Katherine Hull: New Season, New Attitude
In a frank admission Katherine Hull says she should never have played the tour last year.
In what turned out to be one of her worst seasons on the LPGA Tour, where the Queenslander went winless and missed the cut six times, Hull says she should have taken the advice of her caddy at the start of the year.
Katherine Hull (Credit: Anthony Powter)
“I probably should have listened to Vern my caddy in March,” she said.
“He said to me ‘Kat just take the year off,’ but I have that stubborn gung ho personality and I was thinking that I could just charge my way through.”
Hull endured, as she put it, some “man issues” and then an injury, which wasn’t properly diagnosed until October. Her world ranking also plummeted to 52 from a career high 10th.
“Vern knew I was struggling mentally and physically so much,” she said.
“He is a good friend too so he knew and he didn’t want to see me struggle so much, bless his heart. He was the one that probably suffered almost as much as I did.”
“I barely wanted to practice and playing didn’t motivate me a whole lot either, so it was a hard thing to go through and I have learnt a whole lot from it.”
While trying to cope with her relationship breakdown, Hull also discovered that there was little fluid left in her L4 and L5 joints in her back.
While a common injury for golfers, it wasn’t until October, while playing in Asia, that she discovered she had sprained a joint in her lower back, which was causing most of her pain.
“I shouldn’t have played but I did and I ended up out of balance,” she said.
“I now know that if my piriformis muscle in my lower back gets really tight it can pull things out of alignment in my pelvis.”
While Hull works hard in the gym with her personal trainer, she admits post golf she has been a bit lazy.
“As much as I do in the gym I just needed to be taking better care of myself,” she said.
“I look at the tennis players and they are doing ice baths practically every day after they compete and work with physios every day who stretch them out and I wasn’t really doing any of that.”
“It was a wake up call for me and it is going to be a matter of being disciplined with it.”
The 29-year-old is now entering her ninth season with renewed purpose and the benefit of some tough life lessons.
“I know my game is good enough to be in the top ten,” she said.
“Realistically I am going to set my goal to top 20 and it is just going to be a matter of staying injury free and doing all that corrective stuff and recovery stuff and also working just as hard, if not harder, on my short game than I have in the past.”
Hull has discussed a programme with coach Steve McRae and together they have targeted several tournaments to work towards winning.
“I picked six and realistically there are four and they are towards the last half of the year because I know my body is not exactly where I want it to be right now,” she said.
Hull, like so many golfers, is a perfectionist and will not leave anything to chance this year.
“The slate is clean and it is going to be a matter of ‘Katherine, how hard to you want to work?’,” she said.
“After last year I am fired up. One win a season has been fine but multiple wins is the ultimate goal.”
“It is going to be hard because the talent is so much better, the best it has ever been, but I believe I have the game to do it.”