Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
Time to put a stop to slow play
I read the results of an interesting survey this week on slow play. Out of 6000 golfers questioned more than 59% said their regular weekend round of golf took more than four hours to complete - a shocking statistic! I have never enjoyed playing slow golf. A round of golf should take under 3.5 hours in my book. In fact I played my first club winter league knock-out match last Wednesday morning, booked a tee time and turned up and found myself playing behind at least 10 groups of fourballs. With the best will in the world my opponent and I were struggling to stay patient as we literally had to wait to hit every shot for around 10 minutes. After six holes we were finally invited through and then over the next 9 holes we ended up virtually running through a further six groups of golfers. What a nightmare! Talk about running a mini golf marathon - hit a shot, sprint up the fairway and so on.
My suggestion to every club would be to limit the number of fourballs allowed on the golf course every hour with a maximum number of fourball groups per day. This at least would spread the volume of golfers on the course out. If we all played in twos or threes the pace of play would not be a problem. Do you have any better suggestions? Email me at: email@example.com
Holly Clyburn wins LETAS finale in Valencia
England's Holly Clyburn won the Banesto Tour Valencia on the second play-off hole against Spain's Carmen Alonso at GC Escorpion in Spain.
Four strokes separated Alonso and Clyburn at the start of the final day, with Clyburn leading at 6 under par. The Spaniard started with a birdie, her only bogey of the round coming at the 334 yard par 4 11th hole. Alonso finished with a birdie on the 18th, holing a 4 metre putt to become the clubhouse leader at 3 under par. Clyburn, two groups behind Alonso, dropped a shot on the 336 yard par 4 second hole, picking up a birdie on the 4th before dropping 5 shots in the next three holes with double bogeys on both the 7th and 8th holes. Clyburn recovered well, playing the back nine in 2 under par and holing a crucial birdie putt on the 18th, to also finish at 3 under par and force a play-off with Alonso.
Both players made pars on the first play-off hole, the 18th. It was Alonso who would bogey the same hole on the second play-off hole, to hand the Englishwoman her first victory in only her second professional event. "I am over the moon. I cannot believe that I have won. I am thrilled! This victory means a lot to me, and to my family. Today's round has been very much up & down, the 7th and 8th were very bad holes. Even though I lost five shots in three holes, I managed to stay calm and swing well. I was very patient and went one shot at the time. Having Kelly Tidy caddying for me has been great, she has really helped me to stay calm. On the 9 th tee, the British Open experience came to my mind: I was 8 over in eight holes but finished 1 under the back nine to get into the top 25. I played very consistent after the 9th. I knew I had to birdie the 18th to get into the play-off and I did it!"
Carmen Alonso was philosophical about losing the play-off. "Even though I have not won, I am happy because I kept on with my game plan. I thought it would be great if I win but if I don't, I will shake hands and congratulate whoever wins. I know I am working hard and doing the right things, and the hard work is paying off."
The Netherlands' Marjet Van Der Graaff finished in 3rd place at 2 under par, with Julie Tvede and Eleanor Givens tied for 4th, a further shot back at 1 under par.
Scotland's Pamela Pretswell, although unable to compete this week due to illness, claimed the LET Access Series Order of Merit title and both France's Marion Ricordeau and Norway's Cecilie Lundgreen, along with Pretswell, secured their Ladies European Tour cards for the 2013 season.
Full tour cards for top LET Access Series Order of Merit players
The 2012 LETAS season has come to a close after the final tournament, Banesto Tour Valencia, capped off an exciting year on the LET feeder tour.
Top amateurs and budding professionals competed in 13 tournaments in France, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Ukraine, Denmark, Greece and Portugal over 9 months. Membership of LETAS has grown from 23 players in 2010 to 67 in 2012, represented by players from twenty different countries. Sixteen amateurs became members of LETAS this year including the Order of Merit winner Pamela Pretswell, who turned professional after the Curtis Cup in June. Over 300 different players have taken part in the 13 LETAS events, 153 of whom were elite amateurs.
For the first time, 3 full LET cards have been awarded to the top 3 LETAS Order of Merit players. Pamela Pretswell of Scotland, France's Marion Ricordeau and Norwegian Cecilie Lundgreen have all earned well-deserved playing rights on the Ladies European Tour for 2013. All three know how to win - Pretswell claimed the Ljungybed Park PGA Ladies Open in May, while Ricordeau won the season's opener Terre Blanche Ladies Open in France. Cecilie Lundgreen, this year's only double-winner, claimed the Kristianstad Ahus Ladies Open and Women's Bank Open titles. Their first eligible event on the Ladies European Tour will be the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in Australia in February, which Pamela relishes "I am so excited to be playing on the LET next season and I cannot wait to get started. It has been my dream since I started playing golf and I am so grateful to all the people who have supported me and helped me reach this stage in my career".
