2021 News & Events

2021 News & Events

Topics Index:

* DecA BIG day at Gardiners Run – Golf & AGM
* NovRod Coling retires from committee
* Nov VVGA Teams Championship Report
* Nov Golf returns, isn’t it great to be back?
* July Ringwood Golf Course – an enjoyable day
* June – Ivanhoe game cancelled due to COVID-19 lock-down.
* MayWaterford Valley Golf Course in light rain
* AprilVale Ted Baker, Life member ESVGA
* AprilWarburton Golf Course
* March Back at Waverley Golf Course
* Feb.
Good weather for Berwick-Montuna
* Jan.A damp start to the year again!
* Jan.COVID-19 delayed AGM at Eastwood

A BIG day at Gardiners Run – Golf & AGM

It was very pleasing to see 112 ESVGA members tee-off at this most popular course on December 6th. But, more on the golf soon!

President and Chairman of the AGM Ron Hottes


Our ESVGA Annual General Meeting was also held on the day, and that aspect of the day went really smoothly. This was due in no small part to much vital preparation conducted by both our Secretary, Neil-Muller, and our equally-efficient Treasurer, Derek-Wilson. A new structure was approved by the membership present, now seeing 2 new Executive positions created; that of Captain & Membership Secretary. I’m more than pleased that Barry-Smith and Neil-Muller were supported in being nominated to those roles—a strong recommendation in strengthening the structure of our organisation! All aspects of the AGM were supported strongly by the 100+ membership assembled.

Election Controller & Life Member Tom Tarrant at the AGM.

And, so to the golf. In a strong recommendation of this beautiful course, the average score on the day was higher than I can remember before. With a David-Finn winning score of 42 impressive points, plus five 41’s hot on his heels AND—the ball run down only extending to 35, it is clear Gardiner’s-Run is a course that suits most of our membership! It must be mentioned that David-Finn also won the 1st prize in our Annual-raffle, a cool $750 fuel voucher, so he had “a real day out!!”

Treasurer Derek Wilson attending to game day finances.

David Stevens tees off

David Waters sinks a nice putt

Neil Muller sinks this short putt.


As always, we were looked-after by Barb, Josh and staff, plus the green staff, presenting the course in great condition. ( not that it helped your hapless President!) All-in-all, a satisfying day all round!
Now we look forward to commencing a brand new ESVGA year at another of our favourite courses—Churchill. We look forward to seeing a bumper field there, too!

The winners table, Horst Eberius (wearing orange), Craig Cameron and Stableford & major raffle winner David Finn.

David Borg, Ray Cross, Colin Eaton & Mike Elkner enjoying after game lunch and drinks.

Ron Hottes for ESVGA Committee

Rod Coling retires from Committee (a second time)


Life member Rod Coling is farewelled by President Ron Hottes at Rod’s last committee meeting on 29th November 2021 . Rod has spent 11 years on committee, 9 years as Treasurer between 2009 to 2017 and rejoined committee to serve a further 2 years between 2020 to 2021 when committee numbers were low. In the photo opposite, Rod is congratulated by President Ron Hottes with David Stevens seated at Rod’s last committee meeting. Well done and thank you Rod.


VVGA Teams Championship 2021 Report

Hosted by the Yallourn Golf Club, 15 to 16th November 2022

As with many things in 2021 affected by COVID-19, it was not easy to plan for this annual event, which was originally scheduled to be played in September. There were smiles all around when the State began to reopen for golf in late October and the VVGA Teams Championship was on for sure. But as the date drew closer there were still doubts – this time, created by the variable weather.

In the days immediately before comp week, a series of intense low-pressure systems crossed the continent. On the Friday before, things were looking bleak indeed, with the BOM forecasting strong gusty winds, 25 mm of rain, storms, hail and low temperatures. The organizers must have had some nervous moments, giving the rain radar app a workout over the next couple of days. But they made the courageous call to proceed, no doubt taking confidence in knowing that veteran golfers are “experienced” enough to play golf in any conditions.

Our ESVGA Committee nominated two teams, each with three players, chosen by the results of our own competitions during the year. Each of us was surprised but pleased to have made the cut. Team members were:

Team 1: Dave Bowles (Eastwood), Greg Allen (Churchill-Waverley), Michael Whitehead (Yering Meadows)

Team 2: Philip Guscott (Yering Meadows), Robin Ladd (Yering Meadows), Alan McMeekin (Yarra Valley CC)

There was a field of 94 players, including two ladies, comprising 32 teams.

