The interview… Chris White

Hunstanton’s Secretary talks us through his three years in charge and the exciting times yet to come... The surroundings of a traditional private members’ club might not immediately strike you as being all action but at Hunstanton they’ve been at full throttle for some time. A clubhouse refurbishment gave way to the coronavirus crisis and pandemic boom and now the famed Norfolk club are preparing to host a massive championship next year when the R&A brings its flagships women’s amateur event to the links. At the helm through this time of change has been Secretary Chris White – a scratch golfer and former committee member who jumped at the chance to move from a middle management career into the golf industry. With exciting times ahead for one of Britain’s most well-regarded venues, we sat down with Chris to talk through his career and to consider what the future holds for Hunstanton... Tell us about your background in golf and how you came to be Secretary at Hunstanton? I received my first golf club for Christmas in 1986 when I’d just turned three years old. I picked it up left-handed, despite being right-handed, and hit my sister across the knees with it! We then moved up to Peterborough and dad joined Peterborough Milton Golf Club in 1989. I started playing golf with him and began playing properly at 14. I was not an amazing golfer for many years – I got to four or five and stayed there for 10 or 12 years. But in my late 20s, I got down to Scratch and have been there – or roughly there – ever since. I’ve played a bit of county golf and, in the late 2000s, I was playing a lot of different events and played in an open at Hunstanton – the East Anglian foursomes that we have every year. I ended up in the final playing against the head greenkeeper. He asked me where I played and said ‘why don’t you just join here?’ It had never really occurred to me and I spoke to the Secretary at the time and said, ‘is it difficult to become a member at Hunstanton?’ He said, ‘not at all if you’re the right person’. Six or seven months later I started playing a lot of golf here, while still living in Peterborough, and in 2011 or 2012 I decided to try and find work in Norfolk. I was on the committee of the golf club at that stage and did five years on the committee. The club had gone through one or two managers. They’d had a long-term occupant who had been in the post and they had just struggled to find someone. I was working in middle management in a government organisation and the job came up again. I’d thought it was something I wanted to get into, but perhaps when I was a bit older. But when the opportunity came here, it was a no brainer.  You were obviously skilled...
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