Looking effortlessly stylish yet rather wind swept after an extremely blustery round at St Annes Old Links, she breezes in to meet us full of apologies for her delay, shyly explaining she lost track of time on course.
Slightly taken aback by this natural beauty dressed head to toe in golf gear. Instantly, it is plain for us to see that Georgia Coughlin, the Fylde Coast’s only female Professional, is undeniably devoted to golf. We are keen to discover more about this rising star’s commitment to the game.
How long have you been playing golf and when did you turn Pro?
I was introduced to golf relatively late really at the age of 16, in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. I lived in Saudi between the ages of 3-17, and at 15 I became a member at Riyadh Green Golf Course and so learnt how to play the game. From then, I always aspired to become a professional golfer and after six years of amateur golf, I turned Professional in January 2018, and secured a card on the Ladies European Access tour at qualifying school.
Who, in golf, inspires you and who are your greatest influences?
My greatest golf influences would have to be Tiger Woods, as he is a great champion and inspires me to win. I have a large team around me to support my development and help me achieve my ambition of ranking in the top 50 players in the world. My coach Michael Welch is one of my greatest influences, as he has taught me so much about the game. My favourite female golfer would have to be Suzanne Peterson as I think I see a bit of me in her, she is a feisty and determined golfer!
What motivates you to be so dedicated to playing and practice?
I want to be the best and without dedication I won’t improve and reach my goals. Golf is my job so practice makes perfect and I have a strict playing and practice regime. I play a minimum of 5-7 hours a day, from range time hitting balls, short game (putting and chipping) and playing time (either 9 holes or 18). I will also do some pressure testing skills work that will prepare me for competing in big events. There is nothing better than seeing improvements!
How do you stay fit for golf?
I go to the gym 3 times a week and I try to separate my time in the gym for different body areas. One day I will do a hard leg and glutes session, which will include heavy lifting squats and deadlifts, another session would focus on the core and upper body and my final session will be all about flexibility and golf-specific movements.
When I am travelling around Europe competing it can be hard to get into the gym, so I use a lot of band exercises to keep my body moving well. Stretching is so important for golf as well as for the body after long travel days.
What is the best tip you can offer golfers and particularly female golfers to help improve their game?
The best tip I can offer female golfers is to concentrate on their aim and to swing a little slower. Female players generally benefit from using more woods in their bag, as ladies don’t produce a fast clubhead speed, so woods help to get the ball in the air.
What are the biggest challenges for women in golf?
The biggest challenge for women in golf and the Ladies European Tour is attracting sponsorship for events and prize money. As a result, there are fewer events and fewer opportunities to compete than the men’s game. I recently played in the Mixed Open event in Aqaba Jordan, which consisted of players from the Ladies European Tour, Senior Tour and the Challenge Tour. This event was great for the ladies as we all played for one equal prize fund.
Another big challenge for women is getting sponsored so you can go out and live the dream of competing, golf isn’t a cheap sport and when you are travelling all over Europe expenses mount up and when you’re not playing for a big prize fund many female golfers, including myself, are having to get extra work to fund our golf careers. Luckily I am sponsored by Catmandoo, a Swedish Golf Brand and I also model for them as well as Glenmuir.
How does golf on the Fylde Coast compare to further afield?
Although we have great courses there aren’t many lady professional golfers, which means there are no competitions in our area as well as over the U.K. The LET Access Tour also only has one event in the UK out of 20, the rest are across Europe so there isn’t much competition for me here.
What are the best courses you’ve played at? Are there any on your bucket list?
The best course I have ever played was Mission Hills China, that was my first amateur event playing in the grand final of the Faldo Series I had a handicap of 10 (in my first year of playing) so it was a big eye-opener seeing such a prestigious golf course.
I have never played golf in the United States and one of my goals is to play on the LPGA, I have always wanted to play Augusta National, Georgia.
What’s in your bag this season?
I am sponsored by PING so I use all of those clubs from Driver to Putter. I am using the G410 Driver and woods. I210 irons, forged wedges 50,54,58 and a Sigma G putter.
So, what have you got planned for this season?
My season is well underway with my first event, which was in Aqaba Jordan followed by a LET Access Tour event in May in Geneva. I have the chance to play over 20 tournaments this year and have scheduled them in with weeks off for rest. This season I am hoping to retain my LET Access Card by finishing in the Top 50 order of merit. Fingers crossed!