Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Now I'm Fit and Ready - Crooks; Golf

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Now I'm Fit and Ready - Crooks; Golf

Article excerpt

THE two years Kimberley Crooks spent as a member of the Ladies' European Tour brought little financial reward.

But she is putting in a big effort to make a better go of it should she get another shot at achieving her dream of becoming a top player.

Over the past two years, Crooks, five feet tall, has lost two-and-a-half stones, her dress size has gone down from a 14 to an 8-10 and her inside leg from 24 inches to 21.

For over three months, she has been maintaining extensive fitness sessions in the gym, mainly increasing power in her shoulders and has added 15 yards to her drive, now hitting the ball 225 yards.

After the first six tournaments on the 2012 Combined Order of Merit of the Women's Professional Golfers' Association, Crooks was one of three players tied 15th following one top five spot, one top 10 and two top 20s.

But her total prize money was a paltry pounds 87.50.

With marriage to Northern League football referee Michael Gillespie on the horizon, that will hardly help to keep body and soul together.

She is undertaking her PGA training with Mike Howes, the pro at Saltburn Golf Club where she is attached, while working in retail for American Golf at their centre in Middlesbrough Leisure Park.

Crooks has just been appointed Lady Ambassador for the inaugural North Golf Show, the only golf show in the region open to the public, which starts a three-day run at the Riverside Stadium on Friday October 19.

"Kimberley ticks two boxes," said Andrew Hill, a director of the County Durham company organising the show, Dogolf Ltd.

"At 21, she is young enough to relate to junior golfers as well as fronting up the women's aspects of the show, one of which is the daily golf fashion parade in a part of the stadium on the concourse, which will be for women only.

"She is perfect for an ambassador because she has a bubbly personality as well as drive, ambition and organisational skills. …

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