Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
Internationals Gabriella Cowley, Hayley Davis and Bronte Law will represent England Golf in the Women's World Amateur Team Championship for the Espirito Santo trophy at Karuizawa Golf Club, Japan, from September 3-6.
Hayley and Bronte are both English champions, while Bronte and Gabriella both represented GB&I in the 2014 Curtis Cup.
The 72-hole championship will be played over the Oshitate and Iriyama Courses and hosted by the Japan Golf Association. The two lowest scores from each round count towards the team total.
The championship, which began in 1964, was last played in 2012 in Antalya, Turkey, when the Republic of Korea became the first country in 22 years to capture consecutive titles.
Gabriella Cowley , 18, (Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire) played in the 2014 Curtis Cup match and has also represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy. She was runner-up in this year's Portuguese amateur championship and helped to win the Nations Cup for England at the Helen Holm Scottish stroke play championship. She represented England in the European team championship.
Hayley Davis , 21, (Ferndown, Dorset) has just won the English women's stroke play championship and has previously held the English women's amateur and girls' titles. She topped the individual leaderboard in qualifying for the European team championship and, as a student at Baylor University, Texas, has won on the US women's college circuit. She has represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy.
Bronte Law , 19, (Bramhall, Cheshire) won the 2014 English women's amateur championship shortly after playing her second Curtis Cup match. 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.
Lee Soyoung played a near perfect final round to claim the Gold Medal in the Women's Individual Stroke Play competition at the Youth Olympic Games at Zhongshan International Golf Club.
With no bogies and seven birdies the 17-year-old Korean shot 65 to finish 14-under-par and three ahead of her nearest rival Chinese Taipei's Cheng Ssu-Chia, who won the Silver Medal.
Supamas Sangchan, from Thailand, finished four shots further back to claim the Bronze. The three medalists finished clear of the field with Virginia Elena Carta of Italy and Germany's Olivia Cowan next best placed on two-under-par.
Lee played brilliantly in the final round, going out in 32 strokes for the front nine with birdies at the first, fourth, sixth and seventh before carrying that form into her final nine holes with a further three birdies on the 13th, 15th and 18th.
Lee said, “I was trying hard not to think about the Gold Medal. I played really solid today and made seven birdies and no bogies.
“To win the first Olympic Gold Medal in golf in more than 100 years, even though it is the Youth Olympic Games, is an amazing feeling.”
Cheng matched Lee for much of the final round but couldn't claw back the two-shot gap between them at the start of the day and after failing to pick up a shot on the par 3 17th she failed to match Lee's birdie at the 18th to finish three shots behind.
She said, “I was hoping to win a medal before I came here. A Silver makes me very happy. I played with Lee before, we know each other. She is a really good player. I congratulate her, she played really well.
“I'm looking forward to the mixed team event. We should have a good chance. We have some chemistry between each other and both of us played well here this week.”
Thailand's Supamas Sangchan closed with solid round of 70 to take the Bronze, a feat matched by her countryman Danthai Boonma in the Men's competition. The 18-year-old Supamas, from Panya Indra Golf Club, Bangkok, has won amateur events in Malaysia and Singapore this year and was delighted to add the Bronze Medal to her trophy cabinet.
“I feel happy. I thought today would be better but this is enough for me,” she said.
“Before the day started, I was feeling excited because this is the final day. I couldn't close the gap on Lee and Cheng, they played great. The result is OK for me.”
Youth Olympics Women's Individual Stroke Play Competition, Round Three, Top 10
Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club, in Hertfordshire, hosted 24 boys and girls for the England Golf South East Regional Skills Final, supported by FootJoy.
The youngsters qualified for the event after competing in two National Skills Challenge events at their home clubs earlier in the year.
The boy and girl winners from each age group will now attend the Skills Challenge National Final on Saturday 6th September, at the National Golf Centre in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.
