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PUBLISHED: 10:32 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:43 20 May 2010

Gary Forder, golfing ace.

Gary Forder, golfing ace.

Sheringham's Gary Forder has transformed his golfing fortunes and won the Norfolk professionals' award for the most improved player of the year.

During his first year as a pro Forder put far too much pressure on himself as he strived for good results.

Sheringham's Gary Forder has transformed his golfing fortunes and won the Norfolk professionals' award for the most improved player of the year.

During his first year as a pro Forder put far too much pressure on himself as he strived for good results.

In 2007, his second season, he relaxed - and his scores dropped.

He notched up a two-under par 68 at Bawburgh, where he was runner-up in the pro-am, and he had three other top-five finishes in county PGA events, at Weston Park, The Norfolk and Sheringham.

Forder's performance on the Norfolk PGA order of merit reflected his play. He finished 21st in 2006 and rose to eighth in 2007.

What's more, he played in eight pro-ams altogether - and on seven occasions won the best trainee award.

Now his aim for the 2008 season is to continue his improvement and to win his first event.

Forder was a three-handicap amateur before he turned professional and, he admits, he struggled with the transition.

“I think I was trying too hard. I'd practise for two or three days before an event, I'd lie in bed at night thinking about it. I'd stand on the first tee and feel as if I was in The Masters - when it was a local pro-am!”

In the 2007 season he adopted a different approach to competition. “I decided to go out and have fun. I know all the courses, I've played them hundreds of times as a junior, and I know all the people.

“It was just a case of enjoying it and thinking of it as a hobby - and not life and death!

“Once I started to trust my own ability things turned round pretty quickly.”

Forder, who played his amateur golf at Royal Norwich and Costessey Park, is hoping to play the full Norfolk PGA circuit this year, encouraged by his boss, Sheringham professional Mike Jubb.

The following year, when he will have completed his training, he plans to play East Region events.

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