Just a few days from the end of her spell as captain, Linda Jones looks back on one year of work. The Real Club de Golf Guadalmina, one of the most emblematic on the Costa del Sol, also boasts the largest number of members. This means that it is very active in tournaments and has great representation at parties, creating a lot of work for the captain who is responsible for organising, advertising and taking care of everything, even presenting awards. However, Linda, British-born but settled in Marbella for 18 years, loves being captain. She held this position in the same club six years ago and before, in London, where her interest in golf started.
Linda Jones believes that to be a good captain, you need patience and the ability to take on a lot of work. In the case of the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina, the captain is appointed by invitation from the outgoing captain and the chosen member must form part of the Women’s Committee. The post runs over the calendar year, so on 31 December, Linda will hand over the reins to her successor, although she doesn’t rule out taking it on again in the future. Her organisational skills and work experience as a personal assistant have helped her cope with the amount of dedication this post demands. “My mother, who’s 92, came to visit me for two weeks and she couldn’t believe the amount of work I had; always on the computer and on the telephone. She couldn’t believe that I was doing it for free”, laughs Laura. “Every day, there’s something to do, but to be honest with you, I love it. I’m very organised, I’ve always enjoyed keeping things in order. When I finish as captain, I will remain on the committee for another three years. That’s why I’ve decided to continue as member-at-large because, if not, I don’t know what I would do”. Linda thinks that changing captain every year is positive because “each person brings some thing different to the club. We’ve had Scandinavian, Spanish, British and other nationalities as captain because this is a very international club”, she tells us. She believes that her greatest contribution to the club in her year as captain has been “encouraging more women to play tournaments. I’ve tried to make competitions fun to encourage those with the highest handicap to play. I don’t just want to offer Medal Play or Stableford tournaments, which some find very difficult. We’ve also held a 9-hole tournament on Tuesdays, and we’ve travelled to Benalup, Valle del Este”. Linda started playing golf for very practical reasons, unaware that she would soon be captivated by the sport. “My husband wanted to learn, as did my friend’s husband, and we didn’t want to be golf widows. My husband and I started to play, but in the end, I ended up playing more than him”. At that time, I was 35, and I couldn’t dedicate all the time I wanted to the sport because of work. Once they retired to Spain, they became members at Guadalmina and she reached a handicap of 12, thanks, above all, to a marvellous short game. Right now, it’s at 18, but she isn’t too concerned, ensuring us that “those with the best handicap at the club dedicate a lot of time, playing every day, but I believe that there’s more to life than golf.” Linda usually plays three times a week enjoying the “fresh air, exercise and company”. She points out that she doesn’t like playing in bad weather, and that she didn’t hesitate to choose Guadalmina because of “its fantastic atmosphere, with many nationalities”, and after 18 years as a member, she feels totally at home. “I love my club and I wouldn’t change it for any other”.