Golf: Brooks in demand all over world

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THE growing reputation of an Edinburgh-based golf coach has earned him another pupil – nearly 5000 miles away!

Jyoti Randhawa, one of India's top professionals, has started working with Colin Brooks after the former Scottish champion was recommended to him by a rich sponsor.

"It's an interesting one, to say the least," admitted Brooks, who has established himself as one of Scotland's leading coaches from his base at the Braid Hills Golf Centre.

"It all came about after I did a bit of coaching with one of Jyoti's sponsors up at the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews last October.

"He liked the way I went about my coaching and, as Jyoti didn't have a coach and was struggling a bit with his game, he suggested that we should get together."

Easier said than done when you're talking about someone who lives in New Delhi and the other in Edinburgh. So where did they meet?

"It was Las Vegas actually," explains Brooks. "Jyoti and his sponsor were having a company day there, so he flew me over and we worked together for a couple of days.

"Jyoti also liked the things I was saying and we agreed then to start working together. I went out to Dubai when the Desert Classic was being played there and, as the season progresses, we will arrange to meet up now and again at tournaments on the European Tour."

So far, the advice Brooks is giving appears to be paying off for Randhawa, who finished fifth in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last season on his way to claiming 67th position on the European Tour Order of Merit.

In four events this year, he's made the cut every time, picking up more than 100,000 Euros as he tied for second in the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur last weekend.

"It's certainly been a case of so far, so good and, if we continue working together, then I believe that Jyoti sets up base in the London area from around mid-May, so that would make it easier for us to meet up," said Brooks.

"Jyoti's a very good player, as he showed by finishing in the top 70 in Europe last season, and he's not someone who wants to have a coach there 24/7, so we will see how it goes."

The link up means that Brooks is now working with two European Tour players at the moment, having become Andrew Coltart's coach after the former Ryder Cup man set up home in Edinburgh.

"I was delighted for Andrew when he won back his European Tour card for the current season," added Brooks, who preceded Colin Montgomerie as the Scottish Amateur champion in 1986.

"I think he's got his swing back to where it was when he was being very successful on the European Tour (Coltart faced Tiger Woods in the singles in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline]. He knows that he's never going to be one of the longest hitters in the world – his strengths are accuracy, consistency and course management. And, having recorded his first top ten in three years, I believe, in Qatar a few weeks ago, his confidence has clearly been given a huge boost and, hopefully, he can go on and retain his card."

As well as Randhawa and Coltart, Brooks is still coaching Lloyd Saltman, while he's also kept busy in his role as one of the Scottish Golf Union's Academy coaches.

"This is a big year for Lloyd, who must be frustrated to see players he competed against as an amateur now doing well on the European Tour," said the former Glencorse man.

"He's just got to bide his time because he's not doing anything different now to when he was making a name for himself a couple years back.

"Lloyd has always been a confidence player – he could beat anyone in the world when he's feeling confident – and, hopefully, that will return this season."