Back To School

I’ve never really like the word ‘school’. It reminds me of a time in my life when authoritative figures reigned over me. To be honest, I’ve hated authority all my life and have done all I can to avoid being dictated to. It’s not that I want to be a dictator to others of course, I just prefer the joys of individual freedom. Two weeks ago at PGA Catalunya, I was back at school. A different kind of school admittedly, but a school nonetheless.

I acted my usual way in some respects. For instance I disposed of two clubs during the week, borne out of anger because the teacher (the golf course and golf itself in this instance) didn’t give me what I wanted. I opted out of attending the mandatory players meeting on the Friday afterwards. It is true I did have commitments at home on that Friday, but still, the rebellious chimp inside quite enjoyed displaying the figurative middle finger to the powers above. After all, what can I be taught that I don’t already know? That approach got me seven GCSE’s. Comfortable enough to qualify for a job stacking shelves at Asda. Although with my looks, I’m sure it would’ve only been a matter of time before Tesco’s came looking.

I did however manage to achieve one thing I never could at school: success. In spite of all my unappealing tendencies I outlined above, I came through a very difficult task this time due to my attitude. It’s far better than what it used to be. Still not perfect on the golf course sometimes, but off it considerably improved. And after Portugal, the only thing that could’ve derailed me further, was a bad attitude.

When I saw the draw for the first two rounds, I was so excited to be playing with Laurie and Ross Kellett. I’m good friends with Laurie. We talked about the stock market, wine, life, downforce, even what it would be like to be a golfer without a galloping mind. Me and Ross just talked about rabbits. I saw Gary King again. A cool chap who has grown up since the days of being involved in prank phone calls and throwing sweets at passengers trying to sleep on aeroplanes. Matt Nixon, Scott Henry…it was even nice to see Tom Lewis at Q School. I never thought I’d see the day Tom Lewis smiled while being at Q School.

The irony for me was that Q School corresponded with The Race to Dubai finale. I’ve been part of that event the last two years. Last year in fact I upgraded to a suite at The Atlantis for 250 pounds a night. What a bargain! A year on and I’m hobbling around PGA Catalunya on a windy day trying to avoid disaster so my mum can keep as many cigarettes in her packet as possible. Of course I wasn’t thinking about disasters, but watching my mum and dad wander around, I’m not sure the same can be said for them. PGA Catalunya is a tree lined course and beneath the trees laid hundreds of giant pinecones. I only know this because every time I hit a slightly off shot, I would watch my dad scurry into the woods, hunt about, and exit with two or three more giant pinecones. It was his way of stripping away the nerves I think. Little did it do for my confidence.

But they were there. And all credit to them because as parents not only have they had to watch me suffer with the blocks and hooks this year, the pain of losing my Tour card live on TV, they’ve now also had to go through the exhausting, unrelenting event that is Q School. At least my dad has got his front tooth back though (that story can wait).

I suppose I should mention what it was actually like to play Q School. Exhilarating is the word. In a totally different way to what it’s like the be in contention at Wentworth, but still, totally encapsulating. I’ve never played an event where so much can rest on one shot. Witnessing Richard McEvoy scrape through on 5 under par was one of the bravest performances I’ve ever seen. He has two kids at home and a wife who works as a teacher. I hope they realise how hard he had to work to get his Tour card back. Personally, I was playing so well tee to green that I never really felt too much pressure. I did get a little edgy coming in on the final day. When I realised winning the tournament wasn’t possible, I was just relieved to walk off the last green at 10 under par and 5th place considering the shots I was beginning to hit.

All in all it was such an amazing and interesting experience. The kind I haven’t had for quite a while. Probably since the Grand Final on the Challenge Tour in 2012. Although I can’t say that even came close to the psychologically tormenting nature of Q School. Regaining my Tour card will come with many benefits, but for now, the best one is where I’m heading: Leopard Creek. My girlfriend will do her annual duty of carrying the bag, and her daily duty of keeping me happy. I came 8th last year, playing at times like a bit of a buffoon. The way I’m feeling now, I hope for much better…

But we all know how this game is…

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24 Responses to Back To School

  1. Thom says:

    Well written eddy, I admire you! Keep grinding mate!!! Greetings from a PGA pro from the lowlands…

  2. Ian says:

    Well done Eddy. I liked the attitude you had pre q school. It wasn’t the end of the world for you and there are people all over with much more pressure every day of their lives. Glad you spared a thought for the parents. I tend not to watch my boy play as I don’t think he needs any additional “pressure” from me so since he was 9 I just let him get on with it. Trying to instill some autonomy to prepare him for a life on tour. He’s only twelve but you never know…….

  3. Peter wilks says:

    Watch those big pussy cats at leopard creek and show them what Good player you are

  4. David Flynn says:

    Wish you all the luck in the world. (From an ageing golfer playing off 24 who knows just around the corner there is a really low round of golf waiting to be played)

  5. Peter Goodall says:

    Good to see you back. Win at Leopard Creek to let us all relax and then you get serious.

  6. Les Bayliss says:

    As per normal Eddie, a good read 👍Good luck for the coming season 🏌

  7. andrew picken says:

    As ever a really good read.I was really pleased to see that you and Tom Lewis and Richard McEvoy regained the cards. I anticipate good things as you can play without fear and just enjoy it.

