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Getting Ready for 2016

The 2016 European Challenge Tour golf season is nearly upon us and Garrick is building up for the start. He will play in the first event, The Barclays Kenya Open in Nairobi on 17th March, before heading to Egypt, Turkey and Italy in April and early May to really get his season underway.

Prior to these events he is planning some warm weather golf where he will test his game in South Africa at the Dimensions Data Pro-Am at Fancourt, 17-21st February. This will then be followed by his first taste of the famous Sunningdale Foursomes in early March where he will partner his good friend Imran Aziz from the George Washington GC.

Garrick’s winter has been most productive. He has been working hard on his golf game with coach Graham Walker at Walkers Golf Academy and also on the range at Longhirst. His physical conditioning is under the watchful eye of Nick Grantham at ZERO226. He is increasing his power, strength and fitness in readiness for the rigors of another full season on the European Challenge Tour. Darren Wigg at Newcastle Physiotherapy is ensuring that his flexibility, stability and balance remain as they should be to cope with all the golf, training, competing and travel.

Garrick is confident his experiences of last year on the European Challenge Tour will stand him in good stead for the forthcoming season. He is preparing as well as he can and really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. The schedule is in place and Garrick is determined and focused to realise his goals for the season.

First Year Reflections

As the year draws to a close, so does the golf season and Garrick can reflect on a relatively good first full year as a professional. He fell short of his desired outcome and a category for the full European Tour. However, the signs are good and if he learns the lessons from this year there is no reason why this goal cannot be achieved in 2016. Garrick has one final event at the Beko Pro Am at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf & Spa Resort, Turkey 3-5th December 2015.

The Challenge Tour is a very tough school, with some very good players. Whilst Garrick failed to enter the winners circle he achieved four top ten finishes out of 18 events and placed 48th on the Road to Oman. Ultimately, this was to be three places short of automatic entry to the final tournament in Oman and the third stage of Q School. However, based on this position he has secured category 10 status for the Challenge Tour in 2016 and will play all events.

Garrick showed some really good form in May and June and his scoring average was a very creditable 69.83. He was unable to sustain this form and his final average for the season was 71.04 over 62 rounds. His ability to make birdies is without question, with a final tally of 276, averaging 4.45 per round. If he can maintain this in 2016 and reduce the number of bogies with more consistent golf then his goal can be realised.

Garrick has demonstrated he can live at this level of professional golf with 63% of cuts made and 69% of rounds at par or better. With the experience he has gained alongside knowledge of the courses they play he is confident of stepping up a level in 2016. He has really enjoyed the challenge and the journey in his first year. He is upbeat, determined, realistic and looking forward to realising his dream next year.

4th in Irish Challenge

Garrick secured his best finish to date as a professional in the Volopa Irish Challenge at Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa and Golf Resort. He carded 23 birdies over four sub-par rounds. His scores of 70-69-69-67 resulted in 13 under par total for a fourth placed finish.

This result boosts his confidence as he travels to China for the Foshan Open 22-25th October 2015. Garrick currently sits at 44th position in the Road to Oman rankings. Hopefully, this result will give him the impetus to make the final Challenge Tour event in Oman after China.

In Determined Mood

As he enters the business end of the season on the Challenge Tour Garrick is in determined mood to achieve his goal for the season. Currently sitting 43rd on the Road to Oman (RTO) represents a decent position at this stage on his first full season on tour. However, he realises that more work is needed if he is to bridge the gap to achieve European Tour status.

That challenge starts this week as he travels to Finland to play in the GANT Open at the Aura Golf Club in Turku. Disappointingly, he misses out on the prestigious Rolex Trophy in Geneva the following week by five places on the RTO. However, as one door closes another one opens and he has secured a trip to Denmark, to play in the Made in Denmark on the European Tour starting on 20th August 2015. This is an event he played last year and after two good rounds he played the third round in the company of tour veteran Thomas Bjorn. He is hoping that experience will inspire another good performance.

It's then back to the Challenge Tour in early September. Two very lucrative events follow, being staged in France and Kazakhstan. Garrick is still very upbeat about life on tour and is enjoying the challenge of competing, travelling and developing his game. The dream lives on.

Steady Progress

Garrick's season on the European Challenge Tour is making steady progress. Four cuts made in a row, two top ten finishes and 16 rounds of par or better in the last four tournaments, currently have him placed 27th on the Road to Oman.

Turkey saw the first signs of some good golf. Garrick shot 70-70-71-69 (-8) to finish 8th and really get his season underway. After a week off and some further work with Graham Walker his coach, he was challenging again in Austria. Four great rounds of 66-67-71-65 (-15) saw him finish 11th at the Karnten Golf Open.

He followed this up with a further top ten finish (9th) at the D+D Real Czech Challenge a week later. Again, four solid round 67-69-72-69 (-11) shows that his game is getting more consistent.

