Zara Bolton (1914 - 1994):
Zara Bolton was one of the highly talented women golfers who flourished at Royal Portrush Golf Club, home to one of Ulster’s most outstanding golf courses.
Zara Davis, from Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club, Hertfordshire, arrived at Portrush to compete in the 1939 Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship. She reached the third round but did impress the incumbent Captain, Dr Sloan M Bolton and they married in October the same year, settling at Strandmore House in the town.
Zara Bolton competed frequently over several decades and at several levels. She was runner-up in the English Ladies’ Amateur Championship in 1948 and the same year played for Great Britain & Ireland against the USA in the Curtis Cup, the biennial fixture between those teams (USA won). In 1951 she toured South Africa as part of the British Ladies’ team and in 1956 the highest honour in Women’s golf was bestowed on her as she was named Captain of the British & Irish team which would beat the US team 5&4. Bolton had organised practise sessions for the Cup team at Portrush before the match, including playing against low-handicap men players. This was acclaimed and later adopted as official practice.
She also captained the Curtis Cup team in 1966 and 1968; in 1967 she captained the British team which won the Commonwealth Tournament in Canada.
Royal Portrush named the first hole on one of its courses for her.
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