Ladies Golf Today
Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
January 24, 2014
To contact Carly, send us your news or air your thoughts, click here...
Latin America gets a new amateur event, but there are no ladies on the bill!
The R&A, USGA and the Masters have collaborated to bring to fruition a brand new tournament for amateurs taking place in Buenos Aires in 2015 called the Latin America Amateur Championship.
This is exciting news for the development of the game globally and into this previously little reached corner of the world, but it is disappointing that the announcement did not mention the inclusion of ladies.
I have a golfing friend who works for the Foreign Embassy, living in Columbia, and she tells me how much the game is growing over there. So it seems a shame that golf's governing bodies did not have the foresight to include ladies in their new tournament right from the start. Perhaps a ladies event to run alongside the men's would be nice from 2016 onwards...
International trio head to Portugal
Internationals Sarah-Jane Boyd, Gabriella Cowley and Alex Peters will represent England Golf in the Nations Cup event at next week's Portuguese international ladies' amateur championship.
The 72-hole championship takes place at the Montado Hotel and Golf Resort from Wednesday, January 29, until Saturday, February 1. The Nations Cup will be played simultaneously with the first 54 holes of the event and the best two scores from three will count each day.
Sarah-Jane Boyd is the reigning English amateur champion and was the 2012 winner of the British stroke play title, qualifying to play in last year's Women's British Open. She was the runner-up in the 2013 England Golf women's order of merit.
Gabriella Cowley (Hanbury Manor) won the England Golf girls' order of merit for 2013, a year when her achievements included qualifying for the Women's British Open, winning the Critchley Salver and helping England to retain their crown at the Girls' Home Internationals.
Alex Peters (Notts Ladies) won the 2013 England Golf women's order of merit, sponsored by Lorrin Golf. During the year she was runner-up in the English amateur and Welsh stroke play championships and, like Gabriella Cowley, represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe.
LET Access Series Announces Healthy Schedule for 2014
The 2014 Ladies European Tour Access Series features a minimum of 15 tournaments in 11 different countries, including three new tournaments in Switzerland, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
Now in its fifth year, the LET Access Series continues to provide a platform for the development of golfers wanting to test their games at the international level and offers a pathway to full Ladies European Tour membership. The top five players on the 2014 LETAS Ranking will earn membership of the LET for the 2015 season, while players in sixth to 20th positions will have the opportunity to progress to the final stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School.
"Having built on the success of the last four years, we are delighted to present a full tournament schedule which provides playing opportunities for professionals and elite amateur golfers," said LET Access Series Tour Director Di Barnard. "Working closely with national federations and partner tours, we are providing a pyramid structure which will allow up-and-coming golfers to experience life on Tour, helping to develop their talents whilst also being extremely competitive and giving the skills required for participation in an international competition structure."
The 2014 Access Series season starts with the inaugural Association Suisse de Golf Ladies Open on May 2-4, at Gams-Werdenberg GC, approximately 1.5 hours' drive from Zurich in Switzerland.
The second tournament will be the Kristianstad Åhus Ladies PGA Open on May 15 - 17 at Kristianstad GC, Åhus, Sweden, followed by the Sölvesborg Ladies Open hosted by Fanny Sunesson at Sölvesborg GC, Sölvesborg, Sweden, on May 21 - 23.
From Sweden, the Access Series moves to Spain for the OCA Augas Santas Ladies Open on May 29 - 31 at Augas Santas Balneario & Golf Resort, which hosted the Ocho Golf Ladies Open last year. From there, it's on to France for the Dinard Ladies Open at Dinard Golf, Saint Briac Sur Mer, on June 13-15.
The second new event, the Pilsen Golf Challenge, will be played July 9 - 11 at Pilsen Golf Club, a week before the Ladies European Tour plays the Pilsen Golf Masters at the same venue.
The third new event, the Royal Belgian Golf Federation LETAS Trophy, will be played the following week on July 17 - 19 at Rinkven Golf & Country Club in Gravenwezel, which is Lien Willem's home course.
In August, there is a four week swing through the Nordic region with the Ingarö Ladies Open hosted by Elin Emanuelsson and Onsjö Ladies Open in Sweden, Ladies Norwegian Challenge and the HLR Golf Academy Open in Finland, which will feature a €50,000 prize fund.
Early September will see a return to National Golf Club in Antalya, Turkey, for the Mineks Ladies Classic, which also sees a prize money increase to €50,000, followed by the Golf de Strasbourg Ladies Open on Sept 25 - 27.
