Get to know professional golfer Georgina Blackman
No one is excluded from the joy, fulfilment, and lifelong benefits of sport. And with women’s sport on the rise, we want to empower more and more women to take part and make a difference.
Through different angles, each of our sponsorships help us to build inspirational communities to inspire more and more people to lead healthier and happier lives. And we’re delighted to partner with professional golfer, Georgina Blackman, with a shared sponsorship vision of encouraging female empowerment.
We recently sat down to get to know her – read the full interview below:
Hi Georgina, let’s get started.
How did you get into golf in the first instance?
It was my dad that got me into the sport. He used to play golf every Sunday and I basically wanted to go everywhere that he went so I kept asking if I could play golf too. This started from the age of four years old, and my mum gave in and put me in lessons. I’ve never looked back since.
So aside from getting to spend time with your dad, what do you love about golf now that you’ve played it for a while?
I love and hate the fact that you can never perfect it. Even if you play your best there will always be one or two things you could have done differently.
There’s always room for improvement and it applies to all levels – it doesn’t matter if you’ve just started or if you’ve been playing for years.
Do you look back at your performance or do you automatically know what you could have done better?
I generally know what I could have improved as soon as I come off the course. A tournament is usually a three- or four-day event, so after each round I will sit down to go through my performance and identify what I need to practice so I’m ready for the next day.
Looking at yourself individually, what would you say are your strengths and weaknesses in the sport?
I would say my pitching from 80 yards and in is generally quite good, and my holing out from 6ft is one of my strengths.
I think my weakness is the mental side. I sometimes struggle to switch off and get in the zone while competing. I’ve suffered with performance anxiety, so I’ve been working on ways to help manage that, so it doesn’t affect my performance as much. I’ve been using different breathing techniques to help keep me calm and avoid tensing up in tournaments.
What does training look like for you?
It’s different when I’m competing because this year there’s a possibility that I’ll have 12 events in a row so there’s no real room for practicing. I just try to fit it around the competition schedule.
But in off season, I go to the gym at least three or four times a week, I make sure I play at least two nine holes and an 18-holer in the week, and practice what I can’t do at or between tournaments i.e., pitching or putting. It usually results to training for five or six days of the week.
Has there been a specific challenge that you’ve had to overcome?
I mentioned it briefly earlier but in 2021, I had performance anxiety. It was something I had never experienced before as I have never really suffered with anxiety or nervousness in golf or in my personal life.
It took me a while to realize what it was, and I saw my performance changing at tournaments without any real reason which resulted me putting more pressure on myself and making it worse. I ended up trying hypnotherapy which actually really helped and now I’ve started seeing a psychologist as well. This is where the breathing techniques came from. I use them as a way to help me relax on the course.
It still does affect me sometimes but I’m learning how to deal with it and I’m getting back to my old self where I enjoyed competing and having fun with it as I lost that part when the anxiety took over.
How do you feel it’s shaped you today?
It’s definitely made me stronger and more resilient. If I start off badly, I try to keep calm and keep believing I will be able to turn it around also just remembering to enjoy it.
It’s difficult because you can’t replicate a competition feeling in practice to help overcome it. So, when I haven’t competed for a while, it can take a while to get into the rhythm of things, but I usually find it gets easier as I get going into the season. And now I have techniques that I can refer to for help.
You’ve mentioned your dad a few times, is there anyone else you look up to?
It’s really nice to have my dad there beside me on my journey as he was the one that got me into it.
In terms of golfers, I love watching Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.
I also used to love Paula Creamer when I was younger. Everything she had was pink and I wanted to be like her! I played in the same tournament as her 2 years ago which was a cool experience.
What would you say your proudest achievement is?
It’s not necessarily an achievement but I would say I’m actually most proud of persevering when things were hard. There’s been a few times when I thought maybe I should give up or is this definitely for me? I know how I can perform but not being able to when it matters most was really difficult to deal with. So, overcoming that has to be my proudest achievement.
Trophy wise, I won the English amateur in 2018. That was a real turning point for me where I knew I wanted to do this professionally.
I also had my first professional win last year on the Ladies’ Rose Series.
What would you say your goals are for the next year?
I’m playing the Ladies European Tour Access Series this year and my goal is to finish in the top five on the order merit because that will get me back on to the main tour and get my card back.
We wish you the best of luck. So, what do you do when you’re not training or competing?
I’m not sure this is a real hobby but… eating! I love going for dinner and catching up with my friends as I don’t get to see much of them when I’m away competing. Also, sometimes doing nothing and having a few relaxing days is really nice.
Is there any advice that you’ve received that sticks with you?
It’s a bit cliché but believe in yourself and keep going. When other people have believed in me and I haven’t, it makes me think why and that they must see something I don’t. It’s a really nice feeling and helps put things into perspective. Results motivate me too and helps build my confidence as it’s more factual.
How do you pick yourself back up when you don’t get the results you want?
That’s quite hard. You’ve got to keep faith and focus on what’s in your control and what you can practice to improve next time. I also look back at what I’ve achieved in the past to remind myself of what I can do. If you truly want something, then you need to keep believing and it will happen. It happens to everyone and sometimes sharing experiences helps to understand how others have moved forward and puts thing in perspective.
Golf can be seen as an individual sport, but would you say it’s social?
Yes, I think golf is very social at club level and on tour. The girls I play with/against are essentially my work colleagues and I see them week in/week out, so you get to know everyone around you. Everyone is in the same boat, so we all understand what everyone’s going through which is nice.
What’s your experience of being a woman in sport?
There are definitely some notable differences and experiences that highlight the inequality when it comes to gender in sports – in terms of performance expectations amongst sportsman and incentives presented to each gender. There has definitely been a shift towards equality over the years but there’s still a way to go. It’s great to see so many women at my golf club now.
And lastly, do you have any advice for those starting out a new sport?
I’d say have fun and enjoy it. If you’re not having fun, then there’s no point in doing it!
Georgina Blackman – one to watch. Follow our social media channels to keep up-to-date with her activity and join us in supporting her journey!