As Oakdale’s Club Captain, for 2019 may I welcome members, guests and friends to the joys of one of the finest golf clubs in Yorkshire.
I am so proud and honored to be appointed to this role and truly feel privileged to be made Captain of such a great course with so much golfing history and tradition associated with it.
Oakdale opened in 1914. It was designed by one of the world’s leading golf course architects, Dr Alister MacKenzie, who went on to design the Royal Melbourne, Australia and Augusta National, in Georgia, USA, the home of The Masters.
During the early years of the Club the world’s finest professional golfers, including Harry Vardon and Ted Ray enjoyed the challenges of Oakdale. In 1951, the Australian Peter Thompson shot a 62 at Oakdale, the then lowest professional score ever recorded. He then went on to win the British Open Championship 5 times!
The Oakdale course is specially noted for its valley containing the Oak Beck and the uplands, which offer striking contrasts. The gently meandering steam lies across the front of the 9th and 18th holes and flanks the deceptively difficult 10th. The uplands areas have sweeping stretches of rich turf giving the course an added dimension and a splendid variety of contrasting holes. Peter Alliss gave our 18th his seal of approval as a really great finishing hole.
Over the last two years, the Clubhouse has been refurbished and provides us with a fabulous new lounge and excellent restaurant facilities for the use of members and guests alike. These facilities enable us to have a vibrant and full social calendar for 2019. Oakdale is renowned for its spirit of fun and friendship and provides a variety of dinner and musical nights throughout the year, with added activities such as wine tasting evenings plus regular quiz, domino and yoga nights.
This year there have been several major changes to the management board of the Club. I welcome Michael Rein (Chairman), Patsy Rochester (Vice Chair) and Gerry Dexter as fellow directors. Also a very special welcome to our new President, John Wade and also a new member of the Governance Panel, Shirley Emery.
Robert Stansfield will be joining us as our new resident Professional. Robert is well known locally and joins us from Catterick Golf Club. Robert will have a fully stocked shop and this will include its own swing studio facilities.
My best wishes go to our Lady Captain Carol Ball, Seniors Captain John Dobinson, Rabbits Captain Peter Wearmouth and Junior Captain Michael Robson and hope that they all have an enjoyable and successful year.
The ever growing Junior Section, overseen by John Robson and Graeme Wilcox, is developing strongly. The Club Junior team will again be playing in the local junior league and will be receiving regular coaching sessions from our new Professional and will also play in a whole series of competitions throughout the year.
My charity of the year will be the same as the Lady Captain and is Yorkshire Cancer Research, which is based here in Harrogate and primarily funds research projects and support. We both hope that golfers will help us in our fundraising efforts.
In conclusion, I am looking forward to seeing the Club have a very successful year and would like to wish both members and visitors alike golfing success, fun and enjoyment here at Oakdale Golf Club.
Oakdale Club Captain 2019