Now I'm quite shy, always have been, so the thought of walking into a room full of people isn't something that would generally make me go 'wippee' with delight. If that kind of scenario doesn't bother you, you're so lucky - I'm green with envy! If that isn't you either, here are a few thoughts....
I always used to think that if I arrived at the last minute for an event, it'd be easy to stroll in and disappear in the crowd. The only snag with that is everyone else is already in groups, chatting and mingling away, and you face the task of trying to infiltrate a chatty group. Nightmare for us shy people!
So, I tried an alternate tack - be the early bird. If you're there early, you get to chat to pretty much everyone who walks through the door without even trying. People will gravitate towards you because you're their lifeline - their comfort blanket of someone to speak to without trying to break through the chatty barrier of the extroverts.
As the reception committee, you can help to direct people to others until you find your own niche in the gathering thong. Being early will give you the chance to suss out where refreshments are, where the loos are (crucial for ladies), and maybe who they key people are - brownie points galore for that. You'll also find that you're networking without even trying. People will remember you as that helpful person who guided them into the gathering - and your journey at the next event will be smoother because you'll know more of the attendees.
How about playing a course you haven't been to before? Well, it can be scary but there are two ways of looking at this. One is the thought 'I should have made more time for a practice round'. Okay, that may help you to familiarise yourself with the course layout and how to play certain tricky holes, but it can also give you some negative thoughts if you play a hole badly, so don't worry if you're facing a strange course for the first time.
Playing a course without any preconceptions can encourage you to play shots without any worries and, when you play well, you'll have great memories for when you next play the course.
Playing a course with people you haven't met before? Just relax. I can guarantee you'll all be in the same boat, with the same concerns. 'Hope my golf game's good enough today,' 'What will we talk about for 3-4 hours?' Your golf game will be fine and so will you. If conversation dries up, try asking questions of the others about their club, ladies section, what socials they have, what they like / dislike about being Lady Captain / Treasurer etc. You'll soon find the chat flows, even if you're the one doing the listening! Enjoy the day!
Di Grant- Lady Captain Adviser