News Roundup

Leading EDGA golfers welcomed to Worplesdon by Paul Waring

World Ranked No.1 golfer George Groves and Mike Browne (ranked 9) flew the flag for EDGA golfers with disability in the Worplesdon Charity Pro-Am on June 25th, which boasted a star field. 

The two EDGA players were invited to play by organisers Wasserman Media Group in the RSM team, for a charity golf day for two deserving health causes: The Rainbow Trust Emergency Covid 19 Appeal and Dan’s Fund for Burns. The event, which observed social distancing at all times, was hosted by RSM ambassadors, European Tour players Andy Sullivan and Paul Waring, and was played in brilliant sunshine.  

In a field containing European Tour, Staysure Tour and Ladies European Tour stars keen to help raise charity funds, including Georgia Hall, Colin Montgomerie, Charley Hull and Ross Fisher, George Groves and Mike Browne clearly relished the opportunity to support team RSM, as this leading audit, tax and consulting firm is a valued sponsor of EDGA, the international body that helps people with a disability to thrive through the power of golf. 

This valued partnership led to Paul Waring becoming an ambassador for EDGA in April; he has been highly supportive of EDGA in recent times in the media and he was only too happy to walk a few holes with George and Mike on the beautiful Worplesdon course in Surrey. 

Paul interviewed George for RSM’s video media and offered encouragement to the two players on the fairways and greens. Readers can access a short video of the day at https://bit.ly/2NHgn3R

Paul said: “Tour professionals like Andy and I really admire the shot-making and skill levels of the EDGA players and it was fascinating to see how George Groves and Mike Browne adapted to the challenges today in really hot weather. I was so impressed.

“It was also great to see them playing as part of the RSM team; helping to continue this important partnership as RSM supports the aim of EDGA to welcome 500,000 more golfers with a disability into the game.”  

George Groves said later: “Paul was fantastic again with us today, full of encouragement, and it’s great that he is supporting EDGA and its players in this way. He is helping all golfers with disability by really helping to raise our profile.”  

Even before his fairway interview, World No.1 George was much in demand, giving TV and video interviews to Sky Sports and Golf Monthly. 

George and Mike said they had been challenged by a lack of golf practice in the lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as neither had much space outside at home for genuine practice. 

Mike Browne said: “I have missed golf, including the practice and sociability, but I have also missed tournaments like this where you are really tested. I have missed the competition so it is wonderful to be here today. I am sure everyone is hugely grateful to both Paul and Andy for hosting this exceptional event, which is also raising funds for two very worthy causes.”

The Worplesdon Charity Pro-Am was raising funds for two key charities: The Rainbow Trust children’s charity (rainbowtrust.org.uk) and Dan’s Fund for Burns (dansfundforburns.org)

* See also www.edgagolf.com

Stephen Proctor funds scholarship

Stephen Proctor, Chairman of Sports Marketing Surveys, has offered a £7,500 scholarship for a selected female golfer taking part in the Rose Series of events being played this summer in England.

The privately funded scholarship is to cover travel and other expenses to assist the award winner to gain a place on the LPGA Tour.

Candidates must be members of the Ladies’ European Tour (LET), who do not currently have LPGA Tour access.

The beneficiary will be selected primarily on the basis of performance and need. Assessment will be ongoing throughout the Rose Series.

The Rose Series is a set of eight ladies’ golf tournaments organised in 2020 as a response to the suspension of the LET season because of Coronavirus. The aim of the events is to give British women the opportunity to compete at the highest level amid the uncertainty of lockdown as well as to provide a public stage for upcoming and established professional golfers alike.

The first event of the Series was won by Solheim Cup player Charley Hull, with Meghan MacLaran and Gemma Dryburgh claiming the second and third events respectively. There are a further five tournaments in the series, including a 54 hole grand final which will take place between 5-7th August at North Hants Golf Club, The Berkshire Golf Club, and Wentworth Club. 

