What Is It Really Like Getting And Staying On Tour

Ever wanted to get an insight into a touring pro? I don’t mean the pro’s we see in the media regularly. I mean a touring pro that is competing for a spot on the European Tour.  I’ve been speaking with Marcus Mohr a pro golfer on the Alps and Challenge Tour from the UK.

Marcus rocking his Bunker Mentality lifestyle range hoodie and hat. Plus showing off he can hit the center of the club face!
www.bunker-mentality.com

A quick background on Marcus he is a British Pro Golfer based out of Ellsemere Port that plays his golf out of Padeswood & Buckley in North Wales.

  • Turned Pro in 2015
  • 2015 – Played in the Europro Tour
  • 2016 –  Qualified via Q-School for the ALPS Tour
  • 2017 –  Played the Alps tour, finishing 37th in the Order of Merit, keeping his card of the tour.
  • 2018 – 3 top 10 finishes including a win on the Alps tour. Finishing 5th in the order of merit and gaining full playing privileges for the 2019 Challenge tour.

For more information on Marcus you can find him below:

I wanted to discuss about finding the right coach to turn pro, I’ve had my share of coaches but wanted to know what and how a pro thinks about teaming up with the right coach.

“From the age of 15 when I started till I was 25 I had one coach. We have a close relationship even now and he is still part of my team”

Following on from this Marcus discussed about how difficult it is on tour for both a player and coach. Marcus explained that after 10 years with his 1st coach he moved on as he needed to get better technically to help flight the ball in a way that allowed him to survive on tour. (There may be a separate article talking about this) The realization of this hit him after playing with a fellow pro ranked inside the top 100. So the search began for a new coach, life on the smaller pro tours are hard and coaches are not cheap usually averaging in the hundreds per session. So Marcus reached out through his network to partner up with an aspiring coach who wanted to work with Marcus. For the next 3 years both Marcus and his new coach work relentlessly and the culmination was Marcus achieving his challenge tour card after a top 5 finish in the Alps Tour. An outstanding achievement that might not get the credit it really deserves.

Despite achieving his challenge tour card in 2018, Marcus suffered a disappointing season in his eyes in 2019 by the end of the year Marcus was back in pursuit of a new coach and playing fewer events in the Challenge tour.  The newest partnership sees Marcus working alongside Liam James who in Marcus words “he took me under his wing I feel like I am technically and mentally better than ever before and the proof is when you see me on video and how I play.” Like a lot of you I’m not that familiar with coaches at this level but Liam James is a coach to Matt Wallace as well.

I think it’s safe to say that finding the right coach is critical for any level of golfer, perhaps more at this level but it’s ok to not stick with the same coach. I found a bit of comfort personally after speaking with Marcus as I’ve had 3 coaches in 3 years, not all coaches are to the same standard and each have their own strength and weakness.. We just need to find the coach that has a strength in the area we have a weakness.

With all the work that goes on behind the scenes I asked Marcus what his 1st pro event was like “My first event on the Alps Tour and the Challenge ended up to be very similar even though they were two years apart. They were eye-opening because I shot two respectable scores in both events and missed the cut by seven”

He went on to explain that these experiences acted as wake up calls to him, he has a positive attitude and a hard work ethic that he uses experiences like this to push on and to know he is in the right environment to improve and compete.

Marcus 1st event on the challenge tour was Turkish Airlines Open, I asked how do you prepare and cope in an event like this?

“I was excited but felt it was where I belong and  this is why I spent all those hours training, this is why I made the sacrifice. I treated it exactly the same as every other competition”

It’s evident to see that an awful lot of work that goes into finding the right player/coach partnership and competing on tour is difficult and something a lot of us will not have any relatable experience too. It must be easy to feel that as soon as you get your tour card you’ve made it. So I asked Marcus what was the hardest thing about getting to where he is today his reply was quite stark and a response I wasn’t quite expecting:

“The single hardest thing about getting to where I am now was in late 2016 I asked the Golf Club that I was a member of to let me have one year without paying a membership they said no. I had aspirations of playing on tour but I had no Golf Club and no tour status pretty much up shit creek. In a way this made me mentally tougher because I have to find a way, create a way to practice train and get my card. The feeling of getting my Alps tour card in 2016 for the 2017 season after what I’ve been through over the winter was a very proud moment because it was all me. Rejection is the hardest part. Hitting balls for 10 hours a day and not seeing an improvement is the second hardest part”

It starts to put it into perspective the sheer determination and dedication it takes to get to play on any professional golf tour.

Especially as we are very different over here in the UK compared to the United States where there is a route via college to help support golfers who are capable of playing on tour to get there.

We can all understand having a tough range session and a bad round but to feel as if after 10 hours of hitting shots you don’t feel you are getting anywhere must be gut wrenching. However what it shows is Marcus’ grit and determination to make it and to stay at tour level.

I naturally had to ask what Marcus’ best experience in golf was, and to be fair when he explained it I felt like I was in the moment on the bag with him:

“My best moment on the golf course was in the final round when I won in Guadalupe. On 16th hole, a tough par three tied for the lead I had a great swing which led to a par. 

THE MOMENT – Second shot in a Par 5 the17th hole. I was left with 238 yards into a hard tucked flag. I hit one of the best shots of my life, leaving me a 3 foot putt for eagle. I made it!

I hit two good shots into the 18th, two putted for par to win by three”

Beats any story I’ve got and sounded like a dream for most club golfers to take a competition down to the final two holes and win!

I asked for his best moment in golf and of course we want to know the worst!

“I can’t pick out one particular moment more of a feeling I’ve had four or five times in my career and it is when the round is lost and my game is lost and I do not know where to go or how to deal with it in that situation. It happened when I was an amateur and a couple of times after turning pro but not recently.”

We can all agree we’ve been there before, but as a pro I can’t begin to imagine how frustrating this must be.

Wanting to leave the interview and article on Marcus with something that we can all take away as amateurs I asked what was the one piece of advice that Marcus would give to any mid to high handicap golfer:

“If I could offer any golfer low mid or high handicap advice it would be to become one dimensional. Shape the ball one way and stick to it no matter what because your shot dispersion will rapidly get smaller and you will become more accurate”

For me personally this makes a lot of sense, as i don’t think about this at all. I just fear a push slice! Working with my coach and when i can get back out on course i’ll start to embrace my natural shot shape and not fight it or fear it.

So there you have it my 1st ever chat and article/interview with a pro. Firstly a huge thanks to Marcus, who gave me the time to ask questions and let me dig a little behind the scenes.

I wish him all the best for this season and we will defiantly keep in touch and I hope to bring more on Marcus over the course of the year.

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3 thoughts on “What Is It Really Like Getting And Staying On Tour

  1. Very good interview! I knew it was difficult trying to get to and stay on tour but didn’t realize just how hard. Best of luck Marcus! I hope you achieve your dreams!

    Like

  2. Another great read

    And a very interesting insight to part of the game most of us wouldn’t know a lot about 👍🏻

    Like

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