A lifetime of golf for Les
BY ALEX TIGANI
Every year Les Bennett receives a phone call on December 12.
“Happy birthday Les,” Singleton golfer Bob Vitnell declares.
“How many years has it been now?” he always replies.
It marks the exact date in 1985 when Bennett took over from Peter Orr as the professional at the Singleton Golf Club.
Almost four decades later, the 62-year-old admits he is proud to see the club has lasted for 100 years one month out from official centenary celebrations.
“This is awesome in today’s climate especially with what has happened in the last 20 years with country clubs closing,” Bennett told The Hunter River Times.
“This club is able to keep going because of the people who are members here because they give their time voluntarily to look after the golf course and to maintain the club house.
“If we had to pay for all the work that is done then we would be broke.”
Bennett honed his craft on a number of locations as a junior from Adelaide’s Par 3 course at Semaphore South to the East Maitland Golf Club just a short walk from his home at Metford.
By the age of 16 he was playing representative golf and was offered a trainee professional apprenticeship at Shortland Waters Golf Club.
Thankfully, he has called Singleton home ever since.
Yet his name does not appear on the life membership board. He feels he does not need the recognition.
“Why would I take it when there are 20 guys here that do more for this club than I do?” he asked.
He simply looks forward to seeing the return of club greats and golfers from yesteryear next month.
“The community really enjoys this facility because they keep supporting it so it will be a great month,” he concluded.
“The club championships are still my favourite day on the calendar but the Saturday is going to be pretty special because of the golf there and then the dinner afterwards.”