Dimitrios (Dimi) Papadatos started playing golf at the age of nine, when he discovered a forgotten set of golf clubs that belonged to his father Spiros.
Fast forward a few years and the 26-year-old Greek-Australian from New South Wales’ Central Coast has just won the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship on the Kalgoorlie Golf Course, whilst earlier this year, in February, he won the Oates Victorian Open at Barwon Heads in Victoria; both official 2017 PGA Tour of Australasia men’s professional golf events.
“I am feeling very happy with my game and how I’ve turned it all around this year. I’ve done a lot of work with my new coach Richard Woodhouse and it seems to be paying off,” said Papadatos in an interview with Neos Kosmos.
“My coach has helped me a lot with my swing and simplified a lot of things, but also just being there to talk to and give me advice on some of the decisions I make with my career,” says Dimitrios who took up golf as a hobby and who within a year started playing competitive golf.
“I was only nine years old so I initially played with my dad, then joined a club and by the time I was 12 I started travelling interstate,” says the talented athlete who won his first professional event at the New Zealand Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia in March 2014.
“I certainly consider the NZ Open win the highlight of my career followed by my two wins this year. The previous two years were a big struggle but that’s to be expected with professional sport sometimes. A professional athlete needs to have a lot of dedication to practice if they wish to become great. I feel that this is what has gotten me this far but I still have a long way to go,” says Papadatos who also hopes to return to Europe later in the year and compete in as many events and tournaments as he can overseas.
“The European tour is the second strongest tour behind the PGA Tour and it’s not far behind. There are so many of the best golfers in the world that play in Europe, and the strength of [the] field every week makes it tough; that just means more practice, hard work, and experience to get to that level,” says the determined athlete who turned professional in 2012 but has never had the opportunity to compete at a golf tournament in Greece.
“If I had the opportunity I would definitely like to play there (Greece) one day and I have even thought of possibly even representing Greece at some point,” says Papadatos who has been to Greece plenty of times to visit his father’s family and experience his country of origin.
“Lefkada, the island my dad comes from, is just beautiful. I’ve been there a few times to experience the place and visit our extended family. Plus, having a Greek background means a lot of great food all of the time,” jokes the professional golfer whose next goal is to try and finish as high up on the Australian order of merit as possible in order to get his European tour card for next year.
“My next goal is just winning whatever event I have that week. Things can change very quickly and many opportunities arise, so good results week to week are the short-term goals, but overall, all I can really say is that it is all going along nicely so far, therefore, I will keep enjoying my life whilst staying committed to what I need to do.
“It’s not easy sometimes with how much time I spend playing tournaments and practicing but it has to be done,” Papadatos concludes.