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 thanks to Burton Latimer prodigy Charley Hull.
The 19-year-old sensation is on course to retain the European Order of Merit title she won last year – currently sitting third in the standings – having claimed the Rookie of the Year award in her debut 2013 season.
Hull also impressed during her second Solheim Cup appearance last weekend, where despite claiming four points from her five matches, her side went down 14.5-13.5 to a stunning American comeback on Sunday.
But her performance was shrouded was shrouded in controversy after an incident on Sunday morning, which saw American Alison Lee pick up a short putt that Hull’s playing partner Suzann Pettersen failed to concede.
The ensuing penalty for the USA fired the side up and was turning point of the competition, however Davies is adamant Hull had done nothing wrong and believes she has all the tools in her locker to be the best in the game.
“The girls played brilliantly apart from Sunday. 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 hits a shot, goes and finds it, and then hits it again. She doesn’t dwell on it or take too much time.
“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.”
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.
The 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 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.
“We were talking about pace of play all weekend at the Solheim Cup, and we need to make it change so that when you go out to the golf course it’s not five or six hours, it’s just three.
“The game has to adapt to make it easier for people to get out and play.”
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