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CARLY FROST
Editor
Ladies Golf Today

Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
June 26, 2014


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Michelle's 'Wie' shorts cause winning controversy!

It was great to see Michelle Wie finally playing the sort of golf we've all been expecting to see her play since she was 14 years old and achieve her first Major victory in the US Women's Open last weekend.

I'm pleased that after floundering at the start of her career Michelle went away and took some time-out of playing professionally to go to college and has come back to the game with a refreshed outlook and vigour. She truly is inspirational. But I'm afraid a lot of the ladies at my club have been condemning her winner's outfit on Sunday and the length of her shorts have been labelled as positively pornographic!

Now I'm all for looking the part on the course but I have to agree that there are limits to these things and the length of Michelle's legs certainly aren't an excuse for showing off your private parts! What sort of example is that setting for the young junior girls at clubs all around the world? Certainly not a good one in my eyes. It should be all about Michelle's golfing prowess instead of her body. Your opinions please... email me at   carly@golftodaynetwork.com

Amateur News

Cath wins ‘nip and tuck' battle to be champion

Congratulations must go to Cheshire's Cath Rawthore who won a ‘nip and tuck' battle to become the new English senior women's stroke play champion at Knaresborough in Yorkshire last week.

The Sale player finished the 54-hole event one stroke ahead of playing partner Amanda Mayne of Somerset and said: “I am just thrilled. 

“It's my mum's birthday today and I told her I'd call this evening and that I might have a special birthday present for her. But I really didn't dream I would do it!”

Cath actually stacked the odds against herself when she was preparing to play and snapped her hand with the elastic strap on her trolley, badly bruising a finger. But, in a classic case of ‘beware the injured golfer' she went out to win.  

“It's really bruised and it's quite uncomfortable to grip. But I took a couple of paracetamol and then the adrenalin clicked in.” 

Cath shot two over 77 in the final round and finished on three-over par for the championship. Amanda, who at one point trailed by four shots, narrowed the final gap to one, returning a score of 78. 

Champions line up for women's mid-amateur

A field which includes two national champions will challenge for the English women's open mid-amateur championship at Bath Golf Club, Somerset, next week (July 3-6).

Cornwall's Sarah-Jane Boyd is the reigning English amateur champion, while Hertfordshire's Lucy Goddard recently won the Irish open stroke play title. 

Other competitors include Lesley Atkins, a former Scottish girls' champion and girl international, and Gemma Bradbury who has represented Wales in the ladies' Home Internationals.

Among the local players are senior international Amanda Mayne of Saltford in Somerset, who was runner-up in last week's English senior women's stroke play championship. 

She'll be joined in the field by four more Somerset golfers: Jade Cope (Weston-Super-Mare), Megan Dennett (Enmore Park), Charlotte Humphries (Burnham & Berrow) and Aimee Sawyer (Farrington).

Players from neighbouring counties include the in-form Bethan Popel of Long Ashton in Gloucestershire, who helped England win the Nations Cup at the St Rule Trophy and is the reserve for the national side for the European ladies' team championship. 

Olympic hockey medallist, Chloe Rogers of Essex, will be hoping to go one better this year. She lost in last year's final to Charlotte Thomas of Singapore – who went on to play for GB&I in this year's Curtis Cup match. 

The full field will play 36 holes of stroke play qualifying on Thursday, 3 July. The leading 32 players will go forward to the match play and the final will be played on the morning of Sunday, 6 July. 

Spectators are very welcome and admission is free. The start sheet can be viewed by clicking here and reports, pictures and scores will also be available on the England Golf website. 

Women and girls' teams named for Euro championships

England Golf has named the teams which will challenge for medals at the European ladies' and girls' team championships in July. 

The ladies' team includes three Curtis Cup players: Gabriella Cowley, Bronte Law and Charlotte Thomas. Elizabeth Mallett will make her first international appearance at ladies' level and the team will be completed by the experienced internationals, Hayley Davis and Meghan MacLaren. The reserve is Bethan Popel. 

The ladies' championship takes place at Ljubljana Golf Club, Slovenia, from 8-12 July. 

The girls' team includes new caps India Clyburn, Inci Mehmet and Hollie Muse. They will play alongside Alice Hewson, Sophie Keech and Sophie Lamb, while Sammy Fuller is the reserve. 

