REBECCA Artis is preparing for an even bigger 2014 after a breakthrough golfing year in 2013.
The 25-year-old professional, who hails from Coonabarabran where her parents still run the local Flood’s Bakery, returned to Australia earlier this month for a brief “rest” before turning her golfing hopes on the Australian women’s tour in January and February and then returning to Europe and trying her hand in the US as well.
It’s a challenging program but one the talented golfer is confident of succeeding with.
“It was a breakthrough year for me,” Artis said this week.
“I had my my first win (Helsingborg Open) in August in Europe and some top 10s.
“I had been struggling a bit. I knew I could win but it wasn’t happening.”
Snaring that victory in Sweden did wonders for her confidence as well as giving her a two-year exemption on the European professional tour.
“I had been struggling over there and my coach, Luke Edwin, came over for a couple of weeks in July.
“Then I finished 20th in Spain, had a top 10 in Scotland and the European Masters in England and then won the Helsingborg Open before I had another top in France.”
Home in Australia, she is spending Christmas with her family in Coonabarabran as well as with her in-laws in Tamworth.
Her husband, Geoff Artis, also doubles as her caddy, manager and accountant.
He’s also been caddying for English great Laura Davies this year and loves the opportunity to carry the sticks for someone who has become such a good friend.
“We’ll be travelling with Laura over the Aussie summer,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca’s Aussie tour starts early January with a string of pro-ams at Yamba, Castle Hill and in Sydney.
Then follows the NSW Open, NZ Open Australian Ladies Masters (on the Gold Coast), the Australian Open (at Victoria Golf Course) and the Victorian Open.
That’s a busy period before she also flies out to play in the China Open (part of the European Tour) and then a stretch of US secondary tour events.
“We’ve got about 12 over there on their secondary tour,” she said. “I played at the LGPA Q School but didn’t qualify for the main tour.
“However if I play well enough on the secondary tour I can earn some invites.
“I’ll also be going back to Sweden to defend my title at some stage.
“It’s a different atmosphere over there but I’ll definitely play a few tournaments in Europe as well.”
The two-year exemption in Europe is a good safety net for her.
A professional for four years now, she’s also improved her game.
“I’ve learnt how to score,” she said.
“As a pro you do learn how to score better.
“I think my golf has improved because of that and improved because I have been playing week in week out.”