New captain looks forward to Richmond Golf Club reopening

Martin Catt, on the left, taking over the captaincy from Ivan Rookes for 2021.

This year’s captain is looking forward to the reopening of Richmond Golf Club on March 29.

As well as being club captain for the year, Martin Catt will celebrate 50 years since he first joined the club, aged just 13.

Martin has already served as captain in 1985 and said he was delighted to be given the role again in 2021.

He said: “In 1969 my father was dispatched by Dowsett Construction to build a brick factory in Leven Kirkaldy.

“To ease the evening boredom he started playing golf. On his return my dad, Gary my brother and I joined Richmond Golf Club in the autumn of 1970.

“The club was nine holes and the small clubhouse had been constructed on stilts at the end of some cow sheds by Shepherd Construction, a company I would join several years later to learn my trade.”

Martin said at the time the secretary was Arthur Mangnall, the steward was Jim Dillon, a World War Two veteran, and the green keeper was Harold Webster.

“In my first week Harold gave me a highly polished pair of brown leather golf shoes and a 1964 edition of the rules of golf which I still have to this day.

“He told me ‘don’t ever let me see those shoes dirty and don’t ever disobey what’s in that book’.

“The Captain was Donald Lancaster and because there were several past captains still playing when I joined it has now been my pleasure to have known 61 past captains of our club.”

Martin said it was “all hands to the decks” back then and many working parties over several months constructed the 18 holes the club has today.

“My involvement only interrupted because it was school tomorrow and the Grammar School did not smile on students who yawned all day.

“The new course was opened in 1972 and the first course record of 68 was set by Dez Dozey, a friend who I was privileged to play golf with for 20 years.

“In 1974 my father was awarded the contract to build the first phase of the clubhouse we know today.

“The progress continued with work parties digging trenches and laying pipes and cables for the sprinkler system we have today.

“I was asked to be captain in 1983 and having served as competition secretary and vice captain. I became Captain in 1985.”

Martin Catt in 1983 playing golf and raising funds for charity.

Over the years, Martin has held several roles at the club including a directorship.

“The club has grown but still retains its core values and, we are known for our welcome and atmosphere that other clubs envy.

“The last few years have been difficult for all golf clubs, and particularly so during the current pandemic.

“However, we have been guided by a remarkable group of directors unselfishly giving their time to strengthen and secure the club’s future.

“As for me it’s been a blast, I’m captain again, I’ve got lifelong friends, I’ve picked up a few trophies and along with Karen Jobling, my brother Gary has shared the accolade of best golfers the club has ever had.”

Richmond Golf Club is planning events to celebrate the 950th anniversary of Richmond Castle.

Anyone wishing to join the club should email or call 01748 823231.