There are two tournaments in October with the Azores Ladies Open at Golf de Batalha on Oct 3 - 5 and the season-ending Grecotel Amirandes Ladies Open at Crete Golf Club on Oct 23 - 25.
For further details about the LET Access Series, visit: www.letaccess.com.
The Evian Championship gets an extra dimension
For the first time in its history, The Evian Championship, the final leg of the women's Grand Slam of Majors, which will take place from 11 to 14 September 2014, launches an international qualifier event: an incredible opportunity for the top 2 in the event to be part of the prestigious field alongside the leading players in women's world golf.
The Qualifiers will take place on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 June 2014 , on the Major course at the Evian Resort Golf Club. The field will be limited to 120 players, including 3 amateurs, chosen according to the following selection criteria:
- 117 professional players from the Rolex Rankings, which includes all the Tours (LPGA, LET, JLPGA, ALPGA...), as of 20 May 2014
- 83 amateur players from The Top 50 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking as of 20 May 2014
After 36 holes stroke play (18 holes on each day), the winner of the event and the runner-up will automatically qualify to compete in The Evian.
This is an incredible opportunity for these two players to measure themselves against the world's elite and live the unique experience of a Major.
THE GOLF SHOE YOU CAN WEAR ON AND OFF THE COURSE
PUMA Golf has introduced a fancy new lightweight golf shoe that you can wear on and off the golf course!
The BIOFUSION Spikeless Mesh is designed to change the way you think about footwear - no longer do you have to put your golf shoes on in the clubhouse when you arrive, you can come wearing them.
The shoe is extremely flexible while still remaining ultra-supportive. It's sleek and stylish with a waterproof mesh that provides long-lasting durability and comes with a one-year waterproof guarantee.
The BIOFUSION Spikeless Mesh is designed on a completely new anatomical last, the shoe provides ultimate fit, performance and comfort through all 18 holes. Plus, its spikeless silhouette is designed for wear off the course, as well.
Helping you stay cool and protected through any weather, the shoe's upper features PUMA Golf's waterproof mesh, offering a more breathable alternative to traditional waterproof styles for an athletic fit and feel. Everfoam, a special slow-recovery memory foam, is also strategically placed for a fit that adjusts to the contours of the foot.
An OrthoLite Sockliner in the midsole provides a comfortable fit, durability and optimized air circulation, along with antimicrobial materials designed to reduce odor. Carbon rubber in the shoe's outsole ensures an excellent grip and long-lasting durability, while SmartQuill technology delivers increased traction and also contributes to the shoe's grip during swing.
The BIOFUSION Spikeless Mesh is priced at £75 and available in three killer colour combinations - Fluo Yellow/Black/White, Tradewinds/White/ Lime Green and Black/White/Vibrant Orange - and hits golf shops from March 1st.
For more information on the shoe, along with PUMA Golf's entire product line, please visit www.cobragolf.com/pumagolf . Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pumagolf and on Twitter at @pumagolf .
A GOLF BALL TO STRAIGHTEN YOUR SLICE!
Callaway Golf has introduced a new X2 Hot family of golf balls - the X2 Hot and X2 Hot+, designed to help you hit the ball long with a straight ball flight.
Both are three-piece distance balls, however the X2 Hot will most suit ladies as it has been designed to work best when struck by a player with a swing speed of 90mph and below, whilst the X2 Hot+ will suit those with a higher swing speed. The result is low spin off the tee, which should reduce your hooks and slices without compromising touch around the green.
Available in both the traditional white and a more vibrant Optical Yellow colour that's designed to be more visible in the air and on the ground.
The X Hot golf balls are priced at a very reasonable £24.99 a dozen. For more information visit www.callawaygolf.com
NEW PUTTER FROM DESIGN GURU SCOTTY CAMERON
Equipment connoisseurs will automatically associate the name Scotty Cameron with great putter design. So you'll be excited to hear that the design guru, working for Titleist, has just unveiled his latest creations - the new GoLo range of putters.
So named for their ability to help you shoot lower scores, the GoLo is a line of high performance putters, tested on Tour with a look, sound, feel and balance that the world's best players have given the seal of approval to.
The new models are precision milled and have been specially designed for balance and stability and feature a special crisscross sightline for easy alignment.
