Sky’s the limit for poised Hull

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Britain’s top female golfer, Charley Hull, tells Alys Bowen how she maintains a healthy balance between golf commitments and the normal lifestyle of a twenty-one year old

Charley Hull is in the hair and make-up studio at Sky Sports News, ready for her afternoon appearance with boxer Anthony Joshua fresh from his victory over Wladimir Klitschko. As the UK’s number one female golfer, and ranked twentieth in the world, Hull seems totally natural in these high-fly situations. And so she should be. She has been playing golf now for nearly twenty years, having first picked up a club at the age of two.

Hull turned professional in 2013, and at the age of 20 won the CME Group Tour Championship by two shots at the end of last year. It was her first LGPA title and the achievement of which she is most proud.

“It was a good feeling,” she said, while the stylist begins to curl her long blonde locks. “I really enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun. When I got back off the plane I went to the pub with my friends and had a mini house party.”

She first took up golf through her father, who only started playing later in life. He soon realised her talent. Despite playing for nearly all her 21 years, Hull has never resented golf’s domination of her life. By the age of 13 she had left school to focus fully on golf and was able to enter amateur tournaments.

Despite her golf commitments, Hull has kept a healthy balance to her life. She is away on tour for 27 weeks of the year, yet still manages to make time for her family and friends. She managed to squeeze in a holiday to Ibiza the week before the Olympics in Rio, and a night out with friends before flying to Brazil.

She explains: “[Rio] was just another event to me. Of course, it was a big event, but you don’t want to treat it any differently because you don’t want to freak yourself out.”

Golf was a new addition to the Games in 2016, but it was not met by the golfing world with the anticipation and excitement shown by other sports. Big names in the men’s game, such as Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, did not compete over fears surrounding the Zika virus. However, Hull was not fazed, turned up and finished just outside the medals.

Now she has the US and British Opens to look forward to, and the opportunities to add her first major title to the trophy cabinet in her flat in Northampton, down the road from Woburn Golf Club where she trains. She said: “Well, I’m obviously in it to win it.. It’s pointless if you go into it not hoping to win.”

There was concern in the early part of the summer that the Ladies European Tour could collapse completely, following the cancellation of its flagship event, the Ladies European Masters. In total, there have been five events cancelled on the European Tour in 2017 alone, which is not ideal for Hull and her peers as they prepare for the majors.

As we walk out of the studio for Hull’s interview with SportsWomen, it is difficult to imagine that the upset within the European Tour could affect her performance at all. As ever she is calm, collected and looks as capable and determined enough to win an Open this summer as she would have been to battle Anthony Joshua that afternoon.

Sky Sports will show The Ricoh Women’s British Open and The Solheim Cup in August, exclusively live as part of Sky’s biggest ever summer of sport. Tweet in your pictures of where you are watching using #MySummerofSport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alys Bowen. Alys’ latest articles

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