(Click on images to enlarge)

ESVGA members (L to R)
Back: Alan McMeekin, Robin Ladd, Michael Whitehead, Dave Bowles
Front: Greg Allen, Philip Guscott

Sunday 14th was a social day at the Yallourn Golf Club and we were invited to join the local Club competition. You could see that the course had been very well prepared and it was a credit to the groundskeepers. The Club competition and the VVGA Championship were to be played from the blue markers with a slope rating of 133. Because of the wet conditions, carts were not allowed on the course for the day’s social play.

The weather forecast was threatening indeed, with sunny interludes lulling us into complacency. Then the black clouds formed in the southwest and we knew were in for trouble as the gusts lifted the umbrellas from the holders: thunder then lightening… and then there was hail! We quickly lowered the umbrellas, placed our clubs in the bags and stood with our backs to the wind to tough it out. For the remaining holes there was a touch of sun, followed by more wind, and rain and sun. Nine holes was enough for some, others played on. We returned to our accommodation to change for a BBQ dinner provided by the Club. Fortunately, the weather forecast for day one of the Teams Championship was brighter.

Sunday: Rain, hail, gusts, thunder, lightning and Philip enjoying a social game on the 5th fairway

Monday 15th. There was more rain overnight and intermittent showers continued into the morning. Registration commenced at 9.30am with an 11.00am shotgun start scheduled. The Captain informed us of the local rules, and in view of the wet conditions there were to be preferred lies on the fairways through to the green and in bunkers. The start was delayed until 11.30am as the BOM rain radar gave the organizers hope that the showers were reducing. Time was productively spent catching up on the T20 cricket final that had been played overnight in Dubai.

The Championship was to be played off the blue markers with a slope rating of 133. The course played quite well considering the amount of rain that had fallen and most of the water had cleared from the fairways. The fairways were long and it was doubly hard to make the greens in regulation: as you would expect there was very little run and occasional sections of “casual water”. The greens were playable but very wet, with occasional pooling to create putting angst Nevertheless, the course held up pretty well throughout the day with cart tracks becoming noticeable on the fairways as the day progressed.

Monday: Bunkers were in play with preferred lies (if you could find a spot)

Monday: Keep clear of “Casual water”



At the end of the day’s play, our Team 2 was leading the field with a combined Stableford score for the three members of 102 points, a lead of one point, thanks to a handy 39 points from Robin Ladd. Team 1 was running sixth.

On Monday evening, the official Championship dinner was held in the Club Function Room, hosted by Alan Bishop, the President of the Yallourn Golf Club, and attended by the Mayor of Yallourn, and the President of the VVGA. It was a superb meal, with catering provided by the ladies of the Club.

Robin and Phillip (Team 2) Alan behind the camera

Spoilt by the Yallourn lady golfers
David, Greg and Michael (Team 1)

Tuesday 16th. There were very light showers during the night, and we woke to a crisp Spring day with the hope of better weather. The sky was intermittently sunny, with a light wind, and temperature forecast to reach the low teens. Fair weather for golf. Tee-off time was 9.00am. During his briefing, the Captain requested that carts keep to the sides of fairways and players walk to the ball to take the shot, as the fairways had been quite badly tracked during the first day’s play.

The course played well, no rain throughout the morning, and a gentle breeze. Fairways were still wet but there was little “casual water”, most bunkers were reasonably dry and freshly raked where possible. The greens were again slow. One would expect scores to improve from yesterday, except of course that our bodies were telling us that this was our third day’s play.

Lunch, held in the Function Room, was well up to the high standard of the previous meals prepared by the Club ladies. We were addressed by President of the VVGA, who made a special presentation of the Perry Fletcher Award perpetual trophy to Ross McFarlane for his Outstanding Service to the VVGA, for Ross’ “outstanding performances as a golfer”. The President continued to announce the Championship results:

Winners of the Team Championship on 197 points was the team from Dalhousie.

Runners-up to the Team Championships on 193 points was the North Eastern team.

Individual best 36 hole Stableford score for women was Ann Dickenson with 69 points.

Individual best 36 hole Stableford score for men was Terry Best with 72 points

Best Stableford score on Day 1 was our very own Robin Ladd with 39 points.

Best Stableford score on Day 2 was Gerry Ypelaan with 37 points.

