Once you’ve caught the golf bug it becomes very difficult to keep yourself away. I loved reading Chrissy’s story, I can absolutely relate to it. Chrissy is a beautiful golfer and a gorgeous lady at that, I can only imagine how many women she has inspired over her golfing journey. I actually heard of Chrissy before I personally met her and she’ll be happy to know it was from women in our golfing community who spoke so highly of her as a friend and an awesome golfer. Words such as, works hard to be the very best she can, dedicates time and energy to the game, not only on the course but off encouraging other female golfers in our forever growing golfing community.
Chrissy is very humble and failed to mention many of her accolades over the years. As a past Captain of Huntingdale Golf Club she is a dual winner of the Sorrento Club Championship 2016/17, Club Board events and a team member of the Huntingdale Golf Club and Sorrento Golf Club Pennant teams who both won the 2018 Golf Victoria Pennant Flags ! What a thrill and what a year, Congratulations Chrissy xx
Here is Chrissy’s story !
FWB: Hi there! We are so excited to have you as our ‘Fairway Birdie Golfer of the Week’. How did you first get involved in golf and why? and what golf clubs have you been a member of?
CS: I started golf with a group of friends who had enrolled in a 6 week clinic at Malvern Valley. They asked me if I would help make up the numbers and I thought why not have a go. I was a keen tennis player at the time and thought that my hand eye ball co-ordination was pretty good, how wrong I was! I have been a member at Huntingdale Golf Club for 12 years and a member at Sorrento Golf Club for 10 years. I am now a very keen, my family might say obsessive, golfer and love playing with anybody, anywhere, anytime.
After the initial 6 week clinic, the ‘group’ or whoever was free, would ‘play’ 9 holes each week either at Malvern Valley, Royal Burnley or wherever we could get a game. Enthusiasm started to wane as progress was slow, really slow. You would hit a ball in the air and think that’s great, I’ve finally got it. The next shot would go about 20 feet along the ground and you were back to square one. Bunkers were to be avoided at all costs and chip shots were always skinnied over the back. Putting was by far the safer option but distance control was a long way off. It was a hard slog. We weren’t very committed and our golf was pretty awful. I did however, have some friends who were members at Huntingdale who encouraged me to join and I haven’t looked back.
What age did you begin, and how long have you been playing for?
I guess I was in my early 40’s when I first began and it probably wasn’t until I joined Huntingdale that I really started to take golf a bit more seriously. There were so many rules and these women could really play golf. My handicap was 45 and I remember vividly my very first game with two Committee Members. My tee shot off the first went straight over the hedge and into the car park. I was mortified. At that time I only played once a week, it was all the time I thought I could give to golf. The girls I played with would say if you want to improve you have to play twice a week. Where was I going to find another day? Eventually I did find another day and my game gradually got better.
Who are your biggest inspirations/role models in the game? and why? (They could be well known golfers, or a friend at the club)
My biggest inspiration was probably the entire women’s membership group at Huntingdale. I am really indebted to them for fostering my love for the game. They were and still are so encouraging, inclusive and a great group of women to have as friends. The same can be said of Sorrento. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t include my husband and children. Although these days if anybody asks them where I am, they will tell you – oh, she is probably on the golf course, or away playing golf, or maybe she’s at Pennant. They have never begrudged me (well, not to my face anyway) the time I have given to golf. If I had to single out one person who inspired me, it would be Heather Gellatly. Her leadership, knowledge, wisdom and belief in all golfers of any stage and age in their golfing career is admirable.
Chrissy and all the members from Huntingdale’s Friday Women’s Division 1 Pennant Team
In your opinion, what you do think the hardest part about golf is?
The hardest part about golf – a tricky one. There are so many elements – concentration or lack of it; practice – so important and we never do enough of it; self belief – it’s so easy to doubt your club choice or the shot you will hit. Consistency I think is the key. The thing is, we would all like to be better but rarely do we give it the time it needs to become better golfers.
Golf for some people is a huge mental game. Do you agree/ or disagree? Why?
Golf is definitely a huge mental game. Nearly everybody is happy to play Stableford but tell them they are playing Stroke or Par and they have a minor melt down. It is how you manage your game for the round that will keep you on track. The same can be said for matchplay. You can talk yourself into losing a hole quite easily. Your opponent is on for two, you are still 30m from the pin, doubt creeps in, what will you do – putt, chip, throw it up in the air. You could do any of those three things and it could go in the hole – you have to make a decision and commit to that shot. You are in control. We blame the weather; the golf God; the putt that lipped out; the bunker shot that took two shots; landing in a divot; the wrong club choice. It is never over until that little white ball is in that hole. Not only do you have to manage your game, it is so important to keep hydrated and eat well around the course. Next time you play, think about the holes where you didn’t score so well and try to remember if you kept up your water and food. You need to feed your mind as well as your body.
Chrissy and the Sorrento Women’s Pennant Division 1 Team
2 Flags in the same year! Incredible.
And to finish it off, do you have any words for those who are thinking about starting golf, but keep pushing it aside due to doubts, time management and lack of support?
I would encourage everybody to take up golf. I never thought I would be a golfer. Nobody in my family played golf. Early on in our marriage, would have dinner at my in-laws, very keen golfers. A hole by hole description of the day’s game would ensue, they could have been talking swahili as far as I was concerned. I had no idea what they were talking about. Who would want to walk 7 kilometres hitting a small white ball 100 times? And at the same course every week. How the tables have turned. I love golf. Self confessed addict. The game itself is so challenging but the benefits are so rewarding. It doesn’t matter what your ability is or how old you are, everybody has their own handicap. Allowing yourself the time to play is really hard to start with. Then it slowly sucks you in. Little by little, your game improves and you really want to get out there and play some more. Many clubs offer clinics and I think clinics are great. You always come away having learned something. Take individual lessons and practice. Join a club and make some new friends. They will be so thrilled that you are having a go.
Thank you so much for giving us your precious time to answer these questions. We truly believe that your contribution will help us encourage and motivate more and more women in the game of golf.
Fairway Birdies! xox