GOLF’S governing body in Scotland has elected its first female president.

June McEwan, from Gifford, has taken on the role at Scottish Golf, having offered a huge amount of time to the sport across the country.

Mrs McEwan spoke to the Courier less than 24 hours before she was due to referee at the Scottish Boys’ Open Championship at Montrose, which started on Tuesday.

She said: “It is a huge honour to be the first female president of Scottish Golf.

“It is an ambassadorial role and I am looking forward to getting round and about to various places.

“When the tournaments are on, I always enjoy speaking to people. As a rules official, I enjoy chatting away to people at club level and find it interesting to chat to the people that don’t normally get any recognition, like greenkeepers, staff and people in the clubhouse.”

The mum-of-four took up the sport while working as a radiographer at Bangour Hospital, West Lothian.

Shortly after moving to East Lothian, she became a member of Gifford Golf Club, where she is still involved.

She said: “When I got married, we moved to Gifford and East Lothian and I was pulled into the game, not unwillingly.

“It is such a friendly village and a great way to meet people.

“I was really encouraged to join in, which is what I did, and the whole family – myself, my husband and our four children – joined the golf club and we have had a great time.”

Since then she has volunteered as junior convenor, ladies’ handicap secretary, was ladies’ captain and also ladies’ secretary and handicapping committee member at Longniddry Golf Club, giving her insight into golf club operations.

Mrs McEwan, who won the ladies’ championship at Gifford three times, is also a member of Gullane Ladies Golf Club.

Now she is looking forward to a year in the role, with plans to boost clubs across the country.

She said: “I would like Scottish Golf to communicate better with golf clubs.

“I think some clubs don’t realise what Scottish Golf provides for them and I think we have to communicate better what club members can expect to get out of it.

“There is a school of thought that it is only the elite that get anything but there is a lot of good work.

“We have got a small staff but they work their socks off. We have people that go round clubs and help them with whatever they can to develop their club and develop the game.

“We would like to get more youngsters taking up the sport – both boys and girls. There is quite a shortage of women in the game at present.”

Craig McLachlan, chairman of Gifford Community Council, offered his congratulations.

He said: “She is absolutely fantastic, is so dedicated and worked so hard.

“She will be great as president and is Scottish Golf through and through.

“Any time we have worked with her she has been a credit to herself, Scottish Golf and the village.

“It is another wee feather in East Lothian’s cap.”