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Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
August 28, 2014

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Watch the top lady golfers in Scotland this week

If you live in Scotland, or happen to be on holiday in the East Lothian this week then a day out at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is a must. I had a very enjoyable few days playing in the actual tournament last year and I would highly recommend the event for families with junior golfers who are keen to learn from watching top professionals in action as you really can get up close to the action.

Archerfield is also a fantastic spectator course as there is clever mounding to give you elevated views and the tree-lined fairways of the front nine give shelter and protection from the elements if the weather isn't favourable.

Local favourite Catriona Matthew, who grew up playing her golf just up the road on the links at North Berwick, will be back as the defending champion once again, eager to regain her crown. Here, Matthew, the seven-time Solheim Cup player, with 10 international tournament victories to her credit, including the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open, looks ahead to her title defence at Archerfield Links, where she is an honorary member...

What are your abiding memories from last year's Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open?

That the last day was freezing cold and very windy!

How much have you and will you, practise and play at Archerfield Links leading up to your title defence?

I have not played much at Archerfield this year. I have played the odd 9 holes here and there and used the practice ground but not played a whole lot. I will probably play 9 holes on both Wednesday and Thursday next week.

How do you rate your current form?

I have been playing steadily. I believe I am very close to being really good.

How easy do you think it will be to retain the title and win it for the third time and what are you working on to ensure success?

Obviously these things are never easy! The tour has got much deeper these past few years. This year I see Laura Davies is playing and she has been playing a lot better these past few weeks. Also Sophie (Gustafson) and Trish (Johnson) have great experience plus all the other current year winners. Holly Clyburn is another that is doing well.

Who will act as your tournament caddie and why?

Graeme (my husband) will caddy this year as he was on the bag last year.

How much do you enjoy playing in your country and at this golf club in particular?

I really enjoy playing both in Scotland and at Archerfield. I just hope the weather is good and that a lot of people come out and watch.

How much time do you spend in Scotland now as opposed to the States?

I spend more time in Scotland now and my schedule is limited to about 24 events a year, of which about 15 are in the US and the others are all over. Both the LPGA and LET are now global tours.

We understand that you are building a new house in North Berwick on the site of your old house. How involved have you become in that project?

Yes we are currently in the process of trying to secure a builder. All the planning permissions are through which took a while! Getting a builder is proving trickier than we imagined as all the good ones are very busy!

How do you manage your time with two young daughters, competitions, practice and fitness?

It's tough to balance and luckily I have Graeme at home to help. They have not been travelling with me much this past year and a half. My practice schedule on a non-tournament day is usually some kind of workout for about 45 minutes. I will then practice maybe for about 30 minutes then go play 9 holes, then do another hour or so practice after playing. Then I putt and chip for maybe an hour. I believe in quality practice rather than length. Do what you need to do then get out of there! I see far too many people being at the course all day and chattering on their phones thinking they are practising.

What do you think about the success of the Scottish players on the LET this season, particularly two-time winner Kylie Walker and rookie Sally Watson and what does this mean for the future?

It has been great to see Kylie start to break through. She is starting to believe in herself a lot more and be more patient on the golf course. Sally has done well too and has been consistent. She has been smart in that she has a good degree behind her from Stanford.

What are your goals for the rest of this season?

After this event I have Evian then another six events: four in Asia, one in Mexico and one in the US, so I would like to finish off the year strongly and snag a win. Then I will start out the year at Royal Melbourne in February 2015.

Next year is a Solheim Cup year. How important is it to be on the European team in Germany after the win in 2013?

Obviously I want to be part of the team that wins 3 in a row.

Do you see yourself as a future captain?

Absolutely. I would love to do be captain in the not too distant future.

What importance do you place on representing Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games?

It is definitely something I want to be part of. It has kept me going these past few years and is a good goal. It is really the only event I have not competed in and I want to be part of it in 2016.


New Era for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open Through to 2017

The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland has been given a significant boost with the news that title sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management and the Scottish Government have jointly committed their future to the tournament, through   to 2017

The unique agreement, brokered by tournament promoters WSM Communications, has created a successful strategy for the development of the championship and will result in an increased prize fund to €500,000 in a   three year deal.   The agreement also sees the tournament move to Dundonald Links on the West coast of Scotland having had its home at Archerfield Links, on the East coast since 2010.

From (l-r) Harry Owen – Director WSM, Ivan Khodabakhsh - CEO of The Ladies European Tour, Kylie Walker – LET professional, First Minister Alex Salmond, Anne Richards – CIO of Aberdeen Asset Management, Guy Redford – Director of Golf at Dundonald Links, Mike Cantlay – Chairman of Visit Scotland

Also included in the arrangement is a new date for the established event with a strong player field expected to do battle in the unique pro-am event in Ayrshire from 24-26 July, 2015 – just one week ahead of the Ricoh Women's British Open, taking place at nearby Turnberry. To be sandwiched in-between both the Men's and Women's Opens is a strong accolade for the Ladies Scottish Open that now emulates the Men's Scottish Open that sits just one week ahead of The Open Championship, giving players the ideal links preparation ahead of the Major.

