Tom on Tour – the ups and downs.

“I wrote last time from the mountain tops of the Dolomites in Italy. Since then I have felt both the highs and lows that come from the game. I had two more tournaments on the Alps tour to play before European Tour Q School and I’m afraid to say I played pretty poorly in them, ending up missing both cuts. So that led to a bit of a slip down the order of merit (luckily only one spot) as well as a loss in confidence; not ideal when heading to Qualifying School the very next week…

Fortunately though, I managed to find some form for Q school and came out finishing 9th out of 75 players (with the top 18 and ties progressing to second stage). A couple of weeks off followed, then it was time to head for the penultimate event, at the Panoramica Golf Resort in Valencia.

I must say this is one of the best courses I’ve played this year. It’s demanding off the tee requiring you to hit driver on a lot of holes, complete with well manicured, quick and undulating greens. I played nicely for 50 holes, and was poised in second place with 4 holes to go. But then fate took a bit of a hand with the arrival of the mother of all rainstorms. Certainly a bit of unfortunate timing but I’m not going to blame the conditions for the bogeys on the last four holes – a poor finish which cost me about €4,000 – which naturally hurt a bit.

BUT it’s important to take the positives out of the 50 good holes and not focus on the 4 bad ones. My next trip is for the finale of the Alps Tour at Pont Royale Golf Club near Marseille. This is my last chance to earn a challenge tour card through the Alps Tour. Straight after this event I will be heading to the second stage of tour school at El Valle Golf Club near Murcia, Spain.
You can follow my progress here on (follow the links to Q school at El Valle), and to follow me in Marseille just go to

Tip of the month; 
Putting Warm Up
A quick tip for when you have just 5 minutes spare to warm up and you’re near the putting green. Simply pick a hole and hit putts from a range you know you won’t miss from (for me this will be around 2 and half to 3 feet). I know this may sound silly but this will get the brain into the habit of recognising a pattern of the ball falling into the hole. Out on the course you’ll subconsciously be expecting the same thing, even from longer distances.
Secondly, to do some pace putting practice; pick a target that is not a hole, it can either be a tee you put in the ground or the cut of the fringe. Again this avoids the brain continuously seeing the ball miss (as it’s unlikely you will hole a lot of putts from long range) but gives you a good opportunity to practice the long ones. Again this tip may lead to you being ribbed by your playing partners, but you just wait and count your winnings at the end of the round…”



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