IT IS time for the Scottish Golf Union to add Keir McNicoll to the list of professionals it has enlisted in recent years to pass on advice to amateurs coming through the ranks.
Keep leaning on the likes of Paul Lawrie, Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay, Scott Jamieson and Marc Warren for advice, but there is a strong case to let them hear McNicoll’s story, too.
The Carnoustie man was the first player in the home of golf to reach a plus six handicap, a Scotland regular between 2006 and 2009 and lifted the prestigious St Andrews Links Trophy.
After turning pro, he just missed the cut on his debut in the Dunhill Links Championship but his confidence was soon shattered in the paid ranks.
It led to McNicoll making a brave decision by putting his playing career on hold and signing up to the PGA training programme under Alasdair Good at Gullane.
He has just been named as the Rookie of the Year after coming out on top in the first-year coaching exams, which is a huge honour in itself and one, incidentally, that completed a notable double for the East Lothian club after Emma Fairnie finished runner-up in the Assistant of the Year category.
What is also refreshing to hear, though, is that his appetite for playing is well and truly back, as has happened with Paul O’Hara, another former star, since he also joined the PGA programme.
It’s only natural that youngsters are starry-eyed and see only one path plotted out for them. McNicoll has shown, however, that certainly isn’t the case.