Ave Maria! (That’s latin for sweet mother of Jesus)
“In Russia everyone is interested in tennis at the moment. Hopefully I’ll be the one to change things.”
Stood in the window is more then just a beautiful woman with a golf club, Maraia Verchenova has a burning desire to be the
best golfer in the world.
Maria Verchenova
Age:22
Best Finish: T5
Lowest Round: 66
GP Verdict:  Has shown fantastic early promise
Words Ben Cove
Photography Steve Read
I remember the very moment I frst clocked eyes on Maria Verchenova, in fact it’s hard to forget. Stood on the putting green
at the Ladies European Tour’s Turkish Open last May, out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked like Penelope Cruz in a
skimpy dress lining up a putt. It was one of those double-take moments, when you have to slap yourself to ensure you’re not
really dreaming, or hallucinating. I ran straight for the LET Tour rep and screeched… ‘Who the hell is that?’
The answer, was the delectable Soviet swingstress on your right. A girl that had firted with leaderboards over the past 12
months and turned heads in doing so, for she was a rarity; she was a Russian golfer. Five months and a hundred phone calls
later, we meet at Royal Blackheath Golf Club, a bastion of nobility and golfng history in south London to witness a clash of
worlds. Where old meets young, east meets west, and I meet the hottest swinging siren in golf.
Born in the former Soviet Union in 1986, Verchenova didn’t take up golf until she was 12. But when she did, her handicap
plummeted like the icy temperatures of a Russian winter. And now, at the still tender age of 23, she’s continuing with her
fine form. The perfect cocktail of a silky smooth swing, bubbly persona and the heavenly prototype of a body – exactly how
God intended the female form to be – she’s livin proof of golf’s all-too-often-understated glitter and glamour. Possibly the
sexiest thing on a tee box since Hugh Hefner had a pitch ’n’ putt course installed in his garden.
Lets get to know Maria Verchenova…
golfPunk: You look very natural behind the camera there Maria…
Maria Verchenova: “Yeah I love it! I’ve never been taught how to pose or anything like that but have done a bit of modelling
before, so I kind of know what I’m doing. I really enjoyed myself today because we mixed golf with more sexy stuff – it’s so
cool.”
gP: What’s easier, modelling or golf?
MV: “Are you kidding me?! Defnitely modelling! You just put some clothes on and pose. If golf was that easy we’d all be
20-under-par every tournament!”
gP: So. why golf?
MV: “That’s a question I often ask myself! Golf isn’t a big sport back in my homeland. When I was 12 my Dad fancied learning
to play, so I just went along to the golf club with him and had lessons at the same time.  To be honest I didn’t really enjoy
it, I wanted to be a professional ballet dancer. But my Dad identifed that I had talent, and encouraged me to practice hard
on the driving range. Now that I’m on Tour and making a living out of the game I love playing. So I guess he was right!”
gP: Russia isn’t exactly renowned for its golfing prowess…
MV: “Yeah in Russia everyone is interested in tennis, tennis, tennis at the moment. Hopefully I’ll be the one to change
things!”
gP: Inevitably you’ve been compared to other sexy Russian sportswomen like Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova. How does that
sit with you?
MV: “Yeah a lot of people say that but I’m like: ‘Hey come on guys – I’m not blonde!’ I was in Japan recently and there was a
crowd of people shouting ‘SHA-RA-POVA’ at me! She is a good-looking girl and a great athlete, but I don’t want to be the
Maria Sharapova of golf. I want to be the golfer – Maria Verchenova.”
gP: You’re obviously in great shape, do you work hard to keep your body in such condition?
MV: “Yeah my coach drags me out of bed to work out at the gym most days. But that’s no problem – I like to feel good and look
good, so I do it for myself as well as for my game.”
gP: You’re still studying for a Sports degree at Moscow University, how do you fnd the time for golf and school?
MV: “It’s been diffcult to juggle golf, studies and exams, but it is for the best. I’ve been at University for fve years and
this is my last year so I’d be stupid not to fnish my degree now. Sure, there have been a lot of evenings spent doing
homework in hotel rooms here, there and everywhere, but I’ve chosen to turn pro and travel the world, so I’m not going to
complain about it.”
gP: Did you fnd it diffcult to learn the rules and scoring systems for golf?
MV: “I did yeah… Everyone does though, right?! I remember reading through my little pocket-sized St Andrews rulebook when I
was younger and I just couldn’t understand half of the rules – I still struggle with some of them. Luckily they have rules
offcials on the LET!”
gP: Did you watch much golf on TV as a kid?
MV: “Not at all. There isn’t any golf coverage on Russian TV, so I didn’t even know what The Masters was! I had no idea about
the media interest or prize money available. I just thought that playing golf for a living would be a whole lot of fun!”
gP: At what stage did you realise you could make a career from golf?
