At 18 Ann McMullen was a new bride, at 70 she is the first female president of Leeds golf club in its 118 year history. JAYNE DAWSON meets her.
Ann McMullen is involved in golf at every level from club to county to international tournaments. She lives in Bramham with her husband Toni, a retired accountant, and has three children and four grandchildren. Jayne Dawson meets her.
“My first job was as a shorthand typist. My dad died when I was four and my brother was ten months so my mum always worked, which made me very independent.
“The best advice I have ever heard is to think before you speak, which I don’t always do. I have to really bite my tongue sometimes, I have always been, shall we say, forthright. My mum wasn’t so I must take after my dad.
“My guilty pleasure is ice cream, always vanilla. I could eat a whole tub and I don’t mean a small one, but I have to watch my weight.
“I hate ironing. My husband insists on using cotton handkerchiefs and this morning I ironed 15. I do the housework, my husband does the garden.
“The people I would most like to meet are the great Seve Ballasteros and Elvis Presley, I liked his music in the 1950s. By the time he started making his films I was married but I would drag my husband along..
“My whole life is golf. I love being outside and I love being part of a community. It started forty three years ago when my friend said she was going to take it up so I said I would have a go too, and I took to it because I have always been sporty. My best handicap was eight. I was supposed to be taking a break this year, but I ended up being president. I don’t know if all the men here are happy about it, and there were a few hiccups at first but mostly the members have been brilliant. In life in general though it is still a man’s world.
“My favourite weekend happened recently when I unexpectedly had all the family round. There were 11 of us. It was a lovely family weekend.
I would tell me teenage self to slow down a bit. I would have delayed everything. I got married two days after my 18th birthday and had my children very young. I could have done so much more if I hadn’t started my family so soon. I have been very lucky and I wouldn’t swap my husband and children for anything but I did it all too young.
“I love my mobile phone though and I feel like my hands have been chopped off if I don’t have it with me. My granddaughter gives me her cast-offs but my latest is an iPhone 5 so it’s not bad. There was a little fault on it but I got it fixed and now it’s perfect.
“My philosophy of life now is that you have to do things while you can. I say that to my husband all the time. At our age - why wait? I keep twisting his arm.
“I couldn’t live without my hairdryer, and I don’t know how we functioned before hair straighteners. Actually I do, we had perms. I had my first at ten, my aunt did it, and then I had one for most of my life .
“My most embarrassing moment happened at Pebble Beach golf course in California. I was a scorer so I had to wear the official outfit. It was baggy plus fours with tights underneath, a polo neck top and a zip up jumper. I looked truly terrible. I am also a scorer at the British Open, so I have met some big names in golf, but never dressed like that.
“Here’s a golf joke: A man is standing on the ladies tee .Over the loudspeaker a voice tells him to please leave and go to the gents tee. He doesn’t, so he is told again. This happens several times. Eventually the anguished man looks up and shouts: ‘I’m not on the ladies tee, this is my second shot.’ If you don’t play you won’t understand it.
“It might surprise people to learn that I am a great worrier. I don’t come across that way but I am. I make mountains out of molehills. The slightest little thing can have me lying awake all night - a remark that I have made or that someone has made to me. I don’t like to offend people.
“My childhood was good, my mum made sure we were never short of anything that mattered even though she was a widow at 28 and never remarried. She died three days before her 93rd birthday.
“My first kiss was with a boy called Bud and it was in the Trinity Methodist Churchyard when I was about ten. I was brought up in Harehills.
“My first record was Oh Boy! by Buddy Holly and the Crickets. I bought it from Vallances in Leeds and I still love to hear it now.
“Leeds is just home to me. I took some American friends round and saw it through their eyes. We went to the Armouries, across the river and walked up Briggate, and they absolutely loved it all.”