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Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
April 22, 2014

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Good luck girls

The prestigious Helen Holm Scottish open stroke play championship is taking place across the testing Troon links this week and I'd like to wish all the competitors a fun and successful event.

The 54 hole stroke play event is welcoming 99 of the top amateur lady golfers all vying for the very prestigious title. A cut is made after the first 36 holes is played with the top 66 and ties going through to the final two rounds.

In particular I'll be looking out for the results of the Nations Cup, which is hotly contested by teams from each country. I rather fancy the chances of England's dynamic duo - Gabriella Cowley and Annabel Dimmock - two players who are very much in form. Good luck girls, I'll be watching this space for the results...


England's championship season gets underway

England's national championship season for ladies will get underway this week when the English Senior Women's Amateur Championship is played at Sandy Lodge Golf Club in North-West London on April 22-25.

The event has attracted an entry of over 100 players, including defending champion Janet Melville of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. All competitors will play two stroke play qualifying rounds before the top 16 go forward to contest the matchplay stages. The next 16 will play in the second flight.

Annabel's putt seals Sunningdale Foursomes

England international Annabel Dimmock and Challenge Tour player Steven Brown forged a successful partnership when they won the Sunningdale Foursomes at their first attempt.

The Wentworth pair came triumphantly through the seven-round test when Annabel holed a 30-footer on the last for a one-up win over Inci Mehmet, also from Wentworth, and Oscar Granström-Livesey of Royal Mid-Surrey.

"It was a great match and we all played so well," said Annabel. "The number of birdies was unbelievable. This is a really good tournament to win, especially as it's near my club and we had the home crowd watching!"

It was a first competitive outing together for the winning pair: "We play a bit of foursomes against friends but we've never before played together in a competition," said Annabel.

Both players went into the event in great form. Already this season, Annabel has won on the Orange Blossom Tour in the USA, been runner-up in the Spanish amateur and taken fifth place in the European Nations Cup. Brown, a former English champion and the player who sealed the GB&I Walker Cup triumph of 2011, is currently fourth on the Challenge Tour order of merit and came in to this event fresh from a fifth place in the Kenya Open.

"We were both really tired before it started because we both got back into the country only the day before the practice round, but we knew we were both playing well," said Annabel.

Their impressive putting was critical to their success. In the first round, they holed a long putt to win the 18th, taking the match into extra time before they squeezed through to the next round on the 20th. In the semi-final Annabel had a must-make 15-footer to keep the match alive, before the pair eventually defeated England international Toby Tree and boy international Marco Penge on the 19th. Then, in the final she clinched the title with that 30-footer. "We holed a lot of putts when we needed to," she said.

Sad news as Sue passes away

Sue Whittaker, who was the first management board chairman of the English Women's Golf Association and who played a key role in the merger which formed England Golf, has passed away.

Sue, who lived in Northumberland, was a lifelong golfer and was a member at Bamburgh Castle Golf Club. She had been suffering from cancer for almost a year.

During her three-year term of office Sue was closely involved in the merger process which brought together the EWGA and the English Golf Union to form England Golf, the governing body which today represents all amateur golf in the country.

Golf business experts gather in Abu Dhabi this week

Abu Dhabi Golf Club and its iconic Falcon Clubhouse is the host venue for the 2014 HSBC Golf Business Forum taking place this week from 28-30 th April.

An event-opening tournament is taking place over the Peter Harradine designed course and more than 250 delegates will get to enjoy one of the most luxurious golf resort experiences in the region as well as service synonymous with the Middle East and the experts in upscale golf course management, Troon Golf.

Group General Manager at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and sister course Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Chris Card looks forward to welcoming industry peers. He commented: "we are confident delegates from far and wide will enjoy the world-class golf experience and immaculate conditioning we offer our members and guests on a daily basis."

The Business Forum vent will take place just yards from the first tee at the exclusive Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, the resort which has helped put Abu Dhabi Golf Club firmly on the map for international tourists.
Card continued: "an evolving infrastructure combined with the collective effort from both venues and the government's marketing initiative - Golf in Abu Dhabi - has resulted in the emirate's capacity to attract and facilitate golf's leading business forum."

One of the most anticipated gatherings on the golf business calendar, the golf industry will assemble to discuss the evolution of the game in the 21 st Century, aptly within one of the fastest growing golf destinations in the world.

Both Abu Dhabi Golf Club and the Gary Player designed Saadiyat Beach Golf Club are ideally positioned for domestic and international guests and benefit from the outstanding accommodation options on site. The Troon-managed properties combine quality course conditioning, matchless facilities and first-class hospitality throughout, making them the ideal option for a diverse group of visitors.

For more information visit: or

Have you entered PING women's Fourball Betterball event?

Has your golf club made a date for its qualifying round for the 2014 PING Fourball Betterball tournament?

If not there is still time! This fantastic championship is one of the premier ladies golf tournaments in England.

There are prizes for the winning pair and the runners-up at the Plate and Grand Finals. What's more every finalist receives a great goodie bag.

Club qualifiers must be played by 31 st July 2014 and the winning pair from each club will go on PING's online leaderboard.

