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 CARLY FROST
 Editor
 Ladies Golf Today

Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
November 10 , 2011

To contact Carly, send us your news or air your thoughts, click here...


It's time to invest in the women's game...

I read some interesting and saddening news this week in a report from The Commission on the Future of Women's Sport revealing that there is a chronic lack of sponsorship investment in women's sport. The report highlighted that sponsorship in women's sport in the UK amounted to just 0.5% of the total market, that compares to 61.1% for men's sport, from January to August 2011. Mixed sports accounts for the remainder. It's no wonder the Ladies European Tour is struggling for sponsorship money which is a crying shame.

Yet the exceptionally low figure contrasts with growing TV audiences and public interest. Women's golfing events, such as the Solheim Cup are drawing increased audiences. Research carried out back in 2010 proved that there is a demand amongst sports fans in general, with 61% wanting to see more women's sport.

So come on sponsors start to think outside the box - we ladies are keen golfers, we want to watch the best players in the world on TV, and we're big spenders. Back our game and we're bound to support your brands!

Carly on the course...

East beats West? Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey might be most famous for its Championship West Course but as Carly Frost discovered its sister East Course is a far more enjoyable test...

It doesn't matter how many courses I get invited to play each year there is always something exciting and special about getting an invite to Wentworth Golf Club. Maybe it's the fact that I get to tread the hallowed fairways every year covering the annual European Tour PGA Championship played here and always relish the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my golfing idols; maybe it's the fact that Wentworth's castle-like clubhouse looks like something out of a fairy-tale that gives me that excited feeling as I drive in like going to Disneyland, or maybe it's the fact that Wentworth is the home to a collection of fascinating tournament trophies including the Duke of Edinburgh's Golden Putter , a majestic trophy mounted right inside the main entrance for all to see, and one I am proud to say that is engraved with my name reminding me of the great golf I played here as a teenager.

Needless to say the annual Association of Golf Writers Championship I teed off in yesterday is one of my favourite golfing fixtures of the year. As always it was played over the beautiful East Course, which in my opinion, is the most playable and enjoyable of all the courses at Wentworth. Unlike its grand big brother The West, the East isn't all about big-hitting (it's 1,000 yards shorter), and unlike its much tighter more strategic smaller sister The Edinburgh, you don't need to be razor accurate off the tee. Those two factors alone make The East Course at Wentworth, in my books, always a very enjoyable test. Add to that the amazing condition that Head Greenkeeper Chris Kennedy and his team keep these courses in and you can't fail to be impressed.

The East Course is generally overshadowed by the globally-renowned West yet it was the first course to ever be designed and built on the Wentworth estate (back in 1924) and is a true Harry Colt classic that really does make the most of the indigenous Surrey heathland synonymous with courses in this area. Each hole is shaped out with great thought, doglegs galore, bunkers are abundant and the greens slope in every direction really making you think. The par 3s are particularly challenging off the ladies tees with holes with the 198 yard par 3 17 requiring your best hit to find the green, however they are evened out by the birdie opportunities to be had on the par 5s where the long hitters will be able to get home in two.

The halfway hut on the East should actually be called the third-way hut as it appears after the sixth, so believe me you'll be ready for a drink in the clubhouse Burma Bar by the time you've walked off 18. If you're lucky you might find yourself sat down drinking next to Sam Torrance or Ernie Els or maybe even one of the TV stars like Bruce Forsyth who call this place their second home!

The East Course at Wentworth costs less than half the green fee of playing the West (just £95 from December 1st - March 31st 2012) making it a must-play course in my books. Visit www.wentworthclub.com for more information.

Tried & Tested

Two-thumb putter gets a pink make-over!

If you're been a regular reader of my ladies updates for the last few months then you will know that my putting woes were cured by a fantastic invention called the 2-Thumb putter grip. This unique wide putter grip allows you to place both of your hands side-by-side on the putter grip, thus squaring your shoulders and promoting a perfect straight-back, straight-through pendulum putting action, not to mention making square alignment much easier.

It's been used by numerous Tour players over the years and the most recent success story is in the hands of Barry Lane who used the 2-Thumb Rotate putter grip to win the Scottish Seniors Open. There are also several ladies on the European Tour who have made the switch but I bet you'll see a lot more of them convert next year now that 2-Thumb have brought out a pink version of the grip.

It costs £18.99 including free delivery and if you buy one through www.2thumbgrip.com right now you'll also get a free instructional DVD showing you how to use it. Plus every grip is supplied with the detailed fitting instructions and tape.

Like anything that's new it's easy to be scared of making a dramatic change. So to help you make the switch I'm including here a short instruction article I shot with my husband and leading PGA Professional coach Dan Frost earlier this year. Here are the basics...

Forming the grip:

Step 1: Overlap your fingers together so that they form one unit around the back of the grip and let the putter grip rest in the lifelines of your hands. Use a medium grip pressure, not too light, as this will stop the putter from twisting off-line.

Step 2: Make sure your thumbs sit side by side and level with one another so that the back of your hands are square to the target. Position your forefingers down each side of the grip.

Step 3: You should be able to draw a straight line from your elbows, through your hands and all the way down the line of the putter shaft.

2Thumb putting principles:

Tip 1: Solid base

Take your stance so that your feet are just wider than shoulder width apart and parallel to the target. Tip the weight backwards and forwards in your shoes until you feel very centred without too much weight on either the heels or the toes. Flex your knees slightly to give you that feeling of a solid base. It is really important that your knees keep perfectly still during the stroke. There should be no lower body movement at all and establishing this solid base at set up will help you maintain that stability.

