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CARLY FROST
Editor
Ladies Golf Today

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


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A landmark vote for women's equality in golf

What an exciting day it was yesterday for Scotland, not only was the country voting on its own independence but while all the hullaballoo of the political world was going on the members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews – the oldest golf club in the world – were also taking a very significant vote to allow women to become members of the club.... And the overwhelming majority (85%) said YES!

What fantastic news this is for equality in our wonderful game of golf. I'm also delighted that I will now be able to step foot inside the hallowed R&A clubhouse next time I visit the Home of Golf as a guest of a male or female member. Up until now that privilege has been bestowed upon our male counterparts only.

Having played golf since I was a 13 year old junior girl I can honestly say that this is one of the biggest and most important steps forward for equality in the game that I have seen in this era. I remember when I started out how so many private members clubs really did frown upon ladies, particularly junior lady golfers, even turning up to play. My own club included, used to restrict us to playing at certain times at the weekend. How times have changed for the better and those silly rules and regulations have gone. In this day and age I'm amazed that any golf club can get away with their old-fashioned agenda against lady golfers but there are still a small number of culprits out there.

I understand that the Honourable Company of Gentlemen, the group who own the well-documented male-only Muirfield golf club will now also reconsider their membership policy. I really do hope that this paves the way for all of these male-only clubs to be a thing of the past so that my children and their children do not grow up in the game where there is any inequality at all.

On a personal note I'd like to congratulate Lyme Regis on beating my home club Parkstone in a very closely fought Inter-Club Final match at Knighton Heath last week. I had a fantastic match against fellow county player and scratch golfer Melissa McMahon which went all the way to the last putt on the 18th green, and several of the other matches finished in a similar fashion. As with all matches it was lovely to see the final being played in such a friendly spirit!

TOUR NEWS

A chance to learn from a Ladies European Tour star this week

The Royal Mid Surrey golf club is hosting a unique golf event next week where you will have a chance to get up close to Ladies European Tour winner, Solheim Cup and Curtis Cup star Becky Brewerton.

The event takes place at the Surrey club on Tuesday 23rd September and is FREE of charge. Becky will be spending the day answering Q&A questions whilst demonstrating her skills on the club's Pat Barton course.

This day will be of interest to everybody and it is a superb opportunity to talk to a professional who had a spectacular amateur career and continued success as a professional. What will be particularly applicable to everybody is drawing on Becky's experience in high pressured match play events from when she represented Europe twice in the Solheim Cup and represented GB&I in the Curtis Cup. Whether you represent a team such as the Pearson Squad, Hicks Squad, Centenery Bowl, Scratch Team or compete in Club Knockouts you will be able to ask whatever questions you have.

Once again it is free to attend and the club would love to see as many spectators as possible.

Order of the day

9.30am  - Meet and greet

10.00am   - Threeball on the Pam Barton Course consisting of Becky Brewerton, Daisy Macve and Phoebe Daws.

Topics for each hole

•  1st hole - Warm up & preparation, 1st tee nerves, dealing with pressure and confidence levels

•  2nd hole - Club selection off the tee, course management

•  3rd hole - Iron play, know your yardages, bunker play

•  4th hole - Alignment and pre-shot routine

•  5th hole - Shaping the ball, pitching

•  6th hole - Holes in one, par 3 strategy

•  7th hole - Driving and fairway woods

•  8th hole - Short and long putting, pressure putts

•  9th hole - Energy levels, maintaining concentration, bunker play

12.30pm  -  Open Q&A Session on the practice ground where you have the opportunity to hit balls with Becky and ask her anything you like as she casts an eye over your golf. You can also have a look in Becky's bag and have a go with her clubs.

1.30pm  - Finish

Cristie Kerr will be the star attraction in France

Cristie   Kerr will be one of the star players at the upcoming Lacoste Ladies Open de France, which will take place at the Golf de   Chantaco, France   from 2-5 October.

The 36-year-old American, a former World No. 1 now ranked 12 th , will make her tournament debut. A winner of two Majors, four   Solheim   Cups and another 14 LPGA Tour titles,   Cristie   Kerr will be the main attraction in the field.

