New captains appointed at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

Three new captains have been appointed at thriving Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club.
A ceremonial hickory-shafted club was used as they drove off at a special Captains’ Drive-in
event which marked the launch of the new season.

The new club captain is semi-retired financial planner John Sherlock, 58, who has lived in
South Lakeland for 35 years and has been a member of Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club for 30
years.

“I have a passion for the club and am so proud to have been asked to represent it as
captain,” said John.

“It is a very friendly club. We have golf etiquette that everyone follows but there is such a
relaxed atmosphere. The board which runs the club promotes inclusivity and everyone gets
on well with everyone else.

“Post-COVID we have seen an upsurge in the number of people wanting to play golf.
Graham Bywater, the previous captain, and his team did an excellent job in retaining the
existing membership and recruiting new members and, as the new captain, I intend to
support people to keep that work going. The club is going from strength to strength.”
John described golf as a social sport. “People of any ability can play together. You could be
the world’s best golfer playing against the world’s worse golfer but the handicap system
ensures a competitive game. I play lots of golf although I am not particularly good at it – I
am only a ten handicapper – but I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it. You are out on the
course and having plenty of exercise.”

John said he had still to achieve a coveted hole-in-one. “I have been close on numerous
occasions – sometimes within a few millimetres of the hole – but I have not achieved it yet.”
The new ladies captain is Lyn Bond, a retired estate agent, who took up golf 12 years ago.
“I find the social side of golf and the camaraderie of the ladies to be quite therapeutic,” she
said. “It is very enjoyable to play in the leagues in and around Cumbria at different courses
and to make new friends.”

Lyn, who has played for Cumbria Vets and won the Vets Bronze Trophy, added: “I have been
involved at Kirkby Lonsdale with Get Into Golf, an initiative which encourages ladies to try
golf in a nice environment with other ladies. This year we have gained ten new members
through the scheme.”

She said the lady captain always supported a charity during her year in office. “I lost my
husband Ray last May and I have raised funds for the North West Air Ambulance in his
memory so my aim is to continue this year.”

Lyn has taken over as lady captain from Lyn Benson.
The new seniors captain is Nick Almond, 67, a retired police officer who lives at New Hutton.
Nick started playing golf at 16 and has been a member at Kirkby Lonsdale since 1995.
“I like the friendly atmosphere and you cannot beat the surroundings,” he said.
“Kirkby Lonsdale has two nine-hole loops so it is one of the few courses where you can play
nine holes and end up back at the clubhouse.”

He said he was looking forward to the regular seniors’ competitions and the seniors team
playing friendlies against neighbouring clubs.

Nick has taken over as seniors captain from Bill Rowan.
Around 100 members took part in the Captains’ Drive-off event.

John Sherlock said it was a special day because, unusually, so many members were gathered
at the first tee. It was also a useful event for new members to get to know other people as,
potentially, they could play a round with people they had not met before.
The winners at the event were: Gareth Parry (gents’ competition); Linda Francis (ladies) and
Rob Burke (seniors).

People were also able to buy markers to predict where each captain’s first shot would land
on the fairway. Those who were closest won a bottle of wine and the competition also
raised money for local charities.

Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club was established in 1906 and has been at its present site since
1991. The 18-hole course measures 6,594 yards and is laid out in more than 160 acres of
spectacular countryside.

Each of the holes has its own unique character and has four tee options, providing different
degrees of difficulty. The River Lune and Barbon Beck both run through the course, which
offers amazing views of Barbon Fell and the Howgills.

Other facilities include a swing room with launch monitor; a short game chipping area; a pro
shop selling equipment and clothing; and ten driving range bays.


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