Women and Girls’ Golf Week: Top amateur India Clyburn on aiming for the top and sharing experiences with her sister

India Clyburn, from Woodhall Spa Golf Club, is one of England’s best amateurs. She tells her story of how she has worked to get to the top, how she was inspired by her sister, Holly, who plays on the LPGA Tour – and how they’ve shared amazing golfing experiences, such as both winning the English girls’ championship and playing in the Curtis Cup.

How did you start playing?

Through family influences, my dad plays, so do uncles, auntie, grandparents and my sister. I was about 9/10 when I started.

Best golfing moment?

A few years ago in 2014, I shot 9-under (to win the Scottish junior ladies’ title) which was a great golfing moment for me!

Worst golfing moment?

Missing any cuts that I have!

Highlights of your career so far?

Winning a gold medal for England at the 2017 Ladies’ European Team Championship. We all worked so hard that week and it was the perfect reward and it was just an amazing feeling to win gold for my country. Getting into the Curtis Cup and Vagliano Trophy teams, both representing GB&I. Winning the English Girls. And every time I have represented England at international matches.

Has Holly inspired you?

Yes definitely, it has always been great to see Holly have success through all the stages of a good amateur career. It helped me guide my own career by knowing what events to play in, what teams I was aiming for. She learned how to get up the rankings and once we knew what to do, I followed because that’s the route it takes to become a successful amateur golfer. It was great for me to be able to watch her compete so well in tournaments that I have now played in myself.

As sisters, you’ve achieved some memorable doubles, how special are those experiences?

Winning the English Girls was amazing because it was always a big competition to play in back then, it was always the one you wanted to win. It was my first English title and it really set me up ever since. I remember being there for when Holly won it also, which was cool!

The Curtis Cup was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had so far. To be a part of the team and representing Great Britain and Ireland will always be such an honour to me.

When did you get into England training and how did it help you?

I’ve been part of the women’s squad since the end of 2014, and it’s helped in numerous ways. I’ve been able to have some great coaching in short game, long game, putting, strength and conditioning and the mental side. Having continued support all these years has been great and it’s given me many opportunities to compete in different tournaments and get into team events.

How much do you practice and work out?

I practice six times a week and usually have one day off when I am at uni. I use the off day to catch up on my studies. At college I work out three times a week, quite early in the morning. When I am home in the summers I can usually get four or five work outs in since I have less school work to do.

Why did you decide to go to university in the USA?

I thought it would be the best way to continue playing golf at a high level, whilst still getting an education.

My first year was definitely trying. It was dealing with living in a new country, being around people I didn’t quite know yet and just getting used to the student-athlete life.

I realised that my first year was always going to be hard and I didn’t want to give up. I went back and had the best year of my college career so far, on the course and in the classroom. I felt like I had gotten to grips with being a student-athlete and I really succeeded.

I really enjoy it now and it’s helped my golf massively. I’ve been able to play a variety of different courses, learn about the different types of grass and how it affects your ball. It’s a good insight to what life on tour is like as well because we usually play a tournament, have a few days back at campus and then we are off again. So sometimes you may not feel you have had the best preparation, it makes you better at learning to play your best with what you have at that time.

What would you say to other girls thinking about going to uni in the USA?

They should consider how far away the course or practice facility is from campus. Mine is about 5 minutes away from where I live, which is great. You want to be close to a course so you can practice easily, like would be if you were at home. But generally every college will have amazing facilities waiting for you to use.

What’s your golfing ambition?

To keep representing England/GB&I at the level I am, and then I will see in a few years. I would like to turn pro and play on the LET and LPGA.

Your advice for ambitious girl golfers?

Work hard and practice well. What you put in, you will get out but, most importantly, make sure you enjoy it and have fun competing.

Inspired to try golf and follow India? Visit www.getintogolf.org to find out about free and low cost beginner activities across the country