A new chapter for the Boland Golf Union with a new leader.
After the successful amalgamation of the BGU with Boland Women’s Golf, Maria Kirton has been elected as the new President of the Boland Union. In this interview the energetic Kirton talks about her passion for golf and her goals as President.
At what age were you introduced to golf?
A. My first experience at golf started at the age of 40. Going to the driving range hitting golf balls with a 7 iron. That was my “go to club” for the next 2 years. I also caddied for my partner during his league matches. I obtained my official handicap in 2012 just before the Devonvale Foursomes Classic, where we “famously” won the tournament.
When did you join the Paarl Golf Club?
A. I joined in 2015 after playing a few courses to see which one will be our new home club. My choice was the Paarl Golf Club – after I shot a nett 59 off a 30 handicap on the Boschenmeer course.
That sealed the deal for me and I became a member at PGC.
When did you decide to participate in committee affairs at the Paarl Club?
A. I only started playing with the Paarl ladies in August 2018 after the Ladies Vice-Captain Helaine Strydom invited me to join the Tuesday Ladies.
I remember sitting at one of the Tuesday prize-givings when the then Ladies Captain Arina van der Vyver asked who would want to be involved with Boland Ladies Golf? Without thinking I put my hand up for this. That is also how I got involved with the Paarl Ladies Committee. Two committees at one go!
I was responsible for the league on both of these committees. I was ready to take over as Paarl Ladies Captain after being Vice-Captain when I started working for Paarl Golf Club as a Customer Experience Coordinator in March 2020 just before Covid19 outbreak. Obviously by occupying this post, the position of Ladies Captain could no longer be on the cards.
When did you join Boland Ladies Golf Committee?
A. I served on the BOL committee since 2019 and was elected to Vice-President for the 2020/2021 season. I was responsible for league golf, and also became more involved with the organization of tournament golf and the Albatross scoring system. I was elected president of Boland Ladies Golf for the 2022/2023 term. I also served on three committees of Womens Golf South Africa (WGSA) and represent the Boland Union at WGSA.
What was your biggest “lesson” regarding the administration of golf that you learned since joining the Boland Committee?
A. You have to be prepared for challenges. Keep it Simple. In golf, nothing good ever happened as a result of overthinking or complexity. You have to continuously assess and realign your strategy to achieve your goals.
Celebrate the small wins and when you have to deal with challenges, observe and assess the situation and then re-engage.