4. Leaflets Distributed with TLA

Captain’s Log – Nigel Hudson, Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club

Gloucestershire South > Sport > Golf

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 24th November 2017, 09:00, Tags: Captain's Log

From left, Stinchcombe Hill ladies’ vice-captain Bev Rees, ladies’ captain Kirsty Thomson, men’s captain Nigel Hudson and vice-captain Rod Helps From left, Stinchcombe Hill ladies’ vice-captain Bev Rees, ladies’ captain Kirsty Thomson, men’s captain Nigel Hudson and vice-captain Rod Helps

Nigel Hudson had just come down a ladder when he spoke to The Local Answer.

The self-employed builder and electrical contractor had been working on a roof all morning, and the 47-year-old has certainly been hitting the heights since taking up golf at the start of the millennium.

These days he is captain of Stinchcombe Hill – he hands over to his vice-captain Rod Helps at the club’s AGM at the end of March – and is thoroughly enjoying the role.

You get the impression that Hudson would be happy to take on the captaincy for another 12 months if he was asked although that won’t be happening.

Club tradition dictates that a captain can only hold office for a year, and there is plenty of tradition with a capital ‘T’ at Stinchcombe Hill because the club were formed as long ago as 1889.

According to this year’s county yearbook produced by the Gloucestershire Golf Union – who themselves weren’t founded until 1906 – that makes Stinchcombe Hill the oldest golf club in the county along with Minchinhampton.

Hudson is the latest in a long line of captains at the club located in the south of the county, on the southern edge of the Cotswold escarpment above the Severn Valley.

But it’s hard to believe there are many, if any, who have enjoyed their time in the role as much as him.

“It’s been absolutely brilliant,” he enthused. “I’m passionate about golf and I love the club. If you speak to most captains they’ll say what at an honour it is, but it really is.

“You get to meet new people from all over the county, and I’ve had lots of support from the members and the staff at the club. It’s been a great experience.”

He also raised around £3,000 for his chosen charity – Stroud-based Allsorts that supports children with any disability or additional need and their families – and hopes to raise another £1,000 by the end of his time as captain.

Hudson still has the best part of four months in the role, of course, and after his term of office ends you can guarantee he’ll give his successor all the support he needs when he tees off in his new job.

It’s not always been golf and more golf for Hudson, however. In his younger days he was into motorbikes in quite a big way.

“I used to do a lot of motocross,” he said. “I was into my motorsport and I was reasonably good at it. I enjoyed racing bikes. I was a member of Dursley AMCA and I’d describe myself as a good local club rider.”

So why did he stop?

“I was finding that Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays were quite painful,” he chuckled. “I realised I was too old to race bikes.”

And as with so many people who pack in an all-consuming hobby, Hudson needed to find something to take its place.

“A friend of mine, Jason Creed, was a member at Stinchcombe Hill and he said to come and play at the club,” he recalled. “I could hit a golf ball and I found I really enjoyed it.”

He was given a handicap of 24 by the club’s powers-that-be and rather like the value of sterling in recent times that figure has been dropping lower and lower.

“It took a year or so before I started clipping away at it,” he said. “After about eight years I got it down to 12 and it stayed around 11, 12, 13 for quite a few years.

“This year I’ve got it down to 10 and I still want to improve. The aim is to get down to single figures.”

You certainly wouldn’t bet against him doing it either. As with all sportspeople he has a strong competitive streak and, after winning a number of weekly Saturday club competitions over the years, he stepped up a level in 2016 when he won the club championship.

“That was my biggest win,” he said. “Before I’d come close in some of the bigger competitions but always fallen just short. I shot a nett 60 so I was really pleased with that.”

Any tournament win is no mean achievement, of course, particularly at Stinchcombe Hill which is considered by many to be one of the more challenging courses in the county.

“It’s a very old-fashioned style course,” explained Hudson. “It’s classed as a links course. Links courses are usually next to the sea but we’re on top of an escarpment. It can be very challenging when the wind gets up, the weather can make it very tricky.

“Every day is different depending on the weather, you never seem to be playing the same course two days in a row.”

And while you can face a challenge on every hole from one to 18 while out on the course, reach the 19th and you are guaranteed a warm welcome whether you are a newcomer or have been playing at the club all your life.

“There’s a lovely spirit at the club,” said Hudson, “there’s always something going on. I’m up there two or three times a week and it’s a great environment. Even after all these years the club are still going from strength to strength.”

And as the club continue to move forward, Hudson wants to remain very much hands-on.

“Golf is there to be enjoyed as long as you are physically capable,” he said. “If nothing else it’s great exercise. Even if I haven’t played well I’ve still carried the clubs on my back and walked four miles-plus.

“I regularly play with some of our senior section. They’re well into their 80s and they’re still playing two or three times a week.”

Copyright © 2021 The Local Answer Limited.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Local Answer Limited and thelocalanswer.co.uk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

More articles you may be interested in...

The Local Answer. Advertise to more people in Gloucestershire
The Local Answer. More magazines through Gloucestershire doors

© 2021 The Local Answer Limited - Registered in England and Wales - Company No. 06929408
Unit H, Churchill Industrial Estate, Churchill Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 7EG - VAT Registration No. 975613000

Privacy Policy