Georgia Hall is one of England's finest golfers, and at only 27 years of age, she has the potential to go down as a great of the game before time is called on her playing career.
Hall turned professional in 2014 and won the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit title in both 2017 and 2018, the latter thanks in principle to her stunning win at the AIG Women's Open. Since then, she's triumphed on the LPGA Tour and been part of three consecutive winning Solheim Cup teams.
Earlier this year, the Englishwomen – who has been as high as eighth in the women's Rolex Rankings – spoke to Emma Booth about what it takes to reach the top level.
She also discussed her passage into the professional game, her experience as a female amateur, her career so far, single-mindedness and more...
Did you come across much jealousy as a good junior girl coming up through golf?
It was more at golf clubs where I experienced it. When I wanted to be off the white tee markers at my club, I got complained about a couple of times. Some people felt that as a girl, I shouldn’t have been off the whites. So I’m not sure if it was perhaps jealousy or if it was just that someone wanted to complain. But that’s what I experienced and it wasn’t very nice, as I played off whites back then to make the course longer, and of course to make it harder for me. I’ve been pretty lucky, I think, in most things. I don’t feel I’ve had a lot of jealousy from other people.
How do you think we can keep girls in golf as teenagers?
I think number one, they have to be the type of person to be committed to something. I think it’s hard to encourage someone who doesn’t want to be there. Having friends who do the sport is very important, because a lot of youngsters tend to follow their friends and what they do, and I think if you have a group that are really into sport and really like competing against each other, that’s the best way to get into it.
I never really had that, but I was the type of person who wanted to succeed. Even when I was younger, I was competitive in whatever I did, so that helped me. I do think a lot of it is personality type. There was no one local to me until I got to county level, but you’re either in it or you’re not.
In the amateur ranks, there are always a select few girls who are tipped for the top, but only one or two from each generation seem to make it. Why do you think that is?
I was with maybe ten or 15 in England just as good as me, and I would say only two or three have made it. I think you have to be the type of person who makes it the number-one priority in your life and sacrifices other things to try to be the best in the world. I think lots of players think they have that, but when it gets to it, they don’t and they want other things.
It could be they don’t want to be away from home and they hate travelling; maybe they hate being alone out on tour or maybe they could do 10 weeks a year, but they can’t do a whole schedule, so they lose interest that way. It takes quite a few things to be good mentally, let alone actually playing well. How you are mentally is half the battle. The ones who have done well, there are one or two things we all have in common. We would do anything to make it.
What is the smallest thing you’ve changed that’s had the biggest impact on your game?
I think being quicker on the course, believe it or not. Just having less time thinking about shots and thinking about decisions. It really frees up my mind on the course and that way I have more energy towards the end. There are four days of five hours a round and it’s a long time, so it’s about just thinking simpler and getting on with it, instead of taking a bit too long over the ball and thinking about the shot.
What advice would you give anyone who dreams of becoming the next big thing?
I would say don’t follow other people and listen to what you like, what you believe in and what you want to do as a golfer. Live where you want to live. Just because it works for someone, it doesn’t mean it works for everyone. I think that’s the main thing. I think it’s very important not to just follow other people because it’s working for them. Just do what makes you happy regarding your choices.
For example, a lot of players move to America. I don’t want to; Charley Hull doesn’t want to. And we’re very happy doing it that way and therefore we are happier on the course, because we’re content being at home. It’s the same for coaching. I don’t have many lessons because I know that’s what works best for me. Other people would need to see their coach three times a month. So I think just remember what you did in the past and liked, and try to stick to the same.
I think a lot of the players who have made it are very individual-thinking. We have really close friends, don’t get me wrong. But when it comes to golf, we know what we need to do to improve our game by ourselves. You’re obviously out there and you want to beat each other all the time.
What have you got your sights set on going forward?
Throughout my career, I’ve been very consistent, had some really good finishes and been in contention a few times. I would like to take it up another notch and would love to contend more often, especially in the USA and Majors. My goal in every event is just to try and win, to do the best I can. I’d love to get into the world top 10. Like anyone, I go out and do my best. I think I’m in a good place to do that. I’m playing well and mentally very focused on what I want to do.
Can you tell us about your golf academy at Paultons Golf Centre?
I won’t be coaching, but I’ll be speaking to the coaches. I’ll still do my daytime job. I’m not yet into coaching, but I’ve opened an academy for youngsters and people wanting to start up the game. I’ll do some guest appearances and speak to all the guys there, meet them and give some more insight into how I want the course or the range to look, especially the practice facilities.
What led you to this involvement, is it wanting to give back to junior golf?
Yes, definitely. It’s really nice for me to see the other side of golf – not just playing but getting involved more in the facilities and the golf course side of things. Maybe one day I’ll get to help design one. I’d love to be involved in different aspects. I’m not 18 anymore and I want to give more of my insight, given I’ve played on the best courses in the world. I can bring some advice back here, especially near where I live.
How excited are you about your partnership with Rohnisch and wearing the brand’s clothing?
Yeah, I’m pretty excited and as soon as I got my first packages through, I was really excited to wear the clothing. I think it’s very trendy and a bit more ‘me’. Rohnisch is more of what I like to wear. It has a lot of different styles and colours, and material is very important in golf clothing because I tend to go to very hot climates. It has to be something comfortable where you can stay cool, so I’m very happy with Rohnisch and what I’ve seen so far.
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Emma has worked in the golf industry for more than 20 years. After a successful amateur career, she decided to pursue her true golfing passion of coaching and became a qualified PGA Professional in 2009. In 2015, alongside her husband Gary, who is also a PGA Professional, they set up and now run Winchester Golf Academy, a bespoke 24 bay practice facility offering not only all the latest technology but a highly regarded bistro. Emma is happy coaching all golfing abilities but particularly enjoys getting people into the game and developing programs to help women and juniors start and improve. Her 2022 Get into Golf program saw more than 60 women take up the game.
Emma is a member of TaylorMade’s Women’s Advisory Board, which works to shape the product offering and marketing strategy with the goal of making it the number one brand in golf for women. When not changing lives one swing tweak at a time Emma can be found enjoying life raising her three daughters and when time allows in the gym.
- Nick BonfieldContent Editor
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