ASHDOWN MEMBERS MAY have noticed a rare sight of late. Both course manager, Chris Mitchell, and his cousin Dave have been seen regularly hitting balls in the club’s new practice net and on the pro-shop simulator. And their intensive sessions are shortly to be put to the test.
This year is the 300th anniversary of the Royal Regiment of Artillery and the climax of the celebrations is an inspection by the regiment’s Captain General, Her Majesty The Queen. In the month running up to the inspection activities involving close links to the Regiment will be undertaken and one of those is a game of golf at Walton Heath on May the 4th.
So what has all this got to do with the Mitchell family you may rightly ask? The answer is that a certain Abe Mitchell was a member of the Royal Artillery during the Great War which he miraculously survived. As most Ashdown members know Abe is immortalised by having his figurine mounted on top of the Ryder Cup.
The Royal Artillery has decided to have a celebratory golf match at Walton Heath because it was a former Ryder Cup venue and wants to include any current golfing members from the Mitchell family. Chris and Dave have been invited to join a Royal Artillery Golf Society (RAGS) Chairman’s team to compete against a Walton Heath club side, a RAGS President’s team and four young serving members of the Regiment. Hence all the intense practice for the two Mitchells.
‘As I have not hit a golf ball for two years, there is a lot of work to do,’ says Chris Mitchell who has yet to decide precisely what handicap he and his cousin should be playing off. Mid twenties seems favourite at the moment, ‘But the biggest handicap I am finding is simply getting club on ball,’ adds Chris.
We should wish Chris and Dave all good luck and May the 4th be with them.