Linda Spence and her playing partner Alison Turnball, from Elie & Earlsferry Golf Club both travelled from Edinburgh to play in the grand final of the Coronation Foursomes in September. Here, she writes about her experience teeing it up at the Eden Course and encourages women across Great Britain and Ireland to sign up for next year.
How surprised my partner and I were to win a competition at our club, but even more surprised to hear that the Coronation Foursomes was a competition organised by The R&A taking place in clubs all over Great Britain & Ireland, and that we had now qualified to play in an area final with other club winners. We went home to check the internet and found lots of interesting information on The R&A website. Not only was there an area final, there was the opportunity to progress to the grand final where 16 pairs from all over Great Britain and Ireland battle it out on the Eden Course at St Andrews. Included within this prize were two nights at the Old Course Hotel with a Gala Dinner and lots more thrown in along the way. Could this ever be in reach of two high handicappers? We joked about keeping the dates free just in case!
Guess what … we made it to the grand final! On winning the area final we were handed envelopes with all the details as well as a very generous prize voucher. Emotions ranged from disbelief to excitement to nerves to ‘what to wear?’
Off we went to St Andrews, still pinching ourselves. Golfers were flown in from all over Great Britain and Ireland. Practice rounds were arranged. Husbands and partners were suddenly very keen to caddy! The buzz was amazing. We felt like pro golfers when we saw our names on the leader board, and then the nerves hit when our names were announced over the PA system! It was an amazing experience and still feels like a dream. There are however fantastic photos to show we really were very much part of the event.
Over 25,000 competitors from over 1,200 clubs in Great Britain and Ireland, with handicaps ranging from scratch to 36 - could the Coronation Foursomes be the most inclusive sporting event there is? We met lots of interesting people throughout the competition and have been invited to play at many different courses. We will be making sure we enter the first round at our club next Spring and the one after that and the one after that…