I Played Golf With A Major Winner And This Is What I Learnt

When it comes to golf you never stop learning. Having played at Wentworth with Georgia Hall, it's clear to see why she's a Major winner

Georgia Hall hits a tee shot with a driver
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Back in June, I had the pleasure of playing at Wentworth with Women's British Open (Now AIG Women’s Open) winner and multiple time Solheim Cup player, Georgia Hall. It’s not often an opportunity like this come’s about, so I inevitably wanted to learn and watch one of the world’s elite at work. What did I learn? Well, as it turns out, there are levels to this game!

Holding a handicap of 3, I consider myself a decent player, perhaps not as good as I was a few years ago after attending University, but still not bad. Teeing it up with Georgia on the Edinburgh Course, the atmosphere was friendly as we discussed the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship the weekend prior.

Starting on the 3rd hole, a shortish par 5 that required an accurate drive to an ever-so slight dog legged fairway, Georgia teed it up, took a couple of practice swings and set the club a quarter of the way back before pulling the trigger. A five yard high draw down the fairway was the outcome, with the 26-year-old pulling the tee out of the ground before the ball had even hit the apex of its flight.

Georgia hits a tee shot whilst Matt looks on

Georgia ranks inside top 50 for Driving Distance on the LPGA Tour

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

In short, I was almost taken aback. Firstly, by how easy she made it look having not warmed up beforehand and secondly, how unbothered she was by striping one down the fairway. 

Granted, she is used to playing with the likes of Nelly Korda and is soon to team up with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lee Trevino in the Celebration of Champions event at the 150th Open Championship, whereas I'm just some 24-year-old with a dodgy haircut.

It was now my turn and, having made two practice swings that somewhat resembled a golfer, I stepped up and proceeded to hook one left, a shot that I am unfortunately all too familiar with. Having at least found the face of the driver, we advanced up the fairway with yet another exhibition being put on by the Major champion, as she once again hit a gentle draw into the green, from 240 yards, that finished a foot or two shy of the putting surface.

Although a poor pitch followed, by her standards, it didn’t seem to phase Georgia, as she duly rolled in the birdie putt from 10 feet or so, something you kind of expected from someone who ranks inside the top 10 of Putting Average on the LPGA Tour circuit…

Georgia and Matt discuss putting on the green

Discussing the different types of putting grips, with Georgia favouring a cross-handed grip

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

That convincing birdie was then followed by, surprise, a gentle draw off the tee, with a wedge to 10-foot again being rolled in for yet another birdie, -2 through 2. The golf on show was almost robotic, almost something out of a video game but, to Georgia, it just looked like any other day on the course. Just to boost my confidence slightly, I also birdied that hole, about the only one I did all day!

So, what did I learn from one of the best golfers in the country? What were the main stand out points that any amateur can use to help improve their game. Below, I've listed a few.

Georgia and Matt walk up on to the green

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Tempo & Repetition

Firstly, the most notable factor was the rhythm and ease of her swing. At no point did the speed or tempo change while out on the course. This allowed for a consistent and repetitive motion with the outcome being a gentle draw every single time.

Speaking to Georgia, one of the best swings tips she gave was to swing it easy, something that has resulted in her winning on the LET and LPGA Tours as well as playing in three Solheim Cups. Ranking inside the top 50 for average driving distance, her timing on her tee shots was unbelievable to watch.

Temperament

The second thing was her temperament. Although this wasn’t a competitive round, Georgia was so laid back that nothing really seemed to phase her. Example A being the pitch at the first hole we played. Many in that situation would be annoyed at not getting the ball inside gimme range. However, despite leaving a putt that was a smidge longer than she would have wanted, she marked the ball, cleaned it, placed it back, took a handful of practice strokes and knocked it in for birdie. Simple.

Another factor was how quickly Georgia went from social to serious. What I mean by this is the fact you could be casually chatting but, as soon as it came to taking her shot, she would be dialled in and focused. 

I believe that a common theme with golfers, me included, is that when you are chatting to your friends on the course, your mind is still fixated on what you want to say next, as opposed to the upcoming shot. 

Georgia hits the golf ball

With Georgia's routine and play simplicity was the key

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Routine

One thing that is often neglected in golf is a routine, something that you can use to help prepare you for your shot and can also give you a trigger to know when to strike. Like all professionals, Georgia’s routine could probably be timed to the second, however, there were no overly complicated movements.

A few simple swings on the tee were then followed by the club being taken back and set at the quarter mark. From there, she looked up at the target and fired. Again, nothing overly complicated, but something that was extremely effective in getting the best results.

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.