|From left: ISPS Ambassador Laura Davies, Midori Miyazaki, Executive Director of International Affairs, ISPS, John O’Leary, Director of Golf, Buckinghamshire Golf Club and Alexandra Armas, Executive Director of the LET.|
Buckinghamshire, England – January 9, 2012: Buckinghamshire Golf Club, home to the Ladies European Tour’s headquarters, will become the venue for its flagship tournament when the first ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters takes place, from 16-18 August.
Announcing the £300,000 tournament at a press conference on Monday, the Ladies European Tour’s executive director Alexandra Armas said that the event would attract some of the world’s best golfers to the south of England.
“The Ladies European Tour is delighted to be launching this exciting new event at our headquarters in the UK. Located just 20 minutes from central London, the tournament will bring women’s golf right onto the doorstep of the capital just after The Olympic Games and before the Paralympic Games.
“With a first class venue and substantial prize money, it will attract a world-class line up of competitors and we encourage all sports fans to come and enjoy watching Europe’s finest women golfers put on a magnificent show.”
Buckinghamshire Golf Club, with its magnificent 18-hole parkland course designed by John Jacobs O.B.E. and majestic Grade II Listed clubhouse, is conveniently located just outside London and has hosted a number of top amateur and professional tournaments.
John O’Leary, Golf Director, said: “On behalf of everyone at Buckinghamshire Golf Club, we thank Dr Handa and ISPS for bringing the Ladies British Masters here to us. We look forward to welcoming the players, media, guests and spectators to a world class Ladies European Tour golf event in August 2012.”
ISPS Chairman Dr Haruhisa Handa said: “ISPS is thrilled to become title sponsor of this exciting new event. The Buckinghamshire Golf Club is a fantastic venue and we are looking forward to working with them on hosting the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters over their championship course.
“The event occupies a prime summer slot in the 2012 sporting calendar, immediately after the 2012 Olympic Games, and a week before the 2012 Paralympic Games, the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters offers an ideal opportunity for ISPS to further promote our mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport.”
On behalf of the Event Promoter, WSM Communications, Chief Executive Andrew White said: “The ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters represents a great opportunity for ISPS to further raise the profile of blind and disabled golf. ISPS does such valuable work in taking golf to this audience and in actively raising participation in blind and disabled golf across the world.”
Britain’s all-time great, Laura Davies, who lives in nearby Surrey, said: “I am very happy to be playing in this new tournament and over such a beautiful course as the Buckinghamshire. I am delighted to continue my support for ISPS as an ambassador and am honoured to support their cause and Paralympic mission. It will be a challenging tournament with a strong field and I’m very pleased to play an event so close to home.”
Following on from one of the Ladies European Tour’s most successful golf seasons ever, when Europe’s Solheim Cup team earned a dramatic victory over the United States in Ireland, Davies and several other European Solheim Cup players will appear in the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters, showcasing the exciting talents of some of the greatest players in the game today.
About the course:
Buckinghamshire Golf Club is a stunning but accessible parkland course, created by former European Tour player and Ryder Cup Captain John Jacobs O.B.E, in 1992. Former Irish Open champion John O’Leary is also closely associated with the club, having been the Director of Golf for 15 years. A relaxed and informal atmosphere in which to eat, drink and play golf sets the Buckinghamshire apart from other golf courses in the UK. The course runs in two loops of nine, starting and finishing at the clubhouse. The fairways wander through three distinct areas incorporating woodland, lakes and rivers and undulating links style land providing a great variety of golfing terrain. The venue has hosted a number of top amateur and professional tournaments, including The Senior Tournament of Champions, from 1996-2000, the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf European Final in 1997 and The Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy – Seniors Tour Championship in 2007.
ISPS is a ‘General Incorporated Association’ based in Tokyo. The organization was founded by Japanese philanthropist, Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world. ISPS has fostered partnerships with golf governing bodies worldwide to help develop the game at every level and promote blind and disabled golf. ISPS’s heritage in supporting blind and disabled golf and Dr Handa’s commercial and philanthropic investment in golf has formed the foundation of its wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport. For further information please see www.ispsgolf.com
About the Ladies European Tour:
The Ladies European Tour (LET) is Europe’s leading women’s professional golf tour and formed as the WPGA in 1978, before taking its current title in 2000. Over the last 32 years, the tour has developed into a truly international organisation. In 2012, the schedule features 24 tournaments in 19 different countries, with more than 300 members who represent over 30 different nationalities. For further information please go to ladieseuropeantour.com.