Turning up at the Solheim Cup six months after turning professional and being the star of the show is quite something. To do it at 17 as the youngest ever participant is sensational.
“I didn’t really feel nervous. It’s only a game after all. I just went out there, smashed some balls and played golf.”
Indeed, she also smashed American veteran Paula Creamer in the singles, drilling five birdies to a five and four victory. Charley then asked Creamer to autograph a ball for a friend back home. It’s this attachment to the ordinary that gives her great appeal; her performance and personality winning over the Americans even though she was instrumental to beating them for the first time on their home turf as part of the European team.
Although Charley does recall some fairly aggressive home support from the crowds: “They were really noisy, trying to put me off but it just made me think 'I’ll show you'.”
I always wanted to be the best."
Charley wasn’t particularly surprised at her achievements in Denver and in her own words “doesn’t really have a weakness”. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is the confidence of youth though, golfing great Laura Davis and Ian Poulter think her a sensation and her opponents are beginning to fear this blonde assassin from Burton Latimer, near Kettering.
She never backs off a shot but combines pluck with all-round skill and most importantly an unflappable temperament. There’s certainly no sulking allowed on the golf course or she’d be at risk from a “talking to” from dad Dave who, along with her mum and friends from home, keep Charley’s feet firmly on the floor.
Charley’s standout memory of the Solheim was when she “holed the 17th against Lexi (Thompson) and Paula” during her fourball with Jodi Ewart-Shadoff. She loved the facilities too: “they were amazing”.
Back home the celebration involved a trip to Kettering Golf Club, where Charley was awarded a lifetime membership. Kettering was the course where she first played with her father as an infant. She won the ladies championship at nine years old and was playing off scratch at 11 years. “I always wanted to be the best” she says. And in ten years time? “I hope I’m the top female in the world".
- 2013 - The year she made her professional debut in Morocco
- 5 - The number of tournaments in the Ladies European Tour in which she came second after turning pro
- 4 - The amount of days spent at home between the British Open and the Solheim Cup. "It's been a busy year and takes a lot out of you mentally."
- 0 - The number of days off she has per week. "I play golf every day but because I enjoy it."
- 1 - Dog. A jack russell called Tom
- 2 - The age when she first picked up a golf club
- 13 - Her age when she left school to be home-schooled. "I never really did much school work anyway, it sometimes got me into trouble with the teachers."
- 1 - Social media site used: Facebook. She steers clear of Twitter after getting “unwanted followers”. She professes to be “not bothered” by media attention otherwise and doesn’t like to read about herself in newspapers “I’m just there to play golf, enjoy it and focus on that.”
- 4 - Is for 'fourballs'. Her dream fourball would include Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros and Rory McIlroy. Oh and Cristiano Ronaldo would carry her clubs because "he's pretty alright." They would play at Augusta, her favourite course in the world.
The supporter: Sir Steve Redgrave - Five-time Olympic rowing gold medalist
"I love golf. And I hate golf. Especially in the old days when Matt Pinsent freakishly managed to beat me.
"I've played well in the Dunhill, met Tiger Woods, but I am still amazed by the maturity and nerve of Charley Hull, who looked like a seasoned pro with that performance in the Solheim Cup.
"I haven't been fortunate enough to meet her yet but when I do I'll shake her hand and ask her if she fancies teaming up in my next pro-am! I'm not stupid!"