Tara Mactaggart turns pro helped by nudge from Solheim Cup player

Tara Mactaggart, who hails from Hawick but is now based in East Lothian, has turned professional after a Solheim Cup player provided the final confirmation that she is ready to test herself in the paid ranks.

Tara Mactaggart has turned professional after spending the last four years working as golf co-ordinator at Archerfield Links. Picture: Ross Duncan
Tara Mactaggart has turned professional after spending the last four years working as golf co-ordinator at Archerfield Links. Picture: Ross Duncan

The 25-year-old spent four enjoyable years working as golf co-ordinator at Archerfield Links after graduating from Stirling University, but she has now decided to embark on a playing career.

Mactaggart, who received heartening praise from US Solheim Cup player Austin Ernst when they played together in last month’s Scottish Women’s Open Pro-Am, will make her pro debut in the Rose Ladies Series later this month.

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The Gullane-based player will then tee up in a Tartan Pro Tour event at The Renaissance Club in October as she gears up for the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in December.

“It is a very daunting feeling,” admitted Mactaggart, the girlfriend of Scottish Amateur champion Angus Carrick, of her step. “However, it is also extremely exciting to have made the decision and pursue my dream

“I have always been on the fence about turning pro. However, over the last two years, my golf has improved a lot and I have a new-found confidence in myself since lockdown after being restricted so much.”

Mactaggart, who came through the ranks as a Minto member, won the East Lothian Ladies’ Championship earlier this year before reaching the final of the Scottish Women’s Championship at Gullane.

Referring to the latter, she said: “That was the week when everything came together and, after that week, I spoke with my parents and Angus and confirmed to them that the decision to turn professional was the right one for me.

“When I graduated from Stirling in 2017, I was not ready from a golf and personal point of view to turn professional, hence my decision to begin working.

“My four years at Archerfield, where, as golf co-ordinator, I worked in the professional shop and in the golf office, were fantastic.

“I met so many wonderful people who have been able to help me in the start of my new chapter and, for that, I am extremely grateful to the club.

“I am very fortunate to still be able to play and practice at Archerfield and I couldn’t have asked for a better workplace as a stepping stone for me turning pro.”

While it seems her decision had already been made, Mactaggart admitted that hearing what Ernst had to say as they played on the same team at Dumbarnie Links last month had been music to her ears.

“Having the opportunity to play with Austin was absolutely amazing,” she said. “I was able to speak to her about professional golf and the change from amateur to the pro ranks and she gave me a great insight into it all. Her also telling me ‘you’ve got game’ filled me with confidence!”

Proud of her roots, Mactaggart is delighted to have secured sponsorship from Borders Distillery and Famously Hawick, as well as from Elena Torres through Exec Air.

“My main goal is obviously to get my LET card in December while it would also be great to qualify to play the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield next year,” she said, having been at Carnoustie last month to cheer on Louise Duncan as she shone in this year’s edition.

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