Ladies European Tour pro Beth Allen has opened up on the difficulties facing LET members as they battle to survive a six-month period with no golf and no income.
The Ladies European Tour recently announced a record-breaking schedule that will see players compete for a total prize find of €19million across its 2021 season but, with the first tournament not until May, generating income in the present is still a major concern for its players.
“I think it’s been really hard and really tricky for a lot of the players,” Allen told bunkered.co.uk. “I haven't played a round of golf since November. I have obviously been lucky and done fairly well on tour in the past and had some money put away. I’m married, and my partner has a steady job, so that’s helpful. But I’ve had to make some tough decisions.”
One of those tough decisions for the former LET Order of Merit winner was putting golf on hold during the first lockdown to make some extra money, something that she is now thankful for.
“I had a small panic in the first lockdown and I got a job in a print shop,” she added. “The shop needed help printing Amazon labels. I lasted for about six weeks before they said they only wanted people that were going to stay long-term.
“I would definitely have taken that job now because I can’t really do any golf. Even if I was working eight hours a day, I would still have time to do a few hours practice in my flat. Having a source of income when I couldn’t play golf made me feel a bit better.
“Luckily, because I’m a resident and taxpayer here, I did get some of the self-employment benefit money. That’s been a massive help as the worry is having no income.”
The 39-year-old will get her 17th season on tour underway in May at the Investec South African Women's Open – the LET’s first scheduled tournament of the season – but even a return to competitive golf won’t allay cash flow fears for the Californian.
“For me, the worry is not having any income for all of this time and then having to go back on tour and thinking that I better make some money quickly,” explained Allen. “I’m really going to have to work on avoiding thinking about that and I am doing that with my mental coach. All of us are going to have to be wary of that.
“The schedule looks like we are going to have lots of opportunities to make money but there is still an immense amount of pressure, especially as we didn’t really have much opportunity to play last year.”