Stirling golfer Goadby puts the books down ahead of busy summer schedule11 May 2017
University of Stirling student golfer Chloe Goadby is relishing four months of full-time golf having sat her final exam this week, concluding her studies for the year.
The 19-year-old, from St Andrews, is understandably optimistic about the future having experienced her best month in the sport.
In April she was third in the R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament and fourth in the BUCS Tour Finals in England, results that were hot on the heels of a ninth place finish in the European Nations Cup at Sotogrande, Spain in March. The week before that she won the BUCS Tour event at Dundonald.
“The European Nations Cup was my first top 10 in a high end international amateur event which is obviously a big achievement,” said Chloe who had been in contention during the final and scored her first hole in one.
“You play every week and hope that on the last day you have a chance to win the tournament. I had an opportunity there and it didn’t happen but hopefully it will at some point over the next season.”
Chloe traces the beginnings of her good run back to a 12-day Scotland winter training camp in Florida last November. There, together with the national coach David Patrick, she decided to make significant changes to her swing.
What she describes as ‘extreme’ hard work paid off – she opened the season with a top 25 in the Portuguese Amateur event - and she hopes to see more progress over the coming months.
This weekend Chloe plays in the Irish Women’s Open Strokeplay event before her summer schedule intensifies.
“Ireland is a good opportunity and I hope to do well,” she said. “I’ve had a couple of weeks to get productive practice in and work hard at the same time as doing exams.
“Then the week after I’m going away with the university team to the Slovenia Amateur events, which one of my team mates, Gemma Batty, won last year.
“June gets really busy with British events and I’m looking forward to getting out and playing.”
Chloe hails from a strong swimming family. Her parents both raced at national level whilst her aunt (Ruth Gilfillan) competed for GB in the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.
But when her family moved to St Andrews, the then eight year old Chloe soon got involved in golf, with a little help from her grandfather.
“St Andrews was the perfect place for me to be introduced to golf,” she explained. “Through playing with friends I got into junior coaching. My granddad, who plays and caddies at Kingsbarns, loves the game and inspired my passion for it.”
After a four year spell living in Australia Chloe decided to return home to Scotland and begin a degree.
“When I looked at the university golf programmes, Stirling stood out as being the best chance to get a degree and keep up a really competitive level of golf,” said Chloe, who has just finished her second year.
“Our coach, Dean Robertson, is great with the team and so enthusiastic about helping us all improve as players and people.
“Studying here is great and, living on campus, I have access to the excellent facilities so I can practise for a couple of hours then study for a couple of hours.
“And, because it’s not golf all the time, it creates a healthy balance. Hopefully I’ll come out with a good degree and then be able to have fun with golf and perhaps take it somewhere.”
Chloe is one of 150 students supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarships programme for student athletes.
Through the programme she receives funding support and the academic flexibility required to perform at the highest level in sport and studies.
Eighteen Scottish universities and 25 colleges form the Winning Students network. Students at network colleges and universities benefit from a dedicated co-ordinator to ensure they can balance their studies and sport effectively.
“With the help of Winning Students, the University and R&A bursaries I get the opportunity to play in so many different high class events and play against the best, whilst keeping up with my studies,” said Chloe.
“It’s been such a good learning curve and I’ve played just as many tournaments this year at university as I would have if I’d been playing full time golf. It’s incredible I can do that whilst studying.”