Archive for the ‘Women’s Golf’ Category

Top class field for English women’s amateur

A TOP class field will gather at Wilmslow Golf Club  next week for the English women’s closed amateur championship. Local hopes will focus on Bel Wardle from Prestbury, who already holds the English open title and will be targeting a special double.

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The 18-year-old (pictured, Image copyright Leaderboard Photography) is one of a number of high-profile players in the 72-hole stroke play championship, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, 17-19 July.

Among them are three members of the GB&I Curtis Cup team: India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa), Annabell Fuller (Roehampton) and Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe).

The trio, together with Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), will arrive at Wilmslow straight after this week’s European women’s team championship, where they are defending England’s gold medal.

Another five players are representing England in the European girls’ team championship and will also be making the quick turnaround. They are Ebonie Lewis (Long Ashton), Martha Lewis (St George’s Hill), Hannah Screen (Berkhamsted), Caitlin Whitehead (Carus Green) and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer).

The championship has attracted a strong entry from Cheshire with 10 players in the field, including six members of the county team. Alongside county champion Bel Wardle are Poppy Finlay (Vicars Cross), Lucy Jamieson (Heswall), Lauren Jones (Mellor and Townscliffe), Charlotte Leathem, who has the advantage of local knowledge as a Wilmslow member, and Emily McBurney (Delamere Forest).

Also playing is Sue Dye of Delamere Forest, who is a past winner of England’s two senior women’s championships.

Wilmslow is one of the oldest golf clubs in Cheshire and has been on its present site for over 100 years. The course is well known as a great test of golf and has hosted regional qualifying for The Open, professional events and those for top amateurs, including the 2013 English Women’s County Finals.

Click here for more championship information, including tee times.

 

 

 

 

R&A Launch first women’s charter

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SPEAKERS: from left,  Chyloe Kurdas (Golf Australia), Hazel Irvine (BBC), Sarah Stirk (Sky Sports), Nick Pink (England Golf), Liz Dimmock (Moving Ahead) and Martin Slumbers (The R&A). Getty Images.

THE R&A has unveiled a new Women in Golf Charter as part of the organisation’s drive to increase the number of women and girls participating in golf and to encourage more opportunities for women to work within the golf industry.

The charter aims to inspire an industry-wide commitment to developing a more inclusive culture within golf around the world and to enable more women and girls to flourish and maximise their potential at all levels of the sport.

Adoption of the charter will also require national federations and other golf bodies to build on current initiatives and develop new projects that will focus on encouraging more women and girls to play golf and stay within the sport as members of clubs, while also empowering women to enjoy successful careers working within the golf industry.

The Women in Golf Charter specifically aims to:  

  • Strengthen the focus on gender balance and provide a united position for the golf industry
  • Commit national federations and organisations to support measures targeted at increasing participation of women, girls and families in golf
  • Call on signatories to take positive action to support the recruitment, retention and progression of women working at all levels of the sport
  • Set individual targets for national federations for participation and membership and annual reporting of progress
  • Develop an inclusive environment for women and girls within golf

Martin Slumbers, R&A chief executive, outlined its plans to work in collaboration with its affiliated organisations, partners and the wider golf industry to achieve these goals at a launch event at The View from The Shard, one of London’s most iconic venues.

Hosted by sports broadcaster Hazel Irvine, the event also featured presentations and panel discussions with guest speakers including Nick Pink, chief executive of England Golf, Sky Sports’ Golf presenter Sarah Stirk, Chyloe Kurdas, National Female Participation Manager at Golf Australia, and Liz Dimmock, Founder of Moving Ahead.

The event was attended by representatives of golf organisations worldwide who have pledged their support as signatories of the charter, including the European Tour, the Ladies’ European Tour, the European Golf Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association, the European Disability Golf Association, Golf Australia, Golf Canada, the Golfing Union of Ireland, England Golf, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and Scottish Golf.

Slumbers said: “We are asking the golf industry to recognise the real importance of increasing the number of women and girls playing golf and empowering more women to enjoy successful careers at all levels of the sport.

“The Charter is a strong statement of intent from the golf industry that it has to change and a commitment on behalf of all of us to take measures designed to achieve positive change for women, girls and families. This is crucial to growing participation in the sport in the years ahead.

“We ask our affiliates and partners around the world to pledge their support and commitment to achieving this vision and to help us ensure that we have a thriving sport in 50 years’ time that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren can enjoy.

“The R&A plans to increase our overall investment in women’s, girls’ and mixed golf to £80 million over the next 10 years, a clear indication of our determination to develop the game in this area.”

