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ELGA news - On and off the course

This is a feature with lots of new from ELGA, including a special AGM for subscriptions, news of Teams and team successes, and of how you can now enter ELGA Championships on-line. Of course it incldues news on Fliss Johnson but look out for news of success for your Senior golfers -

ELGA seeks vital increase in members? subscriptions

ELGA is to seek an increase in members? subscriptions at an extraordinary general meeting at Edgbaston Golf Club, Birmingham, on Tuesday March 21.

There will be two proposals: to increase the annual subscription by ?1.50 to ?7.50, with effect from 1 January 2007; and to increase the subscription annually by the rate of inflation, ensuring that the amount does not devalue over coming years.

In a letter to golf clubs, ELGA chairman Ros Weston urges ladies? sections to vote in favour of the increase, which is vital to the work of the association.

"We cannot emphasise enough the importance of supporting this increase to enable ELGA to continue to progress ladies? amateur golf in England", she said.

A proposal to increase the annual subscription by ?1.50 was put to the ELGA annual meeting last December. It just failed to reach the necessary two-thirds majority, winning the support of 65.9 per cent of club members. However, votes received in the ELGA office after the cut-off date would have achieved the required majority.

The EGM agenda and voting paper was sent to clubs by February 27.

England's challenge ends at Spanish championship

England's challenge in the Spanish Ladies' championship ended with a string of narrow defeats in the first round of matchplay at Isla Canela, Huelva.

All four English players who qualified after 36 holes of strokeplay were knocked out of the tournament.

English strokeplay champion Laura Eastwood (Yelverton) lost 1 down to Kim Vlander of Sweden. Laura had qualified second after returning two level par rounds of 72. Danielle Montgomery, who qualified 11th on 74, 75, was beaten 2/1 by Diana Terol (Spain). English mid-amateur champion Naomi Edwards (Ganton) who qualified 12th on 74, 75, lost by one hole to Emelie Westrup (Sweden). Julie Ross (Whitley Bay) who shot 78, 76 to qualify in 27th place, lost 2 down to Carlota Ciganda (Spain).

England seniors win Nations Cup in Portugal

A team of England seniors has won the Nations Cup at the Portuguese Senior Ladies? Championship after a showdown with Sweden.

The teams were tied by their best two scores but Rozalyn Adams (Addington Court), Geraldine Bray (Littlestone) and Sue Westall (Copt Heath) took the honours when all three cards were counted.

"It was so exciting and we were delighted to win", said Sue, "It's a very encouraging start to the season."

The tournament, at Vilamoura, produced a host of good results for England players. Geraldine Bray and her club colleague, Julie Ballard, won the four-ball event which precedes the strokeplay championship. Sue Westall was third in the championship and won the first handicap prize, just ahead of Hilary Smyth (Pannal). The second England team, of Hilary Smyth, Julie Ballard and Sue Timberlake (Edgbaston) had a top five finish in the Nations Cup.

England take aim on Espirito Santo Trophy

ELGA will send an England team to this year?s Espirito Santo Trophy - the women?s world amateur team championship - for the first time since the inaugural event in 1964.

England won bronze in that first tournament and then, in subsequent years, joined forces with the other home countries in a GB&I team selected by the Ladies? Golf Union.

But now, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will each again send their own team of three to the championship.

"This is a fantastic opportunity and it is a way of seeing where England stands in the world", said Linda Bayman, ELGA?s performance director.

England?s preparations for the October tournament begin later this month when Bayman and a training squad of six players fly to South Africa for practice on the two host courses at Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

Bayman cherishes hopes of a gold medal, based on England?s current high form and, in particular, twin triumphs in last year?s golf Olympics, the Spirit International amateur championship in Texas.

"We won the Spirit and this is a very similar form of tournament against the same kind of opposition. We are totally capable of holding our own and we deserve a crack at it", she said.

Her optimism is shared by Suffolk's Julie Otto who will captain the team. As Julie Wade and then Julie Hall she represented GB&I three times in the Espirito Santo and has two bronze medals. Success, says Otto - now assistant director of rules with the R&A - "is very possible".

The training squad includes the two players who won double gold at The Spirit: Sophie Walker (Kenwick Park) who topped ELGA?s 2005 order of merit, and English champion Felicity Johnson (Harborne).

ELGA announces 2006 captains

The six captains who will lead England?s quest for 2006 golfing glory have been named by ELGA. They are:

Julie Otto (Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk) - Espirito Santo Trophy

Lisa Ball (Matfen Hall, Northumberland) - European Girls' Team Championship and Girls? International Matches

Jenny Clink (Lilley Brook, Gloucestershire) - European Lady Juniors' Team Championship

Beverley New (Lansdown, Somerset) - Home International matches.

Hilary Green (Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire) - Senior Home Internationals.

Julie Brown (Brocton Hall, Staffordshire) - England U18 girls v England U16 boys

England squad selected for French championship

ELGA has selected an England squad of eight players for the French Lady Junior Championship at St Cloud Golf Club from April 13-17.

It includes English champion Felicity Johnson (Harborne), English girls? champion Melissa Reid (Chevin), Daily Telegraph girls? champion Jodi Ewart (Catterick) and Faldo Series girls? champion Kiran Matharu (Cookridge Hall).

They are joined by girl internationals Joanne Hodge (Knowle) and Florentyna Parker (Royal Birkdale). The squad is completed by Rachel Jennings (Izaak Walton) and Natasha Podmore (Vale Royal Abbey) The teams for the Vilmorin Cup are: A - Felicity Johnson, Kiran Matharu and Melissa Reid. B - Jodi Ewart, Joanne Hodge, and Florentyna Parker.

ELGA has this year launched online entry for all its 2006 English championships on its website www.englishladiesgolf.org

Competitors can now enter events and pay their fees, via a secure Paypal account, at the click of a mouse. They may also opt to pay by cheque.

Clare Tyler, ELGA's marketing, press and PR officer, said: "This new service will make it easier for players to enter our championships. We are very keen to use technology to move the association forward and this will reduce paperwork and increase efficiency".

Online entry is available for eight tournaments: Senior Ladies' English Close Amateur Championship, English Ladies' Close Amateur Championship, Senior Ladies' English Close Amateur Stroke Play Championship, English Ladies' Close Amateur Stroke Play Championship, English Girls' Close Amateur Championship, English Girls' Under 15 Championship, English Girls' Under 13 Championship and the English Ladies' Open Mid-Amateur Championship.

Paper entry forms will continue to be available from the ELGA office at Edgbaston Golf Club, Church Road, Birmingham B15 3TB, telephone 0121 456 2088.

Parent power backs England golfers

Parent power has been called into play by ELGA to help push on England?s leading golfers. Mums and dads have been given an insight into their daughters' training programmes and the importance of their fitness regimes and diet.

Parents got close to the action when they were invited, for the first time, to attend workshops for players in ELGA?s Team England squads.

Linda Bayman, ELGA's performance director, said: "It was very successful and I think parents found it very useful".

The one-day workshops were held at four locations: Bath University, Loughborough University, the National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey and the English Institute of Sport at Sheffield.

Each workshop included fitness work for the players, information on nutrition and hydration and a session on anti-doping. Rules seminars were held for the girls - two of which were taken by Julie Otto, assistant director of rules with the R&A - while parents spent time with Pat Smillie, ELGA's national junior coach and Lynn Booth, ELGA's head physiotherapist.

ClaireTyler - ELGA Press officer on 2006-03-12

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