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Golfer Ray Hallett's got eye for pro game
RAY Hallett says it was a successful eye operation that helped him decide to turn pro.
The Basildon 23-year-old took the plunge into the professional game just seven weeks ago and scooped first place in the Play Tour event in Woking this weekend.
He beat Kent’s Max Braxley in a tense sudden-death play-off after the pair were even at the 18th hole.
Hallett said: “I was buzzing when I won it. I’d put in a good 25ft putt and just had to putt in from one foot to win it.
“Turning pro has been a big thing for me, but I’d been thinking about it for a while.
“Back in the summer I was talking to my coach David March, who also coaches the England ‘A’ team and is an Essex County coach too. He’s the head coach at Little Channels and really knows his stuff.
“David said to me that I should think about turning pro and that I really should make the change from amateur to professional because the time was right.”
“It coincided with me going in to hospital for what’s called keratoconus which affects the cornea and makes this part of the eye look like a little rugby ball or cats eye. The operation had to be done.
“But a few weeks after coming out of Moorfields Hospital I knew that I was ready to step up.
“I found that I could read the course better and see the contours of the greens better, so it’s been a real boost to my confidence as a pro,” he added.
Hallett also credits March with transforming his game over the last couple of years.
He said: “David has been my mentor really and shown me how to handle the pressure. He has brought a lot to my game.
“He’s improved my swing and helped me relax and stand over the ball.”
Hallett, who plays a lot of his golf at Langdon Hills Golf Club, is also a member at Stockbrook Manor.
As an amateur he won competitions in La Manga and was also regularly among the top 10 and top 15 in county competitions.
He also did well in Southend’s Southgate Brown Cleek competition and also the Langdon Hills North Star Trophy.
Although he’d like to be full time, Hallett still works for two days a week at his father’s electricians business, but today he’ll be teeing off in a pro tournament at the London Golf Course in Kent.
And next week he starts out in the Celtic Course in Wales on Thursday, October 24.