Why are we called "The Gritters"?
Well, its a very long story but here are the edited highlights...........
We have all known each other for ages, most of us around school and college time in the seventies. We regularly get together for a friendly four and we always play in the Invitation Open days at each other's golf courses. At around 1984, we were just starting to have thoughts about a regular society. We had several casual days out arranged at the last minute and then we held an event for 24 people at Forest of Arden in 1984 but still with no formal name.
During that day, we asked everyone to note down how many times they had been into a bunker during the round. At dinner that night we fined everyone One Pound for every occasion that they had visited a bunker and gave the money to charity.
Then, during the US PGA they were playing a course that had massive bunkers, like 100 yards across. Only they were not referred to as bunkers. They were rough areas of sand and grit and you were allowed to ground your club.
One of the commentators said that one of the players had "Gone into the grit"
Someone, thankfully we forget exactly who, said, "That's what we should be called - The Gritters".
This was immediately greeted with hoots of derision and cries of "we couldn't possibly call it that old chap" or words to that effect.
Nevertheless, over the following days and weeks, the name stuck. People would ring each other and say things like "when are the Gritters meeting again"?
We then held a "Gritters Golf Day" every year at a course fairly local to the West Midlands area and we used a trophy donated by T.C. and Roach. The trophy actually bears the inscription "donated by T.C. and Roach". This was done in order to ensure that both of their names were guaranteed to appear on it. This proved to be an astute move for T.C. as he never won it.
The picture below is from the 1989 Edgbaston Golf Club Invitation Open day.
(From left to Right) Clarkie, Cock, Cash Till and TC.
(How young we looked then! Cash Till has a fine head of hair).
Despite all our efforts to get rid of it, the name would not go away, so in the end we gave in to the inevitable and we kept it, even though no one liked it.
We then took a four ball up to Scotland in 1989 playing at Blairgowrie and Carnoustie and two more down to Cornwall in 1990 and 1991 playing at Trevose and Mullion.
In 1992 we did a 12 man tour up to Scotland and played at Carnoustie, Rosemount and Letham Grange.
The first Gritters Trip to France took place in 1993 and we loved it. It was Cock's idea to go to France and we set off in May 1993 with no clear idea of what to do, where to play or where to stay. There were just eight of us and little did we realise what was going to happen.
The annual trip to France to play golf and have some fun is now an institution. This web site receives several million hits per annum. These are made up of over 100,000 different people visiting us several times and looking at several pages.
For the second trip in 1994, we all got really fed up with the name and we made the conscious decision to change it. And you know what? We couldn't think of another name that had any relevance. All suggestions seemed contrived and phoney.
So, now we are stuck with it. We don't really think about it too much any more. None of us particularly liked it, but it stuck around and we all got used to it.
It has the virtue of being the name that arrived all of its own accord, wasn't invented for the sake of it and now has a resonance and a history behind it.
So, we are the Gritters Golf Society, we don't do roads in the snow but we do play golf a lot.