Ryder Cup winner Stephen Gallacher is to lend his expertise to Scottish Golf in a new Performance role, as the national Men’s team eye an historic European hat-trick.
Gallacher, a three-time champion on the European Tour and a member of Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014, has joined Scottish Golf’s Performance Committee as he seeks to help guide the nation’s leading amateurs with valuable support and advice.
The 42-year-old, who enjoyed a decorated amateur career including winning the Scottish and European Amateur, has joined Catriona Matthew, the nation’s most successful female golfer, on the committee, as Scottish Golf continues to look to tap into the knowledge and insight of two of the country’s most experienced professionals.
Dean Robertson, High Performance Golf Coach at the University of Stirling, also sits on the committee, with Andrew Coltart coming off due to new work commitments.
The announcement builds on Scottish Golf recently joining forces with Aberdeen Asset Management, SSE Scottish Hydro and Bounce Sports Management in a move designed to help ease am-to-pro transition for young players through financial and management support.
Gallacher, who runs his own successful junior foundation, said: “I look forward to helping Scottish Golf in this Performance role, fitting in alongside my full-time golf commitments. Having met the new CEO of Scottish Golf, Blane Dodds, I’m keen to work together to help develop golf in Scotland.
“I’m a passionate supporter of the game at all levels in Scotland and take great interest in the development of players from a young age to the leading amateur level. If you get used to winning regularly as an amateur, you’ll have a better chance of making it as professional, and hopefully I can provide advice, help and assistance to support players.”
Blane Dodds added: “Stephen is one of the most passionate and respected players in European golf and we’re delighted he has agreed to join our Performance Committee. It is vital we work together in golf in Scotland to succeed and having Stephen help in that process can only be hugely beneficial to us.
“Stephen will bring valuable knowledge and experience to our programmes, as we focus on supporting our best male and female players to compete at the top of the amateur game and beyond.”
Scotland’s men’s side will seek to deliver more success in Austria next month, when they tee up chasing a hat-trick of European Amateur Team titles for the first time. Only England have won the championship three times in a row, from 1969 – 73, before the event moved annually in 2007.
At the Diamond Golf Resort from 11 – 15 July, Ian Rae’s side will feature three winners from last year’s triumphant team in France, Drumoig’s Connor Syme, Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten) and Craig Howie from Peebles.
Old Ranfurly teenager Jamie Stewart has earned promotion from the boys’ team thanks to his fine season, with Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open winner Liam Johnson (Dumfries & County) and Royal Wimbledon’s Ryan Lumsden, who reached the last-16 of The Amateur and has racked up a string of impressive US college results at Northwestern including a win, making up the line-up.
“We have a strong team and I’m excited for our chances,” said Rae, National Head Coach. “We have three players from last year’s winning team, with Connor also part of the victorious 2015 team in Sweden. There have been some great performances from all the players this season and hopefully we can combine again to retain the title and achieve history.”
Meantime, the Peebles club will again have two brothers in European competition, with Darren Howie leading Scottish hopes in the European Boys’ Team Championship at La Manga in Spain, alongside the likes of Scottish Boys’ Open champion John Paterson from St Andrews. “It’s also a strong team and there is no reason why they can’t do well,” added Rae.
The Scottish Golf National Squads are sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management and supported by sportscotland.
Scottish Golf scottishgolf.org
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