The Ladies European Masters - The Bucks party
It seems strange to think that this tournament didn’t exist three years ago. Ten years ago we had an English and a Welsh Open to look forward to on the Ladies’ European Tour but, over time, these events fell by the wayside.
Now, though, we have the Ladies European Masters – a tournament very much on an upward curve with a healthy prize fund and, for the first time, a four-round event.
The tournament began life as the British Masters before quickly re-badging itself and, just a few years in, is seen as the LET’s flagship event and played at the Tour’s headquarters at the Buckinghamshire.
In its prime slot a week before the Women’s British Open this is the perfect opportunity for golf enthusiasts not lucky enough to be at Royal Birkdale to watch at first hand the skills of defending champion and seven-time Major winner Karrie Webb and our own superstar Charley Hull.
Webb emerged victorious 12 months ago with a closing 67 for an outstanding 16-under aggregate on a course that has its two nines reversed to help encourage a dramatic finish. The par-3 18th, played out in front of the magnificent Georgian clubhouse, saw Christina Kim, playing with Webb, close out her three days with a hole-in-one.
In 2012 Wales’ Lydia Hall claimed her first victory on the LET as she watched more drama play out over the closing holes.
“I think I got to 10 under and then made a double and brought it back a little bit and then I watched everyone unfold on 17. We were waiting on the group in front and it was all unfolding in front of me really with Beth Allen making a seven.
“I tried to turn my back on it and have a conversation about rugby with Ashleigh Simon’s boyfriend so I was distracted, but it was a great day and I knocked it on 17 and made par there and had a two-shot lead coming down the last.”
I just love the way it’s set out, well manicured, well looked after, and just the whole setting, it’s the really nice, traditional, English club really So what is it like with all the galleries hemmed in to one space and a par 3 played to a narrow green surrounded by sand?
“It’s a little bit nervy playing the last because obviously it’s a par 3 and everyone is enclosed on the green and the tree lines as well.
The pin was very close to the back of the green and you’ve got a ridge to get up and thankfully I left it in the middle of the green.
“It was a really hot summer’s day a week after the London Olympics and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect first win.
“I think it’s a fantastic event, I just love the way it’s set out, well manicured, well looked after, and just the whole setting, it’s the really nice, traditional, English club really.
If you haven’t been to the Buckinghamshire, or indeed a professional event, then this would be a great place to start.
It’s a fun atmosphere and it’s only when you are at a tournament that you really get to appreciate quite how good the players are.
As well as the golf there is a host of fun entertainment for not just the golf fans but all the family. Spectators will have the opportunity to meet the players or have a free golf lesson with PGA professionals in the Ping Swing Zone while children can also have fun experiencing SNAG golf, a learning system containing age appropriate equipment to teach the game from scratch.
And, since you’re there for a relaxing day out, Pimms will be served on the terrace.