Saturday, July 04, 2020

THE R&A HAS UPDATED ITS AMATEUR EVENTS SCHEDULE

The R&A has announced that, due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, it has made further revisions to its Amateur Championships schedule.


The latest changes to The R&A Amateur Championships are:

The Women’s Amateur Championship, which was due to be played at Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club, has moved south of the border. It will now be played at the West Lancashire Golf Club from 25-29 August. The Ayrshire venue will host the 2021 championship from 8-12 June.

The Men's Amateur Championship will now only be played at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club from 25-30 August. The stroke play and matchplay phases are normally played at two different venues.

Unfortunately, The R&A Girls' AmateurBoys Amateur and Women’s Senior Amateur championships have all been cancelled.

The 41st Curtis Cup, which was due to be played from 12-14 June 2020, has been rescheduled to 3-5 September 2021 at the Conwy Golf Club in Wales.

The R&A has stated that it believes the revised schedule will create a strong run of amateur events.

That run of events will start with the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship (the Brabazon Trophy) at Sherwood Forest (18-21 August) and the English Women’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Burnham & Berrow (18-20 August).

Next on the schedule will be the Women’s Amateur Championship at West Lancashire (25-29 August) and the Men's Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale (25-30 August).

Finally, there will be a series of European amateur events, including the Men's European Amateur Championship in France (2-5 September), the Women's European Amateur Team Championship in Sweden (9-12 September), the Men's European Amateur Team Championship in the Netherlands (also 9-12 September) and the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship in Slovenia (30 September to 3 October).

Duncan WeirThe R&A Executive Director of Golf Development & Amateur Championships, said:

“We have been working hard to make sure we can deliver The Amateur and Women’s Amateur championships in August in as safe a manner as possible for players and officials. With that in mind, we plan to stage both championships at neighbouring venues in the north west of England so we can concentrate our resources in one area."

“We look forward to staging these great championships which will provide an opportunity for the leading players to compete at the highest level and, if eligible, stake their claims for places in the Walker and Curtis cups as well as other international matches next year."

“We are also delighted to confirm the dates for the Curtis Cup match and look forward to welcoming the players of both teams to Conwy in 2021.”

Now that the 5 mile travel restrictions have been lifted in Scotland, it will be possible for Scotland's top amateurs to enter the championships south of the border. But, they will have to miss out in the European Team Championships this year. Scottish Golf has already confirmed that, due to the coronavirus crisis, it will not be sending teams to either of those events.

Entries for The Amateur and The Women's Amateur Championships are now open. The closing date is the 30th July. For further information visit:
https://bit.ly/AmateurEntries

For news about all The R&A Amateur Championships visit: www.RandA.org

Friday, July 03, 2020

SCOTTISH GOLF HAS UPDATED ITS PHASE 2 GUIDANCE

Travel restrictions for Scottish Golfers are lifted today, but face coverings must be worn in Pro-shops next week and Opens are still off-limits.


In response to the statement made by Scotland's First Minister yesterday, Scottish Golf has updated its Phase 2 Guidance for Golf Clubs and Golfers. The principal changes as follows:

From Friday 3 July:
"Travel restrictions are now lifted (with exception of Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Langholm and Canonbie, where 5-mile guidance remains in place). Toilet facilities can re-open subject to the implementation of appropriate hygiene routines."

From Monday 6 July:
"Outdoor hospitality can recommence subject to maintaining physical distancing and appropriate hygiene routines."

From Friday 10 July:
"Face coverings must be worn when entering professional shops."

Open competitions, Elite Amateur or Professional events:
"At present, it is not currently envisaged that these type of events will return for some time yet... we ask all of our member clubs and tournament organisers utilising facilities affiliated to Scottish Golf, to adhere to this mandatory regulation on competitive golf by ensuring that they are not operating any competitive events which allow non-members of the club to take part."

Re-opening of indoor hospitality venues:
"At this time it is our understanding that a target date of 15 July remains. As with all of Scottish Golf’s guidance, this is subject to change and will require final sign off from Government. This will not happen until nearer the time and we will continue to keep our clubs updated as and when we have further information available on this aspect."

To read the full statement from Scottish Golf click the link below:
https://scottishgolf.org/statement

To read the Phase 2 Guidance for Golf Clubs & Golfers, which Scottish Golf has updated and published on its website, click the link below:
https://scottishgolf.org/phase-2

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

THE LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR IS RAISING ITS GAME

The Ladies European Tour (LET) has relaunched their brand with a fresh logo, new website and tag line, #RaiseOurGame.  


As part of its relaunch, The Ladies European Tour has also released a short video, which introduces its new tagline, #RaiseOurGame. The film focuses on the hard work and determination it takes for women and girls to pursue their passion, achieve their goals and realise their potential.

