Ricko’s lass follows Dad’s lead

Steve Richardson, left, and his daughter Anna. Picture: Mick Young
Steve Richardson, left, and his daughter Anna. Picture: Mick Young
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Steve Richardson insists he will never become a pushy parent as daughter Anna starts a journey which may one day see her follow in his golfing footsteps.

The former Ryder Cup player’s 11-year-old daughter has recently gained her 36-handicap at Hayling Golf Club and is a regular participant in the junior competitions held at the club.

Richardson believes she has a natural talent and may have picked up some of the family’s golfing genes.

But he wants her to develop at her own speed.

Richardson said: ‘She is enjoying it and she loves playing.

‘I’ve encouraged her to play. She’s got a nice temperament around the game and she’s got a bright outlook.

‘She’s been playing nearly two years but I wasn’t one of those parents who gets her swinging a club the moment she could walk.

‘She’s got quite an upright swing, so it’s similar to mine.

‘A few people have said she looks a bit like me when she is coming through the ball.

‘It would be great if she wants to keep going with it.

‘She probably hasn’t quite got the bug yet. She will play two or three times per week in the summer but about once a week in the winter.

‘But I want her to keep playing and then we’ll see it how it goes. I’d love for her to carry on with it.

‘It’s all about becoming obsessed with the game at some stage.’

Richardson recalled he did not dedicate himself to the sport early on, even though his father John was the long-standing club professional at Lee-on-the-Solent.

‘There are photos of me holding a club when I was two years old,’ said Richardson.

‘I started playing properly when I was about seven.

‘But it took me until I was about 12 or 13 until I really got into it.

‘I was playing football, rugby and other sports but I got to a certain age and golf just took over.

‘A year in junior golf is a long time. These youngsters can improve so quickly but young golfers can also turn around one day and say they don’t want to play the game any more.

‘The key for any junior is to keep playing and to stay in the game.’

Richardson’s oldest daughter Emily also showed ability but has turned her attentions elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the former European Tour star is keen to hone his own competitive instincts with a view to the European Seniors Tour in less than three years’ time.

The 47-year-old said: ‘Anna’s sister Emily used to hit the ball well but is more into singing, dancing and acting.

‘She wants to go to drama school so I had better hurry up and get on the seniors tour to pay for it!

‘But I will branch out and play more next year. I’ll play more south region stuff and get back playing with professionals again

‘It’s different when you are just concentrating on your own game. I need to get that mentality again.’

Richardson added: ‘There is a lot of young talent at Hayling.

‘The club has been brilliant, everyone there is fully behind it and they let the juniors play their nine-hole or six-hole competitions.

‘I help out a bit but David Silver and Brian Osborne do an awful lot of work behind the scenes.’