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Musings from the Editor at Women & Golf magazine.

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The weather Gods were shining for me this week because as we know most days have been been wet, wet, wet! But on Monday the sun shone for part of the day and it also stayed dry for a Women & Golf instruction shoot at the Foxhills Resort in Surrey.

It's a while since I've been to this venue, which is ultra friendly, and with a hotel and health facilities, there's a relaxed buzz about the place. Our instructor, ex LET Tour player Lauren Blease, is an assistant PGA pro at Foxhills and she was a joy to work with, along with the photographer, Paul Severn, who I've now worked with on many shoots. Look out for Lauren's tips in the magazine and on the website over the coming months. As you can see below, we also had a lot to laugh about! There was only one problem ... because it was such a lovely day, the first one in a while and the last before the rain arrived again, both courses were packed. We'd set up on the fairway, only to turn round and see another fourball on the tee, so there was a lot of hanging around. 

And now it's Major time, first the women's ANA Inspiration and then the Masters - I love it. These events always kick off the 'real' golf season, so come on, get out there, even if it is raining!



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in Women & Golf Editor's Blog 1090 0

From the cold to the Bahamas, it was a good time to escape the British weather for a few days. This was my first visit to The Abaco Club which is an hour's flight to Marsh Harbour airport from either Fort Lauderdale or Miami. You might have seen this place promoted by Darren Clarke, who owns a house at this exclusive venue, that's perfectly suited for his love of deep sea fishing.

You can really lose yourself and relax here - I enjoyed an early morning walk along the two and a half mile private beach, although beware the 'no see 'ems' (sand flies) if you're prone to bites. I was a little late using insect repellent and came home itching and looking like I had chicken pox!

The golf course is dramatic, especially the closing holes and even more so when the wind blows. As you can see by the picture below - the waves crashing behind me on the 18th green.  This is a very special place and I was privileged to visit, and I cannot forget to mention the amazing seafood. My only complaint - four days wasn't long enough.


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in Women & Golf Editor's Blog 1167 0

The Beast from the East nearly disrupted Women & Golf's indoor instruction shoot. It was touch and go, but special thanks to Sarah Smith, who is based at Saffron Walden Golf Club - she was a trouper as she made the journey to the studio in East London with wheels spinning in the car park on arrival, and photographer Tom Miles who travelled from Kent. In relation to these two, I had it easy as I could boycott my car and travel by London underground. 

It was a fun, despite us being freezing cold for the majority of the day as we could only turn on a heater briefly in between shoots as noise of the main heating system interrupted our videos! Thanks again to Sarah as I insisted she wore some summer outfits, which she did with a smile, probaby through gritted teeth.

Anyway, there will be lots of content for you to enjoy over the coming months, both in the magazine and on the website - we hope that you improve your game.

in Women & Golf Editor's Blog 1036 0

Last Thursday evening I attended the second England Golf Awards dinner, along with 500 other guests at London's Royal Lancaster hotel. It was a glamorous affair and I was also lucky enough to be seated next to the evening's host, BBC's Dan Walker, who as a keen golfer did a great job, making the awards both entertaining and heartfelt. I didn't mind being an unofficial photographer for the evening, taking a few pics of Dan with fans that approached him at the table! It was interesting to see his tight schedule for the evening as awards were presented between courses. He couldn't run over as the beef might become overcooked and dessert was due to be served at 9.31pm precisely! I certainly didn't want anything to spoil my sticky toffee pudding with icecream.

The stars of the evening were of course the ten award winners, like Jean Hooper, pictured below, who scooped the Volunteer of the Year Award for her efforts at Bramley Golf Club, near Guildford in Surrey, where she goes above and beyond to support the juniors. Stoke-by-Nayland's Lily May Humphreys won the aptly named Rising Star Award and this 15-year-old young lady is definitely one to watch, having won five championships last year.

I love occasions like this, celebrating achievements and hearing inspirational stories - that's what golf's about.


in Women & Golf Editor's Blog 1124 0

Last Sunday at Batchworth Park Golf Club, as I zipped up my fourth layer, pulled a woolly hat over my ears, and activated my hand warmers; I would have rather been anywhere else, or at least inside the clubhouse! But there was no going back, as this was the first outing for Team Naga. I admit to being a fair weather golfer and if I hadn’t committed to this challenge, courtesy of www.t2cgolf.com, I wouldn’t have been seen near a golf course last weekend. Team Naga in addition to myself includes myself, James (Naga's husband), Lisa, Lee and Katie, and we're up against a team led by Sir Clive Woodward. Each team consists of six golfers and the aim of our team is to lower our group handicaps by more (in % terms) that Team Clive, and we've got until Christmas to do it!

We'll be aiming to do this by using the T2C coaching system that has been devised by Clive and Dan Grieve, Head Pro at Woburn Golf Club.  It's an online programme and earlier this week both teams joined a conference call so that Clive, Dan, and Chris from Hive Learning could talk us through the system. 

I don't think I've focused on my game so much in a long while - completing a player profile, game assessment form, and yesterday when I played at Royal Mid Surrey (fortunately with less layers and in glorious sunshine) I was asking one of my player partners to video various shots as these need to be uploaded and assessed. I happened to upload a video to Twitter and a friend emailed me as she cannot believe I'm playing winter golf!

This challenge is good for me because whilst I know it's important to have golfing goals, this has given me the kick up the backside I need to actually focus on achieving them. I also enjoy the team cameraderie, and there was certainly plenty of that in the pub last Sunday evening!

Go Team Naga!

in Women & Golf Editor's Blog 1061 0
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