Tags: Get into golf, Girls, Meghan MacLaren, Women 1 Aug 2018 Women and Girls’ Golf Week: Meghan MacLaren on amateur life and making her way as a winning Tour player Caption: Meghan MacLaren, winning in Australia (credit LET/Tristan Jones) Meghan MacLaren had a superb amateur career and is now a winner on the Ladies European Tour. Here, the 24-year-old from Wellingborough Golf Club, took time out from her preparation for the Ricoh Women’s British Open to talk about making her way as a golfer and why working hard shouldn’t feel like work!How did you get started in golf?I was so young I don’t really remember – golf seems to be in my blood on every side of the family, so I think it was inevitable!Earliest golfing memories?I can’t remember the first competition exactly, but I remember playing a junior club match when I must have been really young, and the guy I was playing against was more than double my age!! I remember my first county match too (I played for Buckinghamshire to start with), and the team shirts and jumpers coming down to my knees!How quickly did you progress?It was always quite slow and steady for me I think, rather than rocketing up quickly like some of the other girls I ended up playing with in national sides. My handicap probably came down pretty quickly, but it was a gradual move through the England regional squads.What support did you have?My parents are both good golfers and work in golf too, so I think it helps that they understand the demands of the sport. I’ve seen the detrimental effects of parents’ over-involvement in sport so I count myself extremely lucky to have parents who know how to support me in the best possible way.I was a part of my county set up from a pretty young age, and then moved up into the England regional squads through to the national squad. That pathway definitely encouraged me into working harder, and practicing and competing in more productive ways. Being a part of the England set up also gave me opportunities to play at the highest level. Travelling internationally and having the adrenaline rush of playing alongside the best players at that level undoubtedly helped prepare me for the professional realm.You won eight times on the US college circuit. How did the university experience help you?I learned so much about myself as a person and golfer through playing US college golf. Getting into a different set of tournaments and people helped open my eyes to how much depth there is out there – there’s an infinite number of girls who all have the same dream as you – so you have to be willing to do the things others don’t do. It changed my mindset too – after I’d had a couple of wins I started approaching tournaments differently – I knew I could win and I went in trying to do exactly that. As I said earlier this year following my LET win, there’s a difference between believing you can win and actually doing it. Having that concrete evidence gives you an edge as a competitor.Best amateur moment?I can’t pick between winning the European Team Championships with England, and winning the Curtis Cup with GB&I. Both were in the summer of 2016, right before I turned professional, and they were incredibly special!What made you decide to make a career out of golf?The idea of playing professionally was never too far from my mind as I grew up and got better and better. I think as I became a part of the England national squad and got to compete in some of the European and world events, along with my success in college golf, I began to realise I could be capable of making it my career. Through all the highs and the lows I never wavered in how much I loved the game – it’s always been like a drug for me. Having the opportunity to do it for a living is incredible.How did you find the transition from amateur to pro ranks?It’s been both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I struggled with the decision of turning professional because I wasn’t sure I was ready – but in reality I don’t think anyone can ever be ready. I missed out on getting any status in America and I didn’t get full status on the LET, but that actually benefited my game more than anything else. I was able to plan my first year around playing on the LET Access Series, and I was 100% committed to that, and to trying to improve every single day.By having that mindset I was able to realise I was still playing the same game as I was as an amateur. I think a lot of top amateur golfers approach the game in a professional manner – but some people think they need to change everything when they turn pro. In reality, what they have been doing to that point has made them a golfer capable of competing at the highest level.Best win?Winning the NSW Open in Australia on the LET earlier this year. I had won on the LET Access Tour, and had some good finishes on the LET, but it’s one of those things that you want so much it’s almost surreal when it actually happens. I’d been struggling a little coming into that event too, so it taught me a lot in terms of patience and trust in my own ability. I think it gave me some perspective too – as much as I wanted to win every tournament, actually doing it made me realise how few people get to achieve something like that in their careers.Golfing goals?To be the best player in the world.Top tip for girls with ambitions to follow you?I think one of the most important things is to have people around you that you trust. Trusting them to help you improve your game, in whatever way that might be, but also trusting them to be there and to have the same commitment when things aren’t going well. You have to be prepared to work hard too. But the way I see it is if you truly want to get to the highest level as a golfer, working hard shouldn’t feel like work.Interests outside golf ….Newcastle United! Anything else?Travelling so much means that I enjoy the little things a lot more than I used to – just being at home and getting to spend time with the people I care about. I like learning as well, and since I left college I’ve made more of a conscious effort to do that myself, whether that’s through reading, listening to podcasts, or writing things down to try and make sense of them. (megmaclaren.com if you’re even a tiny bit interested!). Golf can be pretty consuming, but I’m lucky that it’s one of the reasons I love it so much.• Inspired to Get into Golf and follow Meghan’s example? Visit www.getintogolf.org to find out about free and low cost beginner activities across the country.
