My first golfing experience was when my family went to the local golf club for a family celebratory meal. My cousins went with my uncle and hit some balls out on the driving range and I went to watch. My Grandpa Freddie was a very keen golfer, gave me one of his clubs and got me to stand opposite the ball. I will never forget what he first said to me ‘imagine your perching on a high bar stool that will help you get your body in the right position’. I still think of that now! I managed to get some of the balls in the air and after that I wanted to keep going! This all happened when I was about 12 years old.
When the school holidays came around I went down to the local council run golf club and signed up for a junior holiday camp where I had a week’s worth of lesson and by the end of the school holidays my parents made me a member at the local golf club. My parents didn’t play, so Dad’s friend from work suggested I join Stanton on the Wolds in Nottingham.
I had regular coaching and playing opportunities on the course with a group of other girls when I first started. Ladies from the club volunteered their time and would come out and take me round the course and other juniors parents helped me get my first handicap. I was a member at Stanton for 10 years and I hold the current Ladies course record of 6 under 67. I am now a member at Notts Golf Club and represent Notts Ladies and play off scratch.
Through golf I have made some fantastic friends and had the opportunity to play golf throughout the Country and even abroad when I’ve represented my club, County and University. As a youngster it gives you lots of opportunities to mix with all walks and forms of life and helps you to mature. I really felt golf has given me more confidence when speaking with adults as you get mixed in with everyone at the club.
Being one of a few girls at a club I was always looked after and the women were brilliant, I had lots of surrogate mums! We had a brilliant junior organiser at the club too and he encouraged all the juniors to play together. I would spend most days during the school holidays at the golf club practicing and playing. It was brilliant apart from the golfers tan of white feet!
My mum now plays and she plays off 13 and has even managed to have a hole in one before me! My dad has even started to play now and he has a set of my old clubs and its great that it is a sport we can all play as a family and doesn’t matter that our abilities differ we all enjoy it.
Golf has given me a lot and I feel very fortunate that my hobby and passion has now become my career. I’ve met lots of people and it provides brilliant networking opportunities.
My advice to new female golfers is don’t be afraid about the stereotypes you think maybe associated in golf, break the mould and be a part of the new era. That feeling you get when you hit a shot better than you have ever hit it before makes you come back time and time again.