The Series is organised by Olympic Champion Justin Rose and his wife Kate Rose. Venues for the upcoming events include the 2021 Open Championship host Royal St George’s.  

The selection panel for the scholarship will comprise of SMS chairman Stephen Proctor and ex-CEO of the European Tour, Ken Schofield, along with one other member to be confirmed. The award winner will be announced shortly after the final event.

Stephen Proctor is a keen golfer and has had a lifelong affiliation with the sport. Stephen is passionate about broadening the appeal and diversity of the sport. He is a board member of The Golf Foundation which is committed to create opportunities and introduce golf to children across the country embracing all backgrounds, ethnicities and physical abilities. As owner of Sports Marketing Surveys, Stephen has been working with the major brands, retailers, events, federations and venues of the game since 1984.

SMS has previously sponsored the LET Shooting Star awards and more recently worked with the LET to develop a strategy for its future development. It is a committed supporter and signatory of The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter.

For more information contact Sports Marketing Surveys. 

www.sportsmarketingsurveys.com / info@sportsmarketingsurveys.com / ed.willis@sportsmarketingsurveys.com

La Finca Resort set to re-open following six million Euro investment

Luxury Spanish destination, La Finca Resort, is ready to reopen its doors to visitors at the end of this month following a six million Euro renovation project, which has seen the golf courses and gastronomic offerings undergo major redevelopments.

The staggering investment has seen the resort enhance its reputation as the go-to destination in Costa Blanca and includes the introduction of three brand-new restaurants and a winery which are all set to open for the first time on July 30.

Commenting on the investment, General Manager, Brendan Dwyer, said: “We are very pleased to introduce the latest stage of our ambitious development project which continues to elevate La Finca Resort to the very highest level.

“We’re proud to be a true hub of golf and gastronomy and our latest enhancements help to amplify this further. It is exciting to be able to welcome our guests back this month so that they can experience everything the resort has to offer.”

The venue’s three prestigious golf courses, La Finca, Villamartín and Las Ramblas, have also undergone an extensive enhancement project, including renovation of all the bunkers on La Finca and Villamartín, and the green complexes on all three courses, as well as a restoration of the 16th hole of La Finca.

Complementing this, 40 rooms at the resort’s hotel have been renovated to ‘club level’, which includes a contemporary and sophisticated design, while an array of gastronomic offerings have been introduced to give visitors a true culinary experience.

A new, exclusive hotel bar and terrace - The Hub - will offer guests a leisurely environment in which to relax and dine throughout the day, while the revamped Citrus restaurant will serve the very best in Mediterranean cuisine. 

Adding to the dining options, a new Mexican and Italian Fusion restaurant, Frijolino, is set to open in August, followed a few weeks later by the new La Finca Bodega Winery. Ideal for group or individual wine tastings with offerings from the local, national, and international markets, the Bodega will give clients an authentic world-wide wine experience.

Completing the gastronomic investment, La Finca Resort will open its signature paella and brasserie restaurant later this year, providing diners with a true taste of Spain in a luxurious and contemporary setting as part of the new, world class resort.

Another new addition to the resort, the La Finca Sports complex combines sport, nutrition, and well-being. A large training and rehabilitation centre where physical therapy and personal well-being will be practiced, the complex is aimed at both amateur and professional athletes alike. Alongside the new gym complex, a renovation of the tennis and paddle areas will also help to make La Finca Sports Spain´s leading sports resort.

The resort’s reopening comes coincides with La Finca Resort being nominated as Spain´s Leading Sports Resort at the World Travel Awards 2020 and Spain´s Best Golf Hotel at the World Golf Travel Awards 2020 – a duo of accolades which the venue won in 2019.

