Archive for the ‘Women’s Golf’ Category

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.

 

 

Helen pledges to help Lancashire clubs

HELEN Searle is on a mission – to help golf clubs across Lancashire create a positive future for themselves and the sport.

England Golf  has appointed the 26-year-old to the role of supporting the work of clubs and driving ranges across the county.

Helen, who is based in the Ribble Valley, will team up with Adam McAlister with a brief to attract more players, increase membership and develop stronger clubs across the region.

Helen Searle.jpgThe work going on in the Red Rose county to not only attract new players but also provide a solid business foundation for the future for golf facilities sees the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies’ Golf Association working closely with the area’s PGA professionals as part of the Lancashire Golf Development Group.

Helen (pictured) and Adam will work alongside England Golf regional manager, Jason Budd, to develop and deliver national initiatives and programmes to make golf more accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

This includes supporting clubs with two initiatives – the Get into Golf campaign and the achievement of the GolfMark standard. Both promote a more inclusive and friendly approach towards ne wcomers, ensuring they can play golf regularly.

Helen has been involved with golf since she was 10 when she played alongside her dad, Peter, at West End golf club in Halifax.

She  got down to a single figure handicap in her early teens and by 16 was representing both her county and England, competing in the Europeans and Home Internationals.

After achieving her A levels, Helen went on to pass her PGA degree and played as a professional on the Paul Lawrie Tour while living in Troon, Scotland, as well as enjoying a string of top five finishes in WPGA events.

Helen enjoyed coaching at numerous academies prior to taking on her England Golf role and has always thrived on the idea of making a difference and helping someone achieve their goals.

“I now have the resources and the tools to provide clubs and golf facilities with extensive support, tailoring to their specific needs,” she said. “There is far too much doom and gloom around golf in the media, but it is very much alive, and I am determined to raise awareness for the game I know and love!

“I aim to showcase what every club, big or small has to offer, whether this be a great place to learn the game or a venue to hold future national events. There is something unique in what each and every club has to offer; it’s my job to show them the potential.

“I would urge clubs to use their club support officer. Get me in, talk me through where the club is at now and where it wants to be, then we have a starting point to build a strategy and commit to an action plan; you can’t go wrong with that.”

Adam is covering the west of the county (Lancaster, Blackpool and Fylde, Preston, South Ribble, Chorley, West Lancashire, Wigan and Merseyside) while Helens is looking after East Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

 

Cheshire women aiming to get the Abbey habit

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CHESHIRE club Vale Royal Abbey is joining the drive to encourage more women to take up golf by hosting an open day on April 15 which includes a two-hour free taster session.

PGA professional Ben Derbyshire and his assistant Brian Cassidy will provide free tuition and introduce new players to different aspects of the game.

Women club members will also be on hand to support Ben and Brian and chat about the sport and everything that the club has to offer.

Follow-up coaching will also be available to newcomers interested in developing their skills with six-week blocks of lessons for beginners which Ben and Brian will be offering on a Thursday and a Sunday.

As part of Vale Royal Abbey’s pathway into golf, six-week blocks of lessons will then be available for improvers along with a trial membership offer giving an insight into club life and the chance to get out and play on the course.

Alison Lysons, England Golf’s Cheshire club support officer, said: “It’s great to see the club’s owners get behind the initiative and help create a pathway into membership for them.”

For further information contact Ben Derbyshireon 01606 301291 option 4 or email golfpro@vra.co.uk

 

Lancs bid to get more women into golf

A HIGH profile range of key speakers is backing a new drive to encourage more women to take up golf in Lancashire.

The first county conference on how clubs can attract more female players will hear practical advice and a call to arms from some of the most influential figures in the sport.

The R&A, which is introducing a special women’s charter this year, will be 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, will also be delivering a keynote speech.

The free event at Mytton Fold Golf Club, near Blackburn, on March 15 is fully subscribed with more than 200 delegates representing 80 clubs from across the county. It is intended clubs will leave the conference with a raft of ideas to help get more girls and women out on to the fairways.

The day-long conference is 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 Golf Club Managers Association.

As well as practical advice and ideas, the speakers will also challenge attitudes and approaches to women’s golf.

