Guest Laura Davies column: I’d love to revitalise an event like Rory or Sergio

New Challenge: Dame Laura wants to launch an event on the Ladies European Tour (Photo by Getty Images)

New Challenge: Dame Laura wants to launch an event on the Ladies European Tour (Photo by Getty Images)

by 12-time Solheim Cup player Dame Laura Davies

My heartfelt congratulations go out to Rory McIlroy and his team for the way they have rescued the Irish Open, which should prove a real golfing showcase for the fans at The K Club next week.

I am sad to report, however, that my attempts to travel down the same path as Rory and, more recently Sergio Garcia at the Spanish Open, have yet to take off.

Mr brother Tony and his business partner have been trying to find a sponsor prepared to back a new Ladies European Tour event here in mainland Britain that would be played in association with my Golf Foundation charity.

But so far all their efforts have been met with a complete blank and time is fast running out for me to have a tournament included in this year’s LET schedule. What I am trying to do may be new on the Ladies European Tour, but on the LPGA Tour America almost every tournament is linked to charity and thousands and thousands of dollars are raised for good causes.

It works two ways. During the tournaments there are events like a pro-am, a dinner and clinics given by leading players which get golf fans dipping into their pockets.

But also the sponsors are seen in a different and better light because they are not only promoting their products during the tournaments, but can also be seen to be actively doing something to help people in need.

To help attract a potential sponsor to a new tournament here in the UK, I know I am going to have to work hard behind the scenes as well as playing four rounds of golf that week.

One important part of my input to try to raise money for The Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and Girl’s in Golf, would be to try and persuade some of the biggest stars from the LPGA to  play in the event.

So the ideal time for me to stage it would either be in late July or early August around the time of the British Women’s Open at Woburn or in September – a week either side of the Evian Tournament.

They are two of women’s golf Majors that attract all the world’s best players and hopefully, while over on this side of the Atlantic, some of the girls from the LPGA would come and play in my event as well.

I would not expect them to spend a lot of their money coming all the way over here for just  a week to play for me.

As for trying to find a venue to help us with the tournament, the priority must be a course in the British Isles.

I would then like it to be a marquee course like Wentworth or the Belfry – somewhere that has a name, has staged big events in the past but, most importantly, a course close to a big centre of population like London, Birmingham or Glasgow so that it is easy for lots of fans to come and watch us play.

The only thing I would not want to copy from the great pattern set by Rory in Ireland would be to miss the cut at my own event like he did last year after shooting 80 in the first round at Royal County Down!

But I can understand how that may have happened because with so much going on at a tournament it must be easy to lose concentration on the fairways.

That, however, is looking down the line. At the moment I am just hoping that by putting my thoughts in The Golf Paper a potential sponsor will read them and get in touch.

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