St Athan Golf Club, along with many other sporting institutions, is recognising that the time commitments required are preventing the majority of members from dedicating themselves to being on a committee or accepting a captaincy tenure. Therefore to assist in alleviating this situation, St Athan members are pleased to have Denise McGowan and Mags Vecchi undertake the joint captaincy for the ladies section and they showed their full support at the official drive-in.
It is customary for the outgoing ladies captain to present the final awards from the season before relinquishing her badge of office; however as Steph Bonnar was out of the country these tasks were bestowed on last year’s club captain, Liz Thomas. Gifts for the most partridges and birdies carded throughout the year, along with a voucher for the greatest number of ‘chips/putts holed from off the green’ were presented to Gill Jones, Liz Thomas and Carol Morgan respectively. With the in-house protocol finalised the members congregated at the first tee, where the newly-appointed captains emerged through a guard of honour to perform the nerve-racking task of launching their opening drives.
The Club Captain, Gerald Thomas, was on hand to offer his own words of encouragement after being in a similar situation the week before at his drive-in. As tradition dictates the members determine where they think the captain’s ball will settle; however with two balls in play and each spectator only permitted one prediction they found their loyalties split – do they estimate the drive from Denise or Mags? In their earlier acceptance speech, Mags and Denise emphasised that they were taking on the captaincy role as a joint venture and they would be totally equal in status, therefore they had opted to synchronize their official opening drives. They started well, they both looked confident and relaxed on the tee as they took their stance and began the countdown – however Mags has obviously got a much speedier swing as her ball flew through the air before Denise had even made a connection! In a running sport it definitely would have been considered a ‘false start’. Mary Phillips-Morgan was delighted to find that her marker was the closest to Denise’s ball while Mags’ ball came to rest alongside the marker placed by Margaret Jeynes. A nine hole stableford competition for the ladies followed the formalities, resulting in Rose Dawson being declared the winner, carding 18 points, a full five points ahead of her nearest competitor.
Denise and Mags take this opportunity to wish all fellow golfers a happy and prosperous golfing season