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “We are committed to creating an environment where women and girls can succeed at every level of sport.

“Interest in women’s sports is at an all-time high, with increased global interest and record attendances. I welcome The R&A’s strong commitment to encourage more women into golf and nurture future generations of talent.”

Liz Dimmock said: “The case for a more balanced and inclusive culture for golf is clear and a real cultural shift is required within the sport to create a more equitable participation base that reflects the demands of current and future generations.

“Women are also under-represented at every level of the governance and business of the sport and this needs to be proactively addressed. The Women in Golf Charter is a signal to the industry that change is required, which can be achieved with a strong, positive vision for golf.”

The Women in Golf Charter is another positive development for the sport following The R&A’s successful merger with the Ladies’ Golf Union last year. In 2018, the organisation also launched the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship which was staged at Sentosa, Singapore in February while the new Girls Under 16 Open Championship was played at Fulford last month.

The R&A also provided an initial three-year funding package of £375,000 to its affiliates in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to support the appointment of new development managers to work on increasing participation by women and girls.

 

 

GolfSixes is a real knock-out

 

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THE home sides stole the show in a thrilling day of GolfSixes action as England’s men and women both advanced to today’s knockout stages at Centurion Club.

Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace defeated South Africa in their final match to top Group D, following Georgia Hall and Charley Hull who advanced on the holes won rule after a narrow defeat to Sweden just a few minutes earlier.

The England women, who began their first GolfSixes experience with a draw against Pepperell and Wallace, will face Group C winners Ireland at the quarter final stage on Sunday. Meanwhile, a clash against the French pair of Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Romain Wattel awaits the England men.

The European Tour broke new ground yet again at the innovative event, with men’s and women’s teams, and a mixed pairing of Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn and his Solheim Cup counterpart Catriona Matthew, all taking part in a format which saw 16 pairs take each other on in greensomes match play over six holes in a round robin, with the top two teams in each group advancing to Sunday’s quarter-finals.

The European Women team of Carlota Ciganda and Mel Reid had earlier pulled off a memorable result, defeating defending champions Denmark in a play-off to finish second in Group A behind the Thai pairing of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee.

Australia’s Sam Brazel and Wade Ormsby won Group B to set up a quarter final clash with the European Women, while Thailand face an all-Asia clash against runners-up Soomin Lee and Jeunghun Wang of South Korea.

Eddie Pepperell said: “We had a good, tough match with the girls and were just relieved to not lose that.  Then the second game, we played a bit scrappy at the end.  But we really wanted to be here tomorrow, so now that we are, it’s going to be great.

“It’s been great.  Every time someone has been asked who is their favourite golfer, all I keep hearing is Georgia or Charley, so hopefully by the end of tomorrow, they will be saying Matt, because he’s my favourite golfer.”

Matt Wallace added: “Really happy to top the group and get through. It’s nice to play with this guy. Playing against the girls this morning, well, we hit some terrible golf shots on the first hole but then we slowly got into and started to realise everyone out there was having a lot of fun.

“What a fantastic day. Great fun. Nice to play alongside this chap here, it was a pleasure and it was really nice.  The crowds were great and the weather is fantastic.”

Georgia Hall said:  It’s been a great day, long day.  Me and Charley played really well and we got a bit unlucky in the last match, but we’re through and we’re excited for tomorrow. We’ll pretty much just do what we done today.  Enjoy it and take it one shot at a time.

Charley Hull agreed:  It’s been great fun.  I just feel good vibes from this event. It’s really good because you see so many children and women and everyone around and the weather is perfect.  I think it’s a really good event for golf.

Mel Reid added: “It’s huge for women’s golf. I have absolute faith in our partnership and we would have been disappointed not to get through to Sunday. My sister would have killed me because she only just arrived.

“A shame for Denmark to go out with a three putt on the last but we’re very, very happy.  It’s great for women’s golf. I think this is a huge opportunity to showcase women’s golf. We don’t get the coverage and we don’t get as supported as I feel like we should. An event like this is huge for us.  Hopefully a few more people will want to take up the game of golf now because they see how passionate we are about it. We have a lot of fun out there. I can’t stop having fun with this one. That’s what it’s all about.”

Download the final standings after day one here: GOLFSIXES – GROUP RESULTS

And the match schedule for day two can be found here: GOLFSIXES – KNOCK-OUT ROUNDS

 

Clitheroe ace Sophie Lamb up for the cup

TWO England teams will challenge for the Nations Cup at this weekend’s Welsh women’s open championship at Aberdovey.

Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb and Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland) have both been selected for the GB&I Curtis Cup team, will be joined by Georgia Price in a team drawn from the England Golf women’s squad.

Thalia Kirby, Martha Lewis and Hannah Screen make up the second team and are all members of the England Golf girls’ squad.

The 54-hole championship starts tomorrow and continues until Sunday. The Nations Cup will be decided by the best two scores from three in each round.

Humphreys will be looking to add this championship to the Scottish women’s open, which she won last month and holds alongside English, British, European and US titles. Lamb was the low amateur at the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open and a past winner of the British stroke play title. Price returns consistently high finishes.

The three girls are all looking for a big win after coming very close last season. Lewis was runner-up in the 2017 English girls’ championship, Kirby was in a play-off in the English U16 girls’ championship and Screen was runner up in the women’s British stroke play and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.

TEAM 1

Lily-May Humphreys, 16, Stoke by Nayland, Essex

Sophie Lamb, 20, Clitheroe,

Georgia Price, 24, Bude & North Cornwall

TEAM 2

Thalia Kirby, 17, Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire

Martha Lewis, 18, St George’s Hill, Surrey

Hannah Screen, 18, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

 

 

Golf is game for a laugh in Cheshire

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CHESHIRE golf clubs are backing England Golf’s drive to get more women beginners playing – helped by laughter, fizz and a novel twist to scoring.

They are joining the confidence-building campaign this season and will be offering a series of fun playing days for new golfers, starting this month.

The clubs involved are:

  • Avro Golf Club, 10 May at 6pm
  • Poulton Park, 16 June at 1.30pm
  • Warren Ladies Golf Club, 7 July at 11am
  • Didsbury Golf Club, 22 July at 1.30pm
  • Ringway Golf Club, 19 August at 2pm
  • Woodside Golf Club, 9 September at 1.30pm

To book a place in one of the events, visit www.getintogolf.org and search for one of the clubs above. The events are listed under the ‘Improver’ tab.

The playing days are for women who have taken Get into Golf coaching sessions and want support to try their new skills on the course. They are designed to help the players build confidence, make friends – and have a laugh together.

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

Scoring avoids counting the strokes. 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. More experienced golfers are also on hand to help.

Alison Lysons, an England Golf Club Support Officer for Cheshire, said: “We have seen that women who participate in these events gain great confidence in playing on a golf course which has really helped with their development.

“The social side is also fantastic and we all enjoy a glass together afterwards in the clubhouse. I would recommend Women on Par to any women currently learning to play.”

Cheshire is one of eight counties across the country which are running the Women on Par scheme. It’s an initiative from England Golf, which is committed to growing the women and girls’ game. Only 15 per cent of club members are women and just one per cent are girls.

The other counties are  Devon, Hampshire, Northumberland, Suffolk, Worcestershire, Hertfordshire and Durham.

The scheme has had the thumbs-up from players who’ve already tried it. Here’s what some of them have to say:

“It was great to have the opportunity to get out on a golf course with other beginners and someone who can advise and instruct you, whilst making sure that you were having fun and not losing confidence – Karen, Cheshire

“It has helped to build my confidence” – Catherine, Northumberland

“Prosecco makes a bad round good!” – Jo, Hertfordshire

“I’m really enjoying my new hobby” – Julia, Northumberland

“It’s enjoyable even if you are not playing well” – Trish, Hertfordshire

“Great to play with a group of ladies from other clubs with similar ability and knowledge” – Jo, Hertfordshire

Clitheroe ace Sophie in Curtis Cup team

Sophie Lamb (4).jpgIT was hardly a surprise when Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb was selected for the Great Britain and Ireland team to face the United States in the 40th Curtis Cup match at New York’s Quaker Ridge on June 8-10.

For her place was almost assured when she won the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur player at the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns.

The 20-year-old was also runner-up in the Irish Women’s Open Championship in the same year and represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 2017 Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe.

And In 2016, Sophie won the Ladies British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

GB&I will defend the historic trophy after securing an 11.5-8.5 win over the United States at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland two years ago.

An eight-player team and one non-travelling reserve have been selected for this year’s match with five players from England featuring alongside two Irishwomen and one Scot.

The GB&I team includes 16-year-old Lily May Humphreys who won the 2018 Helen Holm Championship at Royal Troon last week to add to the Girls British Open Amateur Championship and English Women’s Amateur Championship titles she won last year.

Olivia Mehaffey and Alice Hewson will make their second appearances for GB&I in the Curtis Cup after featuring in the winning side at Dun Laoghaire in 2016.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, who will captain GB&I in the Curtis Cup for the second time, said: “There have been a number of players throughout Great Britain and Ireland who have been in impressive form recently and it was a difficult decision to select only eight.

