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Musings from the Editor at Women & Golf magazine.

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I always enjoy visiting St Andrews, it really is a special place and I never tire of the view across the Swilken Bridge towards the clubhouse. I hope you like my picture below - the overhanging cloud looks very mysterious, as though ET might reappear!

 

I was in Scotland for the Ricoh Women's British Open at Kingsbarns Links that's 20 minutes down the road from St Andrews. I first played Kingsbarns about four years ago and when I'm asked the question, "What is your favourite golf course?" Kingsbarns has always ranked as my number one, and when I was fortunate to play it again for a second time earlier this year, nothing has pipped it yet! It was a real shame that not more people decided to attend the event and enjoy the scenery - sparse crowds was not a good advert on TV for our showcase event.

Ricoh over, then I was busy signing off the latest issue of Women & Golf which goes on sale on Friday, the same day that the Solheim Cup begins. I can't wait, there is nothing better than a Solheim or Ryder Cup. I won't be in Iowa, but I hope nobody bothers me next weekend as I'll be glued to the TV. I wonder if there will be any drama this time round - I'm sure all the players will be listening out very carefully as to whether a putt is given! Come on Europe - bring the Cup home...

 

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A big thanks to Naga Munchetty, BBC journalist and presenter, and Women & Golf columnist, and PING for contributing to such a successful reader day at Woburn Golf Club. 

After registering and receiving a luxurious PING goodie bag, 80 ladies enjoyed trying the latest PING clubs on the range and checking out PING clothing before I introduced Naga for an entertaining Q&A. It's a shame that it was Chatham House rules, otherwise I'd be happy to disclose her tales. Well done ladies for asking a variety of questions including her thoughts on the BBC's pay scale, her Strictly experience, the difference between male and female golf coaches, her perfect fourball etc. I was even used as an exhibit ... say no more!

Naga joined each group on the signature hole of the Dukes Course the par-3 3rd, and I joined them on the par-3 12th. The format was best two scores to count from four, but if good enough, our score could contribute to their team score.

I admit, I dd feel the pressue as I wanted to try and do well for every team  Fortunately I did assist on several occasions and managed one birdie on the 155 yard hole, although you would think so too when I'd already played the hole 18 times! If you have read my blogs you'll realise that I don't mind laughing at myself so I can also let you know that there was one impressive cigar moment in the left-hand side greenside bunker and I also shanked a chip from a tee shot into the right-hand side greenside bunker. It was great to meet so many readers, even if most of them don't want to select me as a foursomes partner!

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What an amazing Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Speith delivered drama and one of the best final round performances ever seen. Poor Matt Kuchar (and poor me as I would have received a greater return on my bet if he'd won!) as he did nothing wrong, but there was simply no catching Speith with that eagle and birdie blitz over the closing holes.

I travelled to Birkdale on Tuesday for the Association of Golf Writers dinner. This is always an enjoyable industry affair and this year the AGW Trophy was presented to Henrik Stenson, and Justin Rose received the inaugural Arnold Palmer Open Award. Other players present included Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Rafa Cabrera Bello, and the Masters champion Sergio Garcia. The BBC's Iain Carter did a great job interviewing them.

I'm always slightly embarrassed about having my picture taken with 'celebrities', but I do like Sergio so this was an opportunity that I couldn't resist. I wish him all the very best for his wedding this week.... if only! The next day I had back-to-back meetings before travelling home, but during the day I couldn't resist showing my colleagues this picture of the happy couple!

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I will let you into a secret as to why myself and Samantha Head are laughing in the picture below. It was taken on Monday at Woburn Golf Club during an instruction shoot and the reason for our laughter is because it took Sam a number of takes for one particular video and the more takes, the more frustrated Sam became which was even funnier! I will share the video with you in the near future as I think you will find it funny too!

 

On Wednesday I flew to Glasgow and back for the day as I was invited to play in the pro-am of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links. As I arrived at the club in glorious sunshine and saw that the public car park was already pretty full, the enormity of the event suddenly dawned on me - and if I'm honest, sheer panic at the thought of playing in front of a crowd. Nerves began way before the 1st tee.  I thought it would be a good idea to hit some practice balls, so there I was tightly packed in between the pros, their managers, coaches, and other amateur golfers, with a significant audience watching. Well, I couldn't hit a ball - shanks, tops, all kinds of awful shots - anything other than a good strike. I knew that people weren't interested in me, but it didn't help the situation. I didn't finish the bucket of balls, in fact, I couldn't get off there quick enough!

Ladies European Tour player Kylie Walker had organised a spot for her golf-mad mum Elizabeth as a special birthday present, with Kylie acting as caddie - read more in next week's Women & Golf newsletter and see picture below. Myself and David Connor from Visit Scotland completed the team with the lovely laid-back Russell Knox as our pro.

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The highlight of my week was the Women & Golf Reader Day at Silvermere Golf Complex in Surrey that we ran in association with COBRA PUMA Golf - and in glorious sunshine, what a fantastic day it was.

These ladies were like kids in a sweet shop! If you haven't been to Silvermere, pay a visit and allow several hours to combine a round of golf with a shopping experience. The shop has to be seen to be believed as it not only stocks all the leading brands, but also plenty of sizes. There were also lots of 'oohs and ahhs' when they opened their PUMA shoe bag that included a PUMA belt, visor and glove, some all-important Calypso sun lotion, and a copy of the latest issue of Women & Golf magazine.

After a hearty English Breakfast, a good shop, and an opportunity to try the latest COBRA clubs, they'd already enjoyed a good day out before their round of golf had even begun. It was lovely to meet and start everyone off the 1st tee and the winning team (pictured below) including l-r Ruth Brand, Brigitte Lockwood, Linda Read and Linda Rich, were clearly in the mood to have some fun.

 

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