GB&I hopefuls enjoy Curtis Cup venue Quaker Ridge

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Captain Elaine Farquharson-Black and Olivia Mehaffey tell us how they got on at the GB&I Curtis Cup training week at Quaker Ridge

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to start getting excited for all the great golfing events that are coming up in 2018.

The 2018 Curtis Cup will be held at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in New York in June. In preparation for this, six possible members of team GB&I got the chance to fly over there last week and try the course for themselves.

Among the players were Alice Hewson, Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey, who were on the winning GB&I team in 2016, and also India Clyburn, Sophie Lamb and Annabel Wilson. They were accompanied by Captain Elaine Farquharson-Black and Team Manager Helen Hewlett.

Farquharson-Black played in the 1990 and 1992 Curtis Cup matches and also led GB&I to a 11½-8½ win over the United States in 2016. She told Lady Golfer why she’s excited to captain the team for a second time in the 40th Curtis Cup tournament.

“We had a really productive time in New York. Before the 2016 Curtis Cup we had a training weekend in Dun Laoghaire and I was delighted that the R&A agreed to my suggestion that we do the same at Quaker Ridge.

“It was tricky to find a date when we could get all the players together, but as the colleges in the US have a break over Thanksgiving it provided the perfect opportunity to gather a squad together and start to get to know the course.

“The players really liked the course and the club made us all feel very welcome. A number of people at Quaker Ridge commented on how well we all got on with each other. I think that’s a really important part of team golf; we try to keep things relaxed and encourage an open dialogue.

“We went into New York city on our final night and we had lots of fun doing a little sightseeing and shopping.

“I was delighted to be asked to captain the team again alongside Helen Hewlett as team manager. Playing the match in the US will be a very different experience from Dun Laoghaire and we are looking forward to the challenge.

“GB&I have only won once in the US and retained the Cup twice in the history of the Curtis Cup. So we know it will be a tough match. But we will be well prepared and we are definitely going over there to win!”

LG also caught up with Northern Irish golfer and Arizona State student Olivia Mehaffey about how she found the course at Quaker Ridge.

“The training week was brilliant and it was great to see the course and the area. Elaine, Helen and the R&A did a great job of organising everything.

“The course reminds me of the traditional parkland courses that we have back home in Ireland. I liked that the greens were really fast!

“The course is similar to Dun Laoghaire in that they both play long and have tricky rough. The bunkers and layout are also similar.

“I played with all the other girls in this years’ Vagliano trophy. We are all extremely close and I don’t think we stopped laughing all week. It was really nice to see all them all again as we are best friends really.

“Elaine is such a good captain. Everything she does is carefully planned but she makes sure that we also have a say as well. She listens to all of us and works tirelessly. With Elaine we are always laughing, she keeps things serious when they need to be but we still have such a good time with her.

“There’s always lots of pictures and selfies when we’re together. Everyone knows that Elaine loves her photos, it’s something we always joke about together.

“I love being at Arizona State University. It’s such an amazing experience and a great opportunity to travel all over America and see lots of different states. We have a really good team and coaches out here and it all makes the college experience so enjoyable.”

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