The role of County President is filled with great honour and is an “office” that is bestowed on an individual who is not only capable but has many years of experience in being an integral part of the county.
Tom Powell, a gentleman golfer from Mill Hill GC, is our current President, whose tenure is for two years. He sat down with us recently to discuss how he got into golf, his role of President, his non golfing interests and why he has gotten so much out of volunteering.
Sit back, relax and enjoy our conversation ……
- How long have you been involved in golf and a member at Mill Hill GC?
Tom – I started as a Junior, caddying – 2 Shillings and 6 pence was the going rate. Kids had paper rounds then and if you liked golf you could turn up and get a regular bag at the club as a Caddy.
Caddy’s could play at off peak for the same price. Figure that one out …. In time if you were any good (follow and find a ball and know when to speak), you might get a Regular person to caddy for, reputation grew, and advice would be given often and income increased.
At the age of 14, I was invited to join Mill Hill, 57 plus years later still here. Golf has been my main sport, but as a youngster I did play lots of sports, even as a county footballer.
Eventually golf got the nod.
- And as a volunteer / ref / board member with Middlesex?
Board member – 14 years – Have worked with 7 Presidents – started my journey with the county as club rep/ delegate, which is the perfect way to get involved.
As work allowed, 19 years ago, I played in the Seniors team, the pinnacle of my golfing career and became Team Captain
In addition, I decided to get involved as a Rules Official. Why ? I was fed up hearing wrong rulings, so thought would do the course – with Robbie, so that I could be well informed and hopefully stop players making horrendous errors. I always offer support if required.
My only gripe regarding the rules is I wish they had not changed the numbering. But in County Golf and Golf we learn to embrace progress and changes.
- Under your role as President – what do you think your role will be.
My key function will be, not looking to reinvent the wheel. As an individual you won’t enjoy your time and be of real benefit to the county. Especially in a well-run county that does not need reinventing, As with all the board members and volunteers there is no personal mission. In Middlesex we have a strong team philosophy, continuity towards shared objectives for the benefit of the county is key.
I bring vast experience. I try to attend as many events as I can in a rules capacity first and then of course as President
- Do you share tasks with the Vice President as it’s quite a full county diary?
Team effort along the way has always been our style as a board. Di Rowlands has been the most supportive board member and now is our VP, plus England Golf Rep, which so suits her conscientious nature. We all have our roles, and the succession plan is there.
- What has been the most enjoyable event that you have been to so far?
County Championships, without a doubt, it really is our flagship event, held at Ealing. As a club they really created a festival of golf for all. They certainly have set the bar high.
- What are your next key commitments for the county?
Centenary Dinner will soon be with us, May 18 – “Celebrating 100 years PLUS” of golf in Middlesex– Women of course being organized before the men are 25 years ahead So watch this space for exciting events that we have planned.
- What in your view is Middlesex’s greatest strength?
“Willingness to change – adaptability” – The merger proved that, we re-wrote the rules, entrance criteria, positivity, business like, coherence governance, and so on. The county is in a very good place currently. A Perfect time to get involved.
- What if any challenges do we face? More Volunteers maybe?
The world is dynamic, and we need to embrace it. If there is a better way, then let’s do it, is how we view challenges. Volunteers are Always needed, they can start at any level – delegate, rules, helpers, camera man, someone from the younger groups, even the elite players could look to offer their experience and assistance.
- Other than golf what are your other great life passions?
I have shown loyalty, faithfulness for over 40 years, to a car, my Citroen 2 CV – using my skills as an engineer,to restore – bought from past county President, Peter Trevayne – 600cc ULEZ restrictions currently prohibit it for London but in 2 years it reaches classic status and will be back.
I do love my Music and can play the piano (one handed) – rediscovering new music always but did see Tina Turner for 25p – impressed by “The Gabriels”, self-confessed “Jazz Head”, regular visitor to Ronnie Scott’s, recently seeing a Steely Dan tribute band.
- Who would be in your dream 4 Ball?
Che Guevara – (but would you give him a free drop), Donald Fagan, Nelson Mandela,
But if it was pure golfers, it would be …Freddie Couples, Sandy Lyle – 3 Ball – quality over quantity
- Other than your home course, which course would you go back and play again?
Worplesdon GC – in Surrey – comfortable venue to play at, good layout, playable , plus Abercrombie design like Mill Hill
- What is your choice of golf ball and why?
Titleist – consistency – for me wins out
- What’s the longest iron in your bag?
5 iron is the one – long gone the days of a 1iron in the bag – but rescue’s take over these days – Driver – plus 2 rescues is my current choice.
- How many wedges do you carry?
5 Wedges – 46 48 52 56 60 – chipping is lie dependent – across a variety of conditions, which dictates which club I use
- What’s the last thing you watched on Netflix / Streamed
Robert Durst – the Rich Murderer – he got caught giving an interview (I best be careful) – Amazon / Netflix – Theo Rosevelt Documentary too
- Facebook / Twitter or Instagram?
I have a Facebook account – keeping up to date on Middlesex matters,
- And what’s your football team of choice.
I am a retired Arsenal Fan, there is just too much money and not enough passion in the game anymore
- And finally, what would be your message to someone considering Volunteering with the County?
Put back something in – it’s rewarding, it’s certainly a learning process – come and get involved, things are not in isolation, challenging rewards exist, nothing is off the table at Middlesex, so come and make yourself known to us and meet new diverse individuals.
You will have fun.
Interviewer: Thanks so much for your time Tom, I am sure you will continue to inspire the members of Middlesex and lets hope we can encourage others to follow in your “spikes”
If you are interested to learn more about getting involved in the county, check out the webpage on Volunteers