Bree swings back into form
GOLF, to the casual observer, may seem like a walk in the park as far as physical and mental endurance goes.
But to succeed at the highest level is to embrace both, as Brookwater’s Bree Arthur has discovered.
The 22-year-old returned home this week from Spain, where she spent a month at the European Ladies Tour School and earned herself a place on next year’s European Tour.
She arrived in Spain from the US where she completed her debut season in the US Futures Tour, which is a level below the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour.
“I didn’t have a very good year,” Arthur said of her time in the US.
“I finished 100th in the money list but retained my status for 2011.”
Despite that, Arthur decided to have a crack at the European tour as 100th on the money list wasn’t paying its way.
“I wasn’t covering my expenses so I decided to go onto bigger and better things,” she said.
Arthur took a rib injury into the US and that affected her in her first four tournaments, where she failed to make a cut.
It was about that time thoughts of packing it in and returning to Australia began creeping into her mind.
“I nearly came home,” she admitted.
“I was injured, hadn’t made a cut and was running out of money,” Arthur said.
“Eventually, the injury went away and I made the cut in my fifth tournament.
“It turned out alright in the end.
“I definitely made the right decision in going.
“I really enjoyed it even though my performances weren’t what I would have liked.”
Arthur’s best finishes were top 20s in Ohio and Syracuse.
While she didn’t get the results she had hoped for in the US Arthur still took plenty from her time there, sticking it out and overcoming adversity.
“I definitely matured a lot as a person,” she said.
“I learnt a lot, on and off the golf course, about myself.
“My course management has improved and I realised a few things about the fitness side of things.
“Now I know what I need to do and the physical condition I need to be in to play week in, week out.
“It was very tough.
“You learn about preventing injuries and stretching.
“It’s not just hitting balls around a golf course.”
There is more money on the European Tour than the US Futures Tour but the standard of play is also higher.
“If I don’t like it I can go back to the States,” she said.
“I reckon it’s going to be tougher (in Europe) playing alongside girls who have been there for years, compared to the (US) Futures Tour, which is a development tour.”
Conveniently, the European tour starts in Australia, with the co-sanctioned Australian Open and Masters tournaments in February, so Arthur can reacquaint herself with the Brookwater Golf Club, which is just over her family home’s back fence.