It is Women and Girls' Golf Week, an innovative seven-day celebration to promote the game of golf, generate engagement and ultimately increase participation levels of women in golf. We caught up with FirstPoint athlete and golfer Katy Hill to talk about what golf means to her and how her experience at Webber International University has been so far.
When did you start playing golf and who or what inspired you to take up the sport?
I started golf in 2015, due to seeing my dad play but I really got into it during the summer of 2016 and joined my local club that year.
What is your standout accomplishment so far in the sport?
My standout accomplishment was in 2019 shooting under par to win the 2019 title of club champion, this stands out to me as it was the lowest I had shot and it gave me a confidence boost to fly to university in Florida the next morning.
When did you realise going to America on a golf scholarship was a possibility?
The first moment I started to consider a golf scholarship was during a tournament in St Andrews. I remember just having a brief conversation with a coach who was over watching as part of a recruitment trip, although I didn’t think I was good enough to go out there at that point. However, fast forward two years and I heard about FirstPoint who helped me get in touch with coaches from all over the States. We narrowed it down to Webber, which I now attend, and one in Iowa. Personally, it was during a holiday in New York in February I realised that the warmer state would be the best for me to pursue my golf career in the USA.
How has your life in the USA been so far? Any highlights?
Life in America has been amazing, I have made some of the best friends and made amazing memories in my first year out there. It has been everything and more of what I expected. The highlights have been travelling to tournaments as a team and playing regularly on a team basis. I have been able to see so much of America and many states that I would have been unlikely to visit otherwise.
How have you coped with the recent lockdown?
Lockdown was a hard one for me with my freshmen year being cut short and then golf courses being closed in the UK. I had to find other ways to keep my “normal” day to day routine. I tried my best to get up at the same time each day to enable me to continue my team's workout plan, attend my online classes and create ways to practice in my garden - much to my mum's disagreement I turned her beloved honeysuckle plant into my golf net!
What are your goals for the year ahead?
With my return to the US my goals for the coming season are to make top 10 and to help the team qualify for the Nationals in the Spring. During my freshmen year I was slightly nervous on the tee, but the team are now helping me overcome it. My goal is now to get my scoring average back low 70s and have fewer putts per round.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about going to America on a scholarship?
One piece of advice I would give to anyone going to America is simply to do it! And importantly to ensure they find a university that suits them. Don’t go by what you are told to look for in a school but find one that becomes your home away from home.
"Golf means happiness to me, you will never see me happier than I am on the course." #WhyIGolf