A Day to Remember with GolfingGirl
Sunday 6th July was a date to look forward to for 6 of Sarah Bennett Golf players from Essex to attend the ISPS Handa Ladies European Tour Masters held at the Buckinghamshire GC HQ of the Ladies European Tour.
As a former County, England representative and Ladies European Tour player wanted to show the girls the steps required to progress also the amount of continuous preparation to become a regular competitor on the Tour. I was on hand if they wanted to ask any questions regarding shot selections on the course
It was strange to think I had retired from the Ladies European Tour nearly 10 years ago but how my career path has changed but the passion of the game certainly has not and this was an opportunity to pass on my learnings to the new generation of players.
The first step was a brief overview of the values of the Ladies European Tour and the various pathways that can be taken from top Amateur ranks through to Tour status. The inclusion of the LET access Tour is building in reputation providing the players with an initial experience to life on Tour, commencing with travel arrangements through to planning for the following Tournaments.
Eva Lotta has been involved with the Junior Solheim Cup for 12 years at the LET explaining the criteria at which point the girls eyes lit up, even more so when they were invited to hold the Solheim Cup which is a very privileged activity. As a team we all had the European flag face painted which caught the eye of the photographers!
The girls were shown one of the most important and responsible jobs for a volunteer which is the main scoreboard, relaying the information promptly and correctly to press for TV coverage.
I showed the girls a typical pin placement sheet which is collected well before your tee time by both the player and caddy with the information recorded in the yardage book for comparison on a daily basis.
The girls found the snag golf area and had some fun for a few minutes before I announced Dame Laura Davies was about to tee off, the girls marvelled at the lack of a tee peg as she launched her yellow ball some 285 yards down the centre of the fairway.
The girls walked together armed with their new Lacoste caps provided by the Tour sponsor watching Sophie Walker, who was a product of the progression from club, county and though to England finally to the paid ranks. After following Sophie the girls noted some outstanding questions for Sophie for the post game interviews in which Sophie sat for 30 minutes really interacting with the players which left a really positive impact.
The autographs and the photos were the order of the day for many, one of the Tournament directors introduced the girls to Charley Hull, Amy Boulden and Stephanie Meadow one player managed to catch up with Chyenne Woods!
It was great to see the youngest member of the group, who was 8 and has been receiving coaching from myself for 2 years interacting and having so much fun. The teenagers of the group really looked after her and it was great to see them including her in the day. This brings home the etiquette and team spirit of golf and how it can inspire.
I am delighted that the Tour warmed to my initial idea to bring my players along and would like to see this continue for future years to come providing a behind the scenes insight to aspiring young players. It was great to see former players moving into admin roles, rules officiating and Tournament directorship. As a former player of 18 years and now full time coach feel I can utilise my knowledge to prepare a player for life on Tour having experienced the many ups and downs.
The pinnacle of the day was to receive a signed poster from the players which I am sure will be framed and cherished as a day inside the ropes at the Ladies European Masters
This event would not have been possible without the assistance from Eva Lotta and the many members of staff and for this I am extremely grateful and know that my players will be talking about this for a long time to come.