Fellow players rank Cobar’s Top 10 lady golfers

Ladies golfer Suzanne Ryan was a great striker of the ball and could drive it further than most men. ▪ Photo contributed

This week’s sporting spotlight is on women’s golf and highlights Cobar’s Top 10 players.

The selection process was compiled by a panel of local players who could only agree on the ranking of the top four players. The remaining six players were not given a ranking.

Coming in at Cobar’s No 1 lady golfer is Suzanne Ryan, who achieved much in local golf from the age of 13-17 years.

Suzanne was a great striker of the ball and could drive further than most men. She also had great touch around the greens, with exceptional chipping and putting skills. She was successful on grass and on sandgreens.

Suzanne was a stand-out player in the Western Districts. She shot an amazing record of 67 off the stick in Cobar, has won multiple Open events and claimed seven consecutive Club Championships titles (including claiming one win by more than 30 shots). Suzanne won Club Foursomes and Mixed Championships titles and has gone down in Cobar Ladies Golf history as the first lady to win the A Grade Championship, Ladies Foursome and Mixed Foursomes all in the same year.

Her other achievements as a junior included the CHS Strokeplay Championship for Western Districts, CHS Matchplay Champion, Western Region Matchplay Champion, Dubbo National Bank Jnr Classic, Jack Newton International Age Championships, Ansett Sub Junior Classic in Brisbane QLD, selected in CHS State team to play in Perth WA and Canberra ACT, selected to Captain NSW Schoolgirls State Team in the Australian Championship leading her team to victory (one of her matches had her pitted against Karrie Webb from QLD), she won the NSW Open Mixed Foursomes in Sydney, and was selected by Ladies Golf Union to represent in the Australian Junior Championship in Brisbane.

After leaving school at 17, Suzanne moved to Dubbo and won several club events including Championships, Mixed Foursomes, Foursomes and Rosebowl. Suzanne broke the course record in Dubbo and has represented Dubbo in Pennants golf. She came out of retirement in 2016 to win the Cobar Mixed foursomes with her son Jacob Ryan.

No 2 on the ladies’ list is Dorothy Chalker.

Dorothy epitomised what a true Lady Golfer was. She was a very competitive, skilled and smart golfer with unbelievable putting skills and a great all-round game. She always showed great sportsmanship and set the bar very high that most other golfers looked to emulate. Young learners just starting to play the game were in awe of Dorothy and her skill level. She was a marvelous role model for the up and coming golfers. She won many Open titles and various events throughout the Western Districts and in her home club she reaped  a huge array of trophies and titles. Dorothy won eight Club Championships and represented Cobar and the Western Districts on numerous occasions. She was hard to beat on the course as she seemed to thrive on pressure which took her game to another level.

At No 3 is Janet Place. Her style of play is described as picture perfect. She has an impressive all round game from tee to green and, while competitive, she always displays the most even temperament on the course. Janet has won seven Championship titles, as well as claiming wins in Foursome Championships, Mixed Foursomes and Cobar Open events.

Her list of achievements could have been longer had she had the opportunity to play in events outside of Cobar but being a working mum it prevented her being able to travel.

Janet loves to play the game for the joy it.

In at No 4 is Jenny Stephenson, a super talented golfer who is extremely competitive. Jenny is a fantastic striker of the ball and  possesses a good all-round game with awesome putting skills. Jenny only joined the Cobar club as a member in the past two years, and in that time she has taken out the Club Championships twice, and has also won the Cobar Open on a few occasions, along with recording wins in Foursome Championships and Mixed Foursomes. Jenny won the Champion of Champions and Western District Champion titles in 2018 and 2019 which gave her automatic entry for the NSW Women’s Open Amateur Event in 2018 which was the ultimate highlight of her golfing career. Jenny unfortunately lost the Champion of Champions in 2019 in a four-way play off but went on to win the Western District Championships. She’s won numerous Opens titles and was a member of Cobar’s  winning sand green team.

Among the unranked players is
Vi McLaughlin. Vi started playing golf very late in life. Vi won four Club Championship and various other trophies for different events in the Cobar club and throughout the Western Districts. She was a real scrambler who hit a big ball but could not always control the trajectory which resulted in putting herself in tough positions in trees and scrub etc. She still had the ability however to come up with a par on the hole.

Through her love of the game and her competitive spirit, Chrissy Gilligan worked hard to gain skills and hone her game by practising and playing every opportunity she could get.

Chrissy is a huge hitter of the ball and pretty handy with the putter to give her a good all round game. She won three Club Championships and also claimed Foursomes Championships and Mixed Foursome Championships titles, and won various Western District events

Chrissy won the 2017 Champion of Champions title and at the same time the Western Districts Champion title, the first Western Districts women’s golfer to do so. That year she also received automatic entry into the NSW Women’s Amateur Event.

Fay Hardwick is a great competitor and is the most consistent player in the Cobar club. While not having a great long game, Fay makes up for that by being up the middle of the fairway with her accuracy, and she is deadly with the putter.

Fay has won two Club Championships and multiple Open tournaments along with winning Matchplay, Foursomes, Mixed Foursomes, Pennants, Rosebowl and Sandgreen team events.

Kathy McGuinness was a very competitive and talented player. She was a great striker of the ball and had a good all-round solid game.

Kathy aimed for that high standard every time she played. It was a shame she didn’t play regularly due to other commitments. She only won the Club Championships title the once which does not indicate the calibre of play this lady was capable of.

Ann Overall was a very competitive player who, while did not have a very long game,  made up for that in her accuracy and consistency of hitting down the middle of the fairway with every shot. She proved that you did not have to be able to hit a huge ball to be a good golfer.

Ann was deadly with her putter and possessed a very good consistent game. She was extremely competitive and never gave up until that final shot was played. Ann won the club Championships twice along with winning Foursomes, Mixed Foursomes, Opens and various other events throughout the Western Districts in her golfing career. In 1984 she set the course record of 73. Ann’s passion for golf was only surpassed by her dedication to helping junior players.

Ann Middleton was another golfer who also did not start playing golf until later in life. Ann was by no means a technical golfer but she could hit a long ball. She could not however always control the direction which resulted her seeing more of the golf course than most players. This lady could scramble to make those pars.

She won only one Club Championship, which does not indicate her true golfing abilities as she was always in the winner’s circle at both club and Western Districts level.