|Getting to know some of the players at Lalla Aicha Tour School Final Qualifying in Marrakech.|
Hannah Ralph at the Lalla Aicha Tour School PQ A. Credits: Mustapha Benabdelkrim
Hannah Ralph, who was born in Chichester, is the niece of respected golf professional Glenn Ralph, with more than 20 years experience on the European Tour and now on the Seniors Tour. Ralph started playing golf at the age of nine at Cowdray Park Golf Club and turned pro in 2010 after LET Tour School with a handicap of +2. She joined the Ladies European Tour the same year.
Hannah was the winner of one of the LETAS tournaments this year: the WPGA International Challenge and she finished 30th on the LETAS Order of Merit.
We interviewed Hannah at the Lalla Aicha Tour School in Rabat, where she finished second and progressed to the Final Stage.
Q: How did you start to play golf?
My dad plays as well and he took me one day when I was eight and half years to the practice ground at the Cowdray Park G.C. I have been hooked ever since and continued at the same golf club. I loved it and I still do. I have two sisters older than me but they do not play golf.
Q: Does you uncle give you any advice?
Yes, he has done over the years and coached me, which was great. He is always there if I need him.
Q: When was the first time you started to play competitions?
I was selected for England training twice and it did not really work out, then I played for my county, Sussex. I did well as an amateur and then turned professional in 2010 and played the full season.
Q: How was your first season on the Ladies European Tour?
It was good, it was a really big learning curve and I got a lot of experience from it and that is why I would love to go back there, and put some things right. I lost my card that year, so I have been playing a couple of LETAS events and different local ones these past years in 2011 and 2012.
Q: Have you any sponsors?
Yes, I have Belville Rodair. They helped me with Qualifying School, which is a massive help. They are a friend of a friend, I met them at a corporate day and they were very impressed, so they helped me with a couple of tournaments at the end of this year.
Q: What have you done this year?
Just played back home, playing local pro-ams and I played a total of four LETAS events, made the cut in Crete and missed it in Spain. They were good tests. The win at Stoke by Nayland was very important and I think this has been enough experience and I am ready for these two last events.
Q: Tell me about your game, what is the best part of your game?
I would say my driving, but my overall accuracy, too. I am always pretty straight and I do not normally tend to get in a lot of trouble. My short game is a lot more solid, but mentally, that´s the biggest change for me over the last two years. I am more relaxed, a different person and a lot more positive and chilled out on the golf course. I worked hard with my coach, who is actually caddying for me this week. I don't have a full time coach anymore now but my ex coach has been there for me over the last couple of months when I've needed another pair of eyes. Her name is Katie Dawkins.
Q: How about your putting and what is your average driving distance?
I have an old putter from a friend of mine, actually, and it is behaving quite well. My driving distance is around 240 yards carry.
Q: Your lowest round ever?
Three or four under, this year at the WPGA International Challenge.
Q: Any holes in one?
Five, the latest was probably a couple of years ago.
Q: Your favourite golf course this year
This one, Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, definitively. I love it and I think it is amazing, long and very good test and you have to give 100% focus on every shot. You have to manage all the way around it and you have to sort of shape some shots. The greens are fair, rolling well… lots of big bunkers, water hazards. It has everything, it is great.
Q: Have you many friends already on the main Tour?
Yes, I know some like Trish Johnson and Becky Brewerton, but I do not really see them a lot.
Q: Any superstitions when playing golf?
Yes, I am quite superstitious. The way in which I line up my ball on a putting green, I turn it around. I have a line draw on it.