Retired PE teacher might be 73 but she’s just got her first handicap with a little help from her daughter
YOU’RE never too old to start playing golf. Just ask Essex woman Edna Bennett who achieved her first handicap… at the age of 73.
Edna, a retired PE teacher, has been interested in golf for many years. She lives close to a golf course and her daughter, Sarah, played on the Ladies European Tour 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.
However, 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.”
Edna explained that the friendliness is one of the key attractions of the club. “There’s never any problem in finding someone to play with and roll ups are an attraction,” she added.
“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.