GOLD Coast golfer James Goffman is looking towards a big year on and off the course.
The 18-year-old is currently ranked 3rd in the Queensland Men’s Order of Merit and will compete this year in the Golf Australia Men’s Amateur circuit with the ultimate goal of turning professional at the end of his studies.
The Bond University Bachelor of International Relations student and Bond Elite Sport athlete is getting ready to play against some of Australia’s best players at the Tasmanian Open starting Thursday.
“It would be good to win a world ranking event this year, it would kickstart the new year,” he said.
“The big goal is that I want to follow the path with Golf Australia and the Queensland Academy of sport athletic programs.
“Ultimately I would like to turn professional and compete on tour with the world’s best travelling around the world.”
Goffman started playing the game at five, but golf got serious when he was 15 and started beating players much older than him.
The former TSS student recently started working with a new coach to elevate his game.
“I recently started working with Grant Field from the Sunshine Coast – he coaches world no.8 Cameron Smith and a lot of high profile professional golfers.
“He is an exceptional coach specialising in short game skills, the mental aspect and the complexities of being on the pro tour.
“I hit the ball pretty straight. I’ve been working on my short game with him and he’s trying to build a blueprint for my swing so when I’m under pressure I can hit the right shot when its needed.
“Golf is an extremely challenging individual sport. You can’t just hit balls on a driving range. You need to put pressure on yourself and practice with purpose.
“My current handicap is plus 3 and limiting the minor bad shots is the difference between winning, making the cut, or having a good round.”
Goffman has added 8kg to his 180cm frame in the last 12 months in order to get his body ready for the rigors of playing at the top level.
“Strength is a big thing now. I’m in the gym three times a week, do pilates twice a week, try to keep flexible and build strength,” he said.
“You are an athlete and most guys on tour are strong, healthy and flexible.
“I don’t need to get much bigger now, I can hit the ball over 280m off the tee – and that should be enough to make the holes shorter and scorable.”