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Reece Phillips: „She impresses me every day!"

21 February 2022

First things first: Congrats to your win in Kenya! How much did you enjoy the week at Vipingo? Was it your first time in Kenya?
Many thanks. It was an amazing week and my first time in Kenya. I was really taken aback by how beautiful the country is, the nature and the people are amazing, fun and very friendly! The whole week just had a very nice vibe.

Please tell us something about your career: When did you hit your first golfball? Where did it all start? Was there a dream to become a Tour golfer?
I began playing at 12 years old after following friends to the golf course just outside of London and quickly became hooked by the complexity of golf. I loved the fact the sport was largely individual and therefore it was down to yourself to work hard and try and improve. There certainly was a dream to play Tour golf and I tried for a few years before setting off down the coaching path.

When and where have you met Esther for the first time?
We met at a tournament towards the end of 2020.

You are now her coach, caddie and boyfriend at the same time. In which order did you get to know her?
We get asked this a lot - Boyfriend, Coach, Caddy was the order. It became almost a natural progression, we would sit up in the evenings talking all things golf, looking at golf swing videos etc. She actually watches more golf than I do. The caddying was a way to see each other with travel restrictions but then quickly became a nice way for Esther to have company whilst at events, the last couple of years have been tough and very lonely for players. It does also give a great opportunity for me to keep an eye on her game and keep on top of any issues.

Which part of Esthers game are you working on the most? Tell us also something about her strengths, please.
We have worked very hard on her mechanics, which became a little bit of a rebuild. We really tried to clean it up - taking out the faults and compensations which would cause her to rely on timing. The golf season is very long and with less excess moving parts, it becomes easier to be consistent. However, the list has definitely become a lot shorter these days! We also tried to develop some shots around the green - notably the higher/softer one. This was to create somewhat of a ‘toolbox’ of various shots for tough LPGA courses. Esther’s strengths really lie in her ability to control her distances, her personality, and her work ethic. She handles herself great and impresses me every day!

That is not your first job as a caddie, is it? How much do you enjoy the life on Tour, travelling, meeting a lot of new guys in the golf business etc.?
I actually caddied for 4 events for my good friend Oliver Fisher on the men’s European Tour at the end of 2017. It’s cool being at Tour events, you’re watching and learning from the best players and coaches in the business. The caddies are good fun, a great sense of camaraderie and everyone enjoys seeing their friends and colleagues doing well.

You and Esther are obviously spending a lot of time together? What are your common interests besides golf? And what are things you love to do by yourself?
That’s true, we spend nearly all our time together. We both really enjoy finding cool coffee spots, people watching, long walks, good books etc. Esther is pretty good at cooking/baking, her carrot cake is something special! If Esther is away at a tournament or back in Germany, apart from leader board watching, I will spend some extra time with friends and might even play some golf.

Give us some quick insights in your future plans. What are your personal goals for the next years?
We are currently looking at spending more time in America, the facilities and climate make it a lot easier when trying to compete on the LPGA. Personally, I just want to keep trying to improve myself and develop my knowledge within the game. Golf is great because you can always find better ways to do things!

Photo: Tristan Jones/LET

21 February 2022