Rookie 8 yrs & under
Jamie Burchell – Cranfield Golf Centre , Essex
Saskia Jones – Farnham Golf Club, Surrey
Rookie 9 to 11 years
Harry Wood – Langdon Hills Golf Club, Essex
Molly Dixon – Betchworth Park Golf Club, Surrey
Tour 12 to 14 years
Joe Platt – Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands Golf Club, Bedfordshire
Maura Burns Zaragoza - Fairlop Waters Golf Club, Essex
Tour 15 to 17 years
Harvey Platt – Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands Golf Club, Bedfordshire
Clare Wilkie – Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands Golf Club, Bedfordshire
Russell Lawes, FootJoy Marketing Manager, commented: “Everyone at FootJoy would like to congratulate those players who have managed to progress through to the National Skills final and wish them every success.
“We have once again been delighted to support all players who have entered the skills challenge at the varying regional events and wish all players every success with the development of their golf game.
“There is a perfect synergy between the National Skills Challenge and FJ's The Mark of a Player mantra, by teaching the next generation of golfers the key fundamentals which will enhance their enjoyment and understanding of the game of golf."
The England Golf National Skills Challenge, supported by FootJoy, has over 850 golf clubs and 6,500 juniors registered to take part.
The Skills Challenge aims to make practice fun for young golfers and consists of 10 activities, which clubs run for their junior players. These support skill development and also provide encouragement to practice. Golf clubs which run Skills Challenge events within two specific dates input their players' scores onto an online leaderboard, which identifies the juniors who qualify for the regional finals.
The Regional Final at Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club turned out to be a real challenge, using the superb practice area, putting green and driving range facilities. For further details on Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club and their facilities visit www.chesfielddownsgolf.co.uk.
FootJoy, the #1 Shoe and Glove in Golf, supports England Golf's National Skills Challenge and kindly supplies products and prizes to all players who qualify for the Regional and National Finals.
PowaKaddy's performance-infused Freeway electric trolley range has received terrific reviews since being unveiled in the spring of 2014. Now, with the season in full flow, the market-leading brand is offering a free Sport or Ladies Classic cart bag with every purchase of the flagship FW7 model.
Combining cutting-edge innovation and outstanding performance, the FW7 is loaded with digital functions, such as the Automatic Distance Function, a USB charging port and an Anti-Tamper security pin lock. It also benefits from PowaKaddy's exclusive Plug ‘n' Play™ Battery System, a lightweight and stylish, yet robust, PowaFrame® and a user-friendly 3-Fold mechanism for easy storage.
For more information about the PowaKaddy FW7 visit www.powakaddy.co.uk
They say: Bunker Mentality is a brand devoted to golf and dedicated to STYLE in golf clothing. Whatever level you play at we believe you should do it in STYLE. It is our mission to bring you that style with a new dress code for the modern golfer. We recognise golf is a game of heritage and tradition and it's our intention to create new traditions and future classics in golf clothing. Whether you're looking for trendy golf tops, funky golf trousers or a Golf Punk hat, Bunker Mentality is the brand for you designer golf clothing.
I say: I love the youthful look of the Bunker Mentality ladies range. It's really colourful with lots of fun and funky patterns to give your wardrobe a really bright look. It's nice to see a brand that is willing to stand out from the crowd and really put their designs out there with great individuality. The quality of the clothing is also excellent. The cotton is soft and has just enough stretch to give a really comfortable fit. The skorts and shorts have a generous fit that is flattering to the figure. I particularly love the line of visors and accessories, which all make great little gifts. I don't think it matters whether you are a junior or a senior, the Bunker Mentality outfits will suit all ages if you are looking for a comfortable and colourful look. Right now the brand are offering free delivery on all orders, so check out the range on the website www.bunker-mentality.com
The Ladies European Tour (LET) and Golf Club St Leon-Rot have selected Abacus Sportswear , the Swedish technical clothing brand and pioneer of high-performance stretch waterproof fabrics, as the Official Apparel Supplier of The 2015 European Solheim Cup Team.
