Golf Digest Middle East

‘Winning in Al Ain gives reassuranc­e that you’re doing the right things’

Moving to Dubai in August refocused me and got me more in love with the game.

- By Garrick Porteous with Harry Grimshaw

I was actually born in Colchester, but my Dad is from Newcastle and my Mum is from Wales. I picked up golf when I was about three and I got my first handicap when I was ten which I believe was 32. I was using a half set of ladies’ clubs, and I got down to a handicap of 12 using them. I think that’s pretty impressive!

I made it into the England squad and grew up playing with Tommy Fleetwood, Andrew “Beef” Johnston, Eddie Pepperell and all those boys. Then when I was 18 I went to university in America at Tennessee to study graphic design and studio art.

Had a great time there, the people were great fun, great bars, live music. I think that’s where my love of going to gigs came from. I finished there in Christmas 2012, and then I won the 2013 Amateur Championsh­ip the following summer which then got me into the 2013 Open and the 2014 Masters. It was then that I turned profession­al.

Thankfully I managed to get a Challenge Tour card by making the cut at final stage Q-School in 2015 which was a relief because you see a lot of youngsters struggling and finding it hard to get somewhere to play for the whole year. So for me to get out straight away back then was a massive relief.

My maiden Challenge Tour win came in the Czech Republic in 2017 and since

then I’ve floated between there and the DP World Tour. You do start to question yourself. Is this right for me? Do I do something else? But somehow golf always seems to just drag you back.

My wife Maisie and I moved to Dubai in August last year. That sort of refocused me and I feel like I’m more in love with the game now and I enjoy it more. We love it here. I feel like I’ve met a lot of good people especially within the golfing community and since joining Trump Internatio­nal Dubai, everyone seems to drive you along and wants you to do well. We’ve got some great friends at Trump Internatio­nal and the practice facilities are second to none, the condition of the course is unreal. Simon and his team, they do a fantastic job. It feel’s like I’m at home. That all led to me winning in Al Ain

on the Challenge Tour. With it being only my third profession­al victory in 10 years means a lot. I think it just gives you reassuranc­e that you’re doing the right things and you’re in a good spot. So I think you’ve just got to capitalise on it and try to push forward.

But I’ve come a long way in the last 10 years. You grow with experience and it’s just kind of ironic that a win ten years after turning pro helps you feel like you’ve done a lot of good work. Especially after 2019 when I felt like I’ve got a bit lost, I got my DP World Tour card via Q-School and then Covid hit. But ever since then, it’s kind of been like some good, some bad, and never really performing to where I felt like I could win and feel comfortabl­e to win. Now having a DP World Tour card

and a Challenge Tour card is a nice option to have. If I continue to play well out on the Challenge Tour, then hopefully I can get my full card back that way. The jump up these days, it’s not that big. You see a lot of lads from previous years winning on the DP World Tour and staying there, there are some great players coming up from the Challenge Tour these days.

AGE 34

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