HUGH and Jean Thompson have become only the second couple to be appointed male and female captains at Hexham Golf Club in its 127-year history.

The husband and wife team were cheered on by members as they carried out their respective ceremonial drive-ins.

Retired butcher Hugh has chosen Tynedale Hospice at Home as his captain’s charity for the year, while Jean will lead the club’s thriving ladies’ section in support of the charity Versus Arthritis.

While Jean struck her drive firmly down the middle, Hugh’s will live long in the memory of those present.

They were joined on the first tee by this year’s junior captain, Joseph Robson, who is the grandson of long-serving member Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, the former footballer who scored goals for both Newcastle United and Sunderland.

Joseph (18) has represented Northumberland county at senior level. and struck a drive befitting of his talent.

At Bellingham Golf Club, Stewart Jones and Shirley Carruthers attracted a sizeable gathering as they drove-in the new season with solid strikes from the first tee.

At Tynedale Golf Club in Hexham, new captain Stephen Plemper was warmly welcomed onto the first tee, alongside new ladies’ captain, Barbara Younger.