Natalie Gulbis sports a Blingo ballmark on the bill of her hat while signing autographs at the Solheim Cup. (Getty Images)
When Duramed Futures Tour player Charlotte Campbell received a letter at the beginning of the year requesting her participation in the Solheim Cup, she was ecstatic and honored.
U.S. captain Beth Daniel and vice captain Meg Mallon had asked Campbell to make special patriotic ballmarks for their legion of ladies to wear and use this week during the biennial team competition in Sugar Grove, Ill.
“I couldn't believe it and was thrilled,” said Campbell, whose fashionable ballmarks first caught the attention of Mallon when Campbell donated some as a Pro-Am door prize last fall. “I had no idea they would even see them or like them.”Campbell, a contestant on Golf Channel’s 2008 show Highway 18, began making her Blingo Ballmarks her first season on the Futures Tour in 2007. In just a short time, her shiny accessories have become quite popular with Futures Tour and LPGA players. And it doesn't hurt that they help the former Rollins College All-American offset the endless travel expenses that come with being a touring professional.
While capturing NCAA Division II national titles (2003-04) and taking home Player of the Year honors in college, Campbell would creatively brighten her uniforms with homemade rhinestone decorations. When a friend of Campbell's mother asked her to make a ballmark in that same 'bling' fashion, Campbell obliged, and crafted a ballmark with Swarosvki crystals. It was an instant big hit -- and a new business was born.
Campbell, who will be competing in the ILOVENLY Championship, the Futures Tour season-ending tournament Sept. 4-6, would love to someday play for the U.S. Solheim Cup team. For now, though, she'll settle for playing a different role on the squad.
'It's exciting because the team usually goes all out with their outfits and accessories. So it was a dream come true to even be a small part of that.'