Sam Locke - Scottish Amateur Champion (& Scottish golf in general)

Grant85

Head Pro
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Messages
2,828
Location
Glasgow
Visit site
For most of us, the name Sam Locke will have become more prominent this week as he became the only Scot and the only Amateur to make the cut at the Open.

Scottish golf has very much been in the doldrums for many years with no real world contenders since Colin Montgomerie - sure there have been a few guys to play on tour and make a career from golf, but very few have been a fixture in the top 50. Stark contrast to English and Irish golf who have had a lot of top players, major winners and world stars.

Russell Knox and Martin Laird have had their days - however both came through the American college system. Not that that is a problem, but in reality they have prospered because they left Scotland. Stephen Gallagher and Richie Ramsay probably the next two most prominent who have been on tour for the past decade, and were homegrown.

In reality the lack of success in the pro ranks is a total embarrassment for Scottish Golf. This must be, or should be, one of the best funded sports in the world with £millions flowing into the game every year through 2 permanent European Tour events, the Open every other year, millions of tourists as well as thousands of golf clubs around the country.

the Paul Lawrie foundation may be the chink of light. Paul has set up this with his own cash and a lot of his own time to try and teach some North East lads how to make it on tour.

Sam Locke seems to be one of the 1st to come through.
Unlike many amateurs in the Open, he qualified via proper qualifying (i.e. competing against Pros rather than winning an amateur title)
He also made the cut on merit (i.e. not simply because he got a favourable draw and the weather took 50 guys out of play)
He's now playing pretty well - making 6 birdies and shooting under par in the 3rd round and sitting t56.

All this is very positive and bodes well for young Sam - but without pinning our hopes on this chap, I'm more excited about Paul's foundation and his way of thinking.

Paul is a pro who treated golf as a job. He was a solid player who took advantage of one man's fate 19 years ago to seal his own piece of history. But after that he still had a solid career winning a further 6 pro events and qualifying for 2 Ryder Cups (1999 and 2012).

He is someone who kept his feet on the ground and remembered that golf doesn't owe you a living, you have to go out there and earn in. Arguably, he is one of the best guys for this role of mentoring young players on how to make it as a pro.

We've heard the stories in commentary about Sam making the Latte's at Paul's golf club. It may be a small point, but this is something that keeps a youngsters feet on the ground. And no doubt on Monday, Sam will be back doing this and then practicing after his shift. Paul will be reminding him that you could become a decent pro, but you are 1 bad season away from selling mars bars and giving unathletic guys lessons on how to stop slicing their drive 40 yards.

I'm not really sure about set ups in other areas of Scotland, how they are funded, who the coaches are and what happens - but I guess unless you have a parent generous and well off enough to pay for a lot of coaching, the chances of making it as a tour pro are very very slim.

Surely golf in Scotland deserves a much more joined up approach with a portion of the money flowing into Scottish golf being used to develop talent. If this is the case currently, it is not being used very well.

Golf in Scotland is popular, but just imagine the atmosphere at Carnoustie if Scotland had a Rory McIlroy or Tommy Fleetwood to follow around.

No disrespect to Russell Knox - he's having a great career but he's only one guy.
Scotland really needs to work out how to develop more top players.
 

patricks148

Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
24,427
Location
Highlands
Visit site
For most of us, the name Sam Locke will have become more prominent this week as he became the only Scot and the only Amateur to make the cut at the Open.

Scottish golf has very much been in the doldrums for many years with no real world contenders since Colin Montgomerie - sure there have been a few guys to play on tour and make a career from golf, but very few have been a fixture in the top 50. Stark contrast to English and Irish golf who have had a lot of top players, major winners and world stars.

Russell Knox and Martin Laird have had their days - however both came through the American college system. Not that that is a problem, but in reality they have prospered because they left Scotland. Stephen Gallagher and Richie Ramsay probably the next two most prominent who have been on tour for the past decade, and were homegrown.

In reality the lack of success in the pro ranks is a total embarrassment for Scottish Golf. This must be, or should be, one of the best funded sports in the world with £millions flowing into the game every year through 2 permanent European Tour events, the Open every other year, millions of tourists as well as thousands of golf clubs around the country.

the Paul Lawrie foundation may be the chink of light. Paul has set up this with his own cash and a lot of his own time to try and teach some North East lads how to make it on tour.

Sam Locke seems to be one of the 1st to come through.
Unlike many amateurs in the Open, he qualified via proper qualifying (i.e. competing against Pros rather than winning an amateur title)
He also made the cut on merit (i.e. not simply because he got a favourable draw and the weather took 50 guys out of play)
He's now playing pretty well - making 6 birdies and shooting under par in the 3rd round and sitting t56.

