It's been a balancing act juggling 2 part-time jobs alongside playing this year but I've managed to play about 14 events this year, 5 of which were only 1 day, 1 round events, so not a huge amount of tournament rounds really but more than last year!
When I went to Mark Pearson for my first lesson in February he asked what I wanted to achieve this year, I said to enjoy my golf and travelling and competing in tournaments, and I have done that. I've loved being back out on the circuit with girls I've been friends with for years and meeting new, and playing and competing on new golf courses in different parts of the world.
I'm pleased with the progress I have made this year, I would be pulling my hair out in frustration earlier in the year and really struggled with the driving 'yips' but I have worked through that and learnt to accept the shots that I hit now, good and bad. I have put some great rounds together and a lot of good part rounds together and made a few mistakes that I have not been able to recover from.
Swedish Golf Tour
The Tegelberga Open in Southern Sweden.
I used this event to get me back into golf tournament mode after over a year out of the habit.
Very rusty from a scoring point of view and really struggled off the tee, an issue I've been battling for a little while.
I was fortunate enough to stay with the Knutsson family who looked after me like I was at my home away from home.
The remainder of 2018 will be working towards Ladies European Tour School in December in Morocco, I will probably take a trip to Spain for a competition or 2 between now and then to keep my game as sharp as I can coming into winter.
In order to go to tour school I could do with some financial help though and if you or anyone you might know is in the position to help me I would greatly appreciate it. I have set up a gofundme page if you would like to pay it a visit www.gofundme.com/helping-me-get-to-let-tour-school
You may have been wondering where i have been and what i have been up to, well I have been quietly working hard at my fitness, and golf game to get back on track after having all of last year out of action because of surgeries due to injury and illness.
Throughout the winter months i worked full time as Assistant Manager at Fulford GC in the office alongside some bar work and actually really enjoyed the challenge and new experience. However, knowing that i have not been able to accomplish all i would like to with my golf i was quite happy to do the role temporarily and know i could come back out to compete this year. I'm still currently working 2 part-time/casual/flexible jobs alongside my golf, not ideal but i need to get money together to be able to play somehow!
Women's professional golf on the Ladies European Tour is not exactly as strong as we would like it to be and the main tour schedule has been quite sparse in events up to now. The LET Access Series has consequently been oversubscribed in nearly every event and because of my lower category I have not been able to get into the events and so have not had many chances to play competitively.
But...Last week i got into the Lavaux Ladies Championship in Switzerland, an event on the LET Access Series organised and sponsored by Team Pitch & Play, who are great supporters of the Women's game. Obviously, i was quite nervous/anxious but also excited to get out there, especially after the great recent training sessions i have had. One of my biggest challenges recently has been performing the awesome golf shots that i can produce on the range, under testing pressure out on the golf course under tournament conditions.
My main goal for the week was to enjoy the experience, and to test my game again to see how it held up under tournament pressures after having a few weeks of a different approach to working on my game, and I am pleased to say it was a really enjoyable week.
I had plenty of laughs with my roommates Keely & Chloe and it was great to catch up with friends that i have known for a long time on the golfing circuit. I loved being out on tour again! 😊
Our bedroom window looked out over Lake Geneva, stunning scenes, i could've sat there for hours taking it all in.
To say my legs were burning from trekking up the hills each day would be an understatement....pictures do not do the steepness of the slopes justice!!
After a couple of good days practice it was time to play.
Wednesday 9.06 from the 10th tee, a 367 yard downhill hole, out of bounds all the way down the left side. It only required a 4 iron from the tee to get it down into play. Really quite nervous/anxious but also excited to get underway I clipped my ball down the right hand side just catching an adjoining fairway bunker with the 18th hole. Okay, fine, we’re down there and in play I thought to myself, smiled and walked on. A good recovery, reasonable pitch and I was on the green but 3 putted for a double bogey, not the end of the world, move onto the next, we’ve started.
11th tee, time for the driver to come out of the bag, 3 tee shots later and I was down the fairway, the first 2 I actually hit reasonably well but I turned them over a little too much long left and into some deep rough never to be seen again. I made a par with my 3rd ball but unfortunately on my card it was an 8, sadly no mulligans in this game!!
