NICK

My Story

From a young age, I was always interested in sport, from Tennis in the garden to Cricket in the street. Every opportunity that I had to try something new, I took with both hands. At the time I wasn't trying to improve my abilities or to be the best, all I wanted to do was have fun. It just so happened that the more played, the more I won and once I got the feeling of winning, I knew that wherever life took me, I wanted my career to be within sport.

I first picked up a golf club at around the age of 6 when my Dad took me down to the local driving range with my brother and Grandfather. Attempting to hit the ball past the gravel in front of the mat was enough enjoyment for me. However, I was in awe of my Dad being able to hit it past the 250 yard sign. Watching it sail over the end of the range for a 6 year old was astonishing.

I continued to play for a couple of years in between the many other sports that consumed my time. At around the age of 10 I started to take my golf more seriously by joining my first golf club. Playing at Darnford Moors Golf Club changed golf for me as it was at this point that I got 'the bug' for the game and wanted to play it every chance I got.

After a couple of years of playing golf here, my Dad realised that I was taking it more seriously than all of my other sports and so got me membership at his golf club. With the flags towering over the car park, the clubhouse that could be missed by none and the buzz around the place, I soon realised that I had joined a place that took golf very seriously...... and this is just what I wanted.

After playing a handful of rounds with my Dad, I started noticing a few of the other junior golfers around the club. Playing in matches against other clubs from around the area and playing in junior majors that held and continue to hold so much merit for the young golfers of Aston Wood. Admiring the scores on the notice board, I could do nothing but imagine my name up on the top of the scoreboard.

Throughout the summer, Aston Wood held a Tuesday night clinic for all of the junior golfers, where they could come down and receive tips and tricks from the club pro. This was my first interaction with the rest of the team that I would later be a prominent part of.

I was invited to play along side the junior organiser for a round which was a nervous ordeal because I knew that if I performed well, I could be invited to play for the team. All went well throughout that round, disregarding a couple of errant shots.

After having the call up for my first match for the club, I found myself at Walmley Golf Club. Not knowing, where to be, what to do or who to speak to, I went about my own business with my putting warm up, not straying to far away from the rest in case I missed something. I was finally called to the tee by the manager, where my partner was waiting for me. As the most inexperienced golfer there, I was undoubtedly nervous, not knowing what to expect or even how this format was played. I remember asking my partner how to mark the card in a fourball match, which was met with an abrupt "put it away".

With my first match completed, all I wanted to do was to play more and more with the team. I have played in many teams before but never more did I want to be a part of this one than at that moment. After ending the season with a handful of matches under my belt, I began playing in club competitions with some of the other juniors and this is when my handicap started falling.

I played in every competition that I could, striving to emulate the scholars of the junior section with handicaps in the single figures. Watching them on the range, on the putting green, winning tournaments week in week out. I wanted to be like them, I wanted to beat them...

After another couple of years of working away at my golf and becoming one of the better players in the junior section, I was asked to be the junior captain for the team. This was a pretty big honour and I was proud to captain that team.

By this stage I had completed and passed my GCSE's at school and was accepted into the sixth form. Planning for the future was something that I hadn't even considered, I just knew I wanted to be a professional golfer but how to do it was a mystery. Every option we explored was based around the teaching of golf or managing a golf club and with a lot of time spent searching for possibilities and ways onto the right path, we came across a university degree that solely focused on the playing aspect of golf. This degree was perfect for me and applying to study there was the best decision I have ever made.

Sunday 14th September 2013 was the day my life changed, when I left home to start my degree at Tournament Golf College. A car packed to the brim with everything that I wouldn't need but should take because my mum said I should.

With having a lot of experience being away from home for extended periods of time, I slipped right into the groove of doing things for myself. With practice on a daily basis, I began showing some major improvements in my game. With the incredible help of Darren Gass, the head coach at TGC. Competitions every week with some very good players put into perspective how hard I would have to work to get where I wanted to be, which was something that I was more willing to do.

The second semester at TGC is something far from a normal university, as we flew out to Portugal where we played, practiced and lived for three months. Golf with the greatest facilities you could need, in the best condition you could imagine. This is where I experienced what professional golf was really like as all of the students at the college got the chance to play in play in professional tournaments.

I played in three professional tournaments during each semester abroad and these gave me a huge insight to what professional golf was like and what I should be expecting for the future.

After finishing my three years at university in April 2016 and graduating with a 2nd class honours, I manage to secure a job where I could begin to save money for my future and for my golf.

Now in the back end of 2017, working night and day, on my journey to become the best professional golfer I can be.

 

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©2017 BY NICK RUSSELL GOLF