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CARLY FROST
Editor
Ladies Golf Today

Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
February 27, 2014


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Oh dear Denise! Think you're a golfer?

When it comes to celebrities playing golf I'm a big supporter. They help make the sport look cool and attract a younger generation of girls to a game that is very male dominated. But I have to say I'm not really sure that actress Denise Van Outen was really putting across the right message when she turned up to the Golf Rocks 2014 tournament on Monday wearing an outfit that look more suitable for the catwalks or the evening gala dinner than the fairways of Stoke Hall Golf Club!

The ITV Loose Women star wore a cream jumpsuit and had beautiful hair and make-up to the celeb tournament organised by famous musical hosts Ronan Keating, Brian McFadden, Keith Duffy and Kian Egan.

Ok so maybe I'm just a teeny bit jealous that she could look so fabulous on the fairways in February! And she is totally forgiven as the event was all to raise money for charity and her 'Here to help' twitter tag has attracted millions of hits.

Tour News

WORLD'S BEST LADY GOLFERS DISPLAY WARRIOR SPIRIT FOR SINGAPORE SHOWDOWN

Four of the world's top ten women golfers displayed their warrior spirit as they dressed in martial arts attire to launch the seventh annual HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

The unique event involved World Number 1 Inbee Park (South Korea), World Number 2 Suzann Pettersen (Norway), World Number 6 China's Shanshan Feng and World Number 11 American golfer Paula Creamer.
Dressed in their striking warrior ensembles, the golfers put on a show of strength as they prepared for one of the toughest tests in world golf at Sentosa Golf Club.

Aiming to assert her authority as the world's top-ranked player is Park, who enthused: "We all know how tough this tournament is so it makes a lot of sense for us to adopt these warrior personalities as we get ready to go into battle. We all love coming here to Singapore but make no mistake this is serious business and a challenge which lives up to its billing as 'Asia's Major'.

"The Serapong Course is the best course in Singapore and requires you to be extremely precise with bunkers and water at every turn but if you want to be the best, you have to embrace a challenge like this not shirk from it. As ever, this is a world class field and I'll be going all out to win the trophy."

As the only LPGA-sanctioned event held in Singapore, the US$1.4 million tournament has consistently attracted stellar fields since its inception in 2008. The 2014 event proves to be no exception, with all the top ten ranked players confirming their participation alongside 53 other world elites.

Building on the overwhelming success of last year's event, the tournament returns to the acclaimed Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club (SGC) this week with the tournament teeing off on Thursday 27 th February concluding on Sunday 2 nd March 2014. 

Giles Morgan, HSBC's Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, said: "HSBC Women's Champions is our flagship women's event and one of the toughest challenges in world golf. The qualification criteria and the course ensure this is a true test of champions and you only need to look at the quality of the field to see that this is a challenge that the players embrace with open arms.

"HSBC is committed to opening up the world of golf and over the last seven years HSBC Women's Champions tournament has emerged as a truly world-class event, becoming increasingly important for the world of golf and for the bank. We are extremely proud in creating the best women's golf event staged in Asia and one of the best in the world."

Pettersen, energised by her recent victory at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship 2013, said: "I have very fond memories of Singapore and am hopeful about my chances here this year, having ended 2013 on such a good note. Still, every competitor here is extremely skilled and I'm expecting a tough fight.

"If you want to be the best you have to compete on the biggest stage and as 'Asia's Major' this tournament really is a challenge we relish."
The quality of the field is testament to the huge success and recognition this tournament has gained over the years and IMG is very pleased to play a part in it once again."

For more information on the HSBC Women's Champions 2014, please visit http://www.hsbcgolf.com .

Teams Confirmed for Mission Hills World Ladies Championship in China

The next Ladies European Tour event is the Mission Hills World Ladies Championship in China, which will be held on the challenging Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou, on the paradise island of Hainan, next week 6th-9th March.

Serving as the LET's fourth stop of 2014 and co-sanctioned with the China LPGA Tour, the tournament has attracted a stellar field of competitors and with live international television coverage it will be an inspirational showcase of high performance sport.

The World Ladies Championship is unique in professional golf in that it consists of three events in one - an individual professional competition, a professional team championship in which countries are represented by teams of two, and an individual amateur tournament, all played simultaneously over 72-holes of stroke play.

The Blackstone course will play host to the tournament for the first time. The crown jewel of Mission Hills Resort Haikou, the Blackstone opened in 2010 and was named Asia's 'Best New Course' by GOLF magazine in the United States as well as 'Asia Pacific Best Championship Course' by Asian Golf Monthly magazine.

