Helen Barry, Chairperson of Beijing Ladies Golf talks with City Weekend about Beijing's golfing sisterhood and the importance of being part of a group with a social conscience. For more information about the organization, visit www.beijingladiesgolf.org.
How did you get involved with Beijing Ladies Golf? When I first came to China three years ago I did some research on playing golf here in Beijing. I did a search online and up popped Beijing Ladies Golf. I emailed them and they responded right away and invited me to play the following Thursday and the rest is history. Since then I have been an active member of the Society and currently I am Chairperson for the year 2012.
Where do you play, and how are the courses in Beijing? We play at a variety of courses including Beijing Country Club, Jinghua, Grand Canal, Huang Gang, Beijing Golf Club, Beijing International and of late we have tried out some new courses through the courtesy of some of our lady members.
We are always open to trying out new courses and would welcome any opportunity to do so. Courses in China are quite different to courses in Europe as they are generally longer, quite flat due to the local terrain and can be challenging. The other major difference is that in China caddies are mandatory whereas in Europe they are the exception.
Do you cater to beginners? In other words, can you help us with our swing? In general it is preferable that new members have a knowledge of the rules of golf and have at least some playing experience. We can if necessary recommend coaching expertise through our local contacts.
What is the golfing season like in Beijing? Our golfing season starts with our Opening Luncheon usually held the first Thursday in March and we start right away with our regular Thursday golf if the weather permits. We play right through the summer and the playing season ends usually mid November. We finish our year with a Christmas Luncheon usually first week in December.
What sort of events does BLG put on throughout the year? Every Thursday we run weekly games which can vary from Scramble to putting competitions to team games and then the last Thursday of each month is devoted to our Monthly Medal Competition.
Tell us a bit about the group's history with promoting breast cancer awareness in China. BLG has a great social conscience and it was one of the things that attracted me to the Society. From 2006 we as a society have raised more than RMB500,000 and donated it to Peking Union Medical College Hospital. We are in very close contact with the Hospital and they keep us constantly updated with the progress made through our donations. As guests in this country it is wonderful for us to be able to do a little to help these young ladies who are so well deserving and in need of assistance.
What events do you have coming up? Each year we run two events for Breast Cancer. Our first event is Our Pink Ribbon Open Golf Tournament which will be held on May 25th at Jinghua Golf Club. The cost will be RMB800 and this includes golf and lunch. We have a fabulous array of prizes on the day and it is a really fun day out. It is open to all golfers of any level and you do not even have to have a handicap, we will take care of everything. So all our golfers out there please do sign up for a great day out and in doing so help our very worthy cause.
Our second event, Drink For Pink, will be held on June 1st at Embassy House. The cost will be RMB300 at the door of if pre registered RMB200. This is a cocktail evening, which will run from 6:30pm to about 9pm. On the night we will have a live auction, silent auction, raffle and wine and finger food is included. This is a really fun evening where everyone gets to meet and chat and also benefiting a very worthy cause.
You can register by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Won Kyong Reilly at 186-1009-0014
What: Beijing Ladies Golf