Chasing the dream
Mens’ feeder tours where players ply their trade praying for that life-changing week
It’s a feeling Wallace has been used to ever since he got off the merry go-round of switching coaches. “I’ve had about four coaches over the last six or seven years,” admits Wallace, “but I never really related as much to their methods as I do with Matt Belsham. He teaches Charley Hull and Oli Fisher and a friend of mine put me in touch with him just after Q-school in December 2015. I got through to the final stage, but I just didn’t play well or swing well enough. I knew that I needed to change something, so I did, and it took me three months to get my first win. Before then, I was putting myself in positions to win, but I was losing tournaments all down to technique. Under pressure, my swing didn’t hold up and I was getting too steep with a closed clubface. I was hitting it right and left and you can’t do that.”
Among Belsham’s other pupils is Wallace’s role model Alex Noren, who’s gone from nearly-man to serial winner on the European Tour in the last two seasons. “It’s been really inspiring seeing his progression,” says Wallace. “He’s a big idol of mine and he’s showed that if you put the practice in, you will be rewarded. I never go into a tournament expecting to win – otherwise I think you’re just setting yourself up to fail – but I always try to give myself the best chance to do so. If I miss the cut, I miss the cut, but I never want to have any regrets. That’s why I try to do everything in my power to be prepared for every week, whether it’s doing something golf-related in the gym, thinking psychologically about golf or improving my swing.” It’s a work ethic which has formed the bedrock of his rise up the rankings. The hardest part now, he admits, is trying to take his game to another level. But with one European Tour title already under his belt, would he ever consider following in Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston’s footsteps by trying to crack America? “I don’t see the need to change anything now,” says Wallace. “Maybe down the line I might play on the PGA Tour if it will help my golf. I played a lot of college tournaments in the States and I think the courses suit my game. But I’ve just got on to the European Tour and I’m focused on keeping my card. Plus, I know if I play good golf, I will get taken over there. That’s what happened with Tyrrell [Hatton] this year and that’s something I’d love to happen to me.” Whether he gets there or not, it won’t be for want of trying.
‘Alex Noren has shown me that if you put the practice in, you will be rewarded’