At the conclusion of the Seniors' Channel League Final on Tuesday, 12th October, Paul Vicary (Saunton) called time on his long Devon County team playing career. He finished it in style with a quality chip and putt to secure his par at the final hole at Mendip Springs Golf Club, thus securing his afternoon singles point against Wiltshire.
Paul’s Devon career goes back many years. He started as a Junior and was the Devon Boys' Champion in 1967, 1969 and 1970. He was County Champion in 1975 and was twice a part of the Royal North Devon Golf Club's Team Championship winning sides at the Devon Amateur in 1974, at East Devon and again in his year of Championship victory at Saunton. There were many years playing for the 1st Team, back at a time when there was the South West Counties' Week and very little else.
Paul may be unique in having won all three principal age group Championships held by Devon – Boys, Men’s and Seniors.
Business took him away from Devon for a number of years but he returned to become a leading force as County Seniors' golf began properly to develop across the region.
Paul was County Seniors' Champion in 2011 and twice won the Bert Hudson Cup for the best scratch score at the Seniors' Stableford Championship.
His biggest contribution was undoubtedly in the team arena. In his second year as Captain of the Devon Seniors' side they qualified for the English County Finals at the RAC Club in 2013. In 2015 Paul was part of the Devon team of 6 which qualified again, taking them to the Robin Hood Golf Club and, in 2016, to Chipping Sodbury Golf Club. He was selected for the team of 6 for the South West Seniors' Final this year at Ferndown Golf Club. Paul has played for the team at every South West Counties' Week from 2007 to 2021. In 2018 and 2019 he was South West Seniors' Over-65s Champion, a title he might well vie for at Bristol and Clifton Golf Club next season even if his DevonGolf team career is done. In total he has represented Devon in 5 English County Finals.
Paul has been a regular and easy selection for the Seniors' Channel League team throughout his Seniors' career, having played in the side every year since the inception of the League in 2007. He finishes his Devon team career having won around 65% of the points available from the matches he has played, which is an incredible record stretching over more than a decade. Although not involved this season, he has been an important part of the side’s journey in the Southern Counties' Foursomes, playing in all the previous finals Devon has reached.
Whilst Paul will surely be missed from the team, both as a competitor and as part of a tremendous group of guys, we look forward to seeing him at the various events and Order of Merit tournaments held over the coming seasons.
Paul is the epitome of a team player and a fine example of amateur golfing at its' best.