Exclusive: ‘Golf On The Edge 2’

Golf365 readers can get Ross Biddiscombe’s new Euro Tour Q-School book at a specially discounted price of £10.

A second book chronicling the heartbreak, the joy and – for the first time – the complete history of the European Tour Q School was launched this week with special guest Chris Wood.
Golf On The Edge 2: Q School Complete by Ross Biddiscombe captures three decades worth of stories about the qualifying tournament, drawn from the memories and experiences of some of Europe’s greatest players, including Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle, Jose Maria Olazabal, Ian Woosnam and Retief Goosen.
The book also delivers the drama of the 2008 tournament where a record number of rookies broke through to claim their European Tour cards.
Central to the story is Wood, the Englishman who first sprang to prominence as a raw amateur contending for the Claret Jug at last year’s Open Championship.
He turned professional soon afterwards and was granted eight starts on the Tour to guarantee his card for 2009.
Despite three or four excellent efforts he could only make 162nd on the Order of Merit and was therefore required to complete the long slog through qualifying, a journey that Biddiscombe followed every step of the way – playing Sancho Panza to Wood’s Don Quixote.
Launched at Long Ashton GC, the home course of Wood, the author and golfer conducted a short Q&A that offered tantalising glimpses of the tale more fully conveyed in the book.
The author recalled watching Wood compete in the first stage of qualifying at the Oxfordshire club where his extra class shone and his only problem was coping with the boredom of the desperately slow rounds.
Second stage took Wood to the Montenmedio club in Spain where he needed to finish in the top twenty to progress.
As he made the turn on the final day, Wood was aware that he could afford no more dropped shots and faced, on the tenth, the toughest hole on the course.
He found the fairway but when he asked for his six-iron got an unexpected reply from his caddie: “I haven’t got it. I’ve lost it.”
“I wasn’t best pleased,” Wood explained in his understated manner.
But he recovered from the shock, hit a soft five-iron to ten-feet and holed the putt for an improbable birdie that set him on his way to Golf de Catalunya and the highly-charged atmosphere of final qualifying.
“That story is typical of the stories I wanted to uncover,” explained Biddiscombe. “It’s an example of how golfers are like ducks on the water: they look calm but the legs going like mad.”
“The critics liked the first Q School book, plenty of golf fans seemed to enjoy it too and there was so much more to say that writing a second volume was a must.”
Amongst the critics who recommended the first book were Lawrence Donegan, author of the classic Four Iron in the Soul, and BBC Radio’s golf correspondent Iain Carter.
“I wanted to make the second book different in every way, while still capturing all the drama.”
“There are so many great tales from Q Schools past and present that one book wasn’t enough, so I think this will be the perfect companion to the first book and really complete the legend.”
Golf On The Edge 2: Q School Complete by Ross Biddiscombe is only available online – via the golfontheedge.co.uk or amazon.co.uk – and at selected golf clubs throughout the UK for £15.
But Golf365 readers can get the book at a specially discounted price of £10 until 10th July 2009. For more information, email constantinenw3@googlemail.com