Margaret Rodgers: Tributes paid to former SLGA chair and Midlothian legend
Margaret Rodgers, a well-known face in Scottish golfing circles, having been at the heart of an initiative that effectively led to a unified body running the amateur game in the country, has died.
Including a spell as lady captain, Rodgers, who hailed from Ireland but lived in Scotland for most of her life, was a member of Turnhouse for 46 years, while she was also a member of Gullane.
A low-handicapper in her day, she won the Turnhouse Ladies’ Championship in 1986 and 1987 and has her name on six of the nine main ladies’ trophies at the Capital club.
“My first memory of her was playing as her partner in a mixed foursomes soon after I joined Turnhouse in the late 1970s,” said Allan Shaw, a former Lothians Golf Association president.
“My trepidation in playing with a lower handicap lady golfer resulted in me leaving us up against the front face of the bunker at the third green. Undaunted, she demolished the face of the bunker and left me with a two-foot putt and we sailed on after that to finish in the top three.”
Rodgers was heavily involved in the Midlothian County Ladies Golf Association, becoming an honorary member after stints as captain (1997-98) and president (2008-10).
“She was one of the county’s greatest supporters,” said captain Isla McCrone in a post on the MCLGA website. “She was also the creator of Michaela, the much-loved mascot of the county squad.”
In 2006, during a spell as chair of the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association, Rodgers was part of a joint-working group with the Scottish Golf Union set up to look after the “best interests of the amateur game in Scotland”.
Alongside Alistair Low, the chair of the SGU, she was involved in discussing how the then ruling bodies of Scottish amateur golf could work together for the “betterment of the game, irrespective of gender”.
Though encountering some bumps along the way, Scottish Golf, a unified body, was formed on 1 October, 2015.
“I suppose it was a big step,” said Low of that working group. “The ladies were very conscientious and helpful and Margaret was extremely encouraging.”
A post on the Scottish Golf website said of Rodgers: “We are grateful for her vast contributions to Scottish golf over the years.”
Former Scottish Golf president June McEwan first got to know Rodgers when she was chair of SLGA.
She said: “Margaret was always very enthusiastic in promoting women’s golf and in working more closely with the SGU and contributed greatly to the game on many levels.
“She was a good listener, and, on a personal level, encouraged me to have the confidence to further my volunteering within the game.
“Margaret was a gentle lady with a lovely sense of humour and will be sadly missed.”
Six-time Midlothian champion Claire Hargan, who is now the Assistant Director - Rules at the R&A, also paid a warm tribute to Rodgers.
“Margaret truly was a great ambassador for Scottish women’s golf and for women’s county golf,” said Hargan.
“In the 10 or so years I was involved with Midlothian Ladies County she was always there supporting the team.
“She was great fun to be around but, behind the scenes, she clearly put in a power of work for the women’s game in Scotland.”