Social media sensation, the JazzyGolfer, will offer a perspective of golf from a 21st century 20-something, Emma Ballard, of Media8, will provide tips on how the sport should be marketed to women while Dr John Fry, from Myerscough College, will deliver an insight into what research can tell us about the perception of golf and clubs from a female viewpoint.

Phil Harvey, Lancashire Golf Development Group secretary, said: “The range of speakers will offer a wide variety of views – and in some cases a very new spin on what women think about golf and how clubs can react to best meet what the players are looking to gain from the sport, whether that be from a health, social or competitive point of view.

“The speakers will challenge clubs to look at things in a different way while continuing to provide the core values of golf club life. They will inspire and motivate the clubs to make the changes that will further broaden the appeal of the sport.

“Further advice and help will be available from the England Golf club support officers in Lancashire after the conference as we look to encourage more women to give golf a go.

“More female players means a more active social side to a club, stronger family ties and an increase in revenue – all of which contributes to the long-term sustainability of our clubs and sport.”

 

 

North West girls to compete in Nations Cup

THREE teams will represent England in the Nations Cup at the Spanish women’s amateur championship later this month.

The first includues s Annabell Fuller, Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb (picture by Leaderboard Photography)  and Prestbury’s Bel Wardle. Wardle won the recent Portuguese women’s championship in a play-off with Fuller. Lamb  was low amateur at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

The second team is Lianna Bailey, Lily May Humphreys and Georgia Price. Humphreys won five championships last season including English,

Sophie-Lamb (1).jpgBritish and European titles, while Bailey and Price are consistently high finishers.

The third team is drawn from the England Golf girls’ squad and is Martha Lewis, Mimi Rhodes and Hannah Screen. Lewis was runner-up in the English girls’ championship, Screen was runner-up in the British women’s stroke play and Rhodes reached the last 16 in the British girls’ championship.

The Spanish championship will be played at Barcelo Montecastillo golf & sports resort from 28 February to 4 March.

Team A:  

Annabell Fuller, 15, Roehampton, Surrey

Sophie Lamb, 20, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Bel Wardle, 18, Prestbury, Cheshire

Team B:

Lianna Bailey, 21, Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire

Lily May Humphreys , 15, Stoke By Nayland, Essex

Georgia Price, 24, Bude & North Cornwall

Team C:

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

Mimi Rhodes, 16, Burnham & Berrow, Somerset

Hannah Screen, 18, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

 

Lombard Trophy attracts another big field

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PRIZE GUY: Andy Picton Hart proudly holds the trophy he won with his Hart Common professional Steve Parry last year. Below: amateur Trish Formoy.

MORE than 1,000 golfers will contest the Lombard Trophy, Europe’s largest pro-am which culminates with an expenses paid trip to Portugal’s Algarve for the grand final in September.

The final will once again be staged on the Championship course at the five-star Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Resort Hotel, Vilamoura, and will feature 14 pairs competing Trish Formoy.jpgfor the £12,000 first prize.

The finalists will be determined by 14 regional finals that start on June 5 in the Midlands at Little Aston and finish two months later on August 2 at Burnham & Berrow in Somerset.

Other regional final venues include Walton Heath, home of the 1981 Ryder Cup, and Fulford in York, which staged no fewer than 23 European Tour events between 1967 and 1981.

Lombard, a leading management finance company providing leasing and hire purchase products, is supporting the competition for a third successive year with a £41,450 prize fund.

The company is also backing the women’s version of the pro-am, the WPGA Lombard Trophy. This will be contested by six pairs at Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Resort Hotel at the same time as the men’s final.

Commenting on Lombard’s support, PGA chief executive Robert Maxfield said: “Lombard is a fantastic sponsor of the PGA National Pro-Am Championship and we’re delighted to have their support once again in 2018.

“This is a unique event insomuch that it offers PGA Professionals a rare opportunity to team up with an amateur partner and represent their club in a national event.

“The competition features 14 superb regional final venues and Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Resort Hotel will once again prove to be a spectacular setting for this year’s finale.

“We look forward to this year’s tournament and I wish each and every competitor the best of luck.”

