Budding pro golfer Tony pays special tribute to UCB

July 2019

A sports student has paid tribute to University College Birmingham as he embarks upon his dream career as a professional golfer.

Tony Hall has set his sights on joining the PGA EuroPro Tour following the completion of his BA Sport and Fitness Studies degree at UCB this summer.

The 24-year-old, who grew up playing golf with his dad and granddad from the age of 3, has credited the University with giving him the confidence and drive to pursue his golfing ambitions.

"It's what I've dreamed of since I was a kid," said Tony. "I don't think I could do it without this university bringing the confidence out of me to go where I want to be in life."

And as a gesture of gratitude to UCB, Tony has added a tribute to the University on his golf bag, while he also plans to wear UCB-branded clothing during tournaments.

"I wanted to help the University, to say thank you for everything you have done for me, whether it's the golf bag or wearing the UCB polo tops," he said.

Tony, who is dyslexic and on the autism spectrum, explained how he had received support throughout his studies from the University's Centre for Academic Skills and English (CASE), including additional equipment and weekly one-to-one support to discuss assignments.

"I think it helped me a lot," he said. "I found out more about CASE when I first started and what they offer for me being dyslexic and autistic, and I thought 'yes, this is the place for me'.

"CASE is a very good place to be. It's a nice place to talk to people about assignments if you're a little bit confused about something.

"The welfare and support they give you is incredible. It's an amazing university and I'm glad I got the chance to come here."

Having discovered a strong interest in sports psychology during his course – including a dissertation examining mental imagery for golfers – Tony also revealed how his studies could give him an edge over his golfing rivals.

"I love the psychology," he said. "I've definitely learned a lot, using it for myself or against my opponents. It's like mental warfare – how to keep going, pressuring them or pressuring myself to be better.

"My teachers have helped me out massively, such as Nathan Price with psychology, and Matt Holmes with the nutrition and fitness side. I've really enjoyed listening to their lectures and they've really helped me with my grades."

Beyond his plans to join the EuroPro Tour in 2020, Tony hopes to realise his ultimate ambitions of playing at the highest level alongside his golfing hero Tiger Woods, as well as representing Europe in the Ryder Cup.

"To get there one day and see myself winning majors or being part of the European team is the main goal in my career," he said. "I'll keep practising so I can do the best I can, and hopefully achieve what I want to in life.

"I'm loving life, loving my golf, and I'm loving that I can help promote the University as well."

Praising Tony's achievements during his time at UCB, sports lecturer Nathan Price said: "When Tony mentioned about having UCB on his golf bag due to his experience on the Sport and Fitness Studies course, it highlighted how important his university experience had been to him, and as lecturers we felt honoured that he wanted to acknowledge this in such a public display.

"He tackles everything with 100 per cent effort and concentration and as a sport and fitness team we have high hopes of him being on television winning major competitions.

"We are just extremely proud of him turning his dreams into reality and wish him every success on his professional golf journey. Maybe in the future we can call him Tony 'Tiger' Hall!"

Find out more about the support available from UCB's CASE team here, and explore the full range of courses at our School of Sport and Creative Services here.

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