Paul Bence was seeing the ball like a football when he drove in as the new captain of Frilford Heath.

Paul BenceIn fact, it was a football, which had been put on the tee on Sunday in recognition of Bence's distinguished career as a professional footballer.

Between 1968 and 1977, the defensive midfielder made more than 250 Football League appearances for Brighton, Reading, Brentford and Torquay.

"The highlights were a Milk Cup tie for Brentford against Manchester United at Old Trafford and a visit to Liverpool the next year," recalled the 54-year-old, who remembers playing alongside Sunderland boss Horward Wilkinson at Brighton.

When his playing career was over, Bence went into coaching and managed Wycombe Wanderers in their non-League days, helping them to gain promotion to the Gola League (now the Nationwide Conference).

Increased work commitments with Morland Brewery in Abingdon led to him ending his connection with football in 1987, and that's when he took up golf.

A member of Frilford for 15 years, Bence, of East Hendred, plays off a handicap of 12. His wife, Margaret, is also a member.

His nominated charity for the year is SSNAP, which supports the premature baby unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

"It's a great honour to be elected captain," said Bence, who is now national sales manager for Wadworth Brewery in Devizes, Wiltshire.