SALISBURY and South Wilts golfer Tom Stagg admits it is a "dream come true" to be preparing for his first season as a professional.

Stagg was part of the Wiltshire under-18 team that won the English Championship in 2016 and 2017. On the individual scene, he played two international matches for England under-16s, also winning the Wiltshire County Championship aged 19.

Explaining his path to this point, Stagg said: "I’ve been playing golf since I was around five.

"My dad thought it was good to play a lot of sports and start early, but I never got really into golf until I joined Salisbury and South Wilts at age 11.

"From then on the bug had bitten me.

"For as long as I can remember becoming pro had been one of my ultimate goals.

"To finally be able to say I am a professional golfer is a dream come true.

"There are many different tours around the globe. However in the UK, the Europro tour is the biggest for up-and-coming pros and is a great starting point to a career on one of the main tours, like the DP World Tour."

He continued: "In 2021, I went to the first stage of Europro qualifying at Studley Wood and progressed through to final qualifying at Stoke-by-Nayland golf club.

"I knew a solid finish would enable me to qualify for the tour, and I did just that finishing at three under for the three rounds."

Looking ahead to his ambitions for the year, Stagg said: "I’ve set myself a few goals.

"One is to just go out and enjoy the opportunity that I have been given.

"Another is to play golf to the best of my ability on the day every time I compete.

"That way I can say that I gave it my all.

"There’s a couple of tournaments up in Scotland that I look forward to – I love visiting Scotland and the golf there is just fantastic.

"Also a few events nearer home, there’s one at Cumberwell Park near Bath which is always a great place to go and I’ve spent a lot of time there in the past."

Asked if there was anybody in particular who has helped him on his journey, Stagg said: "I’ve been very lucky to have so much support over the years, from friends and family, and also from the members at Salisbury and South Wilts Golf Club.

"The club has organised a golf day for me on April 1, which I’m really looking forward to.

"I would also definitely want to thank my sponsors D and N Construction, for their fantastic support in helping me become established as a professional this year."

Tom’s first tournament on the Europro tour is in late May at Harleyford Golf Club in Buckinghamshire.