stoke rochford golf club seniors online


Miscellaneous Snippets or
Walt & Joe's page

When Stoke Seniors Online was launched in June 2001 this page was devoted to the exploits of Walt & Joe, two of Stoke Seniors more colourful characters.  Since then other snippets and incidents have been added to this golfing miscellany. Sadly Walt passed away in August 2012 and Joe in June 2020 this page is dedicated to their memory.

The John Wright Cup

The Seniors 2022/23 season kicked off with the annual Captain (Mike Nixon) Team versus Vice Captain (Glyn Staines) Team match play with a new trophy at  stake, the John Wright Cup, in recognition for John's 22 years as Seniors Secretary. The match, as always, was hard fought with the Vice Captain's Team coming out on top by 6 matches to 4. Prizes were awarded for nearest the pin on 12 to Don Werner, longest drive on 6 Steve Anderson, and nearest the pin on 18 in 3 shots Darrell Knight, as well as a couple of other "novelty" awards nearest the Captains Drive on the 1st also Don Werner and ball lost in the pond on 7 Barry Mitchell. John had also kindly donated "a wee dram" at the halfway house for those in need of help for the back nine.   GS



The 1000th Match
On 28th June 2021 Stoke Rochford Seniors celebrated their 1000th inter club match since formation in 1986, their first match also being against Radcliffe on Trent.  It was touch and go whether the match was played due to the heavy rain which cointinued throughout the day. Despite conditions the match did go ahead and forty hardy seniors ventured out onto the course which was in excellent condition.  The match was enjoyed by all with plenty of good humoured banter.  Stoke won 8 - 2 and the Friendship Trophy played for each time the two teams meet was presented to Captain Mike Thornton by the Radcliffe Captain Brian Stone.

Joe Lindley Trophy
At the 1000th match Tim & Lucy Lindley on behalf of their family, presented to the Stoke Rochford Seniors tthe Joe Lindley Trophy in memory of Tim's  father Joe Lindley.  Joe had been Seniors Captain in 1988 and 1993 and was a prominent and popular member of the section for 30 years having been the last surviving link with the first season in 1986.  The Trophy will be presented each year to the best score in the annual Poppy Appeal competition by a member of the Seniors Section who has competed in at least six seniors competitions during the year, and for 2020 the winner was Mike Thornton.

BRIAN WHITE - In December 2019 Brian became the first Stoke Senior in over 30 years to hold five trophies at the same time having won the Winter Warmers, Seniors Trophy, Autumn Cup, Matchplay Singles Knockout and the Walker Cup.
DICK BAGSHAW -  On 5th March 2003 when he won the Winter Warmers he was already the holder of the Winter League, Singles Knock Out and Pairs Knock Out.  The first time anyone held four titles at the same time.  A record equaled by Alan Dolby in September 2006 when he held Winter Warmers, Winter League, Autumn Cup & Singles Knock Out titles and eventually surpassed by Brian White in 2019.
MAL PHILLIPS - for twenty years the 'Jack Nicklaus' of Stoke Rochford Seniors.
Trophy winner 3 times, Autumn Cup winner three times, Knock Out Champion twice and  Winter League twice, a total of ten titles spread over twenty years from 1989 to 2009. Mal's latest achievement was to win the Lincolnshire Seniors Poppy Finals at Woodhall Spa in November 2010. Mal retired from playing golf in 2017.

ALAN DOLBY - surpassed even Mal Phillips as the most prolific trophy winner ever with Stoke Seniors.  His winning spree started in 2004 and his sixteen wins comprise Winter League Champions twice  Singles Knock Out, Walker Cup three times, Autumn Cup three times and Winter Warmers seven times.   
Joe Lindley  

Joe  informed us in  May 2018 that he had resigned from the club as he was no longer playing due to age and infirmity.  Joe played for Stoke Seniors from its first season in 1986, was Seniors Captain in 1989 and again in 1993.  Joe was the thread that ran through Stoke Seniors from when they were formed until 2018. This page is devoted to him and the late Walt Barber. Joe sadly passed away in June 2020

