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Meet the Vice 2. Lady VC

Last week we took a little look at what makes our Captain-elect Dave Raymond tick along, now we turn our spotlight on next year’s Lady Captain …

Jan Fitzgerald

It’s either a fortuitous accident, or an inspired choice by the elders of the club, but happily Jan Fitzgerald’s aims for her year as Lady Captain are broadly in line with Dave Raymond’s thoughts for his year: to enjoy it, and do her best to ensure the members enjoy it too.  “I may not be as spontaneous as others”, she said “but I’m at my happiest when the people around me are having a good time. I love that atmosphere.”

Jan fitzgerald

Born in Sheffield, Jan has moved home 23 times before settling where she is now. Along the way she has pursued a career in Nursing and health service management as well as supporting husband Barry in the growth of his business.

Jan has been a member since 2003; joining together with Barry after spells at first Tudor Park and then the Ridge. Although she is very happy and enjoying life at R&CP GC, she was sad to leave some good friends at The Ridge.

Her off-course interests and pastimes of ballroom dancing and handicrafts are reflected in her all-time favourite films: Dirty Dancing and Ghost (although she assured us that the common element of Patrick Swayze was not a major factor in the choices!) We’re not sure whether a ‘Strictly Dirty Dancing’ night has been proposed in the plans for next year’s social programme, but if there’s any mention of a potter’s wheel Dave, run away and hide.

Jan shares an interest with Dave Raymond in her enjoyment of things aeronautical, through husband Barry’s light aircraft where they regularly buzz the course and tip a wing in deference to the golfers below. Keep an eye out for her when you’re out there!

She is also a keen yoga practitioner, so if you see her sitting quietly with her eyes closed, she may not be sleeping, just catching some calm for a few minutes.

On the course, Jan regularly plays in the Ladies Tuesday competitions, as well as some Mixed events with Barry. Surprisingly for someone who admits she’s not a long hitter, she nominated the 15th as her favourite hole, enjoying the challenge presented on all three of her shots to get to the green. The sight of the ball soaring up onto the green from the front approaches always gives her immense satisfaction.

A hole-in-one would be the pinnacle of Jan’s golfing ambitions and she cites her ’nearest the pin’ award on the recent Ladies Away Days at Old Thorns as her most memorable golfing achievement to date. It was extra special for being the first time she’s done it.

Jan’s looking forward to playing with the other Vice Captains and Captains across the County during her year, but her dream 4-ball is clearly chosen to reflect her sometimes hidden sense of fun rather than her sense of duty. It would be: Sergio Garcia (for his impish charm), Darren Clarke (for his general demeanor) and, as you’d expect, top lady golfer Michelle Wie. Another of Jan’s pastimes, gardening, led her to suggest Augusta as the venue for this round, where she could not just ‘stop and smell the roses’, but admire the dogwoods and azaleas too. It’s probably just as well she didn’t want to do it at Rochester as we’re not sure how Michelle’s Solheim Cup socks would sit with our dress code!

As a parting comment, if there was one thing Jan would like to influence as Lady Captain, it would be to find some opportunities for the men and ladies to play golf together more often, just for fun: maybe some kind of ‘mixed-up’, rather than ‘mixed’ event. That would surely be a memorable legacy to leave.