All this is very positive and bodes well for young Sam - but without pinning our hopes on this chap, I'm more excited about Paul's foundation and his way of thinking.

Paul is a pro who treated golf as a job. He was a solid player who took advantage of one man's fate 19 years ago to seal his own piece of history. But after that he still had a solid career winning a further 6 pro events and qualifying for 2 Ryder Cups (1999 and 2012).

He is someone who kept his feet on the ground and remembered that golf doesn't owe you a living, you have to go out there and earn in. Arguably, he is one of the best guys for this role of mentoring young players on how to make it as a pro.

We've heard the stories in commentary about Sam making the Latte's at Paul's golf club. It may be a small point, but this is something that keeps a youngsters feet on the ground. And no doubt on Monday, Sam will be back doing this and then practicing after his shift. Paul will be reminding him that you could become a decent pro, but you are 1 bad season away from selling mars bars and giving unathletic guys lessons on how to stop slicing their drive 40 yards.

I'm not really sure about set ups in other areas of Scotland, how they are funded, who the coaches are and what happens - but I guess unless you have a parent generous and well off enough to pay for a lot of coaching, the chances of making it as a tour pro are very very slim.

Surely golf in Scotland deserves a much more joined up approach with a portion of the money flowing into Scottish golf being used to develop talent. If this is the case currently, it is not being used very well.

Golf in Scotland is popular, but just imagine the atmosphere at Carnoustie if Scotland had a Rory McIlroy or Tommy Fleetwood to follow around.

No disrespect to Russell Knox - he's having a great career but he's only one guy.
Scotland really needs to work out how to develop more top players.

i think its a question that has been on the cards with Scottish golf for some time. its not like it doesn't have a young guys showing some ability, there have been a number of the "next big thing" guys,but none made the jump on.

SGU or what ever its called now needs to took at what Ireland do. similar membership, population and climate. but Ireland has had a lots of guys coming through and making it in the pro ranks as well as major champions.
 

Doon frae Troon

Ryder Cup Winner
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
18,617
Location
S W Scotland
Visit site
Junior golf in Scotland is 30 years behind the times, always has been and it looks like it always will be.
Root and branch change is needed from individual membership, club, county, regional and national levels.


My daughter went through a comprehensive development structure with England golf from club junior to the England girls and woman's development squad.
She has lived in Scotland for the last 10 years and says that Scots golfers make it to the top despite the system not because of it.
 
Last edited:

Hobbit

Mordorator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
18,493
Location
Espana
Visit site
What is holding them back from making changes to the system?


Scottish golfers.

The Scottish golf union recognised the need for change and proposed a significant increase in subs from the clubs to the union. It got totally kicked out by the members of the clubs.
 

Grant85

Head Pro
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Messages
2,828
Location
Glasgow
Visit site
What is holding them back from making changes to the system?

Im not sure. Maybe much like football there are too many old guys who are set in their ways & happy to keep their blazers & mates in a job rather than really make changes & hire people who are enthusiastic & able to really make a difference.
 

Jacko_G

Blackballed
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
7,028
Visit site
Paul Lawrie should be approached to take over the "new" SGU.

They have failed for years to galvanise Scottish Golf and have alienated the local Golf Unions to the point of rebellion. They have systematically pee'd cash year on year at "elite players/squads" and failed dramatically at grass roots level for generations. They have relied on golf clubs and the bank of mum and dad to introduce the next generation.

Very good post by the O.P.
 

Grant85

Head Pro
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Messages
2,828
Location
Glasgow
Visit site
Scottish golfers.

The Scottish golf union recognised the need for change and proposed a significant increase in subs from the clubs to the union. It got totally kicked out by the members of the clubs.

a significant increase in subs is not all that palatable. Especially when there is a real lack of understanding as to what the average member gets out of the SGU for their £8 or £10 a year.

Members are already paying hundreds a year to commit to a course and club

What if every Open venue charged every non-member a £1 levy that went to develop Scottish Golf? It would be nothing given that most green fees will be £80 to £140 for the likes of St Andrews, Troon etc. And if the club doesn’t want to charge it, then it comes off the Open rota and other venues can be prepared.
 

Foxholer

Blackballed
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
24,160
Visit site
Paul Lawrie should be approached to take over the "new" SGU.

