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New club captains appointed at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

John Sherlock, new club captain (right), Lyn Bond, lady captain and Nick Almond, seniors captain, at the Captains' Drive-off at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

Three new captains have been appointed at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club.

The new club captain is semi-retired financial planner John Sherlock, 58, who has lived in South Lakeland for 35 years and has been a member of Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club for 30 years.

The new ladies captain is Lyn Bond, a retired estate agent, who took up golf 12 years ago.

The new seniors captain is Nick Almond, 67, a retired police officer who lives at New Hutton.

A ceremonial hickory-shafted club was used as they drove off at a special Captains’ Drive-in event which marked the launch of the new season.

“I have a passion for the club and am so proud to have been asked to represent it as captain,” said John.

“It is a very friendly club. We have golf etiquette that everyone follows but there is such a relaxed atmosphere. The board which runs the club promotes inclusivity and everyone gets on well with everyone else.

“Post-COVID we have seen an upsurge in the number of people wanting to play golf. Graham Bywater, the previous captain, and his team did an excellent job in retaining the existing membership and recruiting new members and, as the new captain, I intend to support people to keep that work going. The club is going from strength to strength.”

John described golf as a social sport. “People of any ability can play together. You could be the world’s best golfer playing against the world’s worse golfer but the handicap system ensures a competitive game. I play lots of golf although I am not particularly good at it – I am only a ten handicapper – but I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it. You are out on the course and having plenty of exercise.”

John said he had still to achieve a coveted hole-in-one.

“I have been close on numerous occasions - sometimes within a few millimetres of the hole – but I have not achieved it yet.”

Pictured: New club captain John Sherlock drives off using a ceremonial hickory-shafted club at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

Lyn, who has played for Cumbria Vets and won the Vets Bronze Trophy, said: "I find the social side of golf and the camaraderie of the ladies to be quite therapeutic,” she said. “It is very enjoyable to play in the leagues in and around Cumbria at different courses and to make new friends.”

“I have been involved at Kirkby Lonsdale with Get Into Golf, an initiative which encourages ladies to try golf in a nice environment with other ladies. This year we have gained ten new members through the scheme.”

She said the lady captain always supported a charity during her year in office.

“I lost my husband Ray last May and I have raised funds for the North West Air Ambulance in his memory so my aim is to continue this year.”

Lyn has taken over as lady captain from Lyn Benson.

Nick said: “I like the friendly atmosphere and you cannot beat the surroundings.

“Kirkby Lonsdale has two nine-hole loops so it is one of the few courses where you can play nine holes and end up back at the clubhouse.”

He said he was looking forward to the regular seniors’ competitions and the seniors team playing friendlies against neighbouring clubs.

Nick has taken over as seniors captain from Bill Rowan.

Around 100 members took part in the Captains’ Drive-off event.

John Sherlock said it was a special day because, unusually, so many members were gathered at the first tee. It was also a useful event for new members to get to know other people as, potentially, they could play a round with people they had not met before.

The winners at the event were: Gareth Parry (gents’ competition); Linda Francis (ladies) and Rob Burke (seniors).

People were also able to buy markers to predict where each captain’s first shot would land on the fairway. Those who were closest won a bottle of wine and the competition also raised money for local charities.

Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club was established in 1906 and has been at its present site since 1991. The 18-hole course measures 6,594 yards and is laid out in more than 160 acres of spectacular countryside.

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