Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
Introducing our new golf fashion columnist, Christina Smith...
Christina is the Director of Golf2Golf.co.uk, which features a fantastic ladies golf clothing and accessories website called Surprizeshop. Here she writes exclusively for Golf Today and shares her insight into the golf fashion world...
As autumn starts to poke its head around the corner and the temperature starts to fall there is no need for your wardrobe to follow suit. Bright colours are no longer reserved for Spring as hot pink, turquoise and lime green are a key trend for this Autumn/Winter. It's not just about balance on the tee but also in the ratio of bright colours to the main staple colours, particularly black, which provide a stylish and on trend look for this winter. Accessories such as gloves and winter hats provide a necessary function but are a great way of introducing these key colours into your look.
Wearing Pink this autumn is not only a style statement but with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October it can also help to raise funds and show your support for this very worthy cause. There are many great Pink Ribbon golf products available such as visors, ball markers, golf towels etc. (available at pinkribbongolf.co.uk) that are practical and attractive whilst promoting breast cancer awareness and helping the search for a cure. So whether you're a hot pink fan or prefer the softer pastel tones it's a Win-Win to think pink this autumn.
Golf and fashion lovers will be delighted to hear that they can combine their two passions by going on a shopping spree to the new GOLFINO store in London.
The Flagship store is located situated on South Moulton Street in the heart of the swanky Mayfair district and has in-store now three golf collections - Green, White and Blue label, each true to the brand's reputation for producing fashionable, functional apparel of outstanding quality.
The Green Label is a range of resort apparel designed for complete comfort on the course. The White Label is a performance line for the active player, with a youthful influence. This includes rainwear and golf bags. The Black label is a luxurious and smart line of premium casual wear for off the course.
The West End store is the latest in a long line of GOLFINO store openings in cosmopolitan locations including Paris, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Marbella and Palma in Majorca.
Andrew Thomson, GOLFINO Sales Director for Northern Europe, said: "We have been keen to establish a standalone retail presence which complements our strong on-course business that has developed over a number of years.
"This new store sits alongside some of the world's greatest designer brands, including Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Emporio Armani and is part of a wider strategy to create a strong GOLFINO presence in strategically important locations across the UK."
For more information or directions to the GOLFINO London store visit: www.golfino.co.uk
Founded in 1986 by Christel and Dr Bernd Kirsten, GOLFINO has grown into one of Europe's sportswear success stories - increasing sales of its women's, men's and children's clothing by 11%, to €33.5 million in its latest financial year. In addition to its standalone stores, GOLFINO also boasts 500 Shops-in-Shop partners across 18 European countries, including Harrods department store in London.
Mel stars on primetime TV!
Ladies European Tour golfer Melissa Reid swapped her golf shoes for stilletos in an appearance on the popular ITV1 show 'Red or Black?' last Saturday.
The prime time show hosted by Ant & Dec gives ordinary people across the UK the chance to become millionaires. The high octane, high jeopardy and super-sized game show features large scale stunts and nerve wracking challenges, where the contestants use their judgement and skill to battle it out to win a huge cash prize. It finishes with one finalist having an 'all or nothing' opportunity to triumph, get it wrong and they walk away empty handed. Get it right and they could walk away with a grand prize of up to £3.5 million, one of the biggest on TV.
In Saturday's show, Mel took on male Tour pro Paul Casey in a head to head putting challenge and showed her skilful touch.
Mel has also just launched her new website www.melreidgolf.com
Carly Booth credits LETAS for great 2012 season
Carly Booth is experiencing her breakthrough season on the Ladies European Tour where she is lying third on the ISPS Handa order of merit after two wins, at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open.
The 20-year-old Scot says that playing on the LET Access Series at the beginning of the year played a significant role in her dramatic progress.
She played in the Dinard Ladies Open in France in April with little expectation but shot rounds of 69, 70 and 69 to end on one under and then clinched her maiden victory as a professional in a play-off against Frenchwoman Marion Ricordeau.
She also played in the Banesto Tour Zaragoza in Spain, where she tied for 20th , but she said that the experience set her up for a great 2012 LET season.
"I've played two (LETAS) events and that was this year and the first one I played I won, so that itself gave me a great confidence boost to continue on the Ladies European Tour," said Booth, before playing in her first major championship at the Ricoh Women's British Open.
"I had a great experience. It was a well-run event and I definitely gained a lot of my confidence for the year from that event and I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend it."
Carly is a great ambassador for the LET and the Access Series and we are likely to see even greater success from this talented Scot in future.
