For me, this said a lot about her and her character and really makes her stand out for me. From start to finish her whole story has such a lovely feel to it.
Welsh born and bred, Lydia started playing golf at eleven and has been coached by the same head professional since then. Her parents have
driven her around the country and have been her lifeblood, as she acknowledges. “They have been an unbelievable support to me,” she says of them. So it
was no surprise that when she lifted the trophy on the 18th green her parents were standing right beside her, celebrating with their daughter.
But Lydia has worked hard to get to where she is and she talks openly about it. There is emotion in her voice as she recalls some of the cost. This is
an athlete who has worked as hard as any other and has sacrificed parties, cinema and even her ‘prom’ to train and become the athlete she is today.
Reflecting on the training, Lydia says, “you do everything in your power to practise as hard as you can to give yourself the best opportunities”. This
is hardcore training and maybe not the general perception of Golfers. “I would train all day and into the evening,” she says. All of this has paid off
though as her career has gone from strength to strength, culminating in her winning the British Masters in August 2013.
As if this is not enough, in the off-season she plays football. Yes, football! That in itself isn’t the big news, as many athletes have another sport
that they play, but it’s the fact that she plays for a local ladies team - she hasn’t asked to play for a premier ladies team, she plays with local people
for a local team. Why? Because she sees herself as a local girl who happens to play golf very well and feels at home there.
Lydia made a critical decision at the start of her professional career, born out of her experiences and the family around her: to be in control of her
own destiny and to surround herself not with people that she has been told to work with or with people paid to do a job and who need her to succeed, but
with people who want to see her succeed because they want to and because they believe in her. “I wanted my future to be mine and no one else’s to decide.”
It may seem like a very small difference in wording but it makes a huge difference. And herein lies Lydia’s secret: she talks about “...surrounding yourself
with people who want you to do well. There are a lot of people who have put their time into my success.”
Lydia speaks with passion and focus about this; it comes from deep inside her, it’s not an ideology thrust on her, but a belief that has reaped its rewards
for her. Lydia is incredibly grounded, knowing where she has come from and what works for her.
To me this sums Lydia up perfectly. Her focus, training, the people she has surrounded herself with and her family. You can’t get more grounded than that.
I look forward to getting to know Lydia more and to seeing her develop into a major force on the circuit.