So many ladies, when approached about being Lady Captain immediately say "Oh no, not for me!", which is such a shame. I thoroughly enjoyed my year, and my only regret is that it flew so quickly.
Everyone can add something different to their ladies' section or to the club itself, - all clubs need a variety of personalities and skills and there's so much talent within golf, it's a shame not to make the most of it. Taking on the honour of Lady Captain is one way you can help your club.
I realise not everyone is comfortable standing up speaking. I'm a little odd in that I'm more comfortable stood addressing a room full of people than I am in making small talk within a small group of pals. I can't begin to explain that!
However, all you have to do with any speech or presentation is to stand up, say what you need to say and sit down. "Short and sweet" works for any audience, and you usually have time to prepare what to say in advance. You can write everything down, you don't have to memorise anything, and there is always someone to help you - you're never alone.
For me, a new world opened with my year of Captains and I have made new friends that will stay with me for life. I played more golf than ever in my year, visiting courses I hadn't played before, and have a number of outstanding invitations still to be fulfilled. I still have invitations to return too, which keeps me on my toes!
You're never alone as Lady Captain - there are always past captains, lady presidents or other people you can ask for guidance. I positively hounded one of our past captains - I bet she's changing her phone number as we speak! Seriously though, I received such support and good wishes from everyone I'm so glad I gave it a go.
You are treated with respect as Lady Captain, and constantly being addressed as "Lady Captain" can take some getting used to, but it's one of those traditions within golf that is a really nice touch. When playing golf, a useful standard to use is "Lady Captain once, and then just call me Di!". Not helpful if your name is Joyce, obviously, but you get the drift. Outlining that kind of approach does help the people you play golf with, so they're not wondering if you'll be offended if they don't call you "Lady Captain" all through the round.
I'm the first to admit that I did at times go a little overboard with my gifts and favours, but that was my choice as I felt it was an opportunity for me to "give a little back" for all my years of membership at Hindley Hall. Plus it's hard to resist sharing with people the wide range of little gifts and keepsakes you can get these days.
All you have to do is be yourself and do it your way, and to your budget.
Most of all - Enjoy it and have a great year!
Di Grant, Lady Captain Adviser