Became serious about golf at 12 years of age at Hayling Golf Club, where his single figure handicap father ran the Junior Section. Played amateur golf for England between 1994 and 1997, winning the Welsh Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship in 1996. An avid fan of the ancient sport of Real Tennis, first played by King Henry VIII and now a game enjoyed by Prince Edward. One of only 20 courts in England is 200 yards from his home. A trip with good friend, Justin Rose, to the David Leadbetter School in Florida at Christmas 2001 gave Blackey the impetus to go on to keep his card in 2003. ‘What I saw there opened my eyes to what was required at the top of the game,’ he said. A series of missed cuts towards the end of the 2004 season resulted in him finishing in 129th place on the Volvo Order of Merit but he retained his place on Tour with 34th card at the Qualifying School Finals.