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 Ladies Golf Today

Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
October 05, 2011

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I played golf with a group of ladies yesterday who had made the trip over to the Solheim Cup last weekend. They were waxing lyrical about how exciting the tournament was to watch and what a wonderful atmosphere the event had. One of the ladies had been to the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor a year ago and said that without fail the Solheim Cup was 10 times better. Not only could they get up close to the action as the crowds were just the right size, the players were friendly and approachable and they really felt part of the event. They were already planning their trip to the next Solheim Cup out at the Colorado Golf Club in the USA on August 13-18 2013 - two years might be a long time away but with the flight prices low if you book now this will be one ticket worth waiting for. Visit for more information.

The Majestic Marquess'

Carly Frost discovers that Woburn Golf & County Club is every bit as wonderful as it looks in the pictures...

Whoever named the three courses at Woburn Golf & County Club in Bedfordshire was spot-on. The The Dukes', The Duchess' and the Marquess' are regal by name and regal by nature. I think it is the sheer majesty of the tall pine trees that define every fairway that make them so impressive. It had been over five years since by last visit to Woburn and a lot has changed. The most striking difference is to the clubhouse, a significant £3.5 million investment has transformed a once slightly dated building into a modern masterpiece with a glass atrium welcoming golfers through to views of the green courses that await.

All three courses at Woburn have hosted Tour events however it is the Marquess' (past venue of the British Masters) which is widely recognised as the most challenging. At 7,214 from the tips and nearly 6,000 yards off the ladies tees the Marquess' is an absolute monster where long driving is a must. I was not surprised at all to learn that two of the top junior girls in the country are honing their skills here. Charlie Hull and Lauren Taylor are among our brightest British talents and both I'm told practice off the tips. No wonder they hit the ball such a long way!

The really clever thing about the design of the Marquess' course is that big-hitting alone will not reap rewards. Although the fairways appear to be fairly wide (and certainly somewhat more generous than those of the sister courses) each hole is designed in such a way that you still need to play for position to give yourself a view to attack the green.

The challenge continues when you reach the big sloping greens where you need plenty of imagine to picture your chips running out like sweeping putts. Luckily on my visit the surfaces were running at a fairly calm pace, but I'm told when shaved down for tournament weeks they are scary quick.

The nice thing about the Marquess' is that there's a good mix of short holes too. Take the 10 th for example, it's the shortest par 4 on the course, but I bet it's a hole where some rather big numbers are recorded on scorecards. The par 4 12 th is pretty clever too. Two large ponds lie between the tee and the green, the first ensures you must lay up and the second requires an accurate wedge struck into the pin.

My favourite hole is the par 5 7 th and it's the one that everyone talks about. It's easy to feel a little perplexed stood on the tee as the fairway is split into two by a copse of tall pines. It's a real risk/reward drive - big hitters can 'go for it' down the right side of the fairway and shorter hitters can choose the sensible route to the left - but neither shot is easy. I opted for the fun option of attacking the right fairway but pulled my tee shot slightly and ended up smashing my drive straight down the middle towards the trees! As luck would have it the old 'trees are 90% air' rule worked its magic and my ball miraculously navigated through the branches and onto the sloping fairway beyond. But I have to say with nearly 200 yards left to reach the green I decided not to ride my luck any further and took the sensible decision to lay up short and play a simple pitch followed by a steep climb up to the green. It was at that point I started thinking about the halfway hut, only two holes to go!

I played with a fellow journalist a few weeks ago who was telling me how he used to write a column about the best halfway huts in the country - well the one on the Marquess' at Woburn must surely have featured in his top 10. It's not so much a hut as a house, complete with its own large kitchen and dining area, spending an extra five minutes here is forgiven. If you know any halfway huts better than this please let me know...

The closing stretch of holes is best described as a beautiful but a long slog in - they have clearly been designed for tournament drama. Colin Montgomerie hit the nail on the head when he described it as an "exceptional big finish" but he also added that the Marquess' is a "real jewel, a real gem - a course that had his name all over it". And I can see why he loved it. If you can overcome the fact that you have to hit driver a lot and you can take your time to appreciate the beautiful surroundings it really won't matter what your scorecard says at the end of the round, you will have enjoyed it.

It was BBC TV commentator Alex Hay, the club's first professional, and the late Marquess' of Tavistock who spent hours analysing the land that the Marquess' Course was carved from, convinced that they could build one of the finest inland courses in the British Isles. In my opinion the Marquess' has not only achieved this status, but will rival any inland counterpart in Europe. Go see for yourself.

Marquess' winter deals:

October offer
The October green fee is £135 per person including a three course lunch. Golfers under 21 years of age can play the Marquess' for just £36 including lunch, provided they are accompanied by two adults.

