Maggie Whitehead is a rising star in the North East who is now part of the England Girls team and at the age of only 14 she already has a Handicap Index of +1.3. Maggie’s home club is Close House Golf Club but she is also a member at Ramside Hall Golf Club and Roxburghe Golf Club in Scotland.
As well as being a phenomenal amateur golfer, she is also one of our Ambassadors for the Northern Junior Golf Tour ‘Masters‘ so who better to catch up with before the new season commences.
What is your earliest golfing memory?
I can remember my Mam taking me to the driving range when I was about 4 and I used to stand for hours just hitting balls. There is a ridge on the range at Ramside about 30 yards in front and I used to try and reach that with my driver… I still remember the first time I got it over!
What is the best shot you think you have ever hit?
It was in the second round of the English Women’s Amateur last year at Woodhall Spa on the Bracken Course. I had 168yds into a slight head wind and hit probably the best 5 iron I have ever hit! I hadn’t been playing well with that club well for a while and I had two England selectors stood watching me. I stopped it 4 feet past the pin and it felt amazing! I even remember writing it in my stats book after the hole ‘stiffed it’ with a smiley face! (I actually missed the birdie putt, but they mustn’t have seen as they still picked me!)
Tell us about your first competition you played on the NJGT & how did it go?
It was at South Moor Golf Club when it was called the Srixon Junior Golf Tour and it was the first proper tournament I had played in when I was 8 I think. My dad caddied for me. I made a 3 on the first hole which is par 3 up the hill. I won the competition and ended up winning the order of merit in my first season which was really cool. I really enjoyed playing in it and it gave me a load of confidence for other tournaments I started playing in.
If you could play any golf course in the world, which would it be and why?
My friend Chiara is a member of a course in Dubai called Jumeirah and I like how the sky scrapers come right up to the course but there is just desert in the other direction. I really like the colours of the course so I would like to play there. She is trying to organise some warm weather training for the England Girls over there which would be amazing! (and it’s always hot!)
What advice would you give someone starting the game today?
To work hard and stay dedicated. It’s not like any other sport as you have to give a lot of time to keep improving and dedicate so much to it. Be prepared to sacrifice normal life like going out, going to parties. It becomes your life but it’s definitely worth it.
Which professional golfer is your biggest inspiration?
Jordan Spieth because he has worked so hard to get back to where he is today having been the best in the World and then falling away for a long period of time
What’s your favourite type of golf course to play, for example links golf?
I love links golf. I love the views of the sea and playing off tight fairways. St Andrews, Silloth and Bamburgh are my favourite links courses
If you could only play with 3 golf clubs, which three would you choose?
Driver, 7 iron and putter. I would just need to miss the bunkers but we sometimes practice hitting flop shots with 5 irons at Regionals so I could still get out with a 7!
What are your choice of on-course snacks?
If my England Golf coaches are reading this then the answer is graze protein bars…..but actually its cheese and chocolate!
Who would you include in your dream four ball?
Dylan O’Brien (from Teenwolf!), Jordan Spieth and Tiger.
Name 3 reasons why you love golf?
I’ve made a lot of brilliant friends through golf, I love team events and love the travelling I get to do.
Why would you recommend young golfers to get involved with the Northern Junior Golf Tour?
It is a great way to start competitive golf as it is a really relaxed environment and you get to play against players of the same age and standard that you are. It’s a really good start to competition golf no matter how young you are.
We wish Maggie all the very best for the 2021 season and we’ll be keeping a keen eye on her performances throughout the year.