Rose family contact sealed first female event at Royal St George’s
Kate Rose has revealed how a family connection enabled her to arrange the first professional female tournament to be hosted at Royal St George’s. And it was not the person many would expect.
The fourth event of the Rose Ladies Series takes place at the famous links in Sandwich today, with the likes of Charley Hull and Georgia
Hall competing. It will be a remarkable scenario in many respects – not just because the Kent club allowed women to join as members only five years ago.
This would have been the day when the final part of the main grandstand would have been erected around the 18th for the Open, which was due to take place next week. But then came the Covid-19 postponement.
“It is a bit bizarre because I thought I’d be competing at Royal St George’s in July, not hosting a women’s event there,” Justin Rose said. “But it’s a wonderful opportunity for the players in the series.”
Rose and his wife stepped up last month when it became obvious that because of the pandemic there would be limited playing opportunities for Britain’s female pros.
The pair put up £35,000 of their own money and their high-profile impact encouraged sponsors such as American Golf and Computacenter to jump aboard, making the mini-circuit even more attractive.
However, there is a chance that the work the Roses put in – along with their manager, Paul McDonnell at Excel Sports – could be overlooked and as Royal St George’s surprise inclusion shows, this should not be the case.
“We were brainstorming [in] those early days of coming up with the idea of a series and where we might be able to host,” Kate said.
“And I talked to my dad, Peter [Phillips] about it along with my stepmother, Mefo.
“I said Royal St George’s would be incredible, because the boys aren’t playing there this year and what a shame that is. Mefo reminded me that she used to work with one of the committee members there and put me in touch.
“Straight away, the club was really enthusiastic, they loved the concept. Last week we went there to meet Tim [Checketts, the club secretary], as well as someone from the R&A and it’s going to be amazing. My dad and stepmum will be there as volunteers to help it run as smoothly as the first three events.”
In touch: Kate Rose revealed her stepmother provided contact details for a committee member at Royal St George’s