You may hear of the names and know of some of the ladies who helped create Sussex County Ladies Golf Association but did you know who they were? Many of the earliest ladies donated trophies, which were rightly named after the donor and these are still keenly fought over year after year. Read about Linda Jerdein, Glenda Ricketts, Kathleen Rider, Kathleen Morrice, Prue Riddiford, Beryl Pockett and others!
Kathleen Rider was known before marriage as Miss Gilligan and played at West Sussex and Goodwood with a very competitive handicap of 3, she frequently represented Sussex. In 1955 Kathleen died whilst still in her early 50’s and the family state that had recently been nominated as Sussex County Captain. West Hove GC play a Kathleen Rider Foursomes competition annually, and it’s believed that her sister in law, Penny Gilligan, started the competition in Kathleen’s memory.
Nowadays the Kathleen Rider Foursomes is an annual event with 2 pairs playing foursomes off handicap competing for the Kathleen Rider Salver.
In 1989 she took up golf with her husband John and joined Holtye Golf Club; among the many highlights in her golfing career was that she was part of the winning team in 1995 which won the Kathleen Rider Foursomes, quite an achievement for such a small club!
In 1996 she became Lady Captain at Holtye and also won the club championship. In the same year she was elected to serve on the SCLGA Committee where she held various offices until 2001.
Late in 1997 Glenda joined Nevill Golf Club where she won many trophies and was the ladies club champion 3 times, the most recent being in 2006 whilst she was undergoing chemotherapy. During her time at Nevill GC she become the SCLGA County Captain, which was a position she undertook with the same drive and ambition which encompassed her life! She was still County Captain, with a handicap of 9 at the time of her untimely death in July 2007.
Her husband, John, donated the Glenda Ricketts Salvers in 2008 and the County hosts an annual charity event at Nevill GC every October in her memory, with all monies raised sent to Breast Cancer Now.
Prue Riddiford who died in March 2019 aged 94 was a highly distinguished amateur golfer who once played against Henry Cotton and had a very long and successful competitive career both for Sussex and in the Seniors’ game in later years. A member of Royal Ashdown Forest for half a century, she will be remembered as an inspiring role model by many female golfers, as well as for some charming eccentricities! She was often seen wearing wellies, rubber gloves and even a black bin bag for weather protection long before thermals came onto the market. She always had 2 putters out on the practice green before a game, one for slow and the other for fast greens. Her preparation for matches, making copious notes of every course to be played and loading her golf bag with bricks during a non-competitive game to strengthen her arms, were well ahead of her time.
Prue was born in Norfolk, with her early years spent in Middleton-on-Sea with schooling at Tortington Park and golf at Hill Barn, Worthing. After the war, she worked at Tortington Park School as a secretary, where she also began teaching the girls golf on the school’s small course. Aged 22, she can recall playing with her father in a match at Moor Park against Henry Cotton!
In 1949, aged 26, she played her first match for Sussex, and in 1953 she won the Sussex Spring Meeting at Crowborough by 15 shots and the first of 10 county championships playing off 3. She made a conscious decision to get down to scratch, exceeding her ambition when she achieved a handicap of plus 2. She gave over 30 years to the Sussex county team playing her last match in 1979 when she was the oldest in the squad.
Prue was also active away from Sussex. She won the Hampshire Rose in 1974 and was a regular competitor in the London Foursomes (winning the event in 1979 with Jenny Tate). When her husband died in 1981, Prue was only 57 and embraced Seniors’ golf, winning the British Seniors twice at Ilkley in 1982 and Longniddry in 1986 and represented England at the European Team Championships at Le Touquet and Switzerland.
She collected 10 Sussex Senior Championships and in 1994, aged 70 and playing off 6, she won the Methusaleh Trophy for the over 70s at Piltdown. She continued to be Club Champion at her home club, Royal Ashdown Forest, in 1994 and 1996.
In 1971, Prue joined the United Services Ladies Golf Association playing in the Wilton Shield no less than 23 times between 1971 and 1994. Her membership of the Veteran Ladies Golf Association also saw her crowned Champion 5 times between 1975 and 1992. She was a founder member of the English Seniors Ladies Golf Association in 1989 and their first President in 1992, and was instrumental in founding the European Senior Open.
Prue had numerous holes in one, achieved 2 Albatrosses at Dyke and Mannings Heath and held several course records.
If you know of any more information about Kathleen Rider, Glenda Ricketts or Prue Riddiford then please contact Jacs Marlio at the SCLGA website.