Charley Hull: Swing changes, losing a stone & Solheim
The highlight of my 2015 would have to be the Solheim Cup in Germany. I won my first four matches and the comeback in the Saturday foursomes with Suzann Pettersen, when we birdied the last four holes against Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel, was like nothing else. I was still shaking when I got back into the team room.
I also had my first hole-in-one at the start of the week. I love everything about the Solheim week: I love the atmosphere and playing in front of big crowds. In the Majors you build yourself to try and get into a good position, at the Solheim the pressure is there from the first shot.
In the end we might not have won but the Americans played amazingly in the singles, as we did for the first two days. All in all it was quite a week.
. . .
Dubai was a great way to end the LET season and I felt like I played pretty well despite not holing many putts at all.
I played with Laura Davies the first two rounds and she showed that she’s still such a great player. She had a strapped-up ankle but was still able to hit it past me (sometimes!) and there were plenty of ﬂashes of brilliance as she finished the second day just two off the lead.
In the end it was business as usual as Shanshan Feng won by 12, her third victory in four years, and, while the Emirates Course is scoreable if you are playing well, her 21-under total was phenomenal.
I’ve played with Shanshan a few times and it’s pretty hard to summarise what she does best as she’s so good at everything.
The media interest [in Paige Spiranac] was incredible, and way more than normal, so it seemed to me to be a good idea” One of the other big talking points of the week was the ’internet sensation’ Paige Spiranac playing in the event. We did a clinic together on the Friday and she seemed a nice girl. One argument was that she took up the spot of someone who was part of the tour but the media interest was incredible, and way more than normal, so it seemed to me to be a good idea.
I finished the season in eighth place which was OK as I only played in 11 events as I also started in 14 tournaments on the LPGA Tour. There were no wins but I had a lot of top 10s, I played in all five Majors and made the cut in all of them and I changed my swing at the start of the year.
I never used to like hitting my driver but now I love it and I can shape it both ways so, all in all, I feel like I’m still making progress.
. . .
The last few months I have worked really hard on my fitness and I have lost a stone since the Solheim Cup when I was a bit chubby.
I’ve started working with Justin Buckthorp who looks after players like Justin Rose and he has made such a difference to how I feel.
When I come out of the gym I feel superhuman.
I used to go to the gym and spend 10 minutes on the cross trainer and that would be it, now I spend the whole hour doing stretching, weights and band work and working really hard.
Even eight months ago I felt like my body was too young to do some of this work so now I feel like I’ve grown up physically and hopefully it will help with less injuries, as well as feeling so much better. In the next few weeks I’ll be doing as much gym work as possible which will hopefully set me up for the start of the new season.
. . .
I already can’t wait to get going in 2016. I’m in all the Majors and, as things stand, I would be in the Great Britain Olympic side, along with Catriona Matthew, for Rio, so that would be incredible.
I’ve never been to Brazil, let alone played golf there, so that would be something else after not being part of the Olympics for such a long time.
But I would have to say that having the Women’s British Open at my home course, Woburn, is the week I am looking forward to the most. I was part of the announcement at Birkdale in 2014 and I have been excited ever since.
Having all my family and friends there and staying at home will make it a week to remember whatever happens on the course. My favourite course at Woburn would be the Duchess, which is the tightest of the three, but the Duke’s and Marquess (where the Ricoh will be played) are also fantastic and have been home to various tour events and Open Qualifying. They will get the course into incredible condition – the rough will be tough and the greens slick.
Finally, Happy New Year to you all and thanks for all your support.