The new contract continues the brand's long-standing association with the LET, which has seen Abacus Sportswear dress the team for the past four editions of the biennial golf tournament.
Commenting on the announcement, Mark Casey, European Solheim Cup Director at the LET, said: “This will be the fifth consecutive time that we will have entrusted the Swedish brand with the design and supply of the European team's outfits.
“Since its involvement in The 2007 Solheim Cup in Hamlstad Golf Club in Sweden, Abacus Sportswear has proven a reliable partner, always putting the needs of the captains, vice captains, players and their caddies first, fulfilling a vital part in helping promote a first-class European Solheim Cup team at every level, during every event.
“The brand's ability to accommodate and work with some very specific requirements has been second to none. Its attention to detail and its knowledge and understanding of what the job entails from concept to execution has been a critical element in renewing our partnership.”
Adding her views on Abacus Sportswear's continued involvement with The Solheim Cup, European team captain Carin Koch, said: “Knowing the players are happy and comfortable in what they are wearing is hugely important when it comes to this type of event. Getting the fit and style right is critical as it means they can focus 100 per cent on their golf – and Abacus Sportswear has never failed to deliver.”
“Abacus Sportswear has provided time and again striking, high quality, functional outfits which have encapsulated the ethos of the European teams over the years, and we are certain the 2015 collection won't disappoint when the biennial match is contested in Germany for the first time next year,” concluded Eicko Schulz-Hanssen, Managing Director of Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, promoter and host venue of the 14th edition of The Solheim Cup.
For more information about Abacus Sportswear, visit: www.abacussportswear.com
With the weather on the turn I'm sure you will all be starting to think about planning your winter golfing getaways, well this picture that arrived in my inbox certainly had me eager to pay a visit out to Malaysia to play some golf.
It is a shot of the new Els Club Teluk Datai in Malaysia. Situated on the tropical island of Langkawi, the layout, shaped by South African legend and four-time Major Champion Ernie Els, has received widespread acclaim from golfers, the media and industry officials alike.
Indeed, the recently-unveiled Troon-managed venue was named the ‘Best Golf Course' at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Property Awards, setting it apart as the region's No.1 destination for the game.
David Leadbetter, the world-renowned coach who mentored Sir Nick Faldo to six Major championships, is offering eight lucky amateurs a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of an individual golf lesson at La Manga Club.
To coincide with his visit next month (September) to officially open his new Leadbetter Golf Academy – the centrepiece of La Manga Club's €1million redevelopment of its extensive teaching and practice centre – Spain's flagship resort is running an exclusive four-night luxury all-inclusive tuition break, including a two-hour clinic with Leadbetter.
Available to book for €2,500 on a first come, first served basis, the group will be treated to 20 hours' expert tuition and a range of five-star experiences at the resort, including an exclusive session with Leadbetter featuring personal swing analysis from the 62-year-old.
In addition to one-to one coaching from Leadbetter and having the chance to benefit from his extensive golf knowledge, guests will also enjoy full use of the academy's new state-of the art facilities during a series of daily sessions as well as a daily round of golf on one of the resort's three championship courses.
Supervised by La Manga Club's expert team of professionals led by the resort's academy director Laurence Brotheridge, students will receive tuition in all aspects of the game, with swing analysis using the latest Trackman, SAM PuttLab and K-VEST technology.
Accommodation will be provided in La Manga Club's luxury Hotel Principe Felipe with the ultimate tuition break also featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, including a fine-dining experience and a selection of specially-selected wines, and access to the resort's luxury spa featuring a fully-equipped fitness centre, indoor pool, saunas and steam rooms.
And there's also something for partners to enjoy with a non-golfer package costing €1,500 per person, which offers the same five-star benefits off the courses and features a daily 90-minute spa treatment instead of golf.
The first David Leadbetter Golf Academy was established in 1983 and the opening of the new La Manga Club facility, the only once in mainland Spain, means that there are now 28 full-time David Leadbetter Golf Academies spread across 13 countries.
