Roger Warren clocks up 50 years as a member of Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford
Roger Warren first strode out onto Burghley Park Golf Course back in 1972.
And despite facing flocks of sheep on the fairways and a tree growing out of the 14th, he has continued to clock up the years at the club, and is now celebrating his 50th.
A director at Perkins Diesel, Roger joined the club on the recommendation of a colleague and initially found time to play on Saturday mornings.
But since retiring in 2003, he has raised the frequency of his visits and estimates he has clocked up about 5,000 rounds on the course.
“I have managed a hole in one twice at Burghley Park - both times on the ninth - but never saw the ball go in the hole,” said the 78-year-old, who lives in Stamford.
When he retired, Roger found the loss of colleague camaraderie was plugged by friendships he made on the golf course and in the clubhouse.
And, over the years, Roger has witnessed plenty of change.
“When I first joined there were hundreds of sheep all over the course with wire to keep them off the greens,” he said.
“You had to step over the wire to take a putt and the sheep muck got everywhere.
“Alongside that, the clubhouse back then was a wooden shack and felt pretty decrepit, and there was a large tree in the middle of the 14th fairway that took some negotiating around.”
The club, founded in 1890 and now with about 600 members, was taken over in 2019 by Burghley House Preservation Trust.
Roger sees this as positive and he is full of praise for the staff and its catering team.
“The feel of the place has improved,” he said. “This, and the changes to working patterns covid brought, has altered the dynamic.
“People work more flexible hours and so we see younger people here during the week. It’s great because many of them can hit the ball 300 yards, which is pro-distance. I’m doing well if I hit it 200 yards!”
Roger’s 50-year milestone was marked at a Mexican-themed evening celebration at Burghley Park Golf Club on Friday last week, when he was presented with a framed photo of the course and a year's free membership.
About 200 members attended, with prizes given to competition winners, and further presentations to long-standing members of more than 30 years.
To play a courtesy round of golf at Burghley Park Golf Club people can visit visit www.burghleyparkgolfclub.co.uk or phone Sam Halifax on 01780 753789.