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 CARLY FROST
 Editor
 Ladies Golf Today

Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
June 28, 2012

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

MEL'S BRAVE VICTORY IS A FITTING TRIBUTE
I received a very moving email this week from the lady who looks after the PR for the clothing label Tommy Hilfiger Golf, who have recently signed LET star Melissa Reid as their Women's Golf Collection Ambassador.

It read..."Melissa Reid's win last weekend was undoubtedly one of the most inspiring achievements we have witnessed in a long time. For me it underlined the kind nature of the industry in which we are all privileged to work, and the sense of family that exists from Tour players to PRs to the Media. Let's face it, nothing happens without us all knowing about it and most of us genuinely 'give a damn'. One little gem that I have learnt this week is that Melissa's choice to wear the lilac Tommy Hilfiger golf shirt on her final day was no coincidence. In fact all of the LET players carried a lilac sticker as well - in memory of Joy. Melissa will now always wear lilac on her final day as a tribute to her Mum, which is a nice story for us and a lot of logoing work!"

For those of you who weren't aware Melissa Prague Golf Masters victory was her first event back after the tragic death of her Mum in a car accident just four weeks earlier - her parents were on route over to watch her play in the UniCredit Ladies German Open when the accident occurred. After winning the Prague Open she said: "Obviously it's very special with what the family has been through the last four weeks, so you know, hopefully, obviously it is good news to the family and will bring a smile on our faces at such a horrible time, so it means a lot."

What a brave young lady. Melissa is an inspiration to us all and I will certainly be supporting her throughout the season.

NEWS

Golf participation is finally on the up!

In other inspiring news, I heard this week that golf is actually becoming more popular! The statistics released by Sport England's Active People Survey made welcoming reading, with over 69,000 more people playing golf compared to six months ago. For the first time, more than 15 million people in England, aged 16 and over, are playing sport once a week, every week. That's 500,000 more than six months ago and 1.3 million more than in 2005/6 when London won the Olympic bid (which is believed to be contributing to the nation's increased interest in sport)

Golf is among 21 sports which have shown a positive trend over the past six months and the results indicate that the long-term, downward trend in golf participation may be reversing.

Long may it continue I say!

FOUR NEW CAPS IN ENGLAND GIRLS' TEAM

Four new caps are named in the England Golf team which will defend the title at the Girls' Home Internationals at Radyr Golf Club, Wales, from 7-9 August.

They are Gabriella Cowley of Essex, Amber Ratcliffe (right) of Norfolk, Shelby Smart of Gloucestershire and Olivia Winning of Yorkshire.

They will join four established internationals: Georgia Hall of Dorset, Meghan MacLaren of Northamptonshire, Elizabeth Mallet of Warwickshire and Brogan Townend of Lancashire These players were all members of last year's successful team which won the tournament for the fourth year in a row.

The team reserves are Sophie Keech of Dorset and Bethan Popel of Gloucestershire.

The players:

Gabriella Cowley (right), 16 (West Essex) is the English girls' U15 champion and the winner of the Scottish U16 open strokeplay title. She was also in the mixed winning Nations Cup team at the Fairhaven Trophy.

Georgia Hall, 16, (Remedy Oak) was the runner-up in the 2012 English women's amateur championship, a reserve for the Curtis Cup team and is a full England international. She has won three top scratch events this season.

Meghan MacLaren, 18, (Wellingborough) won the U18 Cartier Trophy at the French lady junior championship and was the leading English player in last season's British strokeplay championship, finishing in third place. She is a past winner of the English schools' championship.

Amber Ratcliffe,16, (Royal Cromer) has twice been English U16 schools' champion and last year won the girls' title at the Fairhaven Trophies. She represented GB&I in the inaugural junior Vagliano Trophy match, which also included Georgia Hall.

Shelby Smart (right), 17, (Knowle) was an early pace setter at the English amateur championship where she finished 14th. She is the Gloucestershire champion, having won the title three times in four years, and has helped her team to reach County Finals. She's a past winner of the South West schools' championship.

Brogan Townend, 18, (Pleasington) is the Faldo Series girls champion and has previously won the U16 title. She has helped Lancashire to reach the 2012 County Finals and has been runner-up in the Northern ladies' championship.

