THREE Enmore Park golfers who have been stalwart members for half a century were honoured by the club at the recent Annual General Meeting, writes Richard Walsh.

Betty Edney, Pat Rodgers and Dick Richards, who all joined Enmore Park back in 1970 and are still playing regularly, were presented with an engraved decanter in recognition of their achievement.

When the trio first joined, Enmore was a nine-hole course and the professional was Ivor Yard, who had his pro shop in a small wooden hut close to the first tee.

Since then the course has been extended to 18 holes, a new pro shop has been built and the old wooden pavilion style clubhouse has been replaced by a comfortable modern facility, with a verandah looking out across the course.

Each of the three half-centurions have been very actively involved over their years at Enmore and recalled some of their memories.

Betty Edney has been treasurer, lady captain and president of the Ladies section, in addition to which she has also served on the main Social Committee.

She said: “In the 70s we used to always socialise at the clubhouse at weekends.

“That little wooden clubhouse was really the ‘go to’ place for fun, music and laughter with friends.”

Recalling two particular events, she said: “In 1982 we hosted an Enmore Pro Am in aid of Viv Richards’ Benefit Year, when many sporting celebrities spent the day and evening with us.

“Another great day was when Tony Jacklin visited us and gave a wonderful clinic, the year after he won the British and US Opens.

“He arrived in a white convertible Rolls Royce and amazed us by hitting balls up the 10th to distances we could only dream of!

“He was a most amenable man and stayed and socialised in the clubhouse with everyone afterwards.”

When Pat Rodgers joined in May 1970 she paid £16 as a lady five-day member - 10 guineas (£10-10s) as the joining fee and £5-10s as her subscription.

At one stage she was off a handicap of three and only recently returned from playing out in Dubai.

“I played for the Somerset County team for 16 successive years and was runner up in the County Championships twice, as well as being quarter finalist in the South West championships twice,” she said.

“Together with Hannah Woodley, we won a nationwide pairs competition, the final of which was held at the Belfry,”

Rodgers also held two course records for the lowest gross score, and was ladies champion at Enmore for 17 years.

She added: “In 1993 I was English Ladies Senior Matchplay champion and played international golf for England, as well as taking part in a tour to Zimbabwe, and I have represented Enmore in many competitions all over the world.”

Dick Richards didn’t take up golf until he was 35 years old, but he soon got well into the game and was off five, and is still plays off 12.

“The highlight of my time at Enmore is back in 1976 when we qualified for the Piccadilly Trophy that was played at Wentworth,” he said.

“That was really special and we came joint fifth, which was pretty good given that there were over 1,000 teams.

“A young Seve Ballesteros was there as well and we had a free night in a hotel.

“The day was brilliant and we had a great dinner.

“Bernard Gallagher presented all the prizes at Wentworth and I have still got the pair of shoes I won, which cost £80 then and a decanter - so now I have got two!

“Saturday nights in the old clubhouse were pretty good too and we used to roll the carpets back for dancing.

“Then we went back early next morning to put it all back together.

“I held the best gross score of 72 for a long time at Enmore and I’ve got my happy memories which I am really thankful for.”

Rodgers summed up their feelings in saying: “It was very thoughtful of the club to make this special presentation to us, to mark our 50 happy years playing golf at Enmore.”