Faces of Tamworth: Judy King's lifetime on the links

She may be 89 but Judy King is showing no signs of slowing down on the golf course.

Just last week Judy won B grade on Thursday at the Tamworth Golf Club and the week before that she combined with daughter Stephanie to win the pairs title at the Treloar Cup.

When asked if she’ll stop playing anytime soon, her reply was simple.

“No,” Judy said.

However, she did continue, as the question reminded her of a conversation she had with her mother – another golfing enthusiast.

“My mother was very keen and I said to her once 'I think you would like to die on the golf course’ and she said ‘I would but I wouldn't like to upset the people I was playing with’,” Judy recalled.

“She had her last game the week before she turned 88 but she used to walk. I use a cart.”

Stephanie and Judy King at the Tamworth Golf Club. Photo: Peter Hardin

Stephanie and Judy King at the Tamworth Golf Club. Photo: Peter Hardin

It makes sense that Judy can’t envisage a time when golf isn’t a part of her life – for almost 80 years it has been.

“I think I started when I was about 10. My father used to hit his golf balls down the front paddock and I had to help him find them,” Judy said.

“I used to get sixpence a week for washing his golf balls and cleaning out his utility.”

Growing up roughly 20 kilometres out of Uralla meant Judy didn’t have a huge range of sports to choose from to play.

Cricket, football and tennis with her brothers were options but they still required opponents who weren’t always available and willing.

Golf was something Judy could do on her own and that aspect of the game is something she still loves today.

“You can do it by yourself. You’re not depending on anyone else,” Judy said.

Around the year 1950, Judy moved into Tamworth with her family.

She then spent some time away before settling back into Tamworth in the early 1970s.

The golfer was the first ladies president at the Longyard and has been a member at the Tamworth Golf Club for about 40 years.

Having been a member at the Tamworth Golf Club for such a long time, daughter Stephanie said her mother’s become quite well known to members.

“She has a good swing, she hits it straight and everybody knows that,” Stephanie said of Judy.

Judy was also quite well known to some of the wildlife at the course.

“The magpies know her. One hopped in her cart yesterday coming up the fourth fairway because she feeds them. A lot of the ladies do,” Stephanie said.

“That’s why the magpies don’t attack us in the spring. They’re very friendly.”

Judy said her highlight on the course was a trip to the United Kingdom where she played on a range of courses including Ballybunion Golf Club.

She’s also played all across Australia and New Zealand along with Bali, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Another item Judy’s ticked off the bucket list is a hole in one.

After three quarters of a century playing, she completed the feat when she nailed an ace about “four or so” years go.

“There’s hope for everyone,” Judy said.

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