8 over through 3 holes, not the start I was hoping for but I was actually very calm, I stuck to my routine and focused on being relaxed, smiling and continuing progressing forward.
11 over through 9 holes and still calm, I moved onto the front 9 and played some pretty steady golf, 5 pars and 4 bogies, nothing dramatically happened, just a 3 putt here and there a missed green and not getting up and down.
Having finished +15 yes of course I was disappointed with the final score but I didn’t really think about the number so much I was proud of myself for sticking in there and not being defeated. They have a rule on the tour that if you shoot +19 in the first round you are automatically withdrawn, i was glad that I had kept it below that number so I could play, learn, and build confidence in the second round.
We had a little trip into a local town Vevey, a wonder around some shops before heading down towards the lake and were mesmerised by the stunning scenes!
Day 2 14.06 tee time from hole 1.
A bit of a lie in before getting up to the club with plenty of time for a bit of putting practice before some lunch and then my pre round warm up, music playing on the range making it a relaxing atmosphere.
Time to head out, again somewhat nervous but looking forward to playing, and one of my key thoughts was to continue on the flow I was on for this 9 yesterday.
First tee shot a pushy right one down onto the adjoining 9th semi rough....not quite where I wanted to be but actually I could see the green from there, it was a blind second shot downhill from our fairway. Pw onto the green and drained a 25 footer for my birdie. 😃
A few bogies and a couple more birdies I made the turn in +1, 3 shots improvement on that 9 already, great!
A few people watching us on the 10th tee and I was a little nervous again but I had just hit some great shots so I kept focusing on them and blocking out the negatives. I hit a lovely shot down the middle of the fairway, and made a solid par.
11th tee, obviously, after yesterday’s fiasco I wasn’t going to go left was I....I pushed it up the right and into the fairway bunker, absolutely fine, another solid par made.
The only annoyance of my second round was on the 12th hole, an odd par 5, 5 iron from the tee, another iron shot up then a short iron onto the green, I made a silly clubbing choice and clipped a tree with my second shot and went out of bounds, doh! Walked off with a double, the only blemish on my scorecard on the back 9, 8 pars other than that and several birdie putt chances.
A +3 2nd round and I was grinning from ear to ear! My game felt steady all day, I hit some great shots, I hit some poor shots but didn’t freak out, I stuck to my routines and ground it out.
My best round of golf in competition in ages! Having not competed for more than a year I knew coming back out to compete would be tough but after a challenging time i feel that I have finally made a nice step in the right direction!! ☺️🏌🏻♀️⛳️
My next event is the LETAS in Spain in a couple of weeks.
In other news I have also qualified for the final of the American golf Long Drive Championships 🏌🏻♀️😃⛳️
Thank you for having a read and having an interest in my journey. I hope you're enjoying this lovely weather and happy golfing!
If anyone reading this could offer me any sort of sponsorship or assistance, to help me on my golfing journey it would be greatly appreciated. Please get in touch! 😊🏌🏻♀️⛳️
Just a little update for all of you following my progress
This week marks 6 weeks since I had surgery on my ankle, open surgery too, not just keyhole like i had originally thought!
There has been a lot of discomfort and wobbles, some falls and many sleepless nights and when you're used to having your own independence, having that taken away becomes quite frustrating after a little while. But I won't deny it has been quite pleasant to get waited on hand and foot by mum and dad as well as my niece and nephew when they’ve been round! :)
The first 3 weeks post-surgery are a bit of a blur, I was that dosed up on medication due to the pain and discomfort, trying to sleep and rest as much as possible. Getting about on crutches is a greater challenge than I first anticipated and the requirement to wear clothing with pockets to carry things I wanted with me has become a must!
The last 10 days or so I have experienced a really awful pain in my left calf, after a phone call to 111 and due to my circumstances I had the delight of spending the whole day in York Hospital last Friday for tests and an ultrasound. Fortunately this all came back clear of deep vein thrombosis but annoyingly I was discharged with ‘muscular pain’ and it didn’t get to the bottom of the pain or even help it.
