Esquire Q&A: Charley Hull
Even by today’s standards you’re quite a young face in golf. You left school at the age of 13 to become a professional, what do you miss the most about being a teenager in normal circles?
I honestly think I had a normal childhood, I was home-schooled but still got to see my friends a lot…I just enjoyed playing golf. I want to keep things normal even coming out of my teens, just as they were in my childhood because you can’t get those years back.
Are you under a lot of pressure to move to America to continuing your clearly burgeoning golf career there?
Not really at the moment because I’ve hopefully got another 20 or 30 years to play golf. For me, right now it’s just about enjoying myself because these are the years where you have fun with your mates, party and do things like that.
Who was your inspiration on the course growing up?
On the golf course Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods were the golfers I really enjoyed watching.
Did you watch a lot of women’s golf as a child?
To be honest I didn’t watch women’s golf a lot, I watched more men’s golf. But I obviously saw videos of Laura Davies winning her Majors and so on, but it was the men’s game majority of the time. It’s good to see the women’s game coming up now.
Do you think Tiger Woods will ever get back to his former self?
Yes I think he will win another major because he’s something special. I love Tiger and I know that he had a hard time a few years ago but in my eyes, he’s still one of my heroes.
How much does your psyche influence your golf?
A lot because you can’t think too much, you’ve got to stay focused but it’s important to switch off at the same time as well.
Do you find it easy to keep your temperament under control?
Yes, I don’t slam my clubs very often at all. I just go with the flow and if I don’t hit it fine, then I hit it again.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
There are a lot of OCD things that I do, but if I list them all we’ll be here for ages and you’ll think that I’m a complete weirdo…
Give us a couple…
My sister thinks I’m a odd because I do so many weird things that I don’t even realise. For instance, I like to play with the same number of golf balls, tee pegs and stuff like that. Sometimes I delete the Twitter app from my phone because I don’t like to have a lot of Tweets in the morning of a game.
What is the downside of what you do?
You travel a lot and always live in a suitcase so you can’t take a lot of clothes with you.
How do you switch off when you’re not playing? Do you still watch golf?
I don’t really watch that much TV, I’ll probably watch some movies or the American TV series called The 100. It’s about a nuclear war in the future which caused people go out to space and the survivors at the space station then come back to earth. It’s really cool and there’s a hot guy in it too so I watch it. I don’t really watch much golf except for the odd bits on Sunday when it’s really good.
We saw that you recently won Best Dressed at a program dinner in China. How much thought do you put into your outfits on and off the course?
I like dressing up when I go out. When I’m on the golf course then I’m this sporty person, but when I’m at home I like my dresses and going shopping. On the course, I sort my outfit out beforehand but occasionally it changes. Sometimes I really want to stand out and wear pink but that’ll happen when I get older and have the time to sit down and think ‘I want to wear that, that and that’.
What would you be if you weren’t a golfer?
In previous interviews I’ve said that I wanted to be a spy because I was pretty good at eavesdropping when I was younger. But I really think it would be something to do with space because I like space. I reckon I would be an outdoor person, being on a survival courses and so on would be fun because I’d like a bit of a challenge.
What’s the single best piece of advice you could give?
Never back down even if you’re having a bad day and never give up.
What would you like to see more or less of in the women’s game?
I don’t really know because we’re getting some really good games out there now. It would be just more people watching it. Michelle Lee has done a lot which is really good. I think Amy Boulden will do a lot of things, she’s a good friend of mine, really pretty and a very good golfer as well. Young kids look up to her as well because she dresses nicely.