East Devon captains drive out of sight as history and tradition triumph over the weather

PUBLISHED: 10:20 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:21 07 January 2020

East Devon club captain Malcolm Pressey �Drive�s-In� 2020. Picture: BILL PEAKER

East Devon club captain Malcolm Pressey �Drive�s-In� 2020. Picture: BILL PEAKER

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The weather couldn't stop the captains for 2020 'driving-in' start of the new golfing year at East Devon Golf Club on New Year's Day, writes Helen Chiver.

East Devon Golf Club captain Malcolm Pressey with Wooden Spoon charity mascot, �Spoony�. Picture: BILL PEAKEREast Devon Golf Club captain Malcolm Pressey with Wooden Spoon charity mascot, �Spoony�. Picture: BILL PEAKER

To mark the 'in-coming' of the new club captain the tradition, since 1902, has been that he takes his first drive at the beginning of his captaincy.

Now, almost 120 years later the club captain still Drives-In as does the men's captain, ladies captain and captains of the seniors, juniors and Town Club.

This year the Drive-In took place from the third tee, which history books show was originally used when the club was inaugurated.

The retiring captains all putted-out on the second green (formerly the 18th. The dilemma this year, both for those captains driving off and the many club members who had gathered to support and welcome the new captains, was that fog had blanketed the Budleigh Salterton golf course and visibility was only a few yards.

Not to be outdone, and with the use of modern technology, the captains drives were all recorded electronically as they disappeared out of sight into the mist.

The day closed with speeches from the outgoing captain, the new club captain and an introduction to Wooden Spoon, the East Devon Captains' chosen charity for 2020. Together with the golf club members, Wooden Spoon aims to raise sufficient funds to purchase an outdoor classroom facility for local charity Sirona. Sirona provides equine-based therapeutic and educational activities to young people at their bespoke centre on the Dartington Hall Estate.

The year's fund raising got off to a great start with around £650 raised on the day.

As glass of mulled wine and canapés were enjoyed in the clubhouse and club captain Malcolm Pressey reflected on the day saying: "The golfers at east Devon are hardy souls and the weather wasn't going to defeat us.

"I and my fellow in-coming Captains are pleased the day went well and we've made a great start to our charity fund raising for 2020.

"Now all of the nerves have settled we look forward to starting our new roles on behalf of East Devon Golf Club members."

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