Max Hopkins freely admits that 2019 was a steep learning curve for him on and off the golf course.
Now the Hertfordshire teenager is ready to find his best form in 2020 – and edge closer to the long-term dream of teaming up with big brother Jon as a professional.
Hopkins felt his golf suffered a little last year as he focused on his schoolwork and knuckled down to his GCSEs.
With the exams safely negotiated and the hard winter work well underway, Hopkins is now excited about the new season.
Golf runs in the family. Older brother Jon, a plus two handicapper and pictured below, is currently at university in Mississippi and moving on to Florida.
The youngest Hopkins brother hopes to follow a similar path as both siblings contemplate careers in the game.
“My brother is 20 now and there’s not too much of a competitive streak between us yet as we haven’t really played much junior golf together,” said the 17-year-old.
“Only now are we playing in the same men’s events and we will compete again in the summer.
“We both want to become professionals.
“It’s rare for brothers to get to that level so we’ll have to see how it pans out.
“My dad Pete is into golf too and is better than average off a nine handicap. Me and my brother have obviously overtaken him. I think he’s proud!”
The immediate focus for Hopkins in 2020 is on helping the England boys’ squad enjoy a successful season and getting closer to the individual win he craves.
Last season he played in the European Team Championships and Home Internationals for England – winning the latter event.
“I did well for England in 2019 and that’s a big thing,” added Hopkins who plays out of Bishop Stortford Golf Club.
“But in the individual championships I didn’t perform as well as I’d have liked.
“It was frustrating. I missed a few cuts by one.
“I had GCSEs and while I can’t pin the blame on that solely it was a distraction from the golf.
“I felt fine technically going into 2019, but I’m not sure the head was in the right place.
“I’m still eligible for all the Under 18 events in 2020 as well as the men’s championships.
“But I won’t go overboard with the men’s competitions. I don’t want to wear myself out. I will try and get into the English Amateur and Brabazon and not overdo it.”
Hopkins is no stranger to the winner’s circle not only with England but on his own having won the Telegraph Junior Masters in 2017 (pictured above).
Now he’s eager for the 2020 campaign to begin and continue his golfing journey.
That journey started when he got his first set of medal clubs before his second birthday and kicked on when he joined his local club aged six.
“I’m feeling good about 2020,” confirmed Hopkins.
“I want to do well individually and hopefully that gets me picked for England. Ideally. I’d like to win at national level. That’s a goal.
“I feel it’s about time.
“Hopefully, a lot will follow on from that.”
Main Photograph credit: Leaderboard