Archive for the ‘Women’s Golf’ Category

England women strike gold again

ENGLAND’S wonderful women are European team champions again – winning the gold medal for the second year in a row.

Delamere Forest’s Gemma Clews took them over the line when she won her game 1up to clinch the victory over Italy, with the match ending 5.5-1.5 in England’s favour. The result marked a special double for Alice Hewson who was also in last year’s winning team.

Meanwhile, England’s men secured the silver medal after they were narrowly beaten 4-3 by Spain in their final.

And the girls’ team  bounced back from their semi-final defeat to trounce France 5-2 to win the bronze medal in style.

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The championships have highlighted England’s prominence in European golf, particularly when added to the individual wins of Alfie Plant in this month’s European amateur and Bronte Law’s victory in the 2016 European women’s amateur.

Nigel Edwards, England golf performance director said: “We are delighted to have won three medals and it’s great that the women have successfully defended their title. Naturally we are disappointed that we just lost out to Spain in the men’s final.”

The women were playing in Portugal and they got the final off to the best possible start with wins in both foursomes matches, with Gemma Clews and Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) taking their point 4/2, while Alice Hewson and India Clyburn won 2/1.

In the singles Lianna Bailey edged the team closer to their goal with her 3/2 win and Clews clinched it when she held on to her narrow advantage to win 1up. The other games were all scored as halves.

In the men’s match in Austria, the honours were even after the foursomes, with Harry Ellis and Alfie Plant winning 2/1, while Spain snatched a 19th hole win over Scott Gregory and Matthew Jordan Royal Liverpool).

In the singles Gregory (1up) and Gian Marco Petrozzi (3/2) kept England on level terms with Spain, but the team had to settle for the silver medal when Adria Arnaus managed to hang on to his one-up advantage over Matthew Jordan.

The girls, playing in Finland, also shared the foursomes points with Lily May Humphreys and Amelia Williamson winning their game 3/2.

In the singles Humphreys won on the last, Hollie Muse (West Lancs) on the 19th, Sammy Fuller 4/3 and Emily Price by one hole.

Team coach Mark Day commented: “These were some of the best and bravest performances I’ve seen on the golf course.

“The ability to pick themselves up after the semi-final defeat by Italy and put in a winning performance today against a strong French line-up took courage, teamwork and great skill.”

In the European boy’s team championship England were beaten 5-2 by Germany in their final match, with the team’s points scored by Toby Briggs and Ben Jones.

 

The full teams are:

Women: Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest), India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe), Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall).

Men: Harry Ellis (Meon Valley), Scott Gregory (Corhampton), Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park), Matthew Jordan (Royal Liverpool), Gian-Marco Petrozzi (Trentham) and Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park).

Girls: Sammy Fuller (Roehampton), Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland), Hollie Muse (West Lancashire), Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer), Bel Wardle (Prestbury) and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer).

Boys: Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall), Angus Flanagan (St George’s Hill), Harry Goddard (Hanbury Manor), Ben Jones (Northamptonshire County), Robin Williams (Peterborough Milton) and Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor).

Open springboard to grow the sport

 GOLF clubs across Lancashire are using this week’s Open Championship as a springboard to growing the sport.

The world’s best golfers will be heading to Royal Birkdale in Southport from July 16-23 with the dream of becoming the latest player to lift the coveted Claret Jug.

The event attracts worldwide attention, and now clubs in the region are hoping to raise awareness of local opportunities to give golf a go.

A Road to The Open campaign has been organised by England Golf, the Professional Golfers’ Association and the Golf Foundation with a range of activities to promote golf in schools, the local community and clubs.

It is being supported by the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies’ Golf Association.

Aintree Grand National Golf Club set the tone for the project with a special family community open day.

As well as the more traditional

RoadtoOpen.jpgfree golf taster sessions, putting challenges and the chance to use the driving range, supported by US Kids Golf, families could enjoy bouncy castles, craft and food stalls with local businesses as well as live music.

