GOLF plays a major part in the life of a woman who returned to sport after a long break and she is now looking forward to her second captaincy of a golf club.
Elizabeth Black started out at Alderley Edge Golf Club, where she was Lady Captain in 2001, but she now has the same role at Wilmslow Golf Club in Mobberley, where she has been a member for 15 years.
She is looking forward to a busy and successful year both on and off the course with a full and active diary.
“I took up golf when my twin sons were due to go off to university and I was giving up teaching,” said Elizabeth.
“I joined Alderley Edge Golf Club where my husband Ian was already a member.
“Not having done much sport since school days I was surprised how quickly my handicap started to drop and how much I enjoyed competitions, matches and mixed golf.
“I played a full part in the ladies section, holding various jobs on the committee as well as serving as Lady Captain.
“When Ian retired he joined Wilmslow and I followed in 2002, serving for three years on the ladies’ committee and was thrilled to be asked to be Lady Captain this year.”
She added: “Golf has become a major part of my life and I may play four times a week in the summer – a match, knockout round, a mixed event and ladies day – but in the winter perhaps once a week if the weather allows.
“My handicap has wavered around the low teens mark since I joined the club and I now play off 13 which enables me to play in the Bell Cup and Cheshire A and B teams throughout the summer.”
Elizabeth takes a lot of enjoyment from the sport, whether competing or not.
“Match play is great as you play one hole at a time when you need to be that precious one shot better than your opponent,” she said.
“I also enjoy playing in Mixed Opens with Ian and supporting Cheshire Ladies and Senior’s events which provide an excellent way to play other courses around the county.”
Elizabeth enters her captaincy period on the back of helping newcomers at the club.
“The past year has been particularly busy doing ‘play-ins’ with new members of the men’s section,” she said.
“It is often the first time they have played golf with a woman but they survive and admit to enjoying it after playing nine holes then having a drink and a chat.
“It is a pleasant introduction to the club and the bonus to me is that they have a wife who may be encouraged to join.”
And her golfing philosophy has led to a new venture for women players.
“Since I think that practice is so important for all levels of golf I have started a ‘practice and play’ session each Thursday morning for any ladies who like to turn up for 45 minutes of practice and then off on the course for few holes before a sandwich and chat,” she said.
“The idea is to enable them to devise a simple practice routine before they go out to play and if the weather is poor we come inside to chip and putt, talk about rules, do some stretching exercises and finish with a cup of coffee – fun but functional!
“Many of the ladies who joined the club last year through our very successful taster package are coming along to enjoy the sessions.”
As always, the Lady Captain will be raising funds for charity during her term.
“My chosen charities are The Christie, Macmillan Cancer Care and the East Cheshire Hospice and there will be plenty of events to raise funds during the year,” she said.
She has a favourite hole at Wilmslow Golf Club, but it might not be the one even those who know her would expect her to say.
“I ought to say that it is the ninth as it is where I got a hole-in-one, or the 14th where I nearly got another,” she said.
“But it is probably the seventh where you have to know your club lengths to avoid cross bunkers, you’ve got to be accurate with your approach to avoid three green-side bunkers then judge the gentle slopes to the pin.
“It is wonderful in the autumn with the colours of the leaves on the trees.”