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Darrell Dymond looking forward to his year as captain of Lilley Brook Golf Club

All Areas > Sport > Golf

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Monday, 18th March 2024, 09:00

Darrell Dymond will take over as the new captain of Lilley Brook this week Darrell Dymond will take over as the new captain of Lilley Brook this week

Darrell Dymond takes over as the new captain of Lilley Brook Golf Club on Wednesday and he’s looking forward to hitting the ground running.

And it’s a good job that he is because on Sunday he’s got the Captain’s Drive-in, something which he readily admits he’s a little bit nervous about.

The 65-year-old, who plays off 15, is serving his final days as vice-captain to Denzil Brisland and he said: “I remember giving Denzil a lot of stick this time last year, I’m sure I’m going to get some back!”

Dymond reckons Brisland drove around 180 yards, so what is he hoping for?

“About 200 yards, maybe 250 if I really get hold of it,” he said.

And if he doesn’t? 

“It will be in the hotel next door,” he said with a laugh.

The Captain’s Drive-in is always a popular event and new ladies’ captain Cass Todd, new seniors’ captain Richard Browning and assistant professional Luke Gaskins will also be taking part.

Dymond, who lives in Swindon Village, has been a member of the club for nearly 30 years so knows what to expect and he added: “There’s always a lot of people watching, it should be good fun.”

It should be a fun year, too, although there will also be a serious side to the next 12 months for Dymond because he’ll be raising funds for a very good cause - the Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity Oncology Appeal.

The charity is working to raise funds to improve the facilities at Gloucestershire’s Oncology Centre with plans to transform cancer care with more comforting spaces at Cheltenham General Hospital.

It is something that is very close to Dymond’s heart.

“I lost my dad to cancer, I think most people have been touched by the disease,” he said.

Dymond’s dad Joe was a well-known cricket umpire and Dymond continued: “We’re just looking to assist in any way we can.”

Dymond has already started fundraising because he is inviting Lilley Brook members to donate £5 and guess the combined yardage of the four drives on Sunday.

There will be a prize for the winner – Dymond thinks it will be close to 600 yards – and there will be more prizes up for grabs on his big Charity Golf Day later in the year.

That will take place on Thursday 26th September and he said: “It will be a corporate day and I’m looking for 20 teams of four to enter.

“It will be a fourballs and I’m also looking for sponsors, it should be a very good day.”

Dymond, who is married to Lyn, is still a very good golfer himself and was captain as  Lilley Brook reached finals day in the Gloucestershire Golf Union’s President’s Cup last year.

“I’ve won a pairs competition at the club and also two singles titles so my name is on the honours board at Lilley Brook,” he said.

“As captain my name will also be up there as well. When I joined the club it was always my aim to get on the honours board.

“I’m quite proud of the number of times I’m on it but I want to get on it a few more times yet.”

That’s even allowing for the fact his handicap has gone backwards in recent times.

“I used to play off 10 but I’m waiting for a new knee,” he explained.

He’s still obviously enjoying his golf and back in the day the one-time Cheltenham Grammar School pupil enjoyed playing rugby and football too.

“I was one of the founder members of Brockworth Rugby Club,” he said. “I played for them for seven or eight years but I stopped playing when I got concussion.”

He didn’t stop playing sport, however, because he was a decent goalkeeper, good enough to play for Cheltenham Town Reserves, St Mark’s and Bishop’s Cleeve.

“I played a couple of first-team games for Cheltenham in pre-season,” he said. “I played with Mark Buckland, Clive Shatford and Clive Boxall.

“I played County League with St Mark’s when Jasper Cook did so much for the club and I played Hellenic League at Bishop’s Cleeve with the likes of Tim Bayliffe.

Dymond, a dad of two and grandad of three, says that rugby was always his number one sport, so when his good friend Pat Poulton suggested he go up to Old Patesians Rugby Club he didn’t really need much persuading.

“I was 32,” recalled Dymond, a second row. “I played one game for the 3rds, one game for the 2nds and then I was in the 1sts, I played until I was 42.

“Bob Redwood was the coach and I played with Clive Organ, Paul Morris, Mark Bartlett, Dave Kingscott, those sort of people.

“I played a lot with Dave Kingscott in the second row, we were the team’s enforcers, we used to call ourselves the bruise brothers!”

The 1990s was a very special time for the Pats as they climbed through the divisions and Dymond was a big part of their success.

But although he was winning games, cups and titles almost for fun, there is always one game that sticks in Dymond’s memory – and in the memories of  many of his team-mates - although it had nothing to do with what happened on the pitch.

The game in question was in Plymouth against Devonport Services, a game the Pats won.

“We had a few beers on the coach going back before stopping off at Taunton Deane Services for a toilet break,” recalled Dymond.

And that was where the drama began.

“The coach drove off without me,” he recalled. “They didn’t do a head count.”

So what did he do?

“I rang my wife but the children were young so she told me to get my head down and she’d pick me up in the morning,” he said.

But there was a snag.

“It wasn’t a 24-hour services and a member of staff told me I had to leave because they were shutting in 20 minutes,” he continued.

“He told me to go to the forecourt and see if somebody would give me a lift.”

And that’s where he got lucky.

“There was just one car there, two accountants from Uxbridge who’d been playing bridge in Taunton,” Dymond said.

“They took me all the way to the Golden Valley roundabout.”

As it happens he got back to Cheltenham at about the same time as the Pats rugby coach – they’d realised he wasn’t on the bus when they got to Gordano Services – but after surviving something like that Dymond will surely find the Captain’s Drive-in a breeze! 

Other Images

Darrell Dymond, left, with Denzil Brisland
Lilley Brook reached the finals day of the Gloucestershire Golf Union’s President’s Cup last year
The captain’s dinner is always a popular event at Lilley Brook
Old Patesians Rugby Club enjoyed great success in the 1990s

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