Sophie Keech, 16, (Lyme Regis) won the 2011 English schools' championship and has twice been the Dorset champion. She was in England's squad for the Scottish U16 championship.

Olivia Winning (right), 17, (Rotherham) represented England in last year's European Young Masters and was fifth in the 2011 English girls' championship. She was runner-up at this season's Fairhaven Trophies where she set a course record

Bethan Popel, 16, (Long Ashton) won the 2011 North of England U16 title and the South-West women's championship. She is in the Gloucestershire team which has reached County Finals.

Elizabeth Mallett, 17, (Sutton Coldfield Ladies') set a new course record when she won this season's Whittington Trophy, one of the leading scratch events. Elizabeth is a past winner of the English girls' championship, the English U15 title and has been runner-up in the British girls' championship.

NEW GEAR

LET COBRA INJECT SOME COLOUR INTO YOUR GAME!

PGA Tour sensation Rickie Fowler has well and truly put Cobra onto the map this season by wearing his signature orange outfits to match his brightly coloured Cobra AMP driver. If you like his style but are wondering what Cobra are offering for ladies then the answer is the same AMP series of clubs but accented in dazzling lime green!

The AMP series includes a Women's Driver, Baffler hybrid, AMP irons and complementing 'BIG Trusty Rusty' wedges. All the features and benefits can be viewed on www.cobragolf.co.uk but here's a brief summary...

Cobra Women's AMP Driver: features Advanced Material Placement, E9 Face Technology and Adjustable Flight Technology to deliver blistering ball speeds and customised performance, with 13 degrees of loft for incredible ease of use.

Cobra Women's Baffler T-Rail Hybrid: Features a shallow face design with new Tungsten Rails to deliver maximum forgiveness. Unique alignment lines combine with other baffler technologies to make longer approach shots easier for you to execute. Baffler T-Rails assist in generating higher longer shots that land softly on the green. Available in: 3/H (22º); 4/H (25º); 5/H (28º); 6/H (31º); 7/H (34º).

Cobra Women's AMP irons: Advanced Material Placement enables customised distance and accuracy in each individual iron. Multi-material design and a thin, high strength steel face deliver greater distance and accuracy. Set comes as 5-iron - Sand Wedge.

Cobra Women's Big Trusty Rusty wedge: Designed for women by short game guru Phil Rodgers, the Big Trusty Rusty is made from low density, light weight steel enabling a larger profile for enhanced forgiveness. With its super wide, Tri-Bounce sole, light ALDILA shaft and tacky, green Winn grip, the women's Big Trusty Rusty is not only forgiving but looks great too. Available in: 50º, 55° and 60º.

TRIED & TESTED

Adidas Eyewear: Retego II Sunglasses

With the sun finally shining this week I took the opportunity to test out a pair of golf-specific sunglasses I had been sent a few weeks ago by Adidas. The Retego II is part of the Adidas Eyewear collection and they are packed full of technology including that all-important UVA protection for your eyes in bright light. Here's how I got on...

They say:
Clear and undistorted vision is essential in a sport which is all about precision. Retego's Decentered Vision AdvantageTM PC Lenses guarantee distortion-free vision and perfectly protect your eyes against UVA, -B and -C radiation. Its extensive 8 base curvature provides for the widest field of vision as well as optimum protection of the eye area. And as your clubs are custom fit to your needs retego's Double-Snap Nose Pads allow for a secure and comfortable fit making Retego the perfect partner for your golf ambitions. RXready is adidas eyewear's optical solution - making sure that even an athlete's visual impairment will no longer affect their handicap!

I say: "The Adidas Retego II is definitely not the most feminine or fashionable pair of sunglasses I have ever worn before (I decided I looked like a bit of a bug) but they certainly improved my vision on the course. On a bright sunny day the ball stood out very clearly in flight against the blue sky and most importantly when I was searching for it in the rough! The biggest difference was on the greens; where I found the slopes were very clear and the much easier to read. The Retego II would definitely get a 10/10 for comfort. They were extremely lightweight and the grip behind the ears was firm enough to hold them perfectly in place with no slippage as I swung without being uncomfortably tight and causing me aggravation. I particularly like the fact that you can adjust the nose bridge to suit your own face shape, a feature that will appeal to most golfers who normally avoid sunglasses because they sit awkwardly. If you've never worn sunglasses to play golf before then I would highly recommend you give them a try. Even on a dull day (and let's face it that's the majority of the year) they brighten the appearance of the course and that makes the ball easier to spot!
Info: www.adidas.com/eyewear

FASHION FOR THE FAIRWAYS

Free delivery on online orders from Ping Collection

Leading ladies golf apparel brand Ping Collection has a fantastic new online shop where for a limited time you can benefit from free UK delivery on orders over £25.