The script was written by two-time LET winner Meghan MacLaren, an eloquent 26 year-old who is becoming known for her thoughtful and honest opinions on the issues that affect women's golf. MacLaren's inspirational text is narrated by two-time major winner and European Solheim Cup star Suzann Pettersen.

Meghan MacLaren, who raised her own game last week to win the second event in Justin Rose Ladies' Series, said:

“I loved working on this project and it was great to play an active role in the new direction of our Tour. This is an exciting time for the LET and for women’s golf and to see the growth potential as we look ahead to the future for the next is very fulfilling. I’ve always worked hard to raise my game and I’m proud to be a member of a tour which gives us the opportunity to raise our game further.”

Suzann Pettersen said:

“I wouldn’t be where I am without the LET and I’m excited about the next chapter of the Tour’s history as it looks to provide even more opportunities for women and girls in the game. I’m thrilled to narrate this inspirational video, re-branding the new LET. The future is bright for the LET and its Members.”

Last November the Ladies European Tour joined forces with the LPGA to create an exciting new joint partnership. By January the LET schedule was looking the strongest it had done in years with new sponsors, 24 tournaments and record prize money on offer. There was a genuine buzz about the future of European women's golf. And then, after only three events, the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Three months on, the LET brand refresh with its #RaiseOurGame tagline aims not only to capture the ambition of the new LPGA-LET joint partnership. It also aims to signal that even in the midst of a pandemic the shared desire to keep moving women’s golf forward has not been lost.

LET Chief ExecutiveAlexandra Armas, said:

“This brand refresh expresses our excitement about the LET and its future, how passionate and proud we all are to represent this strong new brand and that we are in this journey together with our partners, determined to create greater opportunities for the women who play golf today and for the ones that will follow in the future."

“It has been an unprecedented and eventful start to the new decade. In January, we announced a record-breaking schedule and we were extremely excited about the 2020 season. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been a challenging time for us of late, but we are now focused on the long term."

“This is not only the time to preserve tournaments in 2020 but to build the future that we’re so excited about moving forward for women’s golf. 2020 is a building block to a bigger and better 2021, 2022 and beyond. Together, let’s do all we can to raise our game.”

The Ladies European Tour is due to re-start in mid August with two events in Scotland. The first event is AIS Ladies' Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club from 13-16 August. The second is the AIG Women's British Open, at the Royal Troon Golf Club from 20-23 August.

Monday, June 29, 2020

MEGHAN MACLAREN WINS SECOND ROSE SERIES EVENT

Meghan MacLaren won the second Justin Rose Ladies' Series event despite a two-shot penalty for playing the wrong ball.


Justin Rose Ladies' Series, Moor Park Golf Club
-3 M MacLaren 69;  -1 E Young, S Fuller (AM)
Selected:  Level G Dryburgh, C Frankish, S Evans;  +1 C Hull

Two-time LET winner Meghan MacLaren won the event at Moor Park Golf Club with a three-under-par 69, which included an eagle, five birdies and a two-shot penalty.

MacLaren was coasting at six-under-par through ten before a double-bogey the 11th after playing a wrong ball and two successive bogeys from the 12th dropped her back to two-under. She recovered some ground with a birdie at the 15th and finished with three pars to win by two shots.

Elizabeth Young, a co-founder of the series, and Samantha Fuller, one of three amateurs invited to join the field, both shot a one-under-par 71 to finish tied for second place. Young, who was also the runner-up in the opening event after losing out to Charley Hull in a playoff, leads the Order of Merit ahead of Hull and MacLaren.

Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh finished tied for fourth after a level-par 72.

Charley Hull ended tied-seventh after mixing six birdies with seven bogeys in an eventful one-over-par 73. She was one of three players to play 36 holes, having played in the Worplesdon Charity Pro-Am before driving 35-miles to compete at Moor Park.

After her win, Meghan MacLaren, who only returned to competitive golf last week after the global pandemic forced a three month break, said:

“I think everybody felt a bit more comfortable this week. We were thrown in at the deep end last week, because the course was really tough, and this one was tough as well, but you start to get your edge back, bit by bit."

“It’s just nice. We all enjoy being here and you see the same faces, so it’s a really enjoyable atmosphere." 

“For someone like Justin Rose to come out and sponsor this and say the things that he did and just give us some respect, it’s meant the world to all of us. To turn that into action is something that we will all be grateful for, for a very long time."


"Just getting to play: it’s nice to be out here again.”

The next event in the Justin Rose Ladies' Series is at Buckinghamshire Golf Club on Thursday 2 July.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FIRST ROSE LADIES' SERIES EVENT

Watch as Jasmine, better known as The Jazzy Golfer, presents behind the scenes action from the first ever Justin Rose Ladies' Series event.


