"Ok Mr. Wingrove , please sign here"
That's it, its official , I am on the dole, I am signing on, one of the great unemployed, I have no money, my father has taken the car back off me. My dreams of winning the Open Championship has taken a severe knock; I am now looking for work, any work of any kind.
A new professional by the name of Hugh Boyle had taken on the post of head golf professional at Royal Wimbledon Golf Club and it became very clear from the start that my days at Royal were numbered. I was always teaching and playing with the members, it was always me they asked for. I was a good player and I was building a reputation as a good teacher. It was not good for the assistant to be busier than the new head professional. So one morning on the practice ground the bomb was dropped:
"Dean it's not working, you have to move on"...
My whole world was rocked, I was the boy that was doing good, I had made it from the horrible council estate to the most wonderful Royal Wimbledon Golf Club. I was doing a good job. Most of my family were always saying, 'Dean is doing this', 'Dean is doing that'. He is working at Royal Wimbledon don't you know, which meant next to nothing to my mum's friends down at the bingo hall. This was not just about losing my job it was about losing a major part of my persona. No longer could I say 'come and see me at the Royal'. 'Why don't you come and play a few holes'. This was not just a job to me this was my life.
And just like that, one sentence, one horrible sentence and that was it, all over, back on the bus, any job will do, I have to pay my mum housekeeping, confidence gone, and no calls from my fair-weather friends at Royal. Perhaps my headmaster was right, in my last school report, he wrote:
"no one wants to know an illiterate golfer".
Isn't it hard to believe that someone could actually be allowed to write something like that. To make matters worse, inevitably my golf game took a dive; I was not playing the golf I knew I could play, and of course the more I was trying to play the worse it was getting. I was in a bad place.
At the end of that year I went to Spain to try and earn a players card to get onto the European tour. Even if you had a stellar golf game and everything was going your way, to earn these memberships was near on impossible. Over 300 players for not many cards. Major winners have won and failed to get cards in this way. Woosnam, Lyle, Vijay Singh, Justin Rose and many others have all gone through this nightmare. Last week at the tour school, the 2009 USPGA Champion Y.E Yang and one of the Molinari brothers were out there battling away.
I went out there, I shouldn't have been there. I can remember feeling completely sick with nerves and only thinking, what I am going to do if I fail this week. All the wrong thoughts were going through my head, picturing the most difficult holes and how on earth am I going to get past them without taking a double bogey. I couldn't sleep, waking up sweating, looking at the clock every hour just waiting for the alarm to go off. I really do know what you all go through out on our course. I can completely relate to what it's like to play this great game under pressure!
Get out of bed get ready, look in the mirror and have a conversation with myself. Now just go out there and play your game and don't mentally get in your own way, just swing the club as if nothing matters. I make my way to the clubhouse of La Manga club, it was dark outside and I was cold, or was it just nerves. Ordered egg and bacon and just moved it around my plate for 20 minutes. As time went by I could just about see some players appearing through the dark morning mist on the practice ground which in itself was a nightmare because it meant I should go and hit some myself.
My golf game, soul and ability were just like my wallet, empty. It is so difficult to explain how most pros feel trying to do this. You know if you have just realised you have forgot something major, something really important, at that moment your heart jumps, or when you have dropped something and you know it's going to smash on the floor? Well that's the feeling you have all week. If you win a players card you have employment for the whole of the next year, if you miss you have to wait another year.
I can remember standing on the first tee on the South course. The longer I stood on the tee the longer and tighter the tee shot became. It's a driver all day long, I steered a 4 iron into the left hand rough. I'm sure if I would have stood on that tee much longer I would have convinced myself to hit a 9 iron off the tee! It's strange really, I've been back and played the south course many times since then, the fairways are wide the greens are big, it's not that difficult, but back then with a card and pencil and so so much riding on it, it was no surprise I crashed that year, and I have to say that I sat in the locker room and cried. I found a quiet place and cried like a baby, there was nothing anyone could do for me. I was far away from home and golf was the loneliest thing in the world.
Got back home, lift was broken like always, carried my clubs and case up 4 flights of stairs.
