Ladies Tours Are Shaking Things Up


Things are slowly changing in ladies golf. With the advent of a fourth major sporting the lofty title of The Womens British Open, and touring pros recording scores of 59 in competition, there is no question that the mechanical aspect of womens golf has reached the next level.
It can also be said, although the process seems to be moving at a sloth-like pace, that the image of ladies golf, worldwide, is changing.
Recent events make this an undeniable fact. And as much as the staid veterans refuse to change their ways, the arrival of a younger, hipper, and certainly more daring class of lady golfers are setting new boundaries in womens golf.
Last week 33-year-old Swedish beauty Catrin Nilsmark competed in the WPGA Championship of Europe at Royal Portcawl in hot pants. Not just hot pants - really short hot pants. A move even she considers daring in the stuffy environs of American golf.
I know that at the country clubs in Florida where I play, I couldn't get away with them, Nilsmark remarked. But it's all right on the Tour. I like them, other people seem to like them, they are a good cut and I can fit into them. Honestly, there's even enough room for a spare ball and my score card in the back pocket.
We need to be fun to look at ' whether its shorts, bandanas or jewelry or even just a positive attitude.
During the same week spirited Spaniard Paula Marti participated in a photo shoot for the News of the World Paper ' a Sunday Sports paper in Europe. The shoot may also be featured in Maxim magazine.
Marti and fellow Ladies European Tour (LET) rookies Suzann Pettersen and Karine Icher are reported to have made a commitment to play in Europe next year - breathing new life into a tour that has notoriously lost its top players to the lucrative purses on the LPGA Tour.
Most of the field, especially the Americans, arrived early to this event in order to acclimatize. That was not the case for Annika Sorenstamand Karrie Webb who headlined in the LPGAs first primetime appearance.
The two arrived at the course after a 12-hour flight on a G-4 Gulfstream jet only slightly worse for the wear and without regrets.
Its like, where am I?' Sorenstam quipped. Normally, I come in early, especially when Im coming overseas, just to get adjusted to the time, the weather and so forth. Here, Im not getting here until the last minute and Im going from extremely different weather and to a totally different golf course. So no, its not the best preparation. But it was well worth it.
Under the right circumstances, Id do it again, Karrie Webb added. But I probably wouldnt be too keen to do it on the week of a major again.
Webb took home the spoils the last time this event was played at Sunningdale. This go around she will fight a little jet lag and lack of time to prepare. I dont really feel my game is where I want it now, compared to a month ago, Webb said. My swing doesnt feel as good. But I know that Ive felt that before and have won the tournament.
Today the field takes one last look at the course and tomorrow competition begins. Ill just put in a lot of work this afternoon and see what happens, Webb finished.
The field for this event is the strongest in its 25-year history. Competition gets underway Thursday morning at Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire England.
Full field and tee times for the Women's British Open