As part of this week’s Women & Girls’ Golf Week we sat down with Scottish curler Eve Muirhead, who on top of being an Olympian and World Champion is an avid golfer. Read all about Eve’s #WhyIgolf story and how she got on being part of The Open’s content team at Carnoustie…
Can you remember the first time you played golf, what inspired you, where was it and how did you enjoy it?
I must have been about six years old when I first tried golf. I remember going to the Glenalmond College course with my dad and brother. We had the big plastic clubs, massive ball and had such a laugh. My first proper shot was at Blair Atholl golf course with my dad and I was hooked from that moment – although it was a different experience from the plastic ones.
What is it about golf that you enjoy so much and how often do you get to play?
I love golf as it’s such a social sport. I also love the challenge that’s involved every time you play. I’ve met so many people through golf and it’s been a great switch off for me from my main sport, curling. I don’t get to play very much now unfortunately but try to at least every month.
What’s your handicap and local course and are you a member anywhere?
My current handicap is 3. It took me a long time to get there but because of the time spent with my main sport, the handicap is slowly going up. My home course is Pitlochry and I’m lucky to be an honorary member. I’m also a member of Blair Atholl, too.
How does playing golf help your curling career and which came first?
I think there are a lot of similarities between the two sports and I actually think it’s important at an early age to try different sports because they can often complement each other. Curling requires a lot of feel when it comes to weight control, which is very similar to being on the green. Reading the ice and the movement in it links to reading the borrow or move in putts, to the two link very nicely. The biggest difference, of course, would be curling is a team sport and golf individual.
How did you enjoy being part of The Open’s content team and how did that come about?
I’ve always loved the media side of sport and helping to develop and promote it, especially to younger audiences. What’s important as an athlete is developing your career path and your future career path – I work very closely with my management, Red Sky, with this. It was weird being on the other side of the camera for a change but I loved it and it was a terrific experience to be part of: The Open is the best tournament in golf and the ultimate test.
Are you ever tempted to take up golf more seriously?
A few years back I considered it as my handicap was coming down and I was able to play more but curling comes first – it’s my career – and I don’t have the time to dedicate to playing golf seriously or competitively. Also, I really love playing at the level I do and the enjoyment is so important. Getting out on the course is a great way to switch off.
What would you say to girls who have maybe not played golf before to encourage them to take it up?
Golf is a fantastic sport to have under your belt, especially as you become older. It appeals to all generations and whether it is for health, exercise or just to play socially with friends, it is a great way to get some fresh air while keeping fit.