‘I hate smoking’: Charley Hull talks about the habit she’d like to quit after viral moment at U.S. Women’s Open

LANCASTER, Pa. – Charley Hull was asked for an autograph on her way down to the driving range on Tuesday at the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. Nothing unordinary about that, except that the Englishwoman happened to be smoking a cigarette at the time. With her hands full, Hull kept the cigarette in her mouth as she scribbled away.’s Zephyr Melton was there to document the moment with his cell phone, and it quickly went viral.

“I find it quite funny, because I actually do go to the gym and I’m a very healthy person,” Hull told the media after a closing 3-under 67 at Lancaster Country Club. “I only smoke. I hardly drink. I don’t need to drink because, actually, I can have a fun time without it.

“Yeah, listen, my dad smokes 40 a day since he was 12 years old and now he’s 75, and my nephew smokes who is like 25. My whole family smokes, so it’s not something that I’ve noticed being odd. I hate smoking. I used to curse at my dad when I was younger for smoking, but I think it’s to do a little bit when I’m stressed.”

In fact, 28-year-old Hull said she only picked up smoking because she wanted to stop vaping. Not that vaping is any better of her, but she can’t smoke a cigarette indoors.

“When it’s a slow round on the golf course,” she said, “I smoke quite a few more than I should.

“But listen, I will stop soon. It’s just when.”

Hull, a two-time winner on the LPGA, has always been one of the great characters in the women’s game. Many fans became familiar with her for the first time at the 2013 Solheim Cup in Colorado when she beat Paula Creamer, 5 and 4, in singles play and then asked for her autograph for a mate back home. Hull was 17 at the time, the youngest player in Solheim history.

Last year, she finished runner-up to Allisen Corpuz at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach and delivered one of the most memorable on-course moments on the 18th Sunday, when she took an aggressive line under a tree with a 3-wood in an attempt to reach the iconic green in two to put pressure on Corpuz.

“You know the saying, shy kids don’t get sweets?” Hull asked her caddie shortly before taking a mighty big swing.

Hull’s Solheim Cup partner Mel Reid told a great story on Golf Channel’s Live From broadcast earlier this week about the time Hull asked her caddie if he’d booked her a massage moments before converting a pivotal putt late in the match.

Reid said trying to get Hull where she needs to be during Solheim Cup week is like taming a wild animal. Hull, who as unofficially diagnosed with ADHD last season, said that’s an accurate description.

“Literally all my friends always say I should have a TV show with what goes on in my life,” said Hull. “If you think I’ve got a lot of personality on the golf course, you should see what my life is like at home.”

Hull’s agent told her she’s gained around 70,000 followers this week from the cigarette video making the rounds. Hull put her Instagram account on her agent’s phone about four weeks ago and sends along photos and videos for her to post. With her addictive personality, Hulls said there’s too much wasted time scrolling.

2024 U.S. Women's Open
2024 U.S. Women's Open

Charley Hull prepares to hit her tee shot on the 10th hole during the first round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open. (Photo: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports)

“We’re just scratching the surface of her ability to be on a reality tv show,” said Reid, with a laugh. “She would thrive on ‘Love Island’, absolutely thrive, because could rip as many darts as she wants, she could swear, she could do whatever she wants, she can be outrageous. The world is her oyster in that kind of realm of entertainment.”

The crowds at Lancaster are among the best this championship has seen in the past 20 years, and they shouted Hull’s name all week.

“Someone said I’ve dropped something and then handed their phone number on a piece of paper in my hand,” she said, grinning. “He was like, here’s my number. Text me so we can figure out where I’m taking you out for dinner tonight. I never texted him obviously, but it was just so funny.”

When asked if she’d gotten more attention from one cigarette than any other week of her career, Hull laughed as she twirled her ponytail.

“I think I did, you know, I really think I did,” she said. “It was pretty crazy. Just one cigarette, it lit up.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek