LAURIE Canter has made the next big step in his golfing career by earning a European Tour card at Q School in Spain.

The Cumberwell Park professional shot 16-under after six rounds of the Qualifying School’s Final Stage at Lumine Golf Club in the north east of Spain, with only four men bettering that score.

His performance was sufficient enough to claim one of 25 places on the 2020 European Tour, and he has immediately jetted off to contest the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa – which started on Thursday morning.

Having played in 21 Challenge Tour events last term, Canter admits he has learnt a lot from his experiences on the continent’s second tier.

But the 30-year-old now wants to eliminate outside influences from his game and focus on taking responsibility himself – something which he believes will make his golf more enjoyable.

Canter said: “Playing on the Challenge Tour was good in a lot of ways. I had some new experiences on a tougher tour – that’s in terms of the opportunities I get.

“I felt I got a lot out of playing it, and I learnt a lot about my game. We all want to be playing on the main European Tour, so to get my card is massive.

“My first port of call is to push on from this, but I also want to be proud of the year I’ve had.

“I had some really great help at the start of the year from various coaches. But as the season went on, I felt like I needed to take more responsibility for my own golf again.

“Taking that responsibility, I believe, can help me enjoy my golf more. I’ve had a long period where I’ve taken in a lot of coaching and advice from top coaches.

“But, equally, there comes a point where I need to step back and cash in on what I’m doing within golf. I want to believe in myself, and the Challenge Tour has forced me to do that.”

Following his efforts in South Africa this weekend, Canter will return to England for a four-week break.

It’s a rare luxury for the keen Bath Rugby supporter to spend more than a month at home.

And he admits spending time in familiar surroundings while working on his fitness with coach Adam Shackell can help re-charge the batteries ahead of what promises to be a packed 2020 campaign.

He said: “Time flies, and the travelling element of our sport makes years tick by.

“I’m rarely at home – I’m probably in my own bed 25 weeks a year. It can be hectic, and you do have to take moments to sit back and reflect on where you are and the direction you’re going in.

“A bit of experience will help me plan for that better.

“I’ll enjoy a month off after this weekend.

“I’ll use the time to get a bit fitter, I’ll go and see Adam Shackell at Crossfit in Trowbridge.

“In those six to eight weeks you can get a lot of work done that can be hard to do during the main season.

“Beyond that, I’ll enjoy a few Bath Rugby fixtures – just relaxing really.”

Canter’s fellow Cumberwell Park player, Steve Surry, will also be in action at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, as will leading Wiltshire professional David Howell.