A talented and much-loved professional golfer from Cirencester has passed away aged 43.
Hundreds of tributes poured in from Europe and America for Clare Lipscombe after she suffered a cardiac arrest in the Czech Republic.
The European Tour, where Clare was working as tournament coordinator, flew its flags at half-mast in Scotland and France and black ribbons were made for players and staff to pay their respects.
“We all feel devastated. It’s like a nuclear bomb has hit us. She was a ridiculously young age and a very talented young lady,” said her father Roy Lipscombe, from Hatherop.
Within 24 hours of Clare being taken to hospital, Roy and her sister Katie were by her side, where they stayed for six days until she passed away on Friday, July 9.
Despite being treated at world-class hospital facilities in Brno and being monitored by local doctors and physicians from the UK, complications brought on by the heart attack were too severe.
“Clare was an amazing young woman. She was very much down to earth and whatever she did she wanted to do the best that she could,” said Roy.
He said that at 13-years-old Clare was a good tennis player, so when she told Roy she had entered a tournament in Tewkesbury he went to fetch the rackets – but Clare asked for his clubs.
“I said what for? And that was how she started. From then it was a whirlwind of success.”
She quickly became the top player in Cirencester Golf Clubs’ Ladies Alliance before winning the Gloucestershire Ladies Golf Association Championship three times.
Club president Bob Hadley said: “Cirencester is very proud of Clare and I hope all members will look at her pictures in the club house and take inspiration.
“Apart from her obvious golfing successes and ability she was a wonderful young woman. She had a ready smile, an easy personality and was a great ambassador for our club.”
Clare went on to win the English Ladies Stroke Play Championship in 1999 and the prestigious Sunningdale Foursomes with Minchinhampton professional Stuart Little.
After turning professional herself in 2003, she was a Ladies European Tour member for seven years, before moving to a more administrative role at Wentworth Golf Club and eventually joining the men’s European Tour as coordinator.
Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “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 was repatriated back to the UK on Friday, July 23, and her family are planning her funeral during the week of August 9 in Cirencester.