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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 922 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 877 0

Last week I played my first round of golf this year at Batchworth Park in Hertfordshire. I played ok, probably because I didn't have high expectations. It was either that or the fact that Naga Munchetty was part of the fourball and she makes me concentrate! I would have concentrated even more if I was her partner, but she was paired with fellow club member Lee and I partnered Naga's husband James. Considering the rain and snow we'd endured the day before, the course was in great condition, especially the greens, although it was still very muddy in places. For anyone that knows me well, I'm generally a fair weather player, so it was good for me to get out and brave the elements and I thorouhly enjoyed it, even if we did lose the match on the last. Our golf was ok, but we need to improve our selfies!


One thing I did realise is that now I've got the winter golf bug, I need some golf boots. I knew my shoes would get muddy, so I wore a very old white pair, that weren't white at all when I came off the course! When I got home I remembered that we'd recently covered winter golf shoes on the W&G website so I familiarised myself with the piece. It seems as though boots are now the in-thing - the trouble is, I really like the Duca del Cosma pair, but they look too nice (and expensive) to get dirty... typical woman!



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in Women & Golf Editor's Blog 905 0

Happy New Year! I believe this is the last week you can really get away with saying that as life is back to normal now for most people and the festive season feels like an age ago. January is such a struggle and obviously this dismal weather doesn't help. Ok, I'm not going to continue to moan because life is for living and that means playing golf. 

I haven't stepped out on the golf course or a practice ground just yet, in fact my last round was the week before Christmas. But it will happen very soon, probably sooner than I expected following a meeting this week with Naga Munchetty and instructor Daniel Grieve. We have an exciting challenge planned, so watch this space...

As far as today's female golfers are concerned, it appears that we're in our own golf bubble - those that don't play, still don't get it. Sadly, in a recent poll, golf came out on top as the most boring sport, with 78% of women believing this to be the case. These same women must think we're barmy!

The golf industry is making a conscious effort to try and promote  the game to both sexes including family golf - not easy because of UK traditions, but don't get me started! It's probably the golf widows, male or female, that turn their nose up. You would find it boring if you were the one sitting at home on your own, or having to look after the kids while your  golf-mad partner is out for four to five hours and then when they come home they want to watch Sky Sports Golf!

Let's hope that this year more people try golf, enjoy the health benefits and appreciate the social side, then they might want to become part of our gang!

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in Women & Golf Editor's Blog 922 0

Well, I had fun and games last week due to the snowfall. I was due to fly to Nice on Monday for the International Golf Travel Market in Cannes. The host venue changes each year for this annual networking event for exhibitors, buyers and media from golf clubs, resorts and hotels around the world.

I set off to Gatwick for a lunchtime flight, only to be told on arrival that the flight was cancelled - in fairness this was due to Nice airport being closed because of inclement weather - so I returned home and then braved icy driving conditions early the following morning for an 8am flight from Stansted. I was one of the lucky ones as many didn't even make it to France, and even if they did, they had a much more harrowing story to tell!

Congratulations to all the IAGTO award winners including North Carolina, The Bahamas, Dubai, New Zealand, Spain's Costa Blanca region and Flanders in Belgium - nowadays there are just too many amazing golf destinations to choose from. Algarve Tourism hosted a great party and being so close to Christmas, everyone was encouraged to wear their best Xmas gear! Myself and Richard Maunders from Golf News were pleased that we made an effort. 


I hope you all have a very happy Christmas, I'll be back in touch in the New Year.

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