I returned to the surgeon this week who is very happy with the way my ankle has healed and recovered so far. There was very little tenderness around my ankle when he felt it so it seems like the surgery has been a success, however, it is still going to take another 6 weeks for the internal area to heal properly.
Rehabilitation is the next step, and I am being looked after by a nice well experienced physio, he advised me yesterday that this sort of injury is going to take 6 months to full recovery. And quickly said that he knows what athletic people like me are like in terms of wanting to get back to fitness as quickly as possible, so we are to take it one week at a time. When I told my surgeon and the physio about the calf pain I have been having recently they believe it could be from the pressure of the air-cast boot, the lack of use and the muscle wastage, all of which seem reasonable reasons but the physio has said he is going to keep a close eye on it for me.
The first step; and this week’s rehab goals are to wean myself out of my ‘moon boot’ into an ankle brace, and to start to try to use one crutch instead of two, sounds easy….right!? And I am now allowed on my exercise bike for 20 minutes at a time with no resistance, twice a day.
It seems it is going to be a little while until I am out on the golf course but I’ll be onto my putting green at home just as soon as I can stand and be stable on both feet without too much pain! In the meantime I’m working on keeping my mind active and developing some other skills.
I hope you’re all well and thank you for having a read!
As I sit and reflect on my first year as a professional golfer I can honestly say I feel quite proud of how far I have come.
Even after a rough month with illness I couldn’t not return to Sunningdale to defend our 2015 title. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be this year and we were knocked out in the 2nd round.
However, Sunningdale is always going to be a special place to me and even more so now with my name on the board in the main lounge among many other fantastic golfers.
We were also able to enjoy the annual ‘Champions Dinner’ where we were lucky enough to sit with Peter Alliss and have a lovely time over a delicious carvery in the dining room at Sunningdale.
Bags are packed and ready to make my first trip abroad of the year to Spain!
Very typical of the way I travelled most of the year
Santander Ladies Golf Tour
5th-10th April Real golf de Pedreña, Santander
The home of Seve Ballesteros, what a special venue to start my year.
A couple of lovely practice days in nice sunshine and then the weather turned for the tournament, cold and very wet!!
Managed to have a little trip out to see the area with my travel friends on the trip.
LET Access Series
25th-30th April Gams-Werdenberg golf club, Switzerland
Fortunate enough to stay with a lovely couple within their house with beautiful views, in fact almost everywhere you looked there was beautiful views in Switzerland.
The deep rough lining the fairways caught me out again at this event, and I was withdrawn for being ‘non-competitive’ from the second round.
I managed a sight-seeing afternoon in Zurich with my room-mates for the week. Another city to tick off the list, some beautiful architecture!
LET Access Series
8th-13th May Augas Santas Balneario & Golf Resort, Ribeira, North west Spain
This area had some really bad weather leading up to our arrival and the golf course had really taken some punishment. It was the wettest I have ever seen a golf course to be. Many fairways were like mud baths, it was a real shame but the Spanish Federation officials and the LET Access did a great effort at running the tournament the best they could. Including turning 2 par 4s into par 3s for the event and we had a 1 round cut due to the persistent rain.
I had a much better day first round shooting +4; sadly missed the cut and I could’ve done with another round to build my confidence the way the first round had done.
Santander Ladies Golf Tour
22nd - 26th May Club El Zaudin, Sevilla
This time it was a trip to the south of Spain, to the sunshine and warmth at Zaudin golf club in Seville.
Again, another tough week on the course through the tournament, but yet another beautiful golf course to play.
LET Access Series
14th-20th June Boras Golf Club, Sweden
A bit of entertainment for us in the practice round when the sky all around us got darker and darker, we didn’t know whether to run, hide or carry on playing!
This was one of the weeks where I ended up poorly; turns out I had the flu. I managed to play round 1 but I went out for round 2 and I felt dreadful, I carried on playing but looking back I should’ve walked off and called it a day. Being in that position is really difficult, I’d flown all that way to compete and I wanted to play but really, physically it was too much for me to do.
One consistent factor throughout my year has been my training with Rachael Tibbs, Dynamic Golf.
