BUDE & North Cornwall star Georgia Price is looking forward to a ‘fresh start’ when she makes her debut on the LET Access Series tour in France tomorrow (April 5).
Georgia, 25, turned professional at the beginning of the year after three seasons on the amateur tour after returning to live in the UK.
Price played in the Lalla Aicha Tour School pre-qualifier in Morocco in December which was played over 72 holes. She managed an excellent score of three-under par to finish 17th, before the final qualifier was played over five rounds (90 holes).
Although Georgia failed to finish in the top 60, therefore missing the cut, her performances in the pre-qualifier gave her access to get onto the LET Access Series, which starts tomorrow with the Terre Blanche Ladies Open and runs until Sunday.
Georgia said: “When I entered tour school I was a bit unsure whether I was going to turn professional or wait, but I think I decided that it was a good place to have a fresh start.
“Amateur golf was very good for my development but it was always going to be an expense.
“I’m only 25 but I want to give myself a chance of earning a living from it, before it’s too late.
“Overall the main goal was to get through the first week because that gives me starts on the access tour. I played with a few of the girls who have played on the access and LET tours and I didn’t feel that I was that far off their level, so it was quite a confidence boost, although I missed cut.”
Georgia opened her 2019 campaign last week on the Santander Golf Tour with a two-day strokeplay event at the Norba Club De Golf in Caceres, Spain, and managed a seventh-placed finish with scores of 76 and 75 on a pretty tough course.
However her main focus is the LET Access Series, with the top five at the end of the season qualifying for the main Ladies European Tour.
She said: “The access tour runs an order of merit and the goal is to finish inside the top 50, which will give me better status for next year.”
Price has been delighted with her preparations for the season which will see her compete in at least 12 to 14 of the 20 LET Access Series events, as well as a couple more on the Santander Golf Tour to keep her match practice up.
She said: “Up until a few weeks ago I was still working at The Weir in Marhamchurch. But since then I’ve been able to practice full on and get out playing quite a lot more.
“In November I also became a member at Trevose so I’ve been getting down there once or twice a week to use their facilities and getting out on their course.
That’s helped quite a lot as practicing at the same course every day can become a bit repetitive.”
Georgia’s been working hard with her coach, Antony Nash as well as training at Penstowe Manor with Brian Evans.
She continued: “I’ve been working a lot on trying to get more power into my swing, through swing drills and a lot of work in the gym.”
With Georgia now dedicating herself to the sport, she has even started thinking more about the mental side of the game.
She said: “I’ve not done a massive amount but recently I’ve started reading a book called Zen Golf, which was given to me by a member at Bude.
“Basically it’s a lot of Buddhist ideas and it talks about accepting the shots that you hit and how to deal with negative thoughts that enter your head as well as breathing techniques. It’s not really psychological, it’s more about the approach to the game.”
Georgia endured a frustrating 2018, as she fully admits.
She said: “It was a very up and down year, I had some very good results towards the end of the season, including a fourth at the English Women’s Open Amateur Strokeplay Championships in Coventry.
“But we’d worked on a few changes throughout the winter that hadn’t gone the way we’d have liked. So then I was stuck between the old and new swing. But once I had a couple of poor results, I started to suffer mentally more than anything else.
“I wasn’t really playing that badly but I had lost a lot of confidence, which meant it was quite hard to get good results.”
However with money now at stake, Georgia hopes to kick-on.
She said: “The thing with going into pro golf is that everyone’s out there to make a living, and no-one is interested in what you’re doing. Everyone around you is that much more focused so it gives you that extra bit of drive to be the same.”
A typical day from Monday to Friday involves lots of practicing and fitness but knows she still has one key area to improve on, if she’s to make a big impression over the coming months.
Georgia said: “My strengths at the moment are my putting and I’m fairly accurate off the tee in that I’m not one to spray it all over the place.
“But where I need to work on is hitting from the fairway to green. I don’t hit enough greens.”
Although winning one of the events can land her up to 40,000 Euros, money in women’s golf is tight and Georgia would be extremely grateful.
She said: “For the last two years I’ve had help from Bott Ltd, so I’m hoping I can continue with that, but I’m in the process of looking for more.
“Being pro means I can advertise and I can wear branding and things like that.
“Being someone who travels quite a lot, I’m hoping that it’ll appeal to businesses to get their name out there.”
Besides one event at Stoke By Nayland on the Suffolk and Essex border in September, The LET Access Series is held across mainland Europe including countries such as Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, but Georgia admits that she enjoys getting to see the world.
She said: “Being a pro will be different as I’ll be away from home for longer periods of time, but that’s something I knew when I decided to do it.
“The travelling doesn’t really bother me at all, I get to see a lot of different places and do a job I love, so I can’t complain too much.”
England’s Georgia Hall was the winner of the Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s back in August, which Georgia will attempt to qualify for in July, but Georgia believes that more exposure is needed for the ladies to flourish.
She said: “The issue with funding in women’s golf is that it stems from a lack of media coverage and sponsorship which go hand in-hand really.
“Companies don’t want to sponsor women’s events because they’re not getting the coverage, so I think it’s going to be an ongoing battle!”
So where does Georgia see herself in 12 months time?
She simply said: “I’d like to have finished in the top 50 on the LET Access tour and to have got some status on the tour!