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 CARLY FROST
 Editor
 Ladies Golf Today

Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
January 20, 2012

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Congratulations to our Brit Q-School graduates!

Jodi Ewart, one of England's rising golf stars, has proven her talent by qualifying in first place at the Ladies European Tour Final Qualifying School at La Manga in Spain yesterday.

Jodi, 24 from North Yorkshire, finished on 11-under-par and two shots ahead of her nearest rival, Swiss amateur Anais Maggetti. Just a handful of other Brits successfully secured their LET Tour cards for this 2012 season - former Welsh International Sahra Hassan, along with Charlotte Ellis and Sophie Walker from England were all celebrating.

Although a newcomer to the LET Jodi joins with a wealth of tournament experience having played college golf in the USA, during which time she had sponsors invites to LPGA Tour events. When she arrived in Spain two weeks ago she was one of over 200 lady golfers all vying for their 2012 LET Tour cards. With just 30 spots up for grabs in the gruelling five-round final qualifying stages that have taken place over the North and South Courses at La Manga this week it wasn't surprisingly that Jodi was pleased to have capped off a tiring fortnight with the victory.

"I manage to avoid looking at the scoreboards all week," said Jodie. "It feels good. I mean, fourth on the LPGA and now winning the LET: it's a pretty good off-season if you ask me. It feels good and I'm really looking forward to this year."

Sadly for England's Hannah Burke and Scotland's Carly Booth there was misery. Burke and Booth were among six players who had tied for 29 th position. With only 30 spots up for grabs they had to head back to the seventh tee to begin a sudden-death play-off and where they were eliminated courtesy of birdies by their opponents.

All in all there are 15 nationalities represented by the top 30 qualifiers and the USA leads the way with eight players, followed by France with four, England and Spain with three each and two players from the Netherlands. Yu Yang Zhang is set to become the LET's first Chinese representative.
We'll now look forward to seeing Ewart and her fellow Tour Rookies tee off in the LET season-opening event - the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open at Royal Melbourne.

NEWS

LET to head to China

An exciting new ladies Tour event will take place in Mission Hills, China this March 2-4 2012.

The World Ladies Championships (WLC) will be added to the Ladies European Tour schedule and co-sanctioned with the China LPGA Tour. The WLC will adopt a unique three-in-one format, featuring 54-hole individual play, professional team play and individual amateur play. In accordance with the Women's World Golf Rankings, two players from each of 18 countries or regions will be invited to participate in the team portion. Results will be calculated by aggregating the total points scored by each golfer. In competing against the best players in the world, the host nation China will field two teams.

Invitations for the individual category of the 108-player field are dictated by the Women's World Golf rankings and 2011 European Tour Order of Merit. Participants will include top-ranked players from the Ladies European Tour (LET), China LPGA Tour, Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Korean Professional Ladies Golf Association (KLPGA), Ladies Professional Golfers' Association of Japan (JLPGA) and Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG). Amateur players will be drawn from winners of select R&A-sanctioned golf competitions in major countries. The WLC will award points to LET and China LPGA Tour members.

Mr. Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Golf Club said, "The stage has long been set for a brand new world women's golf championship in the professional game and we are very glad to see it finally happen. We are very thankful to the CGA, LET, China LPGA Tour and all the other parties for their collaborative input and contributions to this new event. The World Ladies Championship is the only three-in-one game in world golf today.

"Mission Hills has always been devoted to popularizing and promoting the sport through competitions. Golf is once again approved as an Olympic event and we proactively cooperate with different industry bodies to support the development of professional women's golf and achieve breakthroughs in the women's game," added Chu.

Alexandra Armas, Executive Director of Ladies European Tour , said: "The World Ladies Championship 2012 is an integral part of LET as well as an unprecedented women's professional golf competition in China. As Mission Hills has already arranged numerous international tournaments with success, I believe the upcoming Championship will certainly draw more attention to women's golf and thus further popularize the sport on a global level."

Designed by Brian Curley, Mission Hill's Vintage Course pays homage to the classic American golf courses built at the turn of the 20th century. It has a distinct, authentic feel - holes were routed to leave the densely forested site as undisturbed as possible. Abrupt mounding; deep pot bunkers; severe ridges; blind shots; varied, sometimes geometric, bunkering; an array of green sizes and wicker basket pins are highlights. Visit www.missionhillschina.com for more information

Fancy going?
Mission Hills Hainan is 15 minutes from Haikou Meilan International Airport (HAK). Flights from major cities throughout Asia - including Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore - to Haikou are available.

