Hannah Green will return to the United States this weekend determined to put the finishing touches on an outstanding rookie year and secure her place on the LPGA Tour.
The Perth teenager has been a revelation on the second-tier Symetra Tour, highlighted by a victory at the Sara Bay Classic in April, after turning professional less than 12 months ago.
Green has eight top-10 finishes this season, a mark of her consistency, which is made all the more remarkable by the fact that she has lived out of a suitcase while driving from event to event.
The Mount Lawley member has therefore deserved a return to Perth to rest up over the past couple of weeks, before heading back to the US on Sunday for the final six events of the year.
The prize at the end of that run is significant, a place on the LPGA Tour, and Green is well positioned to complete that mission.
At present she is fifth on the Symetra Tour’s money list – dubbed the Volvik Race to the Card – with the top 10 earning access to the top table of women’s golf for next season.
“I’ve definitely put myself in good position for the next six events to hopefully secure my LGPA car,” Green told the Inside The Ropes podcast.
“I have all my goals but I think I’ve achieved them a bit quicker than I thought so that’s always a bonus!.”
That early win at Sara Bay was an example of Green’s fast progress but, just as importantly, it acted as reassurance that she belonged in the company of the other players on Tour.
It also means she will return to the Tour without undue pressure to perform.
“For me to be inside the top 10 since my fourth event has been really helped (release) the pressure,” she said.
“I feel like I’ve got a bit of a buffer. I still have to perform well in my last events but the pressure is not there for me to have to have a win to creep back into the top 10 so that’s nice.”
Green is next due to peg it up at the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge from August 31, which begins a stretch of six events in as many weeks.
Handling that sort of gruelling schedule – especially on the back of her travel and living arrangements – has arguably provided her steepest learning curve.
“Yeah, we’ve done a lot of driving,” said Green, who has used the long trips on the US Interstate network to listen in to the Inside The Ropes podcast.
“It’s a lot more than what I’ve been used to living I Perth. It’s not like I would just drive over to Melbourne for a quick trip.”
Green admits her results have sometimes suffered from the schedule – she has learnt she shouldn’t travel and play on the same day – but has benefitted from a gym programme she was first introduced to while at GolfWA.
“I think it was really important that I got into going to the gym early (in my career),” she said.
“I actually really enjoy it and I don’t feel like it’s a chore or it is a thing that I have to do. I’m really wanting to do it.
“It’s definitely helped with my body being on the road – travelling in a car for eight hours and playing golf week-to-week, it has definitely helped my stamina which is really what you need out on the Symetra Tour.”
Travelling with other Australians and New Zealanders has also helped as Green has searched for the right balance between golf and simply enjoying the opportunity to travel around the US and see new places.
“It has been a lot of fun, I’ve been hanging out with the other Australians and Kiwis on Tour and we’ve tried to do some touristy stuff along the way which is a good thing when you’ve been away for so long,” she said.
“It’s nice to break it up a little bit. All of us Australians were in San Francisco, we went to Niagra Falls three or four weeks ago.”
She added: “I was out Mount Lawley and I did a junior clinic and the thing that I told the kids was to make sure that you have balance in your life.
“I remember the year after I graduated high school I wasn’t working or anything so I was literally at golf every day, hitting balls and putting and chipping and I ended up going backwards almost.
“I was too technical and I didn’t have a social life. I think that really shocked me and definitely I now try to balance my life as much as I can.
“I don’t practice as long as I used to but what I do now is definitely more appropriate for what is going to benefit me. I think it’s definitely important mixing and balancing your life.”
Green can also count on some pretty handy mentors to help steer her path, with 41-time LPGA Tour winner Karrie Webb a willing source of advice while she is out in the US.
“I’ve actually reached out to Karrie a couple of times,” Green said.
“I got to see her at Kingsmill and I got to see her at the Women’s US Open this year – she let me stay with the girls which was really nice. I definitely reach out to Karrie as much as I can and she’s really supportive towards my golf which is really awesome.
“She’s been playing golf for 20-odd years professionally so she knows everything about it, so it’s really good to have someone who has been at such a high level and have her as a close friend and get feedback and ask for advice.”