During the past few days Golf Fans across Europe and the United States have been glued to their televisions as the Ladies of Europe and the USA went head to head in the Solheim Cup being played at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in the State of Iowa.
The Solheim cup is the Ladies equivalent to the Ryder Cup and is played every 2 years alternating between Europe and the US.
Unfortunately this year the contest was won by the US 16½ to 11½, a score that does not do justice to the brilliant battle put up by Europe’s ladies and in particular Bournemouth’s very own Georgia Hall. Having recently finished a superb 3rd in the 2017 Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns Golf Course on the east coast of Scotland, the 21 year old former Oakmead College student was playing for the first time in the Solheim Cup in the glaring eye of the world television channels and experiencing the incredibly vocal and partisan American public who attended the event in their thousands. But keeping her cool and not letting the pressure affect her game Georgia played brilliantly and only lost her final singles match on the 18th hole by one put that finished just millimetres from the hole.
For the members of Bournemouth Rotary Club however there was a special reason to watch Georgia doing so well on the world stage as she has been associated with the club for the past 9 years since she was a pupil at what was then Oakmead School.
It was back in 2008 that Rotarians Malcolm Jefferies and Charles Cleghorn went to see her at the school and met a very shy but obviously talented young lady, never dreaming at that time what the future may hold for her.
Recognising that this young lady might just have something special the club provided support to enable her to travel to a number of golf competitions for girls in her age group, with Georgia that year wining the Girls U12 Championship.
Subsequently, 2 years later, the club provided further support helping Georgia and her father with travelling expenses (which can very soon mount up) to play in Girls competitions in England, Wales and Scotland with Georgia winning the U14 Championships.
Following that we were able to assist Georgia in wining some very useful National Lottery Funding through the SportsAid Foundation that helped her continue until the age of 18.
At the age of 18 Georgia was selected to represent Great Britain in the Youth Olympics in Australia where she won a Gold Medal in the Individual Event and a second Gold in the Team Event. To crown the trip Georgia was then given the honour of carrying the Union Flag leading the whole GB Team at the Closing Ceremony.
Since then Georgia has visited our Club to speak to members and thank them for their
support and she has kindly attended two of our Charity Golf Days and donated items for the Charity Auction which raises money for good causes. In addition, three years ago Georgia hit the first ball at our Annual Charity “Golf in the Dark” Competition at Queens Park Golf Club – something a little different from what she is doing now.
In 2016 Georgia decided to turn professional and head out into the big wide world of ladies golf playing on the European Tour and other major events far and wide.
It seems like a long journey from Kinson to the Solheim Cup in the USA with millions watching on Television and massive coverage by the press and the Rotary Club of Bournemouth North are extremely proud to have played a small part along the way to what we hope is going to be a brilliant future for this very talented young lady.
Our warmest congratulations go out to Georgia and her Family who have supported her throughout including her father Wayne who has been with her literally every step of the way as her caddy.