With just 14 days to go until the eagerly anticipated ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, golfers and officials gathered in London to demonstrate that golf is an open and inclusive sport.
Europe’s best women golfers will assemble at Buckinghamshire Golf Club on 26-28 July for the biggest women’s professional golf tournament in England this summer.
Britain’s rising teenage golf star Charley Hull and amateur golfer Ellen Groves from the Hillingdon Disablement Society (DASH) took on Mary Macleod MP and Buckinghamshire Golf Club Operations Manager Dubravka Griffiths in a blind-folded putting contest on Thursday 11 July, to raise awareness of the tournament and highlight ISPS HANDA’s mission to promote blind and disabled golf.
Mary Macleod MP is a strong believer and active campaigner in equal opportunities and commented: “As this Government creates a fairer and more equal society it is vital that we encourage equal opportunities for all to participate in sport from the grassroots all the way up to the elite level. I am particularly passionate about getting more women, girls and disabled people playing sport and I am delighted that the Ladies European Masters and ISPS are able to support the Government in achieving this objective.
“Today highlights how inclusive golf can be and I encourage golf authorities to actively support more women, girls and disabled people to play the game.”
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events and London & Partners commented: “We are delighted to be hosting the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters here in London. The city continues to deliver a lasting legacy of hosting major events which in return, increase participation in grassroots sports – especially following the huge success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“This event is a great opportunity to encourage women of all abilities to take up the sport and be inspired by some of the best female golfers in Europe.”
Ladies European Tour golfer Hull, 17, who turned professional earlier this year, commented: “It’s great to see what a great game this can be for such a diverse range of people and I’m delighted that more and more people with disabilities are being introduced to golf. Free golf lessons will be available to people with and without disabilities at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters and I would encourage anyone interested in the game to come along and have a great day out.”
ISPS Chairman and Japanese Philanthropist, Dr Haruhisa Handa, has campaigned relentlessly to make golf accessible to blind and disabled golfers and through the ISPS Handa PGA Academy Programme has educated 170 coaches who between them have already delivered over 1,500 coaching sessions to blind and disabled golfers within the UK.
Free golf lessons will be available during the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters from Friday 26-Sunday 28 July from award-winning coaches as part of the ISPS HANDA PGA Academy Programme and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire (BB&O) Golf Partnership.
A host of top names will be competing in the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, including defending champion Lydia Hall, Laura Davies, Trish Johnson, Melissa Reid, Carly Booth, Cheyenne Woods and Charley Hull, especially with valuable Solheim Cup points up for grabs as the race for a place in the team nears conclusion.
Entry is free for spectators with disabilities, Under 16s and qualified PGA Professionals. For further information and tickets, visit: www.ladieseuropeanmasters.com