STEVE Asquith’s captaincy at Saddleworth Golf Club has been extended for a further 12 months due to Covid-19, with Dave Newman remaining as vice-captain.
As 2020 was a year disrupted by Covid-19, all four of Oldham’s golf clubs have doubled the traditional one-year term of office.
“Golf is very socially orientated and I missed out on all those events which was disappointing,” explained the 51-year-old from Diggle.
“But in-between lockdowns we managed to hold three of our majors and my charity day which raised more than £1,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.”
With outdoor sport given the go-ahead to return on March 29, Steve and the women and junior captains will be holding their traditional drive-ins to mark the official start to the season on Saturday, April 3.
“It will be different to last year when I held it in my garden. Hopefully this time I will be on the first tee,” he remarked.
The Oldham clubs traditionally hold captain’s invitational events in April but, because lockdown restrictions are still in place, they are likely to be rescheduled post July.
Steve, whose handicap is six having been as low as three, added Saddleworth has managed to “keep our heads above water” during the pandemic.
They have lost green fees, revenue from visiting individuals and societies as well as from social functions in the clubhouse.
But on a positive note Saddleworth, along with most clubs, have attracted many new members and have a waiting list for the first time in many years.
Steve attributed the decline in membership due to golfers becoming more “nomadic” in recent times as they preferred to play at different clubs.
“That door was shut because of Covid, and the only way was for golfers to join a club,” he explained.
“It remains to be seen whether we can hold on to them post pandemic.”
Steve’s association with Saddleworth spans more than 40 years as he joined the club as a 10-year-old.
He has previously been the club’s junior organiser and is keen to promote them as they are the future of the club.
It is very much a family affair as wife Michelle is also a golfer who works in the professional’s shop at the Ladcastle club while their six-year-old son Oscar is also a member.
Steve, who was raised in Uppermill, is a private tutor. He has previously worked in private and mainstream education.
A Liverpool football fan and keen angler, he has yet to win a major but says that is on his bucket list.