GOULBURN Golf Club’s 2012 club champion Michael Gerstenberg has gained his Professional Golf Association tour card.
After the Australian Open in 2011 and a discussion with his partner Malena, Gerstenberg decided the time was right to see if he could achieve his dream of playing professional golf.
“I am still going to be coaching tennis and have decided that I can still maintain the coaching business while playing golf,” he said.
In December he joined the Australian Professional Golf Tour School and was a little surprised to make it through stage one.
The first stage of qualifying was the Peninsula Golf Club in Victoria on the south course. He said it was a bit of a grind trying to play consistent golf.
“I don’t think I played all that well but I made the first cut,” Gerstenberg said.
“There were other players ranked higher than me who did not make it.
“The second round of the PGA tour card qualifiers was also at the Peninsula.
This time I took the family down and we made a bit of a holiday of it even though I had to concentrate on my golf.”
This time the competition was on the north course.
After two rounds the field was cut to the top 72.
Gerstenberg had scored 73 and 75 and he was quite nervous and said the pressure was tremendous although he had learnt that the key was to try and play consistently.
His third round was not so good with a 77 but in the final he managed a 72.
Nine over for the full four rounds of the second stage was however good enough to place him in 51st spot.
This was good enough for one of the 60 PGA cards.
His first tournament is the Parkhill Finance group Pro Am at Queanbeyan Golf Club on February 5.
He will be following this up with the Queensland PGA on February 14, 15 and 17.
He’ll then be flying down to Victoria for the Victorian Open.
“I am really lucky that I have my family’s support and a lot of support from the Goulburn Golf Club,” Gerstenberg said.
“Unlike most of the other people on the tour I have my tennis coaching business to come back to and that gives me a lot of pleasure, seeing the kids come through and guiding them to be the best tennis players they can.
“I suppose by my living my dream I am showing them the possibilities of what you can do if you set your mind to it and develop the discipline to put in the training to achieve your goals” Gerstenberg is looking forward to playing the Australian Masters, Open and PGA tournaments later in the year.
“I suppose my fitness has helped with my game too. I have been doing some extra swimming recently as well as the time I spend on the tennis court,” he said.
“I have also been playing cricket for Coolavin but had a bit of a scare when a ball hit me on the forearm.
“I think I will have to give it up as I don’t want to spoil this opportunity.
“My family and the club have been awesome in their support and I owe it to them to do the best I can.”