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Vale Kate Nolan

Everyone here at the Club wish Peter & Robyn MacIntosh & their entire family our deepest condolences on the passing of Kate. Kate has been a member of the club since a very young age, a regular player on the course & avid supporter of the Club. Here we wish to share memories of Kate from some of our Members;

From the Zambelli family
During late 1980’s early 90’s Robinvale Golf Club had a strong influx of junior golfing talent.
That talent was fostered by one important figure, Dot Fumberger who held regular Sunday morning 9 hole competitions for all juniors.
The MacIntosh clan regularly attended. Kate & Teri showed lots of promise along with their younger brothers Ross & James. That talent must’ve come from Robyn, because as we all know, Pete can’t make a putt for love nor money!
Mixed with an array of junior players; Kate & Teri quite often competed alongside other locals – Chelsea Litchfield, and doing their best to push established players like Dot’s daughter Michelle Fumberger. Sometimes groups were mixed to compete with older boys: like the Zambelli’s, Rick, Jason & Scott and Kate certainly held her own.
There must’ve been something in the water at Robinvale; as two players from that era went on to seek out opportunity at professional level – Jason in the early 1990’s (at Kew GC) and Kate making her way to professional status in 1998 (via Victoria GC). It was clear from those early days, Kate had honed her skill and natural competitiveness.
She always had this natural ability, but had a sense of humility about her. Most kids became very confident when they reached a certain standard, but not Kate, she always remained humble.
Throughout her junior golf at Robinvale there were far too many achievements to mention; such as championship victories; successful individual & team school sports Golf at Vic country & Metro levels (qualifying at Cohuna) then progressing onto Long Island Golf Club for finals.
Many hours were endured travelling to Melbourne, sleeping in cold school halls to then to front up & compete the next morning.
One fond memory of Kate was during the mid 90’s when Scott Zambelli was selected to play representative golf at Victoria Golf Club.
Not realising Kate was inside at the time; he was warming up & getting ready. Then all of a sudden out strolls Kate to say hello.
Kate then offered to caddie (giving some insights) being her home course. Scott felt this was an exceptionally kind gesture, when she simply didn’t have to. Kate was on the verge of making professional status. The very few who reach this level typically wouldn’t give a give a second thought to helping out a past player especially at amateur level – but not Kate, she always wanted to help out, especially to a fellow Robinvalian.
Over the past 20 years Kate has obviously gone on to experience some wonderful things in life.
She will always be remembered for her kindness, love of sport & willingness to have fun!
Sadly she leaves us far too soon. May you rest in peace Kate.

From Chelsea Litchfield
I have known Kate for most of my life. As well as attending school together (one year apart), Kate, Teri and I also played junior golf together alongside our own families of golfers.
I recall playing golf regularly with Kate, drinking soft drink in the clubhouse, having putting comps against each other and generally having lots of fun. Kate was always up for and the instigator of fun!
We played on junior teams representing Robinvale, the North West district of Victoria and also Victoria Junior teams together. Over the years Kate and I shared many victories as teammates. We also went to many junior golf camps together. Kate was an exceptional junior golfer and could hit the ball a mile and she was a role model for other aspiring young golfers. It was obvious to me that other young golfers looked up to her and admired her skill and tenacity. Alongside her talent on the golf course, Kate had an exceptional and somewhat mischievous sense of humour and was much admired.

From Kay Mahlook, (was CEO Women’s Golf Victoria)
Kate and Teri attended Victorian Golf Junior Girls Golf Camps at Anglesea which were then organized by Kay.
Kate and Teri started attending the camps as 12 year olds. They were a skinny pair and wore little shorts. They attended the camp every year until they were 18. Even though their golf improved so much that they outgrew the camps they always attended. They met new girls and made friends everywhere.
Kate always had a twinkle in her eye and was an amazing and terrific girl.

Kate and Robinvale Connections
From Maz Black, Barry Avery, Lee Cramp, Al Black and Marty Ridgeway

Maz: My Saturday morning Albert Park Driving Range Golf Clinics with Kate were a wonderful escape. Kate was extraordinarily patient with all-comers, male, female, young, old, of all abilities and always had something positive to say and work on every time. I had a front row seat every week for a number of years observing her teaching skills. Kate’s passion for golf shone through and she always had golf anecdotes or You – Tube golf tournaments or special golfers’ swings to show the class as interludes.
There was always something new to learn or work on or just to catch up while golfing. Rain, hail or shine Kate rebuilt my golf swing, and then and only then was I permitted to purchase some new clubs selected by Kate. It was only very recently that Kate decided she had finally found the most suitable irons to conquer my swing. Kate and I agreed my golf was a ‘work in progress’ and this provided much bemusement to the other ladies attending the clinics who were unaware of our lifelong connection. Kate sparkled and will be sadly missed and remembered by all.

Barry: Kate had never been so challenged in her coaching career as she was with my unique swing. But she rose to the challenge. We had a laugh. Kate was a star.
Lee: At the end of a clinic Kate asked if there was anything in particular we would like to know. Silly me said, how can I hit the ball further? Kate replied ‘LEE drop and give me 10!’

Al: Kate’s coaching was always practical, fun and with just enough technical information. She worked with what was there and didn’t try to turn us into something we could never be.
Kate hated the fluffy pine needles on the Robinvale golf course and her best advice was to take out your 3 wood or hybrid, shorten your grip and tap the ball out. Works a treat.
At our first lesson Kate checked out the clubs in my bag. She said there was only one club worth keeping; it was my putter. We sorted my clubs and I now have a bag of clubs of Kate’s choice. Kate thought I would have researched the makes and types of clubs. I said no, I have trust.
Kate was a champion in every way.

Marty Ridgeway
It is with a real heavy heart I write this today and really do not know where to start!
I guess the best place is at the start when I first met Kate at the Albert Park Driving Range when I started coaching a few days a week. I remember Kate approached me and introduced herself and we sat down and had a chat in between lessons. Immediately she made me feel welcomed and at ease with my new surroundings and I distinctly remember we talked about everything from cricket, AFL to golf. I thought to myself what an amazing person with an extreme wealth of knowledge and passion.
As the weeks turned to months and we spent more time discussing the world and everything to do with life in general. Our friendship grew and I felt so comfortable around her that I was able to discuss anything at all.
I would regularly seek her advice and vice versa and we would have great open discussions on what we could do in many different situations. I valued her opinion so much that I implemented many of the solutions we came up with not only in my professional life but personal life as well.
I often found myself admiring her ability to get the most out of her students and remember them always leaving with a smile on their face and walking 10 feet tall. I remember saying to myself “Martin if you can be as half as good as Kate you will go a long way in this industry”.
That leads me to when Kate asked me to come with her to Robinvale to help set up a coaching program in her hometown. It was a no brainer and jumped at the opportunity to be involved. I loved my time travelling to Robinvale and coaching as it allowed me to meet so many fantastic amazing people and make lifelong friends including Kate’s family who treated me as one of their own. It strengthened our friendship even more if that was even possible and allowed me to share a bond with Kate that I will forever appreciate, remember and never forget.
As a parent and husband I cannot begin to imagine what Kate’s family is going through right now. All my heart and love goes out to all her family and friends as we have lost an amazing human being with such a big heart and soul way too early.
If I can say one thing to finish please everyone hug your loved ones and tell them you love them as often as you can. I know Kate would echo these thoughts as nothing meant more to her than her family and friends.
In Memory of Kate Nolan an amazing person, you will always hold a very special place in my heart. Love always – Marty Ridgway

A lovely tribute to Kate from Australian Ladies Professional Golf  –