A further community event took place at Speke Hall in Liverpool.

Sixteen clubs around the Red Rose county are hosting special events while the Road to the Open project has connected with 10 primary schools and four secondary schools in the Southport area.

Each school now has a link to a local golf club, equipment has been provided and teachers trained alongside Young Leaders so they can deliver golf in PE classes or at schools sports events.

The Golf Foundation’s Andy Leigh (pictured above with Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber) said: “We’re already hearing great things from the teachers as they have started introducing their youngsters to golf and this should only intensify when ‘Open fever’ starts soon.

“Many of the schools in the area are arranging trips to The Open to watch the best golfers in the world. During the visit, the school groups will spend time with the Golf Foundation development team in the ‘R&A Swing Zone’ playing fun Tri-Golf and StreetGolf challenges.

“Don’t forget! It’s free admission for under 16’s at The Open, when accompanied by an adult.”

As part of the build-up to the Open, the final of the National Street Golf competition will take place at Formby Hall Golf Resort on Monday, July 17.

A special brochure has been produced highlighting the Get into golf work going on at the 16 clubs – Accrington and District, Aintree Grand National, Blackley, Burnley, Fleetwood, Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, Haydock Park, Lancaster, Lee Park, Longridge, Myerscough, Mytton Fold, Oldham, Rossendale, Southport Old Links, and Stand.

Statistics show that sports enjoy a two-week spike in interest following a major event and Lancashire Golf Development Group county officers Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber will be working with clubs to help capitalise on this potential surge in participation.

England Golf regional manager Jason Budd says: “The Open is a great shop window for golf and a chance for the sport to kick football off the back pages of the national newspapers.

“It is golf’s Olympic moment and we want to make sure that those people who are interested in trying golf or returning to it as a result of watching or reading about The Open can find the right opportunity to suit them at a local club.”

Road to the Open organisers have launched a new Twitter handle, #roadtotheopen2017, which they are encouraging clubs to adopt on social media.

Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.

To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

You can follow Get into golf on Twitter twitter.com/getintogolf or on Facebook at facebook.com/Getintogolf

Nine hole golf a big hit at Royal Birkdale

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JOY GIRLS: Pauline Rostron and Sally Pearson who won the nine-hole competitiom

A GROUP of 42 amateur men and women golfers competed in the first R&A Nine Hole Championship Final at Royal Birkdale today.

They participated in a handicap pairs competition at the famous Southport links just five days before the Open gets under way, playing the 10th to 18th holes.

Following a successful pilot at Royal Troon last year, more than 7,000 amateur golfers entered qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland to reach the Final at the host venue of the Open.

Pauline Rostron, from Formby Ladies, and Sally Pearson, from Chester, were the overall winners and were both thrilled to play in a nine hole competition on the eve of golf’s original Championship.

The victorious pair returned a winning combined net score of 70.5 to be crowned champions in front of family and friends in the Royal Birkdale clubhouse.

“I feel totally exhilarated and also completely surprised!” said Sally, who was celebrating her 36th birthday as she took on the back nine of Royal Birkdale. “I love nine hole golf – it is much quicker. Even if you have a bad nine holes it doesn’t ruin your day. You can get around after work and I can’t encourage people enough to play nine hole golf.”

Pauline added: “I’m absolutely ecstatic – it’s fabulous. It’s a little bit of history. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to play here again – but to win as well is fantastic. If you can play after work in the summer – nine hole golf is much quicker.”

The R&A continues to work with national golf bodies in Great Britain and Ireland to promote nine hole golf as a quick and enjoyable way to play either socially or competitively.

Duncan Weir, executive director – Working for Golf at the R&A, said: “We have had a wonderful first Great Britain and Ireland wide Nine Hole Final here at Royal Birkdale.

“Everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves – they appreciated being here and they revelled in the challenge of playing Royal Birkdale on the eve of The Open.

