All the stories Letchworth members, past, current and new have to share to celebrate this week.
Tuesday 2nd August - Volunteering
Rosie Lapsley's story
In October 2022 I was hugely honoured to be elected as the first female Club President at Letchworth Golf Club.
I took up golf in the 1990s and juggled a very busy career as an NHS Chief Pharmacist with golf at weekends and joined Letchworth Golf Club in 2000. I particularly loved the fact that golf is a game you can play with males or females and with people of vastly different abilities. It has enabled me to meet so many friends and play in so many different places.
I joined the Ladies’ Committee a couple of years before my retirement in 2010 and became Ladies’ Captain in 2013. Although we had a thriving Ladies’s section we realised we needed to do something to attract ladies into the game and so we developed our first Get into Golf scheme. We started with a leaflet drop in the locality, organised and carried out by the Ladies’ section, an open day with a free lesson and then blocks of lessons followed up by a buddy scheme and a membership offer. The scheme is now in its 10th year and nearly 25% of our current female membership have joined as a result of the scheme. embers and working with other members to develop competitions on the Academy to enable new golfers to learn about playing golf and to get involved in competitive golf before moving on to our 18 hole course.
After my role as Ladies’ Captain, I was invited to join our Club Committee and for over 6 years I looked after membership for all adults. I loved this role as it enabled me to meet so many new members, male as well as female.
Although I have had to pass on my responsibilities for new members, I still love meeting them and feel a huge thrill when new golfers graduate to the 18 hole course, get their handicap and become active members of our golf sections.
In my role as Club President I can still attend Board meetings but am not a Club Director. I also attend the Captain's committee and have a role looking for members who can take on these responsibilities in the future. I am particularly keen to maintain the high standards we have enjoyed at Letchworth Golf Club and to support all members so that they can all enjoy the wonderful facilities we have.
Charlie Poynter's story
At the young age of 29, Charlie is the youngest ladies captain the club have had. With the goal of encouraging more females to get into all aspects of the game, being captain was the natural step to take. Showing that you can work and lead a section whilst enjoying the game. Her aim – to show that the perception of the game being old is no longer.
Charlie has been involved in golf since junior days at Letchworth, influenced by her dad and Grandad, who are her role models. Her lowest handicap has been 11.6 and hopes to be single figures.
Her work involves the study of the benefits of golf and sport for those vulnerable adults suffering with dementia, parkinsons and who have survived a stroke. She will be leading a project at the club to get those involved in the game and reap the benefits of regular activity and outdoor experience
Thursday 4th August - Competing
Nicola Dennison's story
I started golf at 11 years old at Letchworth Golf Club. Joined because I wanted to get into a competitive sport. My main hobby was dancing, which I later switched out for golf completely! Started every Saturday with junior lessons at the club as well as private lessons with the letchworth coach pro. I was addicted to the social element of golf, it enabled me to meet lots of people outside of my girls school and mix with people of all ages. As is the case in most golf clubs, there were not many junior girl golfers at the time, but I was really welcomed at Letchworth Golf Club and loved the encouraging environment. I kept going back as I felt like it was a real fun journey getting better at golf and improving over time.
My fondest memory was being the first junior to win the Centenary Cup at letchworth golf club, as well as ‘Most Improved Golfer in 2005’. I also won the Leighton Buzzard Junior open, where I shot 4 over par and won my pink ‘Yes!’ Putter which I still use today. By the age of 15 I managed to get my handicap down to 9 and played for Hertfordshire County as well as England Girls under 15's
My mum was my motivating factor. She took me all over Hertfordshire to play golf, entering me into as many Junior Opens as possible throughout the summer holidays. Even though she didn’t play golf back then herself, she had a pair of golf shoes and would caddy for me. Without fail she’d see me tee off and encourage me throughout. She was my absolute rock. If I ever did a bad shot I would look over and she would look at me and mouth “Come on… shoulders back, chin up and move on!”
Golf is a mental game, and having my Mum’s support really enabled me to deal with the pressure and enjoy the game.
The best part of this story, I am so happy to see my mum has now taken up golf and enjoys it as much as I did. It is more than a sport, and Letchworth Golf Club was, and still is, such a warm, welcoming place to enjoy it. I cannot wait to play with her at Letchworth soon!
Friday 5th August - Role Models
Rosie Lapsley's story
Although we had a thriving Ladies’s section we realised we needed to do something to attract ladies into the game and so we developed our first Get into Golf scheme. We started with a leaflet drop in the locality, organised and carried out by the Ladies’ section, an open day with a free lesson and then blocks of lessons followed up by a buddy scheme and a membership offer. The scheme is now in its 10th year and nearly 25% of our current female membership have joined as a result of the scheme.embers and working with other members to develop competitions on the Academy to enable new golfers to learn about playing golf and to get involved in competitive golf before moving on to our 18 hole course.
Bar Manning, Hilary Guyton and Kate Brooker's story
Bar Manning took up golf after being inspired by her husband and joined LGC in 1980. In 1985 she got involved in the club side of things and took on the role of ladies secretary which she did until 1989. Within her time at the club she enjoyed much success and friendship but the best was yet to come!
Twin daughters Hilary and Kate, both inspired by their parents, took up the game as well and joined LGC. Taking after their mum, they volunteered for various roles between them within the club spanning from 1998 till the present day. This includes Hilary being the current Lady Section President. The roles ranged from Junior Convenor, ladies section committee member and Lady Captain. Kate was Lady Captain in 2001 and Hilary took on the role in 2005, which also happened to be the clubs Centenary year.