MV: “When I was 16 I was playing off fve and was selected for the Russian golf squad. It was there that I really improved and
realised that I was pretty good. And now here I am!”
gP:What do you like doing away from the golf course?
MV: “When I’m away on the LET I go to a lot of dinners with sponsors and pro-am guests, so when I get some time to myself
it’s nice just to chill out. Sometimes I’ll be by the pool reading celebrity gossip magazines, but normally you’ll fnd me
eating popcorn and watching TV!”
gP: Sugared or salted popcorn?
MV: “Salted, of course!”
gP: What do you watch on TV?
MV: “A lot of the American TV series’ are good. It depends on my mood really, sometimes I like a comedy, but then I also
love scary movies they’re great! I watch all American stuff in English language, and then catch up on Russian shows when I’m
back home.”
gP: Favourite flm?
MV: “I love The Bodyguard. When I was younger I’d watch it religiously twice a day; once before school and once in the
evening. After about fve months of this my mum got sick of it and chucked the DVD in the bin. That was a shame because
I loved Kevin Costner!”
gP: What music are you into?
MV: “Anything and everything. I like RnB, but also listen to Elton John, George Michael or Mariah Carey.”
gP: Do you follow politics?
MV: “Oh no because I can’t understand what they’re all going on about! I tried to give it a go by reading the newspaper a
few times but that’s just not for me.”
gP: Do you live the student party life when you’re back in Moscow?
MV: “No way – I’m an athlete! I’m trying to keep myself in a state of good mind and body, so rarely go out socially during
the season. It may seem boring, but I can go out partying in the winter and add drop a of vodka into my coke!”
gP: You must’ve been to a lot of big cities, are you a shopaholic?
MV: “I enjoy shopping for new clothes but I can only handle it for a maximum of two hours – then I get bored out of my brain.
If I know what I want I’ll go in and buy it and get out of there quickly. I don’t go mad; I’m trying to save my money!”
gP: What other sports are you into?
MV: “I like playing other sports for fun. Especially tennis, swimming and I love basketball, although I’m rubbish at it!”
gP: Why did you turn pro at such a young age?
MV: “A lot of people wanted me to stay as an amateur and gain more experience whilst fnishing my studies, but I’d played a
lot of amateur golf and it doesn’t give me the same buzz or prestige as I now have in the pro ranks. Sure you play your round
and it’s nice to win, but you take home trophies and put them on the shelf and that’s it. I was like: ‘so what?  Is that
it?!’ I knew I wanted bigger challenges.”
gP: And so how is life on the LET?
MV: “It’s been great fun actually, I’ve met a lot of new friends but by the same token I’m very much a hometown girl so I
have missed being with my family in Moscow at times. I’ve been trying to treat Tour life as work; gym, range and course,
that’s my day job. I got into the habit of winning back in my amateur days and that’s something I want to fnd again on Tou
It would be nice to have another collection of trophies… and some big pay cheques!”
gP: You received a fair bit of media attention during The British Open at Sunningdale last year because of what you were
wearing.  How does that sit with you?
MV: “I enjoyed it. I always like to bring something extra special to the golf course, so if I’m wearing sexier, more stylish
stuff like a shorter skirt or a nice tennis-style dress and people notice then great.”
gP: Can golf be sexy?
MV: “It depends on how you interact and how you dress on the golf course, but sure, why not? Things have changed – golf is
defnitely cool, and hey golf can be sexy!”
gP: Would you rather be known as a sexy woman or a great golfer?
MV: “I’ll settle for both, thank you!”
gP: You were leading an event in Morocco recently but fell down the leaderboard on the fnal day. Did the pressure of leading
the feld get to you?
MV: “It was a combination of things really. It was blisteringly hot and we were playing pro-ams every day, which kept us on
course for six hours each time and it took its toll. Plus I was in the fnal group with Laura Davies which was kind of
intimidating… sometimes she was hitting a wedge and I was hitting a fve-iron! But hey, that’s an experience I’ll learn from.”
gP: What are your ultimate goals?
MV: “Eventually I want to replace Lorena Ochoa as world number one. But if I can win the US Open and play in a Solheim Cup
along the way I’d be so happy.”
gP: You mention missing your family when you’re away, how close are you as a family?
MV: “I’ve a younger sister aged 16. She’s playing off three at the moment and will probably join me on Tour one day.”
gP: There’s another one of you?! Tell us more…
MV: “Well, she’s a very talented golfer, her handicap is much better than mine was at her age. Oh and she’s taller than me
and I’d say she’s prettier than me too.”
gP:She sounds, ahem… horrible! So in a few years’ time – when you’re both fying the fag for Russia on Tour – can we do a
shoot with you and your sister together?
MV: “That’s a deal!”
(original article can be found at http://golfpunkonline.com/)

