James drives off to launch the inaugural competition
Members of Altrincham Golf Club were out early eager to see the ceremonial tee off for the inaugural James and Roland West Trophy.
James West was welcomed on to the first tee by Altrincham Captain Roy Dickens.
In recognition of the long family history and service to the members and guests at Altrincham Golf Club, the Committee have introduced the James and Roland West Trophy.
This is a medal trophy for players of 15 handicap and below meant to recognise the drive and motivation the West Father and son combination have given to the members towards improving their game over the years.
Roland West, better known to members as Roly, was born in Trinidad in 1932 and became the first black professional golfer in Britain at the age of 30 after losing interest in cricket, thanks to the Great British wash-out summers.
Roly had a natural talent and with a few tips and grip changes he would go on to join the professional ranks succeeding the long time pro and his mentor at Altrincham Golf Club, Hugh Lewis.
Roly, a member of Altrincham Golf Club from 1964 continued to serve as Club Professional from 1971-1991 before leaving for Norway.
Many Cheshire members may know of James West (Westy) a talented scratch golfer in his own right who has represented his club in Manchester District Alliance, Dunham Forest Team and County level as both as a team member and individual with perhaps the highlight coming runner-up in the Cheshire County Match Play in 2005.
Whilst James chose not to turn professional, due to personal circumstances, he has remained a constant presence and source of support to members and public at Altrincham Golf Club since 2007.
Unfortunately several years back James received what would to anyone be a devastating diagnosis that he has Multiple Sclerosis. This has impacted not only on James is ability to compete in the game of golf but to even get in a few decent holes on his good days. James can often be found early in the mornings taking in a few holes and making use of a buggy to keep his swing going.
While the power and distance may have diminished due to his condition and perhaps the onset of time like us all, the smooth flow and free swing and his passion and support for the Club remains as strong today as it was for his father back in 1971.
Photo & copy courtesy Geoff Garnett