(Full results can be found at https://www.vvga.org.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2021/11/2021-Teams-Event-Result-Sheet.pdf)

The two ESVGA teams scored well with Team 2 on 190 points (only 7 points behind the winning team) and Team 1 on 177 points. Robin Ladd won a second individual prize with an “encouragement award” for the best 36 hole Stableford score for players aged 80 plus. Robin noted that he was indeed grateful to the delay in holding the Championship due to Covid, as he had only just celebrated his 80th birthday on the previous Monday at our own ESVGA event at Yering Meadows!

Robin Ladd takes out 2 prizes, with the VVGA President Richaed Olsen
Best Stableford score on Day 1, Best 36 holes for players age 80+.

The 2021 Teams Championship was a credit to the VVGA, the Yallourn Golf Club as the host, the organizers, the groundskeepers and the caterers.

It was indeed a privilege to attend and represent our district at this Championship event. We all enjoyed the companionship immensely and the golf was good fun too. We thank our fellow ESVGA members for this opportunity.

Next year’s VVGA Teams Championships will be held in Stawell.

Alan McMeekin

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Golf returns at Yering Meadows

Well, members, isn’t it great to be back?

And, from chatting with many of you, you would have enjoyed that the first game back was at Yering, one of our popular courses.

Although there were some Covid restrictions in use, there was very little impact for most of the day. A healthy field of 87 “fronted the starter”, and after some initial hiccups with the cards, the field got off to a smooth start. (Derek and I, at the Registration-table, were certainly pleased with how smoothly proceedings went!)

Alan Hubbard, Leo Soulsby, Steuart Hawke & Tom Tarrant on the 18th green

It appears, as usual, the Yering Nursery course kept many of our golf balls on the day. One group, no names–no pack-drill, lost 13 balls between them!! At Presentation afterwards, we officially wished our two teams, representing the ESVGA at Yallourn the very next week, the best of luck. (A Report from both teams, courtesy of Alan McMeekin & Phil-Guscott, will be available on this website, before our final game of the year.)

Regarding results, there were 2 outstanding efforts. Peter-Hopgood, off a handicap of 34, recorded a “massive” 46 points—-and, Mike -Elkner, off 16, was beaten on a countback into 2nd place! ( How would you feel, folks—you score 46 and you miss out on the top gong?!?) Both were amazing efforts, but there were some “ordinary” scores at the other end of the list—including your poor-performing President! ( I must get out of that job ASAP!!)

Ken Steele & Wayne Barlow comparing scores, both in the 40’s

But we can’t complain, members—pleasant weather, a course in very good condition and then looked after by attentive staff in the spacious Yering clubrooms!

So, now onto the Christmas break-up at the ever-popular, and player-inviting, Gardiner’s-Run G.C. Don’t miss it Gentlemen, there’s a drink voucher waiting for you with your name on it! See you there, on December 6th!​

Ron Hottes for ESVGA Committee

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Ringwood Golf Course – an enjoyable day in July

At Ringwood Golf Course 68 hardy members gathered to tackle the elements & the course.
And, here are the positives!
The weather was extraordinarily kind to us—cold early, but NO rain. The course was in as good a condition as most of the members had seen it—ever—for this time of year! The catering was “spot-on” with lovely sangers—and plenty of them!! The scores overall were “varied” but quite a few in the field scored 30+ points. And, finally, the pro-shop staff and the caterers were very attentive to our requests.

Overall, a fun day that ran smoothly, especially due to the hard-working Committee members that I had at my disposal ———– Derek, Bruce, Ken, Dave.

Those who played made it very clear that they hope to play there again in 2022.
The following 3 place-getters are especially fond of R.G.C. right now—Brian-Cullen, (top score with 36 well- compiled points), Noel-Blythe, (2nd on a count-back) and Michael-Whitehead, (3rd also on 35).​​

The negatives—Your esteemed, but incompetent President was officially announced as the NARGA winner with a superb 18 points—no, David-Waters, not for the front nine!! ( You know, members, it’s very hard to average 1 point a hole over the whole round!! ) Apparently, he was claiming this was the round where the Pres. had to stand up and make the other 67 in the field feel good!!!

But, overall, a very enjoyable day was had by all—and we were on our way home before 1.45p.m.

