'We would love to come back if the club would have us'
Ross Hallett, IMG
The members of Royal Liverpool Golf Club were proud and honoured to be the host venue for the 2012 Ricoh Women’s British Open. Despite our long history of hosting major championships, this was our first opportunity to bring this event to our links. We would like to show our sincere appreciation for our new Champion Jiyai Shin.
Bernard Darwin once said of Royal Liverpool Golf Club:
‘Hoylake... blown upon by mighty winds, breeder of mighty champions’
It is a phrase that has been used many times, but it’s amazing to think that Darwin could have written the Monday morning headlines to sum up a major championship in 2012. Jiyai Shin proved to be a very worthy champion in the vein of the many others who have received the accolade over the 143 years of Hoylake history. The links showed itself to be tough but fair by offering rewarding Shin’s excellent well thought out play, and punishing those who brought any weaknesses in their game or even those who had fault lines opened up by the mental pressure of the tough conditions. We are proud to call Jiyai Shin our Champion and we look forward to welcoming her and the world of women’s golf back to us in the future. Perhaps we have seen a Champion of the future in the self-assured and highly talented Lydia Ko, the winner of the top amateur prize The Smyth Salver.
The tournaments managers IMG have expressed their desire to make Hoylake part of their future and we look forward to extending another warm welcome to the Ricoh Women’s British Open in the next few years. Putting on an event of this stature requires a lot of effort and teamwork spanning a number of organisations including Ricoh, IMG, Wirral Council, the Ladies European Tour, the Ladies Golf Union, the LPGA as well as the golf club itself. So I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all the members of Hoylake who volunteered during the championship and in particular to the members of other top north west clubs who made up the some 500 marshalls that supported the events. Your efforts are much appreciated.
Another thank you should be made to the scores of spectators who braved the very changeable weather to cheer on the golfers. Having moved the event from July to September to avoid the London Olympics, there was always a chance that the weather would have an impact on proceedings. However, it’s fair to say that the weather this year was not much better in July! This summer of wet weather in itself brought about some challenges for our greens staff in the preparation of the links ahead of the event.
As ever, the team led by Craig Gilholm did an excellent job to produce a test of golf that was roundly applauded by the players and looked fantastic for the worldwide television audience. It’s great to have had the opportunity to show the world of golf two very different challenges in 2012 and 2006 for the Open Championship. This demonstrated what the members of Hoylake know very well, that the links never plays the same way two days or two championships in a row! It’s always difficult and disappointing to lose a day’s worth of play as we did on the Friday, but we believe the tournament directors made the right decisions at the right time. We were also pleased with how the links coped with the torrential downpours, a little work with the squidgers and we were on our way again.
Chairman, Royal Liverpool Golf Club