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Captain’s Log: Linda Seaton, Naunton Downs Golf Club

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 26th September 2019, 09:00, Tags: Captain's Log

Linda Seaton Linda Seaton

Linda Seaton is just over halfway through her year-long term as captain of the ladies’ section at Naunton Downs Golf Club.

Ask her how it’s going and she gives The Local Answer the same reply that she gives any of the club’s lady members who ask her that question.

“I always turn it around,” she said. “I ask them how they think it is going, luckily I’ve always had a positive response!”

That’s no real surprise because talk to Linda for just a few minutes and it’s apparent that she is very much focussed on what’s best for the club and, in her case, its lady members.

Linda has been playing at the club for more than nine years but only became a full-time member when she and her husband Simon moved to Northleach permanently when they retired and left London at the end of 2014.

“We started playing golf with a view to doing something together when we retired,” explained Linda.

But while Linda has well and truly caught the golfing bug, badminton remains Simon’s favoured sport.

“I play off 22 which is middling,” Linda continued. “Simon plays off 30-something. He’s trying to play a bit more and he’s been very supportive to me in my year as captain.”

Linda was delighted to be asked to be captain – she served as vice-captain to Dawn Rimmer for a year before taking on the top job at the end of February – although she admitted she didn’t expect to be asked so soon.

“I think they asked someone who didn’t know any better!” she laughed. “It did come slightly earlier than I expected but I always wanted to give something back.”

She’s certainly doing that and more. Her charity for the year is the Stroud & Cotswold Districts Citizens Advice Bureau and it’s something that is close to her heart.

“My husband volunteers there,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realise it’s a charity and it needs funding and support for all the good work it does.”

The Seatons have certainly got to know plenty of people since moving to this part of the world and while Linda occasionally misses the wide choice of restaurants on offer in London, it’s a move she hasn’t regretted for one moment.

“The Cotswolds are lovely, very different from what we were used to,” she said. “It’s a much slower pace of life here but everyone is so welcoming.”

Linda, who has just turned 58, is clearly a keen sportswoman because she also plays tennis at both Northleach and Chedworth, a sport she has been able to maintain even though she is captain at the golf club.

But it’s fair to say that it’s the golf that has been her main priority over the past few months and she’s delighted that she’s been able to get her handicap down by three shots since the start of the year.

“I would love to get it down to the teens,” Linda said. “A lot of ladies who have been captain say that their handicaps go down the year they are in charge or the following year because they play so much golf.

“Over the course of the next year I’d like to get it down to 19, I feel that’s a good target. I want to set an achievable target.”

And after that, what does Linda need to improve if she wants to get her handicap down even further?

“My short game, as it is for most golfers,” she admitted. “My approaches to the greens and getting my putting right, those are the big areas.”

But while she’d love to reduce her handicap, first and foremost she just loves playing at Naunton Downs.

“It’s a great club,” she said. “The ladies’ section supports three teams playing against other clubs in various leagues plus lots of friendlies against other clubs so there are a great variety of opportunities to play golf both at Naunton and elsewhere.

“It’s a great course with a really nice variety, you can never get bored playing it.”

And it’s unlikely the ladies have been bored while Linda has been captain.

“When I started I wanted the ladies’ section to have an enjoyable and fulfilling year, that’s what it’s about,” she said. “It’s about having fun.”

Linda is certainly enjoying her time as captain – Else Ogden will take over from her early next year – and she has been playing as often as six times a week some weeks.

That’s a lot of golf which means she’s out of the house quite a lot, so what’s her husband’s cooking like when she gets home?

“Cheese on toast or variations of that!” she laughed.

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