Carly Booth, one of the most exciting female talents to emerge in women’s golf since Michelle Wie, has signed a multi-year agreement with Nike Golf as she set outs on her first year as a full-time professional on the Ladies European Tour.
The 17-year-old from Comrie in Perthshire has played with Nike equipment throughout her recent years as an amateur, but her move into the professional ranks marks a more serious commitment to the brand as she enters a new chapter in a career which looks destined for great things after she won a coveted place on the LET at qualifying school last November.
The multi-year contract will see Booth exclusively use Nike Golf equipment from the VR range of clubs as well as bag, ball, shoes, glove, apparel and accessories.
Speaking about her decision to join Nike Golf’s team of athletes, Booth said: “I am excited about starting my professional career with a brand as big as Nike Golf. I know that the team there will work with me to give me the very best equipment and support to help me make the transition from amateur to successful professional.”
Stan Grissinger, Nike Golf’s general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Carly is still young but the vast experience she has already gained as an amateur will stand her in good stead for life on Tour. We are delighted that she has chosen to join Nike Golf and believe that she has a great future ahead of her.”
In signing with Nike Golf, Booth joins an exclusive stable of just five other female athletes, which includes world no.3 Suzanne Pettersen, world no.9 Michelle Wie and American college star Amanda Blumenhurst, who joins the LPGA Tour as a rookie this year after winning the 2009 qualifying school by two shots, as well as LET athletes Frances Bondad and Kristie Smith.
Booth’s extraordinary talent was in evidence from the time her father first put a golf club in her hands at the age of five. At eight, she became the youngest player in the world with an adult handicap of 20, and on her 11th birthday she won the Dunblane Ladies’ title to become Britain’s youngest club champion.
Since that early triumph, her career has been one highlight after another. At 12, she played with Sandy Lyle in the British Masters Pro-Am and at 14 she appeared in her first professional event, the Scottish Open, and finished 13th. She was rated the No.1 junior in Europe after winning the European Junior Masters in 2007, the same year she lifted the Scottish U18 and U21 titles.
In 2008, she became the youngest player to represent Great Britain & Ireland in the 76-year history of the Curtis Cup, facing the Americans in the 35th staging of that match at St Andrews. And last year she hit the headlines again, when becoming the youngest-ever Scot to qualify for the LET, after finishing 14th at qualifying school in Spain in December.
Booth also has a golf scholarship to complete at Glenalmond School near her home in Scotland. She started there after returning from America, where a stay at David Leadbetter’s Academy in Florida was followed by a spell at a school in Arizona.
Booth made her professional debut on the Ladies European Tour at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco
Nike Golf www.nikegolfeurope.com