Archive for the ‘Women’s Golf’ Category

North West duo in Vagliano Trophy showdown

THE Great Britain and Ireland team to face the Continent of Europe in the Vagliano Trophy match at Golf Club Bogogno in Italy on June 30 – July 1 announced by the R&A today includes Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb and Delamere Forest’s Gemma Clews.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, who led GB&I to a memorable 11½-8½ win over the USA in the Curtis Cup at Dun Laoghaire last year, will captain the team and the Aberdeen-based lawyer will be looking to reverse a run of five consecutive wins by the Continent of Europe.

Claire Coughlan-Ryan continues in her role as captain of the Under-16 team to play in the Junior Vagliano Trophy match which runs parallel to the women’s competition.

Farquharson-Black said: “We have an excellent team, with a blend of youth and experience.”

Junior Vagliano Trophy captain Coughlan-Ryan added: “I look forward to working with a talented group of young golfers and trying to win the Junior Vagliano Trophy for the first time against the Continent of Europe.”

West Lancs player Hollie Muse is a second reserve.

Sophie and Gemma to the fore

NORTH West top shots Gemma Clews and Sophie Lamb are expected to figure highly as England  target a second Nations Cup win in a week when the Irish women’s strokeplay championship starts today.

Gemma, from Delamere Forest, and Clitheroe’s Sophie (pictured) successfully teamed up with Sammy Fuller to take the honours at last weekend’s Welsh women’s strokeplay – where Gemma also won the individual title.Sophie Lamb (4).jpg

Today they are joined by fellow international Georgia Price, from Bude,  for their latest challenge at Co Louth Golf Club.

All three players were in England’s winning team at the recent mixed international against Spain.

Gemma, 22, scored her biggest win to date when she won the Welsh women’s strokeplay title by five shots. She has also won two top scratch events this season with a combined score of 20-under par.

Sophie, 19, is the British strokeplay champion and shared 10th place at the Welsh championship and 15th in the Scottish strokeplay.  She finished in the top 10 at the Harder Hall Invitational in the USA.

Lancs lass Hollie back in the fray

LANCASHIRE hot-shot  Hollie Muse completed a two shot win at the U18 Fairhaven Trophies then declared: “I’m back!” The England women’s international  had given up the six months ago.

“I’d stopped playing, I was upset with my game and I wasn’t in a goHollie Muse....jpgod place,” she explained. “I didn’t win anything last year and I thought I was never coming back.”

But she came back this season with a new approach and it paid off. She tied second in the Scottish girls’ championship, then shared third place in the Scottish women’s strokeplay pior to winning at Fairhaven.

“To win this is emotional for me,” said the 17-year-old from West Lancashire.

She finished the 72-hole international event on three-under par, two ahead of Norfolk’s Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer), who was girls’ runner-up for the second year in a row.

The boys’ title was won in runaway style by Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg, two under and 10 shots clear of the runner-up, George Raitt of Leicestershire.

Full steam ahead for Golf Express!

GOLF Express is celebrating a very happy first birthday after a year highlighting that the  game fits into any lifestyle.

England Golf launched the campaign to promote shorter, quicker formats – and it has captured the mood of the moment.

Over the past 12 months, momentum has been gathering across the industry to prove that golf can be short, fun, fitted into a busy lifestyle – and show-stopping. What’s been happening?

More than 25,000 people have been encouraged by Golf Express to play 9-hole golf or other short circuits, with in excess of 200 clubs already using the website to post offers.

Two months are dedicated to promoting Golf Express and England Golf is increasing investment in its national marketing campaign to drive traffic to the website, and to create even more interest around 9-hole golf and other shorter formats.

This weekend, the European Tour will hold its inaugural GolfSixes tournament at Centurion Club in St Albans, when two-man teams from 16 countries will compete over six-hole circuits, accompanied by showbiz razzamatazz.

The R&A has introduced a 9-hole competition for amateurs across GB&I, with the final taking place on the eve of The Open.

Top golfers such as Charley Hull, Melissa Reid, Martin Kaymer and Padraig Harrington have all featured on video endorsing the pleasures of 9-hole golf. Click here to view.

England Golf ambassador Justin Rose has said he often plays 9 holes in practice and described Golf Express as: “A great way to play all the game in half the time.”

Claire Hodgson, England Golf’s Head of Participation, commented: “It’s been fantastic to see the growing interest in short format golf and to get the support of top players and celebrities.

“Golf Express has shown many golfers that they really can fit the game in alongside all their commitments – and that it’s a great way for families to relax and have fun together.”

Nine-hole golf has plenty of health and social benefits. It can be played in just two hours while the player walks two to three miles, takes more than 5,000 steps and burns in excess 450 calories.

There’s an even faster, more athletic version, promoted by British Speedgolf, which has recently partnered Golf Express. Speedgolfers jog between shots and can complete a full 18 holes in under 80 minutes, or 9 holes in under 40 minutes.

