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Popular celebrity golf challenge Slingsby Golf Academy is returning for a second series.
The series features four celebrities as they work with PGA professional partners to learn the game in just six months, with the winner earning a slot in the BMW PGA Championship Celebrity Pro-Am at Wentworth in September. Last year, TV presenter Helen Skelton won the series ahead of singer-songwriter Fleur East, Sky Sports broadcaster Bela Shah and Sky Sports Formula 1 presenter Natalie Pinkham. Now, four new female celebrities are up for the challenge.
The new recruits are Olympic equestrian Zara Tindall, tennis coach Judy Murray, doctor and TV personality Zoe Williams and Sky Sports Boxing presenter Anna Woolhouse. Mentoring the cadets will be former Ladies European Tour player Inci Mehmet, while dancer, TV star and golf fan Anton Du Beke is the presenter.
One of the primary aims of the initiative, which is launched by BMW PGA Championship sponsor Slingsby Gin with the support of Callaway Europe, is to inspire more women to take up golf and to champion the sport’s social side. Woolhouse cites that as a big reason for taking part. She said: “Women’s sport is going from strength to strength, and we’ve seen a huge rise in recent years, but it still has a long way to go. It is initiatives like the Slingsby Golf Academy, that have presence on TV and social media, that can give women’s sport a boost and a chance to grow at the grassroots level.”
Tindall has similar motivations for signing up. She said: “Sport is such a great place to be able to break down barriers. I am really excited to learn to play golf as part of this group, but also to hopefully show that wherever you start from, you can have a go and enjoy getting out and trying something new.” Meanwhile, Chief Executive of the PGA Robert Maxfield said: “We look forward to following Zara, Judy, Dr Zoe and Anna on every step of their golfing journey and hope they develop the same love for the game as we all have. Their stories will undoubtedly inspire plenty more women to give golf a try.”
The six-part series will be shared on social media via @slingsbysocial, with clips on Sky Sports, as the new recruits face the challenges and triumphs of taking up the game. The first episode will be available from early April.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.