The Ramblings of a Past Captain
These notes were produced by Gordon Jackson and edited by Graham Lawrence in February 2012
I first started playing golf at Southampton Municipal and then at the nine-hole golf course at Fairthorne Manor. Eventually I thought I was good enough to join a golf club. I joined the Corhampton in 1973 being interviewed by the Captain John Haigh during his 1st term as captain – a very daunting experience I must say. He was very strict and he questioned me about golf etiquette and other subjects without a smile on his face. After a rigorous grilling he smiled and told me I could join.
I remember Bob Abercromby the secretary, John and Leslie Smith steward and stewardess provided the catering, they being engaged during my captain’s year. How good they turned out to be. Dennis Pink – a valued member and an excellent golfer. Frank Lindley was President. Amongst the ladies Joan Haigh, Yvonne Willett, Jo Buchanan, Molly Henning who helped to raise many hundreds, if not thousands of pounds by all sorts of ways and means, draws etc. Many thanks Molly. Of course the ladies captain during my year, Freda Wilson, who gave me her full support along with all the delightful members of the ladies section made being the club captain even more of a pleasure. At this point I would like to record two other valued members Tony and Margaret McDonald who we all appreciated, and still do, for all the tireless work they do behind the scenes on competitions, score card checking and whatever. Well done Tony and Margaret, very well done. The original 9 hole golf course, Ron Crockford the club professional, in his wooden Golf Hut. He left long before the new Clubhouse was built never to return until Bob Harvey invited him and his wife to visit a few of his old member friends during the summer of year 2011. He was truly amazed at all the improvements to the club and course.
An early bird sight was to see Ron Crockford swishing the greens as the dawn was breaking-as only he knew how.
I photographed the greens on the course for Bob Abercromby’s edition of the Official Handbook and I printed it. My company had a large printing section so I was able to print scorecards and various other documents for the club often free of charge.
Stonepicking on the new 18 hole course and being allowed to tee up on all of the new fairways.
My captain’s year (1987) included on captain’s day, the Bunny Girls, by kind arrangement with Bob Goble, my wife not being too pleased with either Bob or me but as I say you have to grab opportunities like this with both hands!!!
John Harris, our young professional and his invitations to challenge him, played with full vigour and no compromise. I never did beat him, cost me pounds, but I became a much improved player, so perhaps it was worth it – a great pro.
Here are some names I like to recall, Tom Prentice, Mike Dunne, Mike Lutman, George Smith, Abbe Moore, George Davies, Dave Sylvester, Peter, Connie & John Taylor (Peter becoming Club secretary later).
Another innovation whilst I was captain was to introduce Captains Jackets. Having during my year visited many clubs around the southern region I was most impressed by the many different types and smart appearance of other club Captains. I thought if its good enough for them, then its got to be good enough for Corhampton. It was not too difficult to convince the committee, although as I wished to include, many past captains it could prove a bit expensive. The club badge would be on the breast pocket. It was agreed that the club would foot the bill as would be for all, future captains. The jackets to be presented at the AGM to the incoming new captain. Now came the hard bit. To negotiate a fair price with the noted Fareham tailor Fred Collins, but after hard bargaining a deal was done. All’s well that ends well and l am very pleased to have chosen the only colour different to all I had seen in my travels
The 13 Pro Ams with Bob Harvey and with the full co-operation of the Southern Region Professionals. I provided the printing for all the programmes.
The installation of the Polygraphic Halfway hut in 1980 between the 6 and 7 holes, being well built by Wally Pinhorn. The painting by David Dipnal of the view from the 10th green looking up to the clubhouse. Bert Keefe is holding the flag and my ball is lying in the foreground.
One weekend, when Pip Payton was secretary but I cannot remember exactly, a bunch of horses leapt over the boundary fences and ran amok over the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th greens doing a lot of damage. Nobody knows whose horses they were.
Many of the inter club competitions, e.g, Waterlooville, Arlesford, The Bucks Head Trophy, Sandown & Shanklin, The Police etc etc.
Also worth a mention The Christmas Gunshot, The Polygraphic Rosebowl (2 clubs & a Putter). The trophy is now called the J & H Rose Bowl . The many club get togethers held in the lounge, for example, Vicars and Tarts, Guys and Dolls etc caused great fun, being organised by John and Leslie Smith.
Throughout its history Corhampton has enjoyed great popularity, producing many fine golfers and, also creating a happy relationship with surrounding golf clubs. We always have had a lively and keen membershjp throughout its 110 years existence.
I could browse over the past 40 years of my membership naming many many captains, But that would not be fair as all in their own way were superb having only the best interests of the club at heart but the names of those Captains who later became Presidents such as Fred Banting, Fred Hartwell and now David Searle are worth recording.
Now at 89 I cannot play any more, so sad, but you will usually find me every Thursday in the clubhouse with my very valued friends Bob Harvey ,Bob Goble, Dave Searle, Sid Griffiths, and Jim Firth. If you are around I may not remember your name but I am lucky, I never forget a face.
Cheers to all who come hereafter, you could not have become a member of a finer golf club, please carry forward the club’s good fortune and goodwill.
I now take a rest from my ramblings hoping that the foregoing will be of some interest to you.
Past Captain 1988 onwards.
Freeman of the City of London 1986.