The inaugural Justin Rose Ladies Series event kicked off at Brokenhurst Golf Course on Thursday 18th July.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the series is being played behind closed doors. But, The Jazzy Golfer, who has presented at Ladies European Tour events and the 2019 Solheim Cup, was given access to cover the action at the Hampshire course.

This is the first of eight events in the Justin Rose Ladies' Series. In all, there will be seven 18-hole tournaments before a 36-hole grand final at The Berkshire and Wentworth's West Course from 6-7 August.

The next event is at is at Moor Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire on Thursday 25 June. In the meantime enjoy the video from The Jazzy Golfer.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

CHARLEY HULL WINS FIRST ROSE LADIES' SERIES EVENT

Charley Hull beat Liz Young in a play-off to win the first Justin Rose Ladies' Series tournament at Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club.


Justin Rose Ladies Series, Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club
Level: C Hull*, E Young;  +1 G Cowley;  +2 H Burke
Selected:  +3 A Hewson;  +5 G Dryburgh, M MacLaren;  +7 L Davies
* denotes winner after play-off

Solheim Cup player Charley Hull denied the event organiser Liz Young a dream victory in the opening event of the new Justin Rose Ladies Series at Brokenhurst Manor in Hampshire.

Young, who was in the first group to tee-off at the Hampshire golf course on Thursday morning, was three over par after 12 holes, but eagled the par-four 13th and birdied the 15th to set a clubhouse lead with a level-par 70. Hull was leading by two shots with two to play, but a double-bogey six on the par-four 17th dropped her back to finish level par alongside Young. However, Hull made no mistake in the play-off, holing a 12ft putt for birdie on the first hole to land the £5,000 top prize.

Gemma Dryburgh, the only Scot in the field, finished in a tie for seventh along with Meghan MacLaren after a 75.

Laura Davies who finished with a 77 said:

“I thought I’d played rather well and shot seven over. I came here expecting to play a nice friendly golf course and instead it was a monster. It was set up like the US Open.”

Charley Hull, whose last competitive round of golf was five months ago at the Gainbridge LPGA tournament in Florida said:

"I'm just so happy to be playing professional golf again and have a scorecard in my hand."

"The golf course was in great condition and it was my first time round here today. I was quite happy with my score. I doubled the 17th, because I took a wrong line off the tee, but it was just great to be playing."

"I've missed it loads. I love playing golf. I'm pretty much golfed out because I've been playing every day, but I can't wait to get back out on tour."

"I want to thank Justin and Kate Rose for putting these events on. You need to be playing to get back in the mindset. I've been playing a lot for the last few weeks and I played eight days on the trot, but it's not the same as having a scorecard in your hand."

The next tournament in the Justin Rose Ladies' Series is at Moor Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire on Thursday 25 June.

JUSTIN ROSE LADIES' SERIES GRAND FINAL CONFIRMED

Computacenter, Britain's leading provider of IT infrastructure services, has put in £35,000 to become the title sponsor for the Grand Final.


The two-day Justin Rose Ladies Series Grand Final is set to be held at two venues on 6-7 August. The Berkshire is to host the first round and the second is to be played at Wentworth's West Course, which is the home of the men's European Tour's flagship event the PGA Championship.

With Computacenter on board, the Justin Rose Ladies' Series has been extended from six to seven 18-hole tournaments before the 36-hole grand final in August.

Justin and Kate Rose are contributing £35,000 towards the prize money, American Golf are contributing £35,000 to sponsor an Order of Merit prize fund and now Computacenter are contributing £35,000 to become the title sponsor for the Grand Final.

In addition, all nine golf courses are giving up their facilities free of charge and Sky Sports is broadcasting the series.

Justin Rose's Agent, Paul McDonnell said:

"We are lucky that Computacenter and American Golf have come on board, because they have made it a much more attractive and rewarding series."

"The series has really snowballed and it is great that these talented players have a chance to play in meaningful competition."

Computacenter's Managing Director, Neil Hall, said:

"Computacenter is absolutely committed to driving diversity in the Tech Industry and creating an environment where women can excel"

"We are proud to support Justin and Kate in providing a powerful platform for women's golf, both now and in the future. We look forward to a longstanding future."

UPDATE ON SCOTTISH GOLF'S GUIDANCE FOR PHASE 2

Scottish Golf has published guidance for golf clubs about running qualifying competitions under Phase 2 of the route map out of lockdown.


Last week, following the announcement by Scotland's First Minister that Scotland was moving to Phase 2 of the route map out of lockdown, Scottish Golf published its Phase 2 guidelines for golf clubs and golfers in Scotland.

This week, to support golf clubs who are preparing to run club competitions under Phase 2, Scottish Golf published its guidance for running qualifying competitions.

To read Scottish Golf’s Phase 2 Guidance for Golf Clubs and Golfers, including the new guidelines for running qualifying competitions, click the link below:
https://scottishgolf.org/phase-2

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

JUSTIN & KATE ROSE SPONSOR UK LADIES' GOLF SERIES

Justin Rose and his wifeKate, are to sponsor a series of women’s golf tournaments for UK professionals starting on 18 June (tomorrow).


