All elements of women’s and girls’ golf were on display at the special event held at The Buckinghamshire Golf Club on the eve of the US Women’s Open Qualifier.
With support from the R&A, the Ladies European Tour was able to put together an event that offered everything from fun activities and lessons for female beginners to the opportunity to watch some of Europe’s top players.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon in a dedicated Activity Zone, a team of all-female PGA Pros – Denise Hastings, Evie Carter and Zoe North – gave free 15-minute lessons whilst another all-female team from Community Golf supervised a range of fun-based skills and challenges. In addition to the girls from the local area, others had travelled from as far afield as Derbyshire and Norfolk to attend the event.
Later in the afternoon, three of the players competing in the qualifier, Inci Mehmet, Valdis Thora Jonsdottir and Nicole Garcia participated in a Q&A session where girls were able to benefit from the experiences of these players.
Throughout the event, visitors could have their photo taken with the Solheim Cup and many of them then joined Solheim Cup player Mel Reid and the 2019 PING Junior Solheim Cup Captain Mickey Walker for a group photo to highlight the fact that the next Solheim Cup will be at Gleneagles in 2019. To add to the fun, a five-hole Tri-Golf course was created and those who played the course had the opportunity to win a framed 2017 Solheim Cup Team photo signed by all the players, the Captain and the Vice-Captains.
At a more technical level, respected PGA Pro Lawrence Farmer ran a short game master class supported by Annabel Dimmock. The event concluded with a ‘fitness for golf’ session led by Linda Segerstam who spoke to the girls about the importance of flexibility and core strength, particularly in their younger years.
After the event had finished, Mike Round, Development Director for the LET said: “It was great to see all aspects of women’s and girl’s golf being celebrated at The Buckinghamshire on the eve of the US Women’s Open Qualifier. We wanted to show our support for the efforts being made at local and national levels to encourage more women to become participants and future decision-makers.” He added: “It was great to see the young girls interacting with the LET’s players and we hope that it was an inspiring experience for all those who came along.”
This was certainly the case for one of the young visitors who commented that this event, and getting advice from the professionals, has helped her to develop her thinking and what to work on in order to improve her golf. She felt she was stuck in a mind set that did not take her further but meeting the professionals gave her some ideas and inspiration to think differently and she is excited to use this new knowledge and try to see how it work while practicing and playing.