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 CARLY FROST
 Editor
 Ladies Golf Today

Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
March 13, 2013


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

Women's golf ranking system becomes more inclusive

It is nice to see that the Official Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings has become more inclusive to golf's future female stars.

For the first time since the rankings were launched back in 2006 the LET Access Series (LETAS), the Tour that feeds the Ladies European Tour and acts as a springboard for upcoming young lady golfers to find their feet on the Tour, will be included in the women's rankings.

It's a sign of how much this Tour is growing. It now has 325 members, traveling to seven different countries across Europe, the 2013 schedule features 12 different tournaments and 342,500 Euros in total prize money.
"We are delighted to be invited to join the Rolex Women's World Rankings," said Di Barnard, LETAS Tour Director. "It is an important step for LETAS and a great opportunity for the players to be recognised on the global golf stage, which could set them on the path to the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016."

The China LPGA Tour will also be incorporated into the Official Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, which means we'll see more new names and a more global presence in the ranking list - a sign of how the women's game is ever-expanding around the world. Did you know, for instance, that China is the country with the fastest growing golf participation and golf tournament fans in the world!

England ladies head to France to defend their Junior Championship title

England is sending two teams to defend the Vilmorin Cup at the French Lady Junior Championship at St Cloud, near Paris, at the end of this month.

The tournament takes place from March 28 th to April 1st.   Team A will include Curtis Cup player Bronte Law, who was te runner-up in the individual championship last year. She will be joined by fellow internationals Gabriella Cowley and Alex Peters, the English women's stroke play champion.  

Team B consists of England international Amber Ratcliffe, with girl international Olivia Winning and fellow member of the England Performance U18 squad, Annabel Dimmock.  

The Vilmorin Cup is the nations' team trophy and is played over the two stroke play rounds of the championship, which decide the players to go forward to the matchplay knockouts. The championship is contested by the cream of Europe's U21 amateurs.

The players:  

Gabriella Cowley , 16, (Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire) was in the winning England teams at last year's girls' and ladies' Home Internationals. She is the Scottish U16 champion and a past English U15 titleholder.  She was in the winning Essex team at the 2012 County Finals.

Bronte Law , 17, (Bramhall, Cheshire) was a member of the GB&I team which won the Curtis Cup in 2012 - for the first time in 16 years. She qualified for last season's Women's British Open and successfully made the cut, eventually finishing in a share of 33rd place.  She represented Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup and was runner-up in last year's French Lady Junior Championship.  

Alex Peters , 19, (Notts Ladies') is the English women's stroke play champion and, like Gabriella and Bronte, was in England's successful team at the women's Home Internationals. Last season she also won the Independent Schools' championship, the Nottinghamshire ladies' title and shared the Porters Park Centenary Cup. She represented England in the South American amateur early this year.

Annabel Dimmock , 16, (Wentworth, Surrey) enjoyed a successful run on this year's Orange Blossom Tour in Florida, reaching the quarter finals of the Jones Doherty Championship and finishing in the top 20 at the Harder Hall Invitational. Last year she was fifth in the English girls' championship and won the London Foursomes.  

Amber Ratcliffe ,17, (Royal Cromer) is the England Golf East Region women's champion and was a member of the winning England teams at the girls' and ladies' Home Internationals. She has twice won the English schools' U16 championship.

Olivia Winning , 18 (Rotherham) joined Amber in England's team at the girls' Home Internationals. Also last year, she won the Pleasington Putter and was runner-up in another prestigious scratch event, the Astor Salver. She was also second in the Fairhaven Trophy.  

Get your junior girls to take part in the National Skills Challenge

If you know of a junior girl at your club who would like to take part in a fun competition that will help them improve their short game then there's a great event you should recommend. It's the 2013 National Skills Challenge and is supported by FootJoy, who provide prizes and gifts.

The challenge aims to make practice fun for young golfers and help them improve their putting, chipping, pitching, bunker play and the long game. It also offers the best players the chance to compete at regional and national finals.  

