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West Lancs post is dream come true for Gavin

By David Birtill

GAVIN Abson realised a lifelong ambition when he took up the role of West Lancashire Golf Club head professional this month.

He’d previously held a similar position at The Carrick on Loch Lomond, having migrated to Scotland in 2008 where he spent the first two years at Open Championship venue Royal Troon.

So why did he move from the country where golf originated to Lancashire?

“I’ve always had a goal in mind to work at a prestigious private member club and live in that area but I had to wait 13 years for it to happen,” he explained.

“It’s a very prestigious golf club and this is a great opportunity for me,” said Abson, 34, who originally hailed from Solihull in the West Midlands.

“I had a vision of wanting to live in the Formby area because of all the fantastic golf courses there.”

He completed his PGA training at Cocks Moors Woods Golf Club in Birmingham and during his attachment there played on the EuroPro Tour, which he combined with caddying on the European Tour.

“I was a Jack of all trades,” he admitted. “I carried for Robert Rock, Jamie Donaldson, Sion Bebb and Benn Barham on and off for 10 years.

“I stopped when I was given the opportunity at Royal Troon then spent six years at The Carrick.”

Abson fell in love with the Red Rose county when he caddied for a friend in a EuroPro Tour fixture at Formby Hall.

“That was my first experience of the area, I was about 20 and new to the game because cricket had been my favourite sport and still is!

“I was on the verge of county level with Warwickshire but never quite made the grade and that’s why I turned my hand to golf.”

Abson, who gained a BA honours degree in Sport Management, in particular marketing and finance, at Coventry University, hails from a sporting family.

His mum Susan was an England netball international; dad Malcolm played football at a high level before becoming a referee and retiring just before the Premier League was founded; and brother Richard is a personal trainer.

Abson intends to divide his playing time between members and PGA North competitions.