Jack Yule shares his Made In Denmark experience
Jack Yule, the leading boy from our 19th Faldo Series Grand Final received an official invitation to compete in this year’s Made in Denmark tournament on the European Tour. With a week to go until the 2016 Ryder Cup, Jack’s experience of playing in the final qualifying event for this year’s edition is explained in his own words...
Day 1: Arrival to Made in Denmark
My first day felt like a normal arrival day to any given tournament I play in, trying to find out where everything was and where I needed to be during the tournament. It was an incredibly cool feeling to see I would be playing in the same tournament with Major Champions such as Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie and Darren Clarke (who will be the Ryder Cup captain for 2016). At that point in time it didn't faze me. My plans were to sign in and do a little bit of putting practice to get used to the greens and how they react. An awesome highlight of the day was when I got in the same taxi ride as Stephen Gallacher to the hotel and we had a chat about his past as an amateur and his experiences all the way to Ryder Cup player back in 2014.
Day 2: Practice day
I treated this day as any other practice day. I got to the club at a reasonable time to go warm up and work on a few things that I needed to dial in. The great facilities there meant it was easier than normal to see how balls react when they hit the putting surface; how far they would run out, and how much they would break near the hole. It was pretty cool when I got on the range to warm up and a few of the big names came onto the range alongside me, the likes of Jamie Donaldson, Darren Clarke, Tom Lewis and Oliver Wilson. It did make me think to myself you don't have to rip the golf ball on tour to make a living out of the sport. I proceeded to make my way over to the tour trucks to have a few tweaks with my clubs and also a few new ones to go straight in the bag. The next step was to head on to the course to see what I will be experiencing for the up and coming week. The practice rounds felt completely different to the competition rounds due to the amount of people.
Day 3: Pro-Am day
On Day three you could only use the range and facilities at certain times because of the Pro-Am so it was a half day for me. It was a perfect time to relax and enjoy the weather while hitting a few putts and chips before it all kicked off the following morning.
Day 4 & 5: Tournament days
I timed everything well on the days I played; when to leave, where to be at the right time and what I needed to be doing at the times but I didn't prepare myself for the pressure that came on the first tee! I have never been so nervous in my life. Teeing off on the tenth hole was probably the hardest start due to the fact it was a short, fiddly par 3 where I had over one thousand people watching me. So unfortunately I didn’t settle on the first day but the playing partners I had were very nice to me. I played with Peter Lawrie and Ross McGowan who have both previously won on tour. And I could easily understand how they won. I have never seen short games as good as these two. They were both scrambling superbly when they needed to. They were holing birdie putts & saving pars from very tough positions.
My highlight of the tournament was to make a birdie on the 16th hole where there were more than a thousand people watching! The sound was nothing like I have ever heard in my life! It felt amazing and the feeling will stay with me for a very long time. I shot rounds of four over par and one over par. This meant I missed the cut but I very much enjoyed the experience playing alongside the top players of the world!
Day 6 & 7: Learning experience
Unfortunately there was a rain delay on one of the last two days. The upside to this was that I got to spend some time in the Players’ lounge. To the left of me I had Thomas Pieters (the eventual champion) and Martin Kaymer. To the right I had Shane Lowry, Tom Lewis & Jamie Donaldson so that was great atmosphere to be in! Even though I missed the cut I still used the two days as well as I could. It put me in a great position to learn from the top players. I think the pressure element is key at the top level. These guys had a knack of hitting a great shot right when they needed to. This tiny margin can see them claw a place or two higher up the leaderboard. The top golfers strike it well but not extraordinary. However, when it comes down to making the birdies, they were positioned well off the tee and got up and down from 130 yards sticking it no further away than 10 feet from the hole. I felt they make their money inside 130 yards!
I would like to thank Sir Nick Faldo and the Faldo Series for giving me this opportunity. Also, to the European Tour and the Made in Denmark organisers for giving me this start. It has been an eye opener for me and made me realise I definitely want to make this my future!