'Scotland leading the way in investment in women's golf'

The ever-improving health of women’s golf in Scotland has been widely praised on International Women’s Day.

For the second year in a row, Scotland is set for a mouth-watering double-header on the women’s tournament front this summer.

The Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open takes place at Dundonald Links on 28-31 July before the AIG Women’s Open pays a first visit to Muirfield the following week.

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Fans will be back in attendance at both events as things start to return to normal following the Covid-19 pandemic and the excitement is already starting to grow.

Louise Duncan during last year's AIG Women's Open at Carnoustie

“Scotland makes a great stage for golf for everyone because there is nothing like playing in the home of golf,” said Beth Allen, the Edinburgh-based American professional.

“For women, it is especially good because of the quality of golf courses and the backing of women’s golf that we have received.

“The prize-money for the Women's Scottish Open has continued to grow and the attention the women’s golf receives for playing events on courses like The Renaissance Club, Dumbarnie and Dundonald is invaluable.”

VisitScotland recently announced a new long-term commitment to the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, won last year by American Ryann O’Toole at Dumbarnie Links, and continues to work with the R&A to elevate the status of the AIG Women’s Open.

Heather MacRae has won the WPGA Championship three years in a row

Held last year at Carnoustite, Swede Anna Nordqvist, who is married to former Scottish Amateur champion Kevin McAlpine, proved a popular winner of that event.

Alan Grant, VisitScotland’s senior golf manager, said: “It is extremely positive to be able to look forward to these superb occasions for women’s golf after a challenging two years.

“Golf tournaments provide the perfect stage to showcase Scotland’s first-class courses to the world and Scotland is leading the way in investment in women’s golf events, supporting the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, the AIG Women’s Open and hosted the 2019 Solheim Cup.”

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Scottish professionals Heather MacRae and Michele Thomson are hoping the events on Scottish soil can help inspire more girls into the game.

Michele Thomson is hoping to have a big season on the Ladies European Tour

“I think since Covid the number of women and girls participating in golf has increased and people have been out and getting to see just how beautiful our golf courses are here,” said MacRae, who is attached to Gleneagles Hotel.

“Golf doesn’t always have to be competitive, and I think more people are starting to realise that.”

Fellow LET player Thomson added: “My advice for girls who want to get involved in golf would be to find a golf course where there are some other girl members and have fun together. Practice hard and you will get the rewards.”

Hannah Darling and Louise Duncan are doing their bit in the amateur game to help grow girls’ golf, having won the R&A Girls and Women’s Amateur Championships respectively last year.

American professional Beth Allen lives in Edinburgh and loves playing golf in Scotland

“There’s no better feeling than hitting your best shot ever,” said Duncan, who is preparing to join Darling in becoming the first Scots to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur later this month. “Enjoy going out with some friends and possibly meeting friends for life.”

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