Of the many positive things he’s accomplished for the good of Scottish golf over the years, Paul Lawrie’s latest venture has to be the best of the lot.
Put it this way, the new Tartan Pro Tour, a series of six 36-hole events around the country in August and September, could make the difference between a Scottish-based pro going on to blossom in the game as opposed to being lost to the sport forever.
Make no mistake, Europe’s third-tier circuits are not money-makers. They are stepping stones for players as they bid to progress to the Challenge Tour then on to the European Tour.
It was a crushing blow, therefore, when the PGA EuroPro Tour, the circuit where the majority of Scots play at that level, scrapped its entire 2020 schedule early on in the Covid-19 lockdown.
They were left facing a full year of no competitive golf whatsoever, but not now. Driven by Lawrie and backed by his sponsors, some old and some new, the Tartan Pro Tour is a brilliant addition to this year’s schedule.
It’s not just providing welcome compeitive action for home-based tour professionals, both male and female.
They’ll be playing at some cracking courses, including the championship layouts at Carnoustie and Royal Dornoch, as well as the New and Jubiles Courses at St Andrews.
Add in visits to Pollok in Glasgow and Rowallan Castle in Ayrshire, as well as the Scottish Par 3 Championship over the terrific Devenick Course at Lawrie’s golf centre on the outskirts of Aberdeen and no wonder the country has been litten up over the past few days by some smiling faces.
Scottish golf owes another debt to one of its favourite sons.
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