scott Henry has heaped praise on the Scottish Institute of Sport for starting him on a fitness programme that has seen him nicknamed ‘The Animal’ in his rookie season on the European Tour.
“When I started in the Scottish set up, I think alot of people still frowned upon the gym side,” said the two-time former Scottish Boys champion as he celebrated securing a new sponsorship with Aberdeen Asset Management. “They were trying to drive it forward and the ideas from the institute of Sport and the SGU were ahead of the game. All that they taught me then is what everyone is doing now.
“I always thought that I was doing more than everyone else but when I was in the Middle East recently I was using the gym a lot and the amount of guys in there at six in the morning and then back in after their round was an eye-opener. There was maybe 20-25 guys and the likes of [Thorbjorn] Olesen, [Gregory] Havret and [Sergio] Garcia are all at it constantly.”
Pumping so much iron has seen Henry add length to his game, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed in his first handful of events on the main European circuit. “In Dubai, one of the local papers called me ‘The Animal’ due to my long driving,” said last year’s Kazakhstan Open winner with a chuckle.
Henry’s fitness regime has been copied by compatriot Ross Kellett, another of the young Scottish professionals in the Aberdeen Asset Management stable along with James Byrne, David Law and Michael Stewart.
“I was in the Scotland Home Internationals team at 16 and Scott was there,” said Kellett, who has graduated to the Challenge Tour this season after a promising rookie campaign last year on the Alps Tour. “I could see straight away he was someone in great shape and being a couple of years older than me he was one that was hitting the gym harder.”
Kellett, Byrne and Law have all now tasted success in the paid ranks while Stewart came close to joining them when he was pipped in a play-off in an Alps Tour event in Egypt last week. “This is shareholder money, not our money,” said said Aberdeen Asset’s head of corporate events, Douglas Connon, of the company’s support. “We are helping them, but they’re doing the hard work and it’s pleasing to see them succeeding.”