It’s not been a good week.
No, I’m afraid I’m not exaggerating. In fact, it’s a massive understatement – but just how do you describe losing two friends your own age to cancer in under forty-eight hours?
Many of you will have seen Dale Reid’s obituary on the Ladies’ European Tour website and the accolades paid to her when the sad news of her death filtered through from her home in Townsville in Queensland. One of our favourite blog readers, Gordon from Enniskillen, sent a lovely note about her, but I felt unable to write anything last week. Unfortunately, I’ve known for five months how unwell Dale was, so from that point of view it wasn’t entirely unexpected news. My other friend, however, was a shock of seismic proportions and my not mentioning her doesn’t mean anything other than it is all too raw and far, far too soon to think of sharing any stories.
Dale was a good Fifer, hailing from Ladybank Golf Club and she is the reason that course was always on my bucket list of places to play. Six years ago Gill Stewart, Mary McKenna, Sandra Ross and I (aka the July Club although we always had our annual golf get-together in October!) paid a visit to Ladybank on one of our little Scottish forays. Indulge me by allowing me to reproduce here a little of what I wrote at the time.
“So, next it was on to Ladybank Golf Club, the original stomping ground of our old pal Dale Reid and the principal reason this course has always been on my bucket list. Dale, one of Scotland’s finest women golfers, now living in Oz, was a ferocious competitor through her multi-titled amateur and professional days, recording 23 professional wins worldwide and topping the European Order of Merit twice. She played in four Solheim Cup teams and captained two, most famously in her homeland in 2000 when Europe defeated the USA at Loch Lomond.“An honorary member of the Ladies’ European Tour, she was awarded the OBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List. Although short in stature, Reidy gave the ball an almighty thump and Gill remembers her using an old wooden-headed 2-wood off the tee. No driver for Dale! She just loved that 2-wood. It wasn’t always the same story with her putter, however, which I remember she was frequently changing. But when she had her eye in – look out! She was well-nigh unbeatable.”
Dale and her long-term partner Corinne Dibnah were a tour de force wherever they went and it’s hard to write about one without writing about the other.