Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
A record in the making:
Stuart had set himself the target of playing 400+ holes at the start of this week and he is well on target, having been hitting the first tee at dawn, around 4.30am and playing as many holes of golf as possible until darkness falls. So far he's averaged 81 holes per day (and so on target to beat the World Record.)
Stuart has undertaken the monumental golfing challenge in order to raise money for two very worthy charities - Scotty's Little Soldiers (for children who have lost a parent in the forces) and Help For Heroes. "I initially set myself the target of raising £10,000 for Help for Heroes, but having recently seen the incredible work that Scotty's Little Soldiers does to support children whose parents won't come back from the front line, I have decided to try and raise a further £10,000 for that charity," said Stuart.
"I have played golf intermittently since I was 18, but have never had a lesson, so though I am physically fit, the actual golf is a bit of a challenge! My friends and family have been incredibly supportive of my fundraising challenge, and my wife in particular has been absolutely amazing, drumming up support wherever she goes. My fitness coach, Staff Sergeant Gibbs, is also relishing pushing me to my physical limits!
Curtis Cup stars to contest English Mid-Amateur Title
Curtis Cup stars Kelly Tidy and Amy Boulden are among the contenders teeing off today in the English women's open mid-amateur championship at Wetherby Golf Club, Yorkshire.
Kelly, the English amateur champion from Royal Birkdale, and Amy, the Welsh champion, were members of the GB&I team which famously won the 2012 Curtis Cup earlier this month, for the first time in 16 years.
The open event, for players aged 18 and over, has attracted a full field which includes three players from Wales, one from Scotland and one from New Zealand.
All competitors will be playing 36 holes strokeplay qualifying today with the top 32 players going through to the matchplay stages which start tomorrow. The final will be played on Sunday morning. Spectators are welcome.
Angie swaps from shooting pigeons to shooting birdies!
Dorset lady golfer Angie Brook - a former British champion at clay pigeon shooting - has won a national golf title as England's top medal player.
She won the England Golf Grand Medal Final at The Worcestershire Golf Club by four shots after returning a superb net score of three-under 69. "This is amazing, just amazing, I am so excited," she said.
Angie, from Canford Magna Golf Club, adds this title to her 38 English and British shooting championships and to her medals from European and world events.
Angie's closest rival was 15-year-old Sophie Mills, a Bedfordshire county player, who was runner-up on net 73. She has an outstanding record in this event, having tied second last year, only to lose out on countback. When she first qualified for the 2011 final she was off 16 handicap, now she's off eight. "It was tough out there today, the wind was really difficult, but I'm pleased with my score," said Sophie, from Wyboston Lakes.
The other prize winners, who each scored net 74, were: Linda Hunt (Newbury & Crookham), 13-year-old Chelsea-Mae Laundon (Chelmsford), Karen Martland (Charnock Richard) and Jacqui Bowden (Boscombe Ladies').
The scratch prize was won by Linda Hunt who scored gross 78 and won on countback. Linda, who was a semi-finalist at the English senior championship earlier this year, came straight from South region county match week where she was representing Berkshire.
Angie Brook had no intention of playing golf when she retired from competitive shooting to have her children, Josh, now nine, and Charlotte, eight. But then the family moved to a house backing on to Canford Magna golf course.
"Josh started playing and so I started having lessons - and I clicked with it," said Angie.
She went on: "The experience in another sport has definitely helped my golf. When I'm under pressure I know how to deal with it."
Stewart Golf's Z3 is no pushover!
British trolley designers Stewart Golf may be best known for their innovative offering of electric trolleys but did you know they also make clever push trolleys too?
Their latest is the Stewart Golf Z3 Push, which has a very simple two step folding mechanism allowig you to fold and unfold the trolley in just a few seconds. Three quick release wheels mean that the Z3 is more compact that any other trolley on the market.
One of the features I particularly like of the Z-Series is the unique design of the bag jaws, which allows any style of golf bag to be used. This means the trolley can hold anything from the smallest stand bag to large tour bags easily, great if you tend to switch between carrying your stand bag or pulling it on a trolley on a rainy day and don't want the hassle of having to swap your clubs into a trolley bag.
The Z3 Push is available in Liquid Black, Liquid White, Metallic Blue & Matt Black, priced at £179. Visit www.stewartgolf.com for more information.
FASHION FOR THE FAIRWAY
FootJoy Full Zip Windshirt
Once again we seem to be suffering at the hands at the great British summer Gods and enduring the same warm but showery days we had all summer last year. There's nothing worse than having to heave a heavy, hot waterproof jacket on and off every time it rains, so this handy Windshirt from FootJoy is a great alternative.
It's not waterproof but it will certainly protect you from a summer shower and is made of a lovely lightweight material that's really comfortable to wear and you don't get too hot.
TRIED & TESTED
Lamkin Performance Plus 3GEN wedge grips
"A simple and inexpensive solution to better short game play"
The Performance Plus 3GEN wedge grip also features two clever hand-positioning ''buttons'. These buttons, 1 ½ inches apart, enable the golfer to place their hands in a repeatable position, be it for a full wedge shot or a choked down shot around the green. This promotes a confident, guess free swing whatever the choice of shot. In addition to these innovations in wedge grip design, the Performance Plus 3GEN wedge grip benefits from Lamkin's proprietary vibration dampening 3GEN synthetic rubber compound. This tacky grip, available in black or white, protects the hands and provides great shot feedback. When combined with all the other performance benefits on offer, Lamkin stays true to its aim of providing grips that give improved scoring opportunities and ultimately, grips that help improve a golfer's game.
I say: It only costs a few pounds to replace a wedge grip but what a dramatic difference in feel and performance it can make! I have to be honest and say that I was a little sceptical about how a grip could really make your short game better but having used the Lamkin Performance Plus 3GEN for several rounds now I am a total convert. It feels fantastic in the hands, really comfortable and tacky to hold, and when I first had them replaced it made me realise just how shiny and slippy my old grips were! So my control over the club has definitely improved. I didn't really notice the extra length of the grip or the fact that my hands sit a little lower, but I do feel a lot more in control of approach shots and am peppering the pin with consistency.
The biggest benefit for the average club player, in my opinion, is the cleverly placed buttons marked on the grip. I was already pretty good at gripping down to play knock-down shots into the green but these have helped to take that precision to an even higher level. Now I have three grip positions, top, central and lower on the grip and that gives me three different distances in one club - a brilliant yet simple selling feature that makes these grips well worth switching to.