PING signs Sahith Theegala, US College Player of the Year

PING has agreed to terms on an endorsement contract with Sahith Theegala, winner of the 2020 Haskins Award as the best player in men’s college golf, announced PING President John K. Solheim. Theegala also received the prestigious Ben Hogan Award, which considers all amateur competition over the past 12 months. Theegala, a 3-time NCAA All-American at Pepperdine University, had two tournament victories and several high finishes during his senior year, plus he was the wire-to-wire winner at the Australian Master of the Amateurs in January 2020.

Theegala, 22, will make his first PGA Tour start as a professional at this week’s Travelers Championship, playing on a sponsor’s exemption.

“We’re delighted by the success Sahith has enjoyed at every level, and for all the awards and accolades coming his way - they are well deserved,” Solheim said. “He’s played PING clubs for years, so we’ve had a front-row seat for his steady rise. We’ve watched him win and seen him battle back from injury to win again, which is evidence of his commitment and desire to succeed at the highest level. We’re thrilled to have him as part of the PING team.”

Theegala is excited to begin his quest to earn his PGA Tour card as a member of PING’s staff. “It’s really gratifying to reach this point where I can pursue my lifelong dream, and the people at PING have been an important part of my support network,” he said. “PING clubs have always felt comfortable, they fit my swing perfectly, and provide me the confidence I need to take this next step in my career. I’m looking forward to representing PING, a company that enjoys a reputation for engineering the highest-performing golf equipment in the world.” 

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The contract requires Theegala to carry a minimum of 11 PING clubs, two of which must be a driver and putter. He will wear PING-branded headwear and have a PING Tour staff bag. Currently in his bag: a G410 LST driver, G410 hybrid, iBlade and Blueprint irons, Glide 2.0 wedges, and a PING TR 1966 Anser 2 putter. 

France’s top golf hotel continues ‘boutique’ transformation and reopens with refurbished bedrooms and suites

Le Touquet Golf Resort’s Le Manoir Hôtel continues its transformation from a historic country house hotel into a modern boutique establishment, reopening with a full refurbishment of the main building’s 15 bedrooms and suites.

The hotel, which has been voted France’s Best Golf Hotel for its fourth consecutive year*, has brought back interior designer Stéphanie Cayet to renovate the rooms for 2020.

Stéphanie Cayet was previously tasked with the interiors of the clubhouse, bungalow rooms and other common areas of the hotel, where she has worked to create bright modern spaces that still pay homage to the hotel’s rich heritage. 

In true boutique style, each room has been individually crafted, and based in one of three themes: ‘harmony romantic blue’, ‘harmony romantic green’, or ‘harmony gentleman’.

Rich teals and blues balance against pastel pinks in the ‘romantic green’ and ‘romantic blue’ rooms, while the ‘gentleman’ rooms feature shocks of mustard to lift the deeper tones. Classic furniture and intricate patternwork provide accent and detail throughout each space, while also reflecting the historic character of the venue.

CEO Laurent Boissonnas said: “Le Manoir Hôtel, just like the resort around it, has evolved so much over the last several years, and we are grateful for the awards and rankings that continue to recognise this.

“It is thrilling to see Stéphanie Cayet’s work bring the hotel ever closer to the vision we laid out over three years ago. For us, the guest experience is at the heart of everything we do, and these new room upgrades are another way we can complement and enhance that experience.”

Work on Le Manoir Hôtel began in 2016 as part of an ongoing multi-million Euro renovation programme across Le Touquet Golf Resort, which has also seen the award-winning restoration of La Mer (The Sea) course, France’s No. 1 links, and construction of a bold new architect-designed clubhouse opposite the hotel.

This latest phase also includes the refresh of the main building’s corridors, stairwells and hallways, harmonising the redesigned rooms with the bar, restaurant and other communal areas which have all been renovated over the last few years.

Le Touquet Golf Resort provides 45 holes of outstanding golf surrounded by a natural landscape of sand dunes, pine forests and big skies. Only an hour’s drive from the Eurotunnel’s Calais Terminus along the A16, it is an easily accessible destination for golfers from the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as the rest of France.

* Today’s Golfer magazine (UK), Travel Awards 2020