Golf at Goodwood’s Holly Aitchison returns from US Open

Golf at Goodwood’s Holly Aitchison is back from the US Open. Here she describes the experience, in the latest in a series of Goodwood-related columns for the Observer

Holly Aitchison is reflecting on the highlight of her career to date in the US / Picture by Tristan Jones
Holly Aitchison is reflecting on the highlight of her career to date in the US / Picture by Tristan Jones

“Having just returned from the US Women’s Open, I am still trying to reflect on what was a fantastic experience and the highlight of my career to date.

Although I was disappointed not to make the cut, I can look back on an incredible week on golf’s biggest stage.

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Playing in my first US Women’s Open and first golf tournament in America was incredible. The tournament is the best-run event I’ve ever attended and the course, the people and the facilities were all phenomenal.

I am used to decent-size crowds in attendance but nothing on the scale of what I witnessed at the Lancaster Country Club, Pennsylvania. That was perhaps one of the greatest differences between the US Open and any tournament I’ve played previously.

Having arrived on the Sunday, I played nine holes the next morning to dust off some travelling cobwebs and was amazed by the rows of people watching – it was crazy!

I don’t think the crowds affected my game; I didn’t really feel extra pressure as the atmosphere was so good around the golf course and I was able to soak it all up and really enjoy myself.

I’ll admit I certainly felt a few extra nerves during the event but I guess that’s only normal in a tournament of such magnitude.

My main goal going into the US Open was to learn as much as possible and enjoy the experience so that’s what I tried to focus on whenever I got nervous.

Playing in a world-class event against the world’s best was a real learning curve and I’ve come away with a lot of positive feelings about the whole experience. The course was hugely challenging but it was beneficial for my development to play such a long golf course and test my distance.

My ball striking was very good last week but most of all I was delighted with how I coped with all the nervous energy I had during the week.

Going forward, I will be taking positives from my performance but I am really looking to kick on from it. I will be working on a few bits over the coming weeks in Europe, especially trying to tidy up a few edges to my short game and mental strength.

My next tournament will be the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald, Troon from July 24 to 26.”

* To follow Holly’s progress please follow @hollyaitchison or for more information on Golf At Goodwood please visit

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