russian women - maria verchenova

This is a bit of a tongue in cheek interview I just found on Ms. Maria Verchenova who is a rising star in the Golf World.

When you read her interview take special note on how focused and goal oriented she is and how this probably took the interviewer for a bit of a surprise.

You see what might be viewed as being an “over-achiever” in the US or the West for a young lady this age is seen as a perfectly normal thing here in Russia or the FSU.

So what is the main message I want to convey to you Gentlemen out there?

If you want to associate with Real Russian Ladies like Ms. Verchenova (let alone try to have a relationship with one) you may need to step up your own game as a Real Man to a whole new level.

Because many Russian Ladies who have stepped it up in life like Ms. Verchenova will certainly expect it from you too.

And if you are a regular reader of this blog..

Then I think this is something you have all realize by now.

Ave Maria!

(That’s latin for sweet mother of Jesus)

“In Russia everyone is interested in tennis at the moment. Hopefully I’ll be the one to change things.”

Stood in the window is more then just a beautiful woman with a golf club, Maria Verchenova has a burning desire to be the best golfer in the world.

  • Maria Verchenova
  • Age: 22
  • Best Finish: T5
  • Lowest Round: 66
  • GP Verdict:  Has shown fantastic early promise

Words by Ben Cove

I remember the very moment I frst clocked eyes on Maria Verchenova, in fact it’s hard to forget.

Stood on the putting green at the Ladies European Tour’s Turkish Open last May, out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked like Penelope Cruz in a skimpy dress lining up a putt. It was one of those double-take moments, when you have to slap yourself to ensure you’re not really dreaming, or hallucinating. I ran straight for the LET Tour rep and screeched…

‘Who the hell is that?’

The answer, was the delectable Soviet swingstress on your right. A girl that had firted with leaderboards over the past 12 months and turned heads in doing so, for she was a rarity; she was a Russian golfer. Five months and a hundred phone calls later, we meet at Royal Blackheath Golf Club, a bastion of nobility and golfng history in south London to witness a clash of worlds. Where old meets young, east meets west, and I meet the hottest swinging siren in golf.

Born in the former Soviet Union in 1986, Verchenova didn’t take up golf until she was 12. But when she did, her handicap plummeted like the icy temperatures of a Russian winter. And now, at the still tender age of 23, she’s continuing with her fine form.

