Know your graduate: Craig Hinton

Fri 14 Mar 2014

Know your graduate: Craig Hinton

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March 14: In this latest instalment of our Know Your Graduate series, asiantour.com speak to Craig Hinton of England, who earned his playing privileges on the Asian Tour for 2014 after advancing through the Qualifying School. Hinton provides us with an insight into how he started playing golf, his love for hip-hop music and the challenges he faced coming to Asia.
What made you want to play on the Asian Tour?
There are a couple of guys, Guy Woodman, Simon Griffiths, and Steve Lewton, who play on the Asian Tour and they’ve been telling me how good it is on the Asian Tour. After I missed out on the European Tour Qualifying School, I decided to give it a go here.
How do you feel now that you have secured the Asian Tour card for 2014?
It is obviously a good achievement but I know I have got a long road ahead to try to keep my card on the Asian Tour.
When did you start playing golf and what sparked your interest?
I started when I was about 15 or 16. Dad bought me a set of clubs and I started playing. I played football but I broke my ankle and couldn’t play football so golf was my next choice. I started to progress that way.
What made you decide to turn professional?
I went to America for college and my game gradually got better. I then got to England and got into the England team. It looked like I could make a career out of the game. I didn’t get into the Walker Cup team last year. I was looking like getting in but it didn’t work out. It made sense for me to turn professional after that.
What would you be if you were not a professional golfer?
I don’t really know. I did some work as a surveyor at some building sites previously. I don’t really what I would do without golf. I better make sure I start practising harder.
How long did it take you to reach single handicap?
Probably about a year and a half.
What are your goals in golf?
My goal right now is to keep my card on the Asian Tour this year, climb up the world rankings and try to get into the top-50.
What keeps you on top of your game?
My coach, Alan Thomson. Without him, I wouldn’t be on top of my game for sure.
What do you think will be the toughest part of being a rookie on the Asian Tour?
Travelling will be the biggest problem because I came from England. Getting used to the golf courses as they would be new experiences for me. It is important to be familiar with the courses.
Who is your inspiration on the course? Is there anyone whom you would like to thank for helping you to get to where you are now?
I looked up to Tiger Woods as a golfer. I think everyone will say that. My family and of course my coach. Without these people, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now.
When you are not playing golf, what will you be doing?
I will probably be taking a break and going for holidays. I don’t get to see my friends and girlfriend much so I would love to spend some time with them.
How do you prepare before a round?
I’ll practise at the range, and do some putting. I listen to some music to relax me out. I’m into hip-hop big time. I always listen to some music from Little Wayne before heading out.
Name your dream four ball.
Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods for sure. Maybe Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal so that I can pick their brains as they are top athletes.
What is your number one distraction on the golf course?
Thinking about what I’m doing later in the evening.
How would you celebrate if you win a tournament?
I’ll buy lots of champagne!
About Craig HINTON
Country:                      England
Date of Birth:              August 24, 1988
Residence:                  Thame, Oxfordshine
Family:                         Single
Turned Pro:                 September 2013
Amateur wins:            (4) Welsh Open Strokeplay 2012, Medalist British Amateur 2013, Local Final Qualifying 2011 for The Open Championship, Esienhower Trophy 2012-World teams Amateur