Dame Laura Davies will be the first to admit that the technical side of golf was never her forte. Hers was a game of instinct, feel and natural flair that would bring trail-blazing triumphs in a career of pioneering, record-breaking prosperity and longevity.

Davies’ relationship, however, with PGA stalwart, David Regan, was a hugely important factor in her rise to prominence. Under his shrewd eye at the West Byfleet club in Surrey during her formative years, Davies would be steered on the path to golfing greatness.

How did David Regan’s input help your game develop?

He never actually gave me a golf lesson as such. But he’d always come out to the range whenever I was out there. He’d show me some shots, we’d chip and putt together. He was never teaching me though. He was advising me. He was always there. If I wanted to know something I’d ask him what he thought. That went on for years. He was great.

He wasn’t trying to mould me into something I wasn’t. That was the best thing. He knew I wasn’t technical. He knew I just swung at the ball. The work we did was mostly on course stuff. We’d play nine holes and if I hit a certain shot, he’d ask, ‘why did you hit that shot?’ I’d then have to explain the reasoning behind it. He’d either agree or disagree. He was always trying to help my course management but he didn’t get in my way. He just wanted to steer the ship a bit. He was a friend first and foremost and a hugely valuable PGA professional and I learned a huge amount from him.

Your ’natural’ approach was very evident early on?

I don’t like being told what to do! Maybe it was a bit arrogant? I played a lot of sports and was decent at most of them when I was young. I didn’t want anyone telling me how to do it. I played football, hockey, tennis and netball before I turned to golf. My swing was what it was. If David had started talking to me about clubhead position and all that, I don’t know it would’ve worked. In many ways, his silence was golden.

How does that approach shape your own dealings with junior golfers?

I see the Surrey Junior Girls, and deal with 10 to 16-year-olds. You have to see what’s there before you start. I’ll watch them swing and you can tell pretty quickly if they are natural. When I see that, I’d never force them to change anything. I ask them to paint pictures with the ball. That’s how I’d play.

What’s your best advice for beginner golfers?

It depends what age you’re beginning at. That’s the great thing about golf. You can start at any age. So my tip? When you’re young, just play. Stand up and hit the ball and enjoy it and see what your swing is. If it’s not feeling right then a PGA pro would certainly help that.

For an older person? It’s more about the fundamentals. If you’re not natural and not standing in the right position when swinging, then it will cause problems. But that can be corrected with the right advice.

What would be one key tip Dame Laura Davies would pass on to a golfer?

Tempo. If I’m playing badly, I go back to tempo. Take the club away nice and smoothly. At any level, you can get rid of a lot of evils if you take the club away nice and smoothly. Under pressure, of course, that’s hard to do. We all have that tendency to whip it back too quickly when things are not going well. It’s all about the rhythm. But once the mind takes over it becomes a very hard game. When I was playing my best, I would not think about anything. I just hit it. That’s the best lesson I can give. That’s easier said than done, of course!