Hockey players a fair way from changing sports

Kirsty Mackay Hollie Webb Lily Owsley and Laura Unsworth show their putting skills

With the British Masters Golf making its way to The Grove this week, some of the Great Britain Hockey girls took the opportunity to go along to find out if any of their skills would be useful on the golf course.

The focus was very much on Hollie Webb, scorer of the winner in the shootout at the Olympics as the defender with the ice cool temperament was put to the test in the Pressure Putt Challenge. Webb teamed with former England Cricketer Kevin Pietersen in the contest supported by Sky Sports Game Changers. Sadly, her team could not make it through and fell in the first round of a tournament won by Joost Luiten and his partner, snooker player Stephen Hendry.

The Surbiton defender spoke to recounting their Olympic experiences saying:

“I’ve been to see lots of schools recently and kids keep saying ‘How come you scored? You’re a defender!’ Defenders can score too! We’re cool too! We didn’t know who was taking them [in the shootout] or in what order but when it came to me and I knew the situation I tried to block it out and do my job.”

The defender was asked what’s next and showed the squad are determined not to rest on their laurels:

“We’re back in November to trial for the Tokyo cycle but we have the Europeans next summer. We’re the reigning champions so we want to defend that title and then the year after we have the World Cup in London. That’s going to be amazing on home turf. Hopefully lots of people will come down and watch us and hopefully we can become world champions as well as Olympic champions.”

Anyone worrying about the girls leaving hockey behind for the lure of the golf course need not panic just yet as Lily Owsley explains:

“I was told there would be lots of transferable skills but I can vouch that there are not. No transferable skills whatsoever.” Laura Unsworth added: “I don’t know if we’d be better at long drives. Something where we can hit the ball. I don’t think finesse is really our thing.”

It seems that despite a taste of the life of a golfer, our players are not quite ready to trade in the water based or sand based pitches for water hazards and sand traps. That’s just fine with us.

You can watch the full interview with Hollie by visiting the European Tour website.