In this episode which took place during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship I met Ross Biddiscombe, author of Golf On The Edge 2: Q School Complete and also Golf on the Edge: Triumph and Tragedies of Q School.
Ross, a sportswriter and journalist for over 25 years, came up with the idea of writing a book focusing on the highs and lows of the PGA European Qualifying School (otherwise known as Q School) back in 2006. During his years working within the sports arena he had spoken to many golfers and heard their stories about the dramas, pressure and joy of going through Q School.
During our chat Ross gave me a brilliant insight into all the stages of Q School in Europe which golfers must undertake. We discussed how golfers pay £1300 for the privilege of attending Q School and then try and make it through 14 rounds of golf to be amongst the top 30 and ties who qualify for category 11b membership of the European Tour. It seems like it comes down to a mixture of concentration, dedication and some luck too. Ross admitted to me that these golfers are just normal guys like you and me, with a mortgage to pay and mouths to feed. At the end of the day qualification through Q School can often come down to an 8 foot putt – the difference often between a successful professional golfing career globetrotting the world and one spent working behind the till at your local golf club. As Ross has witnessed many times at Q School, there’s an incredibly fine line between success and failure.
Ross explained to me how almost every professional golfer has gone through Q School at the beginning of their golf careers. He talked me through some of their stories and described how sometimes even former PGA Champions have to return to Q School as well to re-start their careers. This will be the case for Scott Drummond and Andrew Oldcorn unless they have a dramatic change of form within the next few weeks. While researching his second book, Golf On The Edge 2, Ross followed 7 golfers for 12 months as they progressed through Q School in 2008 trying to make it on the golf circuit. This book makes a great read and gives a great behind-the-scenes look at the human drama that goes on within Q School for golfers trying to get their players card.
Ross told me that on 28th November he is heading down to PGA Golf de Cataluyna in Spain to follow the action as golfers try to qualify for this year so that they can play on the European Tour in 2010. During our chat he discussed with me some of the players who we should all be watching out for next year, such as Stiggy Hodgson, Wallace Booth, Gavin Dear, Matt Haines and Chris Paisley.
For details of who will be participating in Q School this year check out the European Tour website.
For more information about the Q School, buying Golf On The Edge 2: Q School Complete and also Golf on the Edge: Triumph and Tragedies of Q School please visit GolfonTheEdge.co.uk
Finally, the Question of the Day:
What is your golfing dream? Is it to win the monthly medal or Captain’s Day. Please leave your comments below and we’ll have fun reading them!