Serial champions

We asked the question – could anyone better Annette Walton’s superb achievement of winning the Consett ladies club championship for the 14th time – nine of them consecutively?

The answer is yes. There was a big response with several nominations – male and female – for serial winners at county and club level, including Whitburn’s Geoff Wilkinson’s 19 club championship.

The record which tops them all, so far, is Beamish Park duo Di Spence and Bob Hindhaugh – who have clocked up no fewer than 53 club championship wins between them over the years. Di has won the title an amazing 37 times between 1965 and 2009, 18 of them consecutively from 1973 to 1990.

Now president of Beamish, Di won her first club championship in the year she was also captain, 1965. She played for Durham County for 16 years between 1968 and 1990 and then captained Durham County Ladies in 1991 and 1992.

She continued her winning ways at veteran’s level, winning the county title four times in 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2001, and has played for the Northern Counties Veterans in the Jamboree against Scotland, the Midlands and the South.

She was also capped for England in the European Seniors Championship in 2000 in Oslo – a truly remarkable record for someone who was Durham County’s first female scratch handicap golfer.

Bob’s 16 club championships in 18 years between 1959 and 1976 is also a very fine record and he also won the South Moor club crown twice – in 1977 and 1980. He was an England Youth International and was capped more than 50 times for Durham County, won the County Matchplay title twice as well as being runner-up twice in the County Championship.

He has also won the county mixed foursomes with Mary Waugh and Di.