THE coronavirus lockdown has given the longer serving members at Enmore Park Golf Club time to reflect on some of the most memorable occasions to have taken place since the club was established at its current location in September 1932, writes Richard Walsh.

One event that has been mentioned by many is the Viv Richards Celebrity Golf Day that took place on Sunday, October 3, 1982, as part of the club’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The whole year was one to remember with each of the four sections - the Men’s, Ladies, Seniors and Juniors - all getting involved at every opportunity.

A glossy brochure containing a brief history of the club, a guide to the course, profiles of some of the personalities and a programme of events to celebrate the year was published.

A Golden Jubilee Week of Golf took place between June 5 and 12, that included a golf event for each of the club’s four sections and concluded with the Captain’s Day.

However, the highlight of the year was without a doubt the Viv Richards Celebrity Golf Tournament that was arranged in conjunction with the Benefit Year the West Indian superstar had been awarded by Somerset County Cricket Club, and which involved many well known sports and showbiz personalities of the era.

Among the celebrities who took part were cricketers Ian Botham, Brian Rose, Brian Langford and Richards himself, footballers Kevin Keegan, Steve Coppell, Bobby Gould and Trevor Brooking, and rugby players John Pullin, Phil Bennett and Gareth Davies, as well as Leslie Crowther, Ed Stewart, Barry Took and Jerry Stevens from the entertainment world.

It was certainly a day to remember at Enmore; the sun shone and a crowd in excess of 2,000 turned out to watch and enjoy the celebrities playing golf.

It was also a very special day for club captain Tony Innalls, who as captain elect in 1981 had been involved with the planning of the event with Tom Pearce, who in addition to being an Enmore member was also on the committee at Somerset CCC.

On October 3, Innalls played alongside Richards and Steve Coppell in the opening group and played the opening shot off the first tee.

“We stood there on the first tee and we were announced over the tannoy by Bill Richard, which made me feel quite nervous I must admit, because I had never played in front of such a large gallery,” Innalls said.

“However, I needn’t have worried, as Viv and Steve were such good company that they soon put me at ease.

“The course looked perfect on that beautiful autumn day.

“It was brilliant and all sections played a very big part in helping to make sure that it was a great success.”

Innalls, who went on to serve as chairman and then president of the club, added: “The Celebrity Golf Day at Enmore is something that I will never forget for the rest of my life - what a day that was.

“It has never been forgotten and is still talked about to this day even though it’s now almost 40 years ago!”