SANDIWAY Golf Club assistant pro Gareth Dobson Jones plays in the North Regional Champion-ships this month, but his ambitions are somewhat less localised.
Dobson Jones, who hails from Porthmadog but now lives on Kings-mead, wants to become a playing professional, but is determined to complete his PGA assistant's course first.
'I'd love to turn professional, but I also want to have the club qualification to fall back on if I don't make it,' he said.
He has made good progress. He has played in half-a-dozen pro-ams since joining Sandiway a year ago, never shooting over par and picking up a little money as well.
What is more, his game is improving, not just from the competition, but also thanks to Sandiway professional of 20 years, William Laird.
'He has done wonders for my game. He has made changes to my swing, making it shorter and quicker through the ball.
'Driving has always been my Achilles' heel, but now I feel more confident off the tee,' said Dobson Jones.
The 23-year-old left New Mexico Junior College in December 2004 undecided about his future after three years as a sports science student in America.
He said: 'I was most of the way to my degree but money was tight so I
came home to reassess the situation.
'The college said I could go back in six months to finish my degree if I wanted to.
'I loved it over there and had reached level two coaching, but it was a struggle financially.'
At this stage Dobson Jones, a former Welsh international and Welsh Boys Championship finalist, decided he wanted to turn professional.
'I looked on the PGA website and saw that Sandiway were looking for an assistant professional so I applied.
'If I had William before I went to the States I probably would never have gone.
'I am enjoying every minute. I'd rather be out on the course teaching or playing than in the club shop of course, but in the shop I get to meet all the members.
'Sandiway is a lovely club and the course is superb.'
Dobson Jones spent 18 months in the USA at Columbia University, Kentucky, before moving to New Mexico where the main coach was Mike Campbell, brother of top US Tour player Chad.
'William says I can play in as many pro-ams as I want to. But of course travelling incurs quite a bit of expense so it would be nice to find a sponsor in the early stages as I try to get established,' he added.