Scottish Golf's new programme aims to help young golfers have an easier transition from amateur to professional level. By Harvey Jones
Scottish Golfers Turning Pro Will Receive Funding
Scotland currently only has one golfer in the top 30 of the Official World Golf Rankings, Russell Knox.
The PGA Tour pro, who currently lives in Florida, is struggling for form with four missed cuts in his last seven events including a 70th placed finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship back in March.
You have to go down to 104th in the official world golf rankings until you find another Scotsman, Martin Laird.
Scottish Golf’s chief executive, Blane Dodds, says a new finance and support package for Scotland’s promising amateur golfers will help to establish them on the European Tour and to keep the players on a stable trajectory towards the higher echelons of the world rankings.
Within the programme, Scottish Golf look to provide funding for emerging talent over the next two years, as well as coaching and management support from the scheme.
Ewen Ferguson and Grant Forrest have ben confirmed as the first players to benefit from the initiative, which will guarantee them eight Challenge Tour starts this season as they look to finish the season in the top 15 to qualify for the European Tour.
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The duo were identified as having the potential to reach the highest level of the game by the Scottish Golf performance committee, and the governing body plans to open the initiative to other players next season.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Dodds said: “It’s a stepping stone. If you look over the last few years, the young, talented golfers from Scotland haven’t fulfilled their potential. It’s about trying to help that process.”
“The other element is when that talent is showing promise and ability to perform at a higher level, it’s ensuring all the other ancillary support is there so that they can perform when they are on the course.”
Scotland are without a major victory since Paul Lawrie’s 1999 Open Championship triumph.