The course weaves through a striking landscape of mature trees, lava rock, and expansive lakes and wetlands. Lava rock walls and village ruins created years ago remain as a testament to the site's past.
Here is a look at the players who will compete in the team competition over the famed Blackstone Course. 

KOREA : Inbee Park & So Yeon Ryu

The defending champions have a formidable team with the current World No.1 Park and World No.5 Ryu. Park - winner of three Majors last year -won the team competition last year with Ha Neul Kim and also finished runner-up to Pettersen in the individual tournament in 2013.

NORWAY: Suzann Pettersen & Marianne Skarpnord

World No.2 Pettersen won the individual strokeplay event at Mission Hills last year and finished second in the team competition with Skarpnord, five strokes behind Team Korea. Pettersen won five tournaments around the world in 2013 - including her second major at The Evian - and is joined for the second time by last year's South African Women's Open champion Skarpnord.

USA: Beth Allen & Amelia Lewis

Californian Allen is representing the USA for the third time in the team event and Lewis, from Florida, replaces Hannah Jun.  Individually, Allen tied for 7 th in 2012 and 12 th in 2013, while Lewis finished T48th on her event debut in 2012.

NEW ZEALAND : Cathryn Bristow & Julianne Alvarez (amateur)

'Leftie' Bristow will be making her event debut after playing her rookie season on the LET in 2013 and is joined by last year's NZ Amateur Champion Alvarez, a talented pianist and 'straight-A' student who played in the recent ISPS HANDA New Zealand Women's Open.

CHINA 1: Shan Shan Feng & Xi Yu Lin

Feng's one-stroke victory over Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum at Mission Hills Haikou two years ago made her the first player from China to win on the Ladies European Tour (LET). The current World No.6 is teaming up with fellow Guangzhou player Lin, a second year LET member who is a rookie on the LPGA this year.

AUSTRALIA : Stacey Keating & Rebecca Artis

Keating and Artis both know the venue well but will represent Australia as a team in the event for the first time. Last year, Artis finished as the top Australian on the LET's ISPS HANDA Order of Merit after earning her first victory at The Helsingorg Open in Sweden while Keating earned two titles in 2012.

SCOTLAND : Carly Booth & Pamela Pretswell

Booth will represent Scotland for a third consecutive year but will be partnered by second year LET member Pretswell, making her event debut after a solid rookie season in 2013. Pretswell has had a steady start to 2014 with cuts made in New Zealand and Australia. This will be her first visit to China.

SPAIN: Mireia Prat & Patricia Sanz Barrio

This young Spanish pair will be exciting to watch as two of the Tour's most promising talents. Prat won the LET Access Series Order of Merit in 2013 after earning two victories and nine further top ten finishes while Sanz Barrio finished second to Prat after one win and three second places.

SOUTH AFRICA: Ashleigh Simon & Connie Chen

Two-time LET tournament winner Simon returns to represent SA for the second time in the team event having partnered Lee-Anne Pace in 2012. Chen will play in the team competition for the first time, but this is her third visit to Mission Hills.  

FRANCE: Gwladys Nocera & Valentine Derrey

For 12-time LET champion Nocera, the 2013 WLC was a successful tournament as she finished fifth in the team competition with Anne-Lise Caudal and tied for eighth in the individual event. Derrey posted 25 th in the 2013 event, which was another strong result. The pair will combine for the first time.

ENGLAND: Holly Clyburn & Hannah Burke

A new team for England will see last year's rookie and Deloitte Ladies Open champion Clyburn team up with third year LET member Burke. Both players have made strong starts to the 2014 season, Clyburn with a tie for 23 rd at the ISPS HANDA Women's Australian Open and Burke with a tie for 28 th in the same championship against one of the world's strongest tournament fields.

SWEDEN: Linda Wessberg & Camilla Lennarth

Playing for Sweden with Lindberg, three-time LET tournament champion Wessberg finished fourth in the team competition in 2012, but finished T30th in the individual competition in 2013. This will be Lennarth's second year on tour and her debut in the WLC. She will be looking to build on a successful rookie season on the LET.

THAILAND: Ariya Jutanugarn & Nontaya Srisawang

Jutanugarn and Srisawang will represent Thailand together for the second straight year, having finished third behind Korea and Norway in the 2013 team competition. Individually, they finished T12th and T22nd respectively in the WLC last year, just before Jutanugarn won the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco as a rookie. She may have missed most of last season through injury, but look out for her this year.

GERMANY: Ann-Kathrin Lindner & Miriam Nagl

Both Lindner and Nagl will make their tournament debut in this year's WLC. As a rookie in 2013, Lindner collected her first victory at the HONMA Pilsen Golf Masters and was one of three talented rookie winners on tour along with Clyburn and Jutanugarn.

