Lydia Hall can’t wait to return to The Buckinghamshire Golf Club later this month for the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, taking place on 26-28 July.
The Welsh 25-year-old secured her maiden professional victory at the venue last year and will be bidding for a second title.
She is tied for 55th on the LET’s 2013 ISPS HANDA Order of Merit after 10 events played but feels that defending her title could be just the boost she needs.
She was particularly inspired by Andy Murray’s recent win at Wimbledon and said: “Last year was a fantastic win for me on the Buckinghamshire course and just after the 2012 London Olympics. It was so inspiring watching the Olympics and then winning on UK soil. It felt like it was my Olympic event and my parents were there so it was perfect timing.”
On her own Olympic ambitions for Rio in 2016, when golf returns to the programme after a 112-year absence, Hall added: “Obviously it’s a goal of mine but a long way off and a lot of work to do between now and then to get myself in that position to represent Great Britain.”
Hall has been working on her short game with coach John Peters, the Head PGA Professional at Southerndown Golf Club and training hard with former Wales and British Lions scrum half Gareth Cooper at The K2 Gym in Bridgend.
She feels her overall game and physique is better than ever and in great shape to defend the title. “With my new Lynx Boom Boom 2 driver I’m hitting it miles and the spin rate is lower so I’m getting a lot more distance,” she said. “With my Parallax irons I’m hitting more greens in regulation and hitting it closer this year. I feel like I’ve been playing a lot, lot better. My game is stronger than ever, I just haven’t been getting the results I want.”
Her best finish this season so far has been a tie for 19th at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Women’s Open, another event sponsored by the organisation which supports blind and disability golf.
At this month’s eagerly anticipated flagship Ladies European Tour event there will be free golf lessons on site throughout the week for those with disabilities as part of the ISPS HANDA PGA Academy Programme. There will also be free lessons available for all spectators at the beautiful venue through the BB&O Golf Partnership.
“I just think it’s a fantastic event and with the LET being the new promoter I think it’s the perfect opportunity for people to come and see top class women’s golf. It’s only two hours from Cardiff and outside the Women’s British Open it’s the biggest event in the UK this summer,” Hall said.
A host of top names including Laura Davies, Sophie Gustafson, Christina Kim, Carly Booth and Tiger Woods’ niece Cheyenne will be joining Lydia in competing in the €400,000 tournament, especially with valuable Solheim Cup points up for grabs as the race for a place in the team nears conclusion. Both US and European teams will be announced the week after the tournament on August 4.
A season ticket valid for Friday 26 to Sunday 28 July can still be bought for £10 in advance of the tournament by pre-registering HERE offering a saving of £15 on season admission at the gate. Free car parking is included. Entry is free for spectators with disabilities, Under 16s and qualified PGA Professionals. Adult day tickets will be priced at £15, or £10 for concessions, on the gate.