STUART REED: Charity benefits from golfers getting into the swing of things

Our Fareham columnist enjoyed the fantastic inauguration of a golf club's new captains

Friday, 12th January 2018, 8:36 am
Royal Navy veteran Isabel Kent, the new ladies' captain at Cams Hall Estate Golf Club with her warship on her first day in the role

Fireworks, a guard of honour, hot chocolate and tots of rum were the order of the day as players greeted the incoming top brass at Cams Hall Estate Golf Club, Fareham.

In bright sunshine, and despite a bitterly cold wind, the hardy golfers raised their clubs as a mark of respect for the new captains.

Many of the members are former Royal Navy officers or ratings so high jinks were on the cards.

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Isabel arrives at the Captains' Drive in her warship

The 2018 captains’ drive went off with a tremendous swing.

The mens’ captain is now Neil Chalmers who came dressed as Ringo Starr from the cover of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album.

Not to be outdone by the men folk, the new ladies’ captain, Isabel Kent, arrived flanked by her female side parties, inside a huge model of a navy warship.

Isabel, who retired from the Royal Navy as a Lieutenant Commander after 27 years’ service, was every inch the captain in both senses of the word.

Mens' captin Neil Chalmers arrives dressed as Ringo Starr

Both captains belted the golf balls off the tenth tee with tremendous vigour.

Members had paid for little flags to put on the fairway.

There were prizes for those whose flag was nearest the landing spot of each ball.

In groups of five the whole club then went to various tees for a shotgun start.

Isabel arrives at the Captains' Drive in her warship

This means that they all tee off at exactly the same time. During the game there were prizes for being nearest the pin on selected greens.

Nearly five hours later, after the game was over, the red-faced and windswept players thawed out in the packed clubhouse.

Top scorers were rewarded with Marks and Spencer vouchers.

Raffle prizes were collected, and a cake baked and decorated with a white ensign by Irene Reed was auctioned off.

Mens' captin Neil Chalmers arrives dressed as Ringo Starr

The cake alone fetched £30. And the raffle and the various competitions raked in more than £750.

This cash was destined for the most worthy of causes, the Disabled Golfers’ Association (DGA).

Graeme Robertson, director of the DGA, gave a short talk on the fantastic work they do sourcing suitable venues, professional coaches and equipment to provide a complete pathway from taster sessions to international competitions.

Stroke victims, amputees, blind people and those with multiple sclerosis are just some of the more than 850 people who find inspiration and focus in playing golf through the DGA.

Their website is