HOLLIE MUSE is heading for Oblivion – not that her golfing ambitions are in freefall.
Quite the opposite, in fact. Although still only 12 years old, the Liverpool girl’s golfing stock is soaring.
She has been crowned English Under-13 champion, followed up by winning the U14 Northern Girls title and has booked final appearances in both the Faldo Series and the Wee Wonders.
She had her first hole in one during the Northern event at Bromborough and won both her matches as England Schools beat their Welsh opposition in Swansea.
It all adds up to an intensive time out on the course – which is why parents Arthur and Lynn from Old Swan are keen for their daughter to enjoy some time off with her family and friends.
“She has worked so hard and has played beautifully,” says proud dad Arthur, “but there comes a time when you have to switch off from golf as well.”
Which is why trips to Alton Towers – and rides such as Oblivion, Nemesis and Air – or the zoo are on the cards after a golden summer for the Bellerive School pupil.
She put the biggest title on her increasingly impressive CV by winning the England Girls Under-13 championships at Delamere Forest.
And practice proved perfect for a young player who has seen her handicap tumble from 22 just 18 months ago to 3.2 after first swinging a golf club at Aintree Driving Range, where her potential was first spotted and then developed by professional Scott Duffy. Such has been her progress that Hollie has also benefited from coaching as part of the Lancashire county set-up with Pat Smillie and the England Birdie squad.
“Hollie is a different player than she was even six months ago,” says Arthur. “She has always hit the ball a long way – people who see her can’t believe how far she drives the ball for a 12-year-old. She regularly tops 270 yards and has even driven the green on holes that are 300 or so.
“She keeps it very straight as well, her irons are also very strong and that all adds up to a great advantage.
“But she has also worked hard on her short game – improving her putting and chipping. She has been encouraged by England Golf, who set her tests and challenges to work on and then report back on her progress, and she has really put the effort in.”
Hollie plays at both West Lancashire and West Derby golf clubs and her parents are fill of praise for the support she has received along the way.
“Working with England and Lancashire has been a fantastic experience for her, while the clubs have been very encouraging,” added Arthur.
“She has learned by playing with the older ladies at the clubs, while she has so much respect for the girls she is coming up against in the top competitions and is picking up things from the way they play as well.
“She may be number one after her England title win, but she knows there are some great players out there and that she needs to keep on improving.
“But she really enjoys her golf and is making some great new friends.”
Hollie held off defending champion, Sammy Fuller of Surrey, by two shots to lift the England title at Delamere.
“I wanted this more than anything and practised all the time,” said Hollie.
Hollie sank a six-footer for par on the last for a final round score of 78 to go with her scores of 85 and 71.
“I was so nervous over that putt, but I told myself to just hit it in the middle,” said Hollie. “I am sorry for Sammy, she did play very well and she’s a good playing partner.”
Dad Arthur revealed that they had taken the opportunity of Delamere’s close proximity to do plenty of homework on the course.
“We had a couple of looks during the winter, but then played every other day in the week before the championship so we could learn how to plot our way round a course with a lot of sloping lies,” he explained.
“It went wrong in the first round when the weather changed – I had forgotten to tell Hollie to club up or down depending on the conditions.
“However she came back really well. This win has really lifted her confidence.”