WHEN Stafford businessman N F Dovey wrote to the Newsletter and the now defunct Stafford Chronicle newspapers about the need for a golf course in the Stafford area, he had no inkling of what sort of a reception he would get.One hundred years later his idea, which was taken up by an initial 65 members with men paying 10s 6d and ladies 7s 6d forming the Stafford Artisans Golf Club, is now Ingestre Park GC with more than 600 members.
The first course was on Stafford Common, where play was not allowed during the summer months because it interfered with grazing cattle.
In 1921, the members moved to Kingston Hill where they remained for the next 54 years before finally moving to a 128-acre course at Ingestre in 1978.
Last week, on New Year’s Day, the club’s Centenary Year got off to a fine start when Staffordshire Deputy Lieutenant John Jones started the first official competition of the year with a superb drive.
This was closely followed by the first principle officers, captain Dave Griffiths, lady captain Kate Robson, president Al Myatt and lady president Gina Foster.
They had a combined first drive of 494 yards and the competition to guess their yardage was won by Karen Crouth. Winners of the drive in mixed competition were lady vice-captain Janet Nicholls and her husband Roger, Bill and Gill Greaves-Bentley with 56 points and a better back six of 39.
Second were vice-captain Paul Slater and Alison Powell with Jeff and Sharon Metcalf who also scored 56 but had 36 on the back six.
Mayor of Stafford, councillor Bryan Cross, MBE, congratulated the club on its centenary and expressed the wish that everyone at the club had an enjoyable year and good scores!
Jones earlier praised the club on its course, its club house facilities and its healthy financial position. He also said how pleased he was to hear about plans to fly the Staffordshire flag, helping to raise the profile of the county to visitors to the club, many from outside the county.
Griffiths announced that he and the other officers of the club would be focusing all their charity raising activities during the year on Katharine House Hospice, Stafford.