Why Captain's Day was joyous torture for me

The Scoop

My greatest fear is being at the club and not playing. How on earth did I cope on Captain’s Day at Sandburn Hall?

In George Orwell’s classic novel, 1984, what was in Room 101 was ‘the worst thing in the world’.

For Winston, the protagonist in this terrifying portrayal of a dystopian superstate, it was rats.

But hungry rodents hold no fear for me.

Instead, O’Brien, Winston’s torturer, would have a much easier task if he wanted to inflict maximum pain on my physical and mental wellbeing.

He’d simply take me to a golf club, and tell me I couldn’t play.

It’s agony to be around a course and not tee it up and so I found Captain’s Day at Sandburn Hall both a pleasure and a pain.

Picture a man on the rack.

Captain's Day

It’s a scorching summer’s day – perfect golfing weather. All around me, people are laughing and joking as they hit shots and drain putts. I’m looking on – utterly bereft and helpless.

Captains traditionally don’t play on their own day, and with good reason.

You’re hosting the event and if you want people to put their hands in their pockets and give freely to your chosen charity – which is the whole point – then there’s a chunk of meeting and greeting to be done.

What you can’t do is skulk off in a fourball and expect everyone else to do it for you. So barring a very late withdrawal – and I must confess some fingers were crossed for that and the clubs were resting hopefully on the back seat – my ‘fate’ was to man a half-way house and greet the membership as they walked by between the ninth and 10th holes.

Captain's DayHow awful.

In all seriousness, Captain’s Day was a huge success.

We raised more than £800 for my charity, Bloodwise, and thanks must go to all the members who played and gave so generously.

Paul Peake, who’s on a mission at Sandburn this year to sweep up all the board competitions, combined brilliantly with partner Nicke Rakocevic to take the trophy with 44 points.

I’m also indebted to Cooper BMW York, who provided prizes for the day as well as Cobra Golf, Titleist, FootJoy, Skechers and Headingley and Moortown golf clubs for donating prizes for raffles that will be drawn throughout the season.

It was a great experience and a day I’ll never forget.

Next year, though, I’ll be happy to get the clubs out. Who knows, maybe I might even win…

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