At the end of the qualifying period, the top 60 pairs will go forward to the Grand Final at PING's Gainsborough Golf Club in Lincolnshire on Tuesday 9 th September 2014.

The next 60 pairs will compete the day before in the Plate Final.



Adjustable weighting in Tank Cruiser head and grip enables golfers to ‘Find Their Balance'
Odyssey has introduced a new putter, the Tank Cruiser , that will help you be more accurate than ever on the greens.

It has been designed in response to feedback from Tour Professionals and features three head weights (10g, 15g & 20g) that can be adjusted to suit green speed - the lightest weight for fast greens and the heaviest for slow greens, as well as adjustable weights in the grip (5g, 15g & 30g) to allow you to fine tune the club's balance point to create the perfect feel and deliver solid strokes.

The Tank Cruiser features a new White Hot insert for consistent sound, feel and performance across the striking surface. It also sports a new longer (15") version of the popular SuperStroke Grip, which is designed to help relieve tension in the wrist and forearms, encouraging a pendulum-like putting stroke.

Austie Rollinson, Principal Designer, Odyssey Golf, said, "Our goal was to create a putter with Tank's stability, but with adjustable balance. "With two levels of adjustability in Tank Cruiser, golfers can dial in the balance that suits their game and the courses they're playing, better than ever before, without compromising inertia, which helps stabilise the putting stroke."

The Odyssey Tank Cruiser is available in four head shapes and l eft-handed options are available. It's priced at £199. For more information about Tank Cruiser and the complete collection of Odyssey products, visit:


Lynx has been unveiled as the Official Golf Club of the Ricoh Women's British Open for the next three years.

The exciting agreement signals the brand's long-term intent to build a strong UK-based golf equipment business at the heart of the game and takes a step nearer to its goal of becoming the premier brand in ladies golf.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lynx becomes the Official Golf Club at the event when it takes place at The Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, on July 10-13.

As a key sponsor, Lynx will have a 100m 2 exhibition stand, a hitting bay on the Official Practice Range, manufacturer status access to the tournament's practice putting green and major on-course branding, as well as a host of other benefits.

Announcing the agreement, Lynx Golf UK managing partner, Stephanie Zinser, said: "Becoming the leading equipment brand in the ladies' market is just one of the goals we have for Lynx in a long-term vision for our brand.

"This is a huge leap forwards and demonstrates the level of commitment and investment we are prepared to put behind Lynx in the next few years.

"The success and development of the ladies game is extremely important to us and we are delighted to be playing a key role in its future by being a partner in this high profile event.

"The decision to support Ladies' European Tour player and rising star Lydia Hall was the first step in this direction and we are consolidating and strengthening our intent with this next relationship."

Lynx will now have the right to use the Official Title and Championship logos in its marketing and enjoy significant exposure through the Golfing World media channels, as well as staging an exclusive visitors' putting clinic and trick shot demonstration during the Ricoh Women's British Open.

Ross Hallett, IMG Tournament Director, speaking on behalf of the Ricoh Women's British Open Championship said: "We are delighted at this new partnership with Lynx Golf and we are excited about the long term opportunities that this brings to both parties.

"Lynx Golf has a strong tradition with ladies' golf as well as being an innovative and high quality brand, which mirrors the values of the Ricoh Women's British Open very nicely. We look forward to working together."
Lynx Golf continues to establish itself as the most forward-thinking and exciting equipment brand in Europe and is dedicated to supporting 'green grass' Pro shop business, with more than 400 accounts in the UK.
For more information visit , or follow @LynxGolfUK on twitter.


Sun Mountain Sync golf bag

Price: £149
They say: Designed one inch shorter than the men's version to accommodate ladies clubs, the ladies' Sync bag features an impressive ten pocket configuration, including specialised compartments for valuables and clothing. Three lift-assist handles - including one built into the lower pocket - make it easier to manoeuvre off the course, while a moulded base allows the bag to fit perfectly onto Sun Mountain trolleys. The Sync comes in four vibrant colour combinations - fern/white/black, orange/white/black, purple/black/white and pink/black/white.

I say: The best feature of this golf bag is undoubtedly the many pockets, there is literally a pocket for every conceivable thing you can think of, which is handy as my bag usually contains everything but the kitchen sink.

I'm not going to list them all but the drinks cooler pocket was great (especially this last week playing in the warm weather) and the lined valuables pocket gets the thumbs up too. The orange colour of my bag certainly has stand-out appeal and won't be confused with anyone else's in a line-up outside the club.

It looks really snazzy on a sunny day. The handles are really sturdy and make this bag easy to lift in and out of the car boot and onto your trolley. It's not too heavy either, even when filled with clubs. The only thing I didn't like much was the attachable rain cover, which I found very hard to clip on and zip up when all my clubs were inside. Maybe that's because my driver is an inch longer than a standard ladies club, but even so I thought there would be a bit of breathing space to allow for that and those great big cartoon character headcovers that adorn my other woods!


