Former LET member Clare Lipscombe passed away suddenly on
Friday, aged 43, after working at the European Tour’s Challenge Tour event in
the Czech Republic.
A week previously, Clare went into cardiac arrest during the
tournament and she was transferred to the St. Anne’s University Hospital in
She was given the best care possible round the clock but,
after a week in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit it became apparent, sadly,
that she was not going to recover. She passed away peacefully on Friday morning
in the company of her dad Roy and her sister Katie.
European Tour Chief Executive and LET Board member Keith Pelley expressed the sense of loss felt by the golfing community in an e-mail to employees. He said: “It goes without saying that all our thoughts and prayers are with Roy and Katie today in addition to Clare’s mum Sylvia who, due to her own medical situation, was not able to travel to the Czech Republic.
“It is true to say that some people in life simply radiate joy and happiness – and that to me was Clare. Every time I saw her in the office here at Wentworth or at one of our tournaments she had a smile on her face and would greet me with a hello and a little chuckle. It is devastating to think none of us will enjoy that welcome again.”
Clare started working at the European Tour on March 31,
2014, and from then until the end of 2019 took on the role of PA to David
Garland and John Paramor as well being a Tournament Coordinator. At the start
of 2020, she moved to working permanently in the field, taking on the
responsibilities of Tournament Office Manager and Recorder at events across all
three of the European Tour circuits.
Prior to that, Clare worked at the Wentworth Club where she
was Golf Event Manager, a role which involved running all of Wentworth’s
corporate golf days.
Clare was no slouch inside the ropes either. A hugely
successful amateur career saw her win a plethora of titles, two of the
highlights being; in 1999 when she won the English Ladies Stroke Play
Championship; and in 2001 when, in tandem with fellow left-hander and former
European Tour professional Stuart Little, she won the prestigious Sunningdale
Foursomes, beating Jamie Spence and LET professional Trish Johnson 2 and 1 in
Such was her ability that she decided to turn professional herself in 2003 and was a member of the LET from then until 2010. Her friends on Tour shared their memories of her during the final round of the Aramco Team Series London at Centurion Club.
Becky Brewerton commented: “I knew Clare mainly from amateur golf and also from playing out here on the LET. I used to take the mickey out of her for being a posh girl, because she could pronounce all her words properly and I couldn’t. She was a really bubbly character and fit as a fiddle; in much better shape than the rest of us. I’m so sad for her family and all her friends, they will be devastated. It’s horrible. I can’t believe it.”
Felicity Johnson commented: “She was a few years older than me but when I used to play in the England amateur events she was always someone I would turn to if I needed advice on how the system worked and where to stay. I could always ask her any questions I needed to and she was always a friendly face around the golf course.”
Rebecca Hudson wrote: “Clare was an amazing person and I played on teams with her. Even if I hadn’t seen her for years, we would see each other and it was like we chatted all the time. She was the happiest, most caring, funny, intelligent person I had the pleasure of knowing. We have all being sharing memories this morning and I hope she knew how much we all thought of her, even if we didn’t talk all the time. She was a special person and a huge loss.”
Wearing a black ribbon on her hat, Emma Cabrera-Bello, who recently worked with Clare at the European Tour, commented: “It’s very sad news. She was too young and it’s one of those things that catches you by surprise. I had no words when I heard the news.
“One of my last memories of Clare was only six weeks ago, when we had a fantastic afternoon in Tenerife and it was my last event on tour. We went down to the beach and enjoyed a sunset with friends and a little prosecco. She was always willing to join in and bring a smile with her and that’s how I want to keep remembering her. I am literally lost for words. She was a great friend and a fellow player, so a treasured part of the golf community.”
At the European Tour’s tournaments this weekend in both Scotland
and France, the flags flew at half-mast and black ribbons were made available
for all players, caddies and staff to pay their respects.
At both The Renaissance Club and at Golf PGA France du
Vaudreuil, the European Tour placed a Red Rose on a plinth on the respective
first tees as this was a direct request from Clare’s family to symbolise the English
Rose in everyone’s thoughts.