Sue Turner, the manager of the Great Britain & Ireland team for this year’s Curtis Cup match, passed away on Tuesday 14 February aged 50 after battling illness since last autumn.
Having played golf for Wales at girls’ level, then representing her country in the Home Internationals of 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1991 and 1994, Sue really came into her own in the roles of team captain and manager. She is without doubt the most successful captain of the Welsh ladies’ international team, having masterminded successive Home Internationals victories in 2008 and 2009. She remained in the position of Team Captain to the present day.
Sue’s reputation as a highly-respected and very effective player motivator brought her to the attention of the LGU, resulting in an invitation in 2007 to Captain the five-strong GB&I team for the quadrennial Five Nations (former Commonwealth) Trophy Tournament inSouth Africa. Unsurprisingly, she led her players to victory against teams fromAustralia,Canada, New Zealand & South Africa.
One of Sue’s key strengths was in knowing her players better that they knew themselves. As a captain, manager, international selector and general golf enthusiast, she probably spent more time with her players, both on and off the course, than almost anyone else in ladies’ amateur golf.
With a passion for developing young players, Sue was delighted to have the opportunity to Captain the GB&I under-16 girls team in the inaugural Junior Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe last June at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in her home country ofWales. At the time of her death, she was still fully committed to team golf, serving as manager of the GB&I team which is due to play in the 37th Curtis Cup match against the United States at The Nairn Golf Club from June 8 to 10 this year.
Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO, said: “Ladies’ golf in Great Britain & Ireland is poorer today following the loss of Sue Turner. Her enthusiasm and love of life were infectious and permeated through every team she worked with. She gave us so much, and had so much more to give.
“Many players in both the amateur and professional game owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sue, and all she would ever want back is that they believe in themselves, make the best of their opportunities and fulfil their potential.” Motivation indeed for the 2012 Curtis Cup team.
Sue’s pride in her home country and her teams were renowned, but her proudest golfing moment happened last year at Strathmore Golf Club, where she watched her daughter, Lottie, pull on her red Welsh team jumper for the first time.
Sue is survived by her husband, Mike, and Lottie, in Sue’s own words her “two favourite people.” The thoughts of everyone at the LGU are with Sue’s family.