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What an amazing Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Speith delivered drama and one of the best final round performances ever seen. Poor Matt Kuchar (and poor me as I would have received a greater return on my bet if he'd won!) as he did nothing wrong, but there was simply no catching Speith with that eagle and birdie blitz over the closing holes.

I travelled to Birkdale on Tuesday for the Association of Golf Writers dinner. This is always an enjoyable industry affair and this year the AGW Trophy was presented to Henrik Stenson, and Justin Rose received the inaugural Arnold Palmer Open Award. Other players present included Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Rafa Cabrera Bello, and the Masters champion Sergio Garcia. The BBC's Iain Carter did a great job interviewing them.

I'm always slightly embarrassed about having my picture taken with 'celebrities', but I do like Sergio so this was an opportunity that I couldn't resist. I wish him all the very best for his wedding this week.... if only! The next day I had back-to-back meetings before travelling home, but during the day I couldn't resist showing my colleagues this picture of the happy couple!

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I will let you into a secret as to why myself and Samantha Head are laughing in the picture below. It was taken on Monday at Woburn Golf Club during an instruction shoot and the reason for our laughter is because it took Sam a number of takes for one particular video and the more takes, the more frustrated Sam became which was even funnier! I will share the video with you in the near future as I think you will find it funny too!

 

On Wednesday I flew to Glasgow and back for the day as I was invited to play in the pro-am of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links. As I arrived at the club in glorious sunshine and saw that the public car park was already pretty full, the enormity of the event suddenly dawned on me - and if I'm honest, sheer panic at the thought of playing in front of a crowd. Nerves began way before the 1st tee.  I thought it would be a good idea to hit some practice balls, so there I was tightly packed in between the pros, their managers, coaches, and other amateur golfers, with a significant audience watching. Well, I couldn't hit a ball - shanks, tops, all kinds of awful shots - anything other than a good strike. I knew that people weren't interested in me, but it didn't help the situation. I didn't finish the bucket of balls, in fact, I couldn't get off there quick enough!

Ladies European Tour player Kylie Walker had organised a spot for her golf-mad mum Elizabeth as a special birthday present, with Kylie acting as caddie - read more in next week's Women & Golf newsletter and see picture below. Myself and David Connor from Visit Scotland completed the team with the lovely laid-back Russell Knox as our pro.

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The highlight of my week was the Women & Golf Reader Day at Silvermere Golf Complex in Surrey that we ran in association with COBRA PUMA Golf - and in glorious sunshine, what a fantastic day it was.

These ladies were like kids in a sweet shop! If you haven't been to Silvermere, pay a visit and allow several hours to combine a round of golf with a shopping experience. The shop has to be seen to be believed as it not only stocks all the leading brands, but also plenty of sizes. There were also lots of 'oohs and ahhs' when they opened their PUMA shoe bag that included a PUMA belt, visor and glove, some all-important Calypso sun lotion, and a copy of the latest issue of Women & Golf magazine.

After a hearty English Breakfast, a good shop, and an opportunity to try the latest COBRA clubs, they'd already enjoyed a good day out before their round of golf had even begun. It was lovely to meet and start everyone off the 1st tee and the winning team (pictured below) including l-r Ruth Brand, Brigitte Lockwood, Linda Read and Linda Rich, were clearly in the mood to have some fun.

 

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Last week a bunch of media travelled to Sweden, and to Bro Hof Slott Golf Club near Stockholm, to test Motocaddy's latest S5 Connect trolley. Using a free app via your smartphone, the S5 allows the digital display to be used in place of a conventional GPS, showing front, middle and back distances. It was all very straighforward and nice to just glance at the handle for a distance, before grabbing a club out of the bag. Plus it means, one less piece of equipment to charge up!

I'm a terror for checking emails and messages when I'm out on the golf course, but through the display unit, this app can also notify you of missed calls, emails, messages etc - but only if you want to, of course. If I'm going to check my phone anyway, I found it useful to turn the facility on!

The two golf courses at Bro Hof Slott designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr are fantastic. Equally so is the magnificent clubhouse that resembles England's Stoke Park. On the Stadium Course there is water everywhere. It's a lovely looking feature, but this also meant a lot of lost balls for the group, including three for me. The Castle Course is equally pretty although water only comes into play on the last two holes.

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I'm so British, I moan when the weather is cold and wet and now I'm moaning because I'm too hot - as I sit typing with a fan whirring beside me. The trouble is, we go from one extreme to the other, although if I have a choice, I'd much rather play golf in warm weather, or should I say, under the boiling sun, as I did today.

This fourball was planned months ago as myself and the BBC star and Women & Golf columnist Naga Munchetty were joined by two competition winners, Jane Withers and Helen Sleightholme, to play on the Marquess course at Woburn, the venue for last year's Ricoh Women's British Open.

 

With factor 50 on and several bottles of water in our bags, (Naga told me off for not wearing a cap or visor) we had a fabulous game, although it is difficult not to enjoy Woburn even if you're having a shocker of a round. Rather than a straightforward fourball betterball, Helen suggested that we partner each player for six holes - I'll remember this format in future as it was very sociable and enjoyable, just like the cheesy chips that we ordered to go with our post-round salads! It was all so healthy until that point.

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