“It’s been great to reach so many people in the first year of Golf Express and now we’re looking forward to getting even more players and golf clubs involved, showing golf really is game for all,” said Hodgson.

To learn more about Golf Express and to find 9-hole or other short format offers and a directory of facilities visit


Lucy claims Cheshire LGA crown

VICARS Cross, the home club of Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association’s captain Barbara Baird, provided a splendid stage both on and off the course for the County Championship.

The star of the opening day was home player Poppy Finlay who began with a course record of 68 in the opening qualifying round followed by a 72 that saw her in the top position with three trophies secured before the matchplay round began.

Poppy won the Millennium Trophy for the best Intermediate score over 18 holes, the Doris Brown Trophy as the leading qualifier and the Intermediate Championship with her 140 total in the 36-hole qualifier.

Next day Poppy cruised through the first two round of matchplay to meet club colleague Karen Griffiths in the semi-final and she booked her final slot with two-up score.

In the other half of the draw defending champion Lucy Jamieson (Heswall) showed her intent of retaining the title with a 2-1 win over national senior ladies star Cath Rawthore of Sale.

There was little to choose between Poppy and Lucy in an absorbing and top quality final that swung both ways before Lucy established a vital two-hole lead on the 17th hole and a solid par on the 18th was enough to see her retain the title.

In the subsidiary contest for the Sir Williams Bailey Cup for players going out in the first match-play round there was another close contest between Lauren Jones (Mellor and Townscliffe) and Cathy Day (Crewe) that went to the 19th with Cathy unfortunately hitting a tree with her approach to the green and going into a water hazard allowing Lauren to take the honours.

The Cheshire team to compete in the Northern Championships was also announced and will be led by England star Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) and she will be joined by Lucy Jamieson, Poppy Finlay, Lauren Drake, Freya Johnson, Laura Jones, Lauren Jones and Megan Sumner backed by the reserves Amy Toft, Rachel and Victoria Turner and Karen Griffiths.


Top award for Cheshire’s Ruth Whitehead

CHESHIRE’S  Ruth Whitehead, who has played a prominent role in unifying men’s and women’s golf, has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the amateur game with England Golf’s Gerald Micklem Award.

She is the first woman to receive the award which was presented by England Golf’s outgoing president, Marian Rae, at the organisation’s annual meeting.

Ruth was a key figure in national women’s golf for many years and was closely involved with the merger of the English Golf Union and the English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) which created England Golf.

She has been a member at Delamere Forest Golf Club for almost 40 years, becoming its first woman director and is now is its first female chairman.

Alongside Ruth’s club and national roles she has been a staunch supporter of her county, both as a player and an official, most recently as president in 2015-16.

Ruth’s motivation has always been her pleasure in the game and she said of her award: “I’m overwhelmed, this is absolutely unbelievable. I have had such fun and enjoyment from golf, I’ve worked with wonderful people and made lovely friends. You don’t think of getting honours, you do it because you love the game.”

Ruth started golf as a 14-year-old at Sandbach and, during a membership which spanned 45 years, she was ladies’ captain in the club’s golden jubilee celebrations. She was also a member at Sandiway for more than 35 years and has been ladies’ captain at Royal St David’s, Harlech.

Ruth’s active involvement with county, regional and national golf flourished when she retired as deputy head teacher of a large, successful comprehensive school in Nantwich.

After joining the executive of the former English Ladies’ Golf Association she helped to modernise the organisation and transform it into EWGA. Ruth was the first chairman of the new operational board, looking after the association’s golfing activities.

She was always hands-on, as busy on the course as in the committee room. Ruth ran many championships – with a particular soft spot for the English U13 and U15 girls – and officiated as an R&A-qualified referee.

As a player, Ruth held a single figure handicap for more than 40 years and still plays off 11. She was a Cheshire county player and was county senior champion in 1999. She has been county captain, senior captain and the captain of the Northern vets.

In-form Gemma heading for more glory

DELAMERE Forest star Gemma Clews and  Annabell Fuller, from Roehampton, and will represent England in the Nations Cup at next week’s Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Strokeplay Championship.

The team trophy is awarded to the pair with the best aggregate score over all three rounds  from April 21-23. The first 36 holes are played at Troon Portland and the final round over the Old Course, Royal Troon.

Both players are in great form. Fourteen-year-old Fuller  was third individually in the women’s European Nations Cup last month and runner-up in the Harder Hall women’s invitational in Florida in January. She’s this week representing England in the French U21 women’s championship. Last year, the girl international won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and had six second places.

Clews, 22, has won two top scratch events this season, with a combined score of 20-under par. She claimed the Delamere Comboy Scratch on her home course for the fourth time, before following up with last weekend’s victory in the Hampshire Rose at North Hants. Last season she helped England win the women’s Home Internationals and was third on the England Golf Women’s Order of Merit.

The team reserve is Lancashire’s Sophie Lamb, 19, (Clitheroe) who is the British strokeplay champion.