THE HEYDON GRANGE VENERABLES ETHOS
In common with most other golf clubs, Heydon Grange has a senior section for those members aged 55 and over. At Heydon this section is called the Venerables, a name chosen to represent their age group but which also gives the group an identity and sense of belonging. From the beginning the Venerables inculcated an ethos of being welcoming and inclusive to all senior golfers who wish to play senior golf irrespective of their golfing skill. This was done especially to encourage those golfers new to the game or returning to the game having played it in their youth. From the outset procedures were established which ensured that all members, and particularly new members, were able to find playing partners and get an initial handicap. These procedures avoided the development of cliques and ensured that new members were made to feel at home and part of the Venerables within a matter of weeks. Over the years a programme of activities has evolved which encompasses every form of the game including Medal, Stableford, Greensomes, Foursome, Bogey, Matchplay and fun team events. Within this framework a programme of matches against other clubs, tours and away days has also been developed. Whilst these continue to evolve, the ethos has always been to give every player, irrespective of age or golfing skill, a chance to enjoy whatever form of golf suits him in the company of fellow golfers. As in other clubs not all senior golfers (i.e. club members 55 and over) choose to play in organised senior golf and, indeed some may not be able to due to work or business commitments during the week when senior events are organised to avoid main Club events at weekends. The situation with our senior section, the Venerables, is no different. In order to fund Venerables’ activities a nominal subscription is paid annually. However, those seniors who do not pay this subscription may participate in Venerables’ events (as indeed may any male club member looking for a game) but are not eligible to play in Trophy or representational competitions or events to win any prizes. The age range of the Venerables spans 30 years with some in their 50s whilst others are still playing in their 80s. It is an essential part of the ethos of the Venerables that all seniors, irrespective of their pocket, physical ability or golfing skill will be able to continue playing the game as long as they wish whilst enjoying the company of other golfers, a social interaction vital to this age group.