Rosie Belsham has never been one to shirk a challenge – and the England girls’ squad player is not about to start now.
As a junior at Whitley Bay GC she is happy taking on and beating the big-hitting boys – confirming the old golfing adage ‘drive for show, putt for dough’.
“Yes, they hit it further than I do but that means that when you beat them it’s sweeter!” said Belsham with a smile.
In the 2019 Fairhaven Trophy, she not only claimed the title but shattered every record there was to beat along the way.
Belsham now boasts the record margin of victory for a girl (a staggering 20 shots).
To that she can add the record low total in either the boys’ or girls’ event (an almost unbelievable 23-under par for 72 holes).
That aggregate total of 277 was 11 shots lower than the previous girls’ record. To put her achievement in context her winning total was also four shots clear of the existing boys’ record.
Now, as part of the England Golf performance squad set-up for 2020, she’s driven to achieve even more in the future.
Ultimately the target is lofty.
“World number one – that’s my aim. It’s a big aim but why not?” said Belsham with a shrug of the shoulders.
“This is my second year in the England girls’ squad and I really enjoy it. It’s worth all the long journeys from Newcastle,” said Belsham who also helped England win the 2019 Home International crown in brutal conditions at Dundee’s Downfield GC in August.
“I enjoyed competing in 2019.
“At the time finishing second in the English Women’s Stroke Play was big, but then shooting 23-under par at Fairhaven was pretty cool and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“It felt like the course was easy – it wasn’t, but that’s what happens to your mind when you shoot a good score.
“The first day I didn’t play that well and was one under on the front nine. But I finished with four consecutive birdies and from that point on I couldn’t miss a fairway or a green.
“It was a nice feeling – it doesn’t happen that often.
“I’d like to win another national event and I’m going for no missed cuts in 2020. I missed two last season.
“Consistency is the big thing.
“I have ‘A’ Levels this year and it will be hard to maintain standards through that time.
“My teachers at Newcastle High School for Girls are really supportive and I have to thank them for that.”
Like a lot of talented teens, Belsham has her eyes set on the American college scene and has provisionally agreed to attend Baylor University in Texas once she finishes school in England.
A talented hockey player, Belsham is now fully focused on her golf and with mixture of ability, dedication and the right rub of the green the future looks bright.
“My dad and grandpa played and my mum and I started at the same time,” said Belsham as she recalled her pathway to elite amateur status.
“It was good to do that together as a family.
“Playing at Whitley Bay I’m also used to all weathers which helps!
“My parents played hockey so I’ve had either a golf club or a hockey stick in my hand ever since I could walk and I just love playing the game.”
Playing off a plus three handicap, Belsham spends more time on the course than watching heroes on TV
“I don’t look up to anyone as such. I don’t watch a lot of golf, I just love to play it,” she confirmed.
“But when you watch all the women professionals you think – ‘I can do that.’
“I’m a competitor.”
Photography credit: Leaderboard