So you are about to become a Golf Club Captain or Golf Society Captain?


But, what exactly, does a Golf Club Captain do?

You are soon to become a Golf Club Captain or Golf Society Captain.

You probably have lots of questions.

What are the duties of a Golf Club Captain?

What does a Golf Society Captain do?

How do you construct a Golf Club Captain’s speech?

Where do you find golf related jokes?

What are the duties and obligations of a Captain?

Where do you find help?

“I’m going to play Major G tomorrow.” said a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to the old and experienced caddie that he was employing, “What sort of player is he?”

“Oh he canna play a damn,” answered the expert, “He’s nae better than yourself.”

From "Told at the 19th hole"

Here is some valuable help

There are no books or training courses. Much of it is passed on by word and mouth from previous Captains, or learned through observation.

But if you are like me you probably want it all nailed down in advance, so that you don’t need to worry about being caught short.

If you are not experienced in the role of Golf Club Captain then I hope that this section of the web site will prove to be very helpful and valuable to you.

If you are an experienced Captain then you may still find parts of it interesting and might even be inclined to share your experiences.

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Let’s begin with the Golf Club Captain’s role.

The Captain’s role will differ depending on whether you are a Golf Club Captain or Golf Society Captain  and will differ widely depending on the type of golf club that you are a member of.

The common threads for both society and golf club captains are: –

  • The Captain is normally elected by the members of the golf society or golf club
  • Usually, for a one year term
  • The Captain will normally have been elected as Vice-Captain for the previous year
  • The Captain’s role is to act as a figurehead in all matters relating to golf and social events

The duties and obligations of being Captain or your Golf Club or Society are myriad. Follow the link for more information.

How do you go about constructing and making a speech?

This is one area that fills most people with trepidation.

Many people are nervous of standing up in front of strangers and talking, or even worse standing up in front of their mates and talking.

What do you say?

Where do you start?

There are people who have had to address audiences as part of their professional working life, so they find it a bit easier, but even they get nervous.

For those who have never had this experience then it can be very daunting, and might even put some people off accepting the role of Golf Club Captain.

It can however be made easier by following a few basic steps.

You can find out how by following the link to constructing and making a golf speech.

Where do you find jokes and anecdotes to accompany your speeches

Most Golf Club Captains embroider a joke into their speeches, depending on the occasion.

If you need a supply of jokes, or you feel uncomfortable telling them, you can find help, as well as a valuable supply of golf related jokes.

Just follow the link to telling golf jokes, but please be aware that it is best read in conjunction with the advice on making golf speeches.

Does your golf club or golf society say grace before meals?

In some golf clubs or golf societies it is traditional to say grace before a meal.The Captain normally nominates the Vice-Captain or some other suitable person to say grace.

Here are some graces for you to use for when you have to say grace and need to find one quickly.

The Captain’s Drive-in

An ancient tradition

It is a long standing tradition in most golf clubs for the newly elected Captain to “drive-in”.

The tradition can be said to date back to 1754, when twenty two “Noblemen and Gentlemen, being admirers of the ancient and healthful exercise of the Golf”, banded together to present a silver golf club to be played for annually over the St Andrews links.

The competition was won by Baillie William Landale, who, as the winner, went on to become the first Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and effectively the first Golf Club Captain.

The competition was open to all golfers, as was the first golf competition at Leith, and used the same rules, with very little change.

Even though the tradition of Captain being the winner of the silver golf club disappeared many years ago, the R&A still maintain a fictitious competition for their new Captain to enter and win. He is the only competitor and drives off the first tee on the Old Course. The caddie who collects the ball is presented with a sovereign.

Still a tradition today

This is called “driving-in” and is a tradition that most other golf clubs now replicate for their newly elected Golf Club Captain.

The format of the drive-in differs from club to club, but at my club it consists of the Men’s Captain and Lady Captain driving-in on the Sunday immediately after the AGM at which they are elected to their Captain’s roles.

Members are invited to guess the combined distance of the two Captains drives. They pay a nominal entry fee and the one who guesses the nearest wins a percentage of the entry fees, with the balance being donated to the Captain’s charity.

Many members traditionally watch the drive, either by standing around the tee, or from the club-house balcony.

