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CLUB OF THE WEEK: Broome Manor Golf Club
AS SPORT in this country has proved time and again, elite success breeds enthusiasm at grassroots level.
Which is just the reason why officials at Broome Manor Golf Club could be forgiven for hoping that one or two more members might surface over the next few weeks.
The triumph of one of the club’s favourite sons, David Howell, at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship just over a week ago, was a hugely popular success all round Britain, but most keenly enjoyed at his home club.
And secretary Colin Beresford, 63, is positive that the victory of one of the European Tour’s most likeable characters will encourage Swindonians to take up the game.
“It’s a great time to be talking about Broome Manor on the heels of David Howell’s first success since 2006,” said Beresford.
“On that afternoon we had a mixed competition going on and the timing was perfect because afterwards everyone sat in the bar and watched David play the last three holes and the play-off holes.
“There were 40 or 50 of us in there and the atmosphere was just fantastic. It was very exciting.
“Of course David is our most famous product, but the thing we believe at Broome Manor is that it’s a great club for people who are starting out in golf.
“We have all the facilities you need with the driving range and the coaches and because of our involvement with the council, it’s actually a low cost way of starting to play.
“If you want to go off and join a pro club then you’re talking in the region of £700 or £800 minimum, but Broome Manor is a way of easing yourself into it.”
Old Town resident Beresford has been secretary at Broome for eight years but is to retire at the end of next month with the aim of improving his game and reducing a 16 handicap.
Beresford combined senior captaincy duties with the secretary’s role this year, a job he has relished performing as he has been part of a successful club.
In addition to Howell, promising golfers of the likes of Miles Mackman and Sam Matton have graced the clubhouse and a number have played their part in Wiltshire’s recent triumphs.
Being part of an upbeat operation - headed by chairman Kim Ayres who took over in August - is something that Beresford cannot help but enjoy.
“It’s been good. We’ve moved the club on a bit in the last eight years and introduced a few more things such as more modern technology to help with management,” he said.
“Although it’s not many hours, it’s seven days a week because there’s always something going on.
“The vast majority of competitions that we run are at weekends for the men and women club members, but there’s an extremely active senior section which takes up a few days in the week.
“Other things happen at different times of year such as the AGM, presentations or dinner dances that you have to get ready for, but it’s good fun and nice to be involved because it has been a very successful golf club over the years.”
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