New golf captains celebrate at club that rose from the ashes

Batchwood Golf Club's captains for 2016, Bob Reitemeier and Liz Gardner-Brown

Batchwood Golf Club's captains for 2016, Bob Reitemeier and Liz Gardner-Brown - Credit: Archant

A golf club in St Albans has initiated its new captains with a traditional drive-in – just five years after a huge fire destroyed their clubhouse and almost sent them out of existence.

Batchwood Golf Club celebrated their 80th anniversary last year, a milestone which seemed unlikely after they lost everything in the blaze in 2011.

Club member Janet Ryan told the Herts Ad of the struggles the club faced and the joy at being able to celebrate their birthday.

She said: “We lost everything; the captain’s boards, the history, the photos. It all went.

“But the members really worked hard to get the new clubhouse up and running.

“To celebrate our 80th anniversary we held a barbecue and had a day of golf, which the pro joined in.

“It was a real celebration of the 80 years.”

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Having rebuilt itself from the ground up, the club are well and truly back in business.

The new clubhouse was opened in 2013 and they now boast over 200 members.

And most were present as the 2016 captains, Bob Reitemeier and Liz Gardner-Brown, performed the traditional drive-in.

Mrs Ryan said: “We were all trying to put them off but they did really well.

“Everyone was betting on how far they would hit it, and there was raffles with most of the prizes donated by the individuals in the club.”

Despite the inclement conditions, and the distractions from the galleries, Gardner-Brown drove her ball 132 yards with Reitemeier managing 181.

A stableford match, with the ladies captain and her vice taking on her male counterparts, resulted in a victory for the ladies by a single point.

The day helped to raise £873 for the Samuel Ryder Foundation, the captain’s chosen charity for this year.