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Gloucestershire's Clare Hall celebrates her 100th birthday

4th March2009

Congratulations to Gloucestershire golfer Clare Hall who celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday.

Clare, who likes to play twice a week, marked the occasion with a weekend village party and a lunch party with close friends on the day itself. On Thursday there will be more partying when the ladies of Cirencester Golf Club hold a grand celebration for their centenarian.

It will include a competition, a lunch and a reception in honour of their oldest member. And they'd love to know if Clare is the oldest lady golfer playing in England.
Clare took up golf when she was 20 and held a single figure handicap before the war.

She joined Cirencester in 1960 and was ladies' captain in 1980.

“She's incredible,” said ladies' captain Venetia Champniss. “Clare tries to play a couple of times a week and she goes out in weather when we wouldn't! In the summer she plays all the competitions and everyone enjoys playing with her.”

Clare, who has a handicap of 34, has had to take an enforced break from golf after a fall at her home – but it won't be for long. “She's determined to get back to playing and hell or high water won't stop her,” said Venetia.

There are many golfing stories about Clare. She walked around the course until about eight years ago, when she opted for a ride-on buggy. When she was about 80 she was rather cross that she was no longer in the silver division – so she went out in the hot midsummer and successfully marked a card to cut her handicap. Then, just  two years ago she bought a new set of woods, having seen her colleagues enjoying the new technology.  She admits they have given her a little more length!

Clare has an all-round enjoyment of golf and paired up with fellow Cirencester member, Norma Franklin, to make several journeys into rough to look for, and make an inventory of, local wildflowers found on their golf course. They found about 80 different types.



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