Martin Dempster: Grant Forrest is ticking all the boxes

Grant Forrest has secured his European Tour card with two Challenge Tour events to spare. Picture: Kenny Smith
Grant Forrest has secured his European Tour card with two Challenge Tour events to spare. Picture: Kenny Smith
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Grant Forrest’s feat in securing his European Tour card for next season with two events to spare on the Challenge Tour is possibly the most encouraging fillip for Scottish golf in a season of highs on the second-tier circuit.

Admittedly, Liam Johnston has won twice to also guarantee his step up among the 15 graduates while it really was a special occasion for David Law, another player on course to earn a main Tour card, to win the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge at Macdonald Spey Valley in Aviemore in front of his mentor, Paul Lawrie.

However, there is something about the way that Forrest has not only gone about his business this year but also his progress over the past decade that gives the impression that he could well be destined for a successful career at the top level.

Too many young Scots have turned pro in recent years on the back of nothing. In contrast, Forrest made the move as a proven 
winner, claiming three Scottish 
titles as well as making his mark 
on the US college circuit during a productive spell at the University of San Diego.

The 25-year-old also delayed his switch by a full 12 months, feeling that his game had gone off the boil by the time he played in a winning Great Britain & Ireland team in the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham.

In that time, he was among 
the first Scottish players to benefit from the support package put in place by Aberdeen Standard Investments, SSE Scottish Hydro and Bounce Sports Management 
with Scottish Golf to ease the transition from amateur to professional golf.

Playing in Challenge Tour events when he was still an amateur has helped Forrest become a European Tour player after only two full seasons in the paid ranks and he will set out on that exciting new chapter in his career next month knowing that his dad Graeme, who was taken by cancer just weeks before he won the Scottish Amateur Championship at Royal Dornoch in 2013, will be looking down on him with immense pride.