A predominantly male crowd are seen watching Celine Boutier and Moriya Jutanugarn on the 18th hole of the PRO AM at Royal Lytham and St Annes ahead of the 2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open, illustrating the ever-broadening appeal of the women’s game.
Ben Squires the Head Professional at Royal Lytham explained, “We all love watching the men play in the Open here at Royal Lytham and their length and club choices are often as astounding to the members as they are spectacular. But, the women professionals are infinitely more relatable to in terms of the game of an average low amateur. I recommend to every single one of my pupils, regardless of their age or gender, to get out there this week and really study just how these awesome professionals will handle the challenges of Royal Lytham. Whether it be the course management of IK Kim, the tempo of Inbee Park’s swing or the impeccable short game of Charley Hull, there is so much to admire and learn from the way the world’s best players will navigate the course this week.”
Ten-year-old, Ben Lack, a member of the impressed crowd watching the Pro Am today commented, “I plan to come and watch every day this week. I swing really hard and fast as I am trying to hit it as far as I can but then I watch IK swing and I can see that rhythm and timing are maybe more important. I also want to learn to chip like Charley Hull as she is my favorite.”
Charles Grimley, Secretary at Royal Lytham Golf Club added, “As soon as the sun set on the very successful 2012 Open Championship, members were inquiring as to when the Women’s British Open might next return. Both Opens are hugely popular with our membership and what we witnessed Catriona Matthew achieve in 2009 is part of the lore of the Club.”