ADMITTING she no longer listens to her dad, despite having him to thank for putting her on the road to golfing glory, Carly Booth is hoping a new mind coach can help inspire a successful defence of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open title over the next three days.
After following up her maiden victory on the Ladies European Tour at Archerfield Links by also winning the Swiss Open last season, Booth admits her sights were set on a Solheim Cup spot. But, after making just two cuts in 13 events so far this season on both sides of the Atlantic, the 21-year-old has been forced to go back to the drawing board.
“My expectations were a lot greater for this year, having put myself in good position for Solheim Cup qualification at the end of last year,” admitted Booth. “I maybe tried to push myself for that and it backfired a little bit.”
While she feels her swing is still functioning as well as last year, Booth is in the early stages of trying something new in a bid to get her mind back to where it was then.
“I’ve started working with Andy Duncan, a psychologist who works with a lot of players on the men’s tour,” said the Comrie player, who, in addition to compatriot and 2011 winner Catriona Matthew, faces stiff competition from South African Lee-Ann Pace, the LET money-list leader, in the 54-hole event. “I did some work at the start of the year with Karl Morris, but I thought we’d try something new and it’s just a case of trying to get rid of all that doubt in my mind about shots.”
Her father, Wally, a gregarious character, is still offering his tuppence worth but, by the sounds of things, it’s going in one ear and out the other. “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him and all he did, that’s for sure, but I stopped listening to my dad a long time ago,” said Booth. “He lives in the 70s and relates everything to wrestling, so it doesn’t quite apply to golf. Practise and keep practising is all he’d say.”
The 70-strong field for an event that is free to enter for spectators contains a record eight Scots, with Booth and Matthew being joined by Kylie Walker, Pamela Pretswell, Vikki Laing, Kelsey MacDonald, Heather MacRae and Katy McNicoll.