“It wasn’t all about what happened here today. It’s about promoting nine hole golf throughout Great Britain and Ireland and beyond. This event should serve as a reminder to golf clubs that golf, whether social or competitive, can be played more quickly if it’s played over nine holes. That’s the real message behind this event.”

 

Away days a big hit for women’s golf

 

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NEW women golfers in Cheshire, Durham and Hertfordshire are being offered a fun and sociable way to get into the swing of regular play.

Academy Away Days are being held in the three counties for women who have completed beginner coaching, bringing them together for on-course outings to grow their confidence and to make new friends.

The verdict? The days are fun, friendly – and a big confidence booster, according to women who are taking part. “It’s a great opportunity to learn to play with others who are at the same level,” said one. “I was a little nervous about the overall day but the experience was good,” added another. “It’s given me the confidence to play on the course and improve,” said a third.

The Away Days are a new initiative from England Golf, which is committed to growing the women and girls’ game. Currently only 15 per cent of club members are women and just one per cent are girls.

But, there’s a huge appetite among women for golf with research showing that 640,000 women and girls are interested in playing the sport. Last year, 43% of the beginners introduced to the sport by the Get into golf campaign were female.

Lauren Spray, the Women and Girls’ Participation Manager, said: “The Academy Away Days are a great way for women to bridge the gap between coaching and playing and to make new friendships.”

The events are all played on short courses or nine-hole layouts suitable for beginners and all have shotgun starts so the players finish together and can socialise after play over a glass of fizz or juice.

They feature a novel way of scoring which avoids counting stroke. Instead, the players complete challenges, which involve playing skills and etiquette such as successfully hitting the green in one, raking the bunker correctly and shaking hands on the final green when they complete their game.

The Academy Away Days were successfully trialed in Hertfordshire last year after it became clear that women who had taken Get into golf courses at local clubs would welcome support to get out on to the course.

More than 220 women were involved and this year the scheme has been extended to Cheshire and Durham, with events on offer until September. Women members from the clubs taking part volunteer to support and encourage the newcomers.

 

To find out about beginner opportunities visit www.getintogolf.org

 

England women defend Euro title

ENGLAND will defend the European women’s team championship next month with a side which is packed with champions.

The line-up includes Alice Hewson of Hertfordshire  who was in last year’s gold medal-winning team.

She will play alongside fellow Curtis Cup player, Rochelle Morris of Yorkshire, together with Lianna Bailey of Leicestershire, Gemma Clews of Cheshire, Sophie Lamb of Lancashire and India Clyburn of Lincolnshire. The championship takes place at the Montado golf resort, Portugal, from 11-15 July.

The European girls’ team championship takes place at St Laurence Golf, Finland, also from 11-15 July. The England side is Sammy Fuller of Surrey, Lily May Humphreys of Essex, Hollie Muse of Lancashire, Emily Price of Worcestershire, Bel Wardle of Cheshire and Amelia Williamson of Norfolk.

The players:

Women

Lianna Bailey, 20, (Kirby Muxloe) has had consistently high results this season, including second place in the Welsh stroke play, fourth in the Irish and fourth in the St Rule Trophy. She reached the quarter finals of the French U21 championship.

Gemma Clews, 22, (Delamere Forest) is the Welsh women’s stroke play champion and was joint runner-up in the Irish stroke play. She will make her second appearance for GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy this weekend.

India Clyburn, 20, (Woodhall Spa) is a student at NC State University and is a winner both here and on the US college circuit where she also had five top tens in her second year. She is a member of the GB&I Vagliano Trophy team.

Alice Hewson, 19, (Berkhamsted) was in the winning GB&I team at the 2016 Curtis Cup and in England’s gold medal winning team at last year’s European ladies’ team championship. She will represent GB&I in this weekend’s Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe.

