Daniel Haycocks in Upper Sixth Form is one of our Sport Scholars, and his specialism is golf.
A member at Oswestry Golf Club (OGC), Dan also likes to play at Royal St Davids in Harlech to get experience playing on a links course. His official CONGU handicap is 0.0 (scratch) and he plays for both OGC and for the U18 County Squad (Shropshire & Herefordshire). Dan is determined to become an elite level golfer and to help him with this he trains for 2 hours each weekday night and plays every weekend. To help him reach this level he has started playing in national and regional events including The Carris Trophy & McGregor Trophy (both England Golf). Setting himself two personal goals for the upcoming years, Dan aims to improve his handicap from 0 to +2 over the next twelve months, and to have won at least one England Golf event within the next 3 years.
"First and foremost, the school has given me great support and encouragement in terms of my Coaching outside of school and entering big events," said Dan. "More specifically, I've represented the school in golf at events including the British Southern Schools Open Champions.
"As an individual sport, golf takes a lot of mental strength to become the best and enjoyment is a big part of playing for me.
"I love the competition. It's mentally demanding and technically demanding, because there's only yourself to blame when things don't go well. You have to find a way of grinding things out and scoring even if you don't have your 'A' game. While I enjoy playing as part of the U18 County Squad, individual scratch stroke play is what I really love. I'm fiercely competitive, and it's a game that suits me."
There are three stages to Dan's preparation, especially when he has a handicap qualifying event or a national event. The first stage is getting the swing mechanics right which he does by spending hours on a golfing simulator. The second stage helps with his distance control and flight paths, and this is done by spending hours on the driving range. Finally, Dan has a practice round on the competition course where he can fine tune his putting.
To date Dan's best sporting achievement was finishing 34th in an international field of 145 at the England Golf McGregor Trophy in July 2019 which was held at Radcliffe on Trent Golf Club in Nottingham. This was the first time he felt at home at this level.
"There's a lot of dedication to try and become an elite golf player," said Dan.
With an invitation from England Golf to play in the North of England Amateur Championship, we wish him the best of luck in this competition.