Lady Golfer columnist Charley Hull's plans for Turnberry
If I could win any tournament it would be the Women’s British Open. This will be my fourth start in the championship, three as a professional with the first while I was still an amateur at Hoylake when I was just 16.
My favourite tournaments are the Majors, the courses are longer and trickier and you have to be more patient. I love the Majors, I get a big buzz out of them and I like planning my schedule around them.
So far I’ve been close a few times, last year at Birkdale I had a chance going into the last day but things didn’t work out. This year we’re at Turnberry which I first played as a nine-year-old. I won that week so hopefully that will be a sign of things to come…
The most encouraging thing 12 months ago was shooting a 66 on the Saturday morning which was the best round of the week. I struggled with the 1st at Birkdale, on the first two days I dropped three shots and even on the Saturday I started bogey-bogey.
Then I played one of my favourite rounds ever, with nine birdies which was pretty exciting. Seven of them were from within 15 feet and I birdied all the par 3s.
What I did well that day was visualize my tee shots. I play a lot of my golf at Woburn, which is tree-lined, so I would picture a tee shot there and that really helped to get a nice picture in my head.
On the Sunday I didn’t putt very well in the wind but the week after I changed my stroke to left below right and I’ve improved a lot on the greens since. So far I seem to throw in one bad round in the big ones so I’ll be trying to limit that in Scotland.
I nearly had my first hole-in-one this month while playing a few holes at Kettering I first went to Turnberry after winning a qualifier at my club when I was nine. Not surprisingly I was the youngest player to get through. There were something like 25,000 entries and I managed to also win the final up in Scotland and one of the prizes was to play in the pro-am of the following year’s Open with Morgan Pressel at Lytham.
I don’t remember too much about my first visit but I do remember getting blown over by the wind and my dad had to pick me up which was really funny!
I was at the media day recently, which was my first visit back to the course, and I like it a lot. We didn’t get too much wind and there wasn’t much rough then but we got a good idea of what clubs to hit off certain tee boxes.
I’ll probably have 27 holes when I get there to prepare but the rest of the time will be spent trying to relax and conserve my energies as most of my work will have been done.
I tend to go with the flow on the day in terms of a plan which is based on how I’m hitting it and what the conditions are.
The most memorable hole is the 9th where you have the lighthouse on your left and next year they are changing that to a par 3 which should be amazing.
The second Major of the year, the PGA Championship at Westchester, was brilliant. The PGA Tour used to visit here and it was a real test, particularly around the greens where the rough was so thick.
After the first day things were looking promising after picking up eight birdies in a four-under 68 but the rest of the week the course just about got the better of me.
But the swing felt good, I had 20 birdies over the four days so the putts are dropping and I even managed to fit in a bit of shopping at a local mall.In the end I finished 26th, the same as at the Kraft, so I’m starting to produce some consistent finishes in the big ones.
I nearly had my first hole-in-one this month while playing a few holes at Kettering with a mate.
I had never driven the par-4 17th before and, walking up, you could see it was close and when we got to the hole it was sitting an inch behind it so it must have lipped out! Having not had one before it would have been pretty cool to have done it on a par 4.
Finally, you’ll most likely see us having to deal with the wind at Turnberry. A good tip for playing in the wind is to concentrate on holding your finish. A lot of golfers lose balance and don’t commit to it when it’s gusty so really think about completing your swing.