The wide selection of ladies apparel includes polo shirts, trousers, skorts, shorts, knitwear, windshirts, accessories and much more. There is a handy size guide on there if you are unsure about what will fit and also an 'offers' section where you can pick up a bargain!

Visit www.pingcollection.co.uk to place your order. Remember, the free UK delivery on purchases over £25 is only available for a limited time, so get in there fast!

TRAVEL

A GOURMET GOLF BREAK FIT FOR THE GIRLS!

Play a round or two at the Islands most scenic golf course followed by some delicious cuisine

Whether you are looking for a romantic golfing weekend away or a fun golf break with the girls I think I've found the perfect solution close to home, and it's just a short ferry hop across to the Isle of Wight. This unique destination will suit golfers all abilities who enjoy spectacular coastal scenery, a comfy bed and fine dining to finish the day.

 

The Hambrough hotel and Freshwater Bay Golf Club have joined forces to offer a new 'Island Golf Break' throughout the summer. Guests will get to play 18 holes of scenic coastal golf followed by a stay in a five-star luxury room with sea views at The Hambrough in Ventnor, where you will dine on award-winning food by the Isle of Wight's only Michelin starred chef Robert Thompson (www.robert-thompson.com)

A two night golf break includes dinner, bed and breakfast at The Hambrough, return car ferry travel with Wightlink or Red Funnel and a round of golf at Freshwater Bay Golf Club, with prices starting from just £234 per person based on two people sharing.

Groups of up to 8 can take advantage of the luxury Self-Catering Villa Lavinia by the Robert Thompson Group for a 3 night or 6 night break with a round of complimentary golf and return ferry travel included. The Villa offers 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, large lounge/kitchen, a newly landscaped garden with a large gas barbeque. Prices start from £253.80 per person (price based on a 3 night break for 5 people)

About The Hambrough

The Hambrough is The Isle of Wight's only one-star Michelin restaurant with 7 five-star rooms located in the Victorian town of Ventnor overlooking the channel. Experience fine dining with Robert Thompson's contemporary dishes: "The Hambrough is a destination restaurant, rewarding visitors with great food and inspiring views. It becomes an addictive experience," Robert Thompson.   www.robert-thompson.com
The Hambrough has recently been awarded 18th in the Sunday Times, Hardens Top 100 restaurants and 20th in the Good Food Guide 2012.
 
About Freshwater Bay Golf Club
 
Set on the downs overlooking the English Channel, this par 69 seaside links-style course is 5,725 yards long and provides a challenge for golfers of all abilities.

The site, owned by the National Trust, is a SSSI and a European Special Area of Conservation, home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. With arguably the finest beach on the Island not much more than a couple of par fives away, it is an ideal venue for all the family. Visitors and societies are always made most welcome.

The course is blessed with ancient monuments, which provide a special kind of hazard to the visiting golfer - the seventh fairway threads itself through two bronze age burial mounds hence the name Tumuli.

Enjoy your game on Freshwater Bay Golf Course and delight in the views of Tennyson Down (the inspiration of much of Lord Tennyson's poetry), of Freshwater Bay, of the Solent and Yarmouth and of the English Channel. However, do not be lulled into a false sense of security - the holes rarely play as serenely as they look!

  www.freshwaterbaygolfclub.co.uk Email: secretary@freshwaterbaygolfclub.co.uk
 
About Villa Lavinia

Villa Lavinia   is a stunning Victorian property located in Ventnor, Isle of Wight UK which has been renovated to the highest of standards whilst retaining much of it's original detailing such as the carved gothic staircase and ornate cornicing. The contemporary decor and stylish furnishings make this an extremely comfortable property with the benefit of a stunning landscaped cliff top garden with fantastic coastal views.
This self-catering accommodation can accommodate up to 10 guests offering: five double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a large kitchen/lounge. The Villa is serviced by The Hambrough, which is only a short walk away.








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