New era for Leeds golf club as first ever female director is elected

A Leeds golf club has teed off into a new era after electing the first female director in its 117-year history.

Howley Hall Golf Club in Morley, Leeds, has elected it's first female director in the club's 117-year history, Rebecca O'Grady. Pictured with club captain Paul Monaghan. 13th April 2016. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Members of Howley Hall Golf Club, in Morley, voted for Rebecca O’Grady to take on the role of club director for the next two years at the annual general meeting.

The former ladies’ captain, 37, has been a member since she was just a 16-year-old at the club, which has a championship golf course and is the home of the Yorkshire PGA Open.

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“I was absolutely over the moon about being elected,” Mrs O’Grady told the YEP.

“It’s never happened before in 117 years so it is definitely a milestone.

“Other clubs need to look at doing it, especially with the equality now between men and women for all sections.”

Mrs O’Grady, who lives in Tingley, played for Yorkshire and England and has won a string of county achievements at junior and senior level.

She works for West Yorkshire Police, and has a single-figure handicap.

Current club captain Paul Monaghan said he was proud the club had elected its first female director.

The dad-of-five, who lives in Morley, said: “I think of 167 members present, Rebecca had 147 votes out of eight candidates - so it’s fantastic.

“The club has been in existence for 117 years and now for the first time we have a lady member on the board.

“I’m really proud that we have come into the 21st century as it were.”

Howley Hall’s landmark appointment comes after Scotland’s Muirfield golf course voted to allow women to join for the first time last month.

Mr Monaghan, 62, added: “As golf clubs are quite old-style and members tend to be older generation and predominantly male, ladies can sometimes take a back seat. But it’s really forward-thinking to have a lady on the board here.”

The club also organised a free egg hunt for children on Sunday to celebrate Easter.