The professional golfer says "If you've got a talent for it, you have to stick to it and try your best."
Raise Your Game: How did you get into golf?
Rhian Wyn Thomas: I happened to be at the right place at the right time - the Royal Welsh show in Builth Wells. There was just a little net there, in a sports console, and I hit a couple of shots. David Llewellyn, the Welsh coach at that time, asked what my handicap was and how long I'd been playing, but I'd never really played before. It all kicked off from there really.
RYG: That's amazing. So that was the first time you'd ever tried it?
RWT: Yes, that was the first time I'd really tried. I'd played tennis before at quite a high level, so I guess that helps. It requires the same sort of hand-eye co-ordination and I've always been around sport as well.
Rhian Wyn Thomas
30 April 1987
- Winner - Hi5 Pro Tour Valle d'Este Open, Almeria, Spain, (2010)
- Great Britain and Ireland Vagliano trophy team member (2009)
RYG: So where did you go from there?
RWT: I had a couple of golf lessons with Robert Ryder in Ashburnham Golf Club. After about a year I just thought I'll get into golf as it was going quite well, so I just gave it a go. I started off with a handicap of 25 and after about a year I was down to about 13. After three years I was in the full Welsh ladies squad. It's been a bit of a whirlwhind really!
RYG: You turned professional in December 2009, how's it going so far?
RWT: I've played one tournament in Almeria in Spain (Hi5 Pro Tour Valle d'Este Open) and I won! My first Ladies European Tour event is in Morocco (Lalla Meryem Cup) on 18 March 2010.
RYG: How do you cope with the extra pressure of being a professional?
RWT: It's a different environment with the crowd and cameras. On the course a bit of pressure does you good because it gets your concentration levels up. You have to just keep your head down and think like an amateur, try and enjoy it as that's when you play better.
RYG: You travel a lot as a golfer. Do you enjoy that experience?
RWT: Definitely. I've been most places, except Asia, I think that will probably be the best experience for me. I've been to Australia, around Europe, everywhere. It's a great experience and you get to meet a lot of people and see how other girls play golf.
RYG: How good is golf at keeping you fit physically and mentally?
RWT: Professional golf is four rounds and about four or five miles walking (per round), so it's good exercise and keeps you going. You have to keep your concentration as well. Sport in general is a good thing for kids to do.
RYG: What attributes do successful golfers need?
RWT: The ability to concentrate over three or four hours and fitness. You need to be as good on the 18th hole as you are on the first. You need a positive attitude towards golf. If you start thinking negative thoughts, it's going to go downhill from there really.
RYG: Is it important that everyone gives sport a go?
RWT: Definitely, any sport, any age, any time. If you enjoy it, then keep at it. If you've got a talent for it, you have to stick to it and try your best.