ADAM Chapman hopes he can make the pro switch pay, after leaving the world of amateur golf behind.

The Windermere swinger enjoyed his first taste of the professional game in Portugal on the Algarve Pro Golf Tour, battling players from the European and Challenger Tours.

A fourth-placed finish in the San Lorenzo Classic – the third of three tournaments he contested – earned him his first pay cheque of 800 Euros, but Chapman is looking forward more to learning and developing his game in 2017.

The 21-year-old Carus Green Golf Club member has a packed calendar ahead of him after making the switch to playing as a professional, with anywhere between 20 and 25 competitions over the course of the next 12 months.

After a return to Portugal late this month for three more events, the majority will come on the PGA EuroPro Tour – the third tier of European golf, behind the European PGA Tour and the Challenger Tour.

“I'm looking forward to the next stage,” said Chapman. “I enjoyed it so in Portugal much that I'm booked to go again and play the next three events over there, which should be good.

“After that, I'll be having a couple of weeks off to work on my game, then I will hopefully be playing a full season on the EuroPro Tour.

“I don't really have specific aims for this year, I just want to go out and see what it's like. I'll be learning at every event.

“I'm going to work a bit on my fitness and get practising as hard as I can. I spend just about every day at Carus Green, working with Andrew Pickering.

“I'm playing these tournaments for a bit of practice and a chance to compete, and I might go and play a few courses down in Lancashire by the sea, which are normally in a bit better condition at this time of year.

“If I finish in the top-five in the order of merit in the Euro Pro, then that would give my full Challenger Tour playing rights. That's some sort of a target to start off with.

“It's a big step up. I've got the funding for a couple of years though, so it's a bit more stress-free than it is for some others.”

Asked why he had made the professional switch, he added: “I just felt as though I was ready. Everybody I spoke to said that if I felt ready and had the backing behind me, that I should definitely give it a shot.”

Chapman was happy with his first three events in Portugal, despite illness meaning he was not at his best in the opening two competitions.

They have given him an idea of what is to come, and the South Cumbrian ace said: “For the first two, I was a little bit poorly, full of cold and not really myself. I still played okay, but not as well as I would have liked. But in the last one, I did quite well. It was windy, and I quite like windy conditions, and I finished fourth, which was quite good.

“It was good practice and it was nice to be out there on the course in winter.”

He added: “This is bottom-tier stuff, but it was a good exercise. There were still quite a few good players in the field – people who have played on the European Tour – they're no slouches.

“The courses were okay. It was a little bit wet because they've had a little bit of rain, but they were good – a little bit short and quite tight. There were a few European Tour players and quite a few Challenge Tour players, so there were quite tough fields.”