St. Andrews, Scotland – While Charley Hull was answering questions Monday about her injured wrist at an R&A dinner ahead of the media day for the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns, people were looking concernedly at her feet. How could she walk in such treacherously high heels?
The answer was that she couldn’t – and she had to hike a lift back to a hotel which was barely a par-4 away.
That Hull doesn’t overthink things (you would have to suspect that comfort never came into the equation when she was choosing those shoes) is one of her greatest strengths. At the dinner, for instance, she was talking of how her way of playing golf has never changed. “I hit the ball, I walk after it – and then I hit it again. That’s as complicated as it gets.”
And when, prior to setting out on Kingsbarns, someone asked if she would be working on her chip-and-runs in the coming months, she shook her head: “There’s no point in altering things for the odd week.”
It is not too different to how this great competitor stays in her own bubble when she is playing on the LPGA Tour. Since she would sooner be at home, she plays her golf before catching up with her old friends on FaceTime and discussing the next holiday in Ibiza or the next run of parties.
Much though she loves the US courses, Hull says that three tournaments in a row is as much as she can accommodate. “I just love England and will always be based on this side of the Atlantic,” she said. With her career earnings on the LPGA Tour of more than $1.5 million – a total boosted by the $500,000 winner’s cheque she picked up at last November’s CME Group Tour Championship – she spent her first sizable sum on a flat a few miles away from the family house. However, since she very soon decided that the flat, rather like America, was “too far away,” she moved back in her parents.
Her wrist injury is an old one she picked up five years ago when she was knocking a ball out of the rough in Florida. She wore a splint for a time and, though X-rays have shown that there is a chip in the bone, it not something which will require surgery. Odd bouts of rest, such as she has had since the recent ANA Inspiration, should suffice.
Her round at Kingsbarns was the first in a couple of weeks – and, at least by the halfway stage, there had been none of the twinges she had known in California. She was revelling playing in the spring-like conditions – and it came as no surprise to learn that, had she not been a golfer, she would have been the happiest of greenkeepers.