"Hi love, I am doing beans on toast do you want some?" shouts my lovely mum.
"Oh, and before I forget, your friend Robert Hunter from Malden golf club has been on the phone, he said that there is a job for an assistant golf professional going at Wimbledon Park Golf Club".
So this is how it worked...
Annie Balcerkiewicz came into the shop and said:
"I think I need to look at my woods"
So I get Annie booked in to the Callaway National Fitting Centre.
It's a 20 minute drive away from the club in Chessington. She goes along, spends an hour and a half, it's really interesting stuff and it is like a mini work out.
Annie came away with all the correct readings from her old clubs compared to the possible replacements. She was fitted with the best clubs to match her game. So they measured club head speed, ball off the club face speed, the correct shaft, grip thickness, lofts, everything.
Annie came back to me. Callaway sent me Annie's specification, I then investigated all the pricing to make sure we are beating the discount shops, we are.
Order them, the clubs are made for Annie, the fairway woods come in within days, and the driver took about two weeks because it needed a special shaft spec.
Annie is really pleased with her new woods and you could be too. I'm not promising you would go out and beat your opponent from St, Georges Hill, 7&6 Like Annie did... But I know that we will make your purchase pain free and will endeavour to get them to you ASAP, price match or better with great after sales service.
It's in my humble but professional opinion that Callaway are out in front with their innovation, standards and service. Just ask the Masters Champion, Danny Willett, the Open champion Henrik Stenson or the best women's golfer for 2015-16 the incredible 19 year old, Lydia Ko, who all play Callaway.
They are number one on tour in so many different ways.
- 17 out of 38 Driver wins on the 2016 European Tour (that's more than the 2nd, 3rd & 4th placed brands combined).
- #1 Brand for European Tour wins for Fairway Woods, Irons, Hybrids, Utility Irons & Wedges
- An incredible 22 out of 38 wins on the European Tour for Odyssey Putters (i.e. six more wins than EVERY other putter brand combined)
We have the opti-fit system in the shop. So we can make a club for you and you can take it out on the course and see if you like it, and more importantly see if you can notice the different against your own equipment. You won't get that at your discount stores.
I know buying your new equipment is a big deal, it's a big deal to us also. We make sure that you have the correct clubs for you. You can take as long as you like, there is no need to rush. Money is not easy to come by these days and we understand it's a big investment on your part.
Come and see us anytime, or click here to get in touch.
Annie, thank you for your continued support. It is something that I always will appreciate and never take for granted.
Slipping Under the Radar...
Along with Callaway dominating the hardware side of golfing equipment, Under Armour continues with great strides in the market place. I have been a Callaway player for many years and I'm proud to say they have made me an ambassador.
I have been wearing Under Armour for the first time this year and it's fantastic. The players, that use this equipment are not overly interested in money they are interested in how can they get better. Apart from fitness, diet, and practice they must be able to rely on their equipment. So come in and have a look.
Click here to find out more about our Under Armour ranges.
Jordan triumphed at the Australian Open for the 2nd time in 3 years.
In a 3-way playoff - Spieth birdied the first extra hole with a 12 footer to claim victory.
It is worth noting that Cam Smith (another UA player) was one of the other 2 players in the playoff.
Birdies the 72nd hole to claim the DP World Tour Championship - taking him to 6th Position in the final 'Race for Dubai' standings.
This represents Matt's 2nd Tour Victory this year - and 3rd in his career.
Alongside a Ryder Cup appearance and a Top 10 at The Masters - this result has propelled him into the World Top 30.
Matt is the future of European Golf - and he's UA to the bone.
Dominates the end of season World Tour Finals and defeats Novak Djokovic to end the year as World No.1.
As an athlete Murray transcends Tennis - he is seen as often on the front covers of the newspapers as he is on the back.
Ladies Chervo Trousers - Last stocks available
Our Chervo trousers for the ladies have proved hugely popular over the past few week's and we are now down to our last few pairs:
1x size 8
3 x size 10
4 x size 12
3 x size 14
1 x size 16
Drop into the pro shop to pick up one of these final pairs, or click here to get in touch if you would like to reserve one.