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ANNABEL Dimmock believes her experience playing on Wentworth’s hallowed fairways will prove invaluable as she takes on the inaugural Aramco Team Series event this week.
Dimmock remains attached to the prestigious Surrey club having come through a scholarship programme in her younger years and is now among the captains at Aramco Team Series London, a landmark new competition on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The innovative format involves three professionals linking up with an amateur for a matchplay contest with a $1m prize pot at stake.
The teams are selected partly through choice, with the aid of a draft system, and partly at random, adding a further layer of intrigue to proceedings at St Albans’ Centurion Club.
Dimmock can’t wait for the latest addition to the LET calendar to get underway and won’t be intimidated by the challenging Hertfordshire course.
“I’ve played at Wentworth since I was 13 and having such a good place to play when I’m at home is so nice,” she said.
“It does help when I come to courses like this. This is a tough track, it’s quite long and you have to hit good shots at certain times or you’re not making par – you have to really pull it out the bag in some cases.
“Playing at places like the West Course at Wentworth is a good test for me and it means I don’t come to places like this, stand on the first tee and think ‘wow, this is a long way’.
“You just have to get it down there as far as you can, which stands me in good stead when I go on tour and come to places like this.”
A runners-up finish at the Jabra Open in June marks the highlight of Dimmock’s season so far but she admits finding life on tour tough due to strict Covid protocols.
And a return to team golf could prove just the tonic for a player who savoured such competitions in her early days, with the London leg of the Aramco Team series kicking off a set of LET events sponsored by Aramco in the USA, Spain and Saudi Arabia.
The LET field will also take to courses in Sotogrande (August 5-7), New York (October 14-16) and Jeddah (November 10-12), with the Jeddah event taking place just days after the Aramco Saudi Ladies International – presented by Public Investment Fund – from November 4-7.
The distinctive format is also made special by the opportunity provided to UK amateur golfers, who could find themselves faced with the pressure of an event-winning putt on the LET to land Dimmock and her teammates valuable prize money.
“I’m sure it will be nerve-wracking for them but we’ll be doing our best to make them feel comfortable,” Dimmock said.
“We don’t want them feeling nervous to speak to us or ask for advice, we’ll look to have a laugh with them and help them out.
“It’s a much more fun, chilled out atmosphere when you’re in a team, the camaraderie is brilliant.
“When I turned pro, one of the biggest things I missed was the team golf. You’re all together on the same bus, having a laugh, and you have your friends on tour with you.
“Obviously I’ve got my really close friends on tour, they’re like sisters to me, but it’s different when you’re out on the course on your own – it’s a very singular sport so it’s cool what Saudi Golf and Aramco have done here.
“Hopefully this sets the ball rolling and we’ll get slightly more events with slightly bigger prize funds closer to the men.”
Annabel Dimmock will compete in the Aramco Team Series – London, the first of five 2021 Ladies European Tour (LET) events sponsored by Aramco. For more information, visit aramcoteamseries.com