Ironton ladies club fixture for more than 40 years

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 31, 2005

PINE GROVE - The lady golfer drew back her club and then went in a forward motion. She struck the ball, but not in the manner she planned and the ball went short and off course.

"Take a Mulligan," said one of her playing partners. "It's your first shot."

Fun, no pressure and plenty of social interaction. That's what the Ironton Ladies Nine-Hole Golf Association is all about.

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This current group of 17 women have fun as they "carry on" each Tuesday morning at the Ironton Country Club. They are also carrying on a tradition that has spanned more than 40 years.

The association began with a meeting at Rock Hollow on May 5, 1964, and elected Laura Sullivan as the first chairman.

Sullivan's daughter, Pat Lambert, also a former chairman and board member, still visits the group and spends a day playing golf, eating lunch and catching up on what's new around the clubhouse.

The original membership was between 15 to 26 ladies over the first several years. While some of the women were golfing, another group met to play bridge.

The association held its annual spring luncheon at the Hotel Marting with the women wearing hats and tailored suits that were popular during the 1950s.

During those early years, the group hosted invitational golf tournaments such as one held June 14, 1956, that was attended by 127 women.

One of the hat days called for the women to display their crazy hats while playing their golf matches.

Current club members include: Rose Auble, Sue Ball, Jamie Dyer, Linda Eldridge, Joyce Fields, Betty Fraley, Irene Howard, Linda Ison, Johnna Jones, Joyce Lewis, Nancy Livingston, Midge Payne, Pat Riggs, Doris Roberts, Georgie Triplett, Georgia Willis and Jean Wiseman.

One longtime member, Lynn Rapp, died recently and left a void in their weekly event.

"We lost a good member when we lost Lynn Rapp. She was a wonderful person," Payne said.

Howard is one of the longtime members and she enjoys playing each week.

"I'm 76 years old, so I've been in it a long time," Howard said. "We really have a nice group."

Past members are not forgotten. Lewis said she can remember the name tags on the lockers of former members such as Wanda Anderson, Jeannine White, Judy Roberts, Sally Click, Betty Hacker, Juanita Linn, Wanda Spears, Betty Ratliff, Carol Kegley, Judy Brose, Carol Waller, Julie Bunker, Lib Callahan, Shanna Kay Collins, Elaine Click and Janet Brown Fraley.

Lewis said many of the Nine-Hole Association members also played with an 18-hole group and even others played in a ladies' Wednesday evening league.

The Ladies Nine-Hole Golf Association is not limited to just its current members. Lewis said that others are welcomed to attend as the women meet at 9 a.m. for about half-an-hour and then play golf.

"We have a good time," Lewis said.

They have had a good time, for more than 40 years and probably for another 40 or more.