DENMARK: Malene Jorgensen & Nicole Broch Larson

Broch Larson will be a rookie on the Ladies European Tour in 2014. After turning pro last year with a handicap of +5.5, she earned two straight victories at the HLR Golf Academy Open and Ladies Norwegian Challenge, and ended the season ranked 3 rd on the Order of Merit. Sixth year LET pro Jorgensen will be representing Denmark for the second time.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Klara Spilkova & Daniela Prorokova

Klara was the youngest player on Tour when she joined the LET aged 16 and still only 19, she is now practically a veteran in her fourth year on Tour. She tied for 42 nd in the individual stroke play at WLC last year and this will be her first opportunity to play as a team thanks to the inclusion of Prorokova.

CHINESE TAIPEI: Tzu-Chi Lin & Pei-Yun Chien

Lin turned professional in 2008 and played on the Symetra Tour from 2009-2011 before joining the LPGA in 2012. This will be the pair's debut in the WLC.

CHINA 2: Yu Yang Zhang & Xin Wang

In 2013, her second year on the LET, Zhang played in six LET events and made three cuts but saved the best until last when she recorded a career-best finish of second at the Sanya Ladies Open in Hainan, China. After tying with Lee-Anne Pace, she was defeated by a birdie at the first extra hole. She is great friends with team-mate Wang and even asked her to caddie for her in the play-off at Yalong Bay Golf Club in October last year.

NEW GEAR

The miracle bracelet that staves off aches & pains

Ladies European Tour player and reigning Scottish Open Champion Catriona Matthew is among an ever-growing list of players who are wearing special magnetic wrist products know for their healing magnotherapy properties.

Catriona wears the Bioflow Sport bracelet to stave off the aches and pains associated with playing top-level golf. Magnetic therapy is complementary, non-invasive and 100% natural and the Bioflow Sport (pictured) and new Bioflow Sport Twin are the latest in a line of product innovations from the leading magnetic therapy company, designed specifically for the sports market.

With over 1 million satisfied customers, Bioflow has been the magnotherapy product of choice by sports professionals and athletes worldwide for over 19 years.

Bioflow Sport wristbands feature patented Central Reverse Polarity technology. This strong, multi-directional force of magnetism is d esigned to complement an active lifestyle, with a winning combination of patented magnet technology teamed with a durable, non-tearable silicone sports wristband that is water resistant.

For more information on Bioflow range of products go to www.bioflowsport.com .

PING's new putter caters for golfers of all heights

If you are a regular reader of my blogs you will know my frustration that every time a manufacturer launches a new putter they don't cater for short lady golfers like myself.

So I was delighted to read that PING has just introduced a new putter, called the Ketsch, that you can buy with an adjustable length shaft, allowing for length adjustment from between 31 and 38 inches - great if you are especially tall or short like me! Or as PING suggest to customise the putter to suit your body type and putting style.

Aside from this great feature the Ketsch putter has been precision milled to offer unprecedented distance control, extreme forgiveness, and accurate alignment.

It is the newest model to benefit from variable-depth grooves, which produce consistent results across the face. A 17-4 stainless steel sole weight creates a high MOI and makes the aluminium, mallet-style head highly forgiving.

"What really stands out about the Ketsch is the captured look it provides at address, inspiring confidence and promoting a consistent stroke, the key to holing more putts," said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. "It has three white, contrasting alignment aids extending from the top of the matte-black crown. The centre line runs all the way to the back to make aiming easy. Our research shows that the head shape promotes extremely consistent alignment for the majority of golfers. Those factors, combined with our revolutionary variable-depth grooves and a high MOI, will help golfers putt more consistently."

Variable-depth grooves milled into the face ensure ball-speed consistency whether the ball is struck in the centre of the face, toward the heel or toe, high or low. Grooves are deepest in the centre and shallower toward the perimeter, which PING calls True Roll (TR) Technology. PING studies show an increase in ball-speed consistency of nearly 50% compared to a non-grooved face when measured at nine points across the face. 
The Ketsch is available in three shaft bends to fit any stroke type: Straight, Slight Arc, or Strong Arc priced at Adjustable £199, Counter Balanced Adjustable £224, Fixed £175, Counter Balanced Fixed £200.
Visit www.ping.com for more information.

