Golf is The University of Life
Sport was always top of my fun things to do list; football, badminton, swimming, table tennis, snooker, fishing, most of which took my full focus at the time, so getting halfway decent at most of them wasn’t too difficult.
My best achievement was runner up in the under 11’s Lancashire Pairs Table Tennis Championships. That tiny taste of success made me realise I was very competitive but I that I hadn’t yet found my sport. Then my Dad introduced me to golf!
My father, Gerry, was a Commonwealth Record Holder and an England International Weightlifter who retired at the age of 35 and joined Chorley GC as a beginner. Within 3 years he was off 5 handicap!
Dad finally understood my passion for golf after he found me hiding in the back of his car when he was rushing to golf after work; he didn’t have time to take me home, so caddying was my first introduction to Chorley GC.
When my membership finally came through at age 11, (and having already made sure I was a competent golfer), my Dad recalled that I asked him, whilst walking along the 2nd hole, if women could become millionaires playing golf professionally! I’m thrilled to report that 36 years later, having fulfilled one dream of becoming a professional golfer, I haven’t quite managed the millionaire status!
And so it began, I was down to one handicap within 2 years and slept, ate and breathed golf. I had incredible support and guidance from within the club and the Lancashire Ladies Golf Association who I remain forever in debted to.
The County take you from the comfort of club level and nurture you. It’s all down to the hard work and efforts of the individual at the end of the day, but those early years and influential characters gave me a foundation on which to not only succeed, but more importantly, learn to deal with the tough times because as we all know, on a golf course there will always be some of those!
My amateur career was thriving and before I’d turned 18 I’d won the County Girls Championship and a number of senior titles, was English Girls Champion, English Intermediate Champion, had broken numerous course records, attained full England senior honours and finally was capped for GB & I (playing off +3).
My biggest disappointment though was not being selected for the Curtis Cup in 1990 – it hurt beyond belief having felt I’d achieved my place in the team.
This only served me well, as 4 years later and now a seasoned professional, I was to raise the English flag as one of 4 English members of the team at the Opening Ceremony of The Solheim Cup at The Greenbrier, West Virginia, USA.
1993 (aged 23) saw me capture what was to be the first of my 4 European Ladies Tour Titles, winning the Swedish Open in Stockholm and finishing 9th on the final Order of Merit.
Fast forward twenty years and2011 was to be my final year on tour after suffering a skiing accident. Two knee operations later and a whole year away from golf was the gentle push that I needed to retire from playing professionally. I’d begun to feel I needed different boxes ticking and I decided that teaching and mentoring were the new boxes!
I’d completed my PGA Level 1 and 2 coaching qualification in 2006 so a new and exciting path lay ahead.
No more planes, trains and automobiles –a ‘normal’ life from now on. Eek!
Of course I miss the travel and buzz of airports as well as many dear friends I met all over the world, but I don’t miss the pressure of playing for a living anymore.
Six years into my changed career path and I’m loving it; in all honesty, I prefer to coach, provide gentle steerage or mentor as I call it.
I always lacked some satisfaction in playing for a living - lifting trophies was wonderful and exhilarating, but the satisfaction gained from helping a client, whether it be one of my little juniors or my eighty something lady from Baxenden is hard to top.
It is an honour to be a Patron for Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer and I’ve just organised and held the second Sportswoman’s Dinner raising money for Lancashire Girls Golf. After just two dinners, £3940 has been donated to help find, nuture and support OUR future champions of Lancashire and more importantly junior golf.
Golf in its entirety has fulfilled my life beyond its wildest dreams. The friends, the places, the humility, the life lessons, the fresh air, the beauty of being on a golf course all on your own, hitting that ball, (finding it if I was really lucky) and hitting it again!
Golf is The University of Life. The never ending jigsaw. The love affair.
Lora Fairclough Golf
Hey lora these lessons you give us they are amazing mainly because you make it so easy to enjoy them and we go home wanting to do the lessons again and again and then when it comes to lesson time we want it to go on forever. She is also so supportive when you are not feeling above the moon and will cheer you up no matter what. So If anyone wants to learn golf and have fun at the same time I highly recommend Lora.
She is in my opinion the best teacher you could ask for.
Love Josh M - Age 10
’Lora, meeting you has changed my life ! No need to worry about asking someone to come away on a golf trip. All I have to worry about is to get myself to airport and the holiday begins! From not knowing anyone to meeting people from far and wide. Most importantly making new friends . We had coaching, competitions and filled with fun and laughter.
One very important thing Lora you have given me hope, confidence, belief and a feel good factor!
Thank you and you are tops!!!