Ritchie loves nothing more than 18 holes of golf, although his current short game is struggling. Praise too from the skipper to Rohan Tungate

Loving a round of golf, Ritchie Hawkins

Loving a round of golf, Ritchie Hawkins - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins loves nothing more than a round of golf.

Ipswich Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins loves nothing more than a round of golf.

The 16-handicapper has kept playing the game despite the usual speedway rider’s misery of injury – which for Ritchie includes a broken leg, arm and two broken wrists.

No, you can’t keep a good man down and Ritchie, along with former Witch and good friend Danny King, can often be found on the golf courses near their homes at Peterborough.

“I’ve been playing for some time really,” said Hawkins.

“When I raced at Somerset one season, I lived down that way, I think it was 2007. I started playing then.

“But a broken leg and arm put paid to that, although as soon as I got a chance and could swing a club again, I started up again.”

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It’s been an on/off love affair with the game for Ritchie, as two broken wrists suspended play for a while.

However, it hasn’t put him off and with the weather currently wet, but at least not snowy, courses are still open and Ritchie continues to play.

“My short-game is a bit rubbish at the moment,” Hawkins admitted.

“I’m getting to the greens well and hitting the ball well, but my putting is a bit of a nightmare. But I like golf, although it does frustrate me at times.”

Kenneth Bjerre is another who plays quite regularly, while former world champion Hans Nielsen is also a fine player.

“The trouble with golf in the summer is that speedway fixtures can be all over the place and one week you are playing three times and another week not at all,” Hawkins added.

The new Witches skipper for 2014 is already looking forward to a season on the shale with the Foxhall Heath side and was thrilled to see his Witches team-mate Rohan Tungate win the third and final Aussie championship meeting Down Under, in Gilman at the weekend, beating former world champion Chris Holder in the A final.

That win and accumulated points left Tungate in a run-off for overall third position in the Championships, but he lost it to Josh Grajczonek, Holder the overall winner and Jason Doyle second.

“I’m really pleased for Rohan,” said Hawkins.

“That must be his biggest speedway win ever and sets him up great for England this year. What a great boost for him.”

The Ipswich Witches season starts on Saturday, March 22, with the Morten Risager Testimonial at Foxhall Stadium.

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