LPGA: Charley Hull, 26, revs up 2023 with runner-up finish, her first driver’s license and a new car
Nearly a decade ago, Charley Hull famously thumped Paula Creamer 5-and-4 in Sunday singles at the 2013 Solheim Cup and then asked her for an autograph. Hull was 17 at the time, the youngest player in Solheim Cup history, and the autograph was for a friend back home in England.
Since then, Hull has become a fixture on the LPGA, winning twice and making five Solheim Cup appearances. Her most recent victory came last fall at the Volunteers of America Classic, and she opened the 2023 season with a share of second at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.
While Hull’s fast-paced, powerful game looked promising to start to the season, it was a different kind of driving that proved most interesting.
Hull, who turns 27 next month, passed her driving test back home in England on the first attempt shortly before arriving in Orlando, Florida, for the season opener. She traveled the world for most of the life, but never actually drove herself.
“So in England, it’s a lot harder than it is over here,” she said of obtaining a driver’s license. “You’ve got to have so many hours and drive around the town with a driving instructor. Then before that you got to do your online – well, you got to go into a place and do all the questions.
“So I started driving after CME and I passed my test in four weeks, so I was pretty happy with that. I only had three minors out of 15. You could get 15 wrong, but I only got three wrong, and that was right toward the end because I didn’t put my indicator on. Yeah, pretty happy with that.”
She was set to have her new car delivered less than an hour after she landed back in England after the tournament.
“I wanted a Defender, the new Land Rover Defender, but I can’t get insured in it because it’s too much of a fast car,” she said. “So I got a Range Rover instead, a small one, Evoque.
“That will do for now because I think probably having a big car straightaway isn’t good, especially on the small roads in England.”
Hull warmed up for the 2023 season with a quick trip to Casablanca, but said she recently moved to Sunningdale, England, to be closer to her boyfriend. Getting a driver’s license makes it easier get back home to see family.
It’s rare to have a chat with Hull and not come away having something learned something interesting. She talks fast, moves fast and thinks fast.
“I get bored with everything in life very easily,” she explained, “so I do everything so fast.”
She noted that her driving instructor suggested that she slow down – not necessarily her speed, but everything else.
Slow play can be a real drag for a someone like Hull, who finds herself daydreaming and doodling in her yardage book to pass the time between shots.
“People are probably thinking, she’s really looking at that green,” said Hull, “but I’m not, I’m just scribbling on it.”
Perhaps thinking about where life might take her next.