Learning to play well over four rounds is the key to finishing high on the leader board. Garrick is making steady progress towards that goal. It's now a week off to recharge the batteries before three weeks on the road in Belgium, France and Scotland.

Official YouTube Link - Garrick Porteous

Garrick's artistic flair has taken on a new direction with the development of his own YouTube site. After portraying his journey through golf and other sports in his first video, he has turned his attention to reviewing his Challenge Tour exploits in 2015. His latest video captures the Turkish Airlines Challenge and can be found at Garrick Porteous

In terms of Garrick's golfing performance this year he is really beginning to find some form and momentum. The Turkish Airlines Challenge saw him finish 8th with four rounds under par 70-70-71-69. The signs are good as he embarks on five events in the next six weeks across Europe.

Garrick hopes to continue giving an insight into life as a tour player through his YouTube link.

The Journey

The Challenge Tour for 2015 is finally getting into full swing. Madeira in March brought high winds and rain that led to the cancellation of the event and it is rescheduled for July this year. Garrick next ventured to Nairobi for the Kenya Open that saw him narrowly miss the cut. Despite hitting the ball well he couldn't quite handle the altitude and with that, the distances the ball traveled.

Madrid was next on the schedule and it brought some early season signs that the game is going in the right direction. He made the cut, had four rounds par or better and signed for 21 birdies in the week. Fewer mistakes would have seen him finish well up the leader board.

In and around practicing, training and getting ready for the season, Garrick has been working on a video to highlight his journey in golf and life so far. His love for art, design, and graphics are clearly evident and it keeps him busy when the weather is poor in the UK. The link is: Who Am I? Garrick Porteous

'The Dream' lives on and the journey continues at the Turkish Airlines Challenge at the Gloria golf Club, Antalya 7-10th May 2015.

Longhirst Attachment

Garrick Porteous has agreed an attachment with the brand new golf academy at Longhirst Hall Golf Club near Morpeth, Northumberland. The academy, being backed by former England cricketer Steve Harmison, is due to open on 26th March 2015.

Garrick, 25, the 2013 British Amateur champion and Challenge Tour player, will have free use of the facilities as he continues to establish himself in the professional ranks. The Northumberland native, who was in action at the recent Madeira Islands Open, said: "I used to go down there as a youngster and I've seen the club evolve so I'm delighted to be linking up with them. The facilities are going to be brilliant and I'm very excited about it. It's right on my doorstep and hopefully, with Steve on board, it can have a big influence throughout the North East."

Steve Harmison, who, like Garrick, is represented by International Sport Management, believes that having a professional working at the academy on a daily basis will help his plans to get local youngsters into the sport.

He said: "Garrick will have the chance to be himself and I know he will feel comfortable working at Longhirst. It will be a chance for kids in the area to come and watch someone who is starting his professional career and hopefully see him rise through the Challenge Tour to the European Tour first hand. He'll get the best possible preparation with us and I'm sure it's something that can work for everyone."

Garrick and Steve opened the new academy and driving range on Thursday 26th March 2015 and more information can be found at Longhirst Golf Club

Madeira Frustration

Garrick�s season on the European Challenge Tour started in Madeira with high expectations. His first round 72 contained six birdies and plenty of positive signs that his game was in good shape. However, it was the weather that was the winner leaving all the players, officials and sponsors thoroughly frustrated. High winds and heavy rain meant that only one round could be completed and as a result the tournament was declared null and void.

The Madeira Islands Open is a 'major' on the Challenge Tour schedule due to the prize money available and it is a joint event on the full European Tour. The organisers have moved quickly to reschedule the event for 30th July 2015.

Garrick had warmed up for Madeira by playing three events on the Jamega Tour in Portugal. He placed third in one event and had four rounds out of six under par. It gave him an opportunity to test out his game in a competitive environment and practice hard for the bigger tournaments to come this year.

Garrick's next event is the Barclays Kenya Open in Nairobi on 9th April. In the meantime, there is a visit to Wentworth and Taylor Made for new club fitting, as well as some work with his coach Graham Walker to fine tune his game. He is hoping that the sun will shine in Kenya and he can really get his season started.

2015 Season Swings into Action

Garrick's 2015 season starts next week on 19th February as he competes in the Dimensions Data Pro-Am at Fancourt in South Africa. This is a key event on the Sunshine Tour and there will be a significant number of European and South African professionals competing. Full coverage is available at The Sunshine Tour

After a good winter period resting up, training hard and recent warm weather practice in Florida, Garrick is really excited to get his season underway. His main focus this year is the European Challenge Tour which is reflected in his playing schedule for 2015. His aim is to try and finish in the top 15 places of the order of merit for the Challenge Tour this year in order to secure a European card for 2016.

His schedule will take him to a number of countries, but unlike last year, he can plan and allow time for rest, practice and recuperation. He is hoping it will be a good year building on all his experiences from 2014 and he will be really working hard to achieve his dream.

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