  8. Dox Warrell says:

    Eddie – you say it how it is. Good luck in the coming season – and most of all – enjoy! Aim at thet front tooth. 😎

  9. Matthieu says:

    Hello Eddie, I have recently caught up with your previous articles and I enjoyed following your latest results, notably at Q School. Not far really from being a fan, though I should get deeper inside in your short game as I could only be a fan of a truly golden hand player ! Olazabal is still the man for me.. !
    The way to tell us about the inside of a Tour player is both entertaining and a good source of inspiration or reflexion for me, and surely for numerous other decent golf players, golf passionate who kept their hooks and slices in the amateur ranks.
    Have fun in Leopark creek, focus on your ability to win, and please keep us posted !
    Matthieu, Bordeaux, France, handicap 1 (yes I am a French fan, Eddie !)

  10. Andy Dutton says:

    Great work, Young’un. Here’s to a stress-free 2017! I hope you have a good year too. x

  11. Steve O'Connor says:

    Well done Eddie- I greatly enjoy your blogs and hope you have a terrific 2017

    Steve

  12. Willie Dunlop says:

    Well done Eddie.
    I knew you would do it, you are too good and just had one bad season. Onwards and upwards now and just chill and enjoy your golf and the win will come, I am sure.
    I hope to see you in Thailand again and have already planned to go back to Scotland for The Scottish Open and hope to see you there.
    I have played Dundonald Links and also Phoenix Gold a few times.
    Good luck for the ET this time around

  13. Paul says:

    Good read, played a few holes in a corporate day with you and a few others pro’s last year a 12 handicapper can’t judge but it’s all there with wrapping paper on! I’m thinking a couple wins next year minimum.

  14. Neil says:

    Looking forward to hearing of your endeavours in 2017 Eddie. You always bring a truthful insight to life on the Tour. I wish you well.

  15. Posty says:

    Life’s opportunities are sometimes shrouded in banal routine, but next time you reach into your bag on the 1st tee for a ball, smile, it could have been a tin of beans. Play well.

  16. Mad Gazza says:

    Being behind the ropes in the PepperArmy has been tough this year, and to be honest, I bottled Q-School because I couldn’t face the thought and pain of the possibility of failure …… but you came through ! Top Man Eduardo. As for your Dad’s tooth, Buddy Osbourne enjoyed half of it yesterday but found the white part a little tough ! When you win, and it is only a matter of time, I think a diamond studded golden tooth replacement would adorn your old man’s smile appropriately !

  17. Heikki Kaasalainen says:

    I so much enjoy following Your bright writings. Wish You all the luck in the future.
    Life is a cabaret, anyway!

  18. Brian Norman McCarthy says:

    Brilliantly written as always.

  19. William Cune Jnr says:

    The intrinsic wisdom coursing through the veins of your literature often provokes a feeling of deep joy, much similar to Beethovens 4th or the glistening of the morning rays settling gently on the Tibetan plateau.

    Your strength in adversity reminds me of the Hindu warrior Baba Deep Singh, who, in times of trouble- looked inside of himself to nourish his heart, mind and soul to sustain the harmonious life with which he fought for.

    Once more under the breach dear friend, once more.

    Seasonal and Heartfelt good wishes.

    William Cune Jnr

    Harvard Journals 2009

  20. Colin Vincent says:

    Well done Eddy, expect to see you in Italy again next year at the top of the leaderboard

  21. LoadsofBirdies&Pars says:

    Eddie – these musings are truly Golfing Gold. Think of us hackers who occassionaly birdie and perhaps sometimes par a hole having dashed from the car park with minutes to spare. Most of the time Pro golfers are a distant species but your honest and insightful reflections are superb and refill our empty tanks with hope and love for the game anew. I really hope that 2016/17 season gets you back to where you belong. Please dont give up on these blogs -they are truly Gofing Gold. PS -You hope to play in Portstewart next July? Colm

  22. Hugh G Wang says:

    Dear Edward,

    I would just like to echo the sentiment of Mr William Cune Jr (Harvard Journals 2009) here. I liken this scenario to that of a man with an oyster. After all if ‘the world is your oyster’ then what is next and what should one do with said oyster. Some people are allergic to shellfish after all. I too draw inspiration from Baba Deep Singh and I consider what he would do with the oyster. We both know the answer my friend.

    He would make that oyster his bitch and ride that thing through the ocean like Neptune!

    2017 is the season of Baba Deep.

    Go Baba Deep.

    Regards from Mr Wang.

  23. Chris Ledger says:

    Wise words but I’m not sure about your dad’s tooth……..it was missing when I saw him walking the dog last week!!!

    Regards

    Chris Ledger

    Allsports Trophies Limited

    Trophy Lodge, Sugworth Lane,

    Radley, Abingdon,

    Oxfordshire, OX14 2HX

    Tel: 01865-736028

    Website: http://www.allsportstrophies.com

    Opening Times:

    Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm

    Saturday 9-11.30am

  24. Dr. Jack Goff says:

    Dear Eddie,

    I have followed you closely since your swashbuckling performance at Wentworth back in 2013. Like a troubadour, sailing serenely over the famous West Course fairways, playing in front of your loyal followers will be something that will live long in the memory. I have watched you rise through the ranks and also your recent demise. The proverbial snakes and ladders that is Professional Golf!

    But remember young man, it is the adversity and challenges in life where real growth in ones inner sole is developed.

    Your recent performance at Catalunya should give you an inner strength and robustness that will hold you in good stead going forward.

    I shall leave you with this Eddie….. “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world” ( Joel A. Barker).

    Best

    Dr Jack Goff

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