NAMAKULA TO FLY UGANDA FLAG AT OMEGA DUBAI LADIES MASTERS
Flavia Namakula will provide a snapshot of golf's rising standards in Uganda and East Africa when she makes her first appearance in the forthcoming Omega Dubai Ladies Masters to be held under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Arguably the most decorated amateur golfer in the 'Pearl of Africa,' Namakula has been handed a special invitation by golf in DUBAi as part of its oft-stated commitment to reach out to talented players who are in need of exposure to golf at the highest-level.
The 24-year-old amateur who plays off one handicap -- the lowest-ever for a lady golfer in Uganda -- will join a galaxy of the world's superstars from around the world, including Michelle Wie and defending champion Alexis Thompson, in the season-ending Ladies European Tour at the Emirates Golf Club from December 5 to 8 later this year.
Perhaps the only golfer in the world who is serving full time in armed forces, the Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier knows it takes a whole lot of discipline and hard work to achieve the task at hand.
"I am not just a lucky golfer. I have put in a lot of time to hone my skills and it has started paying off. I am keen to take my game to the next level and for that to happen I need to play in big events, said the affable Namakula, who will be accompanied by Jasper Kamukama, president of the Uganda Ladies Golf Union, during her maiden trip to Dubai.
"I am grateful to golf in DUBAi for providing with this opportunity which is nothing less than a dream come true. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and will try and give my best shot. I know a good performance in Dubai would be a great advertisement for golf in Uganda," she said.
"Whatever the outcome, I certainly be returning home richer in experience which I would love to share with fellow golfers here in Uganda."
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of 'golf in DUBAi,' said: "We are delighted to invite Flavia to the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters and hope the experience of playing against a top-class field would add to her confidence and help mature into a better player.
"The fact that Uganda recently hosted the 58 th edition of their national ladies championship shows the game has a long history and players like Flavia has done well to keep tradition alive," he said.
"One of the major objectives behind promoting and organising the tournament is to reach out to the deserving players who need exposure at top level golf to brush up their skills. Flavia's presence will also help bolster the already strong ties between the UAE and Uganda, a country with fantastic natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures."
Essex hang on for victory at County Finals
Essex are England's champion county for the first time in 33 years. They won the title by a tiny margin on count-back at the end of a tense but exciting finale to women's County Finals at East Devon Golf Club.
County captain Amanda Colegate-Herbert said: "What a great team, I can't say how wonderful they are - but they do like to make things nerve wracking!
Their victory marked a triumphant return to County Finals, 23 years after their last appearance and 33 years after that last win. It came on a day which began with many possible outcomes and which had spectators wishing for calculators as they totted up games won and lost.
But in the end it was Essex who tipped the points tally and captain Colegate-Herbert paid particular tribute to the important half point won by her young gun Ashleigh Greenham, who birdied the last hole to draw level in her match. "Everyone contributed and there were lot outstanding points during the week, but that was a great result under pressure," she said.
Among the spectators watching the Essex victory were two players who were members of the team which won the 1979 title: Pat Garner and Philippa Deman.
Lancashire finished the week as runners-up and county captain Val Moran said: "While the team are disappointed we are very proud of their performance and we've been delighted by the play of some of the younger members who we have brought into the team. It's been a wonderful week.
"It was all very close and very exciting and that's the virtue of the points system - but it's very nerve wracking!"
Cheshire duo are crowned Australian Spoons champions
Women golfers Janet Ions and Jean Halligan are England's Australian Spoons champions - and the first partnership from Cheshire to capture the trophy.
The pair, from Tytherington Golf Club, won a tight tussle for the Spoons at the national final at East Devon Golf Club.
"It was very close," said Janet. "Our playing partners were ahead of us all the way and we pipped them on the last hole, where we got three points and they got one."
This is their biggest win in golf and, as Jean said: "It's lovely." Janet added: "It's great and a big shock, a real surprise!"
The stableford foursomes competition is contested by players with handicaps of 21 and over and the national finalists - who each represented one of England Golf's women's regions - had come through club and regional qualifying rounds.
Janet, who has been playing golf only four years, has a handicap of 26 - and had been cut by two in the run-up to the final - while Jean is a 29 handicapper.
The pair, who represented the North region, closely examined the trophy to discover they were the first winners from Cheshire. They scored 31 points on the scenic and challenging cliff-top course which features some very demanding greens.
They were followed by:
* Sheelah Ayliffe and Jill MacLeod from Bovey Tracey Golf Club, Devon, representing the South West
SKYCADDIE BREEZE IS SIMPLE, AFFORDABLE & ACCURATE
SkyGolf, maker of the No.1 rated and most reliable rangefinder in golf,
The Breeze is unbeatable value for golfers looking for a simple and
Most importantly, the Breeze provides the unmatched quality of a SkyCaddie in an easy-to-use device that performs more accurately than any others on the market. The affordable new Breeze offers UK golfers access to the same ground-verified, industry benchmark golf course maps as are available to buyers of SkyCaddie's top-of-the-range wireless SGXW model. With over 95% of the UK's golf courses surveyed on foot - and with hundreds re-surveyed each year as courses make changes - the doubt is removed, and golfers with a SkyCaddie Breeze can always be sure that their yardages are correct.
