Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
Golf is growing globally
I went along to the World Travel Market in London last week and was excited to see how many new and exotic destinations now have golf on offer as well as sight-seeing.
From Peru to Patagonia, there are some amazing countries you can go and play golf in that you may never have considered before. Golf truly has become a global game.
By sheer coincidence I also had an email from HowDidIDo last week, which gives me weekly handicap updates, telling me that they had surveyed their members and a staggering 77% said they went abroad on a golfing holiday each year, and that's despite the so-called 'Credit Crunch'!
Of the 1,200 golfers who filled in the poll, nearly half of them book two to three or more golf breaks a year, showing that even when money is tight we golfers will always try our best to get away to the sunshine!
And who can blame us with the wicked summer of rain we've all endured! I for one will be saving my pennies rather than spending frivolously over Christmas this year to ensure I don't miss out on a golfing break in the sun next year! J
Yvonne James has been crowned Fuller's London Pride Golf Steward of the Year for 2012.
It's the second time Yvonne has been a finalist for the prestigious title. A year ago she made the trip to the London from Rugby as the Midland Region winner only to miss out on the top prize at the annual presentation luncheon at The Counting House in the City.
This time it was a happy return as she added the national title ahead of the other regional winners in the all-female line-up, Samantha Hudson from Swaffham in Norfolk, the South East winner; Anna Tyson from Dainton Park in Devon, the South West winner; and Dawn Stacey from Wath in Yorkshire, the North Region winner.
"I was so pleased to be here last year as the Midland Region winner but to come back and win is amazing. My members will be pleased," said Yvonne.
"I have been at Rugby Golf Club for seven years and the best part is making people happy. They can come into the 19th hole after a bad round and we will lift their spirits."
Yvonne, who was a matron at Rugby School before joining the golf club and has three children of her own, doesn't play golf but her husband Bob, who is club captain, was there to see her collect her award.
"Last year, the lunch was held slightly earlier so the regional award was something of a 50th birthday present for me," added Yvonne. "I was really happy to be chosen as the Midland winner and to represent the region again is fantastic. I can't thank my members enough for supporting me.
"When we returned to the club a year ago they held a big party. I wonder what will happen this time."
The judges, who included the 2011 national winner Scott Parker from Buckingham, described Yvonne as: 'the most proactive candidate we've ever had in the six years of the competition'. They also outlined her members' championing of their stewardess with phrases as 'unflagging enthusiasm', 'nothing is too much trouble' and 'as absolute delight'. And she is always ready to with a pint of London Pride, which is the tipple for her regular members.
The judges also remarked on the innovations Yvonne has brought to Rugby Golf Club such as staging weddings, coffee mornings, monthly band nights and even speed dating. She has also helped to raise £10,000 this year for cancer charities after losing family members to the disease.
Talented girls chosen for England Golf training
English U15 girls' champion Sophie Madden is among 23 talented young players who have been selected for England Golf Select regional training squads for 2012/13.
Other players include Ashleigh Greenham who, like Sophie, was a member of the Essex team which won County Finals this year. The 2012 Abraham Trophy winner, Kirsty Beckwith, is included, alongside last year's titleholder Ciara Kelly. This competition is contested by England's most improved girl golfers.
Another 62 promising girls have been selected for the Birdie training programme, which identifies potential among the country's youngest players. They include Hollie Muse, who is the English U13 girls' champion.
Select East - Georgina Blackman (Chelmsford), Ashley Croft (Stock Brook Manor), Ashleigh Greenham (West Essex), Sophie Madden (West Essex)
The Birdie squads are :
Birdies Year One
Birdies Year Two
Birdies Year Three
2015 Solheim Cup to be staged in Germany
The 2015 Solheim Cup venue has been revealed as the Golf Course St. Leon-Rot in Germany.
Golf Course St. Leon-Rot is located near Heidelberg and only an hour's drive away from Frankfurt. The club has hosted many leading professional and amateur events including the Deutsche Bank SAP Open with triple champion Tiger Woods, as well as one of Europe's leading youth tournaments, the Allianz German Boys & Girls Open.
In addition to boasting 36 holes of championship golf, the venue has built some of the most spectacular practice facilities in the world with the aim of developing the most talented junior golfers in Germany.
Allianz has been announced as the event's insurance partner and SAP as global technology partner of the 2015 Solheim Cup along with PING and Rolex to complete a strong family of global brands in 2015. Allianz and SAP are both German brands with international business which have been instrumental in bringing the event to Germany in 2015 and will work with the Ladies European Tour, Deutsche Golf Federation and Golf Club St. Leon-Rot to ensure the event is a great success both domestically and internationally.
