We've had a look through the Women & Golf website stats to bring you the top stories that you read in 2021.
Throughout 2021 we've brought you a mix of news, reviews and views on lots of topics across the golf world. From good news stories to product launches, industry insights to golf course reviews and everything in-between. We hope that you have enjoyed the variety of content that we have produced.
Here we run down the Top Five stories from the Women & Golf website in 2021.
1. Government responds to petition to reopen golf courses
The year started with a lot of uncertainty as we moved into another lockdown here in the UK. Rightly or wrongly there were a large number of golfers who felt that golf shouldn't have been restricted. This was mainly due to the safe return of golf in May 2020 - the first sport to come back into play.
At the point of writing the article, 130,000 people had signed the petition to reopen golf courses. Whilst acknowledging that golf was a great sport for mental health, the DCMS concluded:
"No government would want to be in a position of needing to close sports facilities including golf courses. Golf has great reach across society as people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can take part in the game; it brings people together to experience the outdoors and enjoy nature. Golf courses were one of the first sports facilities to be reopened following the initial lockdown and they were also able to stay open in the local tiered restrictions, including tier 4. However, the current spread of the virus risks the healthcare system becoming overwhelmed. This is something we cannot allow to happen and is why the current national lockdown was introduced."
2. Exclusive interview: Inci Mehmet
We had the pleasure of interviewing Inci Mehmet when we attended the Rose Ladies Series event at The Berkshire in May. It was refreshing to meet someone who was so open and willing to chat. During our conversation, Inci revealed that she would be stepping away from professional golf as she looked to see where her role in golf media would take her.
Whilst Inci took some more time to reflect, she then gave us the opportunity to share her news with the golf community. It's not surprising that this honest interview came in at number two this year.
"I’ve almost come to terms with this and am able to look at myself in the mirror. I’m 24 now and if I were to get onto the LPGA Tour, the quickest it would be is in two years time and I would be 26. I think if you’re going to do anything, I want to do something different to make a difference, make a change, make an impact and leave something behind. That would probably mean playing on tour for 10 years minimum, so from a timescale point of view I’d be 36/37.
"If I am honest that doesn’t appeal to me anymore, sadly, and it is quite sad to admit that to myself."
3. Your World Handicap System questions answered
An area that probably produced the most discussion on our social media channels this year was the World Handicap System. Implemented in November 2020, this was the first full season of golfers across the country getting used to the new system.
There were obviously glitches, frustrations and questions raised about the new system. We were lucky to get time with Gemma Hunter, Head of Handicapping & Course Rating at England Golf. She has become to the go-to spokesperson for the World Handicap System and it's safe to say that there isn't anything she doesn't know.
We posed questions from Women & Golf social media followers - no question was off-limits and Gemma offered a lot of clarity and insight to our readers.
4. Jessica Korda marries Johnny DelPrete
Who doesn't love a wedding?! Well, it appears Women & Golf readers do! Jessica Korda only married Johnny DelPrete on December 12 but this story has already trended up into our top five.
The golf off-season always seems to turn into wedding season and this year was no exception. LPGA Tour's Lindsey Weaver got married to Zach Wright on November 27, Women's Scottish Open champion Ryann O'Toole wed Gina Marra on December 3 and the Ladies European Tour player Frida Gustafsson Spang also tied the knot in early December.
We can now also add LET player Nicole Garcia who wed Grant on December 21 in South Africa.
5. 2021 Rose Ladies Series Announced
After the success of the inaugural Rose Ladies Series in 2020, there was a lot of anticipation of the announcement that the series would make a return in 2021.
It started with a teaser tweet at 9am on April 1 claiming it was an April Fools. We then had to wait until the evening to hear the 2021 Rose Ladies Series announcement. Not only was the tour returning, but there were also going to be more events and a bigger prize fund.
It's safe to say that the 2021 Rose Ladies Series was a great success and we enjoyed being able to attend and report from the events. Let's hope that the Series will be back for a third year.
So, that brings our Top Five stories to a close. It's interesting to see that you, our Women & Golf readers, have quite a variety of topics that pique your interest. We're looking forward to upping our game further and bringing you lots more engaging and interesting articles and content in 2022.
As always, please drop us an email with any news, reviews or views from the world of golf.