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What a great Open Championship and my day got even better when Molinari won as I had bet on him. Ok, I can't retire yet, it was only £1 each way, but even so ... Aside from that I was pleased that we had a European winner - things are hotting up nicely for the Ryder Cup.

I was at Carnoustie for the annual Association of Golf Writers dinner which is always an enjoyable occasion, hearing from players like Sergio Garcia, Gary Player and Ernie Els. A series of meetings the following day meant that I didn't see any golf, I was sneakily looking at the scores whilst at a wedding on Saturday and therefore pleased that I could watch all the action on TV on Sunday.

I did manage to catch up with Pat Sawers and her husband David. A lovely couple - Pat does a wonderful job as chairman of Carnoustie Links and she had the privilege of presenting Sam Locke with his silver medal. We must improve our selfies!

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What a treat we now have over the next couple of weeks with the ladies Scottish Open at Gullane (great to see the live coverage on Sky Sports - on Thursday at least!) followed by the Ricoh Women's British Open. I'll be at Lytham next week - let's hope one of the British girls can keep the trophy on home soil.

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I really enjoyed being the host at Women & Golf's recent reader days - the first was at Gog Magog in Cambridgeshire and the second was at High Legh Park Golf Club in Cheshire. In glorious weather, if a little too hot for some players, a fun day was had by all - thanks to the support of our sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners - full details will appear in the next issue of Women & Golf.

There was definitely a Prosecco theme - I certainly don't have a problem with that. In addition to other goodies, players at Gog Magog were sent home with a bottle, and at High Legh Park, ladies had the chance to try the American Golf Prosecco Challenge. This is where you have to putt from 6ft, 8ft, 10ft etc - and see how far you can get in a minute. If you miss, you have to begin again at the shortest distance. In fact, a minute is quite a long time, even though you don't think it is, and there's a tendency to rush. That was my problem! I made it to 10ft, but Joe from Cobra PUMA Golf was awesome and beat me hands down.

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I should be an expert putter by now because at Gog Magog ladies were treated to a presentation by Kjell van Paridon, a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. After deciding which was their dominant eye, Kjell offered advice on how to focus your visual attention when putting. I was wired up to demonstrate the science behind the technology - ensuring I turned my head to the hole to use my dominant right eye, waiting for a few seconds before I putted a ball on the carpet to a hole, then waiting again before looking up. It worked, perhaps it was the funky glasses!

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It's July and so over halfway through the year, which also means halfway towards the end of the challenge between Team Naga Munchetty and Team Sir Clive Woodward. To recap for those of you just reading this blog for the first time, T2C is a golf learning platform that both teams are using under the direction of Daniel Grieve, Head Professional at Woburn Golf Club, and the challenge is to see which team (six members in each) has the best percentage overall handicap reduction by the end of the year.

The season started late, but there are no excuses now for us not working on our games and playing  competitive golf.

We began with the basics - pre-shot routine, grip, set-up, posture, shaft angle, and then progressed to short game. This includes chip and run, soft landing shot, and as I'm writing this, my bunker video and images are outstanding for Dan to offer feedback. We'll then progress to long game. Here are a couple of videos:

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After signing off the July/August issue of Women & Golf magazine most of June was spent travelling, not just on business, which of course I always say is 'nice work' but I also went to Mallorca for a few days on holiday - no golf, just eating, sleeping, reading and chilling out. It was great!

One of my first trips was to Gleneagles which has always been one of my favourite resorts and I'm already  looking forward to this Scottish venue hosting next year's Solheim Cup. My latest trip involved all the things you can do in 48 hours (we arrived on Sunday afternoon and left on Tuesday afternoon) - golf (out of the three courses, the Queen's is my favourite), archery, shooting, fly fishing - and there still wasn't enough time to visit the spa, play tennis or really appreciate the fabulous rooms.

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For those of you who are not already aware, I love dogs, and at Gleneagles they currently have 11 labrador gundogs. We were treated to an exhibition including two golden labs, Drake and Bracken, and their skills were impeccable. I couldn't wait for the command to let them know it was 'play time'. They went crazy, bounding around, but were more than happy to have a cuddle. I was upset to miss out on seeing Gleneagles' new 16-week old puppy called Henry, he is the new mascot and will no doubt put a smile on everyone's faces.

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For those of you that read my blog regularly, you might have noticed that I haven't posted anything for a while. This time, it's not because I haven't wanted to, it was one of those software problems that I won't even begin to try and understand, however, it has been resolved now and I'm back, so where do I start as so much has been going on.

Last month I decided to attend one of Daniel Grieve's short game clinics. Daniel is the Head Pro at Woburn and he's also overseeing our T2C Challenge - Team Naga vs Team Clive. I thought I needed to get my act together, especially as far as my short game is concerned as this is where I lose so many shots. It was money well spent - 10am-4pm with a short break for lunch - covering every possible shot. I hadn't realised how one dimensional my short game had become! The clinic has given me more confidence to try different shots around the green and I also have a better understanding of how to approach them. The problem is, now I need to find time to practise.

Also in May I attended the Golf Foundation's Presidents' Awards Ceremony during the BMW Championship at Wentworth. This is always one of my favourite events of the year. The stories you hear from the award winners and the people that they have inspired to play golf, are truly inspirational and some are really emotional. I caught up with Emily Furniss (above) who won the Young Volunteer of the Year Award - you can read a Q&A with her on this website. She is a remarkable and determined young lady - a talented golfer herself, but her golf has been put on hold due to a tumour on her leg.

Women's golf reached new heights (literally) when The R&A launched its Women in Golf Charter at the top of the Shard in London. This Charter asks golf to pledge its support to increasing the number of women playing and working in golf. We've all been trying to drive women and girls' golf for ages, but with significant investment from the R&A to assist national federations and other golf bodies to build on current initiatives and develop new projects, it's the biggest commitment yet to drive women's golf.

 

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