Charlotte Thompson looks back on her shortened 2020 season on the Ladies European Tour, a year unlike anything she could have predicted.
Like all of us, Charlotte Thompson has had a year full of uncertainty and ups and downs.
But around the cancelled tournaments and restrictions, she’s had some great moments.
The Essex golfer’s highlights include finishing T6 at the Lacoste Ladies Open and T7 at the Saudi Ladies Team International in the same team as fellow English star and pal Annabel Dimmock.
I caught up Charlotte to discuss these key moments, her personal growth, and of course all the key controversies and talking points from the last 12 months in women’s golf.
Charlotte’s year on Tour
“2020 has been a funny year and I haven’t been playing my best golf, after I actually did play my best golf last year. The Lacoste Ladies Open was a highlight. I finished T6 and I absolutely love the course there and it really suits me. It’s another memory and highlight to add to the list.
“2019 was my best year so far and I was 15th on the Order of Merit, standings so I was excited about 2020. But obviously given the current situation I have moved the hopes I had for this year to 2021.”
Her mental game
“Learning to manage my thoughts is something I’m working on and will continue to do for a long time. It is very, very difficult process and I struggle a bit with believing in myself and trusting myself. You have to listen to podcasts, read books and talk to people to discover what to do and what not to do. I also learn through watching how people react to bad shots or how they act when they’re leading a tournament. It’s just about finding your way of doing things.
“I always listen to the same music before an event. It’s the same tracks from when I played well, it’s just to give me the same vibes when I’m going to the first tee. It’s all silly things really, golfers are very superstitious! These things just mentally give you a boost even if in reality it probably makes no difference at all.
“Staying in the moment is also huge. Doing one shot at a time and not thinking towards your next hole or your score.”
The Saudi Arabia divide
"The tournaments in Saudi offered a huge opportunity and a lot of money. For each of us it was a personal decision. I understand why a lot of us did play; we don’t often get such huge opportunities so we have to take them when we can. To get the chance to showcase our skills in a new country was huge and for them to support us during a pandemic meant even more than in normal times. But I understood why some people didn’t play because of their values."
Going caddy less
“I didn’t have a caddy for the Lacoste Ladies Open, none of us did due to restrictions. I didn’t have one in Dubai or Saudi either, to be honest that was for financial reasons.
“But my caddy is great, she gives me confidence when I need it, she knows when to push me to be more aggressive and when I need to reign it in a bit. Having a caddy works when you work together. It is very specific and hard to find someone you can get along with. I need someone who will talk to me about things other than golf as I can’t just talk about that for five solid hours. But some people can! Some people are really struggling without one this year and some aren’t. It depends what kind of person you are.”
The #hoodygate saga
“Tyrrell Hatton’s hoody was very smart and he looked very smart, but there are hoodies that definitely aren’t smart. So, my question is where’s the line? Not everyone will look like Tyrell or Rory do in a hoody.
You have to be smart to play golf, everyone knows that. I don’t think you should be able to wear a hoodie that you would lounge about the house in. But things do need to change. When I first started you were told off if your skirt was above the knee, so we are making progress.
“However, I don’t agree with collarless tops that look like gym tops; we still need to be respectable. But then there are collarless ones that look smart and ultimately, we need to do whatever we can to help get younger people into golf.”
Mixing love and work
“My boyfriend proposed to me just before lockdown, so he was very brave really! He’s also my coach, we just thought we would try it but it does work. A huge thing for us is communication.
“When we’re in the zone where he’s the coach and I’m the player, he's the first person to tell me off if I’m not working hard enough. But then outside of that we’re back to being fiance and fiance.
“I trust him so much and he’s very good at what he does. If he needs help, he’ll seek it, he’s not too protective like some coaches can be. He wants the best from my game and I want the best for his career - so far it really works.
“We’re very competitive when we play golf together and they’ll always be something on the line like who makes dinner or something silly.”
Representing Duca Del Cosma
“I love the style of the Duca Del Cosma shoes, they’re very out there. They're great for my feet, very comfy and I’ve never slipped in them. You can wear them on and off the golf course and you don’t have to worry about changing as noone would know they are golf shoes. They're waterproof too and when I wore them in the Women’s Open my feet were the only bit that were dry by the end of the day.
“The winter boots are really comfy and warm. They have a fluffy layer on the top that’s really nice and it stops the cold wind getting up your trousers.”
Find out more about Charlotte HERE.