My travels in 2016
While preparations are in full swing for the 2017 season, I have had some time to reflect on a busy end to last year. Golf has allowed me to visit places I would never have considered and yet I now look forward to returning to. This year will be no different as I compete in a minimum of 20 tournaments across 15 countries.
The last quarter of 2016 was crazy. I travelled over 16,800 miles since the start of September playing in 10 tournaments across 6 countries. This travel unfortunately left my Christmas shopping and festivities to the very last minute. It is by far my busiest period of golf, and one that I enjoyed thoroughly.
The Middle East region is always a favourite for me. Maybe a little too hot still at the start of September with 40+ degree heat, but with stunning golf courses and landscapes it really is a dynamic region to visit. The combination of great weather, jet skiing down the Arabian gulf, skiing or ice skating in the mall makes the Middle East and in particular Dubai & Abu Dhabi a must see destination.
I was fortunate to compete on the MENA golf tour in tournaments in Dubai (Dubai Creek, Al Badia, Els Club), Abu Dhabi (Yas Links), Kuwait (Sahara country club) and Oman (Ghala Valley & Muscat Hills).
Most importantly, I was successful in making 7 out of the 9 pro cuts on the MENA tour achieving full playing privileges for the 2017 season, an achievement I am proud to have accomplished.
Aside from the competition, Oman was definitely a highlight for me and I would highly recommend people to visit (golf or no golf). Playing in the mountainous Ghala Valley provides some breathtaking scenery, and treking through the canyons of the Wadi Shab with its Boulder filled valleys, soaring cliff faces and pure mountain filled water, demonstrated to me how truly spectacular Oman and in fact the whole region is.
I finished the year in Spain in La Cala Mijas in the Alps tour qualifying school. Despite a disappointing performance, I learnt a lot and managed to achieve partial playing rights for this tour.
I experienced the usual highs and lows of traveling for a long period of time being away from home and the ones I love, but I also had the added pressure of competing in tournaments which attracted a high calibre of golfing talent from around the world. I really feel I grew professionally and personally during my time away as I learnt to manage myself on and off the golf course.
I cannot thank my family and loved ones enough for their love, support and continued encouragement which has allowed me to pursue my dreams.
My first tournament in 2017 commences in Morocco in March, so I look forward on embarking on another journey this year around the globe as a professional golfer.