PING women’s tournament marks its 10th anniversary

2014 winners

It will be celebration time next week when the PING women’s fourball betterball tournament marks its 10th anniversary.

The Plate and Grand Finals take place on Monday and Tuesday, September 7 and 8 respectively, at PING’s own Gainsborough Golf Club in Lincolnshire. Each day, 50 pairs will compete for the titles, continuing a success story which began in 2006.

The tournament, which is run by England Golf, was an instant hit when it was launched and thousands of players from 800 clubs grabbed an opportunity to play an unusual format for women.

Over the past decade the tournament has become one of the highlights of the calendar and became so popular that the Plate Final was added to the Grand Final in 2009.

This year, 846 clubs took part by running qualifying rounds and the 50 pairs who reached the Grand Final mostly scored 44 points or better, with just four claiming their place with 43 points. The remaining 37 clubs with 43 points and 13 clubs with 42 points successfully qualified for the Plate Final. The ballots for both finals were decided on countback.

The tournament is an event which combines competition with friendship and club spirit. Most finalists arrive in their club colours and pairings have featured mothers and daughters, in-laws, sisters, twins – and a pair whose surnames were Duck and Mallard.

There’s been players as young as 12, as well as competitors at the other end of the age spectrum. One pair brought their own fan club –an entourage of nine supporters from their proud club, bearing a large, home-made banner.

The players represent all abilities, with high handicappers and low, internationals and very new golfers, county players and former professionals. One finalist played when she was 37-weeks pregnant and, twice, competitors were so determined to take part that they played solo when injury or illness forced their partners to call off.

Finalists have also faced some interesting hazards, such as the time when a deer chewed a competitor’s ball!

The rewards for reaching one of the finals include a fabulous goodie bag, great prizes and a lovely lunch. The most-common word at registration is ‘Wow!’ and when one competitor signed in for last year’s Grand Final she asked the organiser: “Can I kiss you now? It’s Christmas come early!”

Click here for championship webpage

Caption: 2014 Grand Final winners Sheila Mcdonald (left) and Pam Wiseley (Image © Leaderboard Photography)

PAST WINNERS

GRAND FINAL
2014  Pam Wiseley & Sheila Mcdonald – Houldsworth, Cheshire
2013  Denise Page & Sarah Dawson – Willow Valley, Yorkshire
2012  Rita Towler & Dorothy Scholes – Harwood, Lancashire
2011  Laura Harrison & Abbie Spence – Hobson, Co Durham
2010  Cath Rawthore & Hilary Tarleton – Sale, Cheshire
2009  Sue Elliott & Rachael Thomas – Henbury, Gloucestershire
2008  Bridget Moore & Jenny Readman-  Meon Valley, Hampshire
2007  Cynthia Hollingsworth & Megan Ball – Colne Valley, Essex
2006  Shirley Kay & Jenny Knight – Matlock, Derbyshire

PLATE FINAL

2014  Sian Mansey & Carol Simpson – Horsley Lodge, Derbyshire
2013  Karen Hughes & Elaine Ducker  – Cottingham, Yorkshire
2012  Ros Ford & Sarah Gotts – Cretingham, Suffolk
2011  Philippa Mason & Samantha Reagan – Shooters Hill, Kent
2010  Ruth Coleby & Linda Young – Penrith, Cumbria
2009  Lilias Adamson & Sue Pearson – Ely City, Cambridgeshire