Poole golf legend – and former council stalwart – Jeanne Bisgood turns 100

TURNING 100 has seen the achievements of one Dorset woman once again it the headlines.

Though born in Surrey, Jeanne Bisgood has had links with the county – and the Poole and Bournemouth areas – for much of her life.

After moving to the area with her family in 1940, Jeanne has since achieved in a number of areas, perhaps most notably in sport.

She enjoyed a hugely successful career as an amateur golfer, winning the English Women’s Amateur Championship on three separate occasions (1951, 1953 and 1957), becoming one of only three players in event history to achieve that feat.

Prior to that, Jeanne’s strong performances in domestic competitions saw her earn a first England call-up in 1949 for the Women’s Home Internationals where she was part of the team that beat Scotland, Wales, and Ireland to win the title.

She went on to represent her country seven more times in the tournament (1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956 and 1958), picking up a further three trophies.

Not only has Jeanne represented England at amateur level, but she also represented Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) in the Curtis Cup – the amateur equivalent of the Ryder Cup for women.

Her first appearance came in 1950 with GB&I losing out to the United States, before she was back again in 1952 to help the team win the competition for the first time in their history as GB&I secured a 5-4 victory.

A final Curtis Cup selection came in 1954, before 16 years later, in 1970, she was named non-playing captain as the United States once again took the plaudits.

During her amateur career, Jeanne won several one-day events in Britain, including the 18-hole Roehampton Golf Cup, which she won three times in succession from 1951 to 1953, and the 36-hole Astor Salver which she won in the same three years.

She also won a number of open championships on the continent and was crowned Swedish champion in 1952, the German and Italian champion in 1953, the Portuguese champion in 1954 and the Norwegian champion in 1955.

Jeanne was the first lady president of Parkstone Golf Club, in Poole, and has been a member for more than 80 years.

Off the golf course, she studied History at Oxford, but left to join the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1942, working at Stanmore, an outstation of Bletchley Park.

After the war, she trained as a barrister, passing her final exam in 1947.

She returned to Poole in 1954, after the death of her mother, and joined Poole Council in 1955.

She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1982 Birthday Honours as chairman of the Dorset Education Committee and was given an honorary Doctor of Education at Bournemouth University in 2018.

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