WAKEFIELD’S Dan Bradbury will not being making the commute to university in Harrogate on a daily basis – because it is more than 4,000 miles away.
The Yorkshire Boys’ captain won a golf scholarship to attend Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, in the USA.
And Bradbury should feel right at home in America’s Harrogate for the nearest town to campus in the southern state is called Middlesbrough.
The quirky coincidence of the place names brought a smile to the former Yorkshire Under-16s champion’s face although not as broad as the one that greeted the prospect of starting a four-year assisted scholarship at a university whose golf side plays in the second division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s league.
Bradbury, who flew to the United States on Monday, found his way to the LMU with the help of golf scholarship consultants prodreamUSA and their golf director, Lorne Kelly.
“Lorne helps to create a profile for you and then contacts universities, who email you after watching a swing video that is included with your profile,” explains Bradbury. “Then you start having Skype calls as part of the interview process.”
The Wakefield GC member will be a week late into class as the USA’s summer recess ended in mid-August, but he should not have too much trouble catching up.
“They are a year behind as they do not have a national curriculum, so my first year will be doing Maths, English and Sciences to get everyone to the same level, and then you start the degree in the second year, which is why it is a four-year degree.
“So the first year is not too demanding apparently because, hopefully, it will be work that I have already done over here.”
After attending Kettlethorpe High, Bradbury moved on to New College, Pontefract where, despite suffering a debilitating bout of glandular fever, he gained A level passes in Economics, Geography and PE.
“During June, the only time I got out of bed was to go to an exam, which was quite a weird feeling,” he recalls. “I was getting up at 7 o’clock to go and do the exam then going straight back to bed when I got home at lunchtime.
“I still do not feel 100 per cent, but I feel fine, so much better than I was. I lost about a stone in three weeks with the glandular fever.”
Bradbury is leaving behind mum and dad, Richard and Sandra, and 21-year-old sister Katie in the belief that the American collegiate golf system can lead him towards his dream of being a tournament professional.
“One of the reasons I want to go is because it means you can learn to play in different conditions,” he says.
“If you can learn how to play in America and also play (in England) then you have got nothing holding you back.
“Being able to practise every day is something I want to do, but I also understand that if it (becoming a Tour pro) does not work out I need a back-up plan, so I’ve got to have some qualifications, but I have always said I didn’t want to go to university at home.
“I did not want to come out with £40,000 of debt and a little piece of paper, so going to the US gives me the chance to get a degree, play golf and enjoy myself without the same level of cost.”
Bradbury has been granted an 85 per cent scholarship towards the cost of his tuition, accommodation and food costs at LMU.
He adds: “I have not chosen my degree subject yet; you do not have to choose until your second year.
“I know it will be either Sports Management or Business Management. I did Economics and I enjoyed the business side of that.”