WHEN it comes to frenzied, blazing shoot-outs, the PGA EuroPro Tour can often make the Gunfight at the O.K. Coral look like a playful exchange of water pistols.
You need a strong golfing constitution to thrive in the ruthless, cut-and-thrust of the third-tier of the professional scene but Calum Fyfe wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s a cut-throat business but that’s just professional sport,” said the Glasgow golfer at the end of a fruitful, fulfilling season which saw him earn one of five promotion places to the 2022 European Challenge Tour.
“The prize money is pretty top heavy on the circuit. But I like it like that. It makes you into a winner. Getting the first prize was great obviously but the satisfaction of winning and the belief you get from doing that means much more.
“It can be very easy to get stuck on this tour for years as there are so many good players. But it’s certainly not easy to get off it. You have to take your chances when they come.”
Fyfe certainly did that. His victory in the penultimate event of the campaign at the Castletown Golf Links Championship on the Isle of Man propelled him up the order of merit and ensured a step up the career ladder. It wasn’t just any old win either. Fyfe’s 24-under tally was the lowest aggregate in the circuit’s 19-year history as he fired off three successive 64s in a relentless birdie blitz that would’ve raised concerns at The RSPB.
“On a tour that’s had the likes of Louis Oosthuizen, Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton play on it down the years, I’m quite proud to have that record,” said the young Scot of his barnstorming effort.
At just 24, Fyfe has plenty of golfing goals to aim for. He also has plenty of responsibilities at home as a father to a two-year-old daughter and an 11-month-old son. “The wee ones give you that extra motivation,” he said of the personal duties which continue to drive his professional ambitions.
“The goal at the start of the year was promotion and now it’s mission accomplished. The Challenge Tour will be a step up in standard but not a daunting one. I’ve played a few events on the circuit before so I know what it’s like. I don’t think it’s impossible to get promoted from that tour either. I feel my game can compete at every level that I go to and the hard work is paying off.”
Back in 2017, Fyfe won the Scottish amateur order of merit, despite having to limit his outings due to funding issues. With his mum seriously ill at the time, there was plenty of domestic anguish to deal with too but Fyfe’s resolve and determination have remained undiminished.
The support of the Golfing 4 Life programme, a philanthropic initiative designed to aid talented golfers who face financial constraints, has been key to Fyfe’s rise. That programme was co-founded by Jimmy Byers and the redoubtable music guru, Bill Curbishley, who has looked after the affairs of The Who, Judas Priest and UB40.
“When I found out I was going to be a dad, I had a few worries but they simply said ‘we’ve got you’ and they have stuck by me and taken a lot of the pressure off,” added Fyfe. “That has allowed me to focus on playing golf. It’s a lot less stressful when you can just do that. I wouldn’t be where I am without that support.”
As part of Curbishley’s Trinifold management company, those guiding and backing Fyfe’s development are keen to ensure that he is “surrounded by as many elite minds as possible.” Next week, for instance, the Scot is off to a three-day training camp fronted by, among others, former British Lions, Neil Back and Lewis Moody.
Fyfe’s own personal manager, the aforementioned Byers, is confident that this ambitious, softly-spoken Glaswegian can make a bigger noise than a Roger Daltrey scream.
“He wants to win, he’s hungry as hell and he’s a little terrier,” added Byers. “Having children gives you greater focus and responsibility in your life and I think that’s one of the reasons why he has been successful. We have supported Calum for the last five years and now we are looking for some Scottish companies to support him too. We really believe in him.”
Fyfe has plenty of self-belief too it seems.
Credit: Nick Rodger http://www.heraldscotland.com/