New team to lead Durham union in 2022

Darlington’s David Proud has been installed as the new president of the Durham County Golf Union, while Wearside’s Howard Walton – a former Durham County Matchplay champion – has taken on the role of county captain following the organisation’s AGM at Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club.

David succeeds Chester-le-Street’s Tony Garrity, who served three years as president instead of the normal two because of the Covid pandemic. He will also continue in his role as treasurer. Meanwhile, the appointment of county secretary Michael Kelly was also confirmed at the meeting.

Vice presidents Norman Brown (Durham City), Cyril Thomas (Ryton), Ron Baines-Bennett (Boldon) and John Sanderson (Beamish) were re-elected. They will be joined on the executive by Neil Burke (Ravensworth), Bill Michie (George Washington), Perry Alexander (Dinsdale) and Ashley Jones (Dinsdale).

A new trophy was also unveiled at the meeting, commemorating Edward Bunting. The trophy will be presented to the Northern Counties Golf Union to be played for in the annual Men’s Qualifying Championship – AKA The Big Six.

Edward, who was a member of Seaton Carew and Brancepeth Castle as well as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, passed away in 2020 at the age of 84. The son of Ryder Cup referee Gilbert Bunting, he joined the Durham executive in 1974 and was the county’s longest serving past president. He also served as chairman of coaching, county captain and county president in 1983-84 as well as serving his clubs, the Teesside and District Union of Golf Clubs and the Northern Counties Golf Union.

County executive member Gerry Johnson unveiled the trophy at the AGM and said: “We lost someone very dear to us when Edward died at the end of 2020. Edward devoted his life to the advancement of golf, particularly in the North and in Durham, and he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit which didn’t end when he died. He made a bequest of £1,000 to Durham in his will and the county executive decided to purchase this magnificent trophy to be played for at The Big Six.”

Pictured: David Proud (left) and Tony Garrity