It was a case of seventh time lucky for proud Penrith Golf Club captain Barry Rogers after his much delayed drive-in finally went ahead after six previous call-offs.
Barry first took on the prestigious role at December’s annual meeting after a spell as vice-captain. But his scheduled drive-in — the formal act of becoming captain — from the club’s first tee two days later was postponed due to bad weather.
And that proved an ominous hint of things to come as five further attempts were organised but then halted due to the elements and, latterly, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus closed the club and stopped all play until mid-May, when games at Penrith returned 130 years to the very day that the course had been formed.
Several weeks later 72-year-old Barry, who plays off a handicap of 13, was voted in to serve another year in office.
And on Sunday morning, when his big drive-in moment finally arrived, he did not disappoint with a tee shot measuring 190 yards which was despatched confidently down the middle of the first fairway.
“I was beginning to wonder whether it would ever happen,” Barry told the Herald. “I don’t think anyone has hadmore than four attempts in the past, so me getting to five, six and seven attempts I was thinking ‘blimey, this is getting to be a nightmare!’.”
Barry had actually risen at 5-45am on Sunday to prepare refreshments which he helped to serve — along with his wife, Moira, and lady captain Gail Gravett — to more than 130 players taking part in the Vice-President’s Trophy.
His mid-morning tee shot also began his involvement in the tournament and he recalled: “I wasn’t nervous.”
It was a good day all round with donations totalling £145 also being made in aid of his captain’s charity — the Penrith-based BEEP fund.