The attractively priced Breeze comes preloaded and is hands-free from the car park to the 18th green. Front, centre and back of green yardages are displayed in big, easy-to-read numbers on a large 3-inch, sunlight-readable display.
Breeze features include: Auto Course (finds and loads a course
"The new Breeze addresses the needs of a large segment of golfers who are
looking for simplicity and accuracy at a price which makes it easier for
Breeze owners seeking more advanced stroke-saving features such as HoleVue, IntelliGreen, RangeVue and PinPoint can do so with a series of optional upgrade packs and membership choices.
Suggested retail price of the new SkyCaddie Breeze is just £229.95, and it
is offered with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
Centurion Club Opens for Membership Enquiries
Prospective members are now able to contact the Centurion Club, located on the outskirts of the historic city of St Albans, Hertfordshire, to request a guided tour.
Centurion Club, which is scheduled to open in summer 2013, takes its name from the era in which Britannia was ruled by the Roman Empire.
The course agronomy will be overseen by Troon Golf, who manage many of the finest golf courses in over 25 countries around the world, including Turnberry, The Grove and Bearwood Lakes here in the UK, and Troon North, La Zagaleta, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Mazagan and Kapalua internationally.
Centurion Club is headed by Graham Wildish, Chairman, and Scott Evans, Managing Director. Wildish has extensive business background working in the pharmaceutical, construction and manufacturing industries while Scotsman, Evans, brings 25 years of experience in golf club management at the likes of Troon Golf Club in Arizona, Dubai Creek, Loch Lomond, Bearwood Lakes, The London Club and most recently, Troon Golf Management where he worked on numerous European projects.
The Club is situated on the A4147, on the outskirts of St Albans and close to Hemel Hempstead, junction 8 on the M1 and junction 21a on the M25. Under 30 minutes away from the centre of London, the club is 10 minutes from Luton and 25 minutes from Heathrow airport.
If you are planning on booking a winter escape to somewhere exotic then check out the spectacular Diamonte Cabo San Lucas resort in Mexico.
SLIDER BAR AND THE ROCK 'N ROLL RANGE
Diamante has developed a 14-acre practice and performance centre unlike anything else you'll find in golf. There are two main driving ranges and a secluded short game area for chipping and putting. But the star of the centre are the four group hitting bays which are separated by large stone formations to give you privacy. Classic rock music plays in the background to put you in the groove.
Before you get on the range you'll want to hit the Slider Bar which serves traditional Mexican favourites. In the morning you have a choice of breakfast sliders - chorizo, bacon and sausage. Ask the staff to make you a fresh-fruit smoothie to give you that boost for the range and for your round.
It might be a luxury to stop for a snack at the turn to reinvigorate your game for the back nine. Diamante has taken this luxury a step further and designed two 'halfway huts' on the course and positioned them in such a way that you'll pass each twice! They offer golfers a chance to sample local specialties and scrumptious snacks.
The green fees at Diamante include the use of a top-notch practice area, an experienced caddie, breakfast, and four stops during the round at the halfway huts that serve hot snacks, drinks and then lunch when you are finished playing. The snack stops are overlooking the course with miles of sand and ocean as the backdrop. You will literally need to catch your breath from the scenery alone.
The Diamante Dunes Course in Los Cabos, Mexico was designed by the famous 20 times PGA tour winner Davis Love III. It uses the natural sand dunes and Pacific Ocean beachfront to create one of the finest golf environments in all of Mexico. Its diverse features have drawn comparisons to playing Pebble Beach, Pinehurst or St. Andrews in Scotland, but with the warm, tropical weather of Mexico.
Located at the tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula with its Pacific coastal dunes with the bio-diversity of the Peninsula, desert and the hilly terrain surrounding Cabo San Lucas providing a rich and dramatic setting for a golf course that is destined to be included in the discussion of the world's best. This links masterpiece features 18 distinct holes (Par 72), with emerald green fairways, inviting greens and endless views of the Pacific, but with the wind blowing off the Pacific your golf swing will be tested. There are any number of holes on the course that could qualify for a signature hole, the 17th may be one of them, a par five running along the dunes to a strangely elevated green. Other option is the 16 hole, a short par three with an insane green; perhaps the par five 14 with an impressive 600 yard uphill will test your skills.
Visit: www. diamante cabosanlucas.com for green fee and stay and play offers.