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Hugo Dobson: The future’s bright
December 8, 2008
Article written by Stefan Curtis

With Northern Ireland’s 19 year-old golfing protégé Rory McIlroy proving that age provides no barrier when it comes to playing golf at the highest level, there are plenty of aspiring young English golfers looking to follow a similar career path.

Hugo Dobson of Fynn Valley Golf Club, Suffolk, is one such golfer. At just 17 Hugo has a handicap of one and has won the England Under-16 School Championship and was the Under 15 Runner up in the Faldo Series Final in 2006.

Hugo Dobson
Hugo Dobson (courtesy Tom Ward)

His credentials are good, and he has now been recognised by the English Golf Union, being named among the 11 golfers to form the England Under 18 training squad for 2009. Something Hugo is understandably excited about:

“At the moment I just can’t believe that I’m seen as one of the top 11 juniors in the country! It’s a great honour though, and I’m very excited about the prospect of it all.”

Golf in the UK is looking fairly strong at present, and Hugo is satisfied that the future is bright, with some of the youngsters even looking to teach the pro’s a thing or two!

“Most of the Under 18 squad are almost as good as the tour pro’s! A couple of lads that stand out are Eddie Pepperell and Tommy Fleetwood, both of whom are probably as good, if not better than the tour pro’s!

“But in general, I really do think that the future of golf in the UK is looking good and players like Ollie Fisher and Rob Dinwiddle are proving that”

So what gives Hugo the edge over his fellow competitors? With golf being a notoriously mental sport, Hugo feels that his ability to stay cool helps him on the big stage:

“I like to think my temperament is really good, which is useful as lots of juniors find it hard to control their emotions. But I like to put things into perspective and try to recognise how stupid it is to get so upset over a golf shot!

“Another strength of mine would be my desire to improve my game. I’m obviously not the number one in the world and I haven’t won a major or anything but it’s all too easy to be happy with your game and not feel the need to improve. Whereas I feel that no matter how good or well I play, it still isn't perfect so I can always do better!”

Such a refreshing attitude on young shoulders breeds confidence, but Hugo is quick to point out his flaws:

“I could write a thousand words about my weaknesses! However, my main one is probably not staying focused until the round is finished, especially when I’m leading.

“Things like the winning speech get to me. Instead of thinking about the task in hand, I start thinking about stupid things, such as ‘how many people will be at the prize giving’ and ‘I hope no one stays to hear the speech!’ I suddenly find myself thinking about something miles in the future and sometimes it does effect my concentration!”

So what of Hugo’s background? In terms of inspiration, Hugo opts for a familiar figure on the golfing front:

“My favourite player would have to be Tiger Woods. Not because he’s the best in the world, but because of what he has done for the game. He has completely changed the stereotypical views of the game and, for want of a better word, has made it cool to play golf, which has led others to do the same!

“From a personal point of view, I have always wanted to be a Tour pro, and seeing the likes of Tiger doing something that they enjoy week-in week-out is something that I want to be a part of.

“When everyone else at pre-school wanted to be a fireman or an astronaut I said that I wanted to be on the European Tour. Not many of my mates knew what I was on about, but seeing as we were only five, you can’t really blame them!”




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