Toby Burden creates Hayling Island history after taking over as Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Channel Islands golf captain

Hayling's Toby Burden, left, has taken over from Stoneham’s Lawrence Cherry, right, as Hampshire golf captain. Picture: Andrew GriffinHayling's Toby Burden, left, has taken over from Stoneham’s Lawrence Cherry, right, as Hampshire golf captain. Picture: Andrew Griffin
Hayling's Toby Burden, left, has taken over from Stoneham’s Lawrence Cherry, right, as Hampshire golf captain. Picture: Andrew Griffin
Toby Burden has become the first Hayling member to become captain of Hampshire, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands in the role’s 74-year history.

The 36-year-old, who made his first-team debut for Hampshire in 2006, has stepped up from his vice-captaincy role after Lawrence Cherry was offered a dream job in Dubai last month.

While 10 different Hayling players have won the county championship in its 130-year history – including Burden, who lifted the Sloane-Stanley Challenge Cup at the third attempt in 2019 – he is the first to wear the Hampshire Golf captain’s badge, having been appointed vice-captain in 2023.

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A delighted Toby, who joined Hayling when he was 12, in 1999, said: “To be county captain is the biggest honour of my golf career. I’m so very proud to hold this title being a member of Hayling GC

“To be the first Hayling member to be county captain is a proud moment. The club have been so very supportive, and hopefully I can do my best and bring a trophy back to Hayling. That will be very cool.

“I had a call from Lawrence back in April telling me he had been offered a job at The Montgomerie Resort, in Dubai, and that he would have to stand down from his role in May.

“He took the team for last month’s win against Kent when we gave him a great send off, having won the South East League title (for the first time since 2012) back in October.

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“My wife knew I wanted to take the job in 2025 when Lawrence was due to stand down, so I have just moved into the role six months earlier than I had hoped. Rawan is very supportive of my passion for Hampshire Golf luckily, so it was just about OK with her.”

Toby, a member of the team that qualified in 2010, but then turned pro before the September finals, added: “I want to win another final and for us to get to the English County Finals again.

He said: “There are plenty of factors out of our control that can determine the outcomes of the league and six man and English finals.

“I would love to win a trophy as captain, but my main ambition is to carry on the great work of Lawrence, our secretaries Richard Arnold and Chris Harrison and the coaches Kev Flynn and Simon Andrews.

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“We have a great squad of players who truly are wonderful golfers. Their mindset is fantastic so hopefully this will lead to success both on the course and away from it for all.

“I’d love to firstly give the players great experiences and the ability to tell great stories over the coming years. As long as the team and squad give it their all in every match and training session, that’s all I can ask.”

The big question for Burden as he prepares to lead Hampshire in their first home game of the season against Sussex at Brokenhurst Manor this Sunday, is whether he will combine playing with captaincy – as two of Cherry’s immediate three predecessors have done.

Burden said: “I’ve always been a believer in a non-playing captain – but I’m also a believer in getting your very best team out on the course too.

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“The team comes first and always will with league games and six-man South East Qualifier. But if I keep playing solidly, and winning points, then I guess it’ll give the others something to keep thinking about.”

Martin Young, the last player to lead Hampshire to the English County Finals in 2017, played in all six sessions as the South East champions claimed the English County Championship for only the second time since 1926.

Young, who won the 2006 English Mid-Amateur (Over 35s) title at Hayling, was 47 when Hampshire triumphed at Trevose, and is still in the team as he approaches the age when he can

play Seniors golf at amateur level.

Since then, Blackmoor’s Colin Roope and North Hants’ Neil Dawson have found the six-man event a tougher nut to crack, despite Hampshire having won the South East crown eight times between 2002 and 2017.

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Burden was desperate to win the Daily Telegraph Salver at the league final in October, in memory of Keith Maplesden, Hampshire’s late secretary and president who died suddenly last summer.

Toby wants to match that league success, and go one better than Cherry’s team – who finished second to Kent last summer - to reach the English County Finals.

Hampshire and the islands will travel to Sussex’s Devil’s Dyke GC, near Brighton, next month with a place at September’s finals in Staffordshire at stake.

In terms of his own form, Toby was knocked out of this month’s county championship in the last 16 by eventual champion Sam Parsons at Blackmoor..

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He added: “The squad knows the importance of current form but also pockets of good play too. Good attitudes, good mindsets.

“If they keep showing the same attitude from the last 18 months, that’s what I need.

“I would rather have the headache of having too many players in-form. That will give Hampshire the best chance of defending the South Division and South East titles – and also put us in a great place for the six-man qualifier.”

Newly-crowned Hampshire, IoW & CI champion Sam Parsons, from Southsea, returns to the first-team for the first time since 2021, having featured regularly in the county’s Channel League side

that lost in last season’s South East Final.

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Rowlands Castle’s Tom Robson, who dropped out of the team last year having started a family, also returns, while Westbourne’s Darren Walkley is unavailable.

Team: T Burden (Hayling, capt); T Robson (Rowlands Castle); G Saunders (Liphook); S Parsons (Blackmoor); R Henley (Stoneham); J Buenfeld (Bramshaw); M Young (Brokenhurst Manor); J Hacker (La Moye).

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