It was a four and a half journey from their home in Essex. For any golf fan, it shows the level of commitment that many will go to in order to see their golfing icons in action. Leaving home in the early hours of the morning, Rosie Boyce was on a mission to see her favourite golfer in action. Her father, John, was in desperate need of a coffee following that particular journey. With little open by the time they had arrived, thankfully for him, it would be a journalist that provided the much needed pick me up.
It was a chance encounter as I saw my colleague chatting with John and his 13-year-old daughter. Straight away, I liked them. Rosie, for her passion for the game and John for being prepared to take that long journey in order to cement her passion. If that is not love, then I don’t know what is.
“Who is your favourite golfer?” I asked.
The reply came almost instantly. “Charley Hull!” Rosie exclaimed.
It is easy to understand why. Charley has become massively important within the women’s game. She oozes personality and has a game to match it. It is no wonder that Rosie looks towards Hull as her golfing heroine.
John had previously been in contact with Charley’s management and was lucky enough to get some signed merchandise for his daughter’s birthday. That made Rosie’s day but things were about to get even better for the young lady.
Strolling around Royal Lytham St Annes, Rosie managed to fill her flag with signatures. It was an impressive site to see when I saw them later in the day. This is what I love most about women’s golf. Nothing is too much trouble for the players when it comes to inspiring the next generation. It would be a sight I never got tired of as I wandered around the grounds.
However, we had something else in store for Rosie. A plan grew between my colleague and me. Wouldn’t it be great if Rosie could actually meet Charley in person inside the Media Tent? A few strings were pulled and she was in.
When Rosie and John entered they were made to feel completely welcome. Rosie even had a question she wanted to ask her favourite golfer.
“As now you are now asking questions, you’ll need this,” I said as I handed Rosie my Media pass. “Just don’t run off with it as I won’t be able to get back in.”
Her face lit up as Charley entered the interview room. Complete with her newly acquired pass, she was ready to ask her all-important question. I was expecting her to show some nerves but this is quite possibly the most composed young lady I have ever met.
Rosie asked her question with confidence: “When you go out for competition, what do you feel like you have to practice more, your short game or your long game?”
It was a good question and asked with such poise that for a moment I feared for my job. If becoming a professional golfer doesn’t work out for Rosie then perhaps a career in the golfing media would be a good bet.
Hull gave her answer. “Probably my putting because I do hit a lot of greens on my rounds, If I holed more putts, I would win. And everyone says like putting and short game is your main thing, but I do actually think driver as well and your tee shots have to be good because you have to get the ball in play to get on the green.”
Posing for a photo, Charley stayed a little longer to find out more about Rosie. Rosie and Charley chatted a little more. For me, it was a pleasure to see. It reminds me of the power of sport. It also reminds me how one simple gesture of generosity can inspire and galvanise a passion further.
One thing is for sure, Rosie will look back at this moment for years to come. It will inspire her to become to improve her game (she currently plays off 36) and maybe one day, both Charley and Rosie will be teeing off together in a Women’s British Open in the future.