Leadbetter's players have amassed more than 100 individual worldwide tournament victories and his current crop of stars include Rafael Cabrera Bello and ladies' trio Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen, who are all ranked inside the world top ten.
Over the last nine months, La Manga Club's practice centre has undergone a dramatic transformation and, as well as the new Leadbetter Academy, it also now boasts four short game areas for bunkers and chipping, three large putting greens and four teaching classrooms which are ideal for visiting professionals on tuition breaks.
On the driving range, two 36-metre Huxley grass tees, three extra mat teeing areas and a 150-metre wide, 35-metre deep grass tee area have been installed for hitting to a number of new targets on the extended 300 metre-long range, while a number of trees and artificial bunkers have been added to give better definition to the range targets and its surroundings.
Voted by readers of Today's Golfer magazine as the best golf resort in Spain for the last three years, La Manga Club is regarded as one of the world's top sports and leisure destinations and was most recently shortlisted for the 1 st World Golf Awards in November and named as one of only five esteemed venues for the ‘Best Golf Resort in the World' at the 2014 Telegraph Ultratravel 100 Awards.
Featuring outstanding facilities including three 18-hole championship golf courses, the resort boasts a proud sporting history including featuring South African star Gary Player as its first director of golf and European Tour legend Severiano Ballesteros as the complex's touring professional between 1980-85, while the resort is also the official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association.
La Manga Club boasts unrivalled facilities as a sports and leisure destination and, as well as its golf courses and new academy, includes a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm spa and fitness centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 20 bars and restaurants.
For more information about the resort and to book the five-star Leadbetter Golf Academy package or a sporting break, call 00 34 968 17 5577, email email@example.com or visit www.lamangaclub.com .
One of the world's most spectacular golf resorts, Thracian Cliffs, is offering unlimited golf on its incredible value three-night breaks this autumn.
The outstanding bed-and-breakfast breaks at the world-class resort, on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria costs from just €395 (around £329) per person, during September, October and November.
And that low cost includes not only unlimited golf, but a shared golf buggy for each round and return transfers from Varna airport, as well as complimentary use of the driving range; free wi-fi; complimentary use of the extensive Thracian SPA and fitness area, with hammam, steam room and Jacuzzi; and a welcome drink and fruit platter on arrival.
The luxury venue has gained many admirers since opening in 2011, with images of the sensational cliff-top Gary Player golf course being transmitted around the world. It also successfully hosted the 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship and scooped the ‘European Golf Resort of the Year 2014' award, bestowed by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).
Indeed, Player himself said of Thracian Cliffs: "You will not find a golf course like this anywhere else on the planet."
The beautiful cliff-top course offers stunning sea views from every hole with the signature par-three sixth providing particularly incredible vistas as you look down to the green which is found surrounded by the lapping waves of the Black Sea. From the tips it measures almost 231 yards - a real test of golf and concentration.
Offering a choice of two high-spec residential villages - many with panoramic sea views - gourmet restaurants, a bijou spa and its own beach club, Thracian Cliffs Resort offers plenty for both golfers and lifestyle seekers, all within the unique environment of the Cape Kaliakra coast, which benefits from plenty of autumn sunshine, lying, as it does, further south than Florence, Monaco or Marseille.
That temperate autumn climate is ideal for the regular special events which take place on the unspoiled Bendida Beach, located directly on the seafront of the resort. And, with a bottle of beer in Bulgaria costing around 68p* - the lowest of all holiday hot-spots in Europe - and a three-course evening meal for two, with wine, available for under £28*, the country is clearly one of the best-value destinations around in 2014.
Thracian Cliffs' general manager, Claudio Marini, said: "We believe the autumn package we have put together for golf at Thracian Cliffs offers the best value you'll find anywhere in 2014. Unlimited golf on a proven European Tour course - and luxury accommodation - for less than €132 per night is as good as it gets."
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