Ahead of the Women's Open last year, bunkered interviewed Solheim Cup record-breaker Laura Davies.
The 51-year-old spoke about how she would never lead Europe at the Solheim Cup, 2014 Order of Merit winner Charley Hull and, after it was announced recently that Davies has been given an honorary membership to Royal & Ancient GC, she said at the time about how if the R&A said no, it would be "the most ridiculous thing ever".
Charley Hull is an exciting talent. Looking back to the Solheim Cup last year , I know we had a lot of good players that week but Charley was the star of the show, especially beating Creamer in the singles the way that she did. She’s confident without being cocky and it shows in the way that she handles herself on and off the course.
Charley reminds me of me at the same age. The first time we were paired together was in Morocco last year and she was up against a tree with very little backswing and I thought she was just going to lay up and take her medicine. Somehow she hit a low 3-iron to the front of the green and got up and down to save par. I said to myself, 'This girl is special’.
Just like Tiger, Charley will be setting an example to young players. Tiger made the game more interesting and that’s why more people started to play. It would be great if more young girls take an interest in golf instead of other sports because of what Charley’s done.
It looks like it’s an exciting time for British girl golfers right now and, to be fair, it’s about time, too. As well as Charley, you’ve got Mel Reid, who was maybe expected to do what Charley’s done. There’s also Georgia Hall and Stephanie Meadow, who look like good prospects, too.
There's a new breed of youngsters that aren't going to play the normal play. They're going to get after it and that's what I have always tried to do.
Carin Koch will be an excellent Solheim Cup captain. She’s already done a couple of stints as a vice-captain, so she was the obvious and natural choice. The perfect choice, in a lot of ways. I think she’ll do really well.
The thing about Annika Sorenstam is that she never gives up. She’s someone you’d always want on your team. I expect she’ll be the next European Solheim Cup captain after Carin because she wants to do the job in America. That would make sense. She lives out there and so would be able to get to events and do everything that is required much easier.
Would I want the Solheim Cup captaincy? Nah. I’m not interested in it. It’s not really my cup of tea. It doesn’t really fit my personality. I’d be a vice-captain but not a captain. Everyone thinks I should be one, and they’re probably right, but I’m not sure I’d be any good at it.
Am I surprised it has taken Michelle Wie as long as it has to establish herself? Not really. I think she made a mistake playing against the men as long as she did. I think she was quite poorly advised and it all got to her.
Even so, I’ve always said Michelle would be world No.1 one day and I still believe that. Absolutely.
Have I ever tried Michelle’s putting stance? I can’t say I have - I think my back would give way! I don’t particularly like it, to be honest, but as long as it works for her, then great.
The Ladies European Tour has to get better because, if it doesn’t, it’s going to be hard to keep our best players playing over here. It really worries me that some talented young girls could drift out of the game because of a lack of opportunities for them over here.
From the outside, the LET doesn’t look that great. But we’ve got a new chief executive and I think he should be judged on how he does next year. I’m hearing a lot of good things about him and I know he’s trying his best to make things better. I would be surprised if things haven’t improved in a year’s time.
It’s good that the Ricoh Women’s British Open is being played the week before the Open Championship this year. Anytime we can get something off the back of what the men are doing is great. It can only be a good thing for us and will help put the girls in the spotlight.
If the Royal and Ancient Golf Club says ‘no’ to allowing female members, it will be the most ridiculous thing ever. My biggest worry about it is if they do vote against it, then the LGU might stop taking the Women’s British Open to the Old Course. The thought that some young girls might not get to play that tournament at St Andrews in the future is much more tragic, in my opinion, than women not being allowed to join the golf club.
Because my world ranking has sunk really low, I’ve had to go back to qualifying for some tournaments. It’s like I’m starting all over again, in some ways, and having to work my way back up. But although I’m 50, I’m still enthusiastic and still as determined as ever. It’s not like I’m going everywhere with a walking stick.
It’s funny, sometimes I watch Lee Westwood on the telly and I find myself screaming at him because he leaves so many putts short. The thing is, though, that’s been my biggest problem for a while, too.
My one big remaining ambition is to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship. That would see me complete the career grand slam and get into the women’s hall of fame. I firmly believe I can still do it, too. Others might not but I do. The day you stop believing in yourself, it’s time to give up.
You only get one chance in this game, maybe two if you’re lucky. That’s why you’ve got to strike while the iron’s hot.
Laura Davies in bunkered
This interview with Laura Davies first appeared in issue 132 of bunkered (published: June 2014).