With defending champion and World No. 16 Azahara   Muñoz from Spain already set for the event, the 2014 Lacoste Ladies Open de France will provide further excitement to the French golf fans due to the presence global golf star   Cristie   Kerr. Currently 12 th   in the Rolex Rankings, the Miami native will be the highest-ranked player in the 78-strong field, and one of the clear favourites considering her experience and resume. After turning professional during the summer of 1996 and joining the LPGA Tour at the beginning of the following season, the American has indeed build up one of the most impressive trophy collection in modern women's golf.

From her first victory back in 2002 to her most recent last season, Kerr has lifted 16 trophies on the U.S.-based women's tour, including two Majors. After her breakthrough at the 2007 U.S. Women's Open, she claimed her second Grand Slam title at the 2010 LPGA Championship, where she triumphed by a record 12-shot margin. The day after, she became the first World No. 1 from the United States since the rankings inception in 2006. She has enjoyed three separate spells at the top, for a total of five weeks. A mainstay of U.S. golf for more than fifteen years, the Floridian has also made seven   Solheim   Cups appearances, winning on four occasions in 2002, 05, 07 and 09. Even if she is yet to win this season, Kerr is still a dominant force on the LPGA Tour, where she currently   lies   10 th   thanks to an impressive eleven top-10s in 19 tournaments.

A new mother since the birth of her first son last December,   Cristie   Kerr is much more than a golfing great. Her foundation “Birdies for Breast Cancer”, which raises money and awareness to fight the disease, has raised over 3 million dollars since its creation in 2003. Such success allowed her to create, in 2010, the   Cristie   Kerr Women's Health   Centre   at the Jersey City Medical   Centre , a comprehensive centre specialising in women's health issues. The American has also launched her own wine company, Curvature Wines, in 2009. So it's a true world-class golfer, but also a successful businesswoman and remarkable   person.

LPGA and Solheim Cup Star Natalie Gulbis opens Taylormade Performance Lab in Norway

LPGA Tour Player Natalie Gulbis officially opened a new TaylorMade-adidas Golf Performance Centre at Losby Golf Club, Norway last week.

The LPGA star talked about the importance of custom fitting in the modern game and went through her extensive warm up to demonstrate the need for being properly prepared to play the sport. Enlisting the help of a local junior female golfer, Gulbis went through her stretching routine, offering an insight into the level of preparation undertaken by those at the top of the sport, and answering questions from the audience on how best to prepare for their round.

The multiple-Solheim Cup Winner then spoke in length about her experiences with custom fitting, making the most of The Kingdom, TaylorMade-adidas Golf's state-of-the-art fitting location in Carlsbad, to ensure her equipment is always perfectly suited to her game. Natalie talked in detail about the lofts and lies of her clubs and of how she has never had an issue changing between products, providing she can see the benefit of doing so. Indeed on a recent fitting session, it was suggested that Gulbis should add an extra degree of loft to her JetSpeed Driver which resulted in an extra 10 yards in distance over her previous 9.5 degree model.

The LPGA star was keen to stress that the success of her golf is determined by how she scores when she's not striking the ball as she would like. Managing her mis-hits has become increasingly important, and knowing that the Speed Pocket is in her SLDR irons to offer relief on poorly struck shots provides the forgiveness she needs to consistently score better.

Of the event, Liam McDougall (TaylorMade European Performance Center Manager), said “ Losby provides a fantastic opportunity for the consumer to attend a world class custom fitting facility and touch the brand TaylorMade-adidas Golf ”.

For more information on TaylorMade-adidas Golf please visit   www.taylormadegolf.com

AMATEUR NEWS

England's Cath wins British senior title

England's Cath Rawthore has completed a spectacular season by winning the senior women's British championship at Royal Dornoch in Scotland.  
It's her third big success of the year, having previously won the English senior stroke play and helped England to become European senior team champions.  

Cath, from Sale in Cheshire, commented: “I must say it's a good feeling to hold the English and British titles and the European team gold all in one season. I will certainly look back on 2014 with pride.”

