LPGA Tour golfer Mel Reid has sung the praises of Justin Rose and his wife Kate for lending their support to the ladies game in recent months, but still believes the world's best lady golfers "do not get the recognition they deserve" in 2020.
Fresh off signing a new apparel deal with Italian sports apparel brand ellesse and showing off her exclusive new range in conjunction with American Golf, the six-time Ladies European Tour winner spoke to GolfMagic ahead of this week's Women's British Open at Royal Troon...
Mel, how does it feel to partner with ellesse? Have you always been a big fan of the brand?
It's been amazing to be part of such a great team and brand like ellesse. Once they contacted me I knew it was a huge opportunity and one I could not resist. I used to wear ellesse when I was younger and have always been a fan of their street wear, so the fact they wanted to get into golf was something I knew I couldn’t turn down.
Which particular products in the range are you most looking forward to wearing out on the course?
Honestly, considering golf is a new space for ellesse, I am so impressed by their first collection. I love the entire range. I gave them a little input and they listened and I just love the way it all looks and fits. I’m a huge believer if you feel good you play good.
How is the game feeling right now heading into this week's Women's British Open?
I actually loved having some time off due to COVID-19 as I’ve been full on since I was around 13, so it's been nice to recharge, be in my own bed for more than two weeks and work on some areas in my game. So yeah, the game feels close honestly and I'm very happy with where it's heading. Obviously being the British Open this week, it's the one every Brit wants to win!
What are your general thoughts on Royal Troon?
Troon is an unbelievable golf course. It presents a true test for every area of your game and you need to be creative out here which is something I love. I last played here when I was 18 and I won, so I have some very good memories of this place!
It's fair to say you were quite vocal about your views on golf's missed opportunity to promote equality in the sport during a charity golf match in aid of COVID-19 earlier this year. What would you like to see done to improve equality in golf moving forwards?
I’ve always tried to use my platform to voice my opinion on topics that are close to my heart, I think it's very important. I believe we do need a ‘Kobe Bryant’ or ‘Andy Murray’ in the men’s game to help promote how good we are because we just don’t get the recognition that we deserve. I think that is across most women’s sport to be honest and the needle certainly needs to be moved. Hopefully more of the guys start to talk about us the way we talk about them.
How pleased were you to see Justin Rose and his wife Kate lend their support to the women's game with their new Rose Ladies Series over recent months? Did you consider this a big step in the right direction?
I thought what Justin Rose did in creating a UK series for the women was definitely a huge step forward in the right direction and it had a great response from everyone. It was amazing to see and from what I hear from the girls involved, Kate flew into most events which makes a huge statement. They did an incredible job and it was honestly so refreshing to see. I have huge praise for Justin and Kate.
What do you consider the biggest challenges facing the ladies game right now?
In one word - exposure. We don’t get the coverage that men do and therefore there are fewer opportunities for us. It's a chicken and egg situation in that we need money for TV but TV creates money. I know Mike Whan [LPGA commissioner] is definitely making gains towards this.
ellesse has expanded its performance sports ranges with a new and exclusive golf apparel and footwear range, launching this week instore and online with American Golf.
The Italian sports apparel brand has heritage in golf dating back to the 1980’s and the new range features female and male apparel in a selection of colours and styles, using the latest performance materials and technology, a blend of polyester and elastane with built in moisture management.
It will be on sale in store and online at American Golf from 03 August 2020 with prices ranging from £17.99 to £69.99.