Ladies European Tour pro Olivia Cowan has outlined the travel woes still facing players ahead of the LET returning in three weeks’ time.
Europe’s premier women’s tour is set to get back underway for the first time in six months at the Investec South African Women's Open, which is to be held from May 13 – May 16.
The South African tournament, featuring a total prize pot of €200,000, is the first in a record-breaking schedule announced by the LET earlier this year. In 2021, LET pros can look forward to competing in 27 events, spanning 19 different countries all the while competing for a total prize fund of €19m.
However, German-based Cowan reveals that many of the UK-based pros won’t be teeing it up in the southern hemisphere due to travel concerns.
“I know South Africa is a big problem for the UK pros and residents,” 25-year-old Cowan told bunkered.co.uk.
“We have a week off after the South African event and then we go to Italy. A lot of the LET’s UK-based players are not going to play in South Africa, because they would have to come back and quarantine in a hotel in the UK.
“They could go somewhere else, but then they are spending money for a whole week somewhere else. I think the only problem this season will be travel and jumping from one country to the next. That has to fit together seamlessly at the minute, so hopefully the Ladies European Tour will help us with that and make travel a bit easier.”
Despite the logistical concerns, Cowan, who finished 7th in the LET Order of Merit in the 2019 season, is eager to return to competitive action.
“It’s starting in three weeks now, so I’m looking forward to it," she said. "I’ve not played a tournament in six months, so getting back into that will be a challenge.
"I think the schedule looks great for this year. It looks really promising, we have lots of new events on and we have a few interesting tournaments co-sanctioned with the European Tour as well, which I’m really looking forward to.”
As the LET gears up for its first tournament since November, the lull in golf for many of its pros is finally coming to a conclusion – a period Cowan says she never wants to experience again.
“It’s been hard, definitely,” she added. “You kind of fall into a bit of a hole. You don’t really know when things are going to start up again, so you don’t have anything to get ready for. I’ve found that quite hard because your start date keeps moving.
“I have had so much time on my hands, so when you’re practising, it’s difficult to get into that competition mode. It’s not a nice feeling.”