SHE may not be ready to stride off into the sunset of women’s golf just yet, but Britain’s most decorated golfer, Dame Laura Davies, insists the hopes of the nation remain in very capable hands.
The Coventry-born 51-year-old knows what it means to be successful in women’s golf, having won more European Tour titles than any other woman in history with 45, and also has four major titles to her name.
And despite Team Europe’s loss at a controversial Solheim Cup, where the USA produced a stunning comeback to win 14.5-13.5 in Germany, Davies is confident in the talent coming out of England.
Mel Reid and Charley Hull both showcased their immense talents last weekend in European colours, and with the prodigious Hull in particular on track to retain the Order of Merit title she won last season, the future is bright according to Davies.
“They did really well for such a young team,” she said.
“All of them had played a Solheim Cup before which helped, but then even behind them there are so many youngsters coming through who can push them for positions in the next one.
“Charley Hull just gets up and she does it. She reminds me of myself a little bit. She plays golf the way I used to when I was young.
“She’s fearless out on the golf course. She’s such a natural player and I just love to watch her play golf. She made an incredible start to her career, coming in with pretty much no experience and picked up top five finishes all over the place – she’s a once in a lifetime type of talent.
“Then there’s Mel Reid who is so aggressive in her golf. She’s not quite as natural as someone like Charley, but I think to be a great champion now you absolutely have to be an aggressive golfer, and it’s lovely to have two English girls who are getting on so well.”
Davies was speaking at the SSE Women’s Invitational, an event which paved the way for female executives from all industries to mix business and golf.
And as one of the R&A’s first ever female members, Davies couldn’t be more in favour of getting more women out on the course and breaking down the barriers preventing more diversity in golf.
She added: “Women’s golf, especially in England, is in such great shape at the moment. But from a business side of things, we play a pro-am every single week, and it’s always with men, and it’s such a shame.
“Nine times out of ten there are no women in the group. But they should be out there, partly because it’s such fun and because it’s great for business.
“I think people are sometimes put off because they think golf is boring, because it is slow. It’s really important we do something about that.
“The game has to adapt to make it easier for people to get out and play.”
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