Fine Margins – the life of an aspiring golfer

April for many is the beginning of spring. The evenings are getting longer, the weather is getting better and overall is a feel-good vibe for everyone. And for the golfing world, it is the first major of the year and gives kids dreams and aspirations of one day teeing it up at the Masters at Augusta National, navigating the slopes and undulations that it brings, being in contention on the back nine on Sunday or putting on the Green Jacket in the Butlers Cabin by last year’s winner.  

Will Robson, like many kids, had hopes of living his life on tour and although he didn’t get to drive down Magnolia Lane, playing 2 European Tour events isn’t a bad thing to put on your CV. 

2X11D0D New Masters champion Scottie Scheffler (front) of the United States puts on his green jacket, given to him by last year’s winner Jon Rahm of Spain, during a ceremony at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on April 14, 2024. (Kyodo)==Kyodo Photo via Credit: Newscom/Alamy Live News

The reality for so many is that dreams slowly fade away due to mainly the cost of trying to make it professionally. This in turn leads to many golfers going down other paths in the golf industry such as coaching or going into the media side of it. 

“It was becoming too expensive” is what most golfers face coming out of college and Will was no different to this circumstance. Trying to reach out for sponsorship but the early 2010’s brought other issues. 

“It was like 2012, which was the back end of the recession so there wasn’t much money going around.” 

Will Robson grew up playing in Northumberland playing at Bellingham Golf Club and like many, turning pro and try to make it on tour was his goal. Being on the Northumberland County Cup team at the age of 15, the idea of going to the States became a very real possibility after seeing his mates go across the water. 

College golf in the States is probably the pinnacle of the amateur game and for Will, University of Kansas offered him a scholarship and he never looked back. 

The route of going to play Collegiate golf is a very desirable option for many golfers and Ewan Macindoe also fancied his chances playing in America. 

Originally from Ireland, Macindoe had his sights like Will set on making it professionally and Northwestern College were able to secure his services. 

Unfortunately for Ewan, injuries hampered his great progress that he made and eventually the set backs were too much and returned home. 

Having to get surgery on his shoulder was a big detriment to his season and wasn’t able to recover. 

“I was playing great golf at the time but the injury was a huge setback for me.” 

For Will though, his college career was a success winning the Western Conference title with the college. 

“It is probably still one of like the best days in my golfing career because the university never won the conference before.” 

Will’s path took a different approach after his years playing at the highest level of amateur golf and turned his attention to coaching. Originally not thinking about it being a possibility and no second thought given to it, but was given a job at Close House, the door opened for him to explore a new venture. 

“Didn’t have idea of coaching then, was doing like 2-3 days a week and they asked me did I want to start doing my PGA Qualifications through there and that’s kind of how it happened.” 

It is a big change for former aspiring tour professionals to now coach the youth of today into possibly making it professional one day, living out what once was maybe their dream, but for Will, who has been at Close House now for 10 years finds a reward in helping people reach their goals. 

“You can probably make people’s days getting texts and emails saying they’ve got the best score; it is really rewarding.’ 

Even though Will’s golfing days aren’t aspiring to be winning major events, competing is still a thing that gets himself motivated and playing the PGA Pro events in the Northeast and Northwest, he is able to keep his game sharp. 

Close House Golf Club in Newcastle.

Standard isn’t as high Will carried on to say but there is some great golfers there. 

“I would have to say the standard in America was higher than what it is over but everyone is playing full-time.” 

Will has his goals set for his coaching career to try and progress as a person, a golfer and a coach. 

“Just keep building on what I am doing really, retaining the people I coach. 

Use the next couple of years as well to focus on improving my own game. During Covid and lockdown, I realized how much I enjoyed playing. Sometimes when you’re coaching, you don’t want to play as much.” 

Life outside of the professional world of golf may seem not as enticing but these players have plenty of stories and are continuing to grow at the grassroots of the game.