DORSET’S Georgia Hall insists turning pro is “100 per cent the right decision” and is backing herself to make the grade on the big stage.
The 18-year-old officially relinquished her amateur status today before lining up in a star-studded field in the prestigious Gary Player Invitational at Wentworth.
Hall, who got the golfing bug when she was seven, decided to pit herself against the world’s greatest players after taking the amateur ranks by storm.
She shot to prominence last year when she was crowned British Amateur champion and shared the silver medal with world number one Lydia Ko at the Women’s British Open at St Andrews.
Hall represented GB & Ireland in the Vagliano Trophy and also featured for Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup against America before achieving the pinnacle of amateur team golf when she lined up in the Curtis Cup last month.
Attached to Parkstone Golf Club, Hall will rely on sponsors’ invites to play in events on the Ladies’ European Tour and may try to earn regular playing privileges for next season by winning one of 30 cards at tour school in Morocco in December.
Schooled at Elmrise Primary and Oakmead, Hall last year gave up studying for a BTEC course in sports science to focus her attentions on making the grade and has achieved a childhood ambition by turning pro.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo, she said: “I have waited a long time to finally do it and it is going to be like starting all over again. It is going to be totally different but I can’t wait. I have had a great time as an amateur and really enjoyed myself. It was really good fun and I won’t forget it.
“At some stage, we all have to make decisions and I am very confident about this one. I believe it is 100 per cent the right thing to do. When I was younger, I used to dream about the day I would turn pro and now it has happened.”
Hall, whose handicap plummeted from 36 to 10 between the ages of nine and 10, said the switch to the professional ranks would not have been possible without the help of her father Wayne, who first took her to Canford Magna Golf Club where she enrolled as a Canford Kid.
She revealed her decision to turn pro to the Daily Echo after finishing tied 29th at the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale earlier this month. Hall also claimed a share of 33rd place at the European Masters and would have banked around 18,000 euro from the two events had she been eligible for prize money.
“I did quite well in both events and thought why wait any longer,” added Hall. “I wasn’t really enjoying the amateur stuff any more and wanted to turn pro.
“The money is not the most important thing to me, it is more about the winning and the competing. I have struggled in the past so it would be nice not to have to worry about money if I could.”
Hall was also keen to thank for their support equipment sponsors Titleist together with members at Remedy Oak and Parkstone, England Golf, Dorset Ladies and her family and close friends.