If your golf game hasn’t quite recovered from the lockdown(s) break, take inspiration from professional Richard Bland, who has won his first tournament on the European Tour at the 478th attempt.

Richard Brand courtesy of Phil Inglis Golf Photography

Richard Brand courtesy of Phil Inglis Golf Photography

An ecstatic Richard came out on top at the British Masters at The Belfry in May 2021, after winning the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against Guido Migliozzi, after they had both finished 13 under. This win also makes Bland the oldest first-time winner on the Tour at 48 years and 101 days.

And in further good news for our pockets, he had reverted to his old driver!

The Belfry Hotel, Sutton Coldfield. GPH

The Belfry Hotel, Sutton Coldfield. GPH

You may recall Roger Chapman who turned professional in late 1981 and over the next 21 years finished in the top 100 on the European Order of Merit 19 out of the 21 years.  After six-second place finishes on the tour he finally won the 2000 Brazil Rio de Janeiro 500 Years Open on his 472nd tour start.

You could say Roger Chapman is a late bloomer as he’s had more success on the Senior circuit, winning the Senior PGA Championship in May 2012. He won his second senior major two months later at the US Senior Open and in December 2018 he won the MCB Tour Championship.

American professional Michelle Sung Wie West became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship at the age of 10.  She turned pro at 15 but the teen prodigy found it difficult to maintain a successful streak as she entered her 20s.  After winning the CN Canadian Women’s Open in August 2010 it was another 79 competitions before she won the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club in her native Hawaii in April 2014.

Belfry Hotel and Golf Resort Sutton Coldfield, England.

The Belfry Hotel and Golf Resort Sutton Coldfield, England.

She then claimed her first LPGA win in nearly four years when she emerged victorious at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore in March 2018.  She has now returned to the circuit after a two-year break following a wrist injury and having a daughter in June last year with her husband Jonnie West.  Let’s hope 2021 brings her further success.

While Richard Bland’s dry spell as a professional golfer is record-breaking, recent weeks have also seen success for Rory McIlroy who brought home his first trophy in 18 months at the Wells Fargo Championship. He is partly crediting sports psychologist Dr Bob Rotella, a 71-year-old who spent his youth caddying for Bobby Locke. The players Dr Rotella has worked with have won 74 majors between them. If this bad weather continues it may be worth digging out Rotella’s book, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect.