Pamela Pretswell Asher has no regrets as she explains calling time on LET career

Scot played on winning Curtis Cup team at Nairn in 2012 alongside Charley Hull and Leona Maguire

Finding herself spending more time these days “touring soft play areas” with her two young daughters than battering golf balls, Pamela Pretswell Asher has called time on her career as a tour professional. Her decision comes less than a decade after the Bothwell Castle player was Scotland’s leading light on the Ladies European Tour, but she has no regrets.

Not when the 34-year-old looks back on being part of a Great Britain & Ireland team – the line up also included Charley Hull and Leona Maguire – that pulled off a memorable win over the United States in the 2012 Curtis Cup at Nairn. Not when she reflects on being the first amateur to win on the LET Access Series. And not when she thinks about her name constantly being up on LET leaderboards over a few seasons.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Someone used the word ‘retirement’ and I hadn’t really thought about it like that,” admitted Pretswell Asher of deciding to end her playing career. “But I’ve loved every minute of it. I loved my amateur days and learned a lot there. I also loved my year on the Access Tour as that helped me learn a lot about tour life and it was a good stepping stone for me as that’s how I got my tour card. The Curtis Cup before that, playing for Scotland. I really enjoyed those days and it was a case of seeing how it went and taking it from there. I’d had a card since 2013 and every year I felt I was progressing. I got to travel the world doing what I loved and had some good results along the way, so I’ll look back and definitely feel I enjoyed the journey.”

Pamela Pretswell Asher in action during the first round of the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at The  Buckinghamshire Golf Club in 2015. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.Pamela Pretswell Asher in action during the first round of the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at The  Buckinghamshire Golf Club in 2015. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Pamela Pretswell Asher in action during the first round of the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at The Buckinghamshire Golf Club in 2015. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

That journey looked as though it could have been in another sport as Pretswell Asher was Scotland’s top-ranked girl in tennis at 15. “I was 14 when I took up golf,” recalled the Bothwell Castle player. “I loved playing tennis and it got to the stage that, if I wanted to progress, I would have had to leave Scotland. That just wasn’t for me, so I started to play golf and loved it. Then it was just a case of where is this going and it was fun that it just kept progressing and it was kind of a quick progression as well.”

As evidenced by the fact she was crowned as British Ladies’ Stroke-Play champion in 2010 before finding herself flying the Saltire in that Curtis Cup on the Moray coast a couple of years later. “Yeah, it was definitely a strong team,” she mused, with three of the players – Hull, Maguire and Bronte Law having gone on to also play on winning Solheim Cup sides. “The fact it was in Scotland and also at Nairn made it more special. GB&I also won the Walker Cup there (in 1999), so maybe all The R&A team events should be held there from now on (laughing). It was a cracking week and one for the memory book for sure.”

A bright cookie – she graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2011 with an Honours Degree in Business and Management – Pretswell Asher produced some really consistent stuff in the paid ranks, coming closest to tasting victory when finishing joint-second in the Tipsport Masters in the Czech Republic in 2016. After giving birth to her first daughter, Kirsty, in 2018, the Scot had a maternity exemption in 2019 and had planned to take her to a few tournaments the following year only for the Covid pandemic to hit. She was then handed a second maternity exemption following the arrival of her second daughter, Amy, but that ran out at the end of last season.

“It’s just down to family life,” said Pretswell Asher of now having called it a day. “I couldn’t commit to playing a full season and, unless you are playing the full season with it now being such a busy schedule, you can’t really dip your toe in every now and again. You are either all in or you are not. Just for me personally, either taking the girls with me or leaving them behind, it wasn’t for me as I’m an all-in person, so I have made the decision that the best thing for us as a family is to leave tour life behind.

“I played the London Aramco Series event in July last year then the Women’s Scottish Open in August. To be honest, it’s quite funny to think that I probably played some of the best golf I’ve ever played. In the Aramco event, it was really tough weather, but I managed to have a decent result there bearing in mind I’d not played a tournament since the Scottish in 2019, I think it was, and I’d just played a handful of rounds before the Aramco event. I also actually played quite well in the Scottish. I just hit two of the worst 7-irons I’ve hit in my life and dropped four shots as a result of that. Apart from that, I’d have been okay. Playing a couple of tournaments is one thing but trying to compete is a different thing altogether.”

What now? “The girls are keeping me busy, which is good as I love it,” she said. “I’d love to work in golf in the future or any sport, to be honest. Everything I’ve learned over the years, I’d love to pass on that knowledge and play a part in encouraging other youngsters to take up golf or any other sport and let them know what it can do for you and what you can get out of it as well.”

As for still swinging a club, she added: “I’m an honorary member at Bothwell, so I will still play there. Kirtsy has tried it a few times as well and she quite likes it. Amy has a wee putter as well for around the house that she gives a good smack. So we will maybe get them golfing at some point if they want to, but they are busy with lots of other sports as well.”

If it's in the blood, keep an eye out for another Pretswell Asher becoming a sporting star one day.

Related topics:



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.