Hard work rewards golfer
EVER thought being a golf pro must be a wonderful experience?
Well, according to David Merriman, you'd be absolutely right.
The 59-year-old, who was among the big names in action at this year's Australian Legends Schweppes/Nor East Drinks Tour Championships at Byron Bay Golf Club, said he had no ordinary job.
"Even when you have your bad days, it is still like a holiday playing golf for a living," he said with a smile.
Merriman, who is a member at Robina's Lakelands Golf Club, has been rewarded for his hard-working efforts on this year's Australian Legends tour.
He is top of the circuit's 2013 standings with more than $60,000 in prize-money after playing more than 40 events across the country.
The father-of-one, who combines playing with coaching at Queensland's Royal Pines club, played on the Australian and European tours for several years.
"My wife travelled with me around Europe for four years," he said. "We saw places I never dreamt I would see.
"I never thought that I would be standing in the middle of Red Square in Moscow.
"If you are out there without your family, it's tough to cope with it (though). When the family is with you, there's no downsides."
Fellow player Max Forrest, who was also in action at the Byron Bay Golf Club event, said finding a way to get through the bad days was key for golfers at any level.
The Sydneysider was unable to make an impact on the leaderboard at this year's tournament, but did shoot a hole-in-one at the fifth during Thursday's second day of action.
"We call it 'grinding'," Forrest, who has been a pro since aged 17, said.
"You have got to keep grinding away, especially when it's going badly.
"I know it can be frustrating (learning the game), so it's just about lots of practise."
Professionals and amateurs rubbed shoulders at the three-day event, which wrapped up on Friday.
Peter Senior won the three-round competition for a second consecutive year, winning the title by a massive 10 shots with a 15-under-par 201.
Home player Matt Crandell took the amateur title by 11 shots with his 147.
Murwillumbah junior Lucas Higgins was next after firing a 158.
Ballina junior Eleka Moore fired a commendable 164.