Thursday, August 11, 2016

 Diane Bailey MBE gets up at the crack of dawn and goes without breakfast as the LGU starter

   Ladies Golf Union president Diane Bailey MBE putting in long hours in her role as starter at the British   girls open amateur championship at Royal St David's Golf Club, Harlech in North Wales.

The down side of being president of the Ladies Golf Union is that you perform the duties of starter at all the LGU tournaments during your term of office.
That means, this week at Harlech, Diane has had to miss breakfast to be at the first tee well in advance of the 6.30am starting time both days of the stroke-play and from 7.30am today when the match-play started.
As somebody once said - not Mrs Bailey, I hasten to add, "Not many people would do the starter'  job even if they were getting paid. But to do it all for nothing is above and beyond the call of duty." 
"I get a break every so often but, yes, it is a long day," said Diane who as Diane Robb won the British girls' title at Beaconsfield in 1961, beating Jean Roberts 3 and 2 in the final.
That same year Diane was beaten finalist in the British women's championship at Carnoustie. In the 36-hole final of those days, she lost by 7 and 6 to the legendary Marley Spearman.
So Mrs Bailey, 55 years ago, went close to the British title double that 15-year-old Julia Engstrom is trying to complete at Royal St David's GC this week.
Engstrom was the youngest ever winner of the British women's title at Dundonald Links, Ayrshire back in June and she is one of the favourites for the Under-18s title this week.
No player has ever won both these British titles in the same calendar year.
Mrs Bailey played top level amateur golf for England in the 1960s and 70s, and also for Great Britain and Ireland in the Vagliano Trophy matches against the Continent of Europe and, against the Americans, in the Curtis Cup.
More recently, Diane has been, arguably, the most successful GB and I team captain in the Curtis Cup.
She led the team to the historic first Curtis Cup victory on USA soil at Praire Dunes, Kansas in 1986 and, two years later, guided GB and I to a home win, this time, over the Americans at Royal St Georges.
No wonder Mrs Bailey was made an MBE for her services to golf after that "double whammy."