Harriet Shephard caught up with Ladies European Tour player Carly Booth at the AIG Women's Open.

After 10 years on tour and securing another win late last year, 28-year-old Carly Booth was in need of a  few months off at the start of 2020. 

But of course, this break ended up being longer than she planned... 

“I needed some time off for myself,” said the Scottish player, who at aged 17 became the youngest Scot to ever join the Ladies European Tour. 

“But then obviously that gap was extended anyway. It was nice but I was a bit restless.” 

Now in her 11th season, she started back by securing a spot in both the Ladies Scottish and AIG Women’s Open. Like us, she feels like this summer has been hugely positive for women’s golf. 

“We are making improvements and finally people are noticing the high standard that we play at. I think we (female golfers) should be appreciated more for what we do for golf. But we are getting there slowly, with the AIG Women’s Open going ahead this year and being broadcast on TV it’s brought a lot of positive vibes to the game.” 

I was at the aforementioned event at Royal Troon where I caught up with Carly.  

By Getty Images - Carly playing a practice round at Royal Troon

Speaking to her after her second round, I remarked on how amazing it was that Laura Davies, who hit the opening tee shot in the event, had competed in the Women’s Open 40 times. 

In fact, it’s possible to see similarities between the two players; Carly also started competing in major tournaments as a teenager just like the Dame did. 

“Laura Davies was always someone who I looked up to and wanted to play with,” she said. 

“I got to play with her in 2012 in Switzerland, a tournament that I also won actually. She's great, such a good sport and fun to play with. I really enjoy her company. It was one of those weeks I'll always remember – my first time playing with Laura Davies, my first hole in one as a professional and I won the tournament.” 

Her last win (the third in her career so far) was at the 2019 Czech Ladies Open, and this year she’s hoping to do more than ever to help get more people playing golf. 

Already an ambassador for Scottish Golf, she also recently signed up as a representative for disability golf charity EDGA, a project that is very close to her heart. 

“I'm giving back to something I'm passionate about,” she reflected. 

“I have a brother with Down’s syndrome, so supporting those who need our help a bit more and are less fortunate, is something that I’m passionate about. I want to make sure that everyone has the chance to experience golf, it’s a sport that many people might not think they can do. EDGA is all about giving people opportunities that they didnt think they would ever have.” 

Of course, we’re all well aware of the many joys that golf can bring to your life, and the Perthshire golfer is keen to stress that it perhaps has even MORE benefits for people with disabilities. 

“To play golf you can be at any standard or any age. And for people with disabilities it’s a great way of making friends and interacting with people. It’s a way of proving that they can do things and making them feel like they belong. They can all come together and enjoy a sport and learn and improve on all the time.” 

Outside of her professional life, she has recently welcomed the most adorable puppy into her home (it’s worth getting Instagram just to see her pics of him). 

Even at Royal Troon, she told me that she’d been keeping in touch with him over Facetime.  

“He gave me a little pep talk this morning before my round,” she laughed. 

“It’s so funny that he gets so excited when he can hear me but doesn't quite get why I'm not physically there. It does make me smile and I can't think of a better way to start the day.” 

We have to agree, dogs and golf – what could be better?  

To find out more about Carly’s work with EDGA visit www.edgagolf.com.