The girls' championship will be played at Skalica Golf Club, Slovakia, also from 8-12 July.

At both events, the teams will play two rounds of stroke play to determine their places in the knockout flights. The leading eight teams go in to the championship flight to contest the medals. Last year, when England Golf hosted the ladies' event at Fulford, York, and the girls' event was played in Sweden, both teams finished fourth. 

The players: 

Ladies' team 

Gabriella Cowley, 18, (Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire) was selected for the recent Curtis Cup match, having been runner-up in this year's Portuguese amateur championship, helped to win the Nations Cup for England at the Helen Holm Scottish stroke play championship, and finished eighth in the Welsh open stroke play.  She won the England Golf girls' order of merit for 2013.

Hayley Davis, 21, (Ferndown, Dorset) is a past winner of the English women's and girls' championships. She is a student at Baylor University, Texas, has won on the US women's college circuit and was 10th in the 2014 national women's college championship, with a final round 65. She has represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy.

Bronte Law, 19, (Bramhall, Cheshire, Image © Leaderboard Photography) has just played her second Curtis Cup match for GB&I. She has also represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy and Europe in both the Junior Solheim Cup and Junior Ryder Cup matches. She is a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has won on the US women's college circuit.

Meghan MacLaren, 20, (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire), helped to win the Nations Cup for England at the St Rule Trophy and finished third in the individual event. She was the 2013 Irish stroke play champion and has won three times on the US women's college circuit, where she represents Florida International University.

Elizabeth Mallett, 19, (Sutton Coldfield Ladies', Warwickshire) is a past winner of the English girls' championship. She is now a student at the University of North Carolina and secured her first win on the US women's college circuit this year. She also had three other top ten finishes in the 2013/14 season.  

Charlotte Thomas, 21, (Singapore and Surrey) played in the recent Curtis Cup match and will be making her debut as an England international. Last summer she won the English mid-amateur championship, one week after losing a play-off for the English stroke play title. She is a student at the University of Washington in Seattle and has won on the US college circuit. 

Bethan Popel, 18, (Long Ashton, Gloucestershire) helped England win the Nations Cup at the St Rule Trophy, among a string of good results this season which have included seventh place in the recent women's Welsh stroke play, 12th place in the Helen Holm Scottish stroke play and 11th in the Portuguese amateur.

Girls' team 

India Clyburn, 17, (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire) follows in the footsteps of her sister, Holly, who was an England international and is now a winner on the LET. She is the Lincolnshire champion and this season has been runner-up in the Critchley Salver, fifth in the Harder Hall Invitational in the USA and seventh in the Helen Holm Scottish stroke play. 

Alice Hewson, 16, (Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire) won the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale and went straight on to take the U18 prize at the St Rule Trophy where she also helped England win the Nations Cup and was fourth overall. Last year she was in the winning England team at the European Young Masters and the Girls' Home Internationals, won the Scottish U16 open stroke and the girls' title at the Telegraph BMW Golf Championship.

Sophie Keech, 18, (Parkstone, Dorset) has just won the Astor Salver at The Berkshire and was leading amateur in the Roehampton Gold Cup. She won the English girls' championship last summer, as well as the English schools' and South West girls' titles and was a member of England's winning team at the Girls' Home Internationals. 

Sophie Lamb, 16, (Clitheroe, Lancashire) successfully defended the girls' title at the Fairhaven Trophies this year, with a record low score of nine-under par and was third overall in the mixed field. She was leading points scorer in England's winning team at the 2013 Girls' Home Internationals and represented GB&I in the junior Vagliano Trophy.

Inci Mehmet, 17, (Wentworth, Surrey) has amassed a series of good results this season, including fourth place in the Portuguese championship, fifth in the Irish open stroke play and fourth in the Critchley Salver. She and her partner were runners-up in the Sunningdale foursomes. 

Hollie Muse, 14, (West Lancashire), was runner-up in the girls' event at the Fairhaven Trophies and tied eighth at the St Rule Trophy at St Andrews. She is a past winner of the English U13 championship and last year won the Royal Birkdale ladies' scratch trophy. She has just become the youngest-ever Lancashire ladies' champion.