*Hope to see all of you, and many more, at lovely Rosanna, on August 2nd.
Ron Hottes for ESVGA Committee

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Waterford Valley Golf Course in light rain

The day started with a strong breeze that soon developed into constant light rain for the remainder of the day. The photos shows shorts were still a popular attire for many.

Click on photos below to enlarge

The 3 Peters, Benson, Long and Perry pre game.

David Waters playing from the bunker on the Par 3 13th hole





Only a President can land a shot like this! How did he get there in the first place

” Under grey and drizzly skies, a field of some 84 hardy members tackled the challenging course that is Waterford-Valley. The conditions were challenging enough, but this course is tight and littered with many hidden hurdles on the way around 18 well-designed holes.

The best scores in were from Alan-McMeekin, with an impressive 39 points, Greg-Allan, ( 37), Rod-Woodhams, (35) and Neil-Muller, who finally found his old form, with 34 points!

Dave Rogers preparing his approach to the Par 4 14th green

Ralph Altman putting from the fringe Par 4 14th hole

Ralph Altman driving on the Par 4 16th hole



David Waters sinks a beauty on the Par 4 16th hole














Ray-Cross was the lucky recipient of the “special” raffle voucher, donated by the Waterford-Valley club! As always, our group was treated very hospitably by the Clubhouse staff at Waterford. The “sangers” were very tasty.

As an aside, the President and the Vice-President played together, recording 2 of the lowest scores on the day. Both of them agreed they need to find other playing partners to motivate them at our next game-day.

Speaking of which, the June game is to be hosted at the quirky & unique Ivanhoe course! Already there is a healthy field booked-in, so get in early if you want to book a cart as there are only 8 available!

Presentation time. President Ron Hottes seen announcing the days winners

See you there on June 7th at Ivanhoe!! ”
Ron Hottes

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Vale Ted Baker, Life member ESVGA

31/10/1928 – 12/4/2021

Ted joined the ESVGA as an inaugural member in November 1984.

He was elected to the Committee four years later serving as a general committee member before taking up the position of president from 1994-1998 inclusive. (1998 was the year that one of our current life members, Tom Tarrant joined the ESVGA!)

Ted was followed in that role of president by another ESVGA life member, the late Jack Melki.

He was a very good tennis player and was also a long-term member of Box Hill Golf Club, with Life Membership being bestowed on Ted in his last year as president.

He started the Monday morning seniors’ competition at Box Hill until he was well into his eighties eventually passing that responsibility on to Ashley Mitchell who is another current ESVGA member.

Ted was a very enthusiastic member of our association and in past communication with our secretary Neil Muller, he indicated that he held very fond memories of his time with the ESVGA.

Ted died peacefully in his sleep on Monday 12th April.

His funeral service was held a week later at the Box Hill Golf Club, with our association being represented by Barry Smith and Ashley Mitchell.

Barry Smith for the ESVGA Committee

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A disappointing field for Warburton in April

At Warburton, on Monday 12th April, a strange thing occurred–the numbers leading up to the day shrunk, (eventually down to a disappointing 63), but on the day, the weather improved! We did not get wet; it was not all that cold and—the course presented remarkably well, considering the 60+ mm of precipitation we had during the 48 hours before!! The scores varied from very impressive down to—“I don’t want to talk about it!”

Click on photos below to enlarge

Grant Falcke putting watched by Steuart Hawke on the 8th

Phil Guscott putting, watched by Allan-Hubbard & Steuart-Hawke on the 8th

Rip Byrdy teeing-off watched by Barry Lacy, Alan McMeekin and Chris Crook.

Players on the NTP 3rd hole

L-R Rod Woodham, Peter Johnson, Barry Mitchell & Phil Pearson on the 18th

L-R Mick Eldridge, Neil Leckenby & Tex V.D. Kooi on the 1st



















On the course, a new member, Rod Woodham, “blitzed” the field, racking up 39 superb points. ( And—he hadn’t played there before!!) A local member, Paul-Kennedy grabbed the R/up voucher, with 37 solid points. And, Robin-Ladd grabbed 3rd with 36. NTP winners were Noel-Blythe, (A-Grade), Geoff-Falcke, (B) and Rod-Coling (C).

Phil Pearson plays to the 18th green

President Ron Hottes during presentations








But all enjoyed conviviality, sandwiches AND cake afterwards in the warm, comfortable ClubhouseAn enjoyable day was had by all, even if their score was a little on the “light” side.

