Jan Fawdry had got so used to a hectic 24/7 working lifestyle that retirement and how she might fill her time hadn’t crossed her mind.
As a director of learning development at a boarding school in Essex, there was always another meeting to attend, phone call to make or job to be carried out.
But when Jan’s husband John was diagnosed with terminal cancer and sadly passed away in 2015, the time was right to take a step back and look again at life.
Having discussed the possibility of playing golf together in retirement, John’s death robbed the couple of that prospect.
However, Jan decided to take up the game herself – and is now so smitten with the sport she would happily play every day.
“John played society golf and my daughter Charlotte started playing the game aged seven or eight, so golf had always been a part of our lives,” said Jan.
“But I simply didn’t have the time to take it up when I was working. Life was just so hectic. It was 24/7.
“Then about seven or eight years ago I was given the gift of lessons for my Christmas, but as I was working still I didn’t actually get to use them and my daughter did instead.
“John was diagnosed in 2013 and died in 2015 and even then I just threw myself into my work to take my mind off things.
“But one day in 2016 I just decided that it was time to retire.
“I joined the nine-hole course at Woodbridge in 2017 and I started to play golf. Now I play as often as I can.
“I worked it out that some of the ladies I play with have been going out twice a week for 40 years.
“That means if I play every day, I’ll have caught up within 15 years!”
Part of the pleasure Jan derives from golf is that she can now spend quality time with her daughter on the course – sharing a love for the sport that they simply didn’t have the time to explore earlier in their lives.
“My daughter plays off 12 and is a member at Ipswich Golf Club,” added Jan.
“She can give me a few pointers and it’s just great being able to be with her on the course playing a sport we both love.
“My handicap is not as low as I’d like it to be (25), but I love the game.
“I’d encourage anyone – no matter their age – to take it up.
“I was in my 60’s but age is no barrier. There’s a lady at my club who is in her 80’s and plays twice and week and that’s inspiring.”