Grant Field, coach of outstanding Queensland prodigies Cameron Smith and Shae Wools-Cobb, sees many similarities in both youngsters.
And that is why the Head Coach of Golf Queensland and the Queensland Academy of Sport is supremely confident that Wools-Cobb is about to embark on a successful professional golfing career, similar to the one currently evolving for Smith.
Following a glittering amateur career Wools-Cobb, 22, will turn professional in time for the Isuzu Queensland Open at The Brisbane Golf Club from November 1-4 and like his coach, his expectations are positive.
“Yes, definitely,” he said when asked whether he was confident he will conquer the move.
“I’m confident I am ready, and I am confident where my game is. The experience I have had in the past couple of years playing all over the world has been priceless and I am hugely in debt to Golf Australia and Golf Queensland for their support.”
Wools-Cobb said he believed he was ready to turn pro at the end of last year but a heart-to-heart with his coach changed his mind.
“Grant thought that playing the major amateur events this year, including the Eisenhower Trophy in Ireland, would help my game immensely, so I delayed my decision for 12 months,” he recounted.
“And it was the right decision. I played in Europe, the UK, USA, Asia and at home in so any events that much of the recent few months has been a blur. But I have no doubt that the experience has been invaluable for me, and for my game.
“I know, within myself, that I am ready.”
Wools-Cobb may not have won any of the major events he has contested over the past couple of years, but his CV is still very impressive. Top-10 finishes in the Porter Cup at Niagara Falls, the Asia Pacific Amateur in New Zealand and a fifth placing in the Nomura Cup in Malaysia sit beside a semi-final berth at this year’s Australian Amateur, 12th at the Queensland PGA and low amateur at the Diamond Cup in Japan.
Yet despite having made the cut in two of his previous three Isuzu Queensland Open appearances, the world No.37 amateur wants to start his professional career with a much more significant bang.
And while he is by no means over confident, Wools-Cobb is already tuned in to the thought of a $ 110,000 purse up for grabs at a course where he trains regularly with the QAS squad and at a club with which he played Pennants two years ago.
Coach Field says the most noticeable symmetry between Wools-Cobb and Smith is their consistency of improvement.
“I started coaching Cam when he was 10 and have been with Shae since he was 13, and the similar path of development is quite uncanny,” he said.
“And what I also see in Shae is that like Cam, he rises to the next challenge that presents itself. That is why I don’t foresee any problems for him by turning pro – not golf issues, anyway.”
Field defines Wools-Cobb as a ‘really good player’, with no weaknesses.
“There is nothing about his game that shouts the word ‘amazing’, but the fact he has no deficiencies is a great quality,” he said.
“By using Cam as a yardstick, the step Shae is taking is one he can certainly conquer, but he needs to be patient. The big challenge for him will be managing his life as a touring pro because from now this is what he will be doing for a living.”
But the one huge difference between Smith and his soon-to-be professional colleague is their World Golf Ranking – Smith is No.32 and Wools-Cobb 1785. Shae understands, but is also well aware that just a few years ago Smith, who will represent Australia in next month’s World Cup in Melbourne, was where he is now.
The 2018 Isuzu Queensland Open will be played from 1 – 4 November at The Brisbane Golf Club. Visit the website for more information.