This was the most nerve wracking moment of my Captain’s year, and I spent a nervous half an hour on the range hitting practice balls beforehand.

Thankfully I hit a half decent drive that went 207 yards, not great but it could have been a lot worse.

My drive-in was followed by a mixed competition with meal and speeches.

Captains Day

The most important day of your Captain’s year is your Captains Day.

The format of the Captain’s Day differs from club to club, and naturally changes over time.

My club now has a Captain’s week, catering for all categories of membership. We have a Men’s Captains Day, a Ladies Captains Day, a Midweek members Captains competition, a Captains Junior Day, and a Captains presentation evening.

In recent years we have held the presentation on the evening of the day following the Men’s Captain’s Day. This thereby allows many more members to participate in the Captain’s Day competition, with members teeing off from 7 in the morning until after 5 in the afternoon .

On my Captain’s Day we had 211 members participating in the main competition.

The presentation takes place on the following day, Sunday, and is preceded by a mixed competition and a meal. This makes for a fantastic atmosphere with the clubhouse buzzing until late at night.

It is essential that the planning of this day is precise and that everyone understands their role and duties.

See all of the Captain’s Day activities and  tasks that need to be planned for.

The Captain’s Away Day

Most golf clubs have a tradition of arranging a Captain’s Away day at some point in the summer.

This is arranged at another golf club for the members of your own club to attend.

It usually consists of a golf competition followed by a dinner and prize presentation.

But it does not happen by itself, there is a lot to planning needed to ensure success.

See more about the Captain’s Away Day here.

Inter-club matches

The Golf Club Captain takes charge of all matters relating to interclub matches by choosing the teams, arranging the post match meals and agreeing the format with the opposing Captain.

The two Captain’s normally tee-off first, usually with their club professional as their partners

The home Golf Club Captain usually give the honour, on the first tee, to the visiting Captain.

Both Captains speak at the post match meal, and offer toasts to each others teams.


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For Golf Club Captains by a Golf Club Captain

First on the tee

As a Golf Club Captain, one of the benefits of your Captaincy year is that at most clubs you are entitled to the honour on the first tee.

Use it while you can, you will never have the opportunity again. But don’t forget to be gracious to your playing partners and don’t forget that the honour only exist on the first tee.

The Captain’s car parking space

Another benefit that most club’s provide for their Golf Club Captain is a reserved car parking space for the year of the Captaincy.

This is more of an honour than anything practical, but it does mean that members are aware of when you are at the club, and many members will have a chat to you when they see you parking up.

Courtesy of the Course

In the UK most golf clubs offer all Golf Club Captains, Professionals, Head Greenkeepers and Secretaries courtesy of the course.

Therefore, during your term as Golf Club Captain you are able to play many courses as you wish for free.

You only have one year as Captain to use this benefit, and you don’t have much time to use it, especially in the height of the season.

So, although it is a very nice gesture, you only really get the opportunity to use it when the season slackens off a bit towards the autumn.

Many Captains arrange to take their golfing pals for an away day, and then split the benefit of the courtesy between them.

Captain’s Apparel

Most golf clubs arrange for their clubs shirt and jumper suppliers to make them crested Captain’s apparel. This usually consists of the club’s official crest with the words Captain and the year of captaincy.

You usually require several shirts, long sleeved jumpers and short sleeved jumpers. These are then worn for all official club competitions.

Some clubs also have official Captain’s blazers with the club crest and “Captain” on the breast pocket. The Captain wears this blazer at all official events where smart attire is required.

My club do not have official blazers but have a golden medallion which is passed on from Captain to Captain and worn in the lapel.

Some older and more traditional clubs still retain the red jacket for the Captain to wear at official functions.

Captain’s Societies

There are Captain’s Societies throughout the UK, to which all golf club Captains are invited to join.

These societies consist of current and past Captains of the clubs in the area and provide an opportunity for current and past Captains to meet up with fellow Captains again.

Most counties in England have a Captains Society, with the larger counties such as Yorkshire and Lancashire having several. Yorkshire being the largest county in England, with over 190 golf clubs, has nine Captains Societies. They play very friendly but competitive matches against each other.

There are over one hundred Captains Societies in England.

eGolfShare will be providing facilities for Captains Societies to build, edit and publish their own web sites.

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