Falkirk golfer Ryan Campbell’s European Tour dream
Fast cars, plush hotels, flying first class – all the things you would normally associate with top level golfers.
But for those at the other end of the professional scale it’s an altogether different experience.
And if anyone is in doubt about that, then they only need to ask Falkirk Golf Club golfer Ryan Campbell.
The 27-year-old quit his day job with HMRC five years ago to turn professional. It was a bit of a gamble, he admits, but one worth taking, even if it is not the luxurious lifestyle many would come to expect.
He told the Falkirk Herald: “It’s only at the very top level where they make lots of money.
“Last year I have maybe just made a profit, but if I’m going to events, I’m staying in Air BnBs with four or five guys crammed in a house.
“I really enjoy travelling with the boys though, it’s a great friendship but it is in no way a luxurious lifestyle.
“I’m going on holiday in January with my girlfriend Christine. I can’t wait, it’s the first time in seven years I’ve been able to do that.
“I don’t get to see my mates that often as I can’t afford to go out when I’m back home, but when I’m out on the course playing I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Campbell has recently finished playing his fourth season on the EuroPro Tour - the third tier of European golf – and a third-placed finish at the Tour Championships in Spain rounded off a hugely satisfying season with six top 10 finishes his best season on the tour.
The success has led to him finishing top of the CPG Order of Merit, giving him five Challenge Tour starts next year and he hopes to capitalise on the opportunity.
He said: “I don’t have playing rights on the Challenge Tour but I can play in five tournaments and if I play well possibly more. That’s five opportunities to get playing alongside Challenge Tour players and you get into more if you make the top 10.
“I have just got to go and take advantage. I don’t know what five I’ll play in yet. I’ll sit down and have discussion in the next couple of weeks.”
Campbell reflected on his best season to date, he said: “I’m playing the best golf of my career.
“I’m coming in with a bit more experience but it’s hard to put my finger on it, I think I’ve got a bit more self belief.
“The Tour Championships was the final event for the season. It’s been by far my best season.
“If I’m being critical then I’m maybe a bit disappointed that I didn’t win as I had six top 10 finishes so I gave myself a really good chance to win one.”
Asked how he deals with the pressure of playing when it’s for your livelihood, he said: “When I’m playing golf I can block everything else out especially when I’m competing you are just focusing on your game the mind doesn’t wander. You’re in the zone.
“Everybody’s dream that’s playing on the tour is to make the European Tour and be competing at the top level. I’m no different. I’ll work hard over the winter and hope to hit the ground running next year.”
Ryan is looking for sponsorship for next season; if interested please contact [email protected]