Sammy Fuller, 15, (Roehampton, Surrey) was third in this season's Scottish U16 strokeplay and 6th in the Irish U18 stroke play. She was in England's winning team at the Girls' Home Internationals and represented GB&I in the Junior Vagliano Trophy. 

Jan's one-woman drive inspires new golfers

Essex golfer Jan Tallentire is running a one-woman drive to get new players into the game – and in the space of just six weeks she persuaded 80 ladies to have a go.

Jan is ladies' captain at Warley Park Golf Club, near Brentwood, and she's run four Get into golf days for women to give them a taste of the game – and share her pleasure in the sport. 

“She has done a fantastic job,” said Craig Harman, a PGA coach at Warley Park, who has helped teach the women the basics of the game. “It's a massive achievement,” commented Helen Tarttelin of the Essex Golf Partnership. 

“We are sure that lots of women would love the chance to play golf – and Jan has proved it.” 

Jan laid on a great experience. The visitors were greeted with coffee and a goodie bag from the club, containing balls, tees and a ball maker.  Next was two hours of coaching with PGA professionals, followed by lunch. Then it was out on the course for a five-hole group competition, encouraged by club members, before time to relax over tea and cakes. 

Her players were of all ages and from all backgrounds and already one has joined the club, about half have gone on to take a further taster and about 20 have signed up for Get into golf lessons at the club with Craig – with five group sessions costing just £25.

Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up golf by offering great-value coaching with PGA professionals. It's run through the national network of County Golf Partnerships, which work to grow the game. Warley Park is one of 15 Get into golf centres in Essex. To find out more about opportunities nationwide visit   www.getintogolf.org

Jan (pictured left) took up golf eight years ago when she retired at the age of 62. She's played sport all her life - mainly netball and tennis – and is also a keen walker. 

“I wanted to do something active,” she said. “I've spent a lot of my life in an office so I love spending time outside in beautiful surroundings. Also, I've made so many more friends through golf and my husband and I have a very good social life from it.”

Jan went on: “This is a game that anyone can play – and go on playing. We have ladies in their 80s who are still playing.” 

She started at a play and pay course, moving to Warley Park five years ago, enjoying its 27 holes and good practice facilities. When she became ladies' captain she needed to fundraise and came up with the idea of the ladies' Get into golf days for just £26 per person. 

She advertised them with posters at the local pub, village hall, libraries and gyms, through word of mouth and through her circle of walking friends. The days quickly filled up – and raised £800 for the ladies' section of the club. 

“We found that one of the biggest barriers was a lack of confidence, that people didn't want to walk into the golf club on their own. But I got to know these ladies by emailing them beforehand and when they arrived I was there, with other club members, to greet them and introduce them to each other. Soon, some of them were planning to meet up and return,” said Jan.

“One lady said to me ‘I have enjoyed the day so much I don't want it to end.' It's been good all round!”

Pro news

Can Matthew make it three wins in four years?

Home-grown Scottish talent Kylie Walker will be looking to emulate last year's champion Catriona Matthew, who not for the first time in her glittering career, took pride of place at Archerfield in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. 

The 44-year-old from North Berwick claimed victory in her home event for the second time in three years on the Fidra course.

 Aberdeen Asset Management have committed to the Scottish Golf Union in supporting the country's leading amateurs through to the end of 2015, maintaining a portfolio that also includes backing in the professional ranks for not just Catriona Matthew and Kylie Walker but also Colin Montgomerie, Martin Laird, Paul Lawrie, Scott Henry and Carly Booth amongst others.

“We are very proud to support Scotland's national amateur squads and delighted to see the progress of the young players emerging through the ranks at present. It's vital for Scottish Golf that these players are given the best opportunities to develop their games,” said Aberdeen Asset Management Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert.

“We are committed to helping Scottish golfers perform at the highest level, from our leading amateurs to our top professionals. It's incredibly satisfying to see how our support is making a difference to these golfers lives, capped off with Kylie's win in Holland, that's what it's all about. ”

The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is also supported by EventScotland as a key part of Scotland's commitments to building a strong portfolio of domestic golf tournaments as part of a legacy of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, said: “We are delighted to support the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open as one of a number of top-class tournaments that take place in Scotland on annual basis.

