Sussex County Ladies' Golf Association Ltd

Sussex Spotlight (April): Aileen Greenfield

Sussex Spotlight on Women in Golf: Aileen Greenfield, Sussex & England Player 
We are delighted to include Aileen Greenfield in our Sussex Spotlight series. Aileen has been one of Sussex's most outstanding female golfers representing her club Pyecombe in countless competitions, representing Sussex at many County Match Weeks, National Finals, Seniors Team Player and for the last few years has represented England in the Senior Home Internationals and European Team Championships. In 2022, the SCLGA presented Aileen with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Aileen is a member at both Pycombe and Piltdown Golf Clubs.


When did you first take up Golf?
My dad was a golfer and I grew up with a putting/chipping green in the back garden and then joined Pyecombe Golf Club when I was around 10-11 years old. I started to have lessons and Karen (Sykes) also joined as a junior member around the same time. My first handicap was the maximum which was 45 and I still have the certificate somewhere. Were you into other sports? Yes I played numerous other sports at the time including Netball, Athletics, Swimming and Stoolball. They didn't let me on the hockey pitch as my back swing was more reminiscent of a golf swing! I didn't really talk or let it be known I played golf as it was fairly unusual and at that age you don't want to stand out.

How did your junior golf progress? When did you reach single figures?
By the age of 15 years I was probably around a 5 handicap but in those days there was only the Girls Championships on the County Calendar. I did all competitions with Karen and I remember our first Girls Championships and it was a Medal competition in the morning followed by foursomes in the afternoon. We got paired with Katherine (Harridge) and Caroline (Pearce) - they were the best Sussex players and we were feeling very much in awe of them. That was our first taste of County Golf.

When was your first ladies County Championships, County Match Week?
My first County Championships was in 1982 at Royal Ashdown - I managed to get through to the final but lost to Carole Larkin (an Irish International player). The following year at East Brighton, I again reached the final but this time I lost to Mary Gallagher. Despite the loss, I was very pleased to then be selected to represent Sussex at County Match Week. It took place at Mill Hill, Middlesex and I turned 18 during the week. I went onto to lose the County Champs again the following year at Littlehampton, this time on the 20th hole! It took until 2002 until I finally won the County Championship, exactly 20 years after competing for the first time and was at Royal Ashdown again. That final was with the current County Champion Chloe Briance.  

I can remember all those losses well and we learn something each time we lose but the win when it finally came was very emotional. Aileen has been in the finals 12x and won 3x. Since 1982, Aileen has played at all County Championships with the exception of 1995 and 1997 when she had her children. 

After school/college did you consider golf as a career?
Following my A-Levels, I played on the amateur circuit for a couple of years however I was playing against the likes of Laura Davies and Alison Nicholas who were just on another level. I didn't mind the travel so much but it did involve a lot of sitting in traffic on motorways and also required self-funding. Once I decided to stop, I realised I needed to find a job and thankfully managed to secure a role which involved shift work thus enabling me to continue playing golf. I worked for many years for the Tax Office but really did not enjoy the work.

How did your family life impact on golf?
My husband Trevor was a fellow junior golfer at Pyecombe at the same time and we met when I was 18 years old. We've been together now for 40 years and married for 30.  Who is the better golfer? Our handicaps are very similar and so we are very closely matched on the course. The only years I stopped competing was whilst I was pregnant with our two sons. I was very fortunate to have a very supportive family, my mum used to look after the boys whenever I had competitions on. Do your sons also play golf? Yes they were both very sporty and played golf, one went to an American College for his golf. 

How did your England Golf Seniors call up arise?
There are several competitions for seniors which are eligible from the age of 50. There is a Match Play in May, Stroke Play in June and the British Championships in July.  In my first year, I could not participate in the Match Play as I was still 49 so my first comp was the Stroke Play. I recall not having such a great first day and my expectations were fairly low however on the final day, I played fairly consistent and as I submitted my card at the scoring tent, I was advised to hold off packing my bag as there could be a play-off. I was stunned and shortly after was called for the play off and headed out onto the course. My opponent hit their drive into the heather and my 2nd shot ended up in the stream - I lost the match to a bogey!  As I had not played in the Match Play I did not have enough points on the OoM to qualify for a position on the team (I was 5th and only the top 4 were selected at that time). 

 I have now representd England in the Seniors for the past 7 years at the Home Internationals and European Team Championships. If you had told me aged 18 years that I would be representing England in my 50s I would never have believed it.

(Picture left: Aileen winning the British Senior Open, 2021)

Quick Fire Questions

What do you prefer? Stroke Play or Match Play? I love both however different attitudes needed for each. Can be a bit more aggressive on the matchplay game as score is irrelevant.
Do you still have coaching? Yes with Hannah at Cowdray.
What do you consider to be your strengths? I tend to be a straight player, my short game is probably my strongest aspect.
Current handicap: 1.0
Favourite Golf Course: St Enodoc, Cornwall. I particularly love Links Courses.
Any challenges faced? Hip and partial knee replacement operations although these were carried out in the Autumn/Winter and I was back on the course playing comps by the Spring. I had my hip done in November 2017 and won the National Matchplay the following May.
Inspiration: Seve Ballesteros, he was a magician on the course.
Biggest Achievements: Winning the Sussex County Championship 20 years after my first attempt was very emotional, but winning 3 national titles has been a huge achievement followed by being selected to represent England for the last 7 years.

Following our interview, Aileen kindly shared her Handicap Certificate below which makes for fascinating reading.


Our heartfelt thanks to Aileen for sharing her time, experience and stories of her long tenure in Sussex and national golf. Aileen has been and remains an inspiration to many of our Sussex golfers today and we wish her continued success in both county and national competitions for many more years to come.

We very much hope you have enjoyed the Sussex Spotlight series - these will return in the Autumn.


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