She gradually moved up the leaderboard in the British championship, starting off in ninth place, edging up to eighth after the second round and then became leader in the clubhouse after returning a final round of two-under par 74. It gave her a one-under par total for the event which proved unbeatable.  

At the start of the final round Cath had been eight shots off the lead, set by Leicestershire's Helen Lowe and had not expected to leapfrog the leaders.

“I couldn't believe it. I literally had no clue when I came off the course that I was in contention and when we went to do the cards I was told I was leader in the clubhouse.  

“Then news came filtering back that the leading competitors had dropped shots and it looked like I would win. I refused to believe it until all scores were in.”

She won by two shots from Scotland's Mary Tain. Two other members of England's winning European team were also in the top ten. Lulu Housman (Highgate, Middlesex) tied third on two-over par, while Amanda Mayne (Saltford, Somerset) shared eighth place on five over.  Helen Lowe (Scraptoft), who led for the first two rounds, tied sixth on four over.

Cath is playing only her second season of senior golf and has made a rapid rise to the top. She made her England debut last year, having made an instant impact with impressive results in the national championships.  

Teenagers selected for first World girls' championship

Teenagers India Clyburn, Alice Hewson and Inci Mehmet will represent England Golf in the inaugural World Junior Girls' Championship in Canada from 26 September to 1 October. 

All three players were in the England team which won the 2014 Girls' Home Internationals for the seventh successive year. 

The 72-hole world championship will take place on the North and South courses at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario. The club has hosted Canadian open championships on both the PGA and LPGA Tours. 

The event will be contested by 15 countries, selected by their performance at the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship. There will be a team competition, with the best two scores counting in each round, and an individual event. 

The players: 

India Clyburn ,

17, (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire) is the English girls' champion and had a perfect record at Girls' Home Internationals winning all six of her matches. She is also the Scottish junior stroke play champion and was runner-up in the Critchley Salver. She has been selected for the England team for the Ladies' Home Internationals

Alice Hewson ,

17, (Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire) won the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale and the U18 prize at the St Rule Trophy where she also helped England win the Nations Cup and was fourth overall. She was sixth in the English girls' championship and ninth in the English women's amateur. She has been selected for the England team for the Ladies' Home Internationals. 

Inci Mehmet ,

17, (Wentworth, Surrey) was runner-up at the English amateur championship and has amassed a series of other 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.

NEW GEAR

Get prepared for the windy winter weather with a Fulton umbrella

As summer is drawing to a close and the wet weather is undoubtedly upon us once more…I just wanted to send across a reminder to check that your golf umbrella is fully operational. I know that sounds stupid but I recently got caught out in an end of summer heavy downpour when mine popped inside out in strong winds and one of the spikes broke off!

If you are in the market for a new umbrella, and like me, quite often play golf on links courses or windy conditions, you may want to check out the great new Performance Range of umbrellas from leading UK brand Fulton.

They are perfect for battling the elements on the golf course. The largest umbrella in the range, the Cyclone, for instance, has been wind tunnel tested to 78mph!  And thanks to Fulton's patented super-strength construction it is one of the most durable and wind-resistant umbrellas available. The slightly smaller   Tornado   has a vented supersize canopy for improved wind resistance and an automatic open and close frame. The smallest of the range, the Hurricane, is perfect to fit in your bag in case of bad weather.

All three Performance Range umbrellas benefit from Fibre Reinforced Polymer ribs for extreme strength, as well as striking green joints made of Polycarbonate for extra durability. Each also has a special anti-slip grip for added comfort and practicality, using either silicone, rubber or EVA foam coated ergonomic designed handles to provide a strong hold in even the mightiest of winds.  

Fulton Rainwear is available in a range of designs and can be found at www.fultonumbrellas.com   and other retailers nationwide. For stockist details please call: 020 8963 3010.

Skechers enters the ladies golf shoe market

The leading US sports shoe maker Skechers has launched a new range of golf shoes that includes a line just for ladies.

