95-year-old Allchurch hits first shot as new £3m Cathedral Course opens
WAR veteran Bill Allchurch has described hitting the first shot on his home club Ramside Hall’s new course as ‘an honour’.
The 95-year-old from Brandon in County Durham, who was a paratrooper on D-Day during World War II, has been a lifelong golf fanatic and said he was delighted to be asked to strike the first shot at the new club’s Cathedral Course.
His wife Joyce, 81, also teed off to officially open the course for the ladies. They have played golf for a combined 119 years after taking it up when Bill left the army in 1954.
‘I’ve loved golf my entire life and I’m convinced it’s helped me live so long,” said Allchurch, an honorary member at Ramside Hall, along with Joyce and former Newcastle United managers Kevin Keegan and the late Sir Bobby Robson.
“Ramside is my golfing home and I’ve been so excited to see this new course open and what an honour it was to hit the first shot.”
The opening of the new Cathedral Course is the first phase of a £15m development at Ramside Hall which will see a luxury spa, health club, gymnasium and swimming pool, as well as 47 new hotel bedrooms open next spring.
Helen Roseberry, the club’s director of golf, said: “Bill Allchurch and his wife Joyce are loved by everyone here at Ramside and we could not think of a more fitting person to open our new course than Bill.
“They were the first members to join when we opened in 1995 and, until recently, Bill was still taking golf lessons, playing three or four times a week and trying to improve his swing all the time.
“He was still caddying for members of the club’s league team every Tuesday night right up until his 90th birthday.”