Scottish PGA breaks mould with Brian Mair

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A BRIGHT future is being predicted for the Tartan Tour after the PGA in Scotland decided on something “totally different” when it appointed Brian Mair as its new secretary.

While the likes of Gordon Dewar, Peter Lloyd and Michael MacDougall had all been promoted from within the organisation to fill the top post over the past decade or so, Mair has ended the trend. The Ayrshireman was appointed as MacDougall’s successor following his departure to work for Paul Lawrie after working in marketing for two golf apparel companies over the past ten years.

“Our members are excited about Brian’s appointment because he is totally different,” said PGA in Scotland chairman Alan White at Gleneagles yesterday.

Still the biggest of the PGA’s seven regions, the Tartan Tour’s prize fund has been stuck around £600,000 for around a decade. The two main events on this year’s schedule are the Gleneagles SPGA Championship in July and the Northern Open, which is returning to Meldrum House for a fourth time in September but without Aberdeen Asset as its sponsor.

“There are one or two opportunities to develop sponsorship for the Northern Open,” said Liam Greasley, the PGA’s director of regions. “We have aspirations to rebuild the event in line with its former glory.”

Mair, a self-confessed “hacker”, described his new post as the “best job in golf” and said he is determined to bring a “new enthusiasm” to the Tartan Tour. He is also aiming to use the Ryder Cup to create a lasting legacy for the game in its homeland. “There’s no better time to be involved in pro golf in Scotland,” he said.