The golf and wine escape

As a lover of fine wine I always enjoy heading to golfing destinations where I can play some new courses and then visit some vineyards to sample the local wines.

So I was excited to read that the Costa Brava in Spain has recently launched a new Empordà Wine Route, which maps out one of the oldest wine-producing counties in the world.

La Vinyeta vineyard in Alt Empordà.
(Picture credit: Mollet de Peralada. Image Archive Costa BravaTourism Board)

Flanked by the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, Costa Brava's Empordà province, has been producing wine since 500 BC, when the Phoenicians first colonised the area.

The newly created DO Empordà Wine Route showcases the numerous hotels, restaurants, wine bars, wine therapy treatment companies and museums making up Costa Brava's wine culture. Golfers can discover with ease this rich and unexplored wine haven, which stretches from the French border to the historical town of Blanes, 50 minutes north of Barcelona.

From this month onwards, the Empordà county will lead the region's Vívid wine festival with a multitude of wine-related festivities and events that include tastings, workshops, cooking sessions and tours. Therefore, golfers coming to the Costa Brava should prepare to discover fine, flavoursome wines, brimming with authenticity, flavour and opulence.

Although one of Spain's smaller Denominations of Origin with 2,020 hectares of vineyards, the DO Empordà counts 423 winegrowers and 45 registered wineries, and produces on average 50,000 hectolitres of wine a year - approximately 3.5 million bottles - from the 10 white grape and 10 red grape varieties grown in the region. From vineyards planted 260 meters above sea level in the Alt Empordà county to the hills and flat lands that soak in the hot Spanish sun in the Baix Empordà to the south, golfers will be able to discover a fertile region which has more in common with the two adjacent French appellations of Banyuls and Côtes de Roussillon than with other Spanish counties.

Josep Roca local icon and head sommelier of El Celler de Can Roca, the three Michelin star restaurant in Girona, named the World's Best Restaurant2013 by Restaurant Magazine.
(Picture credit: P.Ferrer. ImageArchive Costa Brava Tourism Board)

Golfers visiting this northeastern corner of Spain will have the choice of 13 golf courses and 10 Par 3 courses, each providing sharply contrasting landscapes and different playing experiences.

Visitors will also be spoilt for choice as Costa Brava offers the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in the country, accounting for 20 stars to date. The region is easily accessible to both national and international visitors thanks to Girona Costa Brava Airport, a major Ryanair hub, and Barcelona International Airport, which is under an hour's drive away. The newly opened high-speed rail link that connects Girona and Barcelona to the rest of continental Europe also provides a more leisurely travel alternative.

Additional information on Costa Brava can be found at and

New website for Portuguese golf passport

Three rounds from €165pp...

ORIZONTE - Lisbon Golf, the management brand for seven unsung layouts close to the Portuguese capital, has launched a new English version of its website and has underlined its growing reputation for delivering the best-value-golf in Portugal by unveiling a range of new golf passports.

Featuring descriptions, galleries and overview plans for all courses, plus a guide to key attributes of the region, the new website - - also includes live news and weather feeds, and information on airlines flying direct to Lisbon from 10 UK and Irish airports.

In terms of value, golfers can choose from a selection of three and five-round passports and enjoy golf across stunning layouts including Quinta do Peru Golf and Country Club, Aroeira and Ribagolfe, w ith prices starting from just €165 per person for a three-round package.

Prizes are also up for grabs, with all visitors to the new website before May 31 standing the chance of winning a four-night, three-round golf break for two people when subscribing to the ORIZONTE - Lisbon Golf e-newsletter.

Pedro de Mello Breyner, ORIZONTE - Lisbon Golf spokesperson, said: "Our aim at ORIZONTE is to maximise the value and enjoyment for visitors at all our wonderful venues and we believe we are achieving that with the new website and our range of value golf passports for the UK and Irish markets.

"This really is a great, cheap way to play golf in Portugal. The three and five-round golf packages offer outstanding value and we take care of all booking requirements."

Set in the beautiful Costa Azul region, Quinta do Peru Golf and Country Club is rated in the top 100 courses in Continental Europe and has hosted several European Challenge Tour events while Aroeira features two championship layouts including Aroeira I, venue for the Portuguese Open in 1996 and 1997.

Ribagolfe, a host of the European Tour Qualifying School since 2009, provides two more challenging courses, both set within ancient cork oak forest, while golfers can also enjoy the 7,000-plus yards challenge at Santo Estevão and the 9-hole course in Oeiras, just 15 minutes from Lisbon's centre.

ORIZONTE's three-round golf passports include the chance to play 18 holes at Quinta do Peru and both courses at Aroeira or rounds at Ribagolfe I, Ribagolfe II and Santo Estêvão for only €55 a round per person.

Alternatively, golfers can select the ‘5-Round Passport' which offers the choice of all six golfing venues from only €275 per person (no course can be played more than twice).

Launched this spring, ORIZONTE - Lisbon Golf provides visitors with a combination of outstanding value golf and well-priced local accommodation partners.

For more details about ORIZONTE - Lisbon Golf and to book a golf passport, please e-mail or go to .

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