Rob ‘Ted’ Edwards is set to end a 21-year association with Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club as he pursues his dream of playing on the Seniors Tour.
The popular club pro joined the outfit as assistant to John Richardson way back in 1993, before stepping up to the head role in 2002.
Ampfield’s Jon Barnes will take over in August as Edwards gets himself ready to go for his card.
And while he admits it is a risk to leave a secure job at a club he knows inside out, he wants to test himself as a competitive golfer again.
Edwards, who played eight events on the European Tour and won the 1995 Danish Open on the Challenge Tour, said: ‘I never got into the game to become a club pro. I wanted to be a player.
‘I had a bit of a spell but it wasn’t prolonged enough.
‘It is a risk but life is for living. I don’t want to think “what if?”
‘I could look in the mirror for the rest of my life and wonder what would have happened if I had tried.
‘So I’m going to do it wholeheartedly.
‘There will be no half measures.
‘I’m not doing it for my ego.
‘I’m doing it because I believe I am good enough to be competitive and successful at that level.’
Edwards has not yet turned 48, so he is giving himself two full years to get himself and his game in the best possible shape to compete against the likes of Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson and Colin Montgomerie, who have all prospered on the over-50s circuit.
Edwards said: ‘I’m 48 this month so that gives me two years of playing full-time to get ready.
‘I can go to Tour School in January 2016.
‘But if I get my card, I can’t use it until my 50th birthday.
‘I will look at the European Seniors Tour and the Champions Tour in USA as well.
‘There are more events over there but the qualifying process is perhaps slightly tougher.
‘So I’m going to play the regional stuff, national events and there is a new tour for over-48-year-olds as a lead-up to the Seniors Tours.
‘I’ve got to build myself up, get fit, get some strength and some mental agility.
‘But I’m feeling really energised and I’m looking forward to the challenge.’
Although Edwards is stepping down from his role as head pro and will miss the members who have become friends over the years, he will remain attached to Lee-on-the-Solent as a touring professional.
He said: ‘I just think I am ready for a new challenge.
‘I will miss the banter and the interaction with the members.
‘But I won’t completely disappear.
‘Hopefully, they will let me have a round with them every now and then.’