Professional golf One Asia Tour
Talk basics and you'll find all roads lead to home although in the case of Supravee Phatam it's occasionally his "second home".
The former Hawke's Bay amateur golfer, now plying his trade as a fulltime professional from his country of birth, Thailand, is mixing pleasure with business here.
Phatam, who turned 27 last month, has been in the Bay for the past few days with his mum Vinita and father Surryan Phatam visiting sister Witchaya, of Hastings.
Phatam competed at the Australia Open following a One Asia Tour card.
"I'm enjoying it and I'm pretty happy to be back here because it is like my second home," says Phatam, who caught up with Hastings PGA professional Brian Doyle at the Hill Country Estate nine-hole course last weekend for a lesson to tweak some of the basics, as well as former golfing and schoolmates.
It's his first trip back to Hawke's Bay since the former Napier Boys' High School pupil left here as a 21-year-old business computing diploma graduate from the Eastern Institute of Technology.
"I've been very busy at home, just golfing," he says, barely finding time in a year after turning professional.
An introverted teenager, Phatam nowadays is a gregarious young man who talks about life's experiences with as much flair as he plays out of the rough.
He hastens to add, though, that he didn't go too well at Rosebery, NSW, missing the cut of 60-plus and ties in the field of 156 late last month again, after a similar fate in 2002.
Phatam finds the courses in this part of the world challenging, "very different" from what he's used to in Asia.
"The greens here are a lot harder, firmer and the wind's a lot stronger," he explains, adding the courses are longer so for "an average" driver of the ball his strength lies in the accuracy of his iron shots and short play.
Keeping the ball in the straight and narrow off the tee and finding the flags with consistency often curb the desire to flex his driving muscles.
His philosophy is pretty simple: "The more you put in, the more you get out of it."
He, of all people, knows how long it took someone such as Danny Lee to break into the US PGA although he always believed the South Korea-born Kiwi was going to make it through patience.
"I'm just trying to get my rankings up in different tours," says Phatam, who holds a One Asia Tour card and is ranked eighth in the Thailand PGA circuit.
He has been in the top five at home before but had a "quiet" spell this year.
The plan is to get back on the Asia tour from January 6 at Q School in Thailand.
"Life's changed a lot since [tertiary studies] days.
"You have to be more responsible and look after yourself a bit more and keep playing," he says, expressing the desire to be a little stronger.
Taking the game to another level is on the agenda so possessing a sound constitution is imperative. "The quickest goal is to be on the PGA but I have to take it step by step, with the Asian tour the shortest goal," says Phatam, comfortable in the knowledge the Asian tour's doors open the widest because there's Japan before the European circuit beckons.
He earned close to $50,000 this year which was "enough to keep my head above the water, I guess".
"I just have to keep my head down and grind it out," Phatam says.
He's not keen to put himself under any unrealistic self-imposed deadline pressures.
A demanding sport schedule means he "can't be hooked on anything else".
He left for Thailand today to make a tournament on January 16 ... after playing 18 holes with top Bay amateur and former senior men's rep Stuart Duff at Hastings Golf Club and possibly squeezing in another round at his former home course, Napier Golf Club.