And, now, it’s on to Waterford-Valley, set down for May 10th, where a bumper field is already booked-in to vie for the spoils.

After game drinks, sandwiches and cakes

After game drinks, sandwiches and cakes







Ron Hottes for ESVGA Committee

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Back at Waverley maybe for the last time! – 1st March

” The first day of Autumn saw a healthy ESVGA field of 97 descend on Waverley G.C.
We found the course in good condition, bar for fairly bare bunkers and inconsistent greens. ( Some were very slow and wet; some were quite fast.)
It was, therefore not surprising that the top score on the day was a 38-point effort from Mr. Consistent, Peter-Noar. Peter-Perry matched that, to sneak in for the R/up voucher.

Click on photos below to enlarge

Ron Hottes sinks a fine 2 metre putt on the 4th hole.

Amaury De Rosbo putts in on the way to 36 points







Stan Lee pushes up the slope towards the 11th green.

Terry Drummy on the 14th tee, watched on by Peter Beever & Ray Coutts.







Many in the field went away with a prize, because besides the ball run-down, there were a dozen bottles of wine to distribute, courtesy of Horst-Eberius! Thanks, Horst!
Our catering needs were met both professionally and pleasantly by Waverley’s “in-house” staff. The general feedback from those who played was that a pleasing day’s golf was had by all. ( Of course, the lovely weather and the fine company helped the atmosphere!!)

Ron Hottes watches his ball fly to the 8th green.

Barry Smith watches his ball off the 6th tee.









John Mahoney tees off the 6th tee, watched by Bruce Ferrall, Ken Batrouney and David Waters.

Dermot Magee hits out from under the trees watched by Horst Eberius.

And, so, it’s on to Warburton, on April 12th, for a “totally unique” golfing experience. The President is VERY pleased to see the healthiest field, numbers-wise, assembled to tackle the Warbie-hills.
Expect sandwiches AND sweets after you finish your game! See you there!! “

Ron Hottes
for the ESVGA committee



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Good weather for Berwick-Montuna – 1st Feb.

7th green looking towards Berwick-Montiuna Clubhouse

” With the weather gods smiling kindly on us, and met with much-improved course conditions at Berwick-Montuna, some 90 ESVGA players enjoyed a most pleasant game on this particular Monday.

David Waters on the notorious Par 4 10th hole. Its water for Waters!

Indeed, there seemed to be a renewed spirit among our members as they see their monthly game rapidly returning to some kind of pre-COVID-19 normality. We were treated very amicably both on this pretty rural course and afterwards, in their airy and friendly clubhouse. The club staff attended to us in a most attentive manner.


The winner on the day, Mick-Eldridge, from Warburton G.C. had a day he will NOT forget in a while. It was not enough for him to amass 39 well-constructed points out on the course; he also “snared” the 1st AND 2nd prizes in the daily raffle. He seemed most pleased with his day’s work!!

A day to remember for event & raffle winner Mick Eldridge on the 5th hole.

Mick Eldridge with his raffle prize

David Waters on the 11th tee


Generally, though, all of our members look forward to returning there sometime in 2022, but also to our next game, at Waverley G.C. in exactly one month—on March 1st. See you there! ”

Click to enlarge photos

Graeme Fox and Ken Batrouney in casual conversation

A happy group – Sanjay Misra, CP Lee, Ivan Milicevich and Daryl Dyer

Paddy Leahy and Roger Birchall slip past in their cart

Ron Hottes
for the ESVGA committee

Kevin Kane tees off.

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A damp start to 2021 at Eastwood – Jan. 4th

Our first game for the new year of 2021 at Eastwood turned out to be one of endurance. The persistent drizzle and occasional shower made playing good golf challenging. The course was in good condition and despite the moisture, the greens had plenty of pace.

Barry Smith playing on the 7th hole.

Barry Smith waiting to play to the 15th green



A positive for the day was the adding of five new players to our membership list plus one more as a returning member. Everyone followed the Eastwood GC request of mandatory wearing of masks inside except when eating/drinking.



The AGM and presentation ran fairly smoothly and players had departed before 2.00 pm. At the AGM members overwhelmingly endorsed a well deserved Life Membership to Barry Smith.

ESVGA Committee

Derek Wilson (left), Barry Smith & Neil Muller announcing Barry’s Life Membership.

Robert Connaughton (L), Bruce Robinson and Amaury De Rosbo on the deck at Eastwood.

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