Chas­ing the dream

Mens’ feeder tours where play­ers ply their trade pray­ing for that life-chang­ing week

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Life On Tour -

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’

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