As the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship takes place at Royal St. George’s Golf Club this week, we caught up with Rebecca Hudson, the winner in 2000 and 2002.
How many years have you played on the LET?
I turned professional and joined the Ladies European Tour in 2002.
At what age did you start to play golf?
I started to play when I was 13.
When did you win the British Amateur Championship?
I won the first British Amateur in 2000 and again in 2002. I remember that the first one was at Walton Heath, near London and in 2002 the venue was Ashburnham, South Wales.
Did you also play in the PJSC?
No, it did not exist at that time.
What did you received from winning or playing these events?
I received a £300 voucher to spend at the pro-shop and invitations to play in the Women’s British Open, the professional championship. I remember playing in the final group with Se Ri Pak at Sunningdale the year she became the champion.
How did it prepare you for your future golf career?
Being a golf professional is a completely different thing, but I would say that this gave me the experience of playing with TV and in front of crowds. Of course, the more tournaments and golf you play, the more experience you get and the more you are able to learn.
What is the best advice you can give to a young amateur who wants to have a career in golf?
My first advice would be don’t do it on your own; either bring a friend or someone from your family to be with, because it is a very lonely life! Get a good accountant, because it is a little bit of a shock when you turned professional and you are used to be looked after so well, like when I was playing for England, but then you have to monitor all expenses and control them and justify all of them. My last advice, after my experience last week at the US Women’s Open, is to be more precise in your short game and hitting into greens.
What have you learnt from playing on the LET?
I have learnt a lot. I don’t know whether I was lucky to have such a good amateur career or not, because when I came on tour, maybe I thought it was going to be really easy and then, in my first year on tour I found it exceptionally lonely and I did not enjoy it very much. I missed playing for Great Britain and England, I missed my team mates and I missed having that togetherness. When you come on tour everything changes. At the end of the day no one cares if you played well or badly, so it takes a bit of getting used to and this is why it is important to have a friend to give you that support. So I have learned how to separate golf from being something funny with the team and being my job: you practice, you do your job and then you go home. The overall experience is great. When it’s good it’s great and when it’s bad it’s hard, so you have to learn how to go through it.
What is your message to the English Team players at the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters Pro-Am, who will be at the European Team championship next week?
The European Team Championship is a fabulous week, so play for each other, play for your country and enjoy! Play with pride and passion and do better than the football (laughs).