The Ladies European Tour unveiled its ‘Big Sister’ programme for 2015 at the Lalla Meryem Cup, which will allow experienced LET members to provide assistance and support for rookies in their first year on tour.
“The aim of the Big Sister programme is to make it possible for the rookies to benefit from the existing members’ knowledge, not necessarily on the golf course, but more in terms of the lifestyle pressures and demands on the life of a tournament professional,” said the LET’s Development Director Mike Round.
The programme forms part of the #LETDevelops initiative which exists to promote the organisation’s aspiration for the development of golf worldwide.
Round continued: “The development department wanted the rookies to have a seamless introduction to tour life and we are grateful to the tour members who have contributed to helping us do that.”
The 11 LET members who have signed up to share their experience and insights with the next generation include former order of merit winner Gwladys Nocera, Holly Clyburn, Ann-Kathrin Lindner, Rebecca Hudson, Linda Wessberg, Nicole Broch Larsen, Caroline Martens, Chloe Leurquin, Pamela Pretswell, Noora Tamminen and Georgina Simpson.
Pretswell will act as a Big Sister to Jane Turner and Laura Murray, who she knows well as the pair were undefeated as foursomes partners playing for Scotland.
“I am really keen to help the next generation get the most from life on tour and hope that my experiences and insights can help them to achieve strong results on the golf course,” said Pretswell, who finished sixth in the World Ladies Championship in China a fortnight ago. “I was lucky enough to have Kylie Walker acting as something like my big sister in my first year so I understand where the girls are coming from and it’s great to be able to help. I’m in year three now and I’m still asking questions.”
Murray was grateful to receive the support. “I think it shows what kind of players the Big Sisters are, that they have volunteered their time and their knowledge to pass onto us and I think as rookies we’re really lucky to be involved in something like this, because it’s tough in the first year. If you’ve played on the LET Access Series you’ve got some experience of real life but even then it’s still a big step up so it’s nice to have someone to bounce off of and to know that they’ve been there.”
Finnish player Noora Tamminen will act as Big Sister and she said: “I think it’s really important to help the rookies because when I was a rookie two years ago it was really helpful to have so many Finnish players on tour who helped me and I want to help the next generation.”
Finnish LET rookie Marika Voss, who topped the rookie class in The R&A Rules Academy Exam, added: “It’s a great opportunity to learn from all the pros and how things work, like how to get your caddies and even ask silly questions. I think the most helpful thing will be how to organise the travelling, what to do, which hotels to go to and how to get to a place. Everyone’s playing their own game so they don’t need that kind of help but outside the ropes assistance will be huge.”
LET rookie Marika Voss (left) with ‘Big Sister’ Noora Tamminen