Spotlight on .... John Rimmer, Club Chairman

Spotlight on … John Rimmer, Club Chairman


When did you start playing and how long have you been a member at Newark?

I started playing casually in my twenties but didn't take it up properly until I joined Newark golf club in 1985 and I've been a member ever since.


Favourite course played and why?

I suppose coming from Lytham St. Annes I should say the Royal Lytham and St Anne's Golf Club. However, I only played it once and it really beat me up so the one I've chosen is the Palmeras golf club near Lagos in Portugal. It's a wonderful golf course with a magnificent 550m par 5 and it reminds me of the great times in the middle 70s when a group of my friends and I annually visited Vilamoura.


Best result as a golfer?

Apart from the odd medal here and there over the last 35 years the only annual trophy I have ever won is the Stuart MacRae which I won in my second year at Newark. In 1990 my golfing partner Michael Crossland and I won the Saab midland region qualifying tournament which entitled us to play in the international event in Cannes. Needless to say after a night in the bars and restaurants on the La Croisette we didn't cover ourselves in glory the following day.


Biggest tournament you’ve attended or played in?

I've attended all the Open Championships held at Royal Lytham and St Annes since Bob Charles beat Phil Rogers in a playoff in 1963. Having been at that play off when I visited New Zealand for a holiday a few years back people were queuing up to buy me drinks on the back of "I was there" as Sir Bob as he is now known is is hugely revered in in his home country.


Most memorable moment on the golf course?

I've only ever had one hole-in-one which was on the San Lorenzo course on the Algarve. My most memorable moment however came when I was playing golf at the Doha golf club in Qatar where I was working at the time when my son rang me to tell me that I had become a grandfather for the first time.


Funniest thing you’ve seen on the golf course?

Not so much the funniest thing for me although my playing partners found it hilarious, the most embarrassing moment of my golfing life occurred when I had been invited by a friend of mine who is a director of a golf club in Warwickshire to play with him, his club captain and his general manager. The course has a rather wide stream running across several holes and having left my approach shot purposefully short of the water proceeded to take my club from my bag which was on my electric trolley. Unfortunately, I had not turned off the trolley properly and it proceeded to take off on its own closely followed by me. Foolishly I tried to cling onto the handle as the trolley, my clubs and me headed down the steep bank into the water which was, as I discovered, every bit as deep as I thought it was. Needless to say, every time I see my friend, it gets mentioned.



Favourite player and why?

My current favourite player is Rory McIlroy. I just love his professionalism and his will to win but not at all costs. Gary Player was my first golfing hero.


Away from golf … other hobbies and pastimes?

I've always been a keen follower of sport. I used to play amateur football, rugby union and although I was not a very good cricketer I did umpire to 2nd XI county standard which gave me the opportunity to meet and and be on the same field as some of the great players many of whom were hilariously funny both on and off the pitch. I enjoy being outside and I'm very proud of the garden at my home which I have created from scratch over the past 20 years.


Favourite holiday destination and why?

We have a house in the mountains of Central Italy which I love to go to. The scenery is spectacular, and the people are very generous and down to earth. Unfortunately, we had a severe earthquake three years ago and the house was severely damaged. Fortunately, there was no loss of life, but getting the building repaired in Italy is a slow laborious and painful exercise so I'm unable to get there are at the moment. Through my work I've been fortunate to visit many places which I have enjoyed but I think my favourite destination is New Zealand. It really is the land of "four seasons in one day" and we had a great time travelling around both North and South Island in a campervan.


Favourite food?

Coming from Lancashire my favourite food has always been a Hollands meat pie. Whenever I go back to visit my relatives I always make sure I get round to the chippy for one.


Castaway on a desert island:

Your piece of music and why?

Choosing one piece of music would be a challenge for me but if I have to I would go with "Brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones. Whenever I hear it, it always makes me want to get up and dance.


Your chosen book and why?

I'm not a very avid reader but my book choice is is "Provided you don't kiss me" written by Duncan Hamilton. It's the the story of his 20 years as the chief football writer of the Nottingham Evening Post and his association with Brian Clough. it's a must for all sports fans and particularly the Nottingham Forest supporters. The best biography of any person I have read. Hamilton is also written two other brilliant biographies of Harold Larwood and George Best both of which I can thoroughly recommend.


Your luxury item and why?

I would want a DVD player so that I could binge watch the 2010 /11 Premier League which featured my beloved Blackpool Football Club.


Something about you that is unusual?

I was very surprised a few years ago to be asked to take part in the Brunei Television equivalent of the BBC's "TalkBack". I was working with the private bank of the Sultan so I  expect everyone who came into the country working in that capacity was asked to do the same so maybe it wasn't so unusual.


And finally … your ideal fourball? My three partners in my fantasy fourball would be my great friend of 50 years John Royce, Gary Player and Sir Bob Charles, for my previous reasons.