Making ends meet on tour
So you are thinking you'd like to be a tour pro? Ok well what are you prepared to give up to get that?
Bunker ambassador Marcus Mohr on his money-saving advice in the professional game.
Everyone has different ideas about how much an event or a season will cost and obviously it is variable. If I was playing on the European Tour I would be staying in nicer accommodation and there would be courtesy cars, but that's not the world that I'm in yet. Playing on the second and third tiers there are entry fees (€155 per event on the Alps Tour), flights, accommodation, hire car and food to consider – one thing that I do take really seriously is my food as I really care about my nutrition and that’s a priority for me.
The overall plan is is earn enough from my labouring job in the winter and that then gives me enough money to start the year and then hopefully I can win enough to keep going.
Whichever tour you are on the practice facilities are free and flights can cost between £11 and £500 but in the last couple of years they have generally cost between £50-80. I will do things on a super-tight budget as I don’t believe in wasting money on the unnecessary so I will shop for the best flight for the time that I want to fly, the best car-hire deal – I managed to get a car for a week in Spain for €13 and I have a separate insurance which is £6 a month – and I will always share car hire and accommodation.
Ninety per cent of the time that falls into Airbnb which on average would be €20 a night which adds up to €100 for the week. Ideally that would include separate rooms and double beds, some weeks it might be one bedroom and a sofa bed.
Every event is a crucial one so I will only share with two other players. I'm quite picky as, like everyone, I've shared with some impossible characters! Getting this right can play such a big role in the week as you can pick each other up, feed off each other, get the other one out of a rut and, generally, have more and better company.
Other little tips are, don’t be loyal to one airline, don’t be loyal to one car hire company – you’ve got the power so shop around and compare the markets and go for the best deal.
I'll take my time when making any bookings so there are no hiccups. If we're going to be in a remote area you will need a supermarket or WiFi or, if you're in a hot country, that there is air con. Little things make a big difference to the overall results and your peace of mind and I'd rather do the legwork before I go to know that it’s a simple process to do everything else to make it a good week.
I've never had a financial cash sponsor nor have I asked for it. I used to be scared of getting a no, but now I know that if I earn it on the course and through my labouring I can balance things. There are certain things I can’t do because of the level that I play – I still live at home with my mum and I sold my car as I needed the money so I will share a car with my mum. A few years ago I gave up my golf membership as I couldn’t afford the £500 for Q School and have a membership, I backed myself and got my card. It can be hard but I don't know anything else, it's the choice that I’ve made and one that I’m happy with.
Obviously I'd love some financial help, it would take a load of pressure off me and I wouldn't have to think about results as much but, the way I look at it, I don't owe anyone any money and that's also good for my approach to the game.
This might sound odd but I want to be a streaky player. When I won on the Alps Tour in Guadeloupe I made €7k and you would need an awful lot of 20th places to make that sort of money.
God forbid this could be my last year as a tour golfer or I could still be doing it when I'm 60, either way I’ll know that I can look back and know that I gave 100 per cent to it.