Getting to know… Maggie Whitehead | Living North

Getting to know… Maggie Whitehead

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Maggie Whitehead
After lowering her handicap to just one at the age of 13, we caught up with Durham-born starlet Maggie Whitehead to find out how she has became one of the country’s most promising young golfers, and why she wants to swap Teeside for the US
'Golf has always been in my family – my grandma plays and my grandad used to play, so it was always going to happen!'

When did your love of golf start? 
I used to watch my dad play at Ramside’s driving range, and I my interest just grew from there. I started practicing alongside him when I was three, and began getting proper coaching when I was seven. Golf has always been in my family – my grandma plays and my grandad used to play, so it was always going to happen!

What do you enjoy the most about playing?
I loved being in the outdoors when I first started, and I still feel like that now. It gives me so much freedom. 

You are part of the Ladies First Team at Close House Golf Club… How do you find playing with women who are almost 30 years older than you? 
All the team are so supportive. I’ve heard that some ladies teams don’t like it when there’s a youngster included, but it’s not like that on our team. They all make me feel so welcome.

Do you prefer playing in a team or as an individual? 
Probably as an individual. I do love playing in a team, because you can chat to your teammates and they’re there to support you, but there’s less pressure as an individual because you can’t let anyone else down if you have a bad round. 

You’ve played in tournaments all across Britain and Europe, but where’s your favourite place to play golf? 
Apart from my home courses Ramside and Close House, I love Huddersfield. I have great memories of my first ever county match week there – I love that course. 

What’s been the highlight of your short career so far?
I made my international debut for England’s under-16s vs Ireland in October, and I won my match on the 18th hole which was a great feeling. It was amazing to represent my country. I also loved playing in the U16s R&A Amateur Championships at Fulford. I came joint fifth this year, which I was quite pleased with because I was one of the youngest playing, and I was up against some of the best players in the world. There were TV cameras there and loads of people were watching, so I felt like a proper professional! 

And what’s the biggest challenge?
I sometimes lose track of where we’ve been because I’m always travelling and playing in so many tournaments. We’re on the road for sometimes two weeks at a time, so I do miss home. 

What’s your favourite thing about where you live?
I live in a quiet cul-de-sac at the top of our village and I like how it’s so peaceful. I’m only five minutes away from my Grandma, aunties, uncles and cousins so I get to see them a lot too. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
First of all, I want to go to America to do a golf scholarship and get my degree over there. After that, I want to become a professional and get onto the LPGA tour and play golf for a living. I guess you can play until you’re quite old anyway, so it will see me through a long time – hopefully!

When you’re not on the course, what’s your favourite thing to do? 
Apart from watching videos on youtube… I love going to my grandma’s house, who I’m really close to. We’ve started getting my cousins into golf, so I like to take them to the driving range and see if I can teach them a few things. 

Favourite post-golf meal? 
A subway sandwich with double chicken tikka and extra Chipotle sauce. 

What’s your favourite film? 
The Titanic because it’s got a very intense storyline, I actually watch it quite often.

How would you spend your ideal day off school and golf? 
Doing absolutely nothing! I love just chilling in the house in my pyjamas. 

If you could swap places with one person for a day, who would it be and why?
The world’s richest person, then I wouldn’t have to worry about the price of anything and I could buy whatever I wanted whenever I wanted… How good would that be?!

What’s your most treasured possession? 
I’ve had a little cuddly toy sausage dog since I was very little and I still have it now. He comes with me when I go on tour, he’s my good luck charm. 

Published in: November 2019

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