Story/Interview April 15, 2019
Pupil Interview: Golfer Darcey Harry
InterHigh pupil Darcey Harry plays in golf tournaments all over the world as she follows her dream of becoming a professional golfer. We asked Darcey a few questions about her experiences on the course and at InterHigh.
Fitting in your studies around your sporting career must be challenging, why did you join InterHigh and how does it compare to your previous educational experiences?
InterHigh fits perfectly into my training schedule as I have mainly morning lessons. I then have the rest of the day to play golf, whereas in a physical school I did not get the opportunity to play for the hours I need to put in to become a top player.
How long have you been playing golf? And how did you get involved in the sport?
I have been playing golf for 4 years (since 2014). The best 4 years of my life. I got introduced into the game of golf by watching my brother compete for Great Britain and Ireland and place top 3 in a prestigious tournament and I wanted to join the atmosphere straight away.
You’ve played all over Europe competing in junior and all ages championships in 2018 with several top 20 finishes and a runners-up spot at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. What’s been the highlight of the season for you?
Travelling around Europe and playing in competitions has certainly been a huge experience for me. The highlight of my season was finishing 2nd at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and making the national women’s performance group after all my hard work.
You played at one of the world’s most famous golf courses - Royal Troon - at the 2018 Scottish Women’s Open Championship – how did you find that experience? Were you aware of the history of the course?
The Scottish Women’s Open was the first prestigious tournament of the season and I went in with no expectations because the field attracted not only some of the best under-18s players, but the best women players in the world too. Not only did I make the cut, but I finished T36th which was great. Royal Troon hosts the 2020 Women’s British Open, so I would love to qualify to play in that tournament.
What is the favourite golf course you’ve played on and why?
County Louth in Ireland is my favourite. Its course condition is challenging but it is amazing to play. I have to work really hard and think carefully about each shot. Nizels where I finished 2nd in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, is the toughest. The greens are ruthless and are an incredible speed making them almost impossible to master.
Who are your golfing heroes and why?
Tiger Woods most definitely because he’s a perfect example that even after injury, if you keep working hard, you can find your way back to the top.
What are your ambitions in the sport?
I want to earn my LPGA Tour card and play at the top of the Pro Tour.
What are your strengths as a golfer?
My strengths vary, because a golf swing can change so much due to thoughts and mental ability etc. Usually my driving is very accurate and my iron play is a strength.
What would you most like to improve on the most in golf?
I would like to improve my short game so I can be sharp on short shots to hole out quicker and get lower scores.
What’s the longest putt you’ve holed? Where was it? And how did it make you feel?
120 foot is the longest putt I holed during the last round of the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Whenever I hole a big putt it gives me so much confidence.
How far can you drive the ball?
250 yards is my average driving distance.
A lot of preparation, practice and training goes into playing golf, how much time do you have to put in on average every week? And what sort of things do you do?
I play every day except on Tuesdays, because Tuesdays are dedicated to school work. I play for about 3-5 hours a day depending on what I want to achieve. I love playing on the course, so I try to play at least 9 holes on the days I practice. I find many gains from it for my short game which is a big part of being successful in golf.
As well as the physical demands, golf is quite a technical game, with lots of rules and regulations to learn, how tough is it to keep your concentration to consistently strike the ball well?
I don’t always strike the ball well, no-one does, not even the pros. But you need a mentally strong attitude. I have been working on becoming amazing at this with my mindset coach.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen whilst playing golf? Any funny stories?
I have seen alligators on a golf course in Georgia, USA which was pretty amazing.
What has been the reaction of your family and friends to your sporting career?
My family are my number one supporters. They are great. Without them I wouldn’t be getting all the amazing opportunities I get now.
What’s your ambition in the sport, long term and short term? What are your targets for the next few years?
My goal for next year is to get into the Great Britain and Ireland Under 16s team for the Junior Vaglino Trophy against the continent of Europe. My long-term goal is to graduate from InterHigh with top grades to get into a top US college where I can play golf and then form there gain my tour card.
Any top tips for any of your fellow pupils looking to try golf?
Golf isn’t an easy sport. It takes a lot of patience. It drives me crazy sometimes, but it most definitely is an incredible sport that takes you around the world. So, my top tip is don’t ever let one bad shot affect how you see golf.
You can study at InterHigh wherever there’s an internet connection, where is the most unusual place you’ve had a live lesson?
I’ve taken live lessons at InterHigh all around the world. I have had many lessons in an airport or car. I would never have thought it was possible to do live lessons in this way before studying at InterHigh.
Can you describe why InterHigh is a good option for young golfers? Would you recommend it to your peers and if so why?
InterHigh is great. I would recommend this online school to anyone involved in golf. The teachers are superb and help you with your studies. Lesson times fit perfectly with my daily golf routine and I get a lot more time to train and I’m improving rapidly. I take work away with me whilst at a tournament, so I really do not miss a lesson. This school is perfect for any athlete.