THE reigning champion will not be defending his Northern Golf Masters title this weekend, but Daniel Shevill does not intend to be keeping a low profile for long.
It is 12 months since Shevill memorably won a four-man sudden-death play-off at Rockliffe Hall to become the second winner of the competition – when he had designs on turning pro.
Those ambitions are still there, but such plans were on hold and he is ready to embark on his road to join the PGA scene later this year after a hectic period of change.
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“It’s all been happening since then,” said Shevill. “That’s one of the main reasons I will not be back this weekend to play. When Sunday comes around and I hear who won I will probably be thinking I should have entered. But I have not played enough competitive golf since the last time to do myself justice.
“I have still been getting out for a game, but I am working six day weeks because I want to make a real success of coaching. I’d have liked to have been involved again but I just haven’t had the time to get out and play as much as I would like.”
Since joining the name of Whickham’s James Simpson on the Northern Masters trophy last July, Shevill left his post at Newton Aycliffe’s Oakleaf Golf Complex to take on an assistant’s role at Parklands Golf in High Gosforth.
“There’s been so much to learn since I started in April, but it’s more ideal for me and I’m really enjoying it,” said the scratch golfer from Stocksfield, County Durham.
“There have been a lot of changes at Parklands and I think I am the second longest serving member of staff on our side of things ... and I only started in April.
“We are probably the biggest golfing facility in the North-East, we are always busy where we are and we also have a lot of summer camps coming up now on the driving range. It’s exciting and because of it I have not played much golf.”
The switch to Parklands is part of his plan to turn pro this October. He said: “I will be going down the North-East North-West PGA route and hopefully it will see me get a degree in teaching and learning in Birmingham over the next three-and-a-half years.”
That was the idea after winning the Northern Masters in style in 2013, but he will not be changing his thinking for a second year. He said: “I am doing it this time. I had the mindset of playing pro stuff last year, I did not have the ambition to play amateur competitions any more or play for the county.
“I am still practising and playing to help me as I go forward with my studying and coaching and hopefully I will be playing in competitions again some time.”
During a spell at Midland West Texas University he won numerous events, including being part of a team to win the National Golf Championships at university level. There were plenty other honours too, but he still recalls that Sunday afternoon at Rockliffe.
“Yeah I remember,” said the 25-year-old. “I remember that drive I had on the last in to the bunker on the right when the other lads in the play-off all hit an iron. I got a free drop because of the floods, there was water in the bunker. I knew I would get that. I wedged in to the green and then lipped out to win it.”
Shevill’s one-over 73 secured the play-off with Penrith’s Mike Parker, Middlesbrough’s Angus Montgomery and Tynemouith’s Stuart Fell. If there is similar drama this time around, Shevill will not be there to play his part.
* If anybody would still like to enter this Sunday’s Northern Masters at Rockliffe Hall then contact firstname.lastname@example.org