Date: July 27, 2016
Author: Golf NSW

How golf changed Liz’s life

I have lived on the Central Coast for 25 years working as a music teacher, choir conductor and voice tutor. I’m a wife and mother with four sons, a daughter in-law and a granddaughter.  

I’ve been involved in sports for over 40 years, but my life changed when I started playing golf.

I was busy working three to four days a week back in 2005, playing netball, tennis, juggling after-hours school rehearsals and training sessions for my boys and myself, along with the usual household chores. My weekly schedule was a military operation with very little idle time.

I received my first set of golf clubs as a Mothers’ Day gift unexpectedly from my husband that year. We were in a golf shop after a Mother’s day brunch. My husband was looking for a new driver and I casually mentioned that it might be a good idea if I learnt how to play so I could spend time with my dad on the golf course. My mother had passed away the previous year, and  dad had retired to care for her. Dad played golf socially but had never joined a golf club. Before I knew it John bought a set of clubs for me right there.

I was determined to learn how to use them so I approached golf with the same attitude as learning to play a musical instrument. I knew it would require time to understand the fundamentals and that this would mean hours of practice, patience and persistence. My husband who is a competent golfer, is also a very good instructor.  Over the next six months he gave me lessons at the local driving range.

I was warned by well meaning friends and family that this wouldn’t work and it would cause problems between us. From the beginning I made a conscious decision to trust his advice and not to react emotionally. This may have been the hardest part but was extremely rewarding and brought us closer at a time when we were both so busy with our jobs and family.  

By the end of 2005, my dad and I had joined Gosford Golf Club. Every Friday morning, we would meet at around 7am and play in the mixed competition, have some lunch, then he would drive back to Sydney and I would head off to work. It was delightful to be able spend quality time with my dad even as a ‘rookie’. I was so focused on reaching a good enough standard to participate in those days that I hadn’t anticipated the camaraderie that the game develops. Each week we would play with different members and within a few months were well known to the staff and had found plenty of new friends.

Less than 12 months after taking up the game, we went on a golf holiday to Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. This was a fantastic introduction to the world of “resort golf” and family holidays. As soon as we returned, we made enquiries about the new development at Magenta Shores Golf and Country Club. Six months later, we had purchased a villa there and had become members.

Being part of a new club was exciting and the chance to play golf on almost any day of the week gave both of us the time to practice and play. The decision was life-changing as we’ve made so many new friendships that our social life has taken off in a completely new direction. ‘Men Only’ and ‘Women Only’ competitions are a thing of the past here at Magenta Shores so we now get to play golf together every weekend.

In 2008 our two eldest boys moved out of home to attend University and family life became a little less hectic. During the year our two youngest sons went on a three-week school rugby trip, so John and I organised a holiday to the USA with a stop in Maui followed by two weeks in Florida. It was the first time my husband and I had been away without the children for longer than a week. We took our golf clubs and we booked to play at a few courses. To be honest I had not started watching golf on TV so names like ‘Plantation’, ‘Bay’ and ‘Sawgrass’ meant nothing to me. I was simply excited to be travelling again as a couple and going somewhere new.  

We were blown away by the beautiful scenery and majesty of these courses. At each one we were teamed up with members or other visitors. We really enjoyed the experience and exposure to such a variety of personalities. We often ended up having a few drinks or sharing a meal with the people we met. The golf and travel bug had well and truly bitten both of us.

In 2010, I semi-retired and our youngest son finished high school. This meant I had more time to dedicate to my new found passions – golf and travel. Since then, my husband and I have journeyed with friends to play golf at some wonderful Australian destinations like the Mornington Peninsular, Sanctuary Cove, the Hunter Valley and the Sunshine Coast. We’ve also been to China, New Zealand and Vietnam. I had never envisaged taking a group holiday before without my family but have thoroughly enjoyed each trip.

Golf is an amazing sport that continues to challenge me and has provided endless hours of enjoyment. I’m inspired by today’s young professional golfers and their level of expertise as well as the octogenarians that continue to play the game.

I have served on the match committee here at Magenta Shores since 2010 and I’ve been the Lady Captain since 2012. I have been involved in organizing rookie clinics, PAR 3 competitions, short game skills activities, golf tournaments, ladies’ days, inter-club competitions, pennant teams, golf tours, novelty competitions and musical performances.

This year we celebrate the Club’s 10th anniversary and I’m very proud to have contributed to its development. Playing golf has strengthened my marriage, enhanced my lifestyle, friendships and changed my life.