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Catriona Matthew

How two Scottish legends plan to develop the country’s next golfing superstars

Catriona Matthew and Paul Lawrie have helped design a new performance programme that aims to help Scotland's most promising players hit tournament highs
 

Scotland’s brightest amateur talents will be prepared for tournament battle by Solheim Cup skipper Catriona Matthew and Ryder Cup icon Paul Lawrie.

But the new performance programme launched by Scottish Golf won’t be teaching players how to improve their swing.

It will leave the nuts and bolts to the golfer’s personal team and concentrate, instead, on helping their elite men’s, women’s, boy’s and girl’s “prepare physically and mentally for competitive golf at the highest level”.

Designed in tandem with Lawrie and Matthew, who will act as mentors, the programme is designed to “develop potential and maximise performance”, the governing body say.

Players will be placed in three distinct groups, which offer varying levels of support, including services from sportscotland Institute of Sport staff in physical preparation, physiotherapy, nutrition, sports psychology and performance lifestyle.

Those in the National High-Performance Squad will have exclusive access to Lawrie and Matthew and the former Women’s British Open champion, who is set to to captain Europe once again against the Americans in the Solheim Cup later this year, said she was excited about the prospects.

“The game has given me so much over the years and I hope that by sharing my experience, and mentoring the next generation, I can give something back.

“There is a wealth of potential golf talent in Scotland and anything we can do to help identify and nurture that talent will hopefully help more Scottish golfers find success at the elite level.”

The programme focuses on five key areas, which include:

  • Creating training and competition plans to help players understand their game and development
  • Ensuring players can sustain the physical demands of training and competition while managing the risk of injury
  • Developing effective mental skills, emotional control and the ability to respond to failure

Lawrie added: “By working together and utilising all of the golfing experience we have in this country, we can help our talented young golfers achieve their goals.”

Scottish Golf

Meanwhile, Scottish Golf has also launched a national framework to help clubs start up and manage their junior sections.

It is designed to aid those who want to increase their junior membership and has been developed following consultation with a range of groups on the frontline of junior golf, including the foundations set up by Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher, as well as the R&A and the PGA.

Made up of six pillars, Scottish Golf say the framework will cater to all clubs “no matter their location or size”.

Among the implements at their disposal will be online tools to help plan and prepare coaching sessions, events and competitions ranging from Skills Challenges to Junior GolfSixes, and funding support including a Club Hire Fund for equipment. A Roving Pro will also assist in delivering coaching.

Karin Sharp, Chief Operating Officer at Scottish Golf, said: “The National Junior Framework is the result of over a year’s planning and development with our valued partners in the junior golf sector.

“The dedicated website demonstrates our commitment to junior golf and the future of the game in Scotland. It has everything that junior organisers, whether professionals or member volunteers, need to run a successful junior golf programme and will be a key benefit of what the Scottish Golf offers our affiliated golf clubs for the future.”

For more information, and to register your club for the Framework, visit the Scottish Junior Golf website.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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