They were once amateur golfers and members of golf clubs in there respective countries.They no doubt will of invisaged and hoped for a professional golf career on a tour some day! They as amatuers will of been almost been like full time players travelling across Britain and Europe staying in hotels playing for themselves their golf counties,universities and even countries!
In these prestigious amatuer events they all would of competeted on a level scatch handicap format very much like what we see on our televistions week in week out on the P.G.A or European Tours! You know.... a par is a par,a birdie is a birdie and know one uses a handicap to gather a nett score at they end of it all!
The really interesting issue here is that all of these players will have had a golf club handicap at their home clubs! Now what you`ve got to undestand here is Mens handicaps maximum is 28 down to one.A zero handicap is called scratch but if a player plays consistenly better than that? Well their handicap can go into minus figures! The thing is we call that a plus handicap in golf! There fore a player playing off plus 1 on a par 71 course has to shoot 70 gross just to play to his handicap,so in affect they are giving the course shots.So that would be gross 70 adding his plus 1 for a nett 71.Now thats a tough one to swallow,week in week out!
So what were some of our current European tour stars handicaps before they turned professional?
Danny Willett Plus 5
Rory McIlroy Plus 6
Ross Fisher Plus 4
Marc Warren Plus 4
Louis Oousthuizen Plus 6
Lee Westwood Plus 5
Martyn Kaymer Plus 5
Victor Dubuisson Plus 5
Graeme McDowell Plus 4
Thomas Bjorn Scratch
Ian Poulter 4 Handicap
So what we see here is that 99% of all the top European stars reallly got down low in to Plus 4, 5 Handicaps as amateurs! There has been a school of thought for a long time that unless you are knocking it around your home course and ln local competitions in those sorts of numbers that you should not even consider turning pro!
But what about Ian Poulter? A unblelievable exception to the rule of thumb! I believe Ian`s absoulute mental belief and toughness is what has got him there and a good golf game off course! But when you think about it,although they turned pro at different times,Rory McIlroy was essentially 10 shots better than Poulter! I think once on tour amongst these top players Ian`s game developed and just got better and better!... More confirming what he already had believed about himself!
Truly hats off to Poults!........He`s living the dream!.......You only need to see his Twitter account to see that!