Farewell to Two Stoke Seniors Stalwarts - In March 2018 we bade farewell to two Stoke Seniors who had played a very influential part in the activities of the section over many years.  Both moved to a club nearer to their homes.
Tim Haward joined Stoke Seniors in 2002, was a mamber of the Seniors Committee for thirteen years until 2018, was Seniors Captain in 2010, assistant treasurer from 2007 to 2010 and Treasurer for seven years from 2011.  Tim was Stoke Seniors Open organiser for five years from 2005 to 2009 and organised the Poppy Appeal competition for seven years.
Malcolm Edwards was a member of the Seniors Committee for six years from 2010 and organised the Seniors Open Championship for five years from 2010 to 2014, he was for a time also a member of the club management committee.  They had both made a great contribution to the Section and to the Club.  In February 2020 Malcolm returned to live in the Grantham and rejoined Stoke Seniors.



Tim & Malcolm



20 Years of Winter Warmers - Below is a copy of the first Winter Warmers poster from its first year 1998.  The competition on the 3rd January 2018 marked the 20th Anniversary and little had changed, except the fee which was 50p per week. On that first day on 7th January 1998 there were only fifteen players, the second week attracted 28 and the third 32.  Gradually number built up and by 2018 at least 50 players each week was common. The most in any week was on 10th December 2008 with 63 players and 61 the following week.  Winner overall in the first year was John Smeeton who repeated the win in 2001.  Brian White had been champion twice but the outstanding winner over the years was Alan Dolby with six overall series victories since his first in 2006.  There were 327 rounds in the 20 years..

Christmas Lunch & Prize Presentation 2017

On Wednesday 20th December 2017 Stoke Seniors introduced a new format for the annual prize presentation.  A gathering of eighty, Seniors, wives, ladies and past Seniors enjoyed a festive Christmas buffet lunch in the clubhouse.  Seniors Captain Jim Price and Vice Captain Brian White presented the prizes. Jim spoke welcoming all to the lunch and made particular mention of past Seniors Captain Joe Lindley, the only surviving member of Seniors first season in 1986; of past Seniors Captain, Secretary and Treasurer Dennis Whight, now 90 years,, and the many other past members present.  Past Club Captain, house chairman and seniors captain Joe Kime thanked the Section on behalf of past members and kept the gathering entertained in his usual witty manner.

On 1st June 2016 Stoke celebrated the 30th Anniversary of their first ever match by holding a joint AmAm competition with Radcliffe on Trent Seniors.  72 played and prizes were presented by 88 year old Joe Lindley, the only surviving Stoke Senior from that first match in 1986.  At the end of the event the Radcliffe Captain presented Graham Manton the Stoke Captain with an engraved 'Friendship' plate for future competition between the two clubs.

Stoke Seniors celebrated their 800th inter club match on Monday 9th September 2013 when Seniors Captain Mick Rance took his team to Spalding and halved the match 4 - 4.

Tim Haward, Greg Ewart, Mike Nixon, Graham Manton, Mike Dickinson, David Hamilton, Mick Rance, Mike Graves, Brian White, Ken Taylor, Don Werner, Brian Ayto, Trevor Harvey, Barry Coop, Ernie Armstrong & Charles Donnison.



Its not all golf !!!! for the past ten years or so Stoke Seniors volunteers have manned the Halfway House for all home matches and for the weekly competitions throughout the autumn, winter and spring.

"Recently the two duty seniors decided to provide the Ladies who were following the 08.15 starters with a nice feminine welcome. So instead of the normal 'seniors' mugs, cups and saucers were laid out, (despite twice the washing up per recipient of beverage!), and a pot of tea made ready under a tea cosy (tea towel). The brewer of the tea even warmed the pot before the water hit the teabag. 

The first lady to be served did not look terribly impressed by this display of gentility, even more so, when an earwig swam out of the spout and did a lap of honour, Becky Addlington style, round the surface of the tea.  Ah well, you can't win them all!"

25th ANNIVERSARY - On 6th June 2011 Stoke Seniors celebrated the 25th Anniversary of their first match in 1986.  A total of Ninety five competitors made up of Stoke Seniors, guests from twenty clubs, club committee, lady's section representatives and Vice presidents played an Am-Am competition followed by a buffet lunch.  Joe Lindley was one of the players and the only remaining member of that first match team.


