Luke Toomey chose birdies over burgers when starting his golf career.

When Toomey was four he lived close to a McDonald's which had a mini putt and he would nag his dad to take him.

"I didn't care about happy meals, I just wanted to play," Toomey says.

"When I was about five, I went to a pitch and putt that had a driving range and the local pro asked me if I wanted to join the junior programme on Sundays. Most kids were around 10 to 12 years old and I got special treatment from the older kids. I fell in love with how golf made me feel and I never looked back."

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He made a plan to pursue a career in golf and now, the professional golfer has massive goals in the sport.

This week, Toomey is back at the PGA Tour Series China as he sets about building a path to the US PGA Tour. He is on the tour with fellow New Zealand golfers Sam An, Ryan Chisnall, Victor Janin, Campbell Rawson and Nick Voke.

Last year was Toomey's first full PGA Tour Series China season where he played in 11 events, making nine cuts and he had three top-10 finishes. His objective this season is to finish in the top five, which will earn him entry to the Web.com Tour, which is the development tour for the US PGA Tour.

Tauranga-based professional golfer Luke Toomey is eyeing a top five finish in the PGA Tour Series China. Photo / Andrew Warner
Tauranga-based professional golfer Luke Toomey is eyeing a top five finish in the PGA Tour Series China. Photo / Andrew Warner

He missed the first event of the China tour, but planned to play in the remaining 13 events, the second of which is in Sanya, on the southern island of Hainan this week.

"The season is going to be pretty well spread out and I find value in coming home and not spreading myself too thin, that was one thing I learned last year. Last year there was a point where I played 11 weeks in row, I was absolutely burnt out with three of four months still left to play."

He also has a long-term goal for his career in golf - to win all four major tournaments – a feat only achieved by Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen. He realises there are plenty of steps, and hard work, in between.

"It is so important to not lose sight of that long-term goal. The week-to-week goal is to find that number you need to shoot and work back from that. I want to see how good I can get at my craft. So many outside things that influence winning and not winning. So, to reach that ultimate goal, I have to give myself chances."

Toomey played golf all through his childhood, making representative age group teams, and says he had a moment of realisation at the end of his first year at university.

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"The expectation was that I would go on and study, the family was very much education first and sport second. I was applying for my second year and Mum, the enforcer, asked about golf. She said I might only get one shot at it and that if I showed her a dedicated 10-year plan I could give it a go. I had a plan sorted within 30 minutes."

Toomey, 25, has lived in Tauranga for a year and although he describes himself as a proud Waikato boy, he says he is a passionate supporter of the Bay of Plenty lifestyle.