Alex Salmond MSP, the First Minister of Scotland, said: “The Men's Scottish Open now attracts the world's top players as the challenge of the links game is viewed as the perfect preparation for the following week's Open Championship. In fact, we can now claim that the past four winners, including Rory McIlory this year, have all taken part in the Scottish Open the week before – Scotland is the key to Open glory!

“The movement of the Ladies Scottish Open will place the tournament in a similar situation and raises the profile of the women's game, which is currently in rude health in Scotland. Catriona Matthew, the defending Ladies' Scottish Open champion, continues to act as a wonderful ambassador for our game, Kylie Walker is the leading Scot in Europe, and Carly Booth, Pamela Pretswell and Vikki Laing continue to light up the game.

“I am confident that the test of Dundonald Links will prove to be a huge draw for more top female golfers to come to Scotland and hone their links game.”

First Minister Alex Salmond and Kylie Walker

Anne Richards, CIO of Aberdeen Asset Management said: “Today is an important landmark for Aberdeen Asset Management and for Scottish Golf. Everyone at Aberdeen is thrilled to continue our sponsorship of the Ladies' Scottish Open. As a company we are strong believers in equality and our support of the Scottish Open events demonstrates our commitment to both the men and women's game alike. Our association with these tournaments helps to raise our brand profile not just in the UK but internationally, including the USA, a market which is a key focus for us as our business grows.  We look forward to welcoming some of the world's top players to Dundonald next year.”

Ivan Khodabakhsh, CEO of The Ladies European Tour said: "The Ladies European Tour is delighted to secure the renewed commitment for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, which now establishes itself as one of the main events on our International schedule, through to 2017. It is a testament to the strength of the partnership we have developed with Aberdeen Asset Management, EventScotland and WSM Communications and the commitment to the development of women's golf in general."

Bill Donald, General Manager of Loch Lomond Golf Club and Dundonald Links said: “Both Loch Lomond and Dundonald Links have experience of hosting professional and amateur tournaments and we are delighted to play host to the high profile Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. This is a tremendous achievement for Dundonald Links and we look forward to extending a very warm welcome to everyone involved with the tournament.

Andrew White, Chief Executive of tournament promoters, WSM, said: “Today is a key milestone in the history of the Ladies Scottish Open, moving this tournament onto a new level. A huge thanks must go to Aberdeen Asset Management and the Scottish Government for their increased investment in women's golf in Scotland. A big thanks must also go to those at Archerfield Links who have been fantastic hosts of the Championship since 2010.

“We are now looking forward to our first visit to Dundonald for the Championship next July, thus responding to the wishes of the players by ensuring that the tournament takes place on a links course the week before The Women's British Open. We look forward to welcoming the world's leading golfers to a new links venue in July as we build on the new era of the tournament.”

The 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open's unique pro-am format sees 72 amateurs and celebrities tee it up alongside a limited field of 72 of the top female golfers in the world. The 54-hole tournament is played over three days and is the only annual professional Ladies European Tour event in Scotland. Archerfield play host to the event this week from 29 th   – 31 st   August, 2014.

Kylie Walker, two-time LET winner this season, who was present at the announcement made today finished: “The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open's unique format is enjoyed by all the players so I am delighted with today's announcement. To be able to play at Dundonald just a week ahead of the Women's British Open is the perfect links preparation for all the players. The tournament is continuing to grow in stature so I can't wait to play my part in the future of the event that is a permanent fixture on my schedule.”

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


Kingsbarns Golf Links is delighted to announce its selection to host the Ricoh Women's British Open in 2017. Located near St Andrews, the highly rated links course has been a part of the men's European Tour annually for 13 years earning a reputation as one of the most admired venues on the circuit. This will, however, be the first time Kingsbarns will host a Major Championship.

“We are honoured to host the Ricoh Women's British Open in 2017,” said Alan Hogg, chief executive at Kingsbarns. “We have welcomed tour events to Kingsbarns for many years but this will be on a different scale. The prestige of the Women's Open is growing every year. More importantly, seeing the very best lady golfers competing over the Kingsbarns links should be very exciting. We are extremely proud to have been selected to host such a quality event.”

Consistently ranked as one of the top golf courses in the world, Kingsbarns has co-hosted the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for over a decade. During this time the course has won praise from touring pros and celebrities alike who admire the traditional Scottish links design with views of the North Sea from every hole. 

“What I like is the risk and reward,” said Paul Casey, during the 2012 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. “It is a very enjoyable golf course to play because you can make birdies, you can make eagles but there is a lot of danger out there as well. You've got a mix of the fun stuff and the tough stuff wrapped in a package which is beautiful.”

As Hogg explained, however, the Ricoh Women's British Open will provide an entirely new test for the world's best players when the Open arrives in Fife in 2017. “Because of the round-robin format of the Dunhill, the course has to be set up identically over the three days, which includes weather-tolerant pin placements,” he said. “During the Ricoh Women's British Open, the full range of hole locations can be utilised on Kingsbarns' large and undulating greens.”

