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Past captains play 12 holes, dine in style

On Tuesday, 29th August, Astbury Golf Club’s past captains met for their annual dinner, preceded by the customary 12-hole competition for the past captains’ trophy.

This year it was the turn of club captain Brian Ward to be guest of honour and gain an insight on what is to follow during his year in office. Although allowed to play in the competition as current captain, he did not qualify to win the trophy (writes Orville Taylor).

The course certainly was playing its maximum length thanks to rain over the past few weeks.

As this correspondent has found from many reports over the past number of years, there is always an exception to the rule and this year it was the turn of immediate past captain Dr Ipad, better known as Mike Sumner, who spreadeagled the field with a magnificent score of 29pts over 12 holes. In his customary fashion he gave an illuminating acceptance speech.

In second place with 24pts was greens chairman Alan Percival and third place went to Richard Webb, now recovered from his broken leg, with 23pts.

Mr Ward was joined by 22 past captains for the dinner, which followed the golf and it was where he undertook perhaps his most important role of the evening – providing the wine.

Master of ceremonies was Paul Bestwick, who had succeeded Ted Darton, long-time organiser of the event.

The meal started with a moment of quiet reflection for those no longer present. Following grace read by Dr Sumner, all sat down to excellent food from the club caterers.

The evening was full of much humour and general discussion and was washed down with port provided by president Steve Whalley.

A special tribute was given to the late Nigel Hodges, who died recently. Mr Ward thanked everyone for making it special and Mr Bestwick for organising it.

The evening was rounded off by Mr Whalley expressing his thanks to the attendees and saying how special the club was to him, having seen it blossom over his many years as a member.

Proceedings closed with the presentation of the trophy to the winner by Jim Barry.

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