Dennis Whight retired as Stoke Rochford Seniors Treasurer at the AGM on 19 Jan 2011 after eight years in the post.  Prior to that Dennis had been Stoke Rochford Seniors Secretary for eight years from 1993 until 2001.


Senior Moments - we all have them but !!! 

Joe Lindley always seems to be able to go one better !!   Joe loaded his car to go to Stoke to play a Winter League match.  He keeps his clubs next to the vacuum cleaner in his garage.  When he checked his boot before driving off from home he found he had put the vacuum cleaner into the boot instead of his clubs.  


Nov 2010 

Another Unbeaten Home run - whilst it pales against the famous 52 match unbeaten home run of 2003/2006 - Stoke Seniors went from 27 May 2009 until 15 Sept 2010 unbeaten at home for 30 matches, no mean achievement.
Walt & Joe - things seem to happen when Walt & Joe are involved.  Recently Walt and Joe have taken to sharing a buggy, sharing sandwiches and coffee and hitting a few golf balls around the course, but we're not sure if they are bothering to keep score.  Last week Walt borrowed Joe's Cobra Driver and acting on Joe's instructions, after the round left it on Joe's car roof rack.  Need we add any more - the driver was last seen bouncing along the southbound carriageway of the A.1 road and under the wheels of a white van.  Here is a picture of Walt & Joe with a new driver he is testing.
(September 2010)
Holiday Mood !! - One of our senior golfers drew the attention of his wife to an advert on this website for a Spanish holiday destination.  (For the sake of privacy and anonymity we shall call her Mrs. Smith of Bourne.)  Her husband suggested they might like to try it -'Certainly not !' she said 'Its next to a golf course!!' (Dec 2009)
Captain in the halfway house to the player just arriving through the door "Are you the penultimate group ?" Player replies   -"No, there is another group behind us !!" (Jan 08)

Stoke Seniors - Famous or Infamous??
Fred Bellingall kindly drew our attention to the website and if one follows the links to Lincolnshire and then Stoke Rochford you will find the following description
"Stoke Rochford is one of the most picturesque golf courses in the Lincolnshire area. Common features include huge, colourful trees which seem to change colour with every passing day, well-maintained rolling fairways, pure white bunkers and, of course, outstanding views from almost every hole on the course. Designed by Major Hotchkin, Stoke Rochford is a mature course built in rolling parkland. The modern clubhouse is complete with all the necessary facilities and will house many a cherry golfing party. The pro-shop is fully equipped and can provide trolley and buggy hire. The club is home to the infamous Stoke Rochford Golf Club Seniors."

Our dictionary describes infamous as being famous for something bad. I wonder how  we earned that reputation.

52 Match Plate 

Stoke Seniors lost at home to Burghley Park on 30th April 2003, little did the team believe that their next home defeat would be over three years and 52 matches later.  The long unbeaten run comprised 51 wins and one half and ended on 8th June 2006 when Oundle won 4½-3½.   Commencing in 2007 to commemorate the 52 match run and Oundle ending it, the two teams play annually for the '52 Match Plate' on a two leg aggregate score basis.

Historic Day for Stoke Seniors   3rd May 2006 went down down in the history of Stoke Seniors as a red letter day - for the first time they played two matches on the same day and by winning against Kettering took their unbeaten home run to 50 matches.  Defeated by Burghley Park on 30th April 2003, Stoke Seniors next 50 matches comprised 49 wins and one halved match against Leicestershire in July 2004.   71 Stoke Seniors played in at least one match of the 50.
20th  Anniversary Competition  On Monday 24th April 2006 56 Stoke Seniors and 44 invited guests played an AmAm competition to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Stoke Seniors first ever match first match against Radcliffe Seniors on 20th April 1986.  Three players who appeared for Stoke in that first match participated (Ken Weatherhogg, Joe Lindley & Peter Galbraith) along with two others (Bill Hendrey & Bob Lemmon) who joined very shortly afterwards.  The Club Chairman Dick Skelton, Lady Captain Judith Childs, other officers of the club and guests from 19 other clubs took part.
Philip Varley, Stoke Seniors captain in 2005, proved to be 'captain extraordinaire' -  for a variety of reasons he stood is as captain on eighteen occasions during his vice-captains year in 2004.  His first  was away at Rutland County when his side won to end a run of 19 consecutive away defeats.  At that time Stoke had a home record of 14 consecutive wins. During his captains year in 2005 he captained the side on another thirty two occasions making a total of fifty in the two years.  2005 was Stoke's best ever if one goes by results, 25 wins 11 defeats and the unbeaten home record standing at 47 at the year end. Philip did reveal that he was very well entertained at many venues, none less than at one club when at the end of the evening he asked if the lady in an exhibited photograph was their lady captain only for an almost equally intoxicated captain to inform him that, no,  it was a photograph of the Queen.

