Widge ready for big year
PUBLISHED: 14:03 29 January 2002 | UPDATED: 15:24 03 March 2010
GOLF: Widge Sinclair, now starting her second year as captain of the Suffolk Ladies golf team, is encouraged by the talent in the county at her disposal. The former England hockey international, who was forced to give up county golf five years ago following two operations on her back, also says the standard is improving each year.
WIDGE Sinclair, now starting her second year as captain of the Suffolk Ladies golf team, is encouraged by the talent in the county at her disposal.
The former England hockey international, who was forced to give up county golf five years ago following two operations on her back, also says the standard is improving each year.
"It's very promising at the moment," said Widge, who still plays off a ten handicap at Woodbridge.
"We have 96 juniors on our books and they have regular coaching. We're talking to the Golf Foundation in order to get a links with the schools and clubs.
"As far as the county side is concerned, I'm going to have more strength in depth available to me.
"When I was playing for Suffolk, the minority of the team played off a single figure handicap. Now that has changed to the extent that if you're not off single figures you won't get in."
But Emma Jukes from Stowmarket, who has played in the county side for the past two years, won't be available this year. She is spending six months in Australia and her absence is a blow to Suffolk.
However, to offset Emma's absence, Suffolk have picked up Charlotte Langlands, a seven-handicapper from Sussex, who has moved into the area and is likely to become a member at Thorpeness.
It's a big year for the Suffolk Ladies, mainly because the sub-divisional finals are being played at Woodbridge from June 18-20.
Widge said: "First of all we must qualify from County Week that is being held at South Bedfordshire GC in May.
"Our recent record of qualifying for the sub-divisional finals in recent years is quite good, but playing at home does put more pressure on the team.
"That was proved at Felixstowe last year after qualifying each of the previous three years."
Suffolk can no longer call on former England international Joanne Hockley who has packed up playing golf, but at least there are a number of good players coming through.
This year will be Widge's last as captain before handing over to Liz Steadman for her two-year stint.
Although unable to play herself, Widge has the necessary experience to orchestrate things from the sidelines.
"I was playing county golf until five years ago, but then I had to have two operations on my back and that was that."
It was probably the result of playing hockey at the highest level for so many years.
Widge had first made her name when she played junior hockey for Gloucestershire and the West of England before moving to Suffolk.
Here she represented the county, the East of England before playing for her country between 1972-74.
Widge played her club hockey for Ipswich and the YMCA until the end of the 1980s when she finally called it a day.
For three years her golf and hockey overlapped, but said they didn't mix. Now she can devote her full attention on hopefully turning the Suffolk Ladies team into winners.