THIS is the 13th year in a row Helen Kipling has entered The Journal Trophy and until this season she had never made it past the club qualifying stage.
But this time she is on a roll. Having negotiated the first hurdle, the 39-year-old mother-of-two from the Consett club went on to win the County Durham heat at Garesfield.
Kipling led the six qualifiers for the final at Ramside Hall on September 25.
They will join the other six qualifiers from the Northumberland heat, which was played on a raw windswept day at Dunstanburgh Castle last month.
The Durham heat, though, was a different story. “It was a lovely day,” said Kipling. “Sunny and warm with no wind. Perfect.
“The Garesfield greens are slower than the ones we have at Consett, which are fast, and that seemed to help me.
“I didn’t have one three-putt and I didn’t seem to find trouble tee to green.”
Playing off 21 and having started the season on 25, Kipling, who lives in Shotley Bridge, has now had her handicap reduced to 20 after shooting 89 for a nett 68.
She took up the game at Westerhope when she was 14 and now works part-time as an administrator for a group of care homes in the Consett area who look after adults with learning difficulties.
Kipling said: “I’m playing a bit more now my children are a little older and I’m working part-time.
“I like to play in as many competitions as I can because it helps you improve.” The prize for the winner of the Ramside final, apart from The Journal Trophy, is a golf and pamper weekend for two at De Vere Slaley Hall.
The second prize is a £100 voucher, put up by event sponsors 1st Tee Golfing Holidays, which can be used at any PGA professional’s club shop.
ANYBODY who would like a 1st Tee Golfing Holidays brochure should ring (01670) 789877, visit the website www.1sttee.co.uk or email email@example.com