We hear lots about the Ladies European Tour (LET) legends who have been winning competitions for years, but have you ever wondered what it’s like for the players who are new to the tour?

Sutton Coldfield golfer Elizabeth Mallett has decided to turn professional and join the LET for 2017. As she prepares for the season to begin, she gives us an insight into her day-to-day life, including her hopes, her expectations and how she’s preparing to win big…

10th tee

On where it all began…

I hit my first ever golf ball on my ninth birthday. My dad asked me if I wanted to try golf and although I didn’t know what golf was I agreed to go along. So we headed to our nearest American Golf store. I chose a 9-iron (because I turned nine that day) and a putter and headed to the driving range to try them out. This was the first step of my golfing journey that has lead to me to playing on the Ladies European Tour and my schoolgirl dreams becoming a reality.

I’ve been working towards this since I won the European Individual title at the European Girls Team Championships in 2012. I shot 64 at this competition; the lowest ever score in the event’s history!

My decision to turn pro is primarily based on my intention to compete and win tournaments on the LET – it’s an exciting prospect and opportunity. I feel I have had a well-rounded, successful amateur career.

I have represented England in both girls’ and ladies’ international competitions, set five course records all over Europe, won three English national titles, and experienced US college golf. I know I have improvements to make but I feel that it’s the right time to move on and I’m up for the rookie challenges ahead.

I wouldn’t say I’m nervous about it. Obviously there will be some new challenges to face but I’m excited to discover what they are and learn the best ways to manage them successfully. I’m really looking forward to the new experiences and I’m ready to work hard!

Practicing at Long Cove Jan 2017

On how she’s preparing…

I’m spending January in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, practicing at the Jim Ferree Learning Center at Belfair Golf Club. Here I can enjoy playing in some warmer weather and practice under the guidance of golfing legend, Jim Ferree.

Jim is very much my golfing inspiration. He’s 85 years old and has had victories on both the PGA and Champions Tour. He”s played with all the greats: Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Billy Casper, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. I have been fortunate enough to spend time with Jim and his wife Karen. They are both still great players and actively give back to the game through their strong involvement with The First Tee junior development program. To me, Jim Ferree’s infectious passion and love for the game of golf is truly inspiring.

I’ll also get to play the many golf courses on the island like Berkley Hall, Long Cove, Chechessee Creek and Sea Pines. As well as my technical swing work, I will be paying close attention to my physical training and mental game.

With an international schedule on the LET, I anticipate I will be faced with playing out of different grasses, sands and on grainy greens. Increasing my knowledge and understanding of how to adapt to these conditions is something I plan to work on. I’ll also be learning how to perform better in pressure situations by adopting routines and thought processes, this will be essential when I’m playing on a professional stage.

Jim Ferree 1st Teee at Belfair Golf Club

On what she’s looking forward to…

Having participated in Lalla Aicha Pre Qualifier A and Lalla Aicha Final Qualifying in Morocco, I would love the opportunity to play in the Lalla Meryem Cup this year. During my time in Morocco I enjoyed exploring the cities, learning about the history of the country and soaking up the culture.

The Lalla Meryem Cup will be held at Dar Es-Salam. I’ve heard wonderful things about this course from some of the club members I played with when our team won the qualifier pro-am. It would be really good if I could go back and meet up with them again and one of them might be able to caddie for me.

On going to college in the USA…

I loved being at college in America. It was an incredible part of my life. The US college golfing experience and environment isn’t really available here so, looking back, I’m glad it was an option available to me. After spending four years out there I’ve learned and experienced so many things, got to play some great golf courses, and met some amazing people.

As well as the golf, I graduated with a degree in Communications and benefitted enormously from a six-month internship at a top US-based marketing group.

With these experiences to fall back upon, I now feel well equipped to tackle my next chapter in the professional ranks.

I’ve started initial discussions aimed at attracting potential new sponsors as I start on my LET golfing adventure. I realise it’s tough when you’re at the bottom of any profession so I need support from those around me.

However, I’m slightly different in that in return for a sponsors support, I’m also capable of making an off course contribution towards developing digital business plans.

I’m also looking for someone to carry my bag on tour, so anyone interested should get in touch!

University of North Carolina Graduate

On making friends…

Some of the current LET players are very close friends of mine! I have played with many of them since I was 14. I know them from playing on the England Team and going through the England Golf training squads, playing junior golf all over Europe, and collegiate golf in the USA.

On travelling…

I love that golf allows me to travel, meet new people from different countries, and experience their environment, history and cultural heritage.

The Ladies European Tour event schedule has expanded to many new destinations in recent years so will give me with the opportunity to broaden my horizons in every respect. If I get the chance, I’d especially like to tee it up in China, India and the Middle East; they are really diverse cultures in comparison to mainland Europe.

Part of the fun is the actual logistics of dealing and coping with the travel arrangements, cancellations, delays, early morning departures that are all part of competing on the tour – so ideally I will have to prepare things as much as I can and be flexible enough to adapt when I need to.

For example, last May the UNC women’s team was competing at the NCAA regionals in California and I finished my round at 16.00 on Saturday. I quickly had to rearrange a last second overnight flight from San Jose on the west coast, to Raleigh on the east coast to make my UNC graduation ceremony that started at 9am on the Sunday.

If I can adapt to do this situation I remain optimistic that anything is possible when it comes to travelling!


On practicing…

On a daily basis I practice for a minimum of six hours; this includes practice and playing time. I plan out my practice time for the day and focus on areas I need to improve first, followed by areas of my game I feel should always be worked on and maintained.

I like to practice on the golf course to make my practice more game-like. I don’t think this will change now that I’ll be playing professional golf, but I would like to make it even more game-like and more efficient.

I also love working out at the gym! I mainly work on my speed, strength, core and flexibility because these are very important for playing golf. I do my core workout and stretching every day and complement these with four full body strength and speed workouts throughout the week.

Find out more about Elizabeth by following her on Twitter: @Eliz_Mallett

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