Pretswell won the LETAS Order of Merit with a tight victory over Ricordeau. Pamela played in 12 of the 13 events this year, and her consistency was key - 5 top ten finishes plus victory in Sweden, missing only the final event of the season due to minor illness "It has not quite sunk in yet! My goal at the start of the year was to finish in the top 3 to gain my card and then after I won in Sweden, I set myself the target of winning the order of merit so I am very happy to have achieved both goals. It has made my first season as a professional very memorable and special" said the Scot.
Life on tour can be daunting for new professionals, and the LET Access Series provides the starting steps for many players who then progress onto the main tour. LET professionals Carly Booth and Henni Zuel have both attributed their success on tour to their on the LET Access Series experience, and Pamela agrees "I loved every minute of playing on the LETAS this year. Starting the year on the tour as an amateur was great - all the girls really welcomed me and looked after me and I have really learned a lot from them this year. Making my pro debut on the tour was very special and I have thoroughly enjoyed tour life on the LETAS this year. Playing half the season as an amateur definitely made me more prepared for turning professional and I am so glad that I did it this way. I was so disappointed when I did not get my LET card at Q school in January, but I am now glad I did not get it as this has been a great year, I have learned so much on the LETAS and I now feel more prepared for my rookie season on the LET"
As all players who have been through the challenging Tour School know, making it through to the Final qualifying stage is highly competitive - with over 200 players striving to make it from Pre-qualifying to Final Qualifying. The top 12 LETAS Order of Merit players from position 4 th onwards (who are not already exempt) have automatically advanced to final stage of Tour school, which takes place at Amelkis Golf Club & Al Maaden Golf Resort in Morocco from the 13 - 17 December. They are: Katy McNicoll, Julie Tvede, Antonella Cvitan, Anastasia Kostina, Tamara Johns, Pamela Feggans, Sofia Harkonen, Galina Rotmistrova, Ana Larraneta, Danielle McVeigh, Melanie Maetzler and Anna Rossi.
Value-orientated golfers will love the new ladies line-up from reputed equipment brand Benross. The Benross Pearl Jewel line includes a driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and a putter.
Here are the key features and benefits that apply to the entire range:
- LARGE TRADITIONAL HEAD SHAPES - Modern technology with a traditional look.
The Benross Jewel Pearl driver has 12 degrees of loft and will retail for £149.99. The fairway woods are also right hand only, available in 18° and 21° Lofts, priced at £89.99. Benross Jewel Pearl Escape clubs are the ideal long iron replacements, filling those gaps in your bag with 20°, 23° and 26° lofts, priced at £79.99 each.
The Benross Jewel Pearl iron comes as a 5-iron to Sand Wedge set, priced at £329. They are designed to merge the gap between a gap improvement and better player iron, so will have a wide appeal.
For more information on the entire Benross Jewel Pearl range visit www.benrossgolf.com
Titleist introduce new Players Flex Glove
If you tune into watch the world's top female professionals playing next year then you'll probably see them sporting the new Titleist Players Flex Glove.
Designed for the most discerning player, this performance glove is made from soft Cabretta leather. It has the added technology advantage of satin net and premium synthetic materials to give an optimum fit, lovely feel, great performance and durability.
At £15 it's only a fraction more expensive than the gloves you're used to buying but you'll certainly notice the difference in quality.
LOTIL dry skin relief cream - the ultimate cure for sore golfer's hands
THEY SAY: Lotil Cream dry skin relief has been tried and trusted for over 100 years. Lotil has a rich, hydrating and gentle formula to keep skin moisturised, soft and soothed with it anti-bacterial properties. Available in four sizes for home, office, handbag and travel. Lotil is the golfer's must-have to keep skin hydrated and in good condition. It is the most versatile, functional and effective health and beauty essential, catering to your every skin requirement from A-Z, in one easy tube...
FASHION FOR THE FAIRWAY
Glenbrae has launched a new sweater for lady golfers aimed at both keeping you warm and helping you stay dry.
The Aurora sweater has a clever inner woven lining that stops the wind from penetrating the knit of the sweater, ensuring that you stay warm this winter.
The addition of leading anti-bacterial coating specialist Polyigene to the inner lining, then means that the garment does not absorb any unwanted bacteria and smells and therefore stays fresh.
An outer water resistant coating further demonstrates the focus on function and performance.
The Aurora is available in three pretty colours - Iris, Lilly and Black, sizes S - XXL, with a recommended retail price of £119.95.
ECCO puts fashion into new footwear collection
Danish brand ECCO - a leading global manufacturer of innovative footwear - has showcased its 2013 women's golf collection, featuring looks and technologies designed to help serious and casual golfers maximize performance on the course and elevate their style in all situations.
