Twenty-five years on from his unforgettable summer, Gordon Sherry has revealed he still has regrets over the way his playing career turned out.
Sherry, now 46, made golf headlines at home and abroad after winning the Amateur Championship, finishing fourth in the Scottish Open and having a hole-in-one in front of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson during an Open Championship practice round at St Andrews.
The Kilmarnock man went on to represent Great Britain & Ireland in the 1995 Walker Cup against Tiger Woods’ US side. After playing in the 1996 Masters, he turned professional and was widely expected to emulate the likes of compatriots Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance and Colin Montgomerie.
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Despite several visits to the qualifying school, however, he never managed to get his European Tour card.
Speaking on the latest episode of The bunkered Podcast, Sherry admitted he “went down the wrong path in terms of technique” and got extremely unlucky by contracting glandular fever just as he was starting out.
However, he says that shouldn’t have stopped him.
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“Looking back, what I really needed looking back was a performance coach who was in charge of everything that I was doing, from training to practice to pre-tournament preparation,” said Sherry. “All of that stuff is crucially important. That and what you think and who you surround yourself with. There’s a lot of things that I would change.
“Do I have some regrets? Of course, especially with regards to what I did with my golf swing. That was crazy. But you’re only ever trying to get better.”
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He added that he has sympathy for young players trying to make their way in the game today – and explained how they can learn from his mistakes.
“Sadly, it seems that for every one that’s doing well, there’s probably five or six that are not doing so well,” he said.
“If you ask most boys, finance is right at the top of the list of the issues. People struggle to go out on tour. It’s forty, fifty sixty grand to get from tournament to tournament. It’s not easy. That’s a big part of it. There’s something missing in terms of the support mechanism to get from one level to another.
“It’s not as easy as saying, ‘I need sponsorship, give me money’. You have to give something back. When I look back now, I’m not sure I gave all my sponsors everything that I could have given them and if there was anything I would say to any of the young golfers coming through, it’s make sure you give much more than they’re giving you.
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“I think that’s a big thing. Get some guys to support you and then spend time with them, help them with their own golf, make it much more personal than just a patch on your arm. I think that’s definitely the way forward.”
Sherry continues to be involved in the game through his latest venture, The Links Club. A unique private members club, offering like-minded people access to enjoy and share many exceptional golfing experiences worldwide, it has introduced him to other country’s golf development programmes.
“I’ve got members of my club who are trustees of Golf Canada and they just have a different attitude and a different mentality,” he said. “They’ve got all these wealthy guys who absolutely love their golf and want to put something back into the game and want to do it in Canada.
“So, they have these funds and they attract different golfers and help them with coaching programmes to try and get onto the tour. But the big part of it is that if you’re successful, you have to give back. And they do. They’re more than delighted.
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“You get these Canadian golfers who are doing well on tour and they go, ‘I’ll definitely be coming to the Golf Canada golf days’ to pass on experience and give back and to give money back, too, because without the fifty grand they got at the beginning, maybe they would never have made it. I think that kind of system is missing in Scotland.
“To really focus 100% on your golf, you need to have no distractions at all. The only thing you should be worried about is where your ball’s going.”
• To listen to the full interview with Gordon Sherry on the latest episode of The bunkered Podcast, click here.
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