26 Nov A Chat With Vince Korobcyzc
After 28 1/2 years of membership, competition and many spellings of his name, Vince Korobcyzc chatted to TGC about all things Rabbits, Winter League and his Silver Rabbit win.
…and here’s the chat in full – just click play. We’ve got the initial lag down to 32 seconds before we chat – rather than 56 with Kevin – so we’re getting there. There’s also an edited version of our chat below with the fantastic photos that Vince shared.
From 30 years to a 3ft putt – Vince & The Silver Rabbit
” I joined the club in 1992 and my subs were £233 which was quite a lot back then”, says Vince. Since that £233 Vince has been earning a few ‘quids’ off of regular playing partner Mick Parenti but that was partially repaid as Mick accompanied Vince on his final and subsequent victory in the Silver Rabbit Final. “Well, he was supposed to caddy but when we got going it was me who picked up the clubs.” Before that final there was a very tough looking quarter final against Ryan Gaffney. “It was a fantastic match. It was nip and tuck all the way and not more than a shot in it”. Ryan, scoring for Winter League too, managed a superb 39pts but that wasn’t enough to keep Vince from taking the honours on the last – a sound par putt to finish. “It was a brilliant game. Ryan’s very competitive and he played so well and we just bounced off each other. We were both focused all the way but it was all played in the right spirit. Ryan’s a great guy and a great competitor”. That same focus was applied in the final where he met Isaac Davey-Day. “It was an awful day, wind and rain – usual for Tod I suppose! I just played hole by hole and was very focused. At one point Mick tapped me on the shoulder and pointed around and said ‘think we should take shelter!’. This didn’t disturb Vince’s flow as he marched onto a 5 & 3 victory with some sharp and steady putting and some fine work with the 3 wood. “Once I started creeping ahead I thought this could be my last chance. I could have won it on the 14th – this time from 3ft but it was such a gale from behind and I thought it might go 3ft past and left it short.”. And so after a difficult hole on the 15th Isaac had to concede. “I have to take my hat off to Isaac as he’s a great golfer. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and the game. It was a tense game and a great game to be involved with.”
With the finals of the Silver Rabbit made up with a mix of the new and established, the chat turned to the new influx of members this season. “It’s been fantastic. It’s just a shame that we haven’t been able to have an introductory night to welcome the new members. They are very important.” So how has membership changed in your 28 1/2 years? “It used to be a very high membership. It was packed! When I first joined I can remember me, Mick Parenti, Terry Makin and Michael Hartley meeting up on a Friday and having to queue for at the first tee time to play. It’s buzzing now [though] as much as it was then probably as much as it ever has been while I’ve been a member. It’s great to see it.”
All Things Rabbits & Rabbits Captaincy
“I’ve always been a Rabbits enthusiast,” says Vince. As much as welcome nights have been missed, together with the social aspects of TGC life, the new members have engaged fantastically in much of the competition that has been played – especially in Rabbits’ competition. The Charlestown Trophy being a great example. “Yes, that was a fantastic win. Well played to those lads who took part and a plan well executed. I always been part of Rabbits and it’s an important part of the club.”
After joining in 1992 records will show it was Vince that was made the first Rabbits Captain of the millennia. “I think it’s great to be addressed by the title. It feels good and is part of our tradition.” With well over half the TGC membership over 15.5 handicap the Rabbits section provides much of the competition on the TGC calendar. The Captain and his council take care of many events including the The Open, Winter League and of course the Captain gets to run his yearly trip. First established in 1982 at Pleasington (find out all the detail of that and where the Flat Iron come from in our chat with Kevin Johnson) Vince made his mark come his time in office. “My trip was at Shipley Beck Foot. John Whitham organised everything for me, I didn’t have to lift a finger. I changed [the format for the Flat Iron] to a 4BBB because it was better for Rabbits. It was only the day trip then with 9 holes in the morning and 18 in the afternoon. I didn’t manage to win it that year but I did with Glenn Duckworth maybe four or five years back.”
Back in 2000 (see photo) it was black suit and tie for some of the social evenings – a marked difference from today’s functions. ‘It was all a bit different, then”. The Rabbit Captain’s dinner. of Vince’s captaincy was organised with all of the past Rabbits captains invited. “I was looking at the Silver Rabbit boards in the clubhouse with Kevin Johnson and we realised that all of the past Rabbits Captains were still going so we organised a dinner. I was hoping that it could be a regular on the calendar but it is very hard to organise and keep up.”
Still doing the rounds in Winter League
Since his Rabbits captaincy Vince partakes in the very popular Winter League run by Rabbits. A multiple winner of Winter League Vince has chalked up a couple of good scores already in 2020 but did have plans to go travelling after this summer. “We’ve sold the house and I’m supposed to be off [on my travels] but will all that’s going on that’s on hold” So with some tasty odds of 8/1 and a couple of steady rounds on the board he may claim another title yet and has certainly proved that winning competitions is well within reach. “I’ll see. I think I’ll get my six scores in and then go. Maybe I’ll make it back for the compulsories…?”
Whether Vince does get to play his six rounds or whether he gets to travel he’ll have his new handicap index to take with him. How is he with the new WHS system and is he ready for it? “I’ve been off 21 for a while. I’ve not quite got my head around it but am sure it will be ok.” As the WHS comes into play so the capping and adjustments of competition handicap maximums comes back into the limelight. “Not to be controversial but I always think that your given handicap is what you should be off [in competition] It used to be that you couldn’t play in competitions [if you were over 20] but I think that excluded a lot of people. I can’t see the fairness in it. You get your course handicap and then the next thing when you’ve put your score into the computer in they take shots away.”
One thing is for sure, though, that no-one can take away Vince’s victory in the Silver Rabbit and his many years of service to the club and fulfilling just about every role there is. As many would agree, including Vince, TGC is having a resurgence due to the new members. “One of the best things in golf is being able to play with great company – old and new.” So with Vince’s golfing exploits running nicely, and proving that experience and the established member has not given it all over to the new crowd, he may be staying around a while to take a few more pound coins of playing partner Mick and a few titles from the young guns just yet.
Congratulations again to Vince on winning The Silver Rabbit title.
Profile: Vince Korobcyzc
- How Many Years at TGC: 28 1/2
- How Many Majors have you won?: 0
- Which & How Many Titles: Captain (2011), Grounds & House Officer, Secretary, Rabbits Captain, Rabbits Captains Trophy, Flat Iron Trophy Winner, Winter League Winner x5 , HHDRGA Presidents Day Champion, Silver Rabbit Champion.
- How Many Tournament wins: 500+
- Golfing Hero/Idol is?: Seve Ballasteros
- Favourite Club in the Bag: 3 Wood
- Best Part of your game: Texas Wedge!
- Most Memorable Shot/Golfing Moment at TGC: Hole In One on the 16th – last game of Winter League.
- Most Embarrassing Shot/Golfing Moment at TGC: I have had lots of them!
- Fave hole at TGC?: 16th
- Worst Hole at TGC?: 4th
- Anymore golf likes?: Great company – old and new.
- Have you been labelled “A Bandit”? Not since lockdown
- And your favourite tipple?: Pint of Cider