Dame Laura Davies will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame this evening, just a day after finishing tied for 47th in the US Women’s Open.
Davies feels: “Extraordinary to be part of the history and story of golf.”
“If someone had suggested to me at 16 when I was starting to be a half decent amateur that one day I’d be sat here in the halls and having seen everything with amazing trophies from all over the world and great winners and that I’d be part of it, no, not in a million years,” she said.
Davies started playing as a junior and recalls: “My first recollection of golf was watching my brother and dad play at Corby Golf Club. I was probably 10 or 11. I was probably 16 when I’d been playing for two years properly and my handicap was down to 8, but a good 8, and I felt like I could get down lower and possibly do it, so I left school at 16 and played golf in the summer on the amateur tour an worked jobs in the winter at Sainsbury’s, a supermarket chain, and in a garage, putting petrol into people’s cars. At 16 was the time when I pretty much gave everything up to become a professional golfer. I turned pro at 21 and the rest is history, as they say.”
The highlights of her career to date include 79 official wins, including 45 on the Ladies European Tour and 20 on the LPGA Tour, four major championship titles and 12 Solheim Cup appearances since turning professional in 1985, 30 years ago.
Reflecting on her career highlights, Davies said: “’96 was my absolute best year when I won 10 times around the world on five different tours. I was hoping that would carry on for another 20 years. Obviously I haven’t won as many tournaments since 2001.
“Winning the US Open in ’87 got me onto the LPGA but the one tournament that really stands out other than the US Open is the Phoenix tournament, winning that for a fourth straight year. No other woman had every done it and it was quite a lot of pressure, my 50th career win around the world and that for me was probably the best win I think I’ve ever had.”
Although she has no plans to retire soon, the 51-year-old from Surrey hopes that she will eventually be remembered for enjoying the game.
“Anyone that’s paired with me will see that I’m always joking around, always laughing. I’m trying to lighten the mood for myself, not really for others. I probably annoy them by going on like I do. I know I’m grumpy half the time when I’m not doing well. When I was really doing well, people knew that I was really enjoying what I was doing and that to me would be the best thing,” she said.
The Induction Ceremony begins at 6 pm at the University of St Andrews Younger Hall and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports and Golf Channel.
In the meantime, watch Davies being interviewed about her induction on the Hall of Fame YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9tC0bp2y1mn4lcXiaNqynQslYNactmux
Be sure to follow and join the conversation using the event hashtag: #GolfHOF2015.