East Devon: Woman tells of pride at being named first-ever female golf club captain

History has been made at East Devon Golf Club as a woman has become the Club Captain for the first time since the club’s formation 120 years ago, writes Steve Birley.

Judy Murray officially drove in as Club Captain on January 1, 2022, in front of enthusiastic club members gathered on the clubhouse patio.

The annual ‘drive in’ sees the incoming Club Captain taking their first drive at the start of their captaincy year alongside the Men’s Captain, Ladies Captain and Captains of the Seniors, Juniors and Town Club.

On becoming Club Captain, Judy said: “I am both honoured and proud to have been asked to be Club Captain and, to paraphrase Kamala Harris, the first female vice president of the United States of America, I may be the first woman to hold this office at East Devon but I will not be the last.”

She added:  “I want to thank Ray, Carole and Graham for all their hard work in 2021, there were some difficult moments but they came through it all with such good humour. I look forward to working with Barbara, Kevin and the Captains Committee this year and let’s hope we can get back to a normality we are all familiar and comfortable with and enjoy our golf.”

This year the captains have chosen to raise money for local charity Pete’s Dragons based in Exmouth. The charity supports the suicide-bereaved.

Matt Merriam, director of therapeutic services at Pete’s Dragons said: “Let me begin by expressing our massive gratitude to East Devon Golf Club for choosing us as their charity of the year.

“It will make such a difference to the people we support who have had someone they love die by suicide.

“I have always found golfers to be people with a natural ability to hope. Every time you step up to that little white ball you become a person willing yourself to say ‘maybe’ once again.

“Maybe the ball will go straight, maybe the ball will lift out of the bunker instead of rolling back down to me.

“The people we support at Pete’s Dragons have often lost the power of ‘maybe’. This is what can happen when someone you know dies by. In reality, a lack of hope.

“What we do when we come alongside those grieving is speak the word ‘maybe’ for them and help them realise what is a normal part of this journey.

“Maybe tomorrow will be better than today. Maybe these unanswered questions will settle down.

“Thank you so much to East Devon Golf Club for helping us bring the power of maybe, the power of hope into the lives of people who desperately need it.

“Thank you for enabling us to continue to make a difference to those walking some of the darkest roads life has to offer.”

In a long-held tradition the members dug deep to guess how far each of the Captains’ drives went and, in doing so, getting the year’s Captains Charity fundraising off to a great start with £305 raised on the day.

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