Holly Clyburn was one of England’s best amateurs before she turned pro. Here she talks about how she prepared for life on tour, winning on the Ladies European Tour, playing on the LPGA Tour – and sharing special experiences with her sister, India, such as both winning the English girls’ championship and playing in the Curtis Cup.
Tell us about your early days in golf?
My family is very golf oriented and I started when I was seven. By the time I was 14 I was involved in England training. It was very helpful, growing up and going through the different squads, not just learning about my golf, but learning about myself.
What were the highlights of your amateur career?
Playing for GB&I in two Curtis Cups and being on the winning team in 2012. Being English girls’ champion and now having my sister’s name alongside mine – that’s very special and it will always stick out for me.
It’s also pretty special for two sisters to have played in Curtis Cup teams. Tell us what that means to you?
It’s unreal! Seeing India’s name as a part of the 2018 team was amazing – and that I could make the trip to see her was even better. India is a great player and her game has come on so much, so when it came to Friday of the Curtis Cup I was so excited. I played on the LPGA, then raced over and watched her play some of the best golf I have ever seen her play and I have never felt so proud.
When did you realise you wanted to make a career out of golf?
From when I had a careers meeting at school when I was around 13 and I told them I would be a professional golfer. They laughed – but look who’s laughing now!
When did you know you were ready to turn pro?
In 2012. I did a lot in that year: I was in the winning Curtis Cup team and I played in the Ricoh Women’s British Open and came second to Lydia Ko for the silver medal. At that time I felt like I had achieved enough and done pretty much everything as an amateur and that I was ready to try the pro ranks. I think playing in the Ricoh as an amateur helped me and got my mind ready.
You had your first LET win in your rookie year. Describe the feeling!
That winning feeling is something else. My week in Holland when I won (the Deloitte Ladies Open in 2013) was just magical. I cried, I screamed, I pointed to the sky, but most of all I did it and I had family with me. I will always remember it and I could tell you every shot I hit from the 1st … but I won’t!
What’s life like on Tour? What’s good and not so good?
Tour is totally different to amateur days. In five years of tour life I have definitely learned a lot about myself.
You’re by yourself a lot of the time. I love my own company, which is a bonus, but sometimes what I don’t like is being alone for a number of weeks. So I like to keep active. Since turning professional I have turned very professional, my time is either in the gym or on the golf course. My body has changed a lot.
I love that I play on the biggest/hardest working tour in the world.
How do you cope with the travelling?
24hour clock! I’ve just got to get on with it, my mother tells me. Haha! It’s a lot easier said than done.
How does playing on the Ladies European Tour compare with the LPGA?
They are two different tours. The competition is high on both, don’t get me wrong, but these girls on LPGA are unreal. To compete with that every week is hard – but it makes you work harder.
What’s your current ambition?
To keep my status on the LPGA
What’s your tip for an ambitious girl golfer?
Make sure you have fun and keep it that way even if you want to be professional! Join your club, meet friends and enjoy the game!
Inpired by Holly? Visit www.getintogolf.org to find free and low cost beginner activities across the country.
Image copyright Ladies European Tour/Tristan Jones