Registered clubs receive free resources to support their junior coaching, including manuals, certificates and scorecards, and they can also take the opportunity to hold two official Challenge events.  

There are already 6000 golfers from 800 different clubs across England registered to take part, but there's still time to enter. For more information visit: www.getintogolf.org/skills

GEAR NEWS

Comfortable new ladies golf shoes from ECCO

Danish golf shoe makers ECCO made headlines last year with the launch of its first BIOM golf shoe, designed to mould to the foot for the ultimate in comfort and performance. You will have seen it worn by Tour professionals such as Freddy Couples. But they didn't launch a ladies version... until now!

The new ECCO ladies BIOM hybrid shoe has the same performance features as the men's shoe, featuring the company's patented Natural Motion and Golf Street technologies.

These technologies have been developed by scanning the feet of 2,500 golfers. The new ladies BIOM shoe has a special midsole for absorbing impact from the swing and a non-cleated bottom so that the shoes are incredibly comfortable, offer great traction and stability as you swing the club and last a long time.

"When we launched BIOM Hybrid in 2012, it quickly became a success amongst professionals and developed into one of the world's most popular shoes for men," says Michael Waack, Head of Global Golf at ECCO. "We had to answer the question we were always asked, 'Why don't you offer this for women? So we now do.'"

The shoe is packed with lots of other performance features which you can read about at www.ecco.com/golf and will be worn by LPGA Tour star Belén Mozo.

One of the best features I think is that the insole has a special Comfort Fibre System that guarantees your shoes stay cool and dry - very important in all the wet weather we are having right now.
Priced at £150 it isn't cheap but I think it will be well worth the investment.

Now you can purchase a spring outfit from PING Collection's website

If you are looking to add a new golfing outfit or two to your wardrobe for the spring or summer season then you can enjoy a bit of retail therapy online by visiting www.pingcollection.co.uk

The website features all of the ladies spring/summer 2013 collection, along with men's and junior clothing too and now you can buy direct from Ping Collection online.

Stretch , performance fabrics, designed to protect without restriction, are present across the range. Dry Fibre, Hydro-Pro and Thermal Dynamics will ensure maximum comfort for serious golfers, no matter the conditions.

The three-tier layering principle will ensure golfers have the correct clothing necessary to   Play their Best , with Hydro-Pro Dynamics promising to fight the wet, Thermal Dynamics maintaining warmth and Dry Fibre Dynamics moving moisture for exceptional comfort.

Start shopping the Spring/Summer 2013 collection now at   www.pingcollection.co.uk

TRIED & TESTED


Lamkin ACE 3GEN golf grips

Info: www.lamkin.co.uk
Price: from £6 per grip



They say: These grips have been created with our proprietary new ACE 3GEN synthetic rubber compound. The ACE material (an acronym for Advanced Cohesive Elastomer ) was developed by our chemists to combine the performance advantages of our existing grip technology with an even tackier, softer feeling grip. Our goal with the new ACE 3GEN technology is to provide golfers with an extremely secure and comfortable gripping connection so they can confidently swing with a light-pressure grip. By eliminating tension from their grip, a player eliminates hand and arm tension, delivering longer and more consistent shots.


I say: I was actually shocked when I first picked up the new Lamkin ACE 3GEN grip, it was so tacky it almost felt sticky! I've never felt a grip like it before and instantly loved it. If you suffer with sore hands or have arthritis and struggle to bend your fingers fully around the club to get a good hold then I am sure that these grips will transform your game and take away that pain. Most importantly they are designed to stay tacky even when it rains so that you don't lose your grip. Given our current weather, rather important! I cannot rate them highly enough and am looking forward to fitting a set or two onto my own clubs to get that wonderful tacky, soft grip.

TRAVEL

Talk about arriving at the tee in style!

If money is no object and you want to really arrive in style at the golf course then you'll love the new Heli-Golf package offered by the Nira Caledonia hotel right in the heart of Edinburgh.