TRIED & TESTED

Cobra BiO CELL hybrid

"One of the easiest hybrids I've ever hit"
Price: £159
W:
www.cobragolf.co.uk
They say: The Women's BiO CELL Hybrids are equipped with MyFly8 with SmartPad technology featuring 8 loft options in each model with simple, one step, and adjustability to maximise distance and optimise yardage gaps. The Women's BiO CELL Hybrids have a forged thin, shallow high strength steel face inserts with a driver like construction creating more face flex, and more ball speeds delivering exceptional distance but still easy to get up in the air for ladies. BiO Cell Crowns and E9 Face Technology remove weight from the crown and face for a lower CG-to-Neutral & high MOI, increasing the sweet zone for maximum distance and forgiveness.

I say: I used the previous model hybrid (Cobra AMP) when I was pregnant last year because it was so easy to hit I could swing it effortlessly, so I was curious to see whether this new and improved BIO Cell hybrid could better the predecessor. The answer is absolutely, both in the looks and playability stakes. In fact I'd go as far as saying that this is one of the easiest hybrids I've ever just picked up and hit. The clubhead shape is sleek, the colour choice snazzy and the feel more firey, definitely offering an improvement in the power stakes with my perfectly middled shots flying with greater oomph. You get a choice of either a vibrant pink, vivid green or the slightly easier on the eye pearlescent white finish to the clubhead with the matching soft Winn grips which feel lovely in the hands. Granted the bold choice of clubhead colours won't be for everyone but I really like them. They add a bit of fun to the game.

TRAVEL

A TOUCH OF CLASS IN THAILAND

As recommended by LET player Beatriz Recari...

Golfers who have visited Thailand before will know what a wonderful country it is for golf. If you are considering a trip to this tropical paradise this year or next then you might want to add a game at the latest golf course to open in the country to your must-play list.

It's part of the already popular Siam Country Club Pattaya and is called the Waterside Course, a new 18 holes to complement the existing 45 holes at the award winning golf resort located in Pattaya, Thailand.  
Designed by IMG Design and expected to open for play in May, the exciting new Waterside Course was recently showcased by LPGA star Beatriz Recari of Spain.

Recari commented, "I have always enjoyed visiting Thailand and playing golf at Siam CC.  With the addition of the Waterside Course, Siam CC Pattaya is truly a must visit destination for golfers from Asia or anywhere in the world." Recari added, "Based on my experience today, the Waterside Course is really very fun to play and a great addition to the existing world class facilities at Siam CC Pattaya."

Dr. Phornthep Phornprapha, President of Siam Motors Co. Ltd., the developer of Siam Country Club Pattaya, commented, "Our vision for the Waterside Course was to create something very unique from our existing courses and to provide golfers with an experience that is fun and memorable.  The Waterside Course is certainly very playable for golfers of all abilities and very unique given the integration of the gentle topography and water features that existed on this very special site."

Siam Country Club was the first privately owned golf course in Thailand, opening in 1971.  Starting in 2006, the original 18-hole golf course underwent a complete renovation and renamed itself "Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course" reopening in 2007.  During the renovation, construction began on a new 27-hole golf course on the property nearby opening in 2008 under the name "Siam Country Club Pattaya Plantation." 
For more information email: infoplantation@siamcc.com

The honest course rankings - as voted by golfers like you

If you are a golf course rankings sceptic, always wondering how the magazines and websites really rate their golf courses, then you will no doubt be a fan of the new Golfers' Choice rankings.

These online course rankings are voted for entirely by you, the golfing public and are available to view at:

http://leadingcourses.pr.co/69849-golfers-from-all-over-europe-determine-which-golf-clubs-are-the-best

In 2014 The Golfers' Choice rankings have been created for seven countries in Europe. The 'Noordwijkse Golfclub' (The Netherlands), Golf & Country Club Limburg (Belgium), Monte Rei Golf & Country Club (Portugal), Hardenberg GolfResort (Germany), Les Bordes Golf (France), Club de Golf Valderrama (Spain) and Antalya Golf Club (Turkey) are the best golf clubs according to golfers. "

Golfing great Olazabal launches deluxe academy in the Maldives

If you are seeking world-class golf coaching in a beautiful environment then you'll be marvelling at the pictures here of the new Academy Deluxe on the Maldivian Paradise Island of Velaa designed by two-time Major Champion and Ryder Cup legend José María Olazábal. The new Velaa Golf Academy by Olazábal has been created in collaboration with the golfing legend and features a stunning golf course and academy.

The all-encompassing facility sits proudly amidst an exclusive private island in the Maldives that is home to 48 private pool villas, located in the northern part of the Noonu Atoll, just north of Malé.

Velaa Private Island was born out of the passion for the region of owner, Jiri Smejc and his wife Radka, and their desire to create the most Private place on earth.

Prices for a coaching experience here are dear, but if you have cash to splash then you won't find a more beautiful place to improve your game anywhere in the world.

Visit www.velaaprivateisland.com for more information

 

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