As the next edition of Women & Golf magazine is ready to hit the shelves on Friday 17 August, here's a snippet of what you can expect in the latest issue as Jenni Falconer tells us more out about her journey into golf and her new role as an ambassador for love.golf...
By Lewine Mair
Forty-two-year-old Jenni Falconer, a presenter with Heart Radio who has featured in a veritable host of TV shows since she first appeared on Blind Date at the age of 17, has not only tried golf in her new role as an ambassador for love.golf; she has fallen head-over-heels in love with the game.
An old friend, Ian Randell, the CEO of the PGAs of Europe, and Alastair Spink, love.golf’s founder, knew at once that Falconer was a perfect ambassador in the making. For a start, she was cock-a-hoop about the idea of women being released on to a golf course within a couple of hours of having first picked up a club. Never mind how bad they might be, these new recruits are allowed to hit drives off tees and to attempt to escape bunkers etc. They will probably miss many more balls than they hit, yet the chances are that at some point amid the chips and the chatter, they will have hit a couple of balls good enough to get them hooked. Apparently, a massive 80% who give love.golf a try return for more.
The funny thing about Falconer is that she was so besotted so soon that love.golf was not enough. As a result, she simultaneously embarked on all the things which tend to put women off the sport. She may not like all the irritating little club rules, but she adheres to them just the same, while she spends long hours on the practice ground or playing holes on her own.
Jenni’s ambition is to get down to 20 by this time next year with a view to having still more fun playing in events such as the Celebrity Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort.
"Heavens that event whetted my appetite. It was brilliant!"
"The thing is that I don’t want to be the player that others dread having to partner on these occasions. Or, to put it another way, I want to be in the top 50% of women golfers rather than the bottom 10%."
At the same time, she wants to play her part in making golf more of a fun and family pastime as visualised by the love.golf crew. With this in mind, Jenni is bringing on her six-year-old daughter, Ella Rose, and her husband, actor James Midgley. They play at Richmond or the Centurion Club, two cracking venues.
Going back to Jenni’s appearance on Blind Date, how did it work out? The answer, here, is that while it was the beginning of a friendship rather than a romance, it launched her into a show-business career and from there into golf.
"At the time, I was just out of school and planning to be an architect. As a result of the Blind Date experience, there was this complete change of direction. If people had told me it would lead to all this, I’d never have believed them!"
You can read the rest of this article in the latest edition of Women & Golf, on sale from Friday 17 August, or click here to subscribe now to read the full feature and enjoy W&G delivered to your door!
Meghan MacLaren on Playing Home Soil Major READ MORE