Webb takes plane approach to golfing success
Mathew Webb is ahead of target for the year thanks to a memorable win in Australia '“ and he's ahead of the game with his PGA training.
The 27-year-old still has a burning ambition to play the European Tour.
And this week in Spain he’ll be pushing hard at the second stage of the Tour’s Qualifying School.
The Bedlingtonshire pro will be among 204 players competing across four courses in Spain with the top 25 heading to the PGA Catalunya Resort for a shot at the European Tour and the 2017 Race to Dubai.
“My targets were to win the assistants’ championship and do well at Qualifying School,” he said as he sat looking out at the PGA Play-Offs course at Saunton, Devon.
“I won the assistants’ and then I went over to Australia and won their event.
“So I feel like I am ahead of the game.
“Now the priority is Q School and I will be giving myself every opportunity to do well.”
Webb took the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship back in August.
He followed that up with success down under, taking the rain interrupted PGA of Australia National Futures Championship at Ballarat Golf Club in Victoria.
Jet-lag effectively derailed his attempt to follow up his adventure down under with a high finish at the PGA Play-Offs.
But that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm with Q School beckoning, arguing every win makes you stronger.
He said: “I don’t think there was anything that I could have done about the jet-lag.
“In all I was travelling more than 30 hours by the time I reached Devon for the Play-Offs.
“I flew from Australia to China, changed there, landed at Heathrow and grabbed a hire care to drive down here.
“I didn’t really expect the effect to be significant as it was.
“The Play-Offs is probably a bigger tournament, but it was still great to win in Australia.
“It was special because it was my first win abroad. To go away to some where you have never been before and win a tournament is good.
“You have got to take that and build from it. Every win you have is knowledge and makes it easier to do next time. Slightly easier.”
Webb’s Q School test will be Panoramica, which he has never played before.
But at least this time when he steps on the plane, it won’t be a day-and-a-half before he reaches his destination.
“A couple of hours and I will be there. I will have a couple of days to play and work on my game before the event begins.”
Webb is balancing his career as a playing professional with his PGA studies.
As an assistant he is enrolled in the PGA Foundation Degree which has modules in a diverse range of subjects – from sports science to business management.
On top of studying, Webb has to fulfil his obligation to work a set amount of hours each month in the professional shop at his home club.
It means a packed schedule, but Webb appreciates all the benefits the degree course has to offer, and options it creates for his career.
He said: “I want to make it on Tour and when you take part in events like the Play-Offs you see how good you have to be.
“But while that ambition is there, you also have to be realistic and the likelihood is I won’t make it.
“But the PGA training is very good because it gives you options.
“I am lucky because the set-up we have at the shop means I do get a lot of time to play.”
And Webb’s silverware-laden round trip to Australia also revealed the difference between the PGA and the training for assistants down under.
He said: “I was talking to some of the Australian assistants and they can’t go to say Q School. They can’t go to the Asian Tour or the Australasian Tour to try and get their card.
“They have to do their degree, then they can qualify.
“Our PGA is better. I can go to Q School, I can do all that – as long as I am doing my work, doing my shop hours.
“Our PGA still want to promote players and show that good players can come through the system.”
Webb admits his weakness is coaching but his father Marcus is a PGA Fellow Professional and business mentor for the PGA – so not surprisingly he has a good mindset for that aspect.
But he also knows that the PGA qualification is a passport to a career anywhere on the planet.
He said: “The PGA qualification is recognised all over the world. I would like to see new places. I liked Australia and I do like the idea of working abroad.
“And there are many countries where golf is doing really well.”