They have failed for years to galvanise Scottish Golf and have alienated the local Golf Unions to the point of rebellion. They have systematically pee'd cash year on year at "elite players/squads" and failed dramatically at grass roots level for generations. They have relied on golf clubs and the bank of mum and dad to introduce the next generation.

Very good post by the O.P.

This is ass-about-face of what should be done!

If Paul Lawrie's Foundation approach is working - as it seems to be - then he should be encouraged and (perhaps) funded somewhat by the SGU and left, to a great extent, to get on with his approach.

He should not be placed in a position where he has to convince other administrators nor, horror of horrors, general golfers of the merits of his plans!

As Hobbit posted, the democratic power of 'the plebs' can be dishearteningly conservative/selfish at times!

Btw. Sam isn't the only Scottish Am golfer who has done well in The Open in, relatively, recent times. For example, Lloyd Saltman pipped Eric Ramsay by 1 stroke to win the Silver Medal in 2005. Unfortunately, neither have really hit the 'big-time', so success as an Amateur is no guarantee of success at Professional level!
 

Jacko_G

Blackballed
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
7,028
Visit site
This is ass-about-face of what should be done!

If Paul Lawrie's Foundation approach is working - as it seems to be - then he should be encouraged and (perhaps) funded somewhat by the SGU and left, to a great extent, to get on with his approach.

He should not be placed in a position where he has to convince other administrators nor, horror of horrors, general golfers of the merits of his plans!

As Hobbit posted, the democratic power of 'the plebs' can be dishearteningly conservative/selfish at times!

Btw. Sam isn't the only Scottish Am golfer who has done well in The Open in, relatively, recent times. For example, Lloyd Saltman pipped Eric Ramsay by 1 stroke to win the Silver Medal in 2005. Unfortunately, neither have really hit the 'big-time', so success as an Amateur is no guarantee of success at Professional level!

When you actually know the background behind the "rebellion" against Scottish Golf then come back with a proper argument and.leave out the pleb comment you ignorant person
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DCB

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
7,732
Location
Midlothian
Visit site
The SGU has a history of bad business decisions and bad management decisions which go back a good number of years. The recent "rebellion" is just the tip of the iceberg.
 

Hobbit

Mordorator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
18,493
Location
Espana
Visit site
a significant increase in subs is not all that palatable. Especially when there is a real lack of understanding as to what the average member gets out of the SGU for their £8 or £10 a year.

Members are already paying hundreds a year to commit to a course and club

What if every Open venue charged every non-member a £1 levy that went to develop Scottish Golf? It would be nothing given that most green fees will be £80 to £140 for the likes of St Andrews, Troon etc. And if the club doesn’t want to charge it, then it comes off the Open rota and other venues can be prepared.

Isn't this a me, me, me thing though. What does the SGU do for me? Does it have to do anything? Yes it does little for the average golfer but if the average golfer wants to see Scottish elite golf achieve new heights it can't do it on fresh air. And starting from such a low point how will it catch up without significant investment. When I saw the proposed increase, whilst still a member at Cruden Bay, I baulked at it. But if you look at where Scottish golf is and where it wants/needs to be in order to compete, it needs that level of injection if only to catch up with investments elsewhere in the game.

You get what you pay for, and if you aren't willing to pay...
 

HankMarvin

Tour Rookie
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
1,642
Visit site
Isn't this a me, me, me thing though. What does the SGU do for me? Does it have to do anything? Yes it does little for the average golfer but if the average golfer wants to see Scottish elite golf achieve new heights it can't do it on fresh air. And starting from such a low point how will it catch up without significant investment. When I saw the proposed increase, whilst still a member at Cruden Bay, I baulked at it. But if you look at where Scottish golf is and where it wants/needs to be in order to compete, it needs that level of injection if only to catch up with investments elsewhere in the game.

You get what you pay for, and if you aren't willing to pay...

Trouble was there were to many fat cats tagging on and milking the system within Scottish Golf and using up cash that should have went to development rather than wasted on guys not playing or anything to do with playing take trips all over the world and milking the pot, get rid of these guys and they will get some credibility back first.
 

Grant85

Head Pro
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Messages
2,828
Location
Glasgow
Visit site
Isn't this a me, me, me thing though. What does the SGU do for me? Does it have to do anything? Yes it does little for the average golfer but if the average golfer wants to see Scottish elite golf achieve new heights it can't do it on fresh air. And starting from such a low point how will it catch up without significant investment. When I saw the proposed increase, whilst still a member at Cruden Bay, I baulked at it. But if you look at where Scottish golf is and where it wants/needs to be in order to compete, it needs that level of injection if only to catch up with investments elsewhere in the game.

