Storm Doris destroys Ringway signature trees
The ‘twin’ sycamore trees have been a feature of Ringway Golf Club since it opened in 1909. They appear on their club logos and emblems on team kits, club ties, Captains’ and Presidents’ jackets and are engraved on many of the club’s trophies.
But disaster struck on February 23rd 2017 when Storm Doris hit the region and blew down the right-hand tree on the side of the first fairway. The left-hand tree was felled a few days later by the RGC greens team led by Course Manager Richie Stephens, as it was deemed unsafe to be left as it was.
Richie counted the tree’s rings in the trunk and he estimated that they were around 120-150 years old.
Felling the second tree proved to be a little more of a problem as Richie and his team found when as the cut went through the main trunk they discovered the tree had ‘absorbed’ a metal post which perhaps was part of a long forgotten gate on the public footpath that crosses the first fairway.
Dave said: “In the Ringway handbook in 1953 Tom Scott reported that ‘the twin sycamore trees, which are a prominent feature in view of the course from the clubhouse are reputed to have been planted as saplings many years ago by a man and his wife, who were long residents of Hale Mount, to commemorate their golden wedding anniversary.
Today, the twin trees stand straight and true, and if sometimes a pulled tee shot from the first produces a distant echo of ball on bark the twins just smile knowingly they are still looked upon with much affection by the members.’ Another version was given by a long-standing member ’The twin trees were planted around 1880-1890 by the couple who farmed the land to celebrate their daughter’s marriage’ and both theories seem to back up Richie’s estimate of their age.
Tom Brace joined the club as its
professional in 1912 and at this time the two sycamore trees were adopted as a club emblem appearing on the club ties. When Tom Brace died in 1952, his ashes were scattered underneath the two trees and since then several members’ ashes have also been scattered there.
The Centenary book states that the twin trees emblem was adopted in 1914 and a plaque was placed on the clubhouse wall.
The following is an extract from the Centenary book where they were celebrated in a poem by Bob Morton junior, son of a founder member, also called Bob Morton:
‘Between the first and eighteenth green
Like sentinels in the wind,
Stand whispering of things they’ve seen
In twenty years of breeze’.
On commemorating the twin trees, ideas are still embryonic – possibility of a wood carving from the trunk, a plaque to mark their stumps, a Twin Trees Trophy carved from the trunk and the more obvious ones like commemorative benches, coffee tables and coffee table tops – but a lot depends on the quality of the timber once it is cut.
But something will definitely be done to remember the twins.”