The three-night extravaganza includes private helicopter transfers from the hotel to tee off at two of the most prestigious championship golf courses in the world - The Old Course, St. Andrews and Gleneagles.  
You'll also enjoy a return Bentley transfer from the hotel to Edinburgh Airport to take the   Execair   helicopter ride to golf mecca.

The beauty of travelling by helicopter means that no time is wasted so you can get in 36 holes a day in no time at all, ideal if you want a short golf break. Who else can say they've teed off at the Home of Golf, The Old Course, St. Andrews in the morning and then managed a second 18 over at one of Gleneagles' three championship courses in the afternoon?
After your game you'll be whisked back to the Nira Caledonia 28-room boutique hotel by helicopter again, where the newly opened   Blackwood's Bar & Grill   will tempt you with its exceptional, organic Scottish ingredients cooked in a   Josper grill oven

The Heli Golf package costs £1,599 per person based on two double rooms and four golfers or £2,499 per person based on one double room and two golfers.  

The price includes three nights in an Executive Double room with Scottish breakfast daily and a welcome gift from Hugo Boss. It also includes return Bentley transfers from Nira Caledonia to Edinburgh Airport, return Execair Helicopter transfers from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrews and Gleneagles, access to 18 holes of golf on the Old Course at St Andrews and on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles at guaranteed tee times.
Visit www.niracaledonia.com for full package details.

CARLY'S TIPS FOR LADIES

Instruction tips provided by Dan Frost. For a FREE golf assessment visit www.frostgolf.com

Make 'light' work of your lob shots

The reason many lady golfers struggle to play lob shots successfully is because they tend to use their normal full length golf swing. This shot requires a more controlled swing as the distance the ball has to travel is not far. By swinging too long you will be forced to slow your swing down and decelerate coming into the golf ball. The other mistake ladies often make is to think they have to 'help' the ball up into the air and in doing so lean back and look up. These danger moves are extremely destructive and lead to mishits fat or thin.

To start with you have to trust the wedge you have in your hands to do the work for you. Modern wedges have plenty of loft so you do not have to worry about getting the height required for this shot. When you start to learn this move, find an area on the practice ground where the grass is nice and fluffy to give you plenty of confidence and as you become more developed in this new skill and adjust to the new technique you can become braver and play the shot off simply shorter grass.

The key to playing this shot successfully is acceleration. Never decelerate to hit the ball, you must swing positively through. So follow these simple steps and get practicing your new lob shot technique.

Step 1: I am holding the club up against the sternum of my chest to show you the nice low body angles that I want you to generate at address. Grip down the handle of the club and flex your knees. This will give you a low centre of gravity. Now lower your sternum and widen your stance. From this set-up you'll be in the best possible position to deliver the club shallow. It's a simpler sort of feel to skimming a stone across the water. If you can feel shallow in your angle of attack you should be able to slide the wedge under the ball easily. This will allow the full loft of the club to pop the ball up into the air at impact.

Step 2: When it comes to the swing required for a lob shot it is best described as something between a chip shot and a full shot - as you would play a pitch. You must still make a full shoulder turn and hinge your hands so that the club points up to the sky on both sides of the swing as you would for a full shot. This creates a nice circular swing motion and will generate the speed needed to create spin and elevation through the base of the swing.

Step 3: As you can see here I am not driving to drive the ball forward to trap it with forward shaft lean as you would expect to see for a full iron shot. Instead I am allowing the bounce of the club to come into play. Through impact I have the sensation of the bounce activating so that the back of the club hits the ground. This will produce a sliding not a digging motion. Although my technique is not perfect here, through years of practice I have understood that I would never like the leading edge of the club to be digging when I play this high floating shot.

Step 4: The key to the throughswing is to stay down until the club has followed through as far as you have swung back and then look up. You can see here that this keeps my centre constant and allows me to be consistent with my deliverance of the club.

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