Tried & Tested

FootJoy DryJoys with new BOA Lace system

I must confess that when I first saw the FootJoy BOA Lace system it reminded me very much of the type of tightening system you see on the back of a pair of ski boots. The dial at the back of the shoe may look a little odd but you soon forget it is there. I made the mistake of neglecting to read the instructions that came inside the box before throwing it away and spend half an hour trying to fathom out how to tighten or loosen the laces. In fact it turned out to be incredibly simple - just pull the dial out and the laces loosen, then push it in and turn the dial to tighten. What was interesting was how evenly the BOA Lace system tightened across the foot. Unlike traditional laces where we are all guilty of tightening from the top and leaving the lower foot a little too lose in the shoe, this clever lacing system really does ensure the shoe totally envelops your foot so that the fit is absolutely perfect.

I love the fact that your laces don't loosen or come undone during a round, you really do forget about your feet altogether, such is the comfort of these shoes. And as you would expect from a premium golf shoe your foot is very well supported and that definitely has the benefit of providing a more solid base and platform from which to swing around, which I have no doubt will help you play better golf.

Would I pick these shoes from a line-up in a shop? On looks, probably not - they're not exactly pretty. But if I had to pick the most comfortable, functional pair of shoes the FootJoy DryJoys BOA would win all day long, and comfort, after all, is more important than anything else.
£100, www.footjoy.co.uk

Fashion for the fairway

After such a mild end to 2011 I was hoping that the waterproofs and winter woollies would stay put in the wardrobe for 2012 but in the last week temperatures have plummeted and winter has returned!

If your waterproofs are looking a little dated then now's a great time to treat yourself to a new suit. This Rain Jacket and complementing trousers from FootJoy don't just look great, they are incredibly comfortable to wear and most importantly keep you dry and warm.

The jacket has been perfectly tailored for the female shape with room in all the right places but pulls in nice and tight around the cuffs so that you can swing freely and unrestricted. The waterproof trousers are cleverly designed too with maximum breathability so you don't overheat if the sun does decide to come out halfway round!

The FootJoy Rain Jacket is available in sizes XS-XL and a choice of colours, priced at £110 and the complementing trousers retail for £90 and come in black or white.

And thinking ahead to when the temperatures do rise a few degrees again FootJoy also offer a smart little Women's Wind Vest that is perfect for a spring day. It's made from a waterproof soft-shell fabric with a particularly comfortable suede-lined collar and inside wind flap to keep your body warm. Priced at just £50 (and available in sizes XS-XL again) it's a great addition to the wardrobe.

For more information visit www.footjoy.co.uk

Heaven for your feet!

Check these fun Folklore poker dot socks out. They don't just look great they're incredibly comfortable too, hugging your feet warmly inside your golf shoes. Available from Ping Collection for £10 a pair; www.pingcollection.co.uk 

New Gear

X7 gets a splash of white

The innovative X7 Lithium trolley from Stewart Golf has been given a stylish makeover that will appeal to our feminine side as it is now available in white. The new colour joins the existing line up of Metallic Silver, Metallic Black and British Racing Green.  

Contrary to popular belief, the X7 is not sprayed with paint. The material that is used for the coloured panels on every X-Series is actually a multi-layer composite manufactured by a specialist in Austria.

The ABS multi-layer material provides high mechanical values such as impact strength & stiffness as well as excellent surface quality & durability. It is also UV stable which ensures that the colour will not fade in sunlight over time.

Stewart Golf MD Mark Stewart said, "We have had many customers & distributors asking for a special white version of the X7, so we are very pleased to bring this to market. White is very fashionable for premium cars now, and this special pearlescent colour looks awesome on the sculpted surfaces of the X7."

The X7 costs £999 and for a limited time comes with a free cart bag worth £129. Visit www.stewartgolf.com for more information.

Fitness update
Why proper breathing is so important...

Ever since the very start of my fitness campaign the one thing that Golf Fitness Expert and C.H.E.K practitioner Scott Bryant has been emphasising with me is the important of breathing. I've had to retrain my naturally poor breathing habits so that I learn to breathe in deeply into my belly rather than my chest.

Not only does this improve my overall health and well-being, it is incredibly important on the golf course. A golfer who can control their breathing is a lot more focussed and relaxed under pressure than someone whose breathing is erratic. Controlled breathing will also allow you to activate your core - the key muscles that run down the centre of the body and are responsible for the power in your golf swing.

There are two very simple breathing exercises you can practice every day to improve your own breathing technique. The first is designed to teach you to breathe in deeply into your belly rather than shallow into your chest. Simply breathe in and tie a piece of string just below your chest, now breathe out and try to get the air to fill your belly so that your belly button protrudes. The string around your chest should stay tight.

The second is a simple exercise you can practice in your golfing posture. Tilt forward from the hips and flex your knees so that you are in a good address position. Now practice breathing in deeply into your belly and then breathe out pulling your belly button in tight. Hold your belly button in tight and continue to breathe in and out slowly with control. This is the physical state you want to be in before hitting every golf shot, it will maximise your control and power as your core (centre of your body) is activated.

For more about Scott Bryant visit www.activebryantsystems.com or to book a free one-hour physical assessment with Scott contact him on: 07841 14478, email: scttbrynt@aol.com








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