Out with the ladies from St Rule’s

I was not going to caddy on Sunday as the weather forecast was not good. However I got a phone call to ask if I would come in for a lady playing in The St Rule’s Invitational.
The St Rule’s Club has an interesting history. It was established in 1896 as a ladies’ club for ‘light refreshments, the reading of newspapers and a place of shelter near the course’. Its formation was encouraged by Captain Boothby, the then Captain of the R and A, whose wife was a founding member. It has an enviable position at 12 The Links overlooking the 18th green on The Old Course with views of the West Sands and up to the Angus hills. The Ladies Golf Union now rents the upper floors and has a close relationship with the R and A by all accounts. It now has about 500 members with just over half playing in the golf section. It has ‘associate gentleman members’ who must be R and A or New Club members. And I will be finding out how to be an associate gentleman member. However I am slightly concerned about the possible prerequisite of being a gentleman.
Anyway I was caddying for Jules from Troon to make up the quartet with Alison, Dotty and Tiffy. It was not a nice day with severe grey and damp weather looming over the Links, but this was alleviated by the great spirit these ladies competed with. They played quickly, without fuss or any self indulgence. Dotty, who is on The Links Committee as a greens convenor, was chastised a bit about some of the ‘Himalayan’ surfaces on The Castle, but all in fun. And I was most impressed by vigorous May Richardson up front who at age 83 romped round, with her trolley, in just over four hours.
There was a lovely acceptance of playing golf for the game and not as a honing tool for the competitive instinct. You could say that it was golf without testosterone. Which I suppose it was.

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