You’re never too old to get into golf – just ask Edna Bennett who achieved her first handicap at the age of 73.
“Age is definitely no barrier to playing golf,” says Edna, who plays at Three Rivers Golf Club in Essex, where she is pictured (left) with golfing friend Julie Williams. “I really enjoy everything about it, being outside, doing something physical, walking and making friends.
“I now play abroad and in the UK and I belong to a lovely, friendly club – as soon as you walk in someone says ‘hi’ – there is so much on offer there.”
Edna, a retired PE teacher, has been interested in golf for many years. She lives close to a golf course and her daughter, Sarah, took advantage of this to learn the game, becoming a Ladies European Tour professional for over 20 years, competing worldwide before concentrating on her coaching.
But although Edna encouraged Sarah, introduced school pupils to the game and actually belonged to a golf club for many years, she didn’t get started as a player until she was over 70.
“I didn’t have much time and when I first started there were not as many opportunities for new players as there are now, which made it difficult.” said Edna. She decided to postpone her golfing ambitions until she retired, but this plan was abandoned when she hurt her back in a boating accident. “That was the end of golf, I thought.”
But her interest was reawakened when Sarah became increasingly involved with her coaching and took on the role of PGA head teaching professional at Three Rivers Golf & Country Club. “Sarah offered a structured beginners’ golf programme, which is very popular with the ladies, which I decided to join. I started a couple of years ago and was awarded my first ever handicap last summer,” said Edna.
“Sometimes my back troubles me, but one of the reasons I like Three Rivers Golf Club is there are two courses and my membership includes the Jubilee, the shorter of the two courses, which really suits my level of golf.”
Friendliness is one of the key attractions of the club for Edna. “There’s never any problem in finding someone to play with and roll ups are an attraction.
“Sarah runs numerous coffee mornings and initiatives to help the beginners learn all off-course aspects of the game. She also organises holidays and ladies’ days out – we’re Bennett’s Birdies! It’s a very friendly club, everyone just joins in. I’d encourage anyone to play.”
Edna’s golfing experience has brought the Bennetts full circle. It used to be Edna who taught Sarah PE at school; now it’s daughter teaching mother.
“It’s really lovely for me to see mum enjoying herself so much,” said Sarah, who is also the head coach to the England Golf U18 East regional squad.
Three Rivers Golf Club www.threeriversclub.com
Sarah Bennett www.SarahBennettgolf.co.uk