Ayrshire Post

League ladies tee up 75 years of golf

27 clubs to take part in anniversar­y Tri- Am

- Mike Wilson

L a d y g o l f e r s a r e celebratin­g the 75th anniversar­y of a league that was launched by a Troon woman.

The thriving West of Scotland Ladies Inter Club League is contested by 27 clubs.

It’s all thanks to former British ladies captain Ysobel Greenlees who learned her golf in Prestwick.

Ysobel was born in 1902, the daughter of building contractor George Findlay ( later a Bailie of Troon) and his wife, Jessie Greenlees of Campbeltow­n.

In 1919, age 17, she married her cousin Walter Greenlees, a son of the distiller Samuel Greenlees jnr who had made Scotch an internatio­nal drink.

Ysobel and Walter settled in Monkland House, Troon, and by 20, had a son and daughter.

The Greenlees families hailed from Kintyre and developed three distilleri­es in Campbeltow­n ( and one in Islay) and were founder members of Machrihani­sh Golf Club in 1876.

They pioneered the massmarket­ing and exporting of blended whiskies and soon became the largest holders in the world of thoroughly matured pure malt whisky.

Ysobel learned her golf at Prestwick St Nicholas, which was instrument­al in starting the Scottish Ladies Golfing Associatio­n, and became club champion at 25 before joining Troon.

She was West of Scotland champion in 1932, was a leading member of the first- ever British ladies team which toured Australasi­a, via India.

Ysobel founded the West of Scotland Ladies Inter Club League in 1930, for which her husband donated the Greenlees Trophy.

First winners in 1931 were St Nicholas who beat Troon a playoff. From 1939, due to the War, the League was suspended until 1949, when Troon won. A second division was created in 1954 followed by a third in 1986.

Ysobel died in 1996 and today is remembered for The Greenlees league which is keenly contested every summer.

Each of the three Greenlees Divisions has nine clubs and each team comprises nine players.

To mark the 75th anniversar­y, an anniversar­y Tri- Am is being held on Saturday, September 19 at Cathcart Castle GC which will host players from all 27 Greenlees clubs. Current members include Ayr Belleisle, Kilmarnock Barassie, Largs, Loudoun Gowf, Prestwick St Nicholas, Troon Ladies and West Kilbride.

 ??  ?? Big hitter Former British ladies captain Ysobel Greenlees, from Troon, who learned her golf in Prestwick
Big hitter Former British ladies captain Ysobel Greenlees, from Troon, who learned her golf in Prestwick

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