Martin Dempster: Forsyth is ideal to head up a foundation in the west

Alastair Forsyth would be the perfect choice to bring through the next generation of golfers in the west of Scotland. Picture: Getty.
Alastair Forsyth would be the perfect choice to bring through the next generation of golfers in the west of Scotland. Picture: Getty.
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It’s a glaring missing link. While Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher are doing their bit to bring through youngsters in the north-east and the Lothians respectively, the west of Scotland is lacking a junior foundation that carries the same sort of clout.

In fairness, Clare-Marie Macaulay, who is married to Callum, a member of Scotland’s Eisenhower Trophy-winning team in 2008, helps run a Junior Tour that covers three separate areas – Glasgow North, Glasgow South and Ayrshire – and is doing a great job on her home patch.

However, and this is a topic which has been debated in Scottish golfing circles since Gallacher set up his foundation at the east end of the M8, it would surely make sense if someone could do likewise in the west of the country.

Using Gallacher as the template, there are three obvious candidates, namely Marc Warren, Scott Jamieson and Alastair Forsyth, all of whom came through the ranks themselves in that neck of the woods and remain proud of their roots in and around Glasgow.

Having moved to Florida with his American wife and their young family, Jamieson has probably ruled himself out of the equation for the time being for logistical reasons, leaving Warren and Forsyth as the two 
possibles.

As a World Cup winner and a three-time champion on the European Tour, Warren would certainly merit the opportunity to see such a foundation bear his name but, at 38, he is still very focused on his playing career and perhaps now is not the right time for him.

In contrast, now seems the perfect time for Forsyth, a two-time winner on the European circuit, because the big man has just reminded everyone what a popular figure he is in the Scottish game, having been flooded with praise for his runaway victory in the PGA Professional Championship at Hunstanton in Norfolk last week.

Yes, of course, that triumph was not nearly as significant as the successes the Paisley man recorded in either the Malaysian Open or the Madeira Islands Open, but it was certainly a reminder that he is one of the best golfers Scotland has produced over the past 20 or so years.

If he is up for it, then he deserves the financial support needed to first get such a foundation off the ground then for it to be sustained, bearing in mind that both Lawrie and Gallacher would be the first to admit that their programmes would not have been possible without considerable backing from a number of different 
parties.

They have also received lots of help from volunteers and there is no doubt, surely, that there would be a long list of people in the Glasgow area prepared to do the same for Forsyth because he is a gem of a bloke and, at 43, he is the perfect age to be following in the footsteps of his two buddies, Lawrie and Gallacher.

He can’t do it on his own, though, and maybe he is not interested, having started to do some coaching at Mearns Castle Golf Academy since he qualified as a PGA professional after bringing down the curtain on his European Tour career and starting to play on the Tartan Tour.

However, it would be nice to think that Forsyth would indeed love to have the chance to try to help bring through the next generation of young stars, both male and female, in the west of 
Scotland.

Here’s hoping this column can perhaps trigger steps being taken to fit that missing piece in the jigsaw into place.