Before coming to Wimbledon where she has just won the Ladies Championship, tennis world number one Ash Barty warmed up with a round of golf at The Belfry.
The 25 year old met her boyfriend, professional golfer Garry Kissick, on a golf course in Queensland.
She has a 3.9 handicap and is the club champion at Brookwater Golf Club in Brisbane. Ashleigh’s dad also played as an amateur for Australia.
Her form even captured Tiger Woods’ attention before the Royal Melbourne Presidents Cup.
“She’s got a great swing, are you kidding me?” the 15-times major winner said after watching Barty show off her skills on the banks of the Yarra River by striking a wedge to a small makeshift green on the water. There’s Ernie Els in the picture also watching her.
Ash has talked to the Australian media about her famiky’s interest in golf.
“Where did golf start for me? My dad (Robert) was a very good golfer. He represented Australia as an amateur and was taking steps to go to college and go through that pathway to become a tour pro, but it didn’t work out for him in the end. He decided to stay home and ended up giving the game away. For more than 20 years he didn’t pick up a club and I always used to muck around in the backyard with whatever old clubs I could find. Then, when I stopped playing tennis there for a while, it was an opportunity to play a little bit more golf and Dad and I started playing together a bit. I think I was hooked from that moment on.
Golf has always been a sport that’s come quite naturally to me. I mean, even my mum was a very, very good golfer herself and her whole family loves to play. I guess if there was one sport that’s truly in the Barty genes, it’s probably golf, more so than tennis”
There are definite similarities between pro tennis and golf. I think as tennis players, you have to be selfish at times, which I think is not dissimilar to golf. But then there are times in Fed Cups and team events like the Olympics where you have to come together as a team. And that’s the time that I enjoy the most – being able to enjoy it with other people and try to bring out the best in them. I think that’s what a lot of those guys love so much about the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. When they get to come together with the best in the world and test themselves with the best of the world, it’s something they’ll treasure forever.
My bucket-list experience in golf would have to be Augusta National. I think for many people that’s on top of their bucket list, isn’t it? We had plans to go last year, which was, at that time of year, it would have been really special, but things happen for a reason. Hopefully it means that we get another opportunity down the track”
Congratulations on her blistering win on Centre Court today.