Carly's blog - news and views on the world of ladies' golf
Cheshire golfers Sheila Mcdonald and Pam Wiseley birdied their way to victory in the 2014 Grand Final of the PING Women's Fourball Betterball at Gainsborough Golf Club in Lincolnshire.
Pam chipped in once and Sheila holed from off the green as the Houldsworth pair amassed three birdies on their way to 43 points – and a one-point win in the competition.
Their win was especially sweet because they came sixth in this event in 2011 and longed to do better. “We said it would be just brilliant if we could win it,” said Sheila. “We have such a tiny ladies' section, of just 26 women, that it's fantastic.”
Pam, who is ladies' captain for the second time, added: “We're not getting any younger so to do something like this at our age is a dream come true!”
They topped a packed leaderboard with the remaining prizes decided by count-back. Three pairs scored 42 points and the runners-up were Debbie Birtwistle and Emma Kight of Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire; third place was taken by Zoe Hartley and Charlotte Heath of West End, Halifax; and fourth went to Samantha Steward and Jane Gurney-Read of Weston Park, Norfolk.
Fifth place was claimed by Lorna Morris and Mechell Di Matteo of Kilworth Springs, Leicestershire who scored 41 points, while defending champions Denise Page and Sarah Dawson of Willow Valley, Yorkshire, were sixth on the same score.
The PING Fourball Betterball attracted an initial entry this year of about 16,000 women from over 900 clubs, which is a tournament record. The top 60 pairs in the country qualified for the Grand Final while the next 60 pairs went through to the Plate Final.
Over the two days, the handicaps of the players ranged from scratch to 34 and the pairings included identical twins, mothers and daughters, and a mother and daughter-in-law.
One player took on the Grand Final challenge alone after her partner was unwell. Rebecca Watkin of Castle Eden in County Durham didn't want to miss the day and she did herself proud with 35 points on her own account – beating almost half the field!
The age range was wide, starting with the youngest competitor, 12-year-old Charlotte Heath of West End in Yorkshire. Her partner, Zoe Hartley praised her play – which helped them in to third place – and said: “It's the first time our club has entered and we've had a really, really good day. We've loved it.”
Most competitors wore their club colours and the most used word at registration was ‘Wow!' when all the finalists were presented with a PING golf bag. The Grand Finalists also received a pair of Ecco shoes and a voucher for PING Collection clothing, as part of their goody bag. “Can I kiss you now?” joked one competitor as she signed in for the Grand Final. “It's Christmas come early!”
In addition there were also prizes for the leading six pairs on each day, with the winners of both finals each receiving goods to the value of £400. The winners of all club rounds each received a PING umbrella and the runners-up won a PING towel.
New champion Sheila commented: “This competition is really nice, there aren't a lot of things for women and it's brilliant that PING and England Golf do this – and the prizes are fantastic.”
England's Diane Bailey is to be the next President of the Ladies Golf Union and will take up her post at the annual meeting in February 2015.
Diane, who was a top amateur player and a winning Curtis Cup captain, was President of the former English Women's Golf Association in 2006 and 2007.
She is a vice president of her golf club, Reigate Heath, while her contributions to the game have also seen her appointed an honorary member of that club, and of both Enville and Walton Heath.
Diane won the British Girls' Championship in 1961 and was runner up in the Ladies' British Amateur Championship that same year.
She represented England in the 1960s and ‘70s, and was capped for Great Britain & Ireland in the Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe, in the World Team Championship and twice in the Curtis Cup match against the United States.
These international team matches have always had a special place in Diane's heart, and she followed up her playing career with a successful run as captain of the GB&I team from 1983 to 1988.
Two wins over Europe in the Vagliano Trophy matches of 1983 and 1985, and a very close Curtis Cup match at Muirfield in 1984 which GB&I narrowly lost by one point, demonstrated Diane's increasing special captaincy skills.
She was invited to lead the Curtis Cup team again in 1986 at Prairie Dunes in Kansas USA, and was proud to captain her players to the first ever victory on American soil for any Great Britain & Ireland team, male or female, amateur or professional. The magnitude of this win was recognised when Diane was awarded the Golf Writer's Trophy in 1987.
Diane's final captaincy was in 1988, where her team again won against the USA, this time at Royal St George's in England, and that same year she was awarded an MBE for services to golf.
Diane says “I am honoured and so delighted to have been invited to become President of the Ladies Golf Union.
“Golf has always been such an important part of my life and to be given this great opportunity to represent and support women's golf and the Ladies' Golf Union is an enormous privilege. I will do my utmost to uphold the values and traditions of the game that we all love so much.”
England's Meghan MacLaren has kept her winning form going by capturing her fourth title on the US women's college circuit.