As a US brand, Skechers enjoys an incredible market share across its female shoe range, and now for the first time in golf in the UK, Skechers is offering lady golfers a number of styles and colours in its new Women's range for 2015 in the shape of Skechers GO GOLF and Skechers GO GOLF Lynx.

Starting with Skechers GO GOLF, this golf shoe blends a classic inspired look with modern innovations and high-quality materials for superior on-course performance.

A seamless water seal waterproof upper gives the GO GOLF full waterproofing making it perfect for all conditions encountered in the UK, while the Resagrip outsole provides supreme grip on the course. This lightweight design (just 9.3oz) also features a premium leather upper and is available in two colour styles. The shoe is priced at £89.

Skechers GO GOLF Lynx promises to combine innovative lightweight athletic materials with Skechers Goga Mat Technology insole to give maximum comfort on the golf course. Also available in two colour styles, the GO GOLF Lynx features all the same technological benefits as the GO GOLF, weighing in at the lower end of the scale in the golf shoe market and is available in both waterproof and water-resistant finishes priced at £69.

To learn more about the shoes visit www.SkechersGOgolf.co.uk

FASHION FOR THE FAIRWAY

Trendy golf launches ladies Autumn/Winter collection

If you are a lover of designer labels then you'll be dazzled by the array of outfits on offer from the top labels in golf through the online retailer www.trendygolf.com

The designer golf fashion website has just released a comprehensive ladies collection for the Autumn/Winter 2014. Representing the most popular trends in the fashion world, the new fashion collections include unique printed bottoms, down outerwear and high performance activewear pieces.

The leading online retailer has a variety of fashion forward brands such as Ralph Lauren, J. Lindeberg, Puma, Duca del Cosma and many more at your fingertips.

Now is the time to welcome in the change of seasons and add some amazing wardrobe updates.

TRAVEL

Tee off and relax in Italian luxury

Borgo Egnazia, 5-star luxury escape and home to Italy's finest San Domenico Golf Club, welcomes all avid golf fans this September to ‘Tee off and Relax' with their exclusive Golf and Spa packages.

Located in Southern Italy, in the region of Puglia, Borgo Egnazia is offering a range of 2, 3 and 4 night packages to choose from, inviting guests to treat themselves to stay in one of the resort's stunning Corte Bella rooms with daily breakfast and free wi-fi facilities.

Golf lovers will be able to swing into action with an unlimited green fee and golf cart, whilst those looking to kick-back and relax will be granted access to the exclusive VAIR Spa and its luxurious steam baths, saunas and gym, alongside use of both indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools. For additional relaxation, this Italian haven is offering a 50 minute Aquann session of private flotation. Each party will also receive a generous 10% discount on all food and beverages during their stay and, if available upon arrival, a room upgrade and late check-out.

Created as a project of the European Golf Design of London, San Domenico Golf Club was formed following the USGA's highest standards, ensuring that no impact was had on surrounding landscapes and in turn, establishing a way to harmoniously bring together nature and man.

Boasting 6,300 metres of Bermuda, Festuca and Pencross grass alongside wide trunk olive trees – some of which date back to the Roman Empire – this Adriatic gem has played host to some of today's biggest championships; including the PGA European Challenge Tour Grand Final, having taken place in grounds located at Italy's heel for several consecutive years. 

For golfers who are looking to add a little culture to their game, this 18-hole course also boarders the ancient city of Egnathia; originally a Messapian centre, subsequently taken over by the Romans. From the rich greenery of the eighth hole, it is still possible to admire ancient ruins dating from the 5th century B.C., a mere 200 metres away.

For a combination of extensive luxury and memorable sporting experiences, look no further than Borgo Egnazia; the perfect place to unwind in unique style.

Golf & Spa packages:

2 nights stay* starts from 534.00 Euros
3 nights stay* starts from 898.00 Euros
4 nights stay* starts from 1150.00 Euros

*Valid from 7th September 2014 – 30th March 2015; excludes dates between 23rd December 2014 – 6th January 2015

For more information on Borgo Egnazia, visit   http://www.borgoegnazia.com/?lang=en  








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