We chat to LET rookie Mollie Fankhauser from the USA at the 2010 Finnair Masters in Helsinki.
How did you get into golf?
I’ve played since I was 5 years old and I played at Ohio University in the United States. After I finished there I played for three years on the Futures Tour, and I then went and played full time on the LPGA for two years in ’08 and ’09 and this year is my first year on the LET.
Why did you come to Europe?
I figured with a limited schedule on the LPGA the last few years then if I was able to combine both Tours this year I could have a really full schedule and I ended up not gaining LPGA status this year so I came to Q-School in Spain last year with this being my only option. It was basically do or die, it was either I play out here or I probably wasn’t going to play anymore.
Do you have a base in Europe?
No. I live out of a suitcase in hotels.
How much time do you spend in Europe at a time?
This trip it will be eight weeks. The last segment before, we went back to the States for four days but to Florida for US Open qualifying. That time it was nine weeks that we were gone.
You have two wins on the Futures Tour. Were those experiences helpful?
I mean, I guess I have good experience like that. I had a couple of tournaments on the LPGA where I was in contention. I had a couple of good tournaments. I’ll definitely be remembering those times and how it felt but it’s different every year and every day so they were good memories.
Are you from Ohio?
Born and raised in Columbus and I currently still live there.
Which other golfers were on your team the same time as you?
Lisa Strong and Alison Hannah, I think she still plays, but no-one else from our team.
What have you been working on in your game recently?
Everything. In the last year I have worked a lot on emotional management on and off the golf course. I would say in the last two months I’ve done some technical work on my golf swing and in my putting. As far as technical in my golf swing I’ve been working on my timing between my lower body and upper body and synching that together. With my putting, there have been a couple of technical things with the arc of the putter a little bit but it’s been pretty simple. I was wanting to take it inside a little more. It’s just always working on something and trying to make it better.
Who are your coaches?
I have several coaches. I work with two coaches that work for Vision 54 in the States. Then I have basically a swing coach that I work with a little bit. I’ve taken two lessons when I was home last time. He’s the teaching pro at the course that I play out of in Columbus so I’ve done a little work with him and it’s been helpful. His name is Matt Smith at Pinnacle Golf Club.
The emotional management stuff: how is that helping you?
It’s a combination of everything. Sometimes I can get to the golf course and be too mellow. I’ve learned how to basically introduce more adrenaline to my system and learn what level of adrenaline is best for my performance. A lot of it has been not attaching emotion to the outcome of the shots. If the ball ends up in a place I didn’t want it, it’s just being more systematic and looking at it instead of letting things frustrate me. Off the golf course every golfer goes through ups and downs but being able to handle good rounds and bad rounds and being able to stay emotionally level with it has been helpful.