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By Roxanne Williams
Ash Barty is a multi-talented sportswoman whose list of admirable achievements on the world sporting stage continually make us Aussie’s beam. She’s a legendary tennis player, former professional cricketer, has mad skills with an AFL footy and is also a very, very good golfer. So much so that we’re confident Ash could turn pro if ever she chose. Yep, Barty’s sporting prowess is nothing short of amazing. We’re chuffed that Ash made time between winning the Wimbledon women’s grand slam event and representing Australia at the Olympics to have a quick chat about one of her favourite all time sports – golf.
Please tell us a bit about your local course at Brookwater Golf Club?
Brookwater is my local and my favourite spot to play when I’m home, it’s a beautiful course and a great community of people. The 17th is my favourite hole, risk v reward on a nice par 5.
How often do you have a hit with your partner (pro golfer, Garry Kissick)?
When we are both at home we play pretty regularly. Golf is something I love to do to relax and switch off when I’m not playing tennis.
Where and when did you first get in to golf?
My dad was a very very good golfer and Mum was also a single figure handicapper. Golf is a game that has always been in my family. I always chipped around the backyard but didn’t really play my first real round until I was 16 or 17.
Which Australian golf courses make your ‘must play one day’ list?
One of my favourites is the Lost Farm at Barnbougle. A brilliant test in any weather and absolutely gorgeous. The sand belt courses in Victoria are also some of my absolute favourites.
You’re a professional tennis player, a former pro cricketer and an accomplished golfer. Are there any other sports you’re keen to
I love to challenge myself across all different sports. One of my favourites is AFL and we love to kick the ball around while we’re on tour.
Ash, which golf clubs are always in your bag?
No matter the course or conditions, I always have my 60° lob wedge. I love to get creative with all different ball flights.
You portray a pretty relaxed persona, even when under pressure. Do you ever lose your cool?
Of course! I try to keep things in perspective and not let too much get to me but of course like everyone I have my good days and bad days.
Which (living) athletes do you most admire?
Evonne Goolangong Cawley, Samantha Kerr, Adam Scott.
Do you watch professional women’s golf tournaments often? If so, which players are bound to hold your attention?
I watch a lot of women’s golf and the depth is incredible. I love to watch our Aussie girls - Hannah Green, Minjee and Gabi Ruffels. I also love the way Nelly Korda swings and how smooth she is through transition.
Have you ever travelled to a destination specifically to play golf?
Garry and I went to Barnbougle in Tasmania a few years ago when I had a week off. We loved it. It’s a beautiful spot down there and I hope to go back one day soon.
How important is it to encourage girls to get in to sport at an early age?
Very important. I’m a big believer in girls trying as many sports as they can and seeing what they enjoy. It doesn’t matter what level you are at, having fun is the most important thing. As well as the health benefits, the friendships and life lessons sport can teach you are so valuable. I encourage all young girls (and boys) to have a go.
Barty is a proud ambassador of Springfield (her hometown city in Queensland). Which is also where you’ll find her beloved Brookwater Golf Club. Fact: Ash won the Brookwater women’s club championship here last year during a short hiatus (due to the pandemic) from the professional tennis tour. Her partner Gary Kissick is a PGA pro at Brookwater Golf Club and so it comes as no surprise that they enjoy their downtime playing golf together – in fact that’s how they first met!