Friday, 12 February 2010

Spanish Seniors Strokeplay Final

More bad weather dogged the Spanish Senior Strokeplay Championship and the scores were again fairly generous. Jane Rees from Wales who was the leader overnight, maintained her lead with a second score of 78. Our own Barbara Biggart maybe should have been used to adverse conditions but maybe Spanish ones are different when one's ball can be blown into treacherous ponds and veritable beaches. She improved on yesterday's score by two strokes and ended up 48th in the field. Fellow Scot and West Vet, Janice Paterson succumbed to the conditions to be in 20th position with a total of 174.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

East Vets Weel-kent Faces

No, it isn't the latest edition of Facebook, but these four faces should indeed be pretty well-known to everyone in East Vets. (Apologies for the lack of clarity but bloggers can only afford just so much in photographic equipment).

Golf sites are permanently extolling the golfing prowess of their members but we are inclined to forget the off-the-course, thankless ladies helping administer the SLGA - as it is at the moment. All of those pictured here are now taking a well-earned rest from their SLGA toils. Well almost. Margaret Rodger (top right) is the president of the Midlothian County Ladies Golf Association and Janet Wake (top left) has been seconded on to the LGU. Gillian Kirkwood (below left) will now simply have time for all her other interests, far too many to mention, but inclusive of, refereeing, history of ladies'golf, running all over the place with hickory shafted clubs and of course measuring the grandchildren up for their first sets - to mention a few. And Ethel Jack (bottom right), well she's saying something about taking up golf again and getting that handicap back down!

Between them - if it was worth mentioning at all - these ladies have seen it all and dunnit all, chairpersons, referees, presidents, advisors, members of this that and the next, the list is endless. If there was a vacancy for five seconds, they were on it. Ladies, you have been legends.

From all of us a big thank-you.

But is the future of the SLGA that they knew now going to be rather different once the proposed merger between the SLGA and the SGU goes through - which, according to everyone in the know and an equal number of those, not in the know - is exactly what is going to happen. It is, apparently a "dun deal". Which is a bit of a mystery. When exactly did all of this come about. Phrases like "oh they've been talking about that for years" "I don't know much about it but you've got to trust those in charge to know what they are doing" or (with a nod of conviction) "it'll be the best thing". Yes but for whom? Is this webmaster the only one who has clearly had her head buried so deep in the sand that she has missed the point, the need and surely some benefit from such a marriage.

So it is to be the best thing for the SLGA, or best for the SGU?

The SLGA, whose incredible story is so well documented, it needs no advertising, - a history packed with dynamic, forthright, strong women of vision, who battled against the odds to start up this association at a time as different from today as it is likely to imagine. Definitely no sex equality then, they were bound by rules of etiquette and position in a society where almost every facet pertaining to victorian and edwardian life, was governed by the head of the house - man - where to be independant was frowned on by society and indeed, to be independent financially was a luxury attributed to very few women indeed. The majority of those who were married were completely dependent on their husbands, very many of whom thought the woman's place was firmly in the home - not outside swinging a long club in a long skirt round a golf course. If they did allow the Lady of the House to indulge in a little golf, at no time were they likely to envisage her opposing them and setting up her own show. Unmarried ladies involved with golf, were also most likely dependent on a male relative, few having had the benefit of an education aimed at employment. Control and keeping the little woman in her place was the name of the game. So our hats off to all these marvellous ladies who took men on in spite of all the opposition they had to face. The result was the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association. And now, are the descendants of these heroines just planning to give it all back without having a proper say?

This webmaster is convinced this is a simplistic view and that those "in the know" will do no such thing. However, having talked in the last few weeks to a great number of people it has become obvious that she is not alone in not knowing much about it. Indeed not only is there some surprise at the apparent advanced stage of the "merger", there is an element of panic that too much has happened too quickly and all without the knowledge and consent of the membership. One of the main areas of discontent is the lack of information being disseminated to those whom the SLGA is supposed to represent. They need to sort something out now, even at this advanced stage, not only to provide step by step information but equally to get feedback from the shop floor. Surely such a merger cannot just happen without the democratic consent of the membership. There are in excess of 30,000 lady golfers in Scotland, who are members of clubs - many many more who simply just play, but the number of ladies who attended the last AGM was less than 170. The reasons for such a poor representation are no doubt numerous but if the AGM is the only place where ladies can learn of the changes, then clearly other means must be found before decisions of this importance are carried through.

Ladies, you may well not give an iota what happens in the upper echelons of golfing administration. You want to play golf, meet your friends, adjust your handicap, have coffee and a scone, go home. You maybe don't care but if you do, if you do, if you feel ever so slightly patronised by all of these non-transparent negotiations, then ask questions. Your SLGA representative would welcome your interest. Nothing is too trivial. If you don't know something about this merger, you will not be alone. Have you got any idea who made this decision to merge with the SGU - who maybe have more income than the SLGA but do not have Margaret Thatcher's idea of "good housekeeping". Why was this decision made? Why hasn't it gone out to the SLGA members - i.e. the lady golfers and Counties, for a vote on whether they want it to happen or not? How is it going to be set up? Who will run it? What will happen to the current SLGA Board? Will there still be an SLGA equivalent section who will run the SLGA competitions? How will it affect County golf? What are the financial implications? The list of possible questions is inexhaustible.

If you are in any way concerned about this merger, not because you feel it has to be stopped - it may indeed be the best solution - ask about it. You should at least know and agree that it is the best solution . You should not wake up one morning and find it is a fait accomplis. Remember these four stalwarts pictured above and all they have done for the SLGA as it has been. Has their contribution been for nothing or for something?
Do you want to lose our independence?

Spanish seniors - strokeplay singles event

The first day of the singles strokeplay championship in the Spanish Seniors at Cadiz produced some very exotic scores indeed but word has it that due to the inclement weather conditions, completing the full eighteen holes speaks volumes in itself. Only two ladies in the entire field broke 80. Jane Rees from Wales with an incredible 73 and Sheena McElroy from Ireland, well known to Scottish Vets, who had a 79. The only representative from the East Vets, Barbara Biggart from North Berwick, may have been disappointed with her 96 until she came in and found it was not so bad after all. Her partner in the four ball and foursomes, Janice Paterson from Drumpellier, had a very creditable 84 which put her in 15th position with the second round tomorrow. They will all be hoping for better weather. This is a tournament which has often been dogged with disappointing weather and perhaps the organisers may be tempted to consider holding it slightly later in the year, in future.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Spanish Senior Ladies Championships

Posted by PicasaBarbara Biggart (North Berwick)(pictured top left) and Janice Paterson (above) from Drumpellier are the sole Scots participating in the Spanish Senior Ladies Championships 2010 being played at Novo Sancti Petri Golf Club in Cadiz. The first day of the Tournament - played yesterday consisted of a four ball better ball. Playing off a joint handicap of 7.5. Barbara and Janice had managed a very respectable scratch 85. Best score of the day came from the Welsh/Irish combination of Vicki Thomas and Sheena McElroy with a wonderful 72. The format of Day 2 was more challenging, being a two ball foursome. Over the board, the scores were very much higher in the second round compared with the first although Vicki and Sheena have just managed to retain their lead wth a second round 80 for a total of 152. Barbara and Janice produced a pretty decent second round score of 88 for a total of 173 now making them 15th in the field. The conditions they played in are not at hand but such is the differential in both scores throughout the entry in general, it would be reasonable to suppose the weather had not been so good. Tomorrow is the first of the two strokeplay days towards the Spanish Senior Strokeplay Championship when everyone is on her own so best of luck Barbara and Janice.