“The event is a great opportunity for Scottish talent to flourish on home soil and it will be fantastic to see Kylie playing in the tournament so soon after her maiden victory on the Ladies European Tour.”

The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will follow hot on the heels of the European Tour's Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen in July 10-13, and will take place a month ahead of one of the world's biggest sporting tournaments and the leading event on the global golf calendar, The 2014 Ryder Cup, at Gleneagles.

Follow the tournament at   www.ladiesscottishopen.com   on Twitter at @AberdeenLSO, and on Facebook at Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

Meet Strictly Come Dancing star Anton du Beke at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters 

Strictly Come Dancing's Anton du Beke is ready to reveal the secrets of his trademark dance moves when he attends Ladies' Day at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in Denham on Thursday, 3rd July.

The British ballroom dancer and television presenter will take part in a Q&A session at the prestigious venue where he can often be found swinging from his golf spikes when not on the dance floor.

Now in its third year, the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters is one of the most anticipated golf tournaments on the Ladies European Tour schedule and Ladies' Day is set to be one of the most glamorous occasions of the year.

In addition to the amazing golf action, there will be the chance to relax with drinks on the lawn outside the magnificent, Grade II Listed clubhouse and enjoy treatments in the spa tent. Later in the week there will also be live music, celebrity Q&A sessions and a cocktail and casino night!

There will be a number of special offers on the Thursday only available to ladies, so to make a date with Anton buy your ticket now at http://tickets.sky.com/Golf/

DAME LAURA DAVIES HEADS UP 2014 RICOH WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN FIELD

Entries have now closed for the 2014 Ricoh Women's British  Open with 28 of the world's top 30 players headlining the field at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England, 10 –13 July.

Along with 23 nationalities, 46 Major Championship titles and over 700 international tournament titles, the field now boasts a newly appointed Dame.

Laura Davies, who plays in her 30th Ricoh Women's British Open this July, was made a Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. On the announcement of the news, she commented, “It really is the greatest honour I have received in my career and what makes it even more special is that it is an honour that transcends golf. I was very proud when I received the letter in May and it has been really difficult keeping it a secret from my friends since then.”

Davies continued, “I am sure there will be a fair bit of teasing from my close friends at home and on Tour but I think they will be pleased, not only for me but also because it is a nice recognition for women's golf. I am really looking forward to going to Buckingham Palace and sharing this occasion with my family and friends who have all played such a big part in my career. I've already been asked if I will now be too posh to play football and the answer is definitely not!”

Fashion for the fairways

The new ladies golf dress collection that's turning heads

Known for her work on the big screen and television, actress Kristy Swanson is adding ‘designer' to her list of credits with the launch of her new golf clothing and accessories collection aDRESSitGOLF. 

Aimed at the female golfer, aDRESSitGOLF will feature made-to-order pieces that can be worn before, during and after the game. Swanson is launching dresses in seventeen styles, three of which are reversible, in a variety of colours and patterns in addition to leggings and belts. The collection is already growing to include tops, pants, shorts, jackets, rompers and additional accessories.

A recreational golfer for fifteen years, Swanson wanted to wear something comfortable, yet fashionable but had seen enough of the men's polo shirts morphed into so-called “ladies golf wear.” So instead, she went with a piece from one of her favorite designers, Eva Varro, and her arrival at the event said it all. Immediately, she was asked where she purchased her dress, who was the designer, where could one be bought and it seemed that what she wore caught everyone's eye… the idea for aDRESSitGOLF was born.

Swanson immediately teamed up with famed International designer and clothier Eva Varro to begin her dream of creating something unique, versatile, high fashion but with attention to quality and detail. Her husband and business partner, Lloyd Eisler, Two Time Olympic Bronze Medalist in Pairs Figure Skating and Member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, lends his expertise as a pro-athlete who knows the importance of clothing during competition and why staying dry and comfortable is crucial.

For more information visit www.aDRESSitGOLF.com

New Gear

Trade in your old irons for cash off new Clevelands

CLEVELAND GOLF is running an iron trade-in promotion until the end of July, allowing anyone trading in any full set of irons to receive £100 off a new set of Cleveland Golf irons.

