IN the ladies’ trophy cabinet at Camperdown Golf Club, there’s only one trophy without Noelene Sadler’s name on it: the Melva Baker Trophy.
In a golfing career spanning three decades, there is little Noelene has not achieved.
She has won tournaments and club days, hit the road to represent Camperdown at interclub events and in 1993 became one of few ladies to score a hole-in-one on her home course.
It has been a prolific career, and while the undulating course at Camperdown’s Lakes Sporting Complex first drew her in for a change of pace, she has hardly slowed down since she started.
“I’d played tennis from about the age of 12 or 13 right up until I was probably near 40, and I played badminton for a number of years, and I just got to the stage in life where I needed to take a redirection, just something a little bit slower-paced,” Noelene said.
She had played tennis with the Pirron Yallock association until she got married, and then moved to the Hampden Tennis Association.
She gave Saturday tennis away, but played the winter ladies’ pennant for a long time and also played badminton in Camperdown.
Twelve months after making the switch to golf, Noelene had to take a break when she had her daughter Melanie – one of five children she and husband Peter welcomed into the world.
Just six months after Melanie’s birth, Noelene was back on the fairways – albeit with a bit of extra equipment to lug around the course.
“We used to come up on a Monday afternoon at one o’clock and we played nine holes of golf, and I used to put her in the pram and push her around the golf course,” Noelene said.
“For a long time after that people would come up (to her) and say, ‘I remember you – your mother used to push you around the golf course in the pram!’.”
The same Melanie has just rung in her 28th birthday.
In that time, Noelene said it has not been the championships, rather a few sentimental wins, that have stood out as the highlights of her illustrious career.
In particular, it was winning the Alice Williams Trophy in 2014 – a trophy which, until 2013 when Alice turned 100, had been called the Doris McKean trophy – which takes pride of place in Noelene’s accomplishments.
“That was my greatest joy – winning somebody’s trophy that was a long-time member here while I was here and a great worker,” she said.
Over the journey, Noelene has taken her game outside the boundaries of Camperdown, competing at Port Fairy, Warrnambool, East Framlingham, Colac, Lismore, Mortlake and Lake Bolac.
She has stepped beyond the south west, going to events at Anglesea and even as far as Frankston, Kew and the Mornington Peninsula.
When not competing, she has taken great joy in sometimes making the journey to caddy for club members taking part in the competitions.
Her involvement at the club has stretched beyond that of member and she has been involved in the ladies’ committee for over two decades.
“I think if you’re going to be involved in a club, if you want to get something out of it, you’ve got to put something into it,” she said.
She has held the captain’s position for two terms – from 2000-01 and 2010-11 – and is the current ladies’ president.
Noelene took on the office in 2013 and said she will serve until the end of this year.
But there is no end in sight for her playing days.
“I’ll keep playing as long as I can get around – I’ve got a cart,” she said.
“I want to play as long as I can possibly play.”
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