Haverhill Golf Club member Chris Vince feels in good shape mentally and technically to tackle his first professional campaign
There have been peaks and troughs aplenty, but Haverhill’s Chris Vince feels mentally and technically ready to attack his first full season as a professional golfer.
Despite the impact of Covid-19, the Haverhill Golf Club member made the decision last year to join the Clutch Pro Tour with a view to gaining Euro Pro Tour entry towards the end of 2021.
And his campaign begins on Tuesday with a two-day event in Staffordshire at Enville Golf Club.
“It’s quite overwhelming in a way to be in this position. This is something I’ve wanted for so many years,” said the 26-year-old.
“I’ve never felt good enough before but there’s been a lot of work go into it – a lot of tears as well!
“I’m really excited to get going and trying to prove that I belong at this level, but there is also no real pressure. I just want to enjoy myself and see where that takes me.
“It’s going to be a very long road. This is part of a five-year plan but if I can get some top 10 finishes or even a win, that would be fantastic.”
While Vince’s fate will ultimately be sealed by how he performs out on the course during the months to come, self-belief is going to be a key contributing factor to his results.
It’s a side of the game that the former Hedingham School pupil has been working hard on to ensure it complements all of the practical aspects.
“I’ve got a broader support network now and I’ve been doing a lot on the mental side of things. I’ve spoken to a psychologist and tried to tap into everything possible,” he added. “Golf is a very lonely sport. You’re travelling a lot, sometimes away from home for a week or two.
“It’s easy to get side-tracked but you’ve got to focus on the things you can control. That’s why I’ve started to write things down in a journal and set targets.
“I keep a track of things and tick things off as I go. That will provide some evidence I’m doing the right thing and it will bring some positivity, especially if things get tough.”
As well as changing his mental outlook, Vince has been busy honing alterations to his swing.
Having played in a couple of Clutch Pro events late last year, he felt it was a necessary change to get him into contention.
“Power has always been a strength of mine but we’ve been working on controlling the flight a bit better, slowing the tempo and getting better control of the club face,” he said.
“Thankfully I’ve not lost any distance, but it’s something I needed to do to compete and be up there.
“I found myself holding back a little back last year and perhaps not maximising what I have. I now feel like I’ve got the ability to do it, whereas last year mentally I didn’t want to take any risks. You’ve got to do that at times for the reward.”
* Any businesses interested in sponsoring Vince can register their interest by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 07538 974018.