Tough As Old Boots
Where Georgia Hall and Charley Hull are concerned, you never know which of these two 22-year-old English players is going to make the next move. Georgia won last year’s British Women’s Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes; Charley, for her part, quietly notched three top-ten finishes in the 2018 majors before winning this year’s start-of-the-season Fatima Bint Mubarak championship on the Ladies’ European Tour.
In the lead up to this week’s HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, Georgia was poised at No 10 in the World Rankings, with Charley lurking in 22nd place and no doubt intent on recapturing her position as the No 1. Englishwoman. That was the position she held before Georgia won at Lytham.
Though the two of them go about their golfing business a little differently, with Georgia the more technical, they have plenty in common in their off-course lives – and not least in the way each has found herself a partner who fits in seamlessly with her golfing team.
Georgia’s’s boyfriend is Harry Tyrrell, a teaching professional at Hindhead who is now working as his girlfriend’s caddie, save when Wayne, Georgia’s father, moves into position for the majors. “Harry,” says Georgia, “is very down to earth and, like me, he’s very family-orientated. He’s also got this massive heart and is easy to get on with. “Where he’s so good as a caddie,” she added, “is that he knows how to keep me focused and he recognises at once when I’m stressed, probably after a bogey. Usually it’s a matter of telling me to slow down and making me laugh.”
Does she ever get cross with Wayne or Harry during the course of a round. Apparently no. Georgia doesn’t get cross with anyone.
Charley’s partner, Ozzie Smith, is a keen boxer who is into fitness where Charley’s caddie is into martial arts. All three work together on exercise routines and the arrangement is apparently working well for Charley, even if she and her caddie are currently in recovery from a nasty dose of flu.
Up until recently, Charley was always the more social animal of the Hall-Hull duo, hurrying off to parties the moment she returned home from a golfing foray. Now, all that has changed as she and Ozzie, who will be married in the week after the Solheim Cup, have settled into their new house, an old vicarage which has been renovated by Charley’s father, Dave. A still more interesting repercussion is that the mere sight of her state-of-the-art kitchen has had Charley reaching for a succession of cookery recipes. “She’s surprised us all,” says Dave.
Georgia, too, is making changes to her’s and Harry’s housing arrangements. Where she has been based in Hampshire for all her golfing life, she is now doing as so many of the UK’s top golfers in finding a base nearer to Heathrow.
For one more similarity, both girls love fancy footwear. Charley must be the first player ever to have entered the doors of the R&A in a pair of towering platform-soled shoes in which she struggled to walk. Georgia, meantime, probably scored a first of her own in that when Harry went to one of her kitchen cupboards in search of a jar of coffee, what should topple out but one more pair of high heels.
Again, there are comparisons to be drawn when the pair swap their fancy footwear for golf shoes. Once out on the course, both are as tough as old boots.