Some bother too much about dress at the golf club - but not all - this is the footwear of one of our regular members just going out to play  - he assures us he has another identical pair at home.

Cull 1.        One of our friends from Oundle having visited the website sent us this e-mail- "Incidentally, I see your course is closed for "shooting" on 23 Jan. Is this a cull to control the Seniors` population? The Oundle Committee is planning something similar here as we`re 'breeding' faster than any other section!"

Cull 2.      The Secretary of one of the larger Seniors Sections discussing a forthcoming fixture at Stoke said "Stoke is one of our most popular fixtures, most of the members want to play there but some don't put down for it as they think the course is too hilly, however, we make them play as we consider it our annual cull."

500th Match.
Stoke Seniors played their 500th match on  3rd October 2005 when they entertained Market Harborough for the first time.  The first match was against Radcliffe on Trent on  2nd April 1986.  Results over those 500 matches are won 247 halved 52  lost 193 and 8 results are unknown. Appearing in the 499th match against Lincoln (Torksey) were three players who have played regularly for Stoke Seniors throughout the 20 years.


Bill Hendrey, Joe Lindley & Ken Weatherhogg
Stoke Seniors throughout the 500 matches.

 Senior Moments.     1. Wilf Stephenson received an urgent call from AH (past captain) asking him to sub for him in the match at Stanton as AH had overslept and wasn't likely to make the tee time.  Wilf duly obliged only to find that on arriving at Stanton Stoke had a full team - apparently AH was never in the team. 

2. Joe left home at Oakham to play in a Seniors Open.  When he arrived at Newark G.C. (40 miles north) he discovered that the Open wasn't there but at Radcliffe on Trent -(15 miles south).  When he eventually reached Radcliffe he found to his dismay that he had taken his kit from his car and left it outside the clubhouse at Newark !!

Hole in one for Harry Gregory 89 years old!  Harry Gregory had his first hole in one on 31st March 2005, 19 days short of his 90th birthday whilst playing the 12th hole at Stoke Rochford.  An elated Harry  said "I've been using a seven iron on the 12th hole recently but I was a bit stiff today so I took a five iron and the ball hit the flag and went straight in. "

The Grantham Journal of 25th September 1998  featured Harry then 83 years old.  It was reported that  his ambition was to hole in one, at that time he said he refused to consider his age a handicap because he had heard of a chap of 90 getting a hole in one.

Harry passed away in 2013 aged 98 years.

Mrs Smith of Bourne, no doubt tired of her husbands habits has asked if we will place the following advert on our website:-
WANTED - GOOD WOMAN - Must be able to clean, cook, sew and find lost golf balls.  Must have golf cart and trailer.  Please send picture of golf cart and trailer.[17 Oct 2004]
"Last year all four golf majors produced first time winners, and the 2004 season has continued in that vein with never-say-die Phil Mickelson at last winning one, fending off Ernie Els to win the Masters at the weekend. Putting this 'eventually' trend on a local course, Stoke Rochford Seniors ended a run of 19 consecutive away defeats to beat Rutland County, the first time they have tasted success away from home since August 2002" -
(Grantham Journal Sports Editorial of Friday 16th April 2004)

Ken Weatherhogg was one of the eleven Stoke Rochford members who met in 1985 and formed the Seniors Section. He was treasurer of the section for fourteen years from 1989 until 2003. The last of the eleven original members Ken passed away in 2009.

