DEVON GOLF CAPTAINS 1937 – 2019
Welcome to Devon Golf Captains Homepage.
The website is designed to provide information and news for all Captains, both playing and non-playing. The Club, over the last eighty one years, has provided a focus for all Devon Captains and Past Captains of affiliated Devon Golf Clubs. This unique group has provided opportunities for golf and friendships to be enjoyed with their peers, who have also experienced the honour and privilege of Captaincy within Devon. Founded in 1937 Devon Captains are the oldest County Association,preceded only by Liverpool Captains 1908 and London Captains 1911, a proud heritage!
Within the group those who wish to play, in one or more of the matches with other counties, will, after submitting their applications, be invited to play by the Captain. These matches are now some seventeen in number. Additionally Captain’s Day and President’s Day, Captain vs. Vice Captain are “in-house” on a first come first served basis.
The President – John Burrow
I was born in Exeter but after three months my parents left the UK and I spent the following 52 years abroad. My father was a Devonian born and bred. The countries I lived in were Malta, India, the Seychelles Islands, the Union of South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, Kenya and the Republic of South Africa. I read Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town. My studies were interrupted by nearly three years due to my volunteering to join H.M. Forces during WW2, I saw active service in Italy. I was demobbed and returned to university in 1946 and graduated in 1948 when I obtained employment as an irrigation engineer with the government of Southern Rhodesia.
I spent the following four years living in the bush in tented camps, my base was a small town called Fort Victoria where I spent my weekends playing everything from rugby, cricket, bowls, tennis to golf. A colleague of mine, who was a one handicap taught me golf. On one of my projects I got the men working on the project, to clear the bush for about 400 yards and construct two sand ‘greens’ one at each end. This allowed me to play “golf” every day after work.
I spent 13 years in Kenya where I had the honour of being Captain and subsequently Chairman of my club. In the last two years of my stay in Kenya I became the Hon. Secretary of the Kenya Golf Union which meant that I had to organise the Kenya Open Championship, with the help of the sponsors, the Brooke Bond tea company. During my year of captaincy at my club we had the pleasure of hosting Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, the only one filmed in Africa. It was played as a three ball and the participants were Roberto di Vicenzo, Tony Jacklin and Bert Yancey.
During my time abroad, I was privileged to play a friendly round of golf with four times Open Champion Bobby Locke, Open Champion Roberto di Vicenzo and U.S. Open Ladies Champion Carol Mann.
Since my return to England in 1978 I have had the honour of being President, Golf Captain and Board Directors of Exeter Golf and Country Club.
Although my golfing career has been very gratifying, I can safely say that the most enjoyable golf I have had, has been playing for the Devon Golf Captains, especially during my year as Captain. The friendship, support and fellowship which one enjoys is unbeatable. I was privileged to be Ted Rockey’s Vice Captain, one of nature’s gentlemen, and during my year of captaincy I was lucky to have the late Bob Ward as my Vice Captain.
To a large extent the success of the Devon Golf Captains is due to the efforts of our Hon. Secretary, Roy Smith, and our “honorary web site manager”, Malcolm Jordain.
I consider being your President as the greatest honour of all. My Club is indeed also greatly honoured this year not only because of my presidency but also due to Ben Lynch, a member of Exeter Golf & Country Club, being our Captain.
We are very pleased to acknowledge the support and sponsorship of Brittany Ferries Golf Desk.
and Golf Tee Times Service.
Please try and support our sponsors when arranging golf tours and holidays.