Colm Campbell has seen his priorities shift from golf in recent years, and yet life couldn’t be better for the Warrenpoint man.
former Ireland international, Campbell found life off the track to take over. For starters, he married girlfriend Ciara and the couple welcomed daughter Sophia into the world a few years ago. He then got a new job at the golf equipment company Ping, moving from a custom club fitter to an area sales manager for apparel.
All this came at a cost, however: the amount of time he could spend on the golf course himself. While in the past he would have managed to put together a dedicated exercise schedule, now he’s limited to trying to fit into a series of sessions whenever possible.
Despite his life outside the job taking over, Campbell insists he wouldn’t change anything for the world.
“To be honest, I’ve been very lucky to still be in golf, and even though I have a full-time job, there’s still time in between work to sneak in a practice here and there,” he explains. .
“Nowadays I try to hit 60 balls as fast as possible to get back home and help the missus with the little one!
“I have a very understanding wife when it comes to golf and, to be honest, there have been a few times when she has kicked me out of the house and told me to go practice when I should have gone out myself!”
Thankfully, Ciara’s efforts paid off last month as Campbell proved that class is permanent when he defeated Malone’s Matthew McClean in a Play-Off to claim his second Irish Amateur Open title at The Island.
The elation when he was presented with the trophy was very different from when he won in 2016 when he was able to devote all his time playing and practicing, and it made it even more special that Ciara was there to celebrate with him on the final green.
“She came on Sunday and that was the first time she’d seen me play in maybe two or three years, so it was great to have her there,” he smiles.
“Any win at any stage of your career, it’s nice to get it. But I suppose the equation was for me in 2016, I played golf full time and I played with the idea of turning pro, I played really well and I went into every tournament with a genuine belief that I had a chance to win it.
“Now, six years later, it’s different. The expectations were 100% not at the same level as in 2016. But I went in feeling like I was playing nicely and I put in four good rounds. It was a fantastic week.”
As well as now having the prestige of being Irish Amateur Champion for a second time, it has also forced Campbell to reconsider his plans for the remainder of the season.
The Warrenpoint man, who initially had no plans to play outside of Ireland this year, has instead decided to add himself to the field for this week’s amateur championship at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s in the hopes that another impressive spectacle will place him under Ireland’s team selection.
“It was a conversation I had to have with Ciara, to decide if I want all the drama and headaches that come with potentially bringing yourself back into the mix of playing team golf with Ireland, because there’s a lot of anticipation that comes with it look,” he adds, reflecting his new priorities.
“There were a few things to consider, but I’m looking forward to it. I try not to let my expectations change. For me, whatever the outcome, I still have to get up and go to work Monday morning!”
Malone’s Matthew McClean will also be in action, with the first 36 holes as stroke play on the first two days, with the top 64 qualifying for match play to be played over the final three days.