Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
Synonymous with hosting the men's European Tour's annual flagship gathering, Wentworth could also become the venue for a high-profile professional women's event.
A senior executive of the Reignwood Group has indicated that the Surrey club's new owners are considering a variety of opportunities.
Among the possibilities being mooted are additional women's tournaments to complement the Reignwood LPGA Classic, the second edition of which took place at the company's Pine Valley Golf Club in Beijing last week.
Spearheading the field there was world number one Stacy Lewis along with Norway's Suzann Pettersen and Koreans Park In-bee and Ryu So-yeon.
It was, however, a less heralded Korean, Mirim Lee, who emerged victorious in the US$2.1 million tournament which is the richest of the LPGA Tour's seven events in Asia.
Talking exclusively with Golf Business News , Alex Ho, Vice President, Reignwood Group, said the company is in the process of putting together a strategy for the staging of professional tournaments at its three world-class golfing properties – Wentworth, Pine Valley and Princeville in Hawaii.
“We're dedicated to both ladies and men's tournaments,” said Ho.
Because we have acquired Wentworth in London and also Princeville in Hawaii we are having a bigger global golf map now so we have a bigger choice globally.”
Asked specifically if the Reignwood Group would support further professional women's events, Ho said: “At Princeville in Hawaii it is something we are considering … and also at Wentworth. They [the tournaments] should fit into our overall global strategy of developing golf. It's possible we will have three LPGA events at the three properties. Maybe. Why not?”
Pine Valley Golf Club www.reignwood.com/pine_valley.asp
The Ladies European Tour (LET) will be launching the assignment process for The 2019 Solheim Cup later this month with the support of the Switzerland and London based consultancy JUMP.
The 2019 Solheim Cup assignment process will begin in late October with a formal invitation to bidders and will conclude in early 2016 with the announcement of the 2019 Host.
Several countries have already indicated their interest in hosting one of the most followed women's sports events in the world.
The LET has been working with the strategic consultancy JUMP since 2013 to develop its new strategy and guide its execution as well as the acquisition of new sponsors.
LET CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh said: “ The recent Ryder Cup has demonstrated the growing appetite to watch Europe take on the USA at golf. With the European team's victory at the past two editions of The Solheim Cup and the growth in women's golf across the world, The Solheim Cup is developing into a unique women's sport brand globally. We are therefore very confident of a strong host for The 2019 Solheim Cup.”
JUMP CEO Matthew Osmon commented: “Women's golf in general and The Solheim Cup in particular have enormous unrealised commercial potential. The players are outstanding athletes who are smart and articulate, but at the same time remain approachable and very willing to work with corporate partners. The Solheim Cup, like its male equivalent, The Ryder Cup, is the ultimate property in women's golf and offers and original and attractive proposition for sponsors.”
England international India Clyburn overcame a late attack of the nerves to add the 2014 Telegraph BMW Junior Championship girls' title to her growing list of honours at Quinta do Lago in Portugal.
The 17-year-old has been in scintillating form this summer and led from the front at Quinta do Lago's redeveloped North Course to add the prestigious title to the English Amateur Girls Championship and Royal Birkdale Scratch Trophy she won earlier in the season.
Clyburn, sister of Ladies' European Tour player Holly, held a commanding five-stroke lead after the first day after returning a course record 69 and extended her advantage by a further stroke going into the final 18 holes.
But on a rain-interrupted last day, North Yorkshire's Lily Downs began to close the gap as Clyburn hit trouble and her lead was reduced to just two strokes as the event reached its climax.
The gap was down to only one when Clyburn overcooked a shot and found her ball lying by a tree root on the 15 th hole, leading to her second double-bogey of the day.
But Clyburn settled her nerves by securing a fine birdie at the par-three 16 th hole before maintaining her composure over the final two holes to clinch a two-stroke victory from Downs, with Surrey's Elizabeth Prior five shots further back in third.
"It was so tough out there, especially with two doubles in my last round,” said Cleethorpes star Clyburn.
"I was getting angry with myself and in the end I lost count of my score and didn't know what to do. I just tried to do something in the final three holes.
