I Thought I Was Finished but I Couldn't Give Up
Golf Monthly|February 2022
Becky Brewerton opens up about her dramatic and harrowing decline in the game – and how she has fought her way back to find happiness despite times of struggle
By Alex Narey. Photographs by Howard Boylan and Getty Images

It hits you like a brick,” says Becky Brewerton as she gathers her emotions. “I’m hoping this will be the week; the week where it all changes and the hard work pays off. But every week is the same. Monday and Tuesday, I feel fine. Then, as the clock ticks down to Thursday, I can feel the pressure building. The nerves are getting stronger. Thursday arrives and I’m trying to convince myself it will be okay. But I am putting on a front. It hits me as I walk to the first tee and I realise it’s happening again. I feel terrified – but by now it’s too late.”

There is a long pause as Brewerton takes a moment. We have been speaking for nearly 40 minutes and there have been a couple of these, but none seem as significant as this one. It is hardly surprising, as the 39-year-old continues to pore over the last ten years of a career that has been the absolute definition of ‘two halves’. Brewerton joined the professional ranks in 2003, with her reputation and glittering record as an amateur turning heads from the word go. By 2009, she was a multiple winner on the Ladies European Tour with two Solheim Cup appearances. Not yet 30, she was, just as everybody expected, going places – and she was always up for the fight.

Twelve years later and Brewerton is still fighting, but it is a battle of a different kind these days and one, thankfully, she is finally winning, despite having to counter some hefty blows along the way.

For a bit of context, Brewerton’s story came to light in November when she wrote an emotive blog – titled How did I become so bad at golf? – about how her game had sunk to such depths that she did not want to play anymore. This is not strictly true; she was desperate to play, but golf had become such a struggle that just getting through 18 holes would put an immense strain on her mental state. Selfconscious, embarrassed and struck down by a vicious case of the ‘yips’ – from the tee, not on the greens – the outlook was bleak to the point she had accepted her life as a professional golfer was over.

“I reached a point where I had come to terms with the fact that it was the end,” Brewerton says before another pause. “But I was determined to do one thing before I died, and that was to enjoy a round of golf again. Just one round, free of the fear in my head. I just wanted to enjoy one more round of golf. That was the hope I was hanging on for.”

Warning signs

It was June 12, 2011 when Becky Brewerton tapped in for a closing-round 68 to win the Tenerife Ladies Matchplay. At 28, the victory – and the £35,300 in winnings – was merely another step on her journey to being one of Europe’s top players. Although the season had been relatively low-key, her ten-year exemption off the back of a stunning 2009 had given her the security to continue building. But six months later, a hip injury curtailed the start of her 2012 campaign. Little did she know at the time, but it would prove to be the trigger for a dramatic collapse in form.

“I was out in Spain practising, building up for the Australia swing in January with a bit of warm-weather training,” Brewerton says. “One Sunday afternoon, I finished practice early and thought I would go for a bike ride; I was trying to push myself a bit more, because at that time I wasn’t the most vigilant in terms of my fitness and one of those people who found it hard to go to the gym. I was fit enough to play, but I was no athlete, put it that way.

“I was coming down this hill that was quite steep, and I came to the corner and hit a stone in the road. The corner was quite sharp and I had to slam the brakes on. I went flying over the handlebars and landed right on the edge of the kerb, which went into my hip joint. At first I thought I had gotten away with it as the pain had subsided, but the next day I woke and my leg was black. I had pushed some of my muscle into my hip joint.

“It was a week until I flew to Australia, and I went there and really struggled, comfortably missing the cut in every event. But still, I am just thinking it’s a physical thing and I’ll get over it.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GOLF MONTHLYView All

The Cost of Membership

Golf club membership subscriptions can vary dramatically by region and even by clubs local to one another. We consider why this is the case…

10 mins read
Golf Monthly
May 2022

Being in Contention Is So Addictive - I Love It

We speak to Saudi International winner Harold Varner III about the peaks and troughs of pro golf and that elusive first PGA Tour victory...

9 mins read
Golf Monthly
May 2022

5 Shots Every Golfer Needs

As much as we’d all like to be able to execute everything in the coaching manual, certain shots are a little out of reach for most club golfers.

4 mins read
Golf Monthly
April 2022

The Promised Land

Fergus Bisset gives a whistle-stop tour of all things Masters as he considers the 86th instalment of the historic and iconic tournament

9 mins read
Golf Monthly
April 2022

HOW TO PLAY CHEAPER GOLF

With the cost of living rising markedly in 2022, we look at various ways you can save money on green fees so you can play more of the game you love

10 mins read
Golf Monthly
May 2022

The low running bunker shot

Watch the sand Stop looking at the ball at address and focus on your impact point – the sand however far behind the ball works for you.

1 min read
Golf Monthly
May 2022

WHAT IS CARBONWOOD?

We tell the story of TaylorMade’s revolutionary Carbonwood face, which features on the brand’s new Stealth driver

5 mins read
Golf Monthly
May 2022

THE ULTIMATE SHORT - GAME GUIDE

The key shots you need to get up-and-down more often

7 mins read
Golf Monthly
May 2022

TRIED & TESTED

We take a tour of the R&A testing facility in Kingsbarns to discover how equipment standards are set and what the future may hold

10+ mins read
Golf Monthly
May 2022

STRIVING FOR PERFECTION

We talk to popular American Billy Horschel about his stellar 2021, his love for West Ham and his future ambitions...

7 mins read
Golf Monthly
May 2022