The perfect cocktail of a silky smooth swing, bubbly persona and the heavenly prototype of a body – exactly how God intended the female form to be – she’s livin proof of golf’s all-too-often-understated glitter and glamour. Possibly the sexiest thing on a tee box since Hugh Hefner had a pitch ’n’ putt course installed in his garden.

Lets get to know Maria Verchenova…

golfPunk: You look very natural behind the camera there Maria…

Maria Verchenova: Yeah I love it! I’ve never been taught how to pose or anything like that but have done a bit of modelling before, so I kind of know what I’m doing. I really enjoyed myself today because we mixed golf with more sexy stuff – it’s so cool.

gP: What’s easier, modelling or golf?

MV: Are you kidding me?! Defnitely modelling! You just put some clothes on and pose. If golf was that easy we’d all be 20-under-par every tournament!

gP: So. why golf?

MV: That’s a question I often ask myself! Golf isn’t a big sport back in my homeland. When I was 12 my Dad fancied learning to play, so I just went along to the golf club with him and had lessons at the same time.

To be honest I didn’t really enjoy it, I wanted to be a professional ballet dancer. But my Dad identifed that I had talent, and encouraged me to practice hard on the driving range. Now that I’m on Tour and making a living out of the game I love playing. So I guess he was right!

gP: Russia isn’t exactly renowned for its golfing prowess…

MV: Yeah in Russia everyone is interested in tennis, tennis, tennis at the moment. Hopefully I’ll be the one to change things!

gP: Inevitably you’ve been compared to other sexy Russian sportswomen like Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova. How does that sit with you?

MV: Yeah a lot of people say that but I’m like: ‘Hey come on guys – I’m not blonde!’ I was in Japan recently and there was a crowd of people shouting ‘SHA-RA-POVA’ at me! She is a good-looking girl and a great athlete, but I don’t want to be the Maria Sharapova of golf. I want to be the golfer – Maria Verchenova.

gP: You’re obviously in great shape, do you work hard to keep your body in such condition?

MV: Yeah my coach drags me out of bed to work out at the gym most days. But that’s no problem – I like to feel good and look good, so I do it for myself as well as for my game.

gP: You’re still studying for a Sports degree at Moscow University, how do you fnd the time for golf and school?

MV: It’s been diffcult to juggle golf, studies and exams, but it is for the best. I’ve been at University for fve years and this is my last year so I’d be stupid not to fnish my degree now. Sure, there have been a lot of evenings spent doing homework in hotel rooms here, there and everywhere, but I’ve chosen to turn pro and travel the world, so I’m not going to complain about it.

gP: Did you fnd it diffcult to learn the rules and scoring systems for golf?

MV: I did yeah… Everyone does though, right?! I remember reading through my little pocket-sized St Andrews rulebook when I was younger and I just couldn’t understand half of the rules – I still struggle with some of them. Luckily they have rules offcials on the LET!

gP: Did you watch much golf on TV as a kid?

MV: Not at all. There isn’t any golf coverage on Russian TV, so I didn’t even know what The Masters was! I had no idea about the media interest or prize money available. I just thought that playing golf for a living would be a whole lot of fun!

gP: At what stage did you realise you could make a career from golf?

MV: When I was 16 I was playing off fve and was selected for the Russian golf squad. It was there that I really improved and realised that I was pretty good. And now here I am!

gP: What do you like doing away from the golf course?

MV: When I’m away on the LET I go to a lot of dinners with sponsors and pro-am guests, so when I get some time to myself it’s nice just to chill out. Sometimes I’ll be by the pool reading celebrity gossip magazines, but normally you’ll fnd me eating popcorn and watching TV!

gP: Sugared or salted popcorn?

MV: Salted, of course!

gP: What do you watch on TV?

MV: A lot of the American TV series’ are good. It depends on my mood really, sometimes I like a comedy, but then I also love scary movies they’re great! I watch all American stuff in English language, and then catch up on Russian shows when I’m back home.

gP: Favourite flm?