Extending the multi-year curve of market trends pioneered by ECCO, Golf Street Life is arguably the most striking golf shoe ever produced. Available in regular and bootie models, it showcases supremely elegant leathers with patent and glitter highlights taken directly from boulevards of the world's fashion capitals.
The perfect complement to any modern chic outfit, Golf Street Life is also packed with game-enhancing technologies. These include the patented, ultra-convenient Street hybrid outsole that functions perfectly on nearly any surface.
"Our golf business was initially built through the women's market and 2013 marks a glorious return to these roots with a collection that is undoubtedly our strongest yet," says Michael Waack, Head of Global Golf at ECCO. "Whether she is a traditional or fashion-forward dresser, no woman will have trouble finding her latest shoe obsession in this amazing range."
To be worn in competition by scores of Tour stars worldwide - including LPGA sensation Belén Mozo - the 2013 women's golf collection is also highlighted by:
The 2013 women's golf collection will be available in pro shops from next spring with the following recommended retail prices: Classic Hybrid: £150, Golf Street: £105, Biom Hybrid: £150, Biom Golf: £175. For more information visit www.eccogolf.co.uk
A simple yet sophisticated stocking filler
PING Collection, golf's leading performance clothing brand, has designed stocking fillers for the female golfer in time for the Christmas period.
The Twilight socks are the perfect accompaniment to any golf outfit, and will complement an array of the stellar garments found in PING Collection's excellent autumn/winter 2012 women's range.
Available in a two-pair-pack, with each design utilising a Magenta/Blue Light Multi colour story, the socks contain the elegant design characteristics that have become synonymous with the golf clothing brand.
They feature a subtle, horizontal stripe design, a terry sole, as well as traditional toe and heel colour contrast additions.
Twilight socks are constructed from 80% cotton, 19% nylon and 1% lycra. They fit females with size 4-7 (UK) 37-40 (Euro) feet.
Supplementing Twilight is the sophisticated Rollo belt. This 100% leather offering comes in two sizes; small (8-10) and medium (12-16). Women can purchase this item in Magenta, White and Black colours considered carefully to foil other garments in the collection.
Providing the ultimate seal of approval, Rollo is fronted by a metal buckle featuring an etched PING logo.
RRP: Twilight £9.99, Rollo £21.50
Twilight and Rollo are available for purchase online at www.pingcollection.co.uk
For further information call +44 (0) 161 367 5400
PREMIER LINKS ST ENODOC OFFERS IRRESISTIBLE WINTER WARMER!
One of England's premier links courses, St Enodoc, is offering golfers an irresistible winter warmer special over its championship Church Course for just £40 per person from now until March 31.
Limited to a minimum of eight golfers, the price includes coffee and a bacon roll on arrival, 18 holes of golf followed by a two-course meal in the clubhouse.
This deal represents incredible value given that St Enodoc is recognised as one of the best links courses in the UK.
The James Braid-designed course was recently positioned at 41 st place in the latest Golf Monthly magazine course ranking for the 'Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland 2012' and was also r anked in 76 th position in the 'World's Top 100 You Can Play' by the UK's Golf World Magazine earlier this year.
Located in Rock, Cornwall, a round over St Enodoc is certainly not a good walk spoiled as the course boasts spectacular views of the north Atlantic Coast and Camel Estuary from virtually every hole.
The layout itself follows the natural contours of the undulating land and seaside dunes providing the golfer with a tough challenge, especially as the course has a number of blind shots.
The famed Himalaya bunker on the 6 th hole is reputedly one of the, if not the highest, bunkers in Europe and regularly instils fear and dread in golfers adding to the mystique and draw of St Enodoc.
St Enodoc £40pp Winter Special (available from November 1 until March 31) for a minimum of 8 golfers comprises:
- 18 holes of golf over the championship Church Course
- Coffee & bacon roll on arrival
- Two-course meal (which can be taken on arrival for later tee times)
Visit www.st-enodoc.co.uk or call 01 208 869 904 to make your reservation.
FANCY PLAYING GOLF IN THE MIDNIGHT SUN?
JOIN THE ARCTIC OPEN NEXT JUNE 27-29 2013
A game of midnight golf seems an unlikely prospect to many enthusiasts and few golfers have experienced this delight. But now you have a novel opportunity to participate in an event which features round the clock golf in mid-summer at high latitudes.
The Akureyri Golf Club in Iceland hosts this tournament which is known as The Arctic Open Championship. The event is open to golfers from all over the world. The format is a 36 hole tournament played on two successive evenings in June each year. The first night golfers will receive tee-off times after 8:00 PM. This will ensure that they will indeed be on the course at midnight playing golf in the "midnight sun". For further information see our website:
The Arctic Open takes place next June 27-29 2013 and the entry fee is £240 which includes two rounds of golf, welcome drinks reception, awards dinner and an Artic Open gift.
For more information visit www.arcticopen.is or contact Akureyri Golf Club Manager on: +354 462 2974.