“The players selected will now have a wonderful opportunity to perform on the international stage in one of the world’s most prestigious events and I’m sure that they will give their very best as we attempt to retain the trophy against a talented team from the United States.”

TEAM: India Clyburn (21, Woodhall Spa); Lily May Humphreys (16, Stoke-by-Nayland); Annabell Fuller (15, Roehampton); Sophie Lamb (20, Clitheroe);  Paula Grant (24, Lisburn); Shannon McWilliam (18, Aboyne, Scotland); Alice Hewson (20, Berkhamsted);    Olivia Mehaffey (20, Royal County Down Ladies).

 

Lancs clubs appeal for women members

LANCASHIRE golf clubs are being challenged to help the sport to appeal to a new generation of female players who have never known a world without the internet or mobile phones.

The first county conference on how clubs can attract more women players heard a call to arms to reverse a worrying trend of falling numbers and an ageing profile.

The meeting at Mytton Fold Golf Club, located near Blackburn and Clitheroe, was fully subscribed with more than 250 delegates representing 90 clubs from the county. It reflected the enthusiasm to embrace a new way of working to help get more girls and women on to the fairways.

The conference was the result of a unique collaboration between the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, the Lancashire Ladies’ County Golf Association, England Golf, the Golf Foundation and the R&A.

Lancashire Golf Development Group secretary Phil Harvey urged clubs to break away from the stereotyping of golf so that it can become more relevant to women who are already juggling the demands of family and work or to a younger generation who may be put off by rules, such as dress codes.

He said: “We know that the age profile of the sport is dominated by the over 50s and 60s but we need to appeal to the under 50s. Many of our present women golfers will not be playing in the next 10 years, so where is the next generation of players coming from?

“If the women’s game continues to decline, eventually there will be a knock-on effect for the men, too, as membership fees rise to offset falling numbers. Ultimately that will threaten the very future of the sport and its clubs.”

The conference supported a series of high-profile presentations with a practical blueprint for the clubs to follow with advice including:

  • Create a two-year pathway from beginner to full club membership
  • Ensure a mentoring and buddy system is in place to welcome newcomers
  • Try short course and short format events
  • Create a marketing plan targeting women, highlighting the sport’s health, lifestyle and social benefits
  • Engage with social media to promote what the club and sport has to offer
  • Review the rules and governance of the club to ensure a minimum 20 per cent female representation on the board, plus the appointment of girls and women ambassadors
  • Provide weekend play and competitions, including gender free events
  • Review membership offers to ensure they are family friendly
  • Ensure customer service is fit for the 21st century
  • Get the whole club involved in making the changes

The R&A, which is introducing a special women’s charter in this year, was represented by Jackie Davidson, assistant director of golf development, while Nick Pink, chief executive of England Golf which oversees the amateur game in this country, also delivered a keynote speech.

Dr John Fry, from Myerscough College, who has undertaken a major research project about the perception of golf and clubs from a female viewpoint, stressed that the sport needed to accept the need for change.

“The experience economy means people are far more aware of their surroundings so, for example, they are prepared to pay a bit extra for a coffee in somewhere like Costa,” he said.

“Clubs need to think about the whole experience, not just whether the ball rolls well on the greens, with ideas like priority parking for families, a safe area for children while their parents are at the club or activities for the parents themselves.

“A golf club should be like a community hub, offering the kind of personalised welcome that you might get when joining a gym – they need to be a relaxing and fun place to be, rather than a place where people feel they are struggling to fit in!”

Speakers at the hugely successful event also included social media sensation, the JazzyGolfer (pictured below), who offered a perspective of golf from a 21st century 20-something, and marketing expert Emma Ballard, of Media8.

Jasmine, who only took up the sport 12 months ago, warned that golf is in danger of missing out on potential players.

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“This is a sport that can be fun for everyone, but there have been times when I have been left to feel like an outsider or very uncomfortable,” she said.

“We need to make clubs more welcoming. It is not all clubs but probably more than we want to admit. This is a great opportunity for the sport – but there is no room for men only parts of a clubhouse while I was once told I couldn’t play at a club because of what I was wearing – even though they had invited me there!

“Clubs need to make the right appeal to a generation who spend their time on social media rather than watching TV or reading newspapers, and provide the kind of offers, playing formats and environment that will attract them.”

Clubs are being offered a range of support to drive the initiative with workshops, marketing and social media advice and grant support available.