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Interview with Carly Booth ahead of the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters

Carly Booth moved to the top of the LET’s ISPS Handa Order of Merit after her second win of the season at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open and is now determined to keep the momentum going in Prague.

You are known as a long hitter. Do you feel this course will suit you?

Yes, I think it’s definitely a driver’s course. It’s pretty wide open and I think if you do hit it that little bit further it brings the par fives into play for hitting the green in two so I think it’s a good course that’s suited for me and I’m looking forward to this week.

Can you reach all the par fives in two shots?

Playing it yesterday, I managed to hit them all but it wasn’t that windy. I know from last year that the wind gets up here and especially hole 10 can be out of reach.

What do you think about this golf course and the condition?

It’s beautiful. The conditions are awesome and the greens are rolling just wonderfully. It’s in even better condition than last year, so it’s looking great.

What do you think about the changes on the course?

I think it’s brilliant. I love the course and it’s looking even better this year.

What are your goals for this season now that you’re leading the order of merit?

It’s overwhelming to be honest. I think now I’ve re-set my goals to try and stay there so just keep playing the way I’m playing and hopefully I can continue leading the money list.

I read that you wanted to win two tournaments before you were 20. When did you set this goal?

I won the Scottish and it gave me that boost of confidence that I could go out there and win another. I set my goal to get another one before I turned 20 so I had four or five events to do that. I did it in the last chance I had so it was pretty special.

Carly jumped five feet in the air three times after making her eagle putt to win the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open

Carly, you didn’t make it through qualifying school but now you have won two tournaments. What was the turning point?

At the start of the year I went to play in my first Access Series event because we had a month off after Morocco and there were no tournaments. I decided to just go play two Access events and the first one I played, I won it. I think that just gave me a boost of confidence. I was practising in Dubai for a month at the start of the year and my golf was coming along very nicely. I was feeling pretty happy with my game so it was just about taking it into the tournament rounds. I then played the Scottish and it was just like, yeah, my game is finally coming together. I just tried to enjoy it more this year. I felt like last year I was maybe putting too much pressure on myself to perform and my golf didn’t perform to where it should be. Again, I found new love, so I think that’s helped too.

Do you still sometimes practice on the course your father built for you when you were small?

When I’m home. I haven’t been home since the Sunday of the Scottish so it will be eight weeks but when I’m home it’s nice to go out there and practice and go out there at any time of the day wearing whatever I want. It’s so my own and I can play my music really loud. It’s nice to have that. I think that’s where I benefited a lot when I was younger, being able to achieve what I did when I was that age, with having the golf course in my garden.

When did you father build the course?

I was probably about five years old when he started. We have 100 acres so we have sheep and cows. My older brother got into golf when he was about nine years old. When Wallace started to like the game my dad decided to make a hole for him to practice at outside the house. That one hole became three holes and then became five and then nine and now 15, so, again with me, I liked golf too when I was that age and it became a hobby for my dad. I think he loved making the golf course.

What about the sheep and cows?

They got less space! To be fair, we have 100 acres so we have a lot of land and it didn’t interfere with the sheep eating!

How often do you play that course?

Because I’m hardly home, hardly ever, if I’m honest. I’m also attached to Gleneagles so when I’m home I tend to go there. Even when I’m home I’m not there for very long so I tend to arrange games with friends on different courses in Scotland so I’m always on the move.

You were an international gymnast, so how does it help being so strong and flexible?

It’s definitely helped my golf game, especially with my distance and with my dad being a sportsman he wanted all of us to try every sport when we were young. I was a swimmer also and I nearly swam for Scotland. Sport was a very big thing in our family. I’m so happy that I went to gymnastics and spent six years doing that. It was definitely not going to be a career path but it was something that I’m so grateful for.  

Why golf?

I think I was a little bit too tall for gymnastics and I think with my brother wanting to take golf as a career path age eight for me, I got my first handicap and I started to achieve more. I was standing out more at golf because there were very few girls that played it in my area and there were so many good gymnasts. As well, when you’re a gymnast, your career ends at 25 and with golf it can last a lifetime and plus there’s money in golf as well.

I read some articles that you might be thinking about going to the LPGA?

I’ve always said that I wanted to find my feet first on this tour before going out there. I think it’s quite difficult to juggle both but now that I have a few year exemption on this tour it does give me the chance to go out there and not feel the pressure to try and keep my card on this tour. Maybe I’m going to go and try next year.

On Twitter, you wrote: Life is short, buy the shoes! So how was the shopping?

I was shopping last night. I was only browsing to be honest. When I go home next Monday I’m going to go shopping so I’m seeing what to buy so I know where to go.

What are you going to do for your birthday?

I’ve no idea. I’m playing the Pro Am and going to the Pro Am dinner so I’m going to celebrate when I go home I think, because I haven’t even celebrated for winning Scotland. Spend some time with the family and maybe go out with some friends.

You won in Switzerland last week. Your caddie was a European Tour player. What was the biggest help from him?

To be honest, it was such a crazy week. We’ve only been together three or four months. It’s the first time he’s seen me… we’ve only played golf together practising once, so it was the first time he’d seen me in a tournament round. The first time for him to ever caddie, so it was his first experience ever caddying. Everything seemed to be my week because I got my first hole in one. I finally got to play with Laura Davies, which I’ve been dying to play with for since I turned pro and I won the tournament, so I think he was definitely my lucky charm for the week.

How did you celebrate your win in Switzerland?

I jumped five feet in the air three times, so no back flips. I think I’m getting too old now.

Do the wins give you a boost financially?

It’s opened some doors, to think that money, this year, is not an issue. Thinking about how expensive a tour caddie would be for the year and all those little things. It’s definitely a huge weight off my shoulders and I feel I can benefit more throughout the year now.




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