Just three months after the birth of her second daughter Flavia, Diana Luna, 32, has returned to compete on the Ladies European Tour, where she has won five titles and played on a European Solheim Cup team in 2009. The Roman player, who lives on the French Riviera with her husband Fabio Orlandini del Beccuto, golf professional at the Old Course Cannes Mandelieu Golf Club, was in the Buick Championship in China May 7 to 10 where she finished in 27th place and the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open in Belek where she finished 62nd.
This week, Diana will play in the Deloitte Ladies Open in Holland and then a fortnight later, the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters from 2-5 July at the headquarters of the Ladies European Tour, Buckinghamshire Golf Club near London in England. The tournament will be an event for the whole family to enjoy with a kids zone featuring mini golf, Golfzilla and face painting plus a variety of entertainment for adults alike such as fine food and crafts in the artisan market. See more at ladieseuropeanmasters.com.
Diana: why have you started the season so late in 2015?
I just had a baby. She is three months old, so I played my last tournament in October last year when I was four months pregnant and I’m back now.
You played well in China and Turkey. How did you get so prepared for golf?
I’ve been working hard after giving birth. I had to work hard of course to come back in the gym and everything, so I’ve done what I can. I’m not in the best shape I could be, but I didn’t have much time, just two months in the gym and one month of golf.
Is this the normal time to come back after having a child?
I think it depends on you. If you feel that you are ready to come back then why not. Catriona Matthew won the Women’s British Open with a two and a half month old baby, so maybe I can be the next super mum. Why not?
How important is it for you to bring your family to the golf tournament?
It’s very important because first of all, I don’t miss them and it’s good for them to be with their mum even if she’s travelling a lot. I don’t bring them to every tournament because I think travelling too much, they need to know where home is and if they go from place to place to place it’s hard for them. That’s why I’m not bringing them to every tournament but just some of them.
Is there a lot for the kids to do at Ladies European Tour tournaments?
It depends on the organisation of the tournament. Some events have fantastic facilities where it’s very easy to entertain them and sometimes at the tournaments they organise good stuff for kids as well. It depends on what’s going on at the tournaments and what the hotel facilities there are.
Will you encourage parents to bring their children to the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, for example?
Of course. If I understand well, they are organising some activities for kids. They will enjoy a nice fun day out, breathe fresh air and get their kids entertained while they can watch some golf. Even if they are not golfers, it’s something nice and something different.
When will your children start golf?
Elena is starting a little bit but I’m not the kind of mother that says you must play golf. I don’t mind what she does as long as she does it seriously and she’s happy. For me, that’s enough. I want her to commit to something, whether it’s golf or something else. It’s the same for me. Elena is now five and she’s showing some interest in golf over the last few months. We are bringing her sometimes on the driving range but she’s not really playing golf; she’s dancing, she’s very girly.
Your husband is a professional golfer too, so how do you switch off from golf?
When we’re home, we get our children together and do some things with them. We live as a normal family outside of the golf course.
How important is it that they live a healthy, active lifestyle?
This is very important. To me, the main thing is that they are active and healthy and they do some sports. Then if it’s golf or another sport, it’s not so important. Of course I love them to play golf as I love golf and it’s a great sport I think, for the children. It’s a great school of life because you learn how to be humble, how to cope with frustration. It’s a complete sport: a physical sport and a very mental sport, so it’s great.
How is your own game?
It’s not there yet but it’s getting better by the day and I miss some energy still, because I’m still a little tired and I’ve been working hard after the birth but I need to get used to playing 18 holes four days in a row, which I don’t have time to do at home. Even if I practice, I don’t have time to physically do four rounds in four days. When I’m at home I have thousands of things to do with two children now. It’s not easy to get five hours off.
How much do you practice?
I get the mornings free, basically but I need to include my gym sessions in that. I can play nine holes maybe, but I don’t have too much time other than that.
What are your ambitions this season?
I am missing some strength and power so I will probably need a couple more months to be back at the top of my game. I’m not playing better than in China long game wise, but of course the short game is another matter. I’m hitting the ball a little further so I will probably need one or two more months to be in good shape.
Buy tickets for the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at http://tickets.sky.com/Golf/.
More information: www.ladieseuropeanmasters.com.