The ladies of Co Armagh Golf club enjoyed Mediterranean weather conditions as they competed for the array of beautiful Newbridge jewellery prizes which Lady Captain Elizabeth had chosen to mark her special day; and what a special day it was.

The course was in magnificent condition thanks to the Greens Staff and volunteers. The beautiful fairways encouraged a run on the ball which some players found difficult to harness, while others welcomed the extra length which they obtained. The sun-drenched, fast-running greens proved challenging. However, these challenges were easily overcome by Valerie Gordon who emerged as the overall winner of the Lady Captain's prize .

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County Armagh Golf Club Lady Captain's Day winner, Valerie Gordon, is presented with the new Lady Captain's Day perpetual cup and her winner's prize by Lady Captain Elizabeth

Lady Captain Elizabeth hosted the traditional coffee morning for family, friends, various dignitaries and club members. The tempting array of scones and tray bakes was once again generously provided by Johnston's bakery. The clubhouse was adorned with beautiful flower arrangements and everything was in perfect condition due to the efforts of the caretakers, ably supported by the Ladies Committee. Upon completion of their round of golf the ladies were treated to a very welcome glass of dressed Pimm's on the sun-soaked terrace, courtesy of the Lady Captain and beautifully prepared by Damien the Bar Manager and his staff.

In her address to those who attended the evening dinner Elizabeth expressed her delight at what really had been a perfect day. However, she pointed out that Lady Captain's day is always one of a few special days in the club calendar but that this is really because of what takes place on every other day of the year.

Elizabeth expressed her sincere thanks to the Captain and Council for the use of the clubhouse and to all those who had helped to prepare the course and clubhouse for her Captain's day. She referred to the superb condition of the course, which was a testament to the work of Davy Baird the course convenor and the greenkeepers. As Lady Captain in the year the club celebrates its 125 th anniversary she welcomed the opportunity to publicly recognise all those who contribute to the smooth running of the club, the welcoming bar and restaurant staff, Will and his team in the Pro shop, the office and green staff and the care takers.

Elizabeth paid tribute to the hard-working members of the ladies' branch who have helped to make her year as Lady Captain both enjoyable and successful. She thanked Sheila Stinson and her team for the beautiful flower displays, Johnston's bakery for the delicious array of food, the loyal sponsors, the Girls Juvenile convenor and the ladies' teams and their captains who have represented the club throughout the year. Elizabeth also paid tribute to the catering staff who had provided a magnificent buffet, served with great efficiency.

As she concluded her speech Elizabeth referenced the considerable heritage of the club which has been recognised with letters of congratulation from Her Majesty the Queen and President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. Reaching the milestone of 125 years encourages the club to both celebrate the past and look to the future. Elizabeth paid tribute to the Captain Colm Shannon whom she has worked closely with to promote the 125 th anniversary and build for the future.

Elizabeth was joined on the evening by a wide gathering of family and friends, including her husband John and her daughters Sarah and Alexandra whom she described as her greatest supporters and occasionally fiercest critics.

In closing her speech Elizabeth sincerely thanked everyone for their generosity towards her chosen charity, Southern Area Hospice the total on the night had exceeded £1,770.

Valerie Gordon, the first recipient of the new Lady Captain's Day perpetual trophy, which the Lady Captain has generously donated to the Ladies Branch, expressed her surprise at winning the competition and delight at lifting the trophy. She thanked her playing partners Sheila and Ellen and attributed her success to taking her Pimm's before she embarked on her round.

Following the speeches, meal and prize giving ceremony, Anne O'Hea gave an entertaining vote of thanks to the Lady Captain remarking that attention to detail and meticulous planning had been evident in everything Elizabeth had undertaken but particularly with the 9-hole vintage competition which she had organised to mark the 125 th anniversary of the club.

The vote was seconded by Flo McCall in an equally entertaining and personal speech and was received by wide acclaim from all present.

The results for Lady Captain's Day 2018 were as follows

  • Winner Valerie Gordon 39 points.
  • Runner-Up Lynne Brown 39 point beaten on c/b
  • Gross Prize Helen Forster 25 gross
  • Category A June Humphries 34 points.
  • Category B Karen Edgar 38 points
  • Category C Helen McLaughlin 37 points.
  • Category D Maggie McKee 37 points.
  • Category E Marie McGreevy 33 points.
  • Front 9 Fionnaula Quinn 22 points.
  • Back 9 Jackie Donnelly 20 points.
  • Senior Ladies Rita Grimley 16 points.
  • Committee Patricia Hughes 35 points.
  • Past Lady Captain Eileen Fitzsimons 37 points.
  • Country/Overseas/Student Katherine Steenson 32 points.
  • 18-Hole Putting Competition Moya Brady 33 putts
  • Get into Golf 18-hole Teresa Campbell.
  • Senior Girls Anna Jennings
  • Junior Girls Lauren McGeown
  • Senior Boys Simon McGurk
  • Junior Boys Daniel Stewart
  • Men's 9-Hole Noel Cassin 22 points
  • Men's Putting Competition Andy Steed 37 putts
  • Lady Visitor Linda Crawford
  • Men Visitor Stewart Breakey.

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Lady Captain Elizabeth Mawhinney and Club Captain Colm Shannon

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Lady Captain Elizabeth and her family

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Guests enjoying fare provided by Johnston's Bakery at the Coffee morning in the clubhouse

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Lady Captain Elizabeth pictured with her prize winners