Image Courtesy: GettyAdvertisement jexoNBA Finals | Brooklyn VspiyWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E24ux( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) xgtiWould you ever consider trying this?😱8wc9Can your students do this? 🌚6Roller skating! Powered by Firework At the Asian/Oceanian Olympic qualifiers currently hosted at Amman, Jordan a total of eight India boxers have secured their entry for Tokyo 2020. Following yesterday’s bout, India’s superstar pugilist MC Mary Kom has joined with seven more boxers from the country, who will be heading to the capital of Japan in July to rack up India’s medal tally.Advertisement Image Courtesy: GettyA total of thirteen India boxers entered in the qualifiers, which is conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Boxing Task Force. A semi final entry in the qualifier was announced to earn the participants a berth at the main event in Tokyo.Mary Kom, who competes in the 51 kg category, had a walk in the park in yesterday’s quarterfinal bout against Irish Magno from Philippines. The 37 year old veteran dominated Magno 5-0, which saw her smooth entry into the semis.Advertisement The 2012 London Olympics bronze medal winner will be joining with Asian Championships silver medallist Simranjit Kaur and IOC’s Boxing Task Force’s world no. 1 seeded Amit Panghal in Tokyo.Simranjit powered through the qualifiers with two back to back 5-0 wins in her pre-quarter final and quarter final matches. Competing in the 60 kg category, the 24 year old defeated no. 2 seeded Monkhoryn Namuun of Mongolia yesterday.Advertisement Amit Panghal, who entered as 1st seeded for the qualifiers, earned his Olympics entry after winning the quarter final face off against his former Asian Games and World Championships opponent Carlo Paalam. The 52 kg boxer defeated the Filipino 4-1, and will take on China’s Jianguan Hu in the semis.Five India boxers had already secured their Olympics berth on Sunday. They are 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan and silver medallist Satish Kumar, 2019 Asian Championships gold winner Pooja Rani, 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain and Ashish Kumar, who won a gold at the Thailand Open tournament last year.2nd seeded Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg) defeated Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva, and 4th seeded Pooja Rani (75 kg), overpowered Thailand’s Pornnipa Chutee 5-0 in the quarter final.While Satish Kumar (+91 kg) smoothly went past Daivii Otgonbayar of Mongolia 5-0, Vikas Krishan (69 kg) had a tough fight versus Japan’s Sewonrets Okazawa.Okazawa, seeded third and third seed and Asian silver-medallist who won a gold medal at last year’s Olympic test event in Tokyo, almost had Krishan biting the dust. However, the Haryanvi boxer finally came out on top, fetching him the semi final entry.Ashish Kumar (75 kg) earned his maiden Olympics entry after defeating Maikhel Muskita of Indonesia on Sunday. Despite losing his father last month, Kumar retained his focus for Tokyo, and dominated the Indonesian 5-0 in the quarter final bout.Also read-Double Gold-winner Harmilan Bains is India’s latest Track-and-field starHere’s what Sunil Gavaskar has to say about a Women’s IPL tournament! Advertisement
Story and photos by Joseph SapiaLOOKING TO GET involved somehow environmentally, Leigh Oarsley booked a ticket on the Shrewsbury River Eco-Cruise.“I thought this would be an introduction,” said Oarsley, who lives in Monroe. “I love the Jersey Shore.”“I’d rather sit on water than on the couch,” said Oarsley’s daughter, Isabelle, 15. “I love the idea you get a different perspective (on the water).”The Oarsleys were among about 80 aboard the 85-foot Captain John, which on Sunday, July 17, cruised Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay and the Shrewsbury River between Keyport and the Sea Bright-Rumson bridge. It was one of the water tours sponsored by the Keyport-based New York/New Jersey Baykeeper.