CRAIG Linford has celebrated 25 years on the greens staff of Bedale Golf Club and is looking forward to the next 25 - or 24 if the retirement age is still 65 in the year 2033!
Deputy course manager Craig joined Bedale straight from school and has worked for no fewer than five head greenkeepers and course managers.
He has played his part in all the major improvements currently enjoyed by members, including the development of the four holes in the far field, the installation of a permanent toilet block, and the recent clubhouse enlargement.
The 41-year-old has also had a hand in some important behind-the-scenes activity, like the installation of the water tank by the 2nd and 6th tees - he said: "we used to simply suck the water up from the reservoir but the frogs kept getting in the way" - and the manufacture of a broom to sweep the greens after top dressing.
Craig, in fact, is the handy member of the greens staff - that broom, made from spare materials available at the club, cost just £80 against a quote of £4000 for a custom-made implement!
His colleagues rely on him to keep the club's machinery in working condition.
"They break them, I fix them," he jokes, "and if I can't get a part, I just make one."
Club president Dave Robinson and captain Mark Edmondson led a celebration in the clubhouse to mark Craig's 25 years of service.
As his hobbies include motor sport, a 4x4 blast in a vehicle supplied by club member and cross country specialist Craig Elsworth, was a particularly appropriate gift.
Meanwhile, the next two months see the climax of Bedale's season of Open competitions. There are still places available in all four - the Seniors' Open is on Tuesday, August 4th, with the Ladies Open on Friday, September 4th, the Men's Open the following day and the Mixed Open on Sunday, September 6th.
Entry forms are available from The Secretary, Bedale Golf Club, Leyburn Rd, Bedale DL8 1EZ; tel 01677 422451; or e-mail Jackie@bedalegolfclub.com.