Tip 2: Palms together

If you have been using a traditional putting grip (right hand lower than the left on the grip) for a long time then it is really important that you get used to the feeling of your hands and shoulders being level at address. Let your arms hang down straight and place your palms together so that your fingers point to the ground. Using this method you should no longer have a dominant hand in the putting stroke but the shoulders, arms and hands should all work together as one unit. Notice how they form a triangle that will simply rock back and through.

Tip 3: Eyes over the ball

It is essential to get your eyes positioned correctly directly over the ball so that you can see the line better from address. You should be able to look straight down over the ball through the centre of your eye not the lower part of your eye. To do so, the top half of your body should tilt into a horizontal position so that your shoulders, neck and the back of your head are flat.

Tip 4: Get the right length putter

A standard length putter is 35 inches, but that doesn't mean it is suitable for every player. Carly is a perfect example, at just 5 foot 1 her putter had to be cut down 5 inches for the sole of the putter to sit perfectly flat and allow her to address the ball correctly. It is important to realise that the length of your putter shaft is the predominant factor in getting your eyes directly over the ball. Get a friend to check that your putter is the correct length by holding a stick level with your eyes down to the ball from the side. With a relaxed grip move yourself backward or forward until you have a perfect vertical position from eye line to ball. Re-grip, wherever your hands are holding the putter grip. Mark the position and get your putter shortened if need be. You'll then be able to use it for future reference to get your eyes consistently over the ball.

Tip 5: Check for parallel lines

The beauty of the 2Thumb method of putting is that it is really easy to get your alignment spot on, square to your target. Stand facing a mirror and get a friend to hold a stick across your shoulders, look up and you should see that your shoulders are perfectly parallel to the ground. This will allow you to rock the putter on a much squarer path through to the target.

Quick Tip: Better ball position

One of the most important factors in putting a smooth roll on the ball is your ball position. Don't forget it is the back of the ball that you are stroking with the putter, not the centre. As such the back of the ball should be positioned an inch ahead of the middle of your stance, to encourage the putter to stroke the ball on the slight upswing, helping to create a truer, smoother roll out.

Tip 6: Positive putting

For this new method to work it is essential to maintain the angles you have established at address throughout the stroke. In order to strike the putt square to the target with the perfect roll you must keep a flat left wrist, don't allow it to collapse. Again, use that stick as a guideline. Get a friend to hold it next to the left side of your body at address and then make your stroke, hold your finish and look up into that mirror and check that your left wrist is flat and parallel to the stick. This should give you a really solid feel with no flip.

Quick Tip: Rhythm drill.

Try putting with a metronome style tempo. I like to say in my head 'one potato, two potato' as I rock the putter back and through. No matter what the length of putt I always stick to this smooth rhythm. It makes the stroke more consistent and distance control easier to achieve.

Quick Tip: Palms together drill

If you want to get the sensation of 2thumb before you buy the grip then try this drill. Grip the putter with the palms of your hands facing inwards so that the grip rests through the lifelines of both hands, fingers pointing to the floor. Now simply rock your shoulders to create a hit-free motion.

New Gear

Are you looking for a lighter electric trolley?

I think you'll agree that one of the most off-putting factors against purchasing an electric trolley is the weight. Most ladies simply don't have the strength to lift a heavy trolley in and out of our car boot and I've lost track of those who do so on a regular basis getting back problems. So it was with great interest that I received an email about a new lightweight electric trolley launching to the UK market called the Big Max Nano.

The Nano isn't cheap, but in terms of size and lightness it delivers where few others can. The most innovative part of the Nano's construction is the incorporation of an ultra-lightweight battery into the tubular frame of the trolley. This gives the Nano an incredible total weight of 11.5 kg and removes the need for a cumbersome removable battery to be part of the folding mechanism. With this innovation, Big Max has produced an electric trolley that folds down to one of the smallest sizes on the market. On top of that the Nano has a simple hands free operation; a maintenance free, gearless and brushless motor; a magnetic speed control that is cable free, allowing for perfectly smooth operation; forward and backward drive; a motor brake allowing a consistent speed and many other features that will impress you.

This level of design and innovation doesn't come cheap as the Nano costs £1494, but if you are looking for an incredibly lightweight electric trolley that folds down so small that it will fit in the boot of your sports car, the Nano is unrivalled. Visit www.bigmaxgolf.co.uk for more information or call 0844 209 8886.

Rife adds a Rainbow finish to its Tour proven putters

If you have been watching the ladies golf on TV or keeping track of the results through the internet recently you'll have seen Women's world No.4 Na Yeon Choi of Korea rolling putts in left right and centre with a rather colourful Rife putter on route to her victory in the LPGA event in Malaysia a few weeks ago. Choi narrowly edged out the world No.1 Yani Tseng with a red-hot putting display over the closing holes.

The putter in her hands was the Rife Abaco which is part of the new Tropical range, finished in eye-catching rainbow colours. By using a system of vacuum Ti plating Rife has added the 'rainbow finish' which not only looks amazing but has the added benefit of increasing the putters' resistance to wear and oxidization over time.

There are two other Rife putters that feature the same rainbow finish, the Bimini and the Cayman Brac, and all three cost £149 to buy. For more information visit www.rifeputters.co.uk








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The 19th
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Paul McGinley
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John Huggan
Rules suck: that’s common knowledge...

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Book Review
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