By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
COFFS Harbour golfer Suzie Fisher is starting to make a name for herself in the professional ranks overseas but she's the first to admit there's nothing like the green grass of home.
Fisher returned home from the United States six weeks ago and is the first to say that her game lacks nothing for being back home.
"Coffs Harbour is one of the best practice facilities in the country," she said.
"There's a chipping green, driving range and 27 holes and they're always available.
"I've never not been able to get on the course."
The 24 year-old has been plying her trade on the Futures Tour this year in the United States since finishing her Sports Science studies at the University of Tulsa.
She will be returning to the US at the start of November to qualify for next year's Futures Tour before returning to Australia and embarking on a summer of playing in this country's top tournaments including the Australian Masters at the Royal Pines resort.
A tough summer ahead travelling around Australia won't be too daunting for Fisher though as her extensive travel on the tour as well as the University tournaments has given her invaluable experience about the rigours of travelling.
"We'd go away every second week to tournaments," Fisher said of her University experience.
"We were away more than we were at school."
With all the travel, Fisher has learned to fend for herself now that she's moved to the professional ranks.
"The most valuable lesson was organising yourself to travel around a whole different country," she said.
"There's no way that I could've gone over and played on the Futures Tour straight from being here.
"You have to learn how to book your own airfares and hire your own car and everything.
"I've seen nearly every state in the US."
There has been one major difference that the former Bishop Druitt student has noted about the pro circuit in America.
"It's intimidating for the girls that come straight over from here and try and do it because we play heaps longer courses and harder courses," she explained.
"We have to play off the men's tees, everyone over here is used to playing off the women's tees."
A change in her swing that was being developed over the last six months meant that Fisher's results were modest this season but as this summer approaches, her swing is now getting the desired effect and all is looking good for Suzie Fisher's name to be on the leaderboards all around the country this summer.