Meghan won the British women's stroke play championship in her final event on this side of the Atlantic, before she returned to Florida International University.
Now, she's won her first event of the new academic year taking the individual honours in the Mary Fossum Invitational, hosted by Michigan State.
Meghan was in third place at the start of the final round and shot a third round score of 74. It gave her a tournament score of five-over par and a one stroke victory.
She commented afterwards on Twitter: “Another stressful day but happy to have won my first college tournament back in America! Ready for a good year.” Her previous US successes were in 2013 and 2012.
Meghan, an England international from Wellingborough, stormed through the field to win her British title, sealing her triumph the day before she returned to the USA. She played the final two rounds in nine-under par and won by a stroke at Ashburnham in Wales.
October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in support of the initiative IJP Design is donating 50% of all profits from sales of the men's and ladies' pink collections, to Breast Cancer Care on www.ijpdesign.com .
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a worldwide annual campaign to highlight the importance of breast cancer awareness, education and research. The aim of the campaign is to prevent 20% of all breast cancers by 2025. Breast Cancer Care is the only UK-wide charity providing specialist support and expert information for anyone affected by breast cancer. IJP Design is supporting the awareness campaign by donating 50% of all profits from the Real Men Wear Pink collection and the ladies' Wear Pink collection to Breast Cancer Care.
IJP Design is also on the lookout for inspiring women through a #InspiringWomen social media campaign. Fans are being encouraged to nominate the woman in their lives who inspires them the most and proudly share images and how they have inspired others, across Twitter.
The Real Men Wear Pink and ladies' Wear Pink collections include items such as the Shapeshifter jumper, Kaleidoscope jumper and pink Raglan polo shirt, as well as the Zaharis jumper and ladies' tartan capris, all of which have been designed and manufactured in detail to produce technical and stylish outfits.
The IJP Design Real Men Wear Pink and Wear Pink collections, as well as the latest Autumn Winter 2014 collection, are available at www.ijpdesign.com .
Lovers of the Tommy Hilfiger label will be interested to hear that the designer golf fashion brand has just launched its 2015 spring collection.
Drawing inspiration from the company's seasonal sportswear collections, the Spring 2015 Tommy Hilfiger Golf collection embraces the “Heartland” of Middle America, where the great outdoors mix with small town charm in some of the most picturesque and interesting p laces the country has to offer.
The exploration of America's midland begins at the Gallatin River in Montana. Time-honored classics are reinvented with a modern palette of bold blues and greens, punctuated by pops of black and white. T he key look for ladies includes polos and sleeveless polos , which pair effortlessly with shorts or skorts, to make a bold statement on the green. Stripes are the predominant pattern, juxtaposed against color blocking, ombré gradients and subtle plaids. The aesthetic exudes a relaxed, summertime feel with an adventurous spirit .
The second delivery captures the maritime spirit of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Tommy Hilfiger 's signature red, white and navy color palette is paired with unexpected pops of coral and light blue. Tailored silhouettes – as seen in fitted polos and ¼ zip-up sweaters – are effortless and versatile, giving these all-American classics a timeless appeal. Playing on the brand's preppy heritage, the delivery features classic stripes in a variety of widths and bold color-blocking, while lively patterns include exploded argyles and geometric prints.
The adventure ends in Marfa, Texas, where earthy tones of slate grey and sunset red combine with accents in white and turquoise. Serape-inspired stripes pair with angular color blocking and cubist camouflage for an aesthetic that's filled with texture and bold color. Touches of gold and midnight blue remind of hours spent golfing under the night sky complete the clean, sartorial aesthetic.
The golf collection incorporates performance fabrics throughout – most notably TH Tech , a 100% polyester fabric used as the foundation for the designs. The fabric combines style and comfort with moisture-wicking capabilities, keeping garments dry while providing anti-odor properties essential in a technical garment. TH Comfort Tech is a hybrid cotton fabric that also combines style and comfort with the functional properties required in performance driven garments. TH Cotton supplements the performance fabrics to ensure superior quality and comfort.
The versatile women's collection includes approximately 75 styles with prices ranging from $45 (€50) for polos to $70 (€90) for bottoms.
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort is one of Sicily's leading destinations for golf holidays. Throughout autumn and winter, the resort is highlighting its exceptional facilities with a series of offers giving guests the chance to receive complimentary green fees and other benefits when booking a minimum four-night stay.
Located on the undiscovered south coast of Sicily, Verdura is a year-round golf destination featuring two 18-hole championship courses and one 9-hole course that meander around the beautiful citrus and olive groves.
The links-style courses were designed by California-based architect Kyle Philips who has created a number of courses across the UK and US. Philips took careful consideration to follow the natural contours of the rugged landscape and offer uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean Sea.
