It’s all change in Kent where the very traditional men’s County Golf Union is set to give the sport a modernising shake-up in the New Year.
They’ve just appointed Sarah McDonald (pictured) as their first female county secretary – and reorganised her job so that the union can be more supportive of the 85 clubs it represents.
Kent county chairman Peter Long commented: “It’s going to be quite different. We are trying to get away from the old style approach and the view that golf is just a male led club – it isn’t.”
The union has also set out to appoint a golf manager to look after all the county’s tournaments and playing activities and support golf development. This will allow Sarah to spend more time working directly with clubs.
It’s all part of sending a message to clubs that the county union is a forward-thinking organisation which is responding to their needs. “We are changing the way we deal with clubs and with our members,” added Peter.
Sarah is already a familiar face within the Kent golfing community. She’s a seven-handicap member at Wildernesse and Littlestone golf clubs, plays for the county women’s second team and was the secretary of the County Ladies’ Association for six years.
She’s happy to be breaking new ground, commenting: “This job appealed as a way to help move golf forward.”
Sarah will be working closely with Charles Molony, England Golf’s Club Support Officer for Kent, and she added: “I want to listen to clubs, find out what they want from the county and work with them to help them achieve their aims.”
They’ll find they are dealing with a woman who has a passion for the sport. “I like the fact that golf is for everyone, for people of all abilities and ages,” she said, enthusing about initiatives which encourage more people to play, such as nine-hole golf and gender neutral tees.
Sarah starts her new role at the beginning of January.