan and his better half, Barbara.
In 2004 the stewardship of the secretaries post fell vacant and some felt the society could stumble but instead a new era dawned as Phil Herbert stepped up to the plate. His endless enthusiasm for ensuring quality golf and the minutiae of every aspect relating to the golfing experience has perpetuated the high standards for all to enjoy.
In 2004 the MGS also moved into the digital age and the MGS web was born. New boy Tim 'Tom' Gorringe keen to develop the concept and with Ash Head published the first few pages in the April and by July it had developed into the main medium to support and encompass the the ethereal home of Mayfield Golfing Society.
MGS meets monthly at a variety of challenging courses in the Surrey/ Sussex/ Kent area. Venues are selected by committee with input from all members, resulting in MGS visiting some of the finest golfing territory in the South East of England. Amongst monthly competitions, MGS holds Winter and Summer Matchplay competitions and inflicts Spring and Autumn tours on France, Portugal, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, upholding the English time-honoured tradition of upsetting the neighbours.
Some tours, such as the Autumn visits to Belle Dune and Les Hauts de Montreuil, Ireland and Macroon, are legend. The interests of modesty and the sparing of blushes prohibits the publication of further detail here. However in 2007, thirty seven members of the society visited France on a day trip to celebrate the 10th year of growing success. The golf club selected was Aa Saint Omer Golf Club. A European Tour course measuring some 6840 meters from the white tees – which the captain elected to play off.
Following torrid rain the skies cleared and golf commenced, however four players were prohibited from competing because health & safety issues of using buggies on the now treacherous slopes. The golf passed off well and apart from the non players who undertook a local 'sightseeing' tour, was regarded as a great success.
2007 saw Illness force the retirement of our much beloved (and unfairly maligned) handicap secretary Brian Peters. Andy Bishop stepped up to the mark and vowed to fill in as Handicap sec whilst Brian was ill and, like the rest of the committee, wished Brian a speedy return to match fitness, however sadly this was not to be and in 2009 Andy was voted in as the full time replacement. Andy's sporting history is legend playing a variety of sports throughout his youth including county level volleyball and tennis. His involvement with the society, although short, had been profound and was highly regarded by his peers.
In 2010 Andy felt that it was time to change and the position of HCS passed to Kevin Weaver. This should have happened in December but because of a serious fall of snow and the death of one of our founder members, Mike Hegarty the day was cancelled and rescheduled for January.
2011 saw Kevin Weaver nominated as vice captain. As no member could hold two position on the committee Tim (Tom) Gorringe was volunteered to stand for the position of handicap secretary, dropping the position of webmiester, a role he had held for 7 years. The Christmas AGM saw these positions ratified and Andy Tippett, the outgoing captain made a members representative and the new webmiester.
2012 saw the retirement of our very successful Hon Sec Phil Herbert who had steered the MGS ship through some very murky financial waters and secured some superb deals both at home and abroad. He was made a life member at the 2011 AGM in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the society.
Our outgoing Captain Tony Bruce decided to step in to the position of Hon Sec and takes HMS MGS forward into 2012
At the end 2013, a particularly challenging Mayfield golfing year, the incumbent secretary Tony Bruce indicated that he wanted to stand down and tendered his resignation to the committee. Wee Ray Hamilton, our Member Advocate and committee member since 2005 also decided not to re-stand.
At the AGM the membership were asked to support the proposed new structure and also to change the MGS constitution, a break from tradition, allowing a serving member of the committee to hold two roles. After some long discussions the current Hon Sec role was split to created a new role, a defined society treasurer to compliment the redefined position of Secretary.
Phil Herbert, to the delight of the assembled membership agreed to not only be the 2014 Captain but also reprise his role of Hon Sec with Andy Tippett taking up the new role, that of society treasurer.
2015 saw some further changes to the MGS committee. Tim Gorringe sadly stepped down from his role as HCS with Michael Mann stepping into the breach and Jerry Watkiss as his 'batman'. Jerry was also thrust into the position of the new webmeister – his efforts which are here for all to see! The members rep was disbanded while Fred Ablitt was elevated to Captain for the year and Peter Cudmore as Vice. Andy Tippet remains Treasurer as does Phil Herbert in his role as Hon Secretary.
And so to 2016
Peter Cudmore duly became Captain and Jerry Watkiss Vice Captain. A huge thanks were given to Phil Herbert who after several years as secretary stepped aside with David Howroyd taking over. Other members of the committee remained the same. With a stable committee and a healthy membership 2016 proved to be a successful year for the Society though the weather played its part to disrupt as many meetings as it could. Some excellent golf days were had which as ever ended with the traditional Xmas bash at Dewlands and the Middle House for lunch. Yet again this revealed the drinking capacity of members had lost none of its fervour . . . quite alarming really!!
We look forward to 2017 and improve our membership numbers while maintaining the friendly competitive spirit for which the Society is renowned.
CHARTER and CONSTITUTION
"The Mayfield Golfing Society is a group of enthusiastic, like minded golfers of differing abilities who have respect for the game and who are prepared to meet on Society Days in order to play golf in a friendly competitive spirit and to enhance camaraderie within the Society."