Amber Ratcliffe during Lalla Aicha Tour School Pre-Qualifier A. Credits Mustapha Benabdelkrim
18-year-old Amber Ratcliffe was born in Norwich, England and she is still amateur. Her dad is with her every time she plays and he is also one of her golf coaches now. He was a very good player and he has been with her from the start.
Amber has had a fantastic year, travelling far and wide and attending the Australian Youth Olyimpics and the PING Junior Solheim Cup in Colorado. She also played her first professional LETAS event, the WPGA Challenge at Stoke by Nayland and finished tied 8th.
We interviewed the Norfolk Ladies champion at the Lalla Aicha Tour School in Rabat, where she finished tied for 10th and went forward to the Final Qualifier.
Q: When and how did you start to play golf?
I started to play golf when I was 12 because my dad and brother played. I come from a golfing family. This was in my hometown at the Royal Cromer Golf Club, two minutes from where I live. I loved it right from the start and I still practice there. At the beginning, my father was more focused in my brother, as he was a good player and then, it was my turn. Now, I beat my brother.
Q: When did you first play for your National team?
It was a couple years ago, when I was 15 or 16. I went to Hungary, which was my first event, at the European Young Masters. I have also played some Junior and Ladies Vagliano Trophies.
Q: You were a member of the European PING Junior Solheim Cup Team this year. Tell us about your experience there.
It was an unbelievable experience, I loved every minute out there. I remember when I shake hands with Annika Sorenstam. Annika has always been my idol right from the start so, to meet her was incredible. It was such a big event. It was great.
Q: What are your plans for next year?
It all depends of how I do this week and following week, but if I do not get my card, I will stay amateur and play the Curtis Cup.
Q: Tell us about your game, what is the best part of your game? And the weakest part?
My long game and definitely my long irons. I am very accurate and quite long. I normally play in a very windy golf course on the coast, so I am used to play under windy conditions. Putting is probably my weakest part, but it is getting much better. The past year I have learned a lot.
Q: What do you think you would need to become a LET player?
I think I would need to pitch a little bit closer and hole more putts.
Q: Who is currently coaching you apart from your father?
Ryan Pudney, Guy Ireson and Nick Catchpole look after my long and short game, we work together as a team. The English Squad take care of the physical part and mental game. I am still under their radar.