Alexandra Armas, Executive Director of the Ladies European Tour, said: "We are delighted to be taking The 2015 Solheim Cup to Germany and to Golf Club St. Leon-Rot who have such a strong international reputation for both hosting major international tournaments but also for developing the most talented juniors in Germany. The Ladies European Tour looks forward to working with all parties involved in the project to make the event a great success including the Deutsche Golf Federation and welcoming global brands Allianz and SAP to the family of international partners which is a great endorsement of the profile of the event."
"The Solheim family is thrilled with the selection of the Golf Club St. Leon-Rot as the site for the 2015 Solheim Cup," said John A. Solheim, Chairman and CEO of PING. "It is a wonderful golf facility that will provide a difficult test for the professionals and juniors. I know the team at the club will provide everyone with an exceptional experience. It is very special to welcome two new partners in Allianz and SAP for the event. Their worldwide reputations certainly add a great deal to the Solheim Cup."
Dietmar Hopp, President of the Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, commented: "Our vision is to see the golfers we support taking their place at the top of the world game, demonstrating just what can be achieved. For this, young golfers need sporting role models to inspire them and drive them on in their everyday training, examples from whom they can take a lead. At the Solheim Cup our athletes will get to see the world's best professional women golfers live, providing them with a unique and valuable experience for their career."
German player Sandra Gal, a member of the victorious 2011 European Solheim Cup Team, stated: "I can't wait for Germany to host the 2015 Solheim Cup. It will be a fantastic experience for our golf in Germany and its upcoming talents to witness the excitement of such a prestigious event like the Solheim Cup. I am sure my home country will be a great host."
Golf stars visit Sanya Orphanage
It was moving to see golfers from the Ladies European Tour, Ladies Asian Golf Tour and China LPGA Tour take time out from the Sanya Ladies Open in Hainan, China, last week to visit the local Welfare House for children aged 2-10.
The players delivered gifts of books, toys, household goods, clothes and food to the orphanage, which cares largely for children with disabilities.
Many of the players said that they hoped their visit would bring awareness of the orphans to the local community and increase support.
Players included Frances Bondad, recent winner of the Spanish and French Opens, who sponsors a number of children in the Philippines, addressed the children and said: " Thank you for giving us the opportunity to come to your Welfare House. Through our influence at golf tournaments around the world, we hope that we can share our joy. We are very fortunate to play golf and hope that these children will get similar opportunities"
She was joined by fellow LET professionals Stacey Keating, Felicity Johnson, Holly Aitchison, Stacy Lee Bregman and Nikki Garrett.
CLPGA members Lin Xiyu, Shi Yu Ting, Yang Tao Li and Lu Yuexia, brought greetings from the Chinese players and spent time playing with the children.
Bubbly Thai player Patcharajutar Kongkraphan was particularly adept at interacting and bringing smiles to the faces of the youngsters and was joined by fellow LAGT members Lin Tzu Chi, Tavee Tiffany and Numa Gulyanamitta.
The president of the welfare house, Wang Shaomin, expressed his appreciation to the tournament organisers and players for visiting and using their influence to call more attention to the orphans.
COBRA PUMA Gift Support 'Get Into Golf' Activities
Leading equipment manufacturer COBRA PUMA GOLF has given hundreds of golf clubs to support England's County Golf Partnerships (CGPs) as they work to encourage more people to get into golf.
The company has donated over 200 packs, each of four seven-irons, to be used by beginners at tasters and follow-on coaching sessions with PGA professionals.
The clubs are going to 23 of the country's CGPs, which work to grow the game at grass roots level. The CGP network is an integral part of the England Golf Partnership's (EGP) Whole Sport Plan for golf and part of its vision to make England the world's leading golf nation.
COBRA PUMA GOLF already supports England Golf's GolfMark Club of the Year Award, which recognises clubs which make an outstanding and innovative contribution to junior and beginner golf.
Ian Barrett, EMEA Marketing Manager for COBRA PUMA GOLF said:
"We are delighted to further our support for England Golf, and particularly the County Golf Partnerships as they work very hard to get more people of all ages into the game.
"Our philosophy at COBRA PUMA GOLF is very much about getting people to enjoy golf. By supporting important programmes like this, which are influential in the development of grass roots golf, we look forward to working in partnership to help grow the game and provide opportunities for the bright stars of the future."
Richard Flint, England Golf's Development Manager, commented:
"This is a wonderful gesture by COBRA PUMA GOLF and their gift will be of great benefit to our County Golf Partnerships and to the growing number of people who are having a go at golf."
All CGPs offer activities, such as taster sessions and coaching programmes, to attract beginners and returners to the game, particularly those aged 16 and over. Each partnership has a development officer and they build strong relationships with local golf clubs, ranges and PGA professionals. A number of partnerships are starting to work with their local universities, colleges and businesses to create even more interest in golf. This year their activities have been highlighted by the promotional Get into golf campaign.
FIT39 golf glove
They say: Fit39 is the number one selling golf glove brand 'FIT 39' and is now available in the UK.
