Daughter of lightning victim given golf boost

Callaway signs Tour prospect Rachel Bell

Golfmagic correspondent
Tue, 22 Apr 2008
Daughter of lightning victim given golf boost

Callaway golf
Rachel Bell

Emerging Ladies European Tour prospect Rachel Bell whose mum was killed by lightning when playing golf, has been signed up by Callaway Golf.

“Some people might say it is an odd thing for me to want to play golf after what happened,” said Rachel. “But my mother loved golf and, had she still been alive, she would have been playing and encouraging me to take it up."

By turning professional, Rachel has realises a lifelong dream inspired by her mother who was killed after a lightning strike when Rachel was just five months old.

“The first golf trophy I ever won was a memorial trophy in her name – I don't suppose many people can say that.”

Having completed her degree at Florida Southern University and then the University of Southern California, Rachel returned to Ganton in East Yorkshire and capped an outstanding amateur career by making the cut at the 2007 Ricoh British Open at St Andrews, finishing third best amateur. She then reached the semi-finals of the British Amateur Open before claiming her Ladies European Tour card, finishing 15th at Qualifying School in Le Fonti, Italy.

The 26-year-old will play an FT-5 driver, X fairway woods, FT hybrid, X-Forged irons, X-Tour Wedges, HX Tour 56 ball and Odyssey Black Series i No.9 putter.

Says Callaway Europe's managing director Neil Howie: “Rachel is a wonderfully talented golfer and a remarkable individual. She has played Callaway equipment for a number of years and I know that she will be a great ambassador for us."

Rohnisch Golfwear AB, the Swedish company which employs European Ladies Tour winner Cecilia Ekelundh as its golf division marketing director, has signed Solheim Cup player, Maria Hjorth to a two-year sponsorship deal.