The Justin Rose Ladies' Series will feature seven 18-hole tournaments and a 36-hole grand final. Justin and Kate are contributing £35,000 pounds to the prize money and all eight golf courses are giving up their facilities free of charge. The tournaments are to be played behind closed doors, but Sky Sports is to broadcast the series. As of this week, American Golf is to sponsor a £35,000 Order of Merit prize fund for the series.

The first event is at Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club on 18 June. The one-day tournament was the brainchild of Ladies' European Tour player Liz Young and Brockenhurst Manor's Head Professional, Jason MacNiven, who also runs a custom club-fitting company at the Hampshire course.

Liz Young, who is attached to Brokenhurst Manor, said:

“It is to find a way to put on a tournament for women’s professionals, so that we can be competitive again and have the chance to earn a little money in these uncertain times and to boost the profile of the women’s game.”

“There was controversy a few weeks ago over the first golf in the US being men’s only. Because golf is a sport that can be played safely now it is key that the women get exposure, too.”

Until Justin and Kate Rose stepped in the one-off event was without a sponsor and a broadcast partner.

Kate Rose, who was an European champion gymnast and worked for IMG, the management company that represented her husband when they met, said:

"I read about what Liz was trying to do and thought that Justin and I had to help.”

It is so important for the visibility of ladies’ golf that they can play at good courses and on TV because they need to be out there to both attract sponsors and keep their current sponsors happy as well as allowing more people to get to know who they are."

The Justin Rose Ladies' series will also include a stop at Royal St. George’s, which was due to host The 2020 Open Championship before The R&A cancelled the event due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other courses that have been signed up to host the series are Moor Park Golf Club, Buckinghamshire Golf Club, JCB Golf & Country Club, Bearwood Lakes Golf Club and The Shire London Golf Club.

The Roses’ intervention has come at a time when women’s professional golf is lagging well behind the men's as far as being able to re-start their tours. The LPGA Tour is not due to re-start until the end of July, almost seven weeks after the men's first PGA Tour event. Whilst LET professionals, who haven't been in action since the Investec South African Women's Open in Cape Town in mid-March, are not due to see the LET Tour re-start before the middle of August.

Justin Rose said:

“I am keenly aware that I now have the opportunity to go back to work and compete on the PGA Tour, but this is not the same for the ladies and some junior tours as well." 

"I am sad that the Ladies European Tour has been suffering so badly and doesn’t really have a start date yet from what I know. To me this seems somewhat unfair."

“My wife Kate and I felt there was an opportunity to step up and help. The prize money is modest because it is me throwing in some money and then the ladies are paying an entry fee and being able to play for a pot. We wanted to give them the opportunity to play and to be ready for when the opportunities arise later in the summer.”

While Justin is back on the road with the PGA Tour, Kate is helping organise the series along with Justin's agent Paul McDonnell, who will be acting as the series manager. Excel Sports Management, which looks after Rose and other leading players such as Justin Thomas and Matt Kuchar, will be running the tournaments. Liz Young and Jason MacNiven also remain involved, as Liz confirmed:

"Kate was keen for us to be involved with the whole thing as it was our idea in the first place, she was very conscious of not taking that away from us."

The Justin Rose Ladies' Series schedule is as follows:

18 June - Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club

25 June - Moor Park Golf Club

2 July - Buckinghamshire Golf Club

9 July - Royal St George’s

16 July - JCB Golf & Country Club

23 July - Bearwood Lakes Golf Club

30 July - The Shire London

6-7 August - Final TBC

Well done to Justin & Kate Rose, what an amazing gesture of support for the women's game, at a time when it need their help the most. It proves that even in difficult times, good things can and do happen.

Monday, June 15, 2020

MICHELLE THOMSON SIGNS WITH PAUL LAWRIE AGENCY

LET ProfessionalMichele Thomson, has signed with Five Star Sports Agency, the Sports Management & Events company owned by Paul Lawrie.


Five Star Sports Agency was established in 2018 by Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Open Champion. In addition to Paul, the Agency looks after Professionals on the European, Challenge, EuroPro, LET and LET Access Tours. They include David Law, Sam Locke and Hannah McCook.

LET Professional, Michele Thomson, said:

“I’m really pleased to have come on board with 5Star. I’ve known Paul for a number of years, having previously been supported through his Foundation. I’ve also been attached to the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre for the last six months or so and it’s where I practise and play when not travelling and competing. It’ll be great to have the benefit of Paul’s experience both on and off the course. He’s seen all sides of the Pro game and knows exactly where we’re coming from as players. I also know most of my fellow 5Star clients and get along well with them so that’s great too.”