The Fit 39 golf glove is unique as it has a patented cutting edge design. It's made from a multi-directional material that allows the glove to stretch in all directions, giving golfers an uncompromised close fit. In addition to this, the synthetic material is non-slip in all weather conditions, antibacterial and odour resistant. The glove has sold more than 2 million pieces in Japan alone. The Fit 39 Key Features are:
Multi-directional material giving you a close fitting glove with unmatched grip performance
All weather glove utilising quick drying breathable material
Available in bright colours and designs
Machine Washable so you can always look your best
Odour resistance and anti-bacterial material technology
No more sweaty smelly old gloves!
And you can even use it with your touchscreen smartphone!
I say: What a unique golf glove, I have never seen anything like this before. The range of styles and colourful patterns is amazing and really gives you a unique, stand-out factor on the first tee which I love. The first thing that struck me about the Fit39 golf glove was the packaging. It comes folded neatly into a really small box, not your traditional full glove on display. This doesn't seem to come at the detriment to the glove inside however which unfolds perfectly. The leather is a lot thicker than gloves I have worn before and has a special dimpled pattern that makes it really grippy. The thickness means it doesn't have that lovely soft feel but it does offer a very solid grip of the club, particularly in the rain, allowing me to keep hold when other gloves might not. I'm also very impressed that you can put the glove in a washing machine, this is certainly not something I have ever done with a golf glove before, and means that it will last a lot longer, so although the price tag is a fraction higher than most golf gloves it will work out cheaper in the long run. I think these gloves are perfect little stocking fillers!
Tommy Hilfiger puts some colour into spring!
Tommy Hilfiger has revealed a fantastic new line of women's golf apparel for Spring 2013.
There are three collections inspired by the preppy heritage and energetic spirit of the Tommy Hilfiger brand. The first draws inspiration from the wide open Arizona desert with a neutral palette that emphasizes strong graphic details. Pieces include lightweight cardigans, cotton zip-neck sweaters and shorts. The second collection incorporates the unique summer vibe of Bar Harbor. Nautical stripes, a Sleeveless polo shirtdress and red, white and blue plaid trousers give a classic New England shoreline vibe. Inspired by the sun and sand of Palm Beach, the final collection features shades of sun washed yellows, pinks, blues, and greens paired with subtle patterns.
All three collections feature TH Comfort Tech, a hybrid cotton technical performance fabric, designed to combine style and comfort with the functional properties required in performance driven garments. TH Tech is a 100% polyester fabric with moisture wicking capabilities that keep garments dry and provide the anti-odour properties essential in a technical garment. TH Cotton is a 100% cotton fabric designed for superior quality and comfort.
"Golf represents the ultimate prep lifestyle," said Tommy Hilfiger. "Our golf collections are inspired by the integrity and tradition of the sport. We've added a twist to the classics through an innovative use of fabrics and details, delivering performance, comfort and style in golf sportswear that can be worn on and off the course."
Altogether there are 60 styles in the women's collection with expected retail prices ranging from £70 for shorts and polos to £125 for knits and outerwear. Ladies European Tour professional Melissa Reid will be sporting the Tommy Hilfiger look throughout the 2013 season.
Fourth Tiger Woods golf course design begins construction
Tiger Woods has chosen Diamante Cabo San Lucas, Mexico as the location for his fourth golf course design.
Construction of the TWD designed new course, named El Cardonal" began in September, and is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete. The course is set right on the Pacific coast and will measure over 7,300 yards off the back tees. It will look and play very differently to Davis Love III's Dunes Course already at the resort.
"While the Dunes course is reminiscent of a classic Scottish links course, this course is going to remind people of the old-style California courses," Woods said. "We will use the existing arroyos that traverse the site and well-placed bunkers to create definite strategic choices and carries off the tees."
TWD plans to integrate Diamante's rolling hills and spectacular views into the design of a very distinctive golf course. The bunkers will have a traditional look while natural, irregular contours will be preserved in wide fairways. The variety of holes and strategic options will promote shot-making while still creating a very playable experience for golfers of all skill levels.
"I set up the golf strategy to make golfers think and make choices," said Woods. "Regardless of your handicap, there are going to be different ways to play every hole. Angles of approach are going to be very important and will dictate the type of shots you should consider. I love this kind of golf."
The "El Cardonal" course is planned to measure more than 7,300 yards.
This is the fourth golf course Tiger Woods has designed since his firm's inception in 2006 and the second in Mexico. Other contracts include Punta Brava in Ensenada, Mexico, The Cliffs at High Carolina in Asheville, North Carolina, and Al Ruwaya, located in Dubai, U.A.E.
"We are excited to work with Tiger Woods and his design team," said Jowdy. "He brings a wealth of golf knowledge and experience, and we look forward to creating a world-class golf course that integrates Diamante's unique style and characteristics."
For more information, call (702) 987-4665 or in Mexico 624-172-5815, or visit www.DiamanteCaboSanLucas.com .
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