One of the greatest pioneers in the history of Ladies golf
Being one of five golfing sisters prepared Cecil for the mental tests of competitive golf from an early age.
She began at the age of nine (now old by modern standards) and built her swing by watching great players, mostly from the male professional game.
She told how Harold Hilton, John Ball, and the great French champion Arnaud Massy contributed to her development, but makes it clear that she was essentially self-taught.
Arnaud Massy, British Open winner 1907 was a regular visitor to the Silloth course, and the young Cecil probably gathered some of her natural speed through watching the long-hitting Frenchman.
The strong winds, heavy rough, and rugged terrain of her home course Silloth in Cumbria was a good breeding ground for a future champion.
As well as being able to study the great players of her day Cecil also gave credit to the book “Advanced golf” by James Braid and told how she was reprimanded by the school teacher and had her copy confiscated after being caught reading it in the classroom.
In 1908, at the age of 14, Cecil announced herself on the international golfing stage by reaching the semi-finals of the British Ladies Amateur Championship played at St Andrew's. Cecil would continue on to be a champion and ambassador for the Lady's game for the next 40 years.
The most impressive quality of the Cecil Leitch movement is her swing speed. The ball was given a serious `rap` as she hit it as far as possible. Any good driver swing must contain a good amount of violence.
Cecil Leitch portrait (left). Acrylic in canvas 40 x 60 cm.
Swing study (right). Watercolor on paper 30 x 52 cm.