Available to all golfers, anyone trading in their old irons can purchase a standard set or can be custom fitted for an individual set or combination set using Cleveland Golf's new CG Fit Solution and Custom Fitting Cart.

The iron promotion comes on the heels of Cleveland Golf relaunching its successful Wedge Trade-In promotion.

Similar to the Wedge Trade-In promotion, traded in sets of irons can be any make and in any condition, the only stipulation placed on buyers is that it is a full set with at least 6 irons (i.e 4-9, 5-PW or 6-SW).

Leslie Hepsworth, President of Srixon Sports Europe said: “After the fantastic success of our wedge trade in promotion last year, we felt that it was the perfect opportunity to give golfers the chance to trade in and upgrade their old irons, getting a new set of custom fitted irons perfectly suited to each individual's game.”

To find out more about the Cleveland Golf Iron trade in promotion, please visit   www.clevelandgolf588.eu   to locate your nearest custom fit facility.

Travel

Treat Yourself to the Ultimate Golf Experience this Autumn on England's Golf Coast

England's Golf Coast is the place to be this autumn if you want to experience true championship golf at prices everybody can afford.

Twelve of the area's top golf clubs have come together for the first time to offer a series of Autumn Packages which offer three rounds of golf and two nights' B & B for as little as just £150 per person.

England's Golf Coast is renowned as the premier golf destination in the country and its attractive new Autumn Packages give golfers the chance to sample the area at its very best. 

Visitors can choose between playing the Signature Collection courses at Formby, Hillside, Southport & Ainsdale, Wallasey and West Lancashire, the Classic Collection courses at Caldy, Fairhaven, Formby Hall and Hesketh or a combination of both.

You can even upgrade to England Golf Coast's Open Championship links at Royal Liverpool, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St Annes for as little £40 per round.

England's Golf Coast's new Autumn Packages offer something for everyone.

The Bronze Package enables golfers to play three of the area's Classic Collection courses for £195 between October 13th and 31st and just £150 during the month of November.

The Silver Package entitles you to play one Signature Collection course and two Classic Collection course for just £175 during November (£225 between October 13th and October 31st) or you can opt for the Gold Package which offers two rounds on Signature Collection courses and another on a Classic Collection course for £255 between October 13th and 31st and £200 the following month.

There is also a Platinum Package available which offers a round of golf on three Signature Collection courses for £285 between October 13th and October 31st and £225 in November and visitors have the opportunity to upgrade all these Autumn Packages to include a round at one of England Golf Coast's three Open Championship venues for as little as an additional £40 per round.   

The prices quoted for England Golf Coast's Autumn Packages are per person and based on two sharing a twin room. You can upgrade to superior or deluxe accommodation for as little as £22 per person.

More information about the golf courses and the choice of accommodation is available at enquiries at   www.englandsgolfcoast.com   You can make a booking at that address or by calling England's Golf Coast on 01704 330395.

MOROCCO EMBARKS ON UK GOLF CLUB DRIVE

The Moroccan National Tourist Office (MNTO) will showcase its burgeoning portfolio of golf courses and resorts with an expansive programme of golf tournaments in UK golf clubs this summer.

Coinciding with the year which marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of golf in Morocco, the MNTO will organise a nationwide ‘Golf 100 Series' of events for men and women in order to engage with, and educate, club golfers across the land.

Furthermore, winners of the events will qualify to play in a prestigious UK final at the highly-regarded Brocket Hall Golf Club in the autumn, with the national winners receiving a number of fantastic prizes, including golf holidays to Morocco.

Morocco is widely regarded as one of the world's strongest emerging markets for golf tourism, with 29 courses already in existence and a further 11 under construction.

In addition to the lure of year-round sunshine, the destination's popularity with golfers has been boosted by direct flights from London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester and the outstanding quality of product, with courses created by some of the world's most respected golf course designers.

The Moroccan National Tourist Office's director for UK and Ireland, Amine Boughaleb, said: "The Morocco Golf 100 Series will take our core messages deep to the heart of many golf clubs across the UK.

"We look forward to engaging with male and female golfers across the land, and to encourage them to visit our wonderful country for the most memorable of golf holidays."

The Morocco Golf 100 events will take place across the summer. Any UK club wishing to host an event is obliged to email   luke@theazaleagroup.com   or call 01730 711924.








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