Learn more about them at www.titleist.co.uk
SKYCADDIE GETS BLUETOOTH-ENABLED WITH NEW PRODUCT LINE
SkyGolf, maker of SkyCaddie the Number 1 Rangefinder in Golf, has unveiled a range of new Bluetooth-enabled SkyGolf products for 2014.
The range features the new SkyCaddie TOUCH and SkyCaddie LINX which are pre-loaded with 34,000 courses worldwide and ready to play. There is also a new putting app for the SkyPro swing analyzer and a new SkyGolf Mobile App.
The new Bluetooth-enabled SkyCaddie TOUCH features a glove-friendly, easy-to-use, easy-to-read touchscreen, 34,000 preloaded, error-corrected maps plus a new feature to use NEW "onDemand HD" course graphics inspired by tour yardage books.
The new SkyCaddie LINX watch is preloaded with 34,000 maps, ready-to-play, worldwide. It is Bluetooth-enabled and provides dynamic accurate distances to the front, centre and back of the green, as well as TrueGround layup targets from the tee box through the entire hole. The SkyCaddie LINX watch can be personalised with different colour bands and bezel options that are easy to interchange.
The LINX is fully upgradable to allow g olfers to add optional features and benefits including IntelliGreen technology which provides actual green shape and pin targeting for precise distance to the hole. Options also include a TrueGround Target List with up to 40 hazards, carries and layups per hole that were precision mapped and corrected from the ground.
The SkyPro app swing analyser now features a new putting analysis that allows golfers to perfect their putting stroke and lower their scores immediately by providing instant feedback about club face position, stroke length, tempo and much more. New content includes expert practice tips from leading instructors including acclaimed teacher Hank Haney and 2012 Teacher of the Year Michael Breed. In addition, the new user interface is easier, faster and more intuitive than the original SkyPro and enhances the learning experience for golfers of all levels.
For more information, visit: www.skygolf.com , www.skycaddie.com , www.golfskypro.com , www.swinglabs.com , and www.skycourse.com .
Putt your way around the Azores
The green islands of the Azores, characterised by volcanic craters and stunning coastlines, offer golfers of all levels the perfect backdrop for a day on the course. Thanks to SATA International, the rolling fairways of Furnas Cedars, the demanding links and woodland combination of Batalha and the peaceful Ilha Terceira golf course are just four hours away. With free carriage for golf clubs and direct return flights from the UK starting from as little as £338 per person, the Azores is becoming a desired destination for golfing enthusiasts.
Batalha Golf Course in Sao Miguel has played host to two PGA EuroPro golf tournaments and is arguably the Azores most favoured course. With contoured bunkers, luscious greens and a chance to spot whales and dolphins in the Atlantic from the back-nine holes, the golf course is a real experience for everyone, including children, who are welcomed on the course from the age of three. In addition to the first-class driving range, Batalha has recently celebrated the opening of its Pitch and Putt course, providing visitors the chance to perfect or jump-start their skill sets.
The island of Sao Miguel is also home to Furnas Cedars Golf Course, a challenging course with fairways that require wise club choices and a high level of precision. Set above the Furnas Valley the course is ideally located for golfers to enjoy a post-game soak in the island's famous hot springs, to soothe any aches and pains.
The Azores' most idyllic and picturesque course is Ilha Terceira Golf Course. A haven of natural beauty, this golf course offers more than just 18-holes, boasting rolling hills, sun-dappled lakes and breath-taking views. Located near the city of Praia da Vitoria and the UNESCO site of Angra Do Heroismo, island visitors can enjoy a perfect balance of golf and Azorean culture.
Green fees start from €80 (approx. £67) for 18-holes per person. For more information on golfing in the Azores and to book visit http://www.azoresgolfislands.com/en/
HOW TO GET THERE...
SATA International (0844 482 1678 or www.sata.pt ) has weekly direct flights from Gatwick to the Azores from 05 April 2014, with prices starting from £338 pp return (including taxes and charges). SATA International flights will be operating every Saturday until 18 October 2014, with early afternoon departures from London Gatwick to Ponta Delgada in Sao Miguel, the largest of the Azorean Islands.
Weekday flights are also available, flying from London Heathrow via Lisbon. SATA International also offers the most comprehensive inter-island connections throughout the Azores archipelago, with prices starting from £56.70 pp one-way (including taxes and charges) for inter-island flights. A return flight from Ponta Delgada to Terceira starts from £122 pp (including taxes and charges).
For more information or to book, please visit www.sata.pt .
Read Fashion on the Fairways