DRIVING rain and strong winds failed to dampen the enthusiasm of golfers at the annual Captain’s Drive-In ceremony at Windwhistle Golf Club on Saturday, writes Steve Sowden.

The annual ceremony saw new men’s captain Paul Bennett lead the drive-in followed by senior section representative Norman Markby, ladies captain Rosa Atkinson and junior captain Alex Manley.

They all held their nerve to fire their shots down the fairway in the traditional New Year opener.

Club members and supporters braved the elements to watch the drive-in before quickly heading back to the dry comfort of the Windwhistle clubhouse.
Men’s captain Paul Bennett said it was a ‘real honour’ to captain the club.

“I know most people here as friends,” he said. “I really think we are the friendliest club in the county, if not the UK.”

Paul thanked outgoing captain Peter Hamilton-Walsh for all he had done for the club in the previous year and said he was looking forward to getting the support of the club committee.

He told members that Ian Munro was stepping down from leading the junior section after a successful nine years and the club was now looking for someone to take over the role.

Norman Markby, who was the 2012 seniors captain, was unable to attend last year’s drive-in and was deputised by Alan Chance, the 2013 senior captain, so Saturday was Norman’s chance to shine at the tee.