In this interview with the 2011 Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open champion Diana Luna, the 29-year-old Italian discusses her golfing roots, career progress and her emotional win in Losone last year.
How did you get into golf?
My parents used to play and so they were used to bringing me to the golf course every weekend. When I was about 12 years old I decided to start playing.
Was it unusual for a girl to play golf in Italy?
It was quite unusual at the time. Now it’s becoming more popular.
Looking at your career, you won your first event in 2004 and then you had some lean years after that. What were the reasons?
You just go by steps. The first win was very important but of course you need to improve and to get better so you need to make some changes. I also made some changes in my life because I got married in 2005, so I moved house and I was struggling a little bit in the beginning with the new life, even though it was of course a better life. It just takes time to get used to it.
Are you saying that your focus was taken off golf?
A little bit, of course. You are getting married, moving house, you are starting a new life so it takes time to get used to it.
Your daughter, Elena, born in April 2010, is two years old now. Ever since you’ve had her, your form has improved massively.
I’ve been working very hard since the birth of Elena. It was of course hard to get back to form but I think I just got one step forward compared to before. I’m feeling stronger now and it’s amazing what being a mum can do. Once you’re a mum, you know that golf is like, okay. It’s just golf. You take things more easily, even though I still work very, very hard, even harder than before.
How much does Elena travel with you?
I’m trying to half and half because I want her with me of course but I also want her to stay home and have a normal child’s life with my husband, as well.
Was she with you in Losone when you won?
She wasn’t in Germany; she was in Switzerland. That’s good because you know you can do well with her by your side.
Was it special to see your daughter on the course in Losone?
That was great. I was so happy to see her. When I saw her afterwards it was so emotional. I am really very, very happy.
How did you feel after your win in Losone?
I felt very emotional at that moment because I wasn’t expecting it. In the middle of the nine I wasn’t playing great and I made a few bad shots. I was feeling a little tired. I really managed to hold together and keep going despite being very happy and tired. It was really emotional for me and I managed to stay in the game and I’m really, really, glad about it.
Looking forward, in ten years’ time, do you still see yourself playing golf regularly?
It’s very hard to tell. Life is such an incredible experience because you don’t know what is going to happen. I don’t know. I’m just enjoying the moment and enjoying being on tour now and looking forward to seeing what happens.
Diana Luna Fact file:
Born 3/9/1982 – Rome
Turned Professional 2001
Joined Tour 2001
Career Victories (Last) 5 (2011)
2004 Tenerife Ladies Open, 2009 AIB Ladies Irish Open, supported by Failte Ireland, 2009 SAS Ladies Masters (Norway), 2011 UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi, 2011 Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open.
Solheim Cup 2009
Lowest Round 65 (6 times)
Website: www.dianaluna.it. Twitter: @DianaLunaOdB.