3 Aug 2018

Swedish schoolgirl Julia Engstrom on balancing studies and professional golf

Golfer Julia Engstrom discusses the challenges of balancing school life with her sporting ambitions.

When Julia Engstrom (SWE) steps off the 18th green her day's work is not complete, as she then swaps her golf bag for her school bag.

At 17, she is in her final year at high school and, since joining the women's tour, has to combine professional golf with her business and law studies.

"It is tough but it is necessary," said Engstrom. "I have to stay focused on both. When I have finished a round of golf or a practice session, I have to go back to my hotel to study. It's been like this since I became a professional last December.

"When I am back in Sweden I go to school normally but when I am on the tour, I have to take time off and my teachers give me some schoolwork to do by computer. I have one more year of studying to do and then I can concentrate on golf."

Engstrom created a piece of golf history when, at 15, she became the youngest player to win the British Open Amateur Championship at the Dundonald Links in Ayrshire two years ago.

That confirmed her as one of golf's rising stars, having been introduced to the sport by her parents as a two-year-old and presented with her first set of clubs two years later. She was a scratch golfer by the age of 13.

Her mother Jeanette was a tennis professional and Julia was an accomplished player herself growing up.

"It the end I chose golf," she said. "I still play tennis but I have made many friends playing golf and I love the sport. I have to be accompanied on the tour by my mother until I am 18 and it is good to have her with me to encourage me."

At Glasgow 2018, Engstrom will compete in the women's team event, which starts on 8 August at Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course, where she will partner Johanna Gustavsson (SWE).

"I have many good memories of playing in Scotland, especially winning at Dundonald, which was so exciting." she said. "I have never played at Gleneagles before so I am really looking forward to it."