Individually and as a team, they have won some big board competitions at the club. Bar winning Granny Spoons competition in 1983, 1992, & 2009. Hilary winning Summer Foursomes, Club Championships 1996 & 1997 & KLM Trophy in 1997. Kate winning MacKintosh Mixed 2002 & 2006 & Summer Foursomes with Hilary in 1996, 1998, 1999 & 2005 & KLM Trophy in 2000.
Best memory for all three has to be playing in the County Pearson Trophy in 1990. To all be involved in one team is incredible and we can't imagine it happening too often out there.
Jayne and Kat Hurworth' stories
KAT - 'I joined Letchworth Golf Club when I was about 12, so been a member for about 19 years. I was inspired to start golf through some competitive rivalry with my older brother. He started to play and was improving and I didn’t want to be left behind. I thought I could do better so I best start. I thoroughly enjoyed my junior years at Letchworth and there is still a fantastic junior section now.
I’m proud to be Letchworth Ladies Scratch A team Captain which involves organising the league matches, liaising with the ladies regarding availability, team selection, captain on the day. I really enjoy playing scratch golf and we have a good ladies scratch squad.
The best moment was when Mum and I won the summer foursomes which we play together regularly. When I played with mum and lived at home, she would joke saying ‘no tea tonight’ if I put her in a bunker.
I love that I’m able to play golf with my Mum and Dad, as it’s a game that we can all play together. I’m looking forward to teaching the nephews so they can be better at golf than their Dad. They’re already good at putting.’
JAYNE - The h usband played golf first, followed by our son & then daughter who is always in healthy competition with her big brother. I decided that if I didn’t do something I would be the one missing out! Thank goodness I did! We have had countless holidays, days out and made lots of friends within our golf club and further afield.
I started in the very late 1990s joining Letchworth Golf Club after a short spell at Chesfield Downs. I’m sure I only got in because Kat was a Junior member and I could take her round the Heritage course on the weekends.
As time went by, I joined the Ladies’ Committee which culminated in being Ladies’ Captain in 2018. An absolutely fabulous year with a golfing family to support me! Kat was the best PA I could wish for and even now when we play golf together she is definitely the senior partner. Our best performance so far was winning the Club Summer Foursomes in 2012. Even whilst writing this I can hear her say: ‘Keep your head down, mum’. We play in lots of competitions and have a great time. In fact I can’t think of any sport where I could play with my daughter and both of us really contribute to the final result. It’s fantastic that a higher handicapper can play with the Scratch A Team captain!
Around the time I was Ladies’ Captain there was an initiative run by our now Club President, Rosie Lapsley. Rosie’s enthusiasm is infectious and I became involved with supporting the programme encouraging members to join Letchworth’s Academy involving lessons run by Andrew, our Professional, rules sessions, social get-togethers etc.
It has been a joy to see Academy members moving through to join their respective sections or indeed, staying as Academy members and enjoying their golf with ever increasing numbers of friends. We are lucky that within Hertfordshire the County organised some competitions for Beginner golfers to enter. One of the best days was when our team from Letchworth won. They were thrilled as were all of us to see their success and confidence grow.
Golf has really played a big part in our family’s lives and I hope to play with our grandsons when they get a bit older.'
Fiona and Annabels story
Fiona has been a member at LGC for over 50 years & Annabel joined in 2013 after being inspired by her golfing background, grandparents, parents and brother. We play a lot of family golf together (mum, Bruce and I). Mum has won the Caldwell cup several times and I was so excited to win it last year and proudly have my name on the board which I look at every time I pass!! Receiving my cup was a most entertaining evening, for all! Mum has been on committee and is a past lady captain. Not sure I will get to that stage!! Funniest moment we have had together was when I did a 360 degrees turn on the tee once, totally missed the ball and nearly fell over, much to everyone’s amusement ….
Saturday 6th August - Newbies
Nancy Dennison's story
After finding a bit more time and keen to play more, I joined LGC as a 5-day member in Febuary 2022. This was after being in the Academy & coaching program for a couple of years. The game has been in the family for a while as my daughter, Nicola was an elite golfer as a junior at the club. I felt I was ready and it was my time for the big course, so decided to take the plunge. Now my aim is to build up my confidence to complete 18-Holes. I have playing lessons with our Head Professional Andrew on a regular basis. I take part in the social events at the club as well as enter all the Academy competitions which allows me to familiarise myself with all the different formats of scoring. Its brilliant! The structure & pathway I found myself on here at the club really motivated me to stay in the game. A couple months in & I have already made my first par on the main course. Celeberation time!!!
Anne Rice's story
I started having golf lessons in September 2020, joining the Saturday morning beginners’ group. We weren’t long out of the first lockdown and quite limited to what we were allowed to do. I had never played golf before but a friend who had done the beginners’ course a few years earlier recommended it to me. I really enjoyed the lessons (Andrew is very patient!) and my group began to play on the academy course after the lessons too. Unfortunately, we went into lockdown again in winter but Rosie and Jayne organised zoom meetings every Saturday morning to keep us all connected and taught us how to complete score cards and general rules of the game.
I have continued with Saturday lessons and, with the encouragement of my husband, joined as a full member in July 2021. I did find playing on the Heritage course a big step up, initially playing rounds of 9 holes and then moving up to playing 18 holes. Learning the course etiquette was just as tricky as trying not to muck up my shot. I have even entered a few competitions too, with some success (and absolutely bombing in a Sunday medal competition!)
Despite never having any experience with golf before starting Saturday lessons, I am hooked! My handicap is very slowly moving in the right direction. Although having a high handicap does have its advantages in competitions – my group won the Night Golf event! I am looking forward to getting more involved with the Ladies section of the club and my only regret is not learning how to play earlier in life.