My Sporting Isolation: Alice Hewson - 'It is an opportunity to reset, practise basic skills and make sure I am ready to go once the season restarts'

Alice Hewson
The Telegraph
Alice Hewson of England plays her tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Club on April 03, 2019 in Evans, Georgia - Getty Images
Alice Hewson of England plays her tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Club on April 03, 2019 in Evans, Georgia - Getty Images

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc across the sporting landscape. Starting this week a number of athletes from multiple sports tell us how their worlds have been turned upside down and how they are dealing with the situation, both as sportspeople and in their personal lives.

Less than two weeks ago I won my first tournament as a professional golfer at the South African Women’s Open, in what was my first event on the Ladies’ European Tour. Due to coronavirus all of the golf courses have had to close, really limiting what practice I can do. So I am trying to organise a net for my back garden, so I can practise from home. Things have changed very quickly from being on the road with multiple tournaments planned to all of a sudden being at home.

During normal circumstances I tend to practise alone anyway so that won’t be something I will struggle with in the coming weeks. I had been carrying on as usual while the golf courses were still open, but now I have to adapt as they have been shut down. I am glad I really enjoy practicing putting because I am lucky enough to have a mat I can set up in my home, so that is something I can still do lots of.

One thing that has taken some getting used to is being at home in Berkhamsted with my parents and younger sister Abigail a few weeks earlier than planned. Being away for the past four years on a golf scholarship at Clemson University in South Carolina, and planning to be away a lot with golf, it’s not normal for me to be at home this much. It is a very busy house as my sister Abi is studying for her GCSEs and my dad works for a company that makes self-checkouts for supermarkets – that is an in-demand business – so there are lots of conference calls! It’s definitely a full house hold at the moment.

My first win is still sinking in and it means a lot because I saw it as a way of getting my name out there. Being a rookie I don’t have any sponsors yet, so it is down to myself and my parents to fund my first season on the LET and Symetra Tour. The financial benefit of winning is really important, especially now that there won’t be any tournaments for a while.

I am staying positive though and treating this as another pre-season. I now have a great opportunity to reset a little, practise basic skills and make sure that I am ready to go once the season restarts.

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