Gemma using football for inspiration

Gemma Dryburgh’s past experience as a county level footballer is inspiring her to get creative with her practice during the current Covid-19 lockdown.

Firstly, there is the football goal in her garden, which serves as a golf net.

“I saw Michele Thomson’s video where she had a duvet on her washing line. That gave us the idea to put a duvet in front of it and it seems to be working so far.”

Then, there is the chipping area.

“I’ve set up what I’m calling the Covid-19 chipping challenge. From when I used to play football, I’ve got some high cones, a chipping net and a circle that was used for keepy-uppies which I’m using as a target and then two other smaller cones. Then some croquet pegs. So I’ve got 10 targets and I’ve got to hit three balls to each. Then the last cone is worth double but you have to add up how many points you get throughout. Dad’s been challenging me on that.”

As well as being an avid supporter of Aberdeen and Manchester United Football Clubs, Gemma used to play for her high school, county and a local club, but she explained that when she went to the IMG Academy in the United States aged 15, she had to choose between football and golf.

“I actually wanted to do both football and golf, but they said I had to pick one. I really miss playing but it’s difficult with travelling and you don’t want to get injured. I still have a kick-about in the garden though.”

The lack of football fixtures at present is another challenge.

“It’s tough, especially at the weekends, because that’s when you look forward to watching a match and we were coming to the end of the season, so I was looking forward to seeing what would happen and where we’d finish, but it’s all gone now and I don’t know if it will start up again or if they’ll be able to finish the season, but we’ll see.”

Gemma’s own plans are on hold, but she is going to use the break to get back into playing her guitar, relearning ‘Blackbird’ and learning some new songs on YouTube (just don’t expect her to sing!)

When the reason resumes, her main goal is to play in the majors. “I’ve only played in one major last year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Maybe I’ll have a better chance to qualify for them now.

“This year, I’d like to be able to play in the AIG Women’s British Open. My position on the Race To Costa Del Sol is positive, so hopefully that gets me in. I’ve never played in the British Open before and this year it’s in Scotland, so it would be even more special.

“The toughest thing is not knowing when we’re going to start again. I miss seeing everyone on tour, all the friends you make and the LET staff as well. It’s tough. Hopefully we’ll be back on the golf course soon.