All golfers, experienced and first-time players, can benefit from the PGA-qualified professionals who are available for tuition and advice, including former European Tour player Niall Cameron. Verdura also has excellent practice facilities including a double-ended driving range, three chipping and putting greens and three practice bunkers.
From 1st October - 1st November:
* Stay 7 nights and enjoy 4 complimentary 18-hole green fees
* Stay 4 nights and enjoy 2 complimentary 18-hole green fees
From 2nd November 2014 - 28th February 2015:
* Stay 7 nights and enjoy 5 complimentary dinners and 18-hole green fees
* Stay 4 nights and enjoy 2 complimentary dinners and 18-hole green fees
For more information about the golf offers visit: www.roccofortehotels.com
They came, they played, they conquered. The Gleneagles Hotel would like to congratulate the 2014 European Ryder Cup team on their memorable triumph on its championship PGA Centenary course. The world famous 5 Star luxury hotel in Scotland provided a stunning setting for one of golf's greatest competitions, and is pleased to announce its 2015 golf packages that will test any golfer - whether you are a leading pro or an enthusiastic beginner.
CORPORATE AND SOCIETY GOLF DAYS AT GLENEAGLES:
A winning blend of natural beauty and golfing adventure, the Gleneagles Golf Day packages provide an unbeatable experience including:
· Morning bacon or sausage roll with tea and coffee on arrival
· A round of golf on the PGA Centenary, King's or Queen's Courses
· Two-course meal in The Dormy Clubhouse Bar and Grill for each golfer
· Course guide and first tee gift
· Use of the Clubhouse facilities and locker rooms (includes steam room and power shower)
· Club cleaning
· Basket of balls for use on the driving range
· Access to the Pitch and Putt course
Prices from £95 per person. This package is for a minimum of 8 golfers.
THE RYDER CUP GOLF DAY
For many, the chance to play on the same 18 holes as Europe and America's best golfers is a dream, if you'd like to make it a reality the Ryder Cup Golf Day package is for you. Offering all the perks of the normal Golf Day package, it also includes:
· Use of one golf cart for two golfers
· The service of one Fore Caddie for four golfers
· Gleneagles' 2014 Ryder Cup gift, Jewel in the Glen
· Longest drive and nearest pin markers
Prices from £130 per person. This package is for a minimum of 8 golfers.
RYDER CUP SHOTGUN STAR EXPERIENCE
The ultimate Gleneagles Golf Day! Grasp the opportunity to embrace the magic of The Ryder Cup with the exclusive shotgun start packages on The PGA Centenary Course. Includes all the Golf Day additions, plus:
· One hour Golf Clinic at The PGA National Golf Academy, Scotland, prior to play
· Full scoring and tournament administration from our team of PGA Qualified Professionals
· GPS Visage System on golf carts that can feature corporate branding
· Ryder Cup pin flags
· Play from Championship tees on signature holes
· First tee photography including tournament signage
For an additional personal touch, add your company branding onto golf carts, scorecards and signage, and include a special welcome message on in-cart GPS screens.
Packages start from £165 per person based on 72 golfers.
With a team of fully qualified professionals to help you learn or perfect the game, every level of player is welcome at Gleneagles.
For non-golfers, Gleneagles offers a variety of country pursuits and leisure activities to enjoy. The shooting and fishing schools offer clay target shooting and trout fishing, whilst the equestrian school provides coaching in all disciplines. There is all-weather tennis, swimming, croquet, cycling, off-road driving and the opportunity for guests to unwind in the award-winning ESPA Life spa.
For further information visit www.gleneagles.com or call the Resort Sales team on 0800 169 2984.
Giltedge Golf & Safari has recently launched the updated and enhanced version of their dedicated South African golf travel iPad App. This interactive tool allows Giltedge Travel clients, and their customers, to experience South Africa's spectacular golf and safari product in a whole new digital light.
The iPad App gives travellers the opportunity to search for the best golf locations; see detailed information on hotels, game lodges and golf resorts; view room layouts; get detailed golf course information, as well as view suggested golf and safari itineraries.
Version 2 now incorporates additional South African golf courses and preferred properties, as well as selected Mauritius golfing properties and golf courses.
This interactive experience is downloadable free of charge from the Apple iTunes store. Click on the following link ( Giltedge Golf Travel App download ) and within minutes the most comprehensive guide to the ultimate South African golfing safaris is at your fingertips.
Giltedge Golf & Safari is part of the award-winning group of companies - Giltedge Travel and offers its clients the ultimate in luxury travel by providing a complete, yet unique golfing safari experience both in Southern Africa and abroad. Giltedge Golf & Safari are also the official travel partner to the PGA of South Africa, and are specialists in arranging Pro-led tours to South Africa.
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