Hannah Golding, 15, has tasted golf at the top. As a winner in the 2017 Bridgestone Chase Your Dream Trophy she played with Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts in the pro-am of the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports – and met Sergio Garcia and Charley Hull. Hannah, from Brocton Hall Golf Club, tells the story of her competitive journey
How did you start golf?
When I was seven, I had been to the range with my Dad and when the chance to go for lessons came, I just grabbed it. There was just something straight away that clicked – it was such a good feeling hitting balls
I had a junior handicap for two years, but got my full CONGU handicap of 36 when I was 10 and now I’m off four.
What do you remember about your first competition?
I had won a few junior medals, but my first real competition was the Junior Captain’s day at Brocton Hall. I had just been awarded my official CONGU handicap that week, and well I just went for it, shooting 7 under par and winning the Junior Captain’s Day Shield for best net score. Certainly made the boys sit up!
What do you enjoy about competition?
That you are competing against the course, the conditions, and the rest of the girls or women in the field. Always pushing yourself to be better. Winning and performing well is a great motivator. I just try to keep getting better all the time, through improving my swing, technique and overall approach, as well as better course management. Training and getting stronger, playing more consistently. I just love competing.
How do you prepare for competitions?
I have a routine that I follow, that involves walking the course or playing the practice round, having a session on the practice ground, then do some pitching / chipping and then some putting prior to stepping up onto the tee.
You’ve got an amazing record in the Medal Finals and the Bridgestone Chase Your Dream Trophy. What’s your secret to qualifying for the finals year after year?
Yes it has been great. Finishing second in the national final when I was 12 was unbelievable. I have played really well in three of the last four regional medals to progress to the final. I finished only 9th in the final last year, but the opportunity was still there to progress to the Bridgestone Challenge at Luton Hoo and fortunately we played well as a team to win and went forward to the British Masters.
It was great, the Chase Your Dream motto couldn’t be more appropriate. When I was on the putting green, who comes out but the Masters Champion Sergio Garcia. Speechless! A quick chat and a photo and I was over the moon. Next it was introductions and hello to Nicholas Colsaerts. We were playing in the pro-am of the British Masters, it was surreal, but the atmosphere was great. There were stands, plenty of photographers and a crowd was slowly building, could I hold my nerve. A decent shot off the 10th and we were off.
My confidence grew as the round progressed and I started playing some really good shots. The crowds were growing and starting to respond to the shots, near misses were greeted with ooohs, good shots and putts were greeted with cheers and clapping, and when I holed a 40ft putt on the 5th the crowd erupted – what a feeling.
We didn’t win, but hey there is always next year. After I finished, there was lunch, with a certain Matt Fitzpatrick. I walked around the course watching other people playing, there were lots of famous professionals and some very well-known celebrities. The gala dinner at the Hilton was fabulous, celebrities everywhere.
The next morning I was asked to attend a SkySports session with Charley Hull on the skills zone, which was great.
I’m in the Bridgestone Chase Your Dream final again this year and really looking forward to it
Who has helped you progress?
For the first few years obviously, both the guys at Brocton Hall – Jon & Nevil – were very instrumental. County coaching with Rob, and then Sam & Phil at England’s West Midlands Squad. The England set-up is tremendously supportive and provides opportunities for development that in normal circumstances, would be difficult to come by. But my coach, Chris Hall of Rushcliffe GC has been tremendous, helping me with all aspects of my game and development over these last three years, as well as being fantastically supportive and always being there to help and guide me.
What are your golfing goals?
Lots! To play for England, to become a professional golfer, to play for Europe in the Solheim Cup, to travel the world – and to just enjoy my golf
What would you say to other girls to persuade them to play?
Just to go and try it, but give it a real chance and not give up.
• Inspired by Hannah’s story? Visit www.getintogolf.org to find out about free and low cost beginner activities across the country.