Take a look at our interview with Erica!
F.W.B: Welcome Erica! 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?
E.K: My golfing journey started about 35 or so years ago, when I was in my late teens. My boyfriend at the time (eventually my husband) and his parents played golf regularly. It was mainly Christmas holidays, Easter, long weekends etc, which meant I played maybe 8-10 games a year (only 9 holes usually). I started with a 5 iron, 9 iron, & putter. Surprisingly, I did ok with those 3 clubs. Eventually I was ‘allowed’ to try a driver and other clubs, but I have to say the 5 iron still remains my favourite.
I continued to learn and play with family over the years but never thought I was good enough to play in any club competition so never obtained a handicap. I was often asked to play in corporate days which made it awkward as I didn’t have a handicap. Enter…Women’s Golf Network( WGN). I came across the Network through a friend’s girlfriend whom worked at Women’s Golf Victoria at the time. I submitted 3 cards and was presented with a 20 handicap. I was wrapped! Finally something to work on…getting my handicap lower.
When you first began, did you sign up with a bunch of friends, or did you solo style it?
I remained with WGN for 5 years where I was able to play at prestigious courses and meet some long term friends. The Network was a life changer for me. I was fortunate enough to eventually seek work with Golf Victoria as the manager of WGN, which I did for three years. Due to gender equality the Network was to become the Social Golf Network, which accepted men in the fold. Sadly, the Network was no longer able to supply handicaps and the program closed.
I still work in female participation, running the Get on Course program for female beginners. I love my job which enables me to help women start their own golfing journey.
I have been a member at Spring Valley Golf Club in Clayton for 5 years now and love playing regularly. My handicap since starting at SVGC has halved with regular play, which proves the point, ‘the more you practice, the luckier you get’!
My greatest golfing achievement to date was winning the Sir Dallas Brooks Championship (mixed foursomes) at Metropolitan last year with a fellow SVGC member. We played great golf over the four days, plus, I made a hole-in-one during the tournament. Biggest thrill, ever!!
Who are your biggest inspirations/role models in the game? and why?
I admire many golfers, but the one who has made the biggest impact on me is a member at my Club. Her name is Sue Semmens. Sue has been a Club Champion several times over and achieved many great goals in her golfing lifetime. I admire the way she goes about her golf. She is always calm, nice rhythmic swing and never looks flustered. Sue is happy to play with whomever and is very modest. I always enjoy a game with her…so much to learn.
In your opinion, what you do think the hardest part about golf is?
I have been fortunate enough to represent our club along side Sue in the Pennant team over the past three years. Match play is my favourite golf format, such a thinking game. Talk about ‘mind games’, this game will really challenge you and force you to take control of the metal side of the game, which, in my opinion, is one of the biggest challenges in golf.
Golf for some people is a huge mental game. Do you agree/ or disagree? Why?
We’ve all been there, standing over a 2 foot putt, knowing we should make this easily, but, doubt creeps in and you question yourself…don’t miss, don’t miss! And, of course, you miss! I have found the best message I can give myself is positive talk. Don’t tell yourself what not to do (don’t miss), but rather, focus on what you should be doing.
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?
Being that I work in the golfing industry, I see many women who find it hard to start in golf. There are so many inhibitors; work, family, no-one to play with, cost & time to play. I know all these as I experienced them myself. It’s not easy to make the commitment to play regularly. But, I can assure you, once you make that commitment…you will succeed. Once you’ve been bitten by the golf bug, you’ll be hooked. It’s a great sport that can be played to any age, plus you will make the best friendships and have the best weeks/weekends away with the ‘girls’.
Happy golfing everyone!
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