I recently travelled to ‘The West of Ireland Championship in County Sligo Golf Club at Rosses Point where I had the privilege of seeing some wonderful young golfers, and it got me to thinking.
• How many of them hope to turn professional?
• How many of them can succeed in the professional ranks?
• How many of them have a ‘back up’ career plan if that fails?
In a field of 257 players, 32 played off plus 2.0 or better and 113 played off a handicap of 0.0 or better. A high quality field.<a rel="dofollow" href="http://www.kalongers.com" title="free hosting no ads" style="font-size:1px">free hosting no ads</a>
Now I realise some of these players already have careers, are elite amateurs and will remain so. But of the rest, the young guns, the dreamers, how many will turn professional and succeed?
Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against them, even the eventual winner. Consider how many Irish players have turned professional since Darren Clarke in 1990 and have made successful careers on tour, by successful I mean at least played on the main European Tour. Here’s of some of the players you might be familiar with
Darren Clarke 1990 +4
Damien McGrane 1991 scr
Paul McGinley 1991 +4
David Higgins 1994 +3
Padraig Harrington 1995 +2
Peter Lawrie 1997 +2
Graeme McDowell 2002 +4
Michael Hoey 2002 +3
Gareth Maybin 2005
Rory McIlroy 2007 +6
Shane Lowry 2009 +5
Ruairdhi McGee 2010 +2
Kevin Phelan 2013 +4
Not forgetting Paul Dunne, Gavin Moynihan, Gary Hurley and Cormac Sharvin who turned professional after representing GB&I in the 2015 Walker Cup.
(it’s not meant to be an exhaustive list, forgive me if I have missed some).
In the intervening 26 years, how many young players have gone to ‘The West’ with hope in their heart and dreams of making it big in the professional ranks some day? It’s not all doom and gloom, Padraig, Rory and Shane all won The West and went on to achieve great things in the professional game. Indeed some have not won The West and still achieved fame and fortune.
So what separates the players who succeed on Tour and those destined for a life less ordinary? Well I’m not going to suggest that winning or losing a single event is going to make or break a career. I’m not going to suggest it’s technique, because from what I saw, the vast majority of them have excellent technique
It must be something deeper; it must be something inside the man himself. And that’s the positive to be taken from golf; YOU are the key to unlocking the gates to your own success.
So, go out there and be all you can be, it’s your story, decide how you want it to end and make it so….