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Musings from the Editor at Women & Golf magazine.

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On Easter Monday I flew to Scotland for a double whammy, a media preview event for this year's Ricoh Women's British Open at Kingsbarns Links with Charley Hull in attendance, and 'looking ahead' to the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles - an invitation I couldn't refuse!

I had the privilege to play Kingsbarns once before a few years ago, and when I have since been asked the question, "What is your favourite golf course?" this Scottish links has been at the top of my list. I'm pleased to say that it remains so. I played ok, but even if you do play rubbish golf, the setting is amazing and it's just such an interesting course. My caddie Steve was really helpful, although I was slightly relieved when he told me that he's new to the job as personally I find experienced caddies can be quite intimidating, probably because I'm not used to having one! No prizes for our team, but what a great round with fellow journos Alistair Tait and Patricia Davies, along with course manager Innes Knight.

 

My last visit to Gleneagles was at least three years ago, and whilst I enjoyed the golf and other facilities, a highlight for me as a labrador lover was the gundog training. No dogs in sight this time but it was a pleasure to meet and play golf with Eilidh Barbour, the new face of BBC's golf coverage, although we certainly didn't burn up the PGA Centenary course, more like it beat us up!

After two nights up north, it was a shame I had to return south to my desk! But I'm really looking forward to returning to Kingsbarns in the summer, it will be a fabulous champtionship.

 

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Like most golf fans I'm feeling a little jaded today after staying up to watch the thrilling final round of the Masters - two amazing golfers in the final pairing (and they were European!) and a class act - it was touching to watch these friends embrace when the final putt dropped. I was disappointed for Justin but overjoyed that Sergio has finally won a major, plus I'd had a bet on him so it was a good night all round!

It was also a busy weekend at ExCel for American Golf's London Golf Show. I was there on Friday with other members of the Women & Golf team and it was lovely to catch up with host and keen golfer, Denise van Outen, who is such a great role model for the modern day women's game. It was also interesting to hear the exploits of Ladies European Tour players Sophie Walker, Amy Boulden and Carly Booth - good luck to them for the rest of the season.

 

In association with American Golf and High Legh Park Golf Club in Cheshire, Women & Golf is supporting a day to celebrate Women's Golf Day on Tuesday 6 June when experiences players and beginners can enjoy a day for 'free' including lessons, competitions and a fashion show - an ideal way to introduce a friend to the game.  I'll look forward to seeing you there.

 

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Before I sit down to watch the final round of the ANA Inspiration, the first women's major of the year, I thought I'd let you know what I've been up to this week. 

Fortunately the weather was kind on Tuesday for an instruction shoot at the The Grove with Katie Dawkins, an experienced instructor, who has previously contributed to Women & Golf magazine. It was a full-on day and photographer Paul Severn took some great images and shot some fun and informative videos so thanks again to you both. As you can see from the picture below, we had plenty of laughs too! When Paul took some new profile pictures of me, I did complain that I should have worn a more uplifting bra - women reading this will totally understand where I'm coming from! Planning is everything eh...

The following day I was at Woburn Golf Club for the launch of Arccos 360 in association with COBRA PUMA Golf. Arccos 360 is a system that allows you to analyse your game by screwing in sensors at the top of the grip of each club, and every time you hit a shot, data is uploaded to an iphone app. To be honest, I'm not really into analytics, especially if it means something else to think about. However, this is so easy to set up and it's no hassle. You don't even have to look at your phone during the round to input scores or take a peek at data (unless you want to, of course). All you have to do is ensure your phone is in your front trouser pocket - fortunately my trousers weren't too tight!

I'm certainly not going to become an analytics geek, but I actually did enjoy fining out how far on average I hit my drives, my approach shots, number of fairways hit, which direction my shots tend to go etc, and I will continue to use this system for my next few rounds to see if I can improve! Arccos 360 is definitely worth considering.

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It's been an interesting week - obviously the main golf news story related to the chaps at Muirfield finally voting to allow women members, and almost immediately the club was reinstated as an Open venue! During a series of TV and radio interviews I explained that it was impossible to celebrate (if that's the right word!) as we would have done 10 months ago when the original vote took place. In fact, surely women should have been accepted at least 10 years ago! So, let's move on now, there's a 2-3 year waiting list for membership at Muirfield and do women really want to join this club anyway?

On a lighter note, I had an enjoyable day overseeing an indoor instruction shoot with PGA Professional, Sarah Smith, from Saffron Walden Golf Club. She did a great job before dashing off for a practice round for the Sunningdale Foursomes, so look out for articles in Women & Golf magazine and videos on this website.

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England Golf held its inaugural black tie dinner and awards ceremony at Lord's Cricket Ground on Thursday evening. It was a great night, extremely uplifting as the 400 people in the room celebrated individual and team success.

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The Rules of Golf have dominated this week's golf news and I think the majority of proposed changes are a good idea. You've got six months to have your say, and any new rules won't be implemented until 2019.

What a welcome relief that it has been proposed that caddies will no longer be allowed to line up players once they have taken a stance for a stroke. At events and on TV it has often been painful (and boring) to watch players, unfortunately mainly the female pros, ponder over their alignment for ages with their caddie standing behind them.

The reason for the change is that the ability to line up is a fundamental skill of the game for which the player alone should be responsible - hear, hear!

Women & Golf has just released another reader day at Silvermere Golf Complex in Surrey in association with COBRA PUMA on 6 July. I hope you will join me - I like it when my diary starts filling up.

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