Designer scores hole in one with Ryder women; now for the men
It's not all rain showers and windy fairways in the life of a golfing Wag.
There are glamorous rewards for putting up with the golfer in your life -- but only if he's reached the calibre of the Ryder Cup.
That's exactly what the Irish and European wives and girlfriends discovered when they walked into their hotel rooms and flung open their wardrobes at the luxury Celtic Manor resort near Newport in south Wales.
Rails of designer clothes by leading fashion designer Paul Costelloe were perfectly lined up and waiting for the lucky women.
Among the 30 hand- picked and specially tailored pieces, worth several thousand euro, were cashmere knitwear, windbreakers with the Costelloe logo, a-line skirts and cotton stripe shirts with white collars and cuffs.
And lucky Gaynor Montgomerie, wife of Captain Colin, was also presented with a show-stopping off-the-shoulder fuchsia evening dress in a silk satin fabric.
"I worked very closely with Gaynor," explained Costelloe. "We all put our ideas on the table and came up with this wonderful collection. I loved working with the women, they're nothing like our perception of footballers' wives. They are very down to earth and there are no prima donnas in the group.
"In fact, if anything I think the men get even more clothes than the women and are even fussier than them," he laughed.
"I'm told some of [the men] are weight conscious, a lot of them are young and are very aware that they're going to be watched by millions around the globe. The old golf jumper and comfortable trousers just won't do any more. These guys want the best of the best."
The award-winning designer, who also designed the wardrobe for the wives and girlfriends at the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club in Co Kildare, said: "For the women my personal favourite was the cream fabric pleated coat and simple shift dress underneath for the opening ceremony.
"It's such hard work and I always say I won't do it again but when I see them walk out on that stage on the first night, it makes it all worth while.
"The ladies were a delight to work with and there was a great sense of unity among them."
But he says in four years' time he wants to take charge of the men's wardrobe too.
"I would be very excited to get to work on the men's uniforms and take over from the Italian designer who currently has the contract. I think there are a lot of very exciting things I could do with their uniform."
Meanwhile, earlier in the week, Tiger Woods squirmed in his seat when asked about the reception he had received from the wives of his fellow golfers, given that they play such a large part in the Ryder Cup.
The leading ladies of Irish golf enjoyed race dates with Elin at the the Shelbourne Hotel Goffs Million and the Irish National Stud Blandford Stakes as well as attending gourmet dinners and fashion nights together where they were seen engrossed in cosy chats as their rival husbands waged war on the golf course.
As a source revealed, "Even though they were on opposite teams, a close bond was forged between the women from both sides and friendships were formed away from the course.
"Elin was well-liked, very correct in her manner but easy to get on with, and she was popular among the group. Women don't forget that easily and her presence was sorely missed this year. Her betrayal sent shockwaves through the rest of the group.
"A lot of people underestimate the wives and think they're just there to dress prettily and cheer their men on on the greens.
"But they're the backbone of the tour and a force to be reckoned with."