She has been a great help to me these last couple of years and i'm looking forward to getting my body fit and being able to fully continue my strength and fitness development in the future!
Through July and into August I was at a bit of a loose end with my game, my performances couldn’t continue the way they were, and it was beginning to hurt me mentally, especially when I know what I am capable of.
After a chat with someone I regard as a good friend from Fulford golf club, I went to see Neil Cheetham for some lessons.
He gave me some inspiration, and within half an hour from a few basic changes i began getting a sharper contact on the ball, he gave me the bug to want to practice again!
LET Access Series
21st- 28th August Hillside Golf Club, Vihti, Finland
This tournament came as a bit of a surprised, I only got in a week before the event but I chose to get on a flight and go! Due to my ranking I did not get into events very easily last season so hearing I managed to get into one I had the urge to go and play! Fortunately, a good friend of mine Jane already had a lovely host family who I was able to stay with too.
Hillside GC in Finland, a course that used to have a ski ramp functioning down the side of the 9th hole so that gives you an idea of how steep some of the hills were!
I had a decent first round, understood where the bad shots came from and could manage it, but I was in the slowest group I’ve been in for a long time! I had a sore back and just thought it was a muscular ache but turns out I got a fever and had to withdraw from the second round, I had learnt my lesson from Sweden and I was in no fit state to play, I was gutted because I really felt I had turned a corner in round 1!
Kari the father of the household took me for a ride in his old school car, a 1969 Corvette Stingray, which was a little highlight to the week!
LET Access Series
12th-18th September Elisefarm Golf Club, Hörby, Sweden
This tournament was hosted by Fanny Sunesson, Nick Faldo’s long time caddy. She set the course up, and chose the pins positions, and in the Q&A session we were lucky enough to have with her she explained her process in doing so. Such an interesting and inspiring lady!
An up and down couple of days in the tournament, some great golf but then I had periods of really bad in there too ruining my rounds. I did finish with an eagle on my last hole through a great drive, really nice 8 iron into the green and knocked in my 8 foot putt, which just made me laugh after the previous really poor few holes I had just played! Funny game we play!!
Jane and I had time to have a trip into Copenhagen for the day, in which we took bikes around the city in the hunt for the little mermaid statue, and eventually found it!
LET Access Series & Santander Ladies Golf Tour
17th-23rd October La Penaza, Zaragoza
The best 2 rounds of golf I had played in over a year, and what a great feeling! Had a nice group, and enjoyable couple of days which does tend to help with the game too! I did still miss the cut but I was very happy with my rounds, especially being -2 for last 6 holes of the 2nd round too, great improvement
Another beautiful Spanish course, and enjoyable few days!
Santander Ladies Golf Tour
31st Oct-1st November Golf Santander, Madrid
This was the last event on the Santander Ladies Golf Tour for 2016, playing golf in shorts and t-shirt at the end of October was lovely, whilst it lasted!!
We had a lovely few days of practice and a nice morning and lunch out in Madrid doing some sight-seeing.
Unfortunately the rain in Spain arrived, I was lucky enough to finish my first round dry as I was out first in a 2-ball but everyone else behind got rather wet. The 2nd day’s weather was horrendous and play was eventually abandoned. As you can see in my last picture the greens were totally flooded!
Ladies European Tour pre-qualifying
12th-21st November Mohammedia, Morocco
As you’ve read above, this was a pretty good week for me to end my season!
Tied 36th position, 34 +ties qualified for final stage
Had a few issues with travelling on this trip, with my suitcase going missing on the way there and our flight home getting cancelled!!
3e Actuaries Open Equatorial Guinea, West Africa
5th-13th December Championship Golf Course Mongomo
This was an invitational tournament, a totally unique experience, getting to play golf on the edge of the jungle and alongside some male professionals too. My golf wasn’t as I’d wished and I struggled with my ankle again this week. However it was quite an amazing and special experience to share the reality of humanity in the world we live in.
Making friends along the way
Met 2 young chimps in Africa, it was the most amazing experience! :)
I've enjoyed a nice bit of time to relax and recover over the festive period and now looking forward to preparations for 2017.
Please take a look at my social media for little updates along the way!
Happy New Year! :)