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Long service recognition for Burghley Park Golf Club's Mollie and Brian Plowright

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A remarkable achievement by two of its longest-standing members was celebrated with a special competition at Burghley Park.

The event was held to honour the contributions of Mollie and Brian Plowright who between them have notched up nearly 103 years of playing at the Stamford club.

Brian joined Burghley in 1965, playing off a handicap of 16, and at his peak he was regularly winning competitions both home and away, including opens, and soon got his handicap down to seven.

Mollie and Brian Plowright. (42412418)
Mollie and Brian Plowright. (42412418)

Amazingly, although he will be 86-years-old in a few days’ time, he currently still plays two or three times a week off his original handicap of 16 and is extremely competitive.

His wife Mollie joined in 1972 and she also still plays a mean game.

Mollie was ladies’ captain in 1977 while Brian unusually first took on the role of seniors’ captain in 2002 before he stepped up to be club captain in 2008.

Their huge experience makes them an excellent source of interesting and amusing anecdotes.

Brian began playing at a time when there were very few trees on the course and no water or bunkers while sheep grazed the fairways, being kept from the greens by small electric fences.

He also played with people who recalled even earlier in the club’s history when it was only a nine-hole course, cattle roamed freely, and barbed wire was a particularly challenging hazard.

Mark James was only a junior when he joined and, in Brian’s opinion, he is definitely the best player the club has produced

However, he recalled how there were several excellent young players around at the same time, known collectively as the Burghley Boys, including one Richard Palmer who went on to be captain of the Cambridge University golf team.

Current seniors captain Mike Marriott was keen to pay tribute to Mollie and Brian.

David Pennell and Mike Marriott present centurions Mollie and Brian Plowright with their commemorative gifts.
David Pennell and Mike Marriott present centurions Mollie and Brian Plowright with their commemorative gifts.

He said: “Marilyn and I are relatively new members, having joined Burghley three years ago.

“The members at Burghley have been very welcoming to us, but particularly Mollie and Brian.

“Brian is famous for his Burghley stories and his jokes. His long membership means he has many a story to tell.

“He still plays a good game of golf off a decent handicap and is always a useful partner in senior team matches.

“Mollie likewise has been helpful and supportive to us and joins in everything that’s going on.

“She won the ‘nearest the pin’ prize in our recent Captains’ Weekend competition, reminding us she can still hit a good ball and still plays off a remarkable 21 handicap.

“It’s obviously been a difficult year for current golf captains everywhere, so it’s been a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to set up a competition to celebrate Mollie and Brian’s fantastic achievement.”

The mixed nine-hole greensomes competition held in their honour was won by Alan and Maggie Kinch with 23 points, just pipping Gill Bedford and Dave Tilley who had 22. Mollie and Brian posted a very respectable mid-table 15.

After the competition ended, ladies captain Kay Hircock spoke movingly of Mollie and Brian’s time at the club. Brian responded with some reminiscences of their time at Burghley and of the good times and good friends they had made.

Club captain Richard James was also in attendance as well as more than 100 members of the seniors section.

Formalities were completed when David Pennell, on behalf of the Burghley Estate, presented Mollie and Brian with a specially engraved carriage clock while the golf club staff presented them with a celebration cake and a bottle of bubbly.

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