“It's great to add my name on the trophy and all the things that come with winning this. My coach, Graham Walker, happened to be out here for the first round so I was happy to tell him that I shot a 69 in my opening 18!"
Meanwhile, the boys' event featured an impressive performance from Portugal's number one teenager Vitor Lopes, who produced sub-par rounds of 70 and two 68s to win the title by four shots from Cheshire's Rhys Nevin-Wharton with Worcestershire star Oliver Farrell back in third.
Clyburn and Vitor Lopes, winner of the boys' title, will now play in next year's BMW Championship Pro-Am at Wentworth, an initiative first revealed by Paul McGinley at last year's finals.
“I actually thought about this on the way round,” admitted Clyburn. “Now that I've won, it will be awesome experience to play alongside the professionals.”
Previous winners of the event, which was hosted by Quinta do Lago for the second year running and celebrated its 30 th anniversary this year, have included the likes of the US Open champion Justin Rose and stars of the men's and ladies' tours in Europe, Oliver Fisher, Melissa Reid and Carly Booth.
In addition to competing in one of the world's biggest junior tournaments, the finalists enjoyed a trip to the Portugal Masters during their stay to watch some of the top Tour stars in action, while they also received an assortment of the latest top-of-the-range golf equipment from TaylorMade adidas Golf.
Clyburn was one of 12 boys and nine girls to take part in the 54-hole competition and the 21 finalists enjoyed an added treat this year as they became some of the first golfers to play Quinta do Lago's totally revamped North Course.
The North Course has been redesigned by renowned American architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with Paul McGinley, and the European captain of the winning 2014 Ryder Cup team was on hand to officially open the new development just 24 hours before the tournament starts.
One of the most talked about development projects in Europe in 2014, Quinta do Lago's North Course has been redeveloped at a cost of €9.6m and been built to the highest specifications, with the course in line to become the new number one course at the prestigious family resort.
The layout has been revamped with the emphasis firmly on precision and strategy. While many modern-day developments tend to focus on length, Welling and McGinley have been keen to design a golfing experience where accuracy and course management are the key factors, and a course that is playable and fun for golfers of all abilities.
Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago is one of the most highly regarded golf and residential developments in Europe since opening in 1972.
From the outset, the resort has been at the forefront of European golf with three 18-hole championship courses matched by outstanding practice facilities including a Paul McGinley Golf Academy, a state-of-the-art TaylorMade Fitting Centre and new short game area. Away from the fairways, there is plenty to keep everyone occupied, with events, tennis, cycling and watersports just some of the extensive leisure activities available.
For more details about the 2014 Telegraph BMW Golf Championship, visit www.telegraph.co.uk/juniorgolf For further information on Quinta do Lago and its facilities, phone + 351 289 390 700 or visit www.quintadolago.com
An amazing new shoe inner sole has been developed that could be the answer to one of golfers biggest complaints in the winter – cold feet!
The Digitsole has a sleek, lightweight design, and incorporates a chargeable USB port, that once switched on, will connect your insoles to a dedicated app. Through the companion app, available to Android, iOS and Windows Phone users, a simple slider allows you to adjust the temperature of each individual shoe, as well as getting feedback from your day on paces, calories burned, altitude and more.
Given the placement of a sensor system in the insole, the precision of monitoring for steps is even greater than wristbands currently available. In addition, the insole is designed to improve impact for the feet, offering arch support, a flexible front section and a shock-absorbing heel.
The innersole weighs just 3.5 ounces (100 to 120 grams) making it truly lightweight. Its maximum heat level is 104°F (40°C) and is available in shoe sizes EUR 36 to 46.
Visit www.digitsole.com for more information.
The VoiceCaddy VC300 is the world's smallest and lightest GPS rangefinder. Its clip-on, hands-free design makes it easy to use.
Offering yardages to the front, centre, and back of the green, it comes ready to use out of the box. Its sleek, sensitive touchpad responds intuitively and yardage is determined by the swipe of a finger.
It comes in a choice of colours including pink for ladies.
Priced at £109, for information visit: www.voice-caddie.com
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