Ian Isaac, head of Lombard, added: “Lombard is proud to be continuing their sponsorship of Europe’s biggest pro-am event for another year.

“It’s great for us to be working with The PGA once again to offer amateur and professional golfers the opportunity to play some of the best courses across the UK and Ireland.

“Well over a million amateur golfers have participated in the Lombard Trophy over the years and we look forward to welcoming thousands more who wish to seize the chance to make their mark in 2018.”

Around 700 clubs entered the Lombard Trophy in 2017, with Hart Common duo Steve Parry and his amateur partner Andy Picton prevailing in a dramatic play-off to claim victory.

“From an amateur point of view you get to play at a great golf course during the qualifying round so it’s worth entering the Lombard Trophy just for that,” said Picton.

“It’s a fantastic experience playing at Vila Sol as you’re walking up that 18th in a winning position because all of the players, from both the ladies and men’s events, are following you up the fairway. It feels like you’re playing in a major because you’ve got a gallery watching you.”

The WPGA Lombard Trophy enters its third year with two regional qualifying events at Camberley Heath in Surrey on June 11 and Cheshire’s Dunham Forest on July 23.

The top three teams from each qualify for the grand final, won last year by Kibworth duo Kym Larratt and amateur Trish Formoy.

“To have the opportunity of an all-expenses paid trip to Portugal was incredible,” said Larratt, a Ladies European Tour player. “It was a huge accomplishment and pleasure to be crowned winners.”

Formoy added: “Like all golf competitions, you have nothing to lose and as much chance of winning as anyone else, particularly in this format with a professional for a partner.

“Coming down the 18th when we had it in the bag, I couldn’t let myself believe it until the final putt; then it was phenomenal. When we got home, everyone was excited about the win.

“Every now and then telling yourself you have won a national tournament does give you a warm feeling.”

Entry packs will be arriving at golf clubs across the UK this month. Entries are now open online by visiting www.pgagbi.bluegolf.com

Cheshire ace Wardle elevated to women’s squad

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BEL WARDLE: Image copyright Leaderboard Photography

PRESTBURY’S Bel Wardle, who last week won the Portuguese women’s amateur, is among 10 players in the England Golf women’s 2018 squad.  She is also the English women’s open and English girls’ champion, moves up from the girls’ squad, alongside three other players.

They are Lily May Humphreys, whose four wins in 2017 included the British girls’ title; Annabell Fuller who was runner-up to Wardle in Portugal; and her older sister and fellow international Sammy Fuller.

Sammy Fuller is one of five players who are US-based while they study at university in America. The others are Curtis Cup player Alice Hewson, Emma Allen, Louisa Brunt and India Clyburn.

The squad is completed by Georgia Price and Sophie Lamb, who was leading amateur at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

The England Golf girls’ squad includes five new players, who join established members Martha Lewis, Mimi Rhodes, Amelia Williamson and Hannah Screen, the runner-up in the British women’s stroke play. They are Yorkshire’s Charlotte Heath and Nicola Slater; Buckinghamshire’s Thalia Kirby, who was runner-up in the English U16 girls’ championship; Gloucestershire’s Ebonie Lewis and Cumbria’s Caitlin Whitehead.

Women’s squad

Emma Allen, 21, Meon Valley, Hampshire

Louisa Brunt, 19, Royal Birkdale, Lancashire

India Clyburn, 21, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

Lily May Humphreys, 15, Stoke by Nayland, Essex

Annabell Fuller, 15, Roehampton, Surrey

Sammy Fuller, 18, Roehampton, Surrey

Alice Hewson, 20, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Sophie Lamb, 20, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Georgia Price, 24, Bude & North Cornwall

Bel Wardle, 18, Prestbury, Cheshire

Girls:

Charlotte Heath, 16, Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Thalia Kirby, 16, Harleyford, Buckinghamshire

Ebonie Lewis, 17, Knowle, Gloucestershire

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

Mimi Rhodes, 16, Burnham & Berrow, Somerset

Hannah Screen, 18, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Nicola Slater, 17, Woodsome Hall, Yorkshire

Caitlin Whitehead, 15, Kendal, Cumbria

Amelia Williamson, 17, Royal Cromer, Norfolk