Novice to scratch in just one year!

Hertfordshire man takes up golf... and decides he wants to play off scratch

AP's picture
Wed, 10 Nov 2010

I’ve thought of some ridiculous golfing feats I’d like to try and achieve at some point in my life. I’d love to hit a ball off the tallest building in the world. Or play a round dressed like John Daly. Mental, I know…

I once advanced quite far with plans to hit a golf ball from New York to Los Angeles. Why? I’ve no idea. For some reason I thought it would be fun. Mad. But fun.

One thing I’ve never thought about, however, is becoming a scratch golfer. Mainly because there’s not a coach in the world with the patience to get me there. But David West believes he can do it.

The 42-year-old, from Hitchin in Hertfordshire, decided to take up the game for the first time this summer after being made redundant from his job as Commercial Director at a leading credit data agency.

And now David believes he can fulfil his dream of being going from complete novice to a scratch golfer in just 12 short months. David teamed up with Wilson and purchased a set of X31 clubs to begin an intensive six-day-a-week programme designed by James Hull, assistant pro at Mount Pleasant Golf Club, Bedfordshire.

“I caught the golfing bug from the very first lesson and have now set myself a challenge which I believe will be of interest to all golfers,” says David.

“It’s going to be a tough year, but a challenge is only noteworthy if it’s difficult.

“There’s been a lot of improvement that hasn’t shown up on the course yet, but James has agreed to coach me for the year as he really likes the idea that anything is possible with belief, hard work… and an excellent coach!”

Speaking of his pupil’s attributes for the challenge, James added: “Fortunately, David has good hand-eye co-ordination.

“Although he had never played the game before, he showed a real flair for striking the ball well from the outset.

“We both have a lot of work to do, but his enthusiasm and dedication gives us a real chance of success.” 

Wilson will support David throughout the year, taking him through their ever-impressive collection of clubs.

Says marketing manager Rick Hazelden: “David began, as many golfers do, with a Wilson starter set and so we are very happy to support his efforts to reach scratch in a year. 

“Hopefully, he can work his way through the Wilson Staff range of distance [Di11], control [Ci9] and feel [FG Tour] irons in the process and eventually use the clubs played on Tour by three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington.”

You can follow David’s progress through his Facebook page, his Twitter feed or on his blog.

And, you know, best of British and all that.

The story so far…

August 8 David takes up golf
August 11 First lesson, the grip
September 19 First Par-3 round; shoots 36 (+9)
September 20 First full nine-holes; shoots 60 (+25)
September 23 First full 18-holes; shoots 110 (+40)
September 30 PB for nine holes; 54 (+19)
October 11 PB for nine holes; 52 (+17)
October 19 PB for Par-3; 30 (+3)
October 22 PB for 18 holes; 103 (+34)

Wilson X31 starter set

10.5° Driver with graphite shaft
15° 3-wood with graphite shaft
22° 4-Hybrid with graphite shaft
5-SW steel shaft irons
Classic-style putter