Richie Ramsay says Scots golfers holding their own despite course closures

Richie Ramsay is in good form heading into the Turkish Airlines Open. Picture Ian Rutherford
Richie Ramsay is in good form heading into the Turkish Airlines Open. Picture Ian Rutherford
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Richie Ramsay reckons 
Scotland is doing pretty well in terms of the current success level in golf at a time when some clubs in the country are closing, others are merging and junior sections are low on numbers.

“Just because we are 
Scotland and we are the home of golf, we don’t have any right to be top of the world rankings,” said the Aberdonian, speaking as he prepared to join Bob MacIntyre, Scott Jamieson and David Drysdale in flying the Saltire in the 
Turkish Airlines Open in Belek.

Russell Knox was the sole Scot in the global standings for a lengthy spell before being joined among the game’s elite in recent weeks by MacIntyre on the back of his sensational rookie season on the European Tour.

“Yes, there are only two Scots in the top 100, but it is getting harder and harder and, in actual fact, we just have to improve to hold that position,” added Ramsay.

“I know every year I’ve had to get better to hold my position as it is just more competitive.

“The European Tour is now worldwide. We’ve got players from Australia, China and South Africa and, with the South Africans having in place the Sunshine Tour, there is a strong ladder for them to climb with good golf courses and good weather. It just makes for a good breeding ground.

“People keep saying why doesn’t Scotland change, but it has a lot to do with courses we play, the weather and the mindset of players and work ethics.

“There is no magic formula out here, but a lot of the guys who are good make their own sacrifice and surround themselves with a good team and invest in that.”

Eastwood and Mount Ellen have both been forced into closure this year due to dwindling membership, with an annual report on the game in Europe revealing last week that another 7,500 registered golfers had been lost in Scotland.

“I see that Royal Montrose and Montrose Mercantile have just merged,” observed Ramsay, who heads into this week’s Rolex Series event at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal in good fettle after recording three top-10s in his last four events to sit 59th in the Race to Dubai. “It is just going to get tougher and tougher for clubs and no way is it going to get any easier.

“The thing is, as kids grow up they are on their phones all the time. They are not as active. This is reflected in the stats as there is not as many junior members coming through and all this tends to work against you.”