With winter coming up, golf might not be at the forefront of most people’s mind when thinking of activities to do during these cold and miserable days. However, at Driffield Golf Club, you will find a warm welcome from all, as well as a course open all-year round (and a bar with catering facilities for those who consider that important, too!).
In particular, if you visit the Pro Shop, you will meet the Club’s ever-popular PGA Professional of 15 years, Kenton Wright, who is always willing to give you hints and tips to improve your game, or have a chat just as I found out when I went to see him last month.
Kenton, 51, has a wealth of experience, having qualified as a PGA professional back in 1986 and also helped develop two clubs in Germany. “I’ve always been involved with golf,” he told the Wolds Weekly. “Seve Ballesteros was my childhood inspiration.” “Nowadays it is Rory Mcllroy for his talent and Ian Poulter for his passion and colourful flair. “Once PGA qualified in 1986, I moved abroad and worked with two new golf clubs at Verden and Rotenburg near Bremen in northern Germany. “Golf was a developing sport to the nation and I helped introduce many new players to the game. “By 2001 both clubs had over 500 members and I’m delighted to see both clubs still thriving.”
To many, golf is seen as an exclusive game for those who are at almost elite level and can afford pricey annual memberships. Golf is a game that can be enjoyed by all, professionals and amateurs alike.
Whether you are practising for The Open, having a friendly competition with friends, or even sealing that all important business deal, you will be welcomed by Kenton and those at Driffield Golf Club. “I think that for me has to be the best thing about the club,” Kenton continued.
“It’s a way of bringing people together and golf feeds “well-being” and is perfect for those who may have previously participated in more energetic activities as you can play it at your own pace.
“Here at Driffield it’s not all about how good you are. Obviously, we do have some exceptional players here but we don’t discriminate against those who aren’t as good as others. The handicapping system allows all standards to compete equally.
“Golf can be played individually or as part of a team and can be introduced to any age category young to old, which many other sports cannot, but ideally the younger one starts, the better.
“The game has changed in many positive ways such as equipment design to help hit the golf ball further and straighter and computerised tuition technology.
“These improvements have made it much more enjoyable. At the elite level, many of the world’s best golfers are now also professional athletes. “You are outside in a beautiful environment and as well as being physically and socially active. The picturesque Driffield club is a wonderful place to spend time.”
Indeed, Driffield Golf Club is commonly known as “East Yorkshire’s Finest Parkland Course” and Kenton admits that it is has become much easier to join a club than it has been in the past and there are more courses nowadays, too. At Driffield, like so many other clubs, offers various membership options as well as “Pay and Play” for as little as £14 per round.
It also hosts regular competitions for its members such as monthly medals, as well as tournaments in the many different formats, such as stableford, matchplay, strokeplay and four ball better ball (pairs) and AmAm’s (teams of four).
The Club also welcomes many other golfers in the area to sample its facilities with invitational days and inter-club competitions. As a member of Driffield, preferential discounted rates are also available at many of the local courses around the East Riding. “We have very busy days on Saturdays but Tuesday is also very popular, as its Ladies Day,” said Kenton “Our biggest annual event, though, is our Driffield Golf Club Captain’s Week, where all sections of the club come together and take part in various events.”
He readily admits that it is a game where you can easily come back to if for whatever reason you have to give up the game, as he suggested to myself having previously being a junior member at the Club. “Some people do find that unfortunately they don’t have time for the game, whether that’s due to starting a family, work commitments, participating in other sport or moving away, but the misconception that playing golf may take too much time I disagree with.
“Golfers can, if they wish, just play 9 holes. One can also spend as little or as long time practising as they wish. Driffield Golf Club has a fantastic area for practice on the Kellythorpe side of the course. It has bunkers, putting greens, a 300 yard by 150 yard driving area (for which members use and collect their own balls) plus three short training holes. This is a wonderful facility for anyone wishing to learn or improve their game.” Golf is clearly in the Wright blood, as Kenton’s brother, Stretton, is also a PGA qualified professional at Hornsea Golf Club.
Having been involved with golf most of his life, it comes as no surprise that Kenton’s most memorable day came whilst playing the game he loves. It came about all for a great cause, where he and three friends played four rounds of golf on four different golf courses in one day, Driffield, Flamborough, Bridlington Belvedere and Ganton, raising over £3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. “This took place in mid-June 2014 with a 4.30am start and finally completing the challenge at 8.00pm,” recalled Kenton. “I had recently lost a relative to cancer and a friend had lost his wife. “I am fortunate to know many people and they were happy to support the effort. Just a few weeks earlier I also ran the Hull 10K and raised £500 for the Meningitis Now charity.”
Despite being a professional golfer, he also finds time to follow and enjoy other sports, with his favourites outside of golf being swimming and rugby league, supporting Hull FC. He also confesses to supporting all the local Driffield teams, as well as being a football fan of both Hull City and Liverpool.