Classic, is taking advantage of her more frequent
playing opportunities on the Ladies European Tour.
EAST LOTHIAN, SCOTLAND | Entries
opened recently for this year’s Ladies
European Tour winter Qualifying School
and, once again, it looks as if there will
be a handful of Americans wanting to
play on this side of the Atlantic.
Hannah Jun, who led the way with
an opening 66 in last week’s Scottish
Ladies Open at Archerfield (she finished second), sees herself as something of a guinea pig. The 26-year-old
Californian has been availing herself of
the more frequent playing opportunities
on offer on the European Tour.
Jun, who comes from the same neck
of the woods as Pat Hurst of Solheim
Cup fame, was also influenced by
“Pat once told me that if she were
starting out all over again, she would
play all over the world. I think she’s
right. I appreciate that if I want to become one of the best, I’ve got to learn
to play outside the U.S.
“It’s got a lot to do with the comfort
zone for some people,” she added. “Golf-
ers know that their cell phone is going
to work when they get up in the States,
which, as everyone knows, doesn’t
always happen in Europe. It’s that kind of
thing, as much as anything else.”
Catriona Matthew, Mhairi McKay,
Lynn Kenny and Carly Booth, all of
whom are sponsored by Aberdeen Asset
Management, were the players fielding
questions at a Q&A session involving
press and Scottish juniors at the start of
last week at Archerfield. One of the first
topics to come up was the long putter.
Keegan Bradley, in winning the PGA
Championship with a belly putter, had
mentioned how much more popular long
putters were becoming on the Nationwide Tour – and how players of his age
were no longer embarrassed to give the
implements a try. The question put to
the panel was whether that same trend
was being mirrored among the women.
Matthew, the 2009 Ricoh Women’s
British Open champion, explained that
while Maria Hjorth and Michelle Wie
were using longer implements, there
was no sign of others following suit.
At the end of her second-round 65
at Archerfield, Matthew was telling of
what lay behind her enhanced putting
of the moment. Over the winter, her
coach, Kevin Craggs, had sent her
up to St Andrews to have her putter
The experts studied Matthew’s putting style and her putter before deciding on an appropriate weight to slip
down the top of her putter shaft. “It’s
made all the difference,” she said.
At a time when plenty of Scottish
clubs are offering discounted member-
ships and generally struggling to keep
their heads above water, Archerfield is
one of those venues that is very obviously going from strength to strength.
There are 800 members, all of
whom join on a £ 30,000, interest-free
debenture basis and, currently, they are
awaiting the addition of an extensive
spa. It will be called Fletcher’s Cottage
and is sited on the land where arrows
were made for King Edward I’s archers
in the 13th century.
The secret of the club’s success?
“We offer is golf as it’s meant to be,”
said Director of Golf Stuart Bayne. “It’s
the best of family atmospheres.”
Shona Robison, Scotland’s minister
for Commonwealth Sports and Games,
came down to Archerfield to announce
that 18,481 Primary 5 schoolgirls had
started playing golf via their clubgolf
Scottish Junior Golf programme. By all
accounts, this was the best figure by far
since clubgolf was introduced in 2003.
“Increased levels of participation in
sport and physical activity are a top priority for the government,” said Robison.
Let’s hope that the children concerned
stay interested at a time when it is all the
rage for clubs, counties and countries
in the UK to fast-track their best young
players and, if inadvertently, to leave the
rest feeling like so many failures.
It’s an odd one – though there are
two Scots in the GB&I Walker Cup side
for Royal Aberdeen, including an Aberdonian in Colin Byrne, why would they
have left David Law out of the mix?
Besides being the reigning Scottish
Amateur champ (he won the title twice
in the last three years), the 20-year-old
is a member of the host club.
Have the selectors thought, for a
minute, about the kind of negative effect
this could have on a team which needs
as much local support as it can get? l