You get what you pay for, and if you aren't willing to pay...

My point is that if this is really the SGU’s goal, they aren’t doing any kind of job at it.

If they could say, here is one of our players making a career for himself and climbing the rankings, we need a bigger budget to roll this out on a greater level - then fair enough. But our best players have been made in America of late.

Do we even have any/many coaches capable of teaching to tour level?

we probably need a project to teach the coaches before we start teaching youngsters that would realistically combine to become elite players.

Many clubs are already in perilous situations financially & milking their memberships surely isn’t the answer.

Scotland has so many other revenue streams from Golf, that harnessing just a fraction of tourist & tournament revenue should surely be enough to put a decent talent factory in place.
 

Hobbit

Mordorator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
18,493
Location
Espana
Visit site
Trouble was there were to many fat cats tagging on and milking the system within Scottish Golf and using up cash that should have went to development rather than wasted on guys not playing or anything to do with playing take trips all over the world and milking the pot, get rid of these guys and they will get some credibility back first.

What fat cats, and how much were they taking? That's just red banner headlining, unless you've got facts to support it. As for get some credibility first. How do you achieve success without investment - chicken and egg??

My point is that if this is really the SGU’s goal, they aren’t doing any kind of job at it.

If they could say, here is one of our players making a career for himself and climbing the rankings, we need a bigger budget to roll this out on a greater level - then fair enough. But our best players have been made in America of late.

Do we even have any/many coaches capable of teaching to tour level?

we probably need a project to teach the coaches before we start teaching youngsters that would realistically combine to become elite players.

Many clubs are already in perilous situations financially & milking their memberships surely isn’t the answer.

Scotland has so many other revenue streams from Golf, that harnessing just a fraction of tourist & tournament revenue should surely be enough to put a decent talent factory in place.

I think you've got some good points there. But golf clubs will invest in their own clubs first. They have to to keep the members happy. And they don't, in the main, chase profits because this affects the partial VAT exemption they receive.
 

Jacko_G

Blackballed
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
7,028
Visit site
Hobbit you lived in Scotland for a few seconds and your acting like you know it all.

SGU spunked money left right and centre, they thought they were above any sort of criticism and ploughed head on into a financial crises. They have already been bailed out once by the club members, length and breadth of the country. They have systematically increased fees year on year.

They have consistently failed at grass roots level. What is their answer, spend more money and ask Joe Public for the funding and actually have the audacity to expect it.

They are, (were, hopefully the new name will wake up and listen) so far removed they were shocked that the regional golf unions said enough is enough and refused to sanction their spending and demands.

Scottish Golf is in crisis, make no bones about that, they must get it right this time. Scottish Golf is not just simply about the elite, get that idea out of the equation. Scottish Golf is for everyone and start at grass roots level to promote and grow the game.

In my opinion there has been a couple of positive appointments, hopefully they don't get sucked into the we need more and more money, let's just ask the club members for it.
 

Hobbit

Mordorator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
18,493
Location
Espana
Visit site
Hobbit you lived in Scotland for a few seconds and your acting like you know it all.

SGU spunked money left right and centre, they thought they were above any sort of criticism and ploughed head on into a financial crises. They have already been bailed out once by the club members, length and breadth of the country. They have systematically increased fees year on year.

They have consistently failed at grass roots level. What is their answer, spend more money and ask Joe Public for the funding and actually have the audacity to expect it.

They are, (were, hopefully the new name will wake up and listen) so far removed they were shocked that the regional golf unions said enough is enough and refused to sanction their spending and demands.

Scottish Golf is in crisis, make no bones about that, they must get it right this time. Scottish Golf is not just simply about the elite, get that idea out of the equation. Scottish Golf is for everyone and start at grass roots level to promote and grow the game.

In my opinion there has been a couple of positive appointments, hopefully they don't get sucked into the we need more and more money, let's just ask the club members for it.

Unless I'm much mistaken I started my last post with questions, which would suggest I don't know it all. But I did meet more than my fair share of very arrogant Scots with chips wider than planks...... does the cap fit, coz it looks like it does.
 

Jacko_G

Blackballed
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
7,028
Visit site
Unless I'm much mistaken I started my last post with questions, which would suggest I don't know it all. But I did meet more than my fair share of very arrogant Scots with chips wider than planks...... does the cap fit, coz it looks like it does.

Like what fat cats. I assumed more of a flippant remark than a question.

As for your casual racism. Love a good deflection.
 
Top