The Evian Masters must hold special memories for you having won there three times. What was it that you liked so much about the tournament?
Evian really has everything. It’s a beautiful place with a great atmosphere and it is run by a great team. I first met Antoine Riboud in 1994, the year of the first Evian Masters, which I was lucky enough to win. Since then the event has gone from strength to strength; the Riboud family have put their heart and soul into the event and it has created something very special.
What kind of challenges does the Evian Masters course present for professional lady golfers?
The biggest challenge is the greens, which never seem to do what you expect them to do. They can still surprise me, even after 18 years!
What were the most memorable moments in your career?
Winning the British Open as my first tournament victory was very special. Then winning the 1992 Solheim Cup was memorable because it was a huge upset at the time; we weren’t expected to win! And then winning a US Major in the Nabisco Dinah Shore was pretty special too. Of course winning the Evian Masters is always fun because of the close friendship I share with everyone there.
How do you see the development of the women’s game and the current dominance of Yani Tseng?
The women’s game in Europe is really strong. More amateurs are turning Professional as there’s more of a chance for them to make a living through golf. The LET have a second-tier Tour, the Access Series, and there are some mini-tours in Spain, so there are more opportunities for the girls.
Do you have wider interests aside from tournament golf these days?
I like to help to raise money for Alzheimer’s through golf as my Mother passed away from it. To organise a fun day which can help others down the line is great, and I enjoy being involved with something I feel so passionate about.
Do you do much coaching work?
Although I’m not a qualified teaching Pro, I often give clinics and help people with their game at corporate events I do and I often find myself passing on tips to my partners in Pro-Am’s.
You are working on a coaching day at Evian with a group of Le Bureau clients after the tournament. What sort of things do you cover in these clinics?
It all depends on the time you have and the group you have. I’d plan to cover every area of the game, long, short, putting. Having the fantastic facilities at the Evian Practice Centre makes this easy and efficient to do and I can’t think of a better place to work with people on their games.
What is the biggest benefit for golfers spending a day with a professional of your calibre? Is it inspiration, tips for their own game or anything else?
In my experience the most helpful thing I can do is to help people build on what they come to me with, rather than teach them a new swing. Aim to make small changes that make a big difference, and give them a few things to work on when they go home.
Do you enjoy working with small groups of golfers in coaching clinics like this?
I prefer small groups as I get more time with people and it’s more personal. Everyone is different and has different needs and it’s nice to be able to provide something personal for each individual there that will improve his/her game.
The group will get a chance to play a few holes with you at the Evian Masters Training Center short course. Will it be game on or will you take it easy?
I’m sure we’ll take it easy but I’ll aim to give some advice on golf course management and how to play the golf course.
If there is one thing you would recommend to average golfers to help them improve what would it be?
Grip and stance are the two key areas that we Pro’s work on as they are so key. So many amateurs don’t aim correctly and no matter how good a swing you make, it’s not much good if you are not aiming the right way. The set-up changes more quickly than the golf swing, so it’s something we have to constantly keep an eye on.
How would you like your career in golf to be described in years to come?
I’m not sure really. Perhaps that I performed well under pressure.
Should you wish to be part of this once in a lifetime experience and enjoy the last Evian Masters as a VIP guest and spend a day with Helen Alfredsson contact the Swiss golf travel specialists Le Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org or +41 (0)22 737 41 60 and become a part of their “On Tour with a Pro” trip. More information is available on the website www.lebureau.ch