The role of Senior Talent Scout with ProDreamUSA might just have proven the inspiration behind a mightily impressive finish to the season for Ladies European Tour professional Eleanor Givens having been witness to the next generation of young golfing talent at close quarters this summer.
When she’s not challenging near the top of leaderboard on the professional circuit, Ellie works with #TeamProDream in identifying and mentoring some of the best girl golfers in England, passing on her invaluable experience of college golf from her four years spent at the University of Denver.
“It’s scary seeing the standard of amateur golf these days and it certainly keeps me on my toes in improving my own game,” said the former England women and girls international, who had her rookie pro season in 2012. “I’m very passionate about my role with ProDreamUSA and it’s great to have an opportunity to give something back and mentor young players, having been in that position myself not too long ago. There are some fantastic young players coming through from the amateur ranks who will no doubt be challenging us on the Ladies European Tour soon, so you’ve got to continually improve your own game to keep ahead.”
Putting the frustrations of the early season lockdown firmly behind her, Ellie returned to competitive action with a bang, winning the Rocketyard Classic on the ProTour in July before enjoying a strong performance at the ASI Ladies Scottish Open at Renaissance – the first LET tournament back – which saw her clinch her Major debut in the AIG Women’s British Open behind closed doors at Royal Troon in August.
“It was certainly good to be competitive again and playing the Rose Ladies Series events was a great warm up before the LET restarted. I had a good week at Renaissance to qualify for the Women’s British Open which was huge for me. Although I eventually missed the cut, it was a fantastic experience and gave me the desire to want to go back, hopefully with crowds the next time. I had my dad Ralph on the bag, and we had a brilliant week at Troon.”
Building on her two weeks on the links in Scotland, she never looked back for the remainder of the campaign. The former English girls champion only missed one more cut and elevated herself to a career-best 27th place in the Race to Costa de Sol Order of Merit, helped by a 15th place finish in the French Open and an impressive spell in the ‘Desert Swing’. A share of 11th place at the Saudi Ladies International was followed up a 6th place finish in the Saudi Team International, firing two birdies in the closing three holes which also catapulted her team to the runner-up spot.
“The Saudi events were a fantastic showcase for women’s golf and highlighted that the attitude towards the women’s game is improving. As the Tour’s hashtag says, we are certainly raising our game and it’s our responsibility as athletes to make more people want to watch us. I’m sure the profile will continue growing and the Tour is moving in the right direction.”
Looking ahead to 20201, her own form is certainly trending in the right direction and Ellie will be the using the off-season to plan and prepare further improvements.
“I’ll have some time off over Christmas although I’ve played a bit more than usual since I’ve been back home. I’m working hard on my pitching with my coach Graham Walker and my dad, which is an area I need to improve, as well as the mental side of my game and my fitness, so that I’m ready for a busy schedule in the new year.”
Her experience, insight and sheer enjoyment of golf provide the perfect combination for her role at ProDreamUSA and Ellie offers wise words of advice for the current crop of client prospects if they are to challenge her and her LET colleagues in the years to come.
“I always stress the need to have a balanced lifestyle and make sure you enjoy golf. You’ve got to work hard but keep that passion going so that golf stays fun.”
“ProDreamUSA are a wonderful company to be part of and we work very much as a team to help our clients. We’ve all been there and done that and the fact that we’ve been in the industry for so long with so much experience across the team is huge and gives us a great edge.”
Amen to that Ellie. We couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for ProDreamUSA or the Ladies European Tour and look forward to watching her continued rise up the rankings over the next 12 months.