Huddersfield golfer Chris Hanson is hoping the Hogwarts Express can take him all the way to the European Tour.
The 28-year-old pro at Woodsome Hall is in his third year on the Challenge Tour but has accepted a rare invite to step up to the top table at this week’s Lyoness Open in Austria.
His bid for success this year owes much to a chance encounter with someone whose company The Jacobite provided the famous train used in the Harry Potter movies. “We became friends and the support he has given me this year has been invaluable,” said Hanson.
“The Jacobite is a Victorian steam train up in Scotland which is actually the Harry Potter train and it’s one of the main reasons I’ve been able to play this year.”
This week’s event is the fifth time Hanson – the 2011 EuroPro order of merit winner – has played on the main circuit.
He is not putting any undue pressure on himself to succeed this week, or indeed in the future, citing the example of Miguel Angel Jimenez recently winning at the age of 50 as a reason to be patient.
Hanson said: “The average age of a guy on Tour nowadays is 33, so you just don’t know when you’re going to do it.
“I’ve got a very good base around me, coach, manager and my wife’s fantastic. I just go out and try and enjoy it.
“If it doesn’t work one week I move onto the next and try again.”
He added: “I’m not setting myself a timeframe because I don’t want to add that extra pressure on myself, there are already enough pressures out there.
“If you feel like you’re improving year on year and your game’s not going stale, then that’s progress.
“So all you do is keep playing while ever you can support your family and there’s no reason why you should give it in.
“I’ve played four events on the main Tour now and made three out of four cuts.
“I feel as though I’ve shown I can compete and it all counts towards experience because one day I’d like to have a full card out here.
“Last year was the closest I’ve gotten to a card. I missed out of the final stage by three shots, but that also got me full status on the Challenge Tour and category 20 on the European Tour which is how I get into these events.
“If I can get more opportunities like this then all the better.”