The Ricoh Women's British Open will also offer television viewers a first look at a closing stretch that includes some of Kingsbarns' most picturesque holes. The challenging par 5 12 th  along 550 yards of rugged East Neuk coastline, the stunning par 3 15 th , requiring a tee shot across an expanse of the North Sea, or the challenge of the 17 th  have not been featured before on television. “The closing holes will provide the perfect setting for an exciting Sunday finish,” said Hogg. “We can't wait!”

Kingsbarns is regarded as one of the world's best courses holding the top spot in  GolfWeek's  Top 100 modern courses in the UK and ranked 18 th  in  Golf Digest's  Top 100 Best Courses Outside the US. Art Dunkley, director of Kingsbarns Golf Links said: “People have said many flattering things about our course and facilities since we opened in 2000 but being selected to host our first Major Championship is perhaps the greatest affirmation of all. Our objective has been to create one of the world's best links golf experiences and deliver it to our guests with a personal touch. That is something our management and staff members feel very strongly about. The honour of hosting the Ricoh Women's British Open, I believe, results directly from our meticulous focus on providing excellent golf course conditioning and individual customer service every day.”

The statement was endorsed by Shona Malcolm, the LGU's CEO, who highlighted the significance of the selection. “We believe Kingsbarns will be a wonderful addition to the Women's Open rota. Their excitement at hosting their first Major will make the 2017 edition very special and we look forward to a long relationship with them,” she commented. “Kingsbarns fits perfectly with our commitment of ensuring the world's best women players showcase their talents on the world's best golf courses.”

Paul Bush from EventScotland added: “Bringing Major Championships to Scotland , the Home of Golf, outlines our ambition to host the biggest events in world golf and the addition of the Ricoh Women's British Open in 2017 at Kingsbarns further strengthens our envied portfolio of golf tournaments in 2014 and beyond. This is also a great compliment to Kingsbarns Golf Links and shows just how established the venue has become on the global golf map.”

After successfully hosting final qualifying for the Ricoh Women's British Open in 2013 when initial assessments were made by the Ladies Golf Union, Kingsbarns is now part of an established Open rota.

Amateur News

England's Meghan charges to British stroke play win

England's Meghan MacLaren charged through the field with a superb display of sub-par golf to win the British ladies' stroke play championship by one shot at Ashburnham in Wales.

The 20-year-international was nine-under par for her final 36 holes, propelling herself from a share of 16th place at the halfway stage to the top of the leaderboard.

Meghan, from Wellingborough, finished the 72-hole event on four-under par and won by a stroke from fellow international, Sarah-Jane Boyd of Truro, who held this title in 2012.

“This means such a lot,” said Meghan. “I've been waiting to win something like this for a while and it proves to me that my game is good enough to compete at the highest level.

“I've made a few changes to my swing this summer, which was something I felt I needed to do to get to the next level, and people around me - my family, coaches and England Golf – have helped and supported me a lot.”  
However, she won't have long to celebrate her triumph – tomorrow Meghan travels back to the USA, where she is a student at Florida International University and a multiple winner on the US college circuit.  

“I had to make it count,” she said of her last 2014 championship this side of the Atlantic. “It's a nice way to end the summer.”  

Meghan started the event slowly and was six over after the first seven holes of the championship. But she wasn't deterred: “I didn't play as badly as the score suggests, which was why I didn't lose confidence.  I got into trouble and everything that could go wrong went wrong, but I knew I wasn't playing badly so I kept plugging away.”

The 10th marked a change in fortunes – and became her talisman hole for the week – when she scored an eagle three, en route to playing the back nine in two under. She finished on 78, sharing 25th place.  

In the second round she improved with 75, one-over par, and was tied 16th at the halfway stage. From then on there was no holding her. She was four-under par – with an eagle on the 10th – in this morning's third round; and five under-par 69 – with an eagle on the 10th – this afternoon.  

After the third round she shared sixth place and after the fourth round the trophy was hers. “I just played really, really solid all day and gave myself chances. I missed some, it could have been better – but I also holed a lot to keep the momentum going.”  

Meghan set an early target and had a long wait until she knew it could not be surpassed. Long-time leader Olivia Winning (Rotherham), who shot seven-under 67 in the first round, and Sarah-Jane Boyd were tied on two-under as they went through the turn on the final round.  

Sarah-Jane looks odds-on to force a play-off after she stood on the 18th tee at four-under, but she bogeyed the last to drop back into second place. Olivia – a former winner of the Scottish stroke play – dropped back into a share of third place on level par, alongside England's Alex Peters (Notts Ladies') and Chloe Williams of Wales.  

International trio selected for women's world championship

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.

The players:  

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

Talented youngsters win South East Skills Final

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.

They are:

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  
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.

New gear


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




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

Abacus Sportswear named Official Apparel Supplier of The 2015 European Solheim Cup Team

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:


Wish you were going away?...  

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   or visit .


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."

For more information about Thracian Cliffs Resort or to book a break call 00 359 570 92222, email   or visit .


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