Dewsbury golfer on course to make history

DRIVING FORCE: Marie Franks and Mick Thorpe at Dewsbury and District Golf Club. (d11041106)
DRIVING FORCE: Marie Franks and Mick Thorpe at Dewsbury and District Golf Club. (d11041106)
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MARIE Franks is hoping her new golfing role will suit her to a tee.

But she could be forgiven if she is a little green.

For Mrs Franks is the first lady committee member at Dewsbury and District Golf Club in its 120-year history.

And it’s certain she will be putting her all into the task, ensuring no-one will find her below par.

But she said: “I’ll be feeling my way gradually. I don’t want to upset the applecart.”

History was made at a management committee meeting last month, when Mrs Franks was voted in by a sizeable majority.

Her appointment follows her work with club general manager Mick Thorpe on the government’s Equality Bill.

“So really it was a natural progression for me to join the committee,” she said.

“Having only men on the committee just evolved as a historical thing. Women could attend meetings, speak but not vote or be a member. It went on and on, as it did at many clubs.

“Ladies will now feel they have a voice and input. Although I have always had a good rapport with the men.”

Mrs Franks, who lives in Roberttown, will serve for the next two years.

A club member for nearly 24 years, she is the immediate past-president of the ladies’ section and has held other posts such as ladies’ secretary.

She describes her appointment as a ‘milestone’ but says more women members are needed. Of the 600 or so names on the membership roll, fewer than 50 are women.

“That could be due partly to the fact that this is not an easy course,” she said.

“It is very hilly and challenging. But lovely. I wouldn’t play anywhere else.”

Mr Thorpe said: “People have perceived golfing as a stick-in-the-mud sport and slow to move and change. We are changing that image.

“Marie’s appointment is great, I encouraged it. I worked closely with her on the Equality Bill and this is a good move.”