Winter golf package on the Marquess'
November 1 st onwards: £105 per person including tea of coffee & bacon roll on arrival, unlimited golf on the Marquess (daylight permitting), plus a two course lunch.

For more information visit

A powerful new pink
Srixon give their popular Ladies golf ball a makeover

Those of you who read my golf ball test a few weeks ago will have seen how popular the Srixon Lady golf ball is with golfers of all ages and standards.

Back then there was only one version of the Soft Feel Lady available in a traditional white but as of this week you'll start to see a vibrant pink version in your shops.

The new 'Passion Pink' coloured Soft Feel Lady still features the same high performance attributes as its white predecessor such as the soft compression core that gives it that wonderful buttery soft feel on your chips and putts, plus the unique aerodynamic dimple pattern that ensures you get the most distance and accuracy out of your shots possible.

It's easy to see why Srixon has been the Number One selling 2-piece golf ball in the UK market for years and the new Passion Pink Soft Feel Lady ball is a must for ladies who want to be seen on the course!

The Srixon Soft Feel Lady is priced at £26.99 per dozen. For more information visit

Fashion for the fairways
Get set for the wet!

Once again it seems crazy talking about bad weather when we have enjoyed one of the warmest starts to October on record. With temperatures soaring into the high 20s over the weekend I was about to start switching my wardrobe back to summer clothing once again! But as suspected it didn't last and I'm told that the wet weather is on the way, so we better be prepared...

Step in FootJoy's new Women's Rain Jacket and Trousers. This high performance suit is guaranteed to keep you dry and warm on the course over the coming winter months.

It's made from a lightweight material that makes it incredibly comfortable to wear, breathable so that you don't overheat and easy to swing in. The fit has been designed with our curvaceous shape in mind and it looks fashionable too.

The FootJoy Rain Jacket comes in a choice of three colours: black, white or Dusty Lilac, with white or black trousers to complement. The jacket is priced at £125 and the trousers £90, and both available in sizes XS-XL. For more information visit

Tried & tested
An unbreakable tee peg?

If you took the time to glance at my wedding pictures a few weeks ago you will have spotted my wonderful golf themed decorations.

Along with logoed golf balls I had giant tee pegs filled with pink tees. So naturally all my guests took a handful home and I've been getting some very positive feedback.

The pink tees pictured are the CHAMP Zarma FLY tee. The company puts big claims behind the performance benefits - notably more distance and accuracy from the tee. Although my eager testers haven't reported any significant differences in those departments one thing nearly every one of them has noted is how easy the tees are to use and how rarely they snap! The six prong head design makes it easier to place the ball on the tee and keep it stable.

Plus the big attraction for me is the fact that the Zarma FLY tees are made from environmentally-friendly materials so if the top of the tee does snap off and get left behind it will biodegrade over time. Even the packs are recyclable - a big thumbs up for the eco-friendly players among us.

The CHAMP Zarma FLY tees come in two sizes, a 2¾" for your irons and fairway woods and 3 ¼" for your driver, priced at £3.99 a pack. For more information visit

Tip of the week

By Dan Frost, PGA Advanced Professional,

Anyone who has taken a golf lesson will be aware of the fact that when you stand there with a club in your hands it is easy to get anxious and you end up over-controlling your movement in an attempt to get the ball up into the air. You lose your natural flow and rhythm. So, here's a perfect drill to work on developing your swing motion without holding a golf club. Using instead a weighted training ball (or a football) you can very quickly improve your instincts for repeating a natural swinging motion with balance and flow. Furthermore, these exercises make for a terrific work-out for your body 'core'.

DRILL 1: Momentum training - swing and hold
Take your address position with your hands positioned either side of the medicine ball. The ball must be heavy enough to force you to engage your leg muscles to balance in your address position. I'm holding a 10lb ball, but anything above 2 or 3lbs is fine. From here rotate your arms and torso together supporting the ball in the backswing and then simply let momentum create a down and through movement into a finish. Hold this end pose for several seconds to improve your awareness as to the way balance supports the ball.


DRILL 2: For speed, swing and release
Having worked for several minutes on the swing and hold exercise; I want you then to introduce the element of release into the equation. Once again, focus on getting good balance in your address position, holding the ball in both hands, and from here use the turning motion of the body to support the swinging of the arms. Only this time I want you to fling the ball as far as you can just to the left of your target line. This introduces the vital element of timing as you rotate your torso towards the target and generate as much speed as possible with the arms and hands. Note how my arms have rotate in the throughswing, just like passing a rugby ball to another player. For those of you who slice, this is exactly the feeling you are looking for.

Fancy a free golf lesson?
Simply email your name and details to Dan at: and you will receive a voucher for a free one-hour lesson at the Frost Golf Academy, Pachesham Golf Centre, Surrey.

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