It was something of a triple celebration at Hawkstone Park when the historic golf club officially launched its centenary year celebrations, announced its 2020 captains with the traditional ceremonial drive-in and unveiled a new, state-of-the-art greenside clubhouse.
In spite of Storm Ciara’s efforts to dampen the festivities, the new Men’s and Ladies’ Captains, husband and wife Stuart and Christine Apperley, managed to drive into office off the first tee of the famous Hawkstone Course. Joining them were Senior Captain Gerald Smith and Max Balmforth, Junior Captain.
Club President Dale Benbow had the honour of raising the specially designed Centenary Flag to signal the beginning of the highly significant year in the club’s history. A special programme of events has been devised which includes competitions, matches against golf clubs around the country also celebrating their centenaries, and the Captains’ Charity Competition will be played with hickory shafted golf clubs for members to experience the game of the 1920s. A gala dinner to be held at Hawkstone Hotel in July will be the flagship social event.
The new clubhouse was officially opened by Hawkstone Park General Manager David Sims together with the 2020 club officials. Located close to the 18th hole of the Hawkstone Course, the facility comprises glass-fronted spike bar, named Lyle’s Bar after twice major winner Sandy Lyle who spent his formative years at Hawkstone Park; golf shop and locker rooms. Under a recent change of ownership, the club and its facilities have benefitted from significant investment.
Following the formal proceedings, a celebration was held in the clubhouse, together with the presentation of the 2020 officials.
Speaking to members about the significance of the centenary year, Lady Captain Christine Apperley said:
“This is a very proud day for Stuart and me to officially drive-in as captains for the club’s centenary year. As well as a time to reflect on the club’s amazing history and also to reminisce, this significant milestone is also a great opportunity to plan forward to secure the club’s future and for us to become more inclusive. We are the lucky ones being here to celebrate the club’s centenary year.
“We are very excited about the new facility that has been opened today. It will really add to the experience of being a member here and will definitely encourage the social side of our club. Let’s have a fantastic year.”
Very much part of Hawkstone Park’s history is the huge success of its home-grown golfing talent. As well as Sandy Lyle, Michael Welch, a prodigious junior golfer earned European and world titles before enjoying a successful professional career, and now Ashley Chesters who over the last few years has firmly established himself on the European Tour.