“It had to happen one day, but I’m honoured to be the first,” said Trish King as she prepared to take over the club captaincy for 2016-2017. She will be the first female captain in Marlborough Golf Club’s 128 year history.
“My father would never have dreamt that this would happen, but I’m sure he would have been very proud,” added Trish. Her father, Charles Whatley, joined the club in 1972 and became club captain in 1983.
Club officials are wondering whether this is the first father-daughter club captaincy in the country? Erring on the safe side of claiming another first they reply: “Probably not, but it’s pretty unusual.”
Trish King is a very well known and popular figure around the club and, Marlborough News Online is assured, “A pretty good player too – with an eleven handicap.”
Little wonder then that the news of her new and ground-breaking role has been met with a wave of goodwill and offers of help from across the membership: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the response and I am going to do my very best to deserve it by reflecting the club’s reputation for friendliness and sociability.”
“I want everyone – members and visitors – to feel that I am someone they can talk to.”
So what, she is asked, is the best bit of being the first lady captain? “Oh, all of it really,” she responds patiently, “I want to reassure everyone that just because things are different it doesn’t mean that everything’s changed. I will carry on representing the whole club, men and women, juniors and seniors.”
“The ladies’ matches will be run by incoming Ladies’ captain Jilly Hunter and her vice captain Sue Lyons and the men’s friendly matches by my vice captain Patrick Shaw. I just can’t wait to start!”
As one senior member put it: “It’s an exciting chapter in our history.” Trish King will be there at the Captain’s Last Supper to bid farewell to the man who nominated her, Alan Pryor, as he ends his year as captain.
There is one thing Trish King is none too keen on – the public speaking that comes with the job. That celebration supper will include her first speech as Captain. Once tee’d off…well, even if it has been a long time getting to this point, history is certainly on her side.