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Now aged, 27, Charley (who is proudly Team TaylorMade) is one of the most effervescent players in the game. Reminiscent of a brightly coloured English rose that appears perpetually in bloom. Albeit one with a weapon-like swing and a committed-to-the-cause attitude to boot.
At the time of print, Charley was placed 9th in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings and you better believe her past accomplishments have cemented her status within an elite group of world-class golfers. This year alone she has finished runner-up in two majors, the US Women’s Open and on home soil at the AIG Women’s Open. What’s next for Charley? I’m waiting with bated breath to see her win a major. And from where I sit, it’s definitely a matter of when and not ‘if’.
Charley kindly found time within her busy touring schedule to talk with Women’s Golf magazine and I hope you enjoy finding out more about this outstanding sportswoman.
You are a professional golfer with a legion of devoted fans from all over the world. How does that
I don’t really think of myself as having a legion of devoted fans but as I read this question it really makes me feel very appreciative of the people around the world who do support me. I hope I can help to inspire people of all ages to get into the game. When I was young, I used to look up to Laura Davies, and I think having role models like Laura who I’m now lucky to play alongside has helped me become the player I am today.
What was your upbringing like? You were home-schooled, right?
Yes, I was home-schooled, I think from the age of 12. I had a great upbringing and wouldn’t change a thing. I had my family around me, in particular my Dad who would take me to golf most days. He never let me down and was always there by my side.
You were a scratch golfer at 12 years old and started the tour as a rookie at 16. Were you under a lot
of pressure, simply enjoying your early successes, or both?
I wouldn’t say I felt much pressure, but I would say if I ever did feel nervous, I would thrive off it. Still, I love that feeling; it usually makes me play better. The pressure of having to make birdies coming down the stretch is what competitive golf is all about in my opinion. I enjoy the feeling. When you accomplish what you need to do it’s hugely satisfying and makes the hard work all the more worth it.
When playing competitive golf, what is your default emotional state?
When I practice, I like to listen to a lot of music which chills me out, as I tend to be hyperactive. I would say on the golf course I get bored quite easily as I’m a quick player and always want to hit my shot and move on to the next. I think sometimes if I get too hyper, I will think of a chilled song in my head just to keep me calm.
What aspects of your game are you looking to improve?
All of my game really, I don’t think you are ever 100% satisfied. At the moment I am happy with how I’m hitting it. Off the tee and long irons are solid, so I’d say lots of short game practice which can help the bad rounds to not be too destructive!
Tell us about your equipment and your relationship with TaylorMade.
I use the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Driver and Woods, a SIM Rescue and the P7MB irons. I love all the gear that TaylorMade brings out! I really enjoy working with Adrian Rietveld (TaylorMade European Tour Manager) and his whole team…Adrian is very invested in all the players he works with.
What is life on tour like?
My biggest challenge is being away from home for long periods, as I’m such a home person. But the plus side is having the opportunity to travel the world doing something I love and playing incredible golf courses. I’m lucky that I have a great caddie in Adam Woodward (an Aussie), whom I obviously spend heaps of time with. He’s like a best friend to me on tour, and for that I’m grateful.
Any long-haul travel tips to share with our readers?
I try not to eat on the plane at all, as it messes with my body clock. If I fast on the plane, when I land, I will have breakfast/ lunch/dinner depending on the time, which helps me to adjust to the time zone better.
Which tournaments do you most look forward to and why?
The Majors. The US Open and AIG British Open are my highlights. I also like playing tournaments at home/around Europe such as the Evian Championship in France.
What does Charley Hull do on her day off?
I struggle to take a day off golf, even when I’m at home I like to practice most days. But If I need to, I love going on long walks, seeing my family and enjoying the comforts of home. Sitting in the pub garden on a nice sunny day and drinking a few beers is a favourite pastime.
Name 5 professional golfers you draw inspiration from.
Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Laura Davies, Suzann Pettersen and Ben Hogan.
You’re quite the style icon on and off the course and I love that you integrate your femininity and
athletic prowess in the outfits you wear. What do you think of modern women’s golf fashion? Is there room for improvement?
I like to look good on the course, and I love fashion. I think my clothing partner Anew is perfect for me as I can incorporate both the fashion element and golf wear into one. I certainly think golf wear for women has come a long way in the last few years. I hope I can be a good example to girls/women out there that you can look good on the course and still be comfortable and fashionable all in one.
What tunes are currently on your playlist?
Need You Tonight by INXS. The Arctic Monkeys, White Stripes, Oasis, and Robbie Williams. Into a bit of rock music at the moment!
What’s your most memorable tour win?
That would be Morocco when I was only 17 and my Dad was there. I birdied the first playoff hole, a Par 3, with a 4 iron into the wind, over water, over a bunker, and hit it to about 2ft. Very memorable.
What’s the energy like at the Solheim Cup?
It’s crazy and incredible when you get onto the first tee. The first part of the week is very media focused, but once you get to day one, I’m always buzzing to get started. The crowds make the most amazing atmosphere at the Solheim Cup, I would say the energy is electric!
Who is in your core support network?
My agent Vicky Cuming, my coach Matt Belsham, putting coach Nick Soto, and my caddie Adam.
Do you have a fitness routine?
I haven’t been as into fitness this year as I have done previously but I’m getting more into it again. I think you need to find a good balance in your life - I try and keep up my fitness levels with plenty of cardio and strength work with bands, as well as lots of stretching of course.
Finish this sentence. The future of women’s golf
CHARLEY HULL FAST FACTS:
Words by Roxanne Andrews