PIGS (Potteries International Golf Society) organiser Phil Stonier writes this little tribute piece for MG, encapsulating perfectly what it means for one guy to be a part of a regular golf society. 

One of our longest serving members turned 75 years young this year and picked up an award from the society, presented by captain Steve Rushton here as our most improved player of 2021. Brian Abell started to play golf when he was 55 and is one of our longest serving society members.

For the past 20 years Brian has hardly missed a Society Day and finished last nearly every time he has played. But to his credit he never moaned about his performances and just tuned up to enjoy the camaraderie and the banter that is synonymous with the Society. Never a thought about giving up the game, just carried on with a smile on his face.

Then, 18 months ago, we fitted all his clubs with training grips. What a transformation. His drives continually find the middle of the fairway and duffed shots are almost eliminated. Playing off a handicap of 28 he is now always scoring in the low 30s in our Stableford Competitions. So, at the tender age of 75 he is an improving golfer and an example to us all.

Playing and enjoying the best golf of his life. Always first to arrive for a round of golf. First on the putting green. First on the tee. In fact, first doing most things including being in the 19th after every game. Helping matters during a round of golf is a good hip flask, taking in a shot or two of whisky, helps to keep the body and mind willing. We asked him if he wanted to increase his handicap from 28 to something higher, but he wasn’t having any of that.

Brian’s only golfing achievement was a Hole in One at Knights Grange Golf Club in 2009. A feat that many golfers never achieve in their golfing career. He has plenty to look forward to then – maybe his first society win in 2022 or another hole in one. But does it matter? He has enjoyed his golf as much then as he does now.

Well respected within the society and we all take our hats off to him for how he has conducted himself over the years. Many say they could not have played so long at that standard struggling from game to game. Then again Brian enjoys his golf and the banter too much to let his performances get the better of him. Well done Brian, and as they say, onwards and upwards. A lesson to us all, you are never too old to improve your golf performance in this great game we all enjoy.