“We think the best way to protect the water and environment is to see it,” said Greg Remaud, deputy director of the Baykeeper. “What we always try to do is get people on the water ways. If a picture is worth a thousand words, being out in the environment is worth 10,000.”The Baykeeper eco-cruises are 5 years old, but this was the first one specifically using the route of the two bays and the Shrewsbury River, Remaud said. Debbie Mans, the Baykeeper executive director, was the host for the cruise, highlighting different points via the boat’s public-address system. Adults paid $50, and children were $25.Mans pointed out the Baykeeper’s pump-out boat, which pumps out a boat’s sewage for free on Raritan Bay. The alternative would be pumping out at a marina or even dumping sewage into coastal waters, Mans said.“It’s a great way to keep pollution out,” Mans said.This summer, the Baykeeper also is running Monmouth County government’s pump-out boat, the Royal Flush, on the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers. This, too, is a free service.As Chris McFarland cruised on the Captain John, he was on his home waters – he grew up in Holmdel and his family kept a sailboat at Keyport on Raritan Bay. McFarland, 55, also served in the Coast Guard, stationed at Sandy Hook for three years.“I like the ocean, I’ve always liked the bay,” said McFarland, who lives in Toms River. “A lot of good memories.”The New York City-based No Water No Life is now studying the Raritan River basin, trying, for example, to show upstream influences on downstream water quality, said the group’s director, Alison M. Jones.“A lot of my attention on the Raritan Basin is on this estuary,” said Jones, 67, who was raised in Hunterdon County. “I grew up on the Upper Raritan, (but) I never saw Raritan Bay till last summer.”A sailboat on Raritan Bay.Jones said she had heard from acquaintances Raritan Bay stinks. But she took a boat ride and reported back “you have no idea how beautiful it is.”“It was a beautiful sunset,” said Jones, recalling her boat ride. “We saw dolphins. It’s a resource that serves 6 million people in New Jersey and New York City. It’s the largest open space that serves that area.”Raritan Bay, including Sandy Hook Bay, is 109 square miles.On this trip, Jones, an internationally known photographer, shot photos.The Shrewsbury River has been in the news lately, because clinging jellyfish, an invasive species from the Asian Pacific Ocean area has turned up in the river. The dime-size jellyfish have a severe sting, which hospitalized a man.Clinging jellyfish are a concern to the Baykeeper, Remaud said. Remaud said the Baykeeper will “learn as much as we can and share that information.”Maya Speelmans, 61, of Rumson said she was concerned about the clinging jellyfish. She said she goes kayaking in the Navesink River, which flows into the Shrewsbury River.“I don’t think they’re there (in the Navesink River), but you never know,” Speelmans said.Speelmans attended the cruise with her boyfriend, Alex Purdon, 63, of Belmar and her son, Michael Sleutz, 20, of Rumson.“The eco-cruise thing interested me,” Speelmans said. “It’s my surroundings. I believe in environmental issues.“I knew it was going to be out on the water, which is a nice thing to do,” Speelmans said.“Great day out,” Purdon said.The Baykeeper, founded in 1989, advocates for the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary. It basically runs north to south from the Tappan Zee Bridge on the Hudson River to Raritan Bay and west to east from Perth Amboy to Sandy Hook.The cruises provide “much more community engagement, all good things happen from that,” Remaud said.“Plus, it’s just an enjoyable time,” Remaud said. “We can’t always be fighting battles.”Upcoming is the New York-New Jersey Baykeeper “Boat and Bridges Eco Cruise” circumnavigation of Staten Island, 3:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. The Baykeeper is at 52 West Front St., Keyport, 07735; 732-888-9870; nynjbaykeeper.org.