AVID GOLFER: Gayndah Golf Club Vets president Jan Bourke.
AVID GOLFER: Gayndah Golf Club Vets president Jan Bourke. Adam McCleery

Guiding Tuesday golfers

GAYNDAH Golf Club vets president Jan Bourke has hit the ground running as the new vets captain for the club, after taking over from long time captain Gene Havlik.

"It reached the stage where it was time for someone else to do it," Bourke said. "I'm a newer person here, I've only been here for about eight years and I've just sort of been understudy to Gene for some years. Gene is 84 now and has done a wonderful job as the captain but decided it was time to step down."

Bourke took on the role when it became evident few people were interested in taking on the extra workload.

"As a club we need someone to do all of the captain stuff, like now for example I am doing the handicaps," Bourke said.

He had already taken on some tasks around the club house as an understudy to Havlik.

"Taking on the role of captain was something that just sort of happened naturally," Bourke said.

"Bev Emmerton has been the vice captain for a while and she has been helping out and I have been here doing bits and pieces so it was a natural sort of thing to go on to be the captain.

"It's been fine so far, when we have carnivals here we have people come in from all over and it's a bit of a challenge to have 60 people here whose handicaps you need to work out and then to come up with who should play with who."

As well as recording the daily handicaps for the players, Bourke also gives out the score cards.

"Each week you get another stroke on your handicap so everyone gets a chance, it's the same thing that happens for the sporters," Bourke said.

"To get your handicap you first need a certain amount of score cards recorded and then you work out your handicap from that. Steve does a lot of the handicaps for the club too and puts it all on to the golf link website.

"Handicaps change week by week, so if you win you need to know your daily handicap."

The captain's role includes keeping all scoring and recording of handicaps accurate and official for a nationwide data base.

"You have a handicap for Golf Australia and then you also have a handicap for your course. All courses are rated differently," Bourke said. "A calculation works out the rating at courses which means if we go away to another course we tend to get more strokes on our handicap because most of the other courses are a bit more challenging."

The travelling aspect is something Bourke has come to enjoy in her eight years as an avid golfer.

"We go away to other clubs for the enjoyment of it and the friendship," Bourke said.

"We will go to their courses for an 18-hole vets comp; we have a calendar that comes out every year and shows which courses are having vets carnivals and when. Ours is usually around March.

"For example this year we might go across to the Isis course and play their vets comp."

Bourke only took up golf shortly before moving to Gayndah eight years ago.

"I joined the Gayndah club about 12 months after moving here but I hadn't played a great deal of golf at all before that," Bourke said.

"My husband was playing and I decided that as you get older it's something you can play together so that's sort of how I started."

The rural atmosphere only proved to reinforce Bourke's choice to take up golf.

"It's the people you meet and the places you go to and the people you meet at those places that is great," Bourke said.

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