Women & Golf Chairman Kim Wild was lucky enough to get an all-access pass to the First Rose Ladies Series at Brokenhurst Manor. She tells us about her experience and what an honour it was to meet the club volunteers who made the whole thing possible...
"What a privilege it was to attend the first event in the Rose Ladies Series at Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club.
Set in the heart of the New Forest, this friendly, 105-year-old members’ club eally pushed the boat out to get the Series underway and ensure the course was in fantastic condition for the players, including the likes of Dame Laura Davies, Charley Hull and Meghan MacLaren and many others.
There were also a couple of lucky amateurs in the field with Louise Burke, Mimi Rhodes and Lottie Ward mingling with the more seasoned pros. What a great experience it must have been for them.
In collaboration with Jason MacNiven, a renowned club fitting expert who provides a service out of the club’s pro shop, Liz Young, Brokenhurst’s touring pro, has managed to raise the profile of women’s golf by gaining the support and sponsorship of Justin Rose and his wife Kate.
But what about the Brokenhurst members themselves? Well, they couldn’t be happier.
I was lucky enough to bump into Lady Captain Lesley Timewell and she told me how the whole club had pulled together, despite the Coronavirus restrictions, to make sure every detail was perfected with a willing army of around one hundred volunteers helping to make the event run smoothly.
The only fly in the ointment was that golf fans sitting at home – both men and women – were unable share the experience, not only because of the Coronavirus restrictions, but because there was no live TV coverage with only a few highlights shown on Sky Sports news.
At a time when so much is being spouted about getting more women into the game, surely this was a missed opportunity? The play-off at the end between Charley Hull and Liz Young would have made riveting viewing and I know that many of you will have been frustrated as being unable to watch.
But maybe, just maybe, the interest and support from a Major and Olympic gold medal winner will encourage the powers behind the television lenses to increase live coverage of women’s golf events.
American Golf certainly seem to agree with us as the company has signed up to become the sponsor of the Series’ Order of Merit. Meanwhile Computacenter, Britain’s leading provider of IT infrastructure services, is sponsoring the Grand Final on 6/7th August at Wentworth’s famous West Course.
Fingers crossed the momentum continues and more women’s golf events can be held and enjoyed in the UK."
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