Sophie Lamb, 19, (Clitheroe) is the British women’s stroke play champion, won the 2016 England Golf Women’s Order of Merit and was joint runner up in Irish women’s stroke play. She won all four of her matches in the recent international against Spain.

Rochelle Morris, 22, (Woodsome Hall) is a Curtis Cup player and is in great form this season with a series of top-five results in stroke play events and a win in The Leveret. She also reached the match play stages of the British women’s amateur.

Girls

Sammy Fuller, 18, (Roehampton) got to the quarter finals of the recent French U21 championship and has had high finishes in the Scottish, Welsh and Irish women’s stroke play championships.

Lily May Humphreys, 15, (Stoke by Nayland) has just won the girls’ title at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters to add to a string of 2016 victories, including the English U16 girls’ championship. She will play in GB&I’s Junior Vagliano team this weekend.

Hollie Muse, 17, (West Lancashire) won the girls’ title at the 2017 Fairhaven Trophies and has also been third in both the Scottish women’s open and the Scottish girls’ championship this season.

Emily Price, 17, (Cleobury Mortimer) is the English women’s open stroke play champion and was runner up in the 2016 English girls’ championship. In total she won four times last year.

Bel Wardle, 17, (Prestbury) was runner-up in the 2016 British girls’ championship and eighth in the world girls’ championship. This season she was sixth in the St Rule Trophy and the leading English player in qualifying for the British women’s amateur.

Amelia Williamson, 17, (Royal Cromer) became the first winner of the Gold Rose Trophy, given by Justin Rose, for her combined performance in the Roehampton Gold Cup and the Hampshire Rose. She was runner-up in the girls’ Fairhaven Trophies.

Golf’s vision of a brighter future

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Fredrik Lindgren of the European Tour adds his suggestion to the innovation comment wall. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography)

GOLF was shown a vision of a bright future today – for those prepared to grasp change and try new ideas which put the customer first.

England Golf’s first innovation conference, #MoreThanGolf, highlighted the way for clubs and golf centres which want to grow the game.

It turned the spotlight on new formats of golf, such as GolfSixes and Speedgolf, which offer shorter, faster – and fitter – ways to experience the game.

It looked at the importance of collecting and using data effectively, to understand customers and the best ways to appeal to them. It stressed the need to connect with customers in the online world. Fact: 16-24-year-olds are online 30 hours a week; 37 per cent of their waking hours.

Clubs were urged to respond to the drive to encourage more people to become more active and to show that golf is a fun, healthy and sociable game for all. They were also challenged to grow by becoming hubs for their communities, benefiting both the club and the local area.

England Golf chief executive Nick Pink welcomed delegates from across the golf industry to Villa Park and urged them to consider and share new ways to put customers’ needs first.

Customer-focus is the most important of the priorities in England Golf’s refreshed strategy for 2017-21 and Nick commented: “If we don’t consider the needs of the customer we won’t grow the game.

“We need new ideas, creativity and innovation to drive this game on and one of the aims of this conference is to hear different ideas and approaches. Please do open your minds to some of the possibilities and ideas that we need to generate growth in golf.”

The conference struck a chord with Oldham head professional Ryan Grumbridge who is particularly interested in different formats of the game “It’s been great,” he said. “We are open to new ideas and this is all about thinking outside the box while still trying to keep traditional values. I’ve also picked up several business cards from people I need to speak to.”

Delegates also shared ideas on an innovation comment wall, with suggestions ranging from running a takeaway service to encouraging health professionals to prescribe golf.

The first focus of the conference was on new formats of the game with Fredrik Lindgren of the European Tour outlining the success of the recent GolfSixes tournament with players, fans and commercial partners.

The theme is being taken out to a young audience by the Golf Foundation, which has a proud record for innovation to encourage children and young people to get into golf. It is now running GolfSixes Academies in 32 clubs, offering team competition for boys and girls in leagues, with the all-important opportunity to track progress via mobile phones.  “We’re embracing technology and change to keep golf inspiring to young people!” said development manager Martin Crowder.

