On 20th September 2010 David undertook a challenge. It was to take up a game which had long interested him, but one he had never played. It was of course golf. He decided to dedicate one year of his life to becoming as good at golf as he could be, with the target of playing to scratch standard. He speaks to Leaderboard about being 'The Novice' and the challenge which lies ahead.
How did you get into golf?
I’ve been interested in playing golf for many years but always resisted the temptation because I knew it would end in me spending more time and money on the game than I should.
If you had to name one thing you love the most about golf, what would it be?
Golf’s main draw is that you want to keep playing. After a bad round you want to play again to improve. After a good round you want to repeat your good form and improve!
What has been your favourite golfing moment personally?
I played nine holes with Tara Dayer-Smith in January. Tara has her card for the Ladies European Tour this year and it was a thrill to be on the same course as her.
What has been your favourite professional golfing moment (to watch)?
My golf viewing has been mostly limited to TV coverage of Ryder Cups and occasional Majors. My favourite moment has to be the Ryder Cup of 1985 at the Belfry.
How did you get into blogging?
I’m a frustrated writer and the novice2scratch challenge was taken on with a view to writing a book about the experience - if I can make the adventure exciting enough. The blog was a way of keeping a journal of the year and introducing the challenge to the world.
Which other golf blogs or news sites do you read?
With playing, practising and writing I actually get very little time to actually follow golf or read about the game. Most of what I read is because I came across an interesting headline on Twitter.
What makes a good golf blog?
Hopefully it’s about having a story that readers want to follow.
Do you follow any golfers / golf fanatics on Twitter?
I follow a lot of golfers, both professionals and amateurs. I’m always interested on what others have to say about the game and it’s great to see the passion that the game generates in people.
Do you think the golfing industry is using social media well?
I think golf is well represented in the social media space, mainly down to the efforts of individuals. I am surprised at how few clubs and courses utilise the channel though.
Do you think golf courses could benefit by using the internet and social media?
Definitely. I’ve linked up with a few courses through Twitter and it’s my goal to play as many of them as possible. Courses that don’t use social media must be missing out on a huge audience.
Do you buy golfing equipment online?
Yes. I rarely buy anything from a shop as I find the best prices are always online.
Are there any specific products or accessories you swear by?
Playing most days through the winter has made me absolutely reliant on my Galvin Green waterproofs and they have never let me down.The rangefinder I was bought for Christmas is invaluable (it’s a Bushnell Tour V2) and obviously my Wilson Di11s are the best clubs I have ever played with.Do you watch golf tutorials online? If so, where? What is great about them?
There are so many conflicting opinions on how to learn and play the game, and I am trying to improve in such a short period of time, that I try to avoid taking on too many different views and will only use resources that my coach specifically points me at. For the most part this amounts to watching video of tour players that I can learn from. YouTube has a lot of videos but I would love to see a well constructed and maintained library of good quality video of the best players in the world.
What are your golfing and blogging goals for 2011?
I want to keep the blog interesting to golfers and non-golfers alike and the only way I’m going to do that is by continuing to improve and to get to my golfing goal – playing to scratch standard within one year of starting to play the game.
To read more from The Novice and his exciting journey visit www.novice2scratch.com