Tee-rific lockdown tales from the Cheshire golf clubs near you

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s been an appalling autumn, winter (and covid-19 season) but golf is getting back into the swing of things. Didsbury Golf Club member Geoff Garnett reports from the county.

Wendy Taylor, president of Wilmslow Golf Club

Wendy Taylor, president of Wilmslow Golf Club - Credit: Archant

County legend is the new president of Wilmslow GC

Wendy Taylor, the new president of The Wilmslow Golf Club, is a true legend of the club, being only the second lady to serve in this capacity after joining the club in 1968.She was elected to the committee in 1978 and served as handicap secretary before becoming Lady Captain in 1984 and serving on the Cheshire County Committee as county handicap adviser from 1992 to 2015 and county captain in 2004.

Her national honours include being the Cheshire representative on England Executive and chairman of the England Rules and Regulations Committee from 1999 to 2002, chairman of England in 2002 and the England representative on The Council of National Golf Unions Committee from 2004 to 2012.

Wendy was also on the National Handicap Committee from 2004 to 2012 and is a Royal & Ancient qualified rules official. She has refereed at the Curtis Cup, the R&A Regional Open Qualifying and European, national and county championships.She says: “My golfing highlights are being chairman of England, refereeing at the Curtis Cup and attending the Queen’s Garden Party in July 2010 representing women’s golf. Now my highlight will be as the president of the club I have been a member of for 52 years.”

A family enjoying a stroll at Heaton Moor Golf Club.

A family enjoying a stroll at Heaton Moor Golf Club. - Credit: Archant

Every cloud has a silver lining

Like all golf clubs across the country, Heaton Moor Golf Club put up its ‘course closed’ sign at the end of March as lockdown hit. Frustrated golfers were no longer able to play but the club opened the space to local residents to use for their daily exercise, with many offering a donation as a way of thanks.

The club has since raised more than £2,500 through a crowdfunding page for the replanting of trees which had been destroyed over the years by disease and storms.“The generosity of the Heatons’ community at a time of crisis was astounding,” member Lyndsey Alexander says. The club also set up a wildlife hunt and ‘spot the duck’ which proved popular with the kids, and the course quickly became a hit with runners, walkers, cyclists and families. It has since welcomed more than 50 new members.

Air raid warden Blair Marriott with the specially-produced inscripted flag for Bramhall Golf Club.

Air raid warden Blair Marriott with the specially-produced inscripted flag for Bramhall Golf Club. - Credit: Archant

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Bramhall Captain marks VE Day in style

It was a shame members of Bramhall Golf Club couldn’t play golf on the special Bank Holiday weekend to mark peace in Europe, but air raid warden Blair Marriott (the Captain) has produced special flags he is donating to the club to mark VE Day, VJ Day and Remembrance Day this year and for the future, with the inscription ‘Bramhall Golf Club Remembers’. It gave Blair a great opportunity to wear his Captain’s jacket, for which there hasn’t been much opportunity this year.

Andrew Murray with Sean Finlay ready to celebrate his 15th ace at Mere.

Andrew Murray with Sean Finlay ready to celebrate his 15th ace at Mere. - Credit: Archant

Andrew ends long ace wait

It’d been 15 years since Cheshire golf legend and golf broadcaster Andrew Murray’s last hole-in-one until an ace on the par three 12th hole at Mere in June.He was playing in a four-ball with Mere Captain Sean Finlay and friends John Atkins and George Seddon, and it was his 15th hole-in-one.

Andrew enjoyed a career on the European Tour in which he won the European Championship after beginning his golf at Didsbury, where he was junior captain. He’s now a life member there and plays regularly in their competitions off +2 handicap. He has made a big mark with his charity days and raised thousands for local charities, and is now a respected coach and golf tour organiser, golf broadcaster and after-dinner speaker.

Lady Captain Lottie Makin welcomes Lymm Golf Club member Julie Hughes across the 10km finishing line

Lady Captain Lottie Makin welcomes Lymm Golf Club member Julie Hughes across the 10km finishing line. - Credit: Archant

Great effort by Julie at Lymm

Lymm Golf club member Julie Hughes has not let lockdown stop her supporting her Lady Captain, Lottie Makin, raise money for charity St Rocco’s Julie has been keeping fit while the course was closed, making up for lost time on the golf course by running a 10km run around Lymm Golf Club one early morning in late May. Lottie was on hand to take photographs and record a super time of 59 minutes and 30 seconds.

With the support of friends, family and Lymm Golf Club members, Julie raised £2,035 for St Rocco’s, a much-loved local cause.

12-year-old Wiill Bebbington if a future golf star.

12-year-old Wiill Bebbington if a future golf star. - Credit: Archant

Will wins the heroes handshake

Will Bebbington is a promising young golfer firmly on the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs’ radar as a future star. The 12-year-old has his sights set on flying high in golf, which began is his back garden at the age of four. He quickly progressed to the range at the age of five and started playing at Hartford Golf Club where he first played on a golf course and was involved in the Adam Powell academy being coached by Adam and the late Johnny Pearce.

His dad Chris says: “Will then moved to Sandiway, which is still his home club and he also plays at Royal Liverpool and Pryors Hayes. He won the Pryors Hayes Junior Championships for the past two years and was also the joint winner of the Junior Order of Merit at Sandiway. He reached a handicap of 9.7 by the age of 12.”

Will’s highlights include three hole-in-ones (two at Hartford and one of the 18th hole at Sandiway) and being the grand finalist of the Wee Wonders in 2018, representing Sandiway. He also recently joined both the under-14 and under-16 Cheshire squads at the age of 12.

“My goal is to become a tour professional and multiple ‘major’ winner,” says Will, whose golfing idols are Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy. “My short-term aim is to get my handicap down to scratch.”

Will has been hosting chats and Instagram lives with his friends, challenging other golfers to join and undertake skills challenges, and showing how much fun it can be through his YouTube channel. It inspired him and his friend Harry Kell to set up a justgiving page to raise money for the NHS through online donations, with Will even donating his signed Tommy Fleetwood cap as a prize for one of the people who donate.

“In the words of the Golf Foundation, Will has shown that golf is so much more than just playing nine or 18 holes,” Chris says. “They say that Will is an inspirational example to other young and aspiring golfers and a worthy winner of May’s Heroes Handshake.”

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A long-standing member of Didsbury Golf Club, where he has been president, Geoff looks to promote golf in Cheshire. If you or your club has any news, contact Geoff on email ggggarnett@aol.com or telephone 0161 881 7550.