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May 24, 2024

Interview with national coach Team NL Dewi-Claire Schreefel

Dewi-Claire Schreefel (38) is a Dutch golfer, National Women's Coach of TeamNL, and Vice-Captain of the Junior Solheim Cup.

Tell me, how has your golf career been so far?
My talent emerged when I took my first golf lesson at the age of 9. At a young age I went through all the Dutch selections and in 2005, I went to the United States to study "Sociology" while continuing to play golf. After my professional career, I returned to the Netherlands in 2017 where I had the opportunity to coach the Dutch team. I am currently the coach of Jong Oranje, aged 14-21. Additionally, I coach several other professionals. I enjoy seeing each player as an individual and where they stand in their golf development.

Do you feel like you missed out on anything in your youth because of your golf career?
No, not really. I've always had a natural focus on top sports. With my parents and the Dutch Golf Federation I always found a good balance. Of course, I sometimes went out with friends, but for many outings I could say no because golf had priority. I think it's harder for this generation because their phones are always on. All the fun things are shared, so if you're at home while your friends are having a great time, it's harder. It's something that we as coaches also pay attention to.

How do you deal with pressure, empathy, and involvement towards your trainees?
I don't really feel pressure for myself, but of course, I empathize because I know how much the players want to perform. I mainly try to steer towards results in training, hoping that everything will come out as well as possible in a tournament. I always try to be realistic, and I think it's important to have a clear understanding of what level is achievable so that I can help the player meet expectations.

How do you deal with distractions among the players?
Talented players can choose whether to join Team NL or not; it's not mandatory. They know that certain demands are expected in top sports. Because they are still young we believe it's important to strike the right balance. They need to develop as young individuals, which includes spending time with friends and occasionally going out. The combination of school, sufficient rest, and top sports is naturally quite demanding.


"As a national coach, you try to complete the picture."

Do you need a special education to become a coach?
There's no special education for coaching, but during the PGA Holland training, you mainly learn the technique of golf and how to give lessons. Additionally, I gained a lot of experience as a professional player, so I know the kind of coaching I find comfortable. Each player has their own coach besides me, the "Home Pro." As a national coach, you try to complete the picture of a golfer to be able to compete at a high level. This means that I, along with the player's own pro, provide guidance to elevate all technical, mental, and decision-making aspects of golf.

What do many people not know about golfing?
With golf, you have a lot of time to think because you spend relatively little time on the golf swing. Most sports are reactive, which brings a different dynamic. That's why I think it's so important to make the players as complete as possible by training efficiently and simulating as much as possible how it is on the course during a tournament. This way, they can prepare themselves best.

What are you most proud of in your golf career?
One of the highlights was my participation in the Junior Solheim Cup. I'm proud that I played at the highest level for 8 years and that I could turn my hobby into my job.

When did you participate in the Junior Solheim Cup?
In 2002 and 2003. In 2002 I experienced the atmosphere, the team, the camaraderie, and representing your continent. That we actually won in 2003 and the team spirit that came with it was indescribably beautiful.

You've been asked to be the vice-captain of the Junior Solheim Cup, congratulations!
Thank you! It's a huge honor. I look forward to supporting the captain at this wonderful event.


"I think the Solheim Cup 2026 will give Dutch golf a huge boost."

What makes it so special that the Solheim Cup is coming to the Netherlands in 2026?
It's the biggest women's golf tournament in the world between the best golfers from Europe and the USA. The fact that it's going to be hosted in the Netherlands is incredibly special. As a national coach and representative of NL Golf and NL women's golf I naturally hope that it encourages (young) women to take up golf.

Why should you experience this event at Bernardus in 2026?
It's a fantastic event where there's something for everyone, whether you're just starting golfing, have just started, or have years of experience. It doesn't matter; everything together creates a fantastic atmosphere where you can witness top-level sports.

Do you think we'll see a Dutch player in action during the 2026 Solheim Cup?
I see the chances positively. Anne van Dam and Dewi Weber are contenders as pros. But besides them there are also a few other ladies who are working hard to reach this level. They have two more years to develop themselves fully and achieve their goal.

What does a week in Dewi-Claire's life look like?
Most weekends we train or participate in tournaments. During the week, I see the players individually at their own golf course. Once every two weeks, we have meetings with all the coaches in which we discuss what we want to work on and share our vision

What is your most memorable moment as a national women's coach so far?
Last year, we finished 3rd at the European Championships with Team NL, a remarkable achievement! They brought out the best in each other, which was beautiful to see.