Participation: Golf in the RAF

Participation: Golf in the RAF

Meet Beth Shippin. Beth shares her passion for golf with us, sharing her #WhyIGolf story and how her recent Get into Golf sessions have gone with her colleagues. Read – and watch! – her story below…

What do you love about golf?

I’m naturally competitive, so the competitive element has always been a huge draw for me. Aside from that I think the variety of people you meet is brilliant- some of my best friends are people who I’ve met through golf.

Why did you start playing? 

I started played when I was around 13 because my dad played. I wanted to spend more time with him, so gave it a try. I wouldn’t say I was a natural, but I spent hours practising and it began to pay off. My dad’s incentive of new clubs when I got down to single figures helped!

What made you decide to pursue a career with the RAF?

I was working in banking in Leeds and decided it was time for a change, on a whim I walked into the Careers Office and three months later I was starting basic training wondering what had happened! I don’t regret it for a second though, I’ve travelled to some amazing places- both with golf and in a work capacity, met some amazing friends and love the lifestyle within the RAF.

What’s your role as Golf Captain?

I organise our fixture list and training schedule to ensure we are playing against the right level of players, and also that everybody is working on the correct areas of their game. Our main focus, for both men and women, is always the Inter Services and I pick the team and foursome pairings for this event and ensure all the accommodation and logistics are in place. It’s a busy role alongside my main career as an Intelligence Analyst but rewarding and satisfying… Especially getting to play all the top quality courses to see if they are suitable!

You’ve been delivering some Get into golf sessions for other women in the RAF to experience golf how have they gone?

I have been really pleased with the uptake, it’s been a great way to introduce the women to golf with no pressure or fear of embarrassment. They are relaxed and fun days, concentrating on the fundamentals of golf and the social side of the sport. Lewis Baker at Hawkstone Park is brilliant and really understands what we want from the days.

What would you say to other women and girls to encourage them to pursue a career in the forces and still want to play golf?

Go to a Careers Office and get more information! I couldn’t believe the variety of jobs you can do in the RAF- there is literally a job for everybody. The RAF, and the forces in general, always encourage sport and they will always try to get you away for the training and fixtures. The best thing is that it doesn’t come off your holiday balance as its classed as duty! I never expected to travel all over the world playing the sport that I loved whilst still being paid, but for the past nine years I’ve done exactly that.

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