This year LET member Beth Allen will represent the USA alongside Amelia Lewis at the World Ladies Championship in China. This will be Allen’s third appearance in the tournament at Mission Hills Resort Haikou, where she finished seventh and 12th in the individual event in 2012 and 2013 respectively. She is carrying some strong form into the tournament, having tied for third at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open hosted by Christchurch in the opening LET event of 2014.
You have played at Mission Hills Haikou before. How excited are you to be going back?
I am very excited to come back to Mission Hills! It's a wonderful Resort and both of the courses we have played have been a great test of golf. I've had some success there so I'm really looking forward to it!
How excited are you to be returning to China?
China is always an interesting place to visit for us. It is so different from Europe so we always gain new experiences. Everyone is always so friendly and welcoming there too so yes I am looking forward to returning to China.
What are your impressions of Mission Hills Resort Haikou?
My first impression of Mission Hills Resort Haikou is how big it was! It's a massive resort that has so much to offer, especially to a golfer. The hot springs are amazing, the spa is fantastic, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from and of course there is no shortage of golf. Twelve courses with a very large practice facility is pretty impressive.
What is special about this venue?
The venue is really special because it is very different from most places that we travel to. It is luxurious and always a great week for us. We get to play championship courses and enjoy the hot springs, spas and nice hotel rooms.
How does this compare with the other venues on tour?
Mission Hills Haikou is different to some of the other venues that we play because it is very accessible. It makes it an easy week to be able to get out of bed and walk to the driving range. Then after the round go upstairs to the comfort of your hotel room and then walk to dinner at one of the resorts fine restaurants. The courses that we have played are both quite different from each other too. One was more quirky than the other so there's a variety of golf which keeps us guessing.
What do you think of the Chinese food?
My favorite food in the whole world is Dim Sum! I love steamed dumplings of all kinds! Some of the other stuff like chicken feet, turtle, duck tongue I can live without but I'm always trying something new when I visit China!
What do you think of the unique 3-in-1 pro, team and amateur format?
The pro am format with three amateurs and one pro is always good because it's fun to be a part of a team for everyone. Everyone gets a chance to participate and that's what it's all about.
What are your personal goals for the tournament?
Well, I would love to win. That has been a goal of mine for many years now. I have done fairly well in the previous two WLCs so I'm hoping to improve my result this year!
Do you feel your game is good enough to win?
Yes I do feel my game is good enough. I came close to winning a few weeks ago in New Zealand and have had a decent start to the year so I think I can win.
What are your general goals for this year?
My goals for the year are to improve my position on the Order of Merit from last year, to play in as many majors as I can, to improve my fitness and to win!
How have you been preparing for the WLC at Mission Hills and how are you approaching the new season?
For the first time in my career I took five weeks off from golf during the off season to recharge my battery. I have taken time off for surgery before but never willingly given myself a break. After Dubai I didn't touch a club until January 7th and then practiced and worked on my fitness hard for two weeks before heading to Australia. I feel that combined with my diet change that I made in October has given me more energy for the season. I've played five events in five weeks so I am certainly prepared to tee it up at Mission Hills.
Do you have any new hobbies or have you done anything particularly interesting or noteworthy over the off-season or last few weeks?
I don't have any new hobbies. I've been practicing yoga pretty seriously for about a year now so I've just been maintaining that and of course singing some karaoke here and there!
Is there anything new in your set-up this year, i.e. new clubs, coach, fitness regime, charity work, sponsor etc?
I started Herbalife, a new diet and nutrition program in October of last year and it has been a major lifestyle change for me. I'm hoping it will continue to help improve my golf and general well being. I have the same clubs as last year but have changed balls to the new Taylormade Tour Preferred ball that I'm really happy with so far. I have no new sponsors but I'm certainly always looking!