The impact of the digital world was explored by Chris Hurst of Nielsen Sports, who looked at the changing media consumption habits of the UK population and gave an overview of social networks and digital trends in sport, with a specific focus on golf.

Golf’s contribution to good health and wellbeing has been highly publicised over recent months and was discussed by Dr Steve Mann of ukactive and Jamie Blair, England Golf’s disability manager. Pam Painter of British Speedgolf also highlighted the fitness and fun benefits of the athletic format which appeals to golfers and runners.

The opportunities for golf clubs to be at the heart of their communities were considered by Svend Elkjaer  of Sports Marketing Network and Maria Nolan from Mytime Active, whose Hollingbury Park course in Sussex won England Golf’s 2017 Strongest Community Engagement Award.

Svend cited examples which promoted: “A new kind of partnership, in which both the club and the community contribute directly to the strengthening and development of each other.” He urged clubs to be open to all possibilities and to make innovation happen.

Delegates also heard case studies from Boomers and Swingers, Top Golf and Community Golf CIC.

What next? For the immediate future a #MoreThanGolf LinkedIn group has started to create a network of golf innovators and entrepreneurs.

Nelson elects first woman president

GOLF continues to break down barriers and old perceptions about the sport with one Lancashire club electing its first woman president.

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Lynn Hepworth (pictured) took over the role at Nelson following a recent annual meeting and she will lead the club through an exciting phase in its 115-year history as it looks to create a modern approach to looking after members, attracting new players and developing the 18-hole course.

She is a fantastic example of how you are never too old to take on a new challenge in life.

Lynn said: “I was a very keen tennis player until a serious back injury in my late 50s stopped me from being able to run and change direction quickly, which put a stop to me playing.
“I was presented with a set of golf clubs for my 60th birthday and told to go and learn how to play. I booked a course of lessons, fell in love with the game, and joined Nelson in 2008.

“I am a firm believer that one is never too old to take up something new. All you need is a bit of determination and a healthy acceptance of the fact that, unlike juniors who just seem to get better and better with time, some days my golf will be better than others!

“But it is a great way to keep active and have a super social life.”

Lynn, who was a teacher for 40 years, said: “We have a super Ladies section, and they have been very supportive in my early days over things like playing in competitions, rules and etiquette. I was very proud to be elected Lady Captain in 2014 and Vice President in 2015 – and am looking forward to some exciting times for the club.”
The club is an enthusiastic supporter of the National Get into golf campaign and is offering a three-month trial membership scheme for people interested in giving golf a go.

Lessons with the club’s PGA professional Sam Punchard are included – and the club even offers sets of clubs to borrow to help make it even easier to start playing.

Club mentors also help newcomers feel at home both on and off the course.

And there’s a special free taster session on June 16, from 6pm-8pm, with Punchard offering tips and advice. It is hoped to be the first in a series of monthly events across the summer.

The club has embraced a wide-ranging approach to promoting the event including using social media as well as a leaflet drop in the surrounding area at places ranging from schools, to gyms and hairdressers.

It is actively looking to build its junior section further, following the success of last year’s free summer camps, which it hopes to repeat, along with creating links with local schools and community groups. The course recently hosted the Lancashire County Boys’ Championships as part of its commitment to junior golf.

The club has also introduced a new Membership and Marketing Committee, under the chairmanship of Phil Wright, which aims to raise awareness of the club in the local community as well as improving the member experience and lines of communication within the club.

Debbie Barber, development officer for the Lancashire Golf Development Group, said: “It is great to see a club like Nelson proving that the old images of golf are changing fast. They are taking a proactive and modern approach to looking after their members in the right way and attracting new players of all ages.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.

To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

You can follow Get into golf on Twitter twitter.com/getintogolf or on Facebook at facebook.com/Getintogolf