Lurgan assistant PGA Professional Zoe Allen is set to tee up a busy year with a tilt at the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship qualifier at County Meath.
Allen, 27, will take to the fairways of the Trim venue today with an eye firmly set on the championship final at Little Aston later this summer.
The event, which carries a £32,000 prize fund, is the leading event for golf professionals undertaking their PGA training in Great Britain and Ireland.
But for Allen it is just the start of what promises to be a very exciting year.
As an up-and-coming coach, she has secured a placement to work at the Michelle Holmes School of Golf in Virginia for three weeks later this summer.
Allen has been impressing off the course, working with more than 140 junior golfers at her County Armagh base.
“Coaching is something that I’ve really fallen in love with,” Allen enthused.
“That inevitably impacts on your playing time as when you enjoy doing something, it’s hard to stop doing it to go away and practise.
“I started out coaching beginners but since then I’ve gone on to work with a whole range of abilities, but junior coaching has really been my focus above everything else.
“That’s definitely where I see myself going in the future, and who knows I could end up abroad longer term.
“I guess that’s the great thing about this summer – it’ll give me an idea of what that would be like. I’m just keeping my eyes open to all the different opportunities that might open up to me at the moment.”
Back to the initial task at hand, and, as the only woman taking part in the qualifier, Allen is confident she can compete with the boys in a bid to secure her place in the final.
“The boys are always welcoming when you get to the course, so I don’t mind being the only girl,” she smiled.
“I’ve been practising as much as I can recently and I do feel that my game is in good shape. It’s involved a lot of early mornings and I often get to the club for about half seven so that I can get out there while it’s quiet.
“I’ve got a couple of events coming up over the next few weeks so I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing how they go.”
Other players competing in the qualifier at Co Meath include: Matthew Cochrane (Dunmurry), Andy Hogan (Edmondstown), Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge), Ciaran McKenna (Mallow), Tim Rice (Limerick) and Graham Sweeney (Balbriggan).