We spoke with Cath and son Emile. Having relocated from Somerset to the Wirral, they’ve adjusted to life in the North West and found the wonderful Wallasey Golf Club for Emile to play in their junior section, which has certainly helped settle in.
Cath is a mindfulness coach and meditation leader specialising in confidence building. Something that can only help with golf, right?
Naturally, we were keen to learn more about Cath’s mindfulness coaching to see what we could learn to help ourselves and also our own Noisy Golfers.
Tell us about yourselves!
I’ve been playing golf since I was 4 years old and I play at least a couple of times a week and practice on the driving range as well. I really missed being able to play during lockdown.
I also really like playing Fortnite and I often talk to my golfing friends on there! I like reading and have nearly finished the Harry Potter books. I’m planning to start playing tennis in 2021 and hoping to have a go at playing drums as well…
When did Emile first get interested in golf?
Emile’s dad, Graham, bought him a toy set of clubs as soon as he could walk and he really loved them. Then, when he was about 18 months old, he started to imitate Graham’s swing, and the two of them would be doing ‘air golf’ all over the house!
How did you go about getting Emile to play golf?
Emile started going to the driving range with Graham, just using one golf club to begin with, to see if he took to it. He joined a young golfers’ group called the Tigers at Farrington Golf Club in Bristol and started to have some lessons there. He entered a few competitions and did quite well and it became a regular thing.
What’s the best thing about golf?
I like getting out and playing with my friends and I really enjoy the walks. There are some great views around the Wallasey course!
What advice would you give to parents with children interested in golf?
Keep it fun, make sure they’re entertained and don’t get too disheartened when it doesn’t seem to be going well – there are many ups and downs in this game! Get them involved in the social side if you can, so they can meet other children who love golf. Oh, and make sure you get some decent waterproofs!
How has your profession helped as a golfing Mum? And what advice would you give to young golfers struggling with confidence on and off the course?
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and this is so important in golf. The game can change so swiftly, so the ability to let go of any negative feeling about a hole that hasn’t gone well and start the next one without negative expectations is key. I hope I’ve helped Emile with this a little bit!
My advice to young golfers is to be patient with yourself and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Having also been a school teacher for nearly 20 years, I can tell you that everyone learns in their own way and, even if you start at the same time with the same teacher, same equipment, same everything, your progress will be different to your friends’ as there’s no one quite like you! This is a good thing!
What three tips would you give to parents to positively engage with their child on and off the course?
- Encourage your children to talk about their recent golf game but don’t over analyse! It’s great to chat about what went well and what could have been better but keep it light.
- Try to adopt a ‘beginner’s mind’ approach – in golf or any other activity. This isn’t always easy but if you can start something without expectations based on previous experience, you can often find a fresh enjoyment of it and possibly even surprising results!
- Really listen when your kids talk to you. It seems like an obvious one but we all know what it’s like when we’re in the middle of something and have a million things to think about and our kids are talking about the latest ‘emote’ on Fortnite or something! We tend to nod and try to sound interested but actually have no idea what they’re on about – I do this all the time! But if you can give your child even 2 minutes uninterrupted, properly focused time and really hear what they’re saying, it’ll make all the difference to them.
What has surprised you about the junior golf space?
It doesn’t have to cost as much as you might think. Clubs are very welcoming of youngsters as they realise the importance of getting children involved in golf. There are some fantastic coaches out there!
Who are your golfing inspirations?
Mainly Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. I can really learn a lot from their movements.
If you could play any course in the world, where would it be?
Fantastic, thanks so much Cath and Emile. Some wonderful tips here and we really appreciate your time sharing this insight.