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Triple Crown for Mrs Brown

It sounds somewhat counter-intuitive to hear a woman say she looked forward to getting older, but prodigious amateur champion Emma Brown – nee Duggleby – couldn’t wait to reach her 50th birthday.

The multi ladies amateur champion fairly bounced into Seniors golf having passed her ‘landmark’ birthday, winning both the Yorkshire Women’s Seniors and the Yorkshire Women (again) championships at the first time of asking. Last month, now aged 52, she took that County Seniors tally to three in a row – and she aims to be back for the England Golf County Champion of Champions which she has also lifted the past two years.

One tournament she won’t be contesting in 2024 however is the R&A Senior Ladies Amateur, which attracts the best over-50s from around the world, not just the UK. She finished 3rd in her first entry at Royal Dornoch and was runner-up last year at Woodhall Spa.

“It’s all about the schedule and what we can work in,” she said. Ganton’s Assistant Secretary is mum to 11-year-old Jack. Ahead of preparing for the English Senior Ladies Championship at York Golf Club (May 13-17) she’d spent the Bank Holiday weekend at a two-day football tournament in Bridlington. Jack has also recently taken up cricket which he’s very keen on.

And golf for the lad?

“He will come to it in his own time,” said mum. “We’d never push him into it” – Malton & Norton member Emma’s husband Richard is the club General Manager – “at his age I think team sports are really important. He has a round with us occasionally, but he enjoys his football and cricket.”

Brown did not play much golf in their son’s younger years, hence her anticipation at  qualifying for the Seniors. “I was looking forward to getting back and competing, seeing old friends and playing in a slightly more relaxed environment.”

As a working mum, she says her biggest challenge is time management. “A lot of the Senior ladies are retired and they can play in pretty much everything. I try to hit balls at least a couple of times a week, I might play two or three times or some weeks not get a round at all.

“We have to work our family holidays around things. I’m really lucky in that [Ganton General Secretary] Gary Pearce is great, the most flexible boss you could ask for.

In Sandburn Hall’s Steve Robinson and Ganton professional Gary Brown she has two exemplar coaches to give her game the once over. “They have a look at me from time to time. At my age it’s not about changing much, more about game management!” she laughs. Her current handicap is +1.1.

She was rapidly called up for the England Seniors squad which will be competing in the European and Home Internationals later in the summer.

“I’d like to think I’ll be involved again but we’ll have to see how the performances go.”

But while Brown won’t be in the R&A tournament this year she is heading down to Waterlooville for the England Ladies Strokeplay.

“I have some friends heading to play in that so it should be fun.”


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