Mother of two Jane McDonald wasn’t ready to become a golf widow when her sons inherited their father’s love of the sport. Instead, she took up the game too – and has now become her 127-year-old golf club’s first female captain. Mrs McDonald, 55, carried out one of her first duties of the new season when she hosted more than 100 competitors at Kilmacolm Golf Club’s Captain’s Day tournament on Saturday. And she has already made subtle changes to certain elements of the club’s social calendar to make it more welcoming to both male and female guests.
She was appointed captain after having served as the club’s vice-captain last year. While the vice-captain tends to go on to hold the position of captain, it’s not guaranteed and her appointment still had to be approved by a vote at the club’s AGM.
“I was bowled over to find I’d been given this honour,” she said. “It was very brave of last year’s captain, Kenneth Wilson, to choose me as his vice-captain last year. When he told me I nearly fell over, I was so shocked.
“There were still hurdles to overcome before I was appointed captain. It’s a huge honour.”
Mrs McDonald, who admits to never having achieved a low handicap and who plays off 20, took up the game 20 years ago after her two sons began playing. She said: “They took up golf and my husband, Douglas, plays too. I realised I would be left at home when everyone was out on the golf course, so I thought I’d make an effort to get into it. “Kilmacolm is a lovely, friendly club and I found I enjoyed it very much.”
Mrs McDonald is now the figurehead for the club’s 700 members, including 100 women. Among its success stories is Eilidh Briggs, who last week won the English Amateur Women’s Whittington Trophy at Whittington Heath Golf Club, by three strokes, and her sister Megan, a former Scottish Ladies Amateur Champion.
The club introduced equality among members 18 years ago. While Mrs McDonald is the overall club captain, there is also a club ladies captain, who hosts tournaments and prizegiving ceremonies for the women golfers.
“A lot of clubs are still dragging their heels over equality, but at Kilmacolm we have helped to drive it forward,” said Mrs McDonald. “We have made a point of being very inclusive. “I’ve stuck with tradition and appointed a man as my vice-captain. I felt two in a row may be over-saturated for the men.”
Story from the Glasgow Herald.