Marian Rae, a prominent figure in English women’s golf and in Yorkshire civic life, has accepted the nomination to become President Elect of England Golf for 2015 with a view to becoming President in 2016.
“I’m honoured to be invited to take on this prestigious role and equally I am humbled by the list of my predecessors, both men and women,” said Marian, who chaired the championship committee of the former English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) and continued in the role after the merger which formed England Golf.
She has also been the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, holding the office in the year of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and is a Deputy Lieutenant for South Yorkshire. “There is a great contrast between golf and civic life and they have both put each other in perspective.” she said.
Marian points out that there is much to look forward to in her year of Presidency which will include the 90th birthday of the Queen, who is patron of England Golf; the Curtis Cup will be played in Ireland; golf will return to the Olympics at Rio 2016; and it will be the 125th anniversary of her club, Lindrick, in Yorkshire.
Marian took up golf in her early 30s, learning the game at Lindrick, where she has been a member since 1976, and at Elie in Scotland, where the family spent their holidays.
She progressed quickly and began playing for her club, commenting: “Matches and championships took me all over Yorkshire and I have made many longstanding and valuable friends, which has been one of the best things about golf for me.” She was ladies’ captain in 1988 and junior organiser for eight years.
Next, Marian became involved with the Yorkshire Ladies’ Golf Association, serving on the executive and as county captain in 2000, the association’s centenary year. “Yorkshire has been such a successful county and we have many supporters for our teams and individuals – it’s like one big family.”
In 2004 she was elected a member of the executive of the English Ladies’ Golf Association, which became EWGA. Marian chaired the championship committee from 2009 for four years, remarking: “I very much enjoyed organising our championships and working at the various host clubs around the country. You meet so many good people who put in their time for the sake of the game.”
She went on: “Being President will give me another opportunity to show appreciation to all the clubs which go to such trouble to host our championships and to thank all the volunteers.”
Marian’s involvement in public life also includes being a Sheffield Town Trustee and she chaired the Sheffield Cathedral Council for a decade until last year.
She grew up in Scotland and is a graduate of St Andrews University, where she met her husband, Dougal. The couple have two sons, who work and live in London, a daughter living in Sheffield, and seven grandchildren.
Dougal, who still plays off single figures, was a director and chief executive of a public company in the steel industry. He has been a member of the R&A since 1966 and served on R&A committees for 20 years. He has been an international golf referee and has officiated at 12 Majors – while Marian was a walking scorer at The Open for nine years.
Apart from golf Marian’s interests include sport in general, ski-ing and walking, travel, music, the opera and theatre.