Spotlight on Paul Speakman, CMC member

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

Started golf on Pitch & putt courses with my dad and younger brothers when I was young and played my first “big” course when I was about 17. However, did not join a golf club until many years later having played lots of other sports when I was younger, mainly League Snooker, Pool, Tennis & Table Tennis, but mixed in with Cricket, Football and Orienteering.


Joined Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club in 1996, a classic links course which explains a lot of my chip and run shorts round the greens. Joined Workington Golf Club in 2005 after moving house in Cumbria and then moved to Newark 4 years ago after re-locating to the area following retirement


Favourite course played and why?

Have many favourites that I would love to play again and to narrow it down is difficult


If I was to pick one from abroad then I would choose Les Bordes in France. Not a course available now as has gone into exclusive Private Club status, but the course was magnificent through an old hunting forest with lots of trees, water and really good greens. Currently ranked No 1 in France and if you break 80 you get your name on a board in the Clubhouse. Course Record is only 1 under par by Jean Van de Velde


If I was to choose one in the UK, for many years I loved the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa but I think that is now overtaken by Alwoodley just north of Leeds. But my old course at Silloth still ranks very highly and is a regular in the Top 50 courses in the UK


Best result as a golfer?

Probably winning the Mens Singles Competition at Workington a few years ago. 4 Down after 5 holes and coming back to win 2&1 in the Final


But have also had some good wins with a Golf Company I used to go away regularly with called Greencard. 4 Round Stableford Competitions at some of the best courses in the UK and Europe. Wins at Saunton Sands in Devon, Silloth on Cumbria (was my home course at the time so did have a big advantage) and an event that covered Moortown, Alwoodley, Pannal and Harrogate in Yorkshire


Biggest tournament you’ve attended or played in?

Playing Golf with Greencard I qualified for their finals on a few occasions and went free of charge for a weeks’ golf to La Manga in Spain and Quinta da Lago in Portugal


Most memorable moment on the golf course?

Have only had one hole in one and that was at Newark on the 17th 2 years ago, although have come close many times hitting the pin on 4 occasions but the ball not dropping.


However, 2 other moments come to mind. One I can only claim a share in. At Silloth they used to hold a Club Greensomes Knockout and playing a Quarter Final our opponents were on the Par 5 5thGreen in 2 when my partner holed out for an Albatross 2


The other occasion was at Les Bordes on the 1st hole 375 Yard Par 4 (438 Yards from the back tees), with an island green completely surrounded by sand. Had birdied the hole on the first 3 days and commented on it to my playing partners in the Final Round. However, I missed the green with my 2nd shot and one of my partners commented that I would do well to get a birdie this time, and I promptly chipped in from the side of the green over the bunker.


Funniest thing you’ve seen on the golf course?

Playing at Slaley Hall many years ago in a strong wind there was a Par 5 over the hill with water waiting to the left over the hill. The wind was playing straight behind but one of my playing partners hit it slightly left. When we got over the hill no sign of his ball so we were all looking along the water’s edge for his ball and after a couple of minutes found it a bit further along that we thought. We all turned around to collect our trolleys but one was missing. All we could see was the handle sticking up above the water where the wind had blown the trolley, bag and all into the lake. On trying to get it out that battery came off and the owner of the trolley had to wade in and recover it.


Favourite player and why?

It has got to be Seve. His character and his imagination round the golf course make him stand out above everyone else I have seen


Away from golf … other hobbies and pastimes?

How my main hobby outside Golf is Family History. Have done my own tree as far as I can although I keep re-visiting as more becomes available on-line. Between myself and my wife Carol, we have also done about 20 Family Trees for other people including some at the Golf Club.


If there is anyone out there interested in having their own tree done then we are happy to do it for them. We only ask for costs to be covered (normally about £25) but if anyone thinks that it is worth more then I am sure the Captains Charity would benefit from a donation. If you want it done drop me an e-mail to First Come First Served as it can take a few weeks to do it.


Favourite holiday destination and why?

Has to be somewhere with a Golf Course and probably Turkey has the best quality mix of Golf Courses, Hotels and Climate. Been there about 6 times now to different hotels and courses and enjoyed it every time.


Favourite food?

Has to be a good Sunday Roast, particularly Lamb, although I do enjoy salads during the summer months. Also having a sweet tooth, it has to be followed by a dessert.


Castaway on a desert island:

Your piece of music and why?

A big fan of the musical Les Miserables.


Your chosen book and why?

Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy, although my copy is getting a bit dog eared now as have read it several times.


Your luxury item and why?

A Beer Fridge to keep my Cider cold, whilst reading my book, listening to my music and waiting for the rescue to come.


Something about you that is unusual?

For many years I was very active with the Air Cadets having joined as a Cadet when I was 13 to eventually being responsible for 5 squadrons in Cumbria and also the Physical Education Officer for Cumbria and North Lancashire, organising and travelling to events all over the North of England. I retired as a Squadron Leader about 8 years ago.


It was whilst a Cadet that I was awarded a Scholarship with the RAF to learn how to fly at their expense and became a Qualified Private Pilot at the age of 17 and was qualified to fly a plane before I passed my (Car) Driving Test.


I also gained a big interest in Hill Walking and qualified as a Mountain Leader in 1989 to take groups out onto the high hills and also became a Gold Award Expedition Assessor with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.