Amy Boulden: I plan on being at the next Solheim Cup as a playerSeptember 29, 2017 News & Tour
The LET star has just come back from the Solheim Cup as a presenter. She plans on it being quite different in two years' time
Welsh golfer Amy Boulden has had a busy time since she joined the Ladies European Tour in 2013.
Her many achievements include nine top-10 finishes and winning the LET’s Rookie of the Year prize in 2014.
The last 12 months have been equally exciting for the 24-year-old. She’s become an ambassador for Skechers Performance, presented at the Solheim Cup in Iowa, and had a fourth-place finish in the Ladies European Thailand Championship.
She tells Harriet Shephard how she’s only just getting started…
How was presenting at the Solheim?
It was really good. I was representing Skechers over there as they were the footwear sponsor for both teams. I also worked a lot on the social media side of the LET, which was something different for me.
I hadn’t been to a Solheim Cup before and it was great just to be there. It was quite cool to be on the 1st tee and inside the ropes. It was a brilliant atmosphere and both teams played so well.
Was it strange being at a tournament and not playing?
Well it was definitely less stressful! But I’m not sure that I would want to go to a Solheim again without playing in it. I’d love to be part of the team next time, it’s definitely a goal of mine.
I found presenting quite hard actually but I did enjoy it. Maybe it’s something I could do in the future, but for now it’s obviously just something to do on the side.
Was it fun chatting to the fans at the Solheim?
Yes one of my jobs for the week was doing a ‘Fan Cam’ where I was on the course interviewing the European fans just to get a sense of the atmosphere. But as it was in Iowa there weren’t actually that many there!
There were a few Americans who were dressed up in blue and yellow and supporting Europe, because I think some of them were friends of the team and things like that.
It was a nice Solheim anyway, there wasn’t any booing or anything like that.
Do you get to meet many of your fans?
We don’t really have many events where there are big crowds. But when we go to events at home it’s nice to have people there supporting us.
There’s a little girl who has come to watch me quite a few times and she’ll always draw something for me or give me a little letter, which is really nice.
I think she’s a Welsh girl too so maybe she looks up to me.
Were you pleased to get such a good finish in Thailand?
Definitely, I got a fourth place finish so it was nice just to get a bit of confidence back. I played with the girl who won in the last round and I didn’t realise she was 14, or an amateur either because I never really looked at the scoreboard. She was a great player and the golf course really suited her game.
I didn’t have a great start to the year because even though I was playing well I just wasn’t really scoring. But I’ve played well in our last couple of tournaments so hopefully I can carry that on for the rest of the year.
Were you really young when you started playing?
Yes I took up golf when I was about five. My mum, dad and two older sisters all played so I‘d just go with them after school. I think it does help when you start so young.
I also never really thought about doing anything else. If anyone asked me what I wanted to do at school I always said a golfer because there was never anything else I wanted to do. I didn’t really know anything else either.
Does your boyfriend play?
No, and he’s not allowed! He’s played a couple of times, but it’s hard work.
I like that he doesn’t really so I can keep golf and our relationship as separate things. It lets me take my mind off work for a while when I’m with him.
It’s nice because when we have some time off together we don’t really talk about golf.
Is it hard being away from him when you’re travelling?
It is, but he has quite a lot of time off in his job so that means that he can sometimes come away with me. It is difficult but everyone knows what you do and what the job entails so I guess they have to be prepared for that. It’s one of those things that people just have to accept, its not like I’m in a position where I can say, ‘OK I won’t do it anymore’. It’s what he’s signed up for unfortunately.
Do you ever travel just to go on holiday?
It’s really hard to justify going on holiday because we’re away so much anyway, and this year we haven’t actually had that many events. So I haven’t been on holiday this year. But I didn’t hit a ball for a week when I was at the Solheim Cup. It was fairly strange and I didn’t like it actually.
But I’m going on holiday to Florida in January with my family and boyfriend. We’ll take my nephew to Disneyland but I’ll also be bringing my clubs.
Do any of your friends from home play golf?
Nobody from my town. I think a lot of them probably don’t realise what I actually do. But my close friends are all very supportive, and one of them really wants to come out and watch me. But I think if she did she would be like, ‘Oh it’s actually quite cool what you do’. Because I don’t think she realises what it’s like.
Who are your best friends on tour?
I’m probably closest to Kelsey MacDonald. She’s my roommate so we spend a lot of time together. I also hang around with Holly Clyburn, Carly Booth, Sophie Walker and Annabel Dimmock. If we are at an event we sometimes try to get a whole house together so we can cook and spend some time with each other.
What else have you been doing over the summer?
I’m an ambassador for Welsh Golf so I’ve been doing some clinics around North Wales.
We always have a quite a good turn out for the clinics that are for young girls. I think it’s good for them to see someone like me who has made a career out of golf. I come from a small town, and I don’t think many people realise how popular golf is.
We also do another scheme that is for men and women of any age who are new to golf. So it’s all about trying to get more membership into golf clubs.
Do you think that golf is still viewed as an old-fashioned sport?
I think it all depends where you are in the world. In America it’s not perceived like that, especially with the LPGA having so many events and with so many people watching them. But I think it’s changing over here too, it’s not as old-fashioned as it used to be. It’s just about trying to promote that and get the message out.
Is it very competitive on the LET?
It is, but if I don’t win then I would still want my best friend to win and we do cheer each other on. But I don’t know if it’s like that in America, I think we’re a lot closer and better friends. We all still meet up even when we have time off.
Is it difficult to keep yourself motivated when you’re having a bad round?
Yeah it is, especially if you’re away for three weeks and you’re not playing well. If the people you are rooming with are having good weeks then that can make it even worse. You just get so frustrated, but you have to remember that there sometimes isn’t much in it at all between winning and just making the cut.
I think when you’re not playing well you just have to learn to still get the best of your round and not get too down.
What are you and your coach working on at the moment?
I’m working on a few things. One is keeping my posture throughout the swing because sometimes I tend to lose it at impact. But I tend not to work on too much just before an event.
Do you still get first-tee nerves?
I suppose I do, but it’s more adrenaline and the anticipation of waiting to play. I have more nerves at the bigger events, as there are always more people watching and that puts a bit of pressure on you. But I think everyone still has a few nerves on the first tee.
Was it fun playing with Laura Davies at the Ricoh Women’s British Open?
It was really cool. I actually played with her at the British Par 3 Championship as well.
I always used to watch her when I was younger and she gave me a visor when I was at the British Open one time and I’ve still got it. I told her about that at the Ricoh. It’s mad to think that I’ve played with her now.
How do you think the LET could be improved?
I think things are changing the right way at the moment. We have six or seven events between now and December which is quite a lot. So it’s a really good end to the year. It’s just about trying to get more events in Europe
We need more sponsors and we’re doing as much as we can to promote ourselves as well. I know there’s speculation that the LPGA and European Tour will join together, maybe something like that would help us.
What are your views on the new LPGA dress code?
I didn’t really think they were that bad. I would never think of wearing the stuff that was on there anyway. Like I think a racer-back top without a collar makes you look more like you are going to the gym than to play golf. We would never wear that stuff in Europe but it obviously applied a lot more to the Americans as that’s the way it’s going over there.
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