2 AUGUST 2007

In the past glamour and golf haven't exactly gone hand-in-hand, but times are changing in the once male-dominated sport. Competing for the £1 million prize at this year's British Women's Open - held for the first time at legendary Scottish golf course St Andrews - are a new breed of ultra-stylish female professional golfers, two of whom are so popular they have their own calendars.

Among those teeing off on Thursday in the leading event in women's pro golf was France-born Italian beauty Sophie Sandolo whose stunning calendar features her in a number of revealing images, including one depicting her as a dark angel. Since turning pro in 1999 Sophie, who started playing aged 14, has notched up earnings of over half a million pounds.

Also vying for the number one slot is 24-year-old Natalie Gulbis who hails from Sacramento, California. The beautiful blonde - who celebrated her first tournament win last year - also maintains numerous off-course projects, which have included a monthly golf advice column in a men's magazine and a golf-themed reality TV show for a cable channel.

The girls are changing the face of golf in more ways than one. When they took to St Andrew's famous fairways this week they became the first female professional competitors to play on the course, a milestone which hasn't missed Michelle Wie's attention. "It is the greatest honour to be playing here," says the 17-year-old Hawaiian golf ace, who's known as the female Tiger Woods.

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Proving glamour is par for the course when it comes to modern golfing talent is Sophie Sandolo, whose calendar features a number of sensational imagesPhoto: © www.sophiesandolo.itClick on photos for gallery
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She joins American player Natalie Gulbis - who has been featuring in calenders since 2004 - in being one of the first female professional golfers to play at St AndrewsPhoto: © Getty Images
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Also competing for the number one slot is 17-year-old fairways ace Michelle Wie, whose impressive drive and high achievements have drawn comparisons with Tiger WoodsPhoto: © Getty Images