MV: I love The Bodyguard. When I was younger I’d watch it religiously twice a day; once before school and once in the evening. After about fve months of this my mum got sick of it and chucked the DVD in the bin. That was a shame because I loved Kevin Costner!

gP: What music are you into?

MV: Anything and everything. I like RnB, but also listen to Elton John, George Michael or Mariah Carey.

gP: Do you follow politics?

MV: Oh no because I can’t understand what they’re all going on about! I tried to give it a go by reading the newspaper a few times but that’s just not for me.

gP: Do you live the student party life when you’re back in Moscow?

MV: “No way – I’m an athlete! I’m trying to keep myself in a state of good mind and body, so rarely go out socially during the season. It may seem boring, but I can go out partying in the winter and add drop a vodka into my coke!

gP: You must’ve been to a lot of big cities, are you a shopaholic?

MV: I enjoy shopping for new clothes but I can only handle it for a maximum of two hours – then I get bored out of my brain.  If I know what I want I’ll go in and buy it and get out of there quickly. I don’t go mad; I’m trying to save my money!

gP: What other sports are you into?

MV: I like playing other sports for fun. Especially tennis, swimming and I love basketball, although I’m rubbish at it!

gP: Why did you turn pro at such a young age?

MV: A lot of people wanted me to stay as an amateur and gain more experience whilst fnishing my studies, but I’d played a lot of amateur golf and it doesn’t give me the same buzz or prestige as I now have in the pro ranks. Sure you play your round and it’s nice to win, but you take home trophies and put them on the shelf and that’s it. I was like: ‘so what?  Is that it?!’ I knew I wanted bigger challenges.

gP: And so how is life on the LET?

MV: It’s been great fun actually, I’ve met a lot of new friends but by the same token I’m very much a hometown girl so I have missed being with my family in Moscow at times. I’ve been trying to treat Tour life as work; gym, range and course, that’s my day job. I got into the habit of winning back in my amateur days and that’s something I want to fnd again on Tour. It would be nice to have another collection of trophies… and some big pay cheques!

gP: You received a fair bit of media attention during The British Open at Sunningdale last year because of what you were wearing.  How does that sit with you?

MV: I enjoyed it. I always like to bring something extra special to the golf course, so if I’m wearing sexier, more stylish stuff like a shorter skirt or a nice tennis-style dress and people notice then great.

gP: Can golf be sexy?

MV: It depends on how you interact and how you dress on the golf course, but sure, why not? Things have changed – golf is defnitely cool, and hey golf can be sexy!

gP: Would you rather be known as a sexy woman or a great golfer?

MV: I’ll settle for both, thank you!

gP: You were leading an event in Morocco recently but fell down the leaderboard on the fnal day. Did the pressure of leading the feld get to you?

MV: It was a combination of things really. It was blisteringly hot and we were playing pro-ams every day, which kept us on course for six hours each time and it took its toll. Plus I was in the fnal group with Laura Davies which was kind of intimidating… sometimes she was hitting a wedge and I was hitting a fve-iron! But hey, that’s an experience I’ll learn from.

gP: What are your ultimate goals?

MV: Eventually I want to replace Lorena Ochoa as world number one. But if I can win the US Open and play in a Solheim Cup along the way I’d be so happy.

gP: You mention missing your family when you’re away, how close are you as a family?

MV: I’ve a younger sister aged 16. She’s playing off three at the moment and will probably join me on Tour one day.

gP: There’s another one of you?! Tell us more…

MV: Well, she’s a very talented golfer, her handicap is much better than mine was at her age. Oh and she’s taller than me and I’d say she’s prettier than me too.

gP: She sounds, ahem… horrible! So in a few years’ time – when you’re both fying the fag for Russia on Tour – can we do a shoot with you and your sister together?

MV: That’s a deal!

(original article can be found at golfpunkonline.com)

Russian Women - Maria Verchenova 5

Russian women - maria_verchenova_2

Russian Women - Maria Verchenova 6

Russian Women - Maria Verchenova 3a

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Russian Woman - Maria Verchenova


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