Overheard on first tee as two Stoke Seniors are drawing for honour.
First Senior holding out his clenched fist hiding his ball - " Titelist two, odd or even ??"
Second Stoke Senior replied "Odd !!"
One Wednesday morning a group of Seniors were in the clubhouse drinking coffee whilst waiting to go out in the second half of the draw, when the subject happily got around to the recent reports about euthanasia being legal in Switzerland. Suddenly Joe joined in - "Thats it, thats it!!" he exclaimed, "I wondered why Kath kept saying 'we've got a spare week, why don't we go to Switzerland!'." ..................(Stoke Rochford 23 Jan 2003)
Golfing Proverbs recently overheard -
1. A ball on the green is worth two in the bush
2. There's many a slip twixt tee and cup !
Heard on the tee - Knowledgeable Senior Golfer "I've given up using my driver because I've decided that straight is better than long, that is unless it is straight and long!!!"
Arriving on the Tee - First Senior - "I've got a Pacemaker!"
Second Senior replies - "Oh, I've got a Pinnacle 2"
We have Seniors golf for the over 55's; Super Seniors for over 65's and now Super Super Seniors golf for the over 75's which is a wonderful game where you play three holes and anyone who can remember the score is the winner" - (Gary Player 2000)
"Keep your money in your pocket, I'll pay, its my round" - (Well known Stoke Senior)


MAURICE PUGH - Brought fame to himself and Stoke Rochford Seniors when he achieved his seventh hole in one on the same hole, the 12th at Stoke - on February 26th 2001. He was featured in the Daily Press, on Television and turned down the offer of appearing on GMTV. He apparently received a phone call from an Australian reporter who interviewed him live on Australian radio.

Walt & Les are the two of the Stoke Seniors who are known to hit a long ball, they regularly drive the par 4 11th hole from tee to green. They have been drawn to play together in the pairs knock out. When he saw he was due to meet them in the next round Joe was heard to say "We're playing Cannon & Ball next" -(Joe 2001)
"I've forgotten my change of clothes, is it alright to go in for the meal like this?" - (Joe to Seniors Captain 1998,1999,2000,2001,2002,2004, 2007, 2010)-

The pot calling the kettle black - Joe to Seniors Captain 2005 -"Oh dear - Adrian has forgotten his change !!"

"Are you sure I'm not in the team, its in my diary?" (Joe to Seniors Captain having turned up to play at Leicestershire GC - May 2011)

Late in the round the Stoke pair were one up facing an 18 inch put to halve the hole.
First Stanton opponent "Shall we give him that put?"
Second Stanton opponent (Scotsman) "Och no, let him knock it in, it'll no take him a second!"


Joe with tee peg behind his right ear and pencil behind his left ear explained that he got into this habit when as a young man he was working as a carpenter and to forget your pencil meant going down the ladder to fetch it. He added "Once when I came out of the shower I still had a cigarette behind my ear!"

Walt was in discussion with his Winter League partner about improving his putting.
Walt -"I've read where some pro's imagine a bucket and putt for that"
Partner -"I think you'd stand more chance if you imagined a dustbin lid"
Walt -"How about if I imagined a skip!"
On 21st February 2001 whilst playing a Winter league semi-final against Walt & John, Maurice Pugh achieved what is believed to be a record by getting his seventh hole in one on the same hole - the 12th. This was Walt & John's tenth winter league match, Walt had teed off first on each of the 173 holes they had played together.
After Maurice scored the hole in one he said "Are you two going to have a go for the half"
Walt replied "Shall we change over now John, do you want to go first!?"
At Stoke Seniors Annual General Meeting in 1997 following a recommendation by the club committee it was proposed to introduce the club colours - red - for sweaters to be worn for seniors matches. There was some discussion during which one member said "I wish you'd make up your minds I've only had the yellow one eight years."
Joe was heard to add "I'm not keen, that shade of red doesn't suit me!"
A few years ago Walt drove off the 7th tee and accidentally hit Bill quite badly on the wrist. Sometime later Bill was playing in front of Walt and pointed out to Walt that he was wearing a red hat so that he could be seen. Partway through the game when they came close to each other Walt asked Bill if he would mind walking in the middle of the fairway. Returning to the tee he told his playing partners what he had done adding "I'm better with a human target."

Some weeks later Bill was playing behind Walt when Walt's ball struck a tree, ricoched and narrowly missed Bill.
Bill to Walt "Your ball nearly hit me then"
Walt "I shouted fore"
Bill "I thought I was safe playing behind you"