1. 20th May BERKS v SURREY

Our season started with a “will we, won’t we?” match against Surrey at Sonning. Originally falling a victim to Covid, the match was reinstated when Surrey found themselves with a gap in their away fixtures. Sonning were happy to host, but by the 20th May, many groups had already booked the facilities and so we played with reduced numbers – 12 a side, made up mainly from the committees on both sides.

We were unable to have a dinner after the match so I opted for a “Full English” breakfast buffet before play instead. This was very well received by the ladies who had quickly recovered from their initial reaction of “we couldn’t possibly eat all that before playing golf”. It also happened to be my birthday on the day and it seemed like a very special one, finally being able to get things underway. I treated everyone to a Bucks Fizz by way of celebrating and to help the girls on their way – into the howling wind and rain! Yes – we were stoked up and in buoyant mood, but a lovely day in late Spring it certainly was not.

I had hardly swung a club since March 2019, so I was actually quite happy to plead weather conditions, when even with the best efforts of Rosalie, my partner, we lost our own match.

The results came in in an exciting way, but a win on the 18th by our final pair secured a match halved result, which in the conditions seemed a very good outcome and start to our season.

The team: Babs Shanks, Rosalie Tucker, Mary Lush, Sue Fagan, Claire Randell, Dotty Forbes, Rita Ellis, Sarla Read, Mary Harwood, Terri Wright, Irene Manson & Bernie Martin.


  1. 16th June BERKS v BUCKS

How things had changed since our first match.  We were warmly welcomed to Harleyford on hot  day in the week when Summer had suddenly arrived with a fanfare, with several days of temperatures soaring to 28 degrees.  I was delighted to be playing the there for my first time and was happily distracted by the marvellous sculptures as I hacked my way round what seemed like a very long course. I seemed to have a definite aversion to fairways and was rewarded for my wayward bent with the options of plenty of long grass, the odd tree and quite a lot of clover that just happened to be where my ball had ended up just as I’d been thinking while watching its flight “well, that’s not too bad”.  I gather I was not alone in finding it all a struggle!

Our ladies battled on in the extreme heat but it was clear that Bucks were on good form and though four of our pairs secured a couple of good wins and two halves, we succumbed to the better team on the day.

The team: Babs Shanks, Rosalie Tucker, Margaret Edwards, Elspeth Cooper, Jane Ohlenschlager, Jo Russ, Helen Macandrews, Sally Pincott, Paddy Wright, Linda Harris, Pat Briggs, Claire Randell, Maureen Barnaville, Gill Lane, Mary Lush, Glenys Ellis


  1. 6th July BERKS v OXON

I was looking forward to playing my next away match at Drayton Park, but while away on holiday the week before, I was pinged by NHS England and required to self-isolate for a week on my return. With my Vice Captain also on holiday I was very grateful to our recent past Captain, Margaret Berriman,  who ran the match for me.  Here is her report., which I must add, she produced for me within 24hours which served to nicely accentuate my own inefficiency in such matters.

“As captain for the day, I awoke at 04:30, not sure whether it was the sound of heavy rain or the feelings of anxiety about being Barbara’s stand-in that woke me. The rain carried on up to the time I put my clubs in the car – at which point some watery sun appeared … and, to be honest, after that no-one could complain about the weather. We all put our waterproofs on briefly – there were lots of dark clouds posing more threats than promises of rain and certainly the weather in South Oxon was far better than that over Berkshire.

Only one of the team had played Drayton Park previously so it was an adventure for most of us. The course was very green with lush fairways – just right for playing a wood which some of us had to do rather frequently. There was an interesting mix of doglegs, water carries (or just possibly lay-ups followed by water carries) and challenging shots into greens. All the team seemed to enjoy the experience. Despite Covid restrictions the club looked after and fed us well.

Honours on the day go to the Oxfordshire Captains who won 6:2 although it must be said that 3 of the matches finished on the 18th so it was all quite tight. Particular thanks go to Fran Freeland who had to play on her own, her partner having had to call off just as the first match went to the tee.”

 The team: Margaret Berriman, Claire Randell, Rosalie Tucker, Linda Pitt, Mary Harwood, Bernie Martin, Jill Tyrrell, Katherine Hartwell, Ann Francis, Pauline Valsler, Glenys Ellis, Carol Taylor, Ling Williams, Gill Lane, Fran Freeland.


  1. 12th July BERKS v HANTS

 Our second home match was on a day following the most extreme overnight weather warnings for torrential rain and thunderstorms in the South-east, therefore it was with great trepidation that I opened my curtains, only to discover it was actually dry.  During the whole day the sky threatened to fall in on us, but apart from a couple of fleeting showers we were spared the deluge and so we were all able to enjoy Sonning at its best.   Unfortunately for some, Sonning had been hosting the Clutch professional tour and the recent mowing had been, let’s just say, somewhat unkind, to the average club golfer – with narrower fairways, longer carries and the ubiquitous fescue grass to trouble anyone who was foolish enough to venture off-piste… or for that matter, fail to place a fairway wood shot absolutely perfectly.

Our results initially came in with a half (and that was thanks to Claire holing a magnificent downhill putt on the 18th, to save me from my own moniker of the “ever-losing Captain”). This was followed by two losses, though both bravely fought to the 17th, but then things started looking up with three consecutive wins.  A loss in the penultimate match meant everything was riding on the final match, so when Helen and Jane came in with a resounding win there was great (but of course respectful) jubilation in the Berkshire half of the Captains’ table as our first WIN of the season had finally been secured. Onwards and upwards from now on, I’m hoping!

The team: Babs Shanks, Claire Randell, Katherine Hartwell, Jane Ohlenschlager, Ann Francis, Anne le Marinel, Sonya Singh, Gill Myers, Glyn Carroway, Pauline Valsler, Pat Jenkins, Sally Hart, Paddy Wright, Rita Ellis, Helen Macandrews, Jane Wearing



We played our last home match of the season at Sonning in glorious, but not oppressive, weather against our friends in the Ladies’ Vets team. This is always a convivial fixture, and because some ladies have to choose where they wish to play, as they are eligible for both teams … we Captains were able to enjoy the annual amusement of finding that a lady had applied for both!  Luckily, I had plenty reserves for this popular match which everybody thoroughly enjoyed: the course was in excellent condition and the Club did us all proud on the catering front.

I had the privilege of playing with my Vice Captain for the first time, but sadly also the distinction of causing her to lose her first match. (Must say, I had issued a health warning). Our match was nip and tuck all the way until it was left to me to come into my own to secure a win on the 18th. I didn’t, so my poor reputation sadly remains intact. But thank you Mary for your stellar performance in the face of adversity. The other fours came in with alternate wins and losses in some very closely fought games, but then with two more consecutive wins and only 14 a side, we had secured our second win of the season. Thank you, ladies, for bringing it home!

 The team: Babs Shanks, Mary Lush, Linda Pitt, Bernie Martin, Sonya Singh, Ros Gurney, Pat Jenkins, Judy Jones, Glenys Ellis, Terri Wright, Marilyn Pembroke, Rita Ellis, Jill Tyrrell & Ling Williams.