Julie Lees is relishing the chance to playing in the inaugural Evening Express Champion of Champions ladies scratch tournament this year.
Two new Champion of Champions trophies will be up for grabs with the addition of both a women’s scratch and handicap competition in addition to the men’s two events.
Competitors will battle it out on courses throughout the year after next month’s draws before all four finals culminate at Newburgh-on-Ythan on Sunday August 30.
Julie, 47, said: “It’s great news that there is a scratch and handicap competition for the lady golfers in the North-east.”
“It will be a great honour to play in it and I hope they are all well supported,” added Julie, who last year won the Westhill club championship for a 15th time.
Julie’s victory over Sally Collinson on the Westhill finals day was a memorable occasion for several reasons, including finishing her third year as ladies captain.
“It was extra special to win the club championship last year as we had family over from Canada and they were there to watch me receive my trophy, while my youngest son Greg was my caddy and helped me win again,” added Julie.
“I remember being told that when you are captain your handicap will increase and your golf will struggle, but I have managed to do all right and I’ve kept it at four.
“We have a lovely friendly and welcoming club, which I am proud to have been part of for 35 years and lady captain for the past three.
“I was very lucky to have had continual support from not only the ladies section, but from the whole club.
“My time as captain may be over but I will remain on the committee as the Aberdeenshire Ladies County representative.”
Julie started playing golf when she was 12, and it was her dad and grandad who encouraged her.
Julie added: “My father and grandad were both members at Deeside before my dad joined Westhill and that’s when I started playing – and I have been there ever since.”
Julie, who has just started her own skincare business and works as a part-time receptionist, also won the Ladies Titleist Order of Merit finals when helping Scotland to victory at Trump Turnberry last year and hopes to play in a few more opens this season.
“I don’t play much over the winter, but it is nice to get out to keep my swing in shape,” added Julie.
“But I hope to practise more this year with the goal of getting my handicap down to three.”