An interview with the 1982 Women’s British Open champion Marta Figueras-Dotti

Marta Figueras-Dotti of Spain won the 1982 Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale and now works with the Royal Spanish Golf Federation (RFEG).
Marta Figueras-Dotti

Marta Figueras-Dotti of Spain won the 1982 Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale and now works with the Royal Spanish Golf Federation (RFEG).

She is often seen on the Ladies European Tour, supporting the Spanish players and occasionally acting as a caddie, so we caught up with her to discuss her memories, her current vocation and her vision for the future.

CHAPTER ONE: THE PAST

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Marta in 1988 in New Jersey

What do you remember from that victory, back in 1982?

Marta: Well, it was long time ago, but I do remember the course quite well. I also remember that the putting was my best part of my game that week. I also remember the last couple of rounds I played .I remember playing the round the night before in the hotel: I was not leading; I was two shots off the lead... but I think I played that whole round the night before (mentally) a few times!

My coach (Pepe Gallardo) was there and I played with Charlotte Montgomery and Jenny Lee Smith. I was leading by two shots with one hole to play and I think I bogeyed the last hole. I was young, restless and fearless. The year before I finished second at the British Open as well: it was fun! I was an amateur and I could turn pro at that time but finally, I did not do it because I had a commitment to play the World Championship in Geneva in October, for Spain.

CHAPTER TWO: THE PRESENT

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How do you see golf now and how do you think it has changed from that period?

Marta: I think the biggest change right now is the equipment. I do not remember exactly if it was the “big” ball that we played, but I remember playing that particular event with a wooden driver, an old McGregor wooden driver. Metal woods did not exist and only one sand wedge. I had this old 56 (I think it was 56 degrees).....and did everything with that.

I think equipment, technology and obviously the golf courses have been made longer because of this....and also the strength. Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam set a pace of how important the physical part of the body was and is nowadays in golf.

It is great to see! I am not against technology but I think you also have to keep that on one side and also have the ability to play any kind of shots in any kind of conditions and course, without having four wedges on your bag. But everything has improved in general: you hit it longer and straighter and it is easier!

How has the mental part of the game changed?

Marta: It has always been there, but we have been made more aware of that. I never had a psychologist until I was on tour at the LPGA... and I could win. But it definitely helps.

Which current player impresses you the most? Which player do you think has more of a future here in Europe and in the rest of the world?

Marta: This one is tough...There are few that have impressed me but definitively one that I am going to say and I have known her for long time, is Carlota Ciganda. She has got that ability that I was talking about before. I also like her attitude on the golf course. Worldwide, there are a lot of Asian players that are great like Yani Tseng and Na Yeon Choi, who are really hard workers and with huge determination. Their short game is magnificient and Azahara Muñoz: she is a very-complete, easy player, like Carlota.

With Helen Alfredson and Anne Marie Palli in 1991

CHAPTER THREE: THE FUTURE

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How do you see golf in the future? How do you think the Olympics in 2016 are going to affect golf and women’s golf?

Marta: I think that it is going to affect it a lot in terms of support, because I think women’s golf needs more support worldwide. Still, we are far behind men’s golf. I would like to get women’s golf near the men’s golf and get more support from media and sponsors, but I still have doubts about that, because the way it is going to happen, the way the players are going to qualify for the Olympics, it is two players by team and based on the Rolex World Golf Rankings. I do not know but I am hopeful that It is going to help. People need to believe in women’s golf in the same way that it happened many years ago in tennis. We need more sponsorship and more media coverage, exposure and this is not happening for some reason. I just hope that the Olympics would help to take that step up for women’s golf. It really deserves it!

Article from Ladies European Tour:
http://www.ladieseuropeantour.com/main_article.php?id=61899&pid=1005
Published: 10/09/2012

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