NZ Golf Magazine | July 2019 | 37 or spend the time reviewing stats so that I can become a mentally stronger player”. Playing in China involves a 12- hour flight from Auckland and then usually, it is no more than a two hour flight between tournament locations. “My tournament week goes something like this: Monday is usually my travel day. I will generally try and loosen-up and try to avoid the golf course. If I arrive early on Monday, I may walk around the course and check out the scenery to get a feel for the course - but I won’t have my clubs with me. Tuesday is practice day, and Wednesday is the Pro-Am day. By Thursday, I’m ready to get at it! If I do get an afternoon off, I may do a little sightseeing or check out the local surrounds, but otherwise you will find me at the golf course, the hotel or the gym”. “Last year, I had a very solid year on the PGA TOUR – China, with two runner-up finishes, two other Top 10’s and only two missed cuts. The rest of the golfing world have quickly heard about playing golf in China and there has been a ten-fold increase in the quality of the field this year. It is also recognised as the cheapest of the PGA TOUR development tours (China, Canada and South America).” Luke admits that the golf courses are brilliant and well-conditioned. “They really suit good drivers of the ball; there is usually a lot of trouble if you hit it offline and there aren’t many lay-up or bail-out places to hit it! What I have learned is that no golfer can have their “A” game each week but you need to know how to effectively compete with your “B” game”. On the China Tour, the average golf course is around 6,500 to 7,000 metres and the winning scores this year have been around 15 to 20 under par. For Luke, thinking about how he is going to shoot one round 5-under par is a challenge but stitching 3 or 4 of those shots together is a huge challenge. “I have learned that middle of the fairway is the middle of the fairway. When you are driving well, you don’t see the hazards that could catch a poor drive. I remember one hole a few weeks ago, it was a 420-metre par 4 with a 230-metre carry, with the wind coming off the left. The fairway was 20-metres wide and there was a cliff on one side and the bush on the other. It really did make you grip the club a little tighter!” “The camaraderie amongst the foreign players becomes quite strong. We all seem to get on well and have fun socialising together; especially as we all have common goals even though we come from a lot of very varied backgrounds and countries”. According to Luke, it is the travel that can be most challenging. “I figure that I spent around 250 hours flying last year, and that doesn’t include getting to and from the airport or any time sitting around terminals. But that is part of professional golf; you either embrace it or let it get to you. I now use that time as “reflection time” Luke Toomey age 20 during the 2013 The Charles Tour Muriwai Open. ↓