A nostalgic topic this week. April for us always means the start of the golf season on European soil. For those in the UK, maybe the Sunningdale foursomes is the open to the season. For us it has been the European Nations Cup.
For anyone not familiar with the tournament, the ENC was for years the only annual team-format event on the Ladies European Tour schedule (for 2012 another team event has been added). It has annually been one of the most popular events on the schedule, not only because it gives the ladies pros an opportunity to play for their country, but also because of the atmosphere at the tournament. Spanish tournament organisers Deportes en Business simply did a great job attracting top players and making it a special event.
Unfortunately the ENC isn’t on the schedule this year due to lack of a sponsor. A sign of the economic times in Spain, since the primary sponsor for the event had been the Communitat Valenciana (VCI) prior to last year’s tournament.
Rather than talking about sponsors lost, however, we think it’s a great opportunity for a new sponsor to get involved in womens golf for 2013. Actually a superb opportunity for a multinational that has a spanish presence, is looking to increase brand awareness in the Spanish & European markets, and is interested in leveraging the engaging, diverse power that is womens golf.
If we had more money, this would probably be the tournament that we would focus on. The interest in womens golf among clubs and holiday-makers in the Valencia region is growing. The tournament itself was popular among spectators and had started to attract large, colorful crowds. The national team format, quirky valenciana rules, great atmosphere, and colorful galleries would really translate well to live broadcasting.
Actually the ENC was probably the first golf tournament that made us realise that womens golf has the potential to be something much bigger than the LET or LPGA already are.
We were watching Team Russia at the 2010 ENC when a group of twenty-something guys came up and joined us at the tee. The girls gave a quick smile and proceeded to line up and tee off. When we ran into the guys again the following day, it was clear they were hooked.
When I asked them about it, they admitted it began with the smile. But after they had watched the Russians for a few holes, they realised how much they were learning just by watching. No superhuman drives which can’t be repeated. Instead smart, confident drives which setup up accurate approach shots which in turn opened up birdie opportunities. The girls were having fun. And it’s how the guys wanted to be able to play.
Over the years, we managed to meet some great people at the tournament. The players, the organisers, the club members all made this a special tournament for us and one we hope comes back for 2013.
If you or your company is interested in sponsoring this great event, but don’t know who to contact, let us know and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.
Womens Golf News & Notes
The Dinard Ladies Open (LET Access Series / Generali Ladies Tour) begins next Thursday. A full field of 98 pros and top amateurs has signed up for the tournament.
It’s a quirky gorgeous course on the Bretagne coast of France. Very close to the D-day historic beaches and memorials. Actually the golf course at Dinard has a couple of what appear to be wartime bunkers on the course itself. So it’s a great spot for history buffs who also happen to like golf. And a good area to visit for a last minute Easter Break.
We will be there, so watch our website for photos from the tournament. Join us if you can. In the meantime, check out our photos from the 2010 Dinard Ladies Open.
- Kathy Whitmore was announced this week as the 2012 Team USA Jr Solheim Cup captain.
- Mixed reviews for the LGU this week on their 2012 GB&I Curtis Cup team selections – praise for the inclusion of Charley Hull, criticism for the exclusion of the #10 world amateur Lisa Maguire.
- An elegant solution for Augusta National on their female member controversy. In our view, golf should be about inclusion, not exclusion, so we totally agree with Bill Dwyre on this. It’s hard to understand why this barrier still exists. And in case you haven’t seen it, Sophie posted her GWAA acceptance speech.
- Sky Sports and the European Tour have announced a new 6 year deal for golf coverage. Here’s hoping that women’s golf also gets more tv coverage – preferably quality pan-european coverage, so that we can even see it live here in Holland. Hint, hint to the LET and Sky/Sport1/other broadcasters.
- For anyone who may have missed it, check out DogLegMedia’s 2012 golf fashion preview from the catwalks at GolfFashionWeek.
- Welsh ladies pro golfer Lydia Hall is offering free golf taster sessions for ladies and girls at Southerndown Golf Club. Great way to get introduced to the game. Sessions are scheduled for Tuesday 24th April 6-7pm & Saturday 28th April 2-3pm. Contact Southerndown GC to book your place 01656 881112!
Best wishes for a great weekend.