Hetherington ready for her baby joy

Newly retired professional Rachel Hetherington believes facing a tricky one metre downhill sliding putt is much easier than taking on her next challenge – that of being a mother.

In a pleasant surprise, the eight time-US LPGA winner fell pregnant late last year and is due next month.

Rachel Hetherington Rachel Hetherington is bracing for her biggest challenge yet – being a mother

“Becoming a mother for the first time is far more daunting,” the 39-year-old told Golf Grinder.

“I can always prepare to make a three foot putt. With all that pressure you can do all that preparation but I don’t know that I can prepare myself enough to be a mother.

“I am trying to prepare to be unprepared,” she laughed.

Hetherington said while she and her husband, former Australian cricketer Greg Ritchie had wanted children she wasn’t sure they would have any success.

“You never really know if you can have kids until you try, so it was definitely a nice surprise,” she said.

“We are very excited.”

Hetherington retired in September last year and doesn’t regret the decision one bit.

“I retired from the tour because I wasn’t enjoying it any more,” she said.

“I know when I broke my ankle and missed the Aussie events in February 2010, that was one of my first big hints that I was ready to retire because I didn’t even miss playing those events too much.

“I have really enjoyed being home and many times I have to remind myself where my golf clubs are.”

While husband Greg devotes his time to public speaking and supporting cricket in Queensland regional areas, Hetherington has no firm job but is keen to remain in the golf industry.

She has completed the Australian PGA bridging course and is now fully qualified to run a pro shop and become a teaching professional.

“I am very interested in junior coaching, however there is not a great deal of opportunities here but I just wanted to have that qualification behind me for anything I do here in Australia,” she said.

“It was actually a very good course and I learnt a lot. A golf professional really wears a lot of hats, it is a really challenging industry.”

Not that Hetherington expects to be jumping into this sort of position in the near future. Her focus right now is on the arrival of her new baby.

“This is probably earlier mornings than running a pro shop,” she laughed.

And neither Hetherington nor Greg are bothered about the gender of the new arrival.

“You know, there is so much emphasis on whether you are having a boy or a girl but when you look at the scans and everything is checking out health-wise you sort of feel a bit silly for putting so much emphasis on whether you are having a boy or girl when the health of the baby is paramount,” she said.

“We don’t mind either way.”

Boy or girl, one thing is for certain. With such talented sportspeople for parents, the child